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Nazi's in Arizona

Posted Saturday, May 1, 2010, at 12:17 PM

According to news reports, Nazis have taken over the government of Arizona and are now in the process of rounding up illegal aliens. It is rare that the passage of a state law gets media attention from every news outlet in the country and commentary from the President. As an attorney, I decided that I should read this law.

The law is Arizona Senate Bill 1070. A quick Google search for "Arizona SB 1070" turned up the law on the first page of the search in PDF format. The full text of the law is only 16 pages in length. Of that, approximately 12 pages of the law is existing Arizona law with minor amendment. The new text, the shocking mandates, are approximately four pages in length.

It is striking how many people have commented on this law who have apparently not read it. Since the law is written in plain English with normal sentence structure, rather than in legalese, the absence of informed commentary is surprising. It is an interesting read.

The very first thing it says is: "No official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state may adopt a policy that limits or restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law." Wow! Arizona passed a law requiring the enforcement of Federal Immigration Law. What a radical fascist concept!

The second thing it says is: "For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the united states, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person. The person's immigration status shall be verified with the Federal Government pursuant to 8 United States Code section 1373(c)." For the non-lawyers out there, "reasonable suspicion" is the federally mandated prerequisite for any law enforcement officer to start to investigate any suspected criminal act. Again this law requires the law enforcement officers to obey Federal law.

Next the law states: "If an alien who is unlawfully present in the united states is convicted of a violation of state or local law, on discharge from imprisonment or assessment of any fine that is imposed, the alien shall be transferred immediately to the custody of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement or the United States Customs and Border Protection."

That's it. Once the Gestapo have discovered a person who is engaged in criminal activity, and it is discovered that the person is an "undocumented alien," that alien is to be turned over to the U.S Immigration or Customs departments. That is very Nazi like. If an officer has a valid legal cause to investigate a crime, if there is probable cause to believe the person is here without permission, the officer is to follow the federal requirement to check status through the federal system and if the person should not be here, turn them to the federal immigration enforcement authorities.

The most radical part of the Arizona law states: "A person may bring an action in Superior Court to challenge any official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state that adopts or implements a policy that limits or restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law. If there is a judicial finding that an entity has violated this section, the court shall order any of the following:

1. That the person who brought the action recover court costs and

attorney fees.

2. That the entity pay a civil penalty of not less than one

thousand dollars and not more than five thousand dollars for

each day that the policy has remained in effect after the

filing of an action pursuant to this subsection."

This law actually gives the citizens of Arizona the power to sue the state or local government for refusing to enforce Federal immigration law. How crazy is that??? Arizona citizens can now try to compel their government to follow the law.

Thomas Jefferson, the first Democrat, said, "that government which governs least, governs best." Clearly he was someone not in favor of big government. However, giving power to the people (demos, the root for Democrat, is the Greek word for people) to compel their government to uphold the law seems like a thing for which Jefferson would have approved.


Comments
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I would not be here if not for my immigrant family generations ago. I suspect that practically everyone falls into this category.

At the same time, you can't just open the doors to everyone and let them stay without following the proper procedures.

If you get pulled over driving your car, you have to show your papers...state driver's license, car registration, proof of insurance. And before anyone says this is different because people just don't get stopped for no reason, well I could tell you a couple of stories that I personally experienced that says differently.

Is that right? No. But does it make me look over my shoulder when driving? No! But that's because I follow the rules.

I don't find this law unreasonable, but ask me again in a year.

-- Posted by ClayCountyGuy on Tue, May 4, 2010, at 8:02 AM

Dear Guesswho?,

Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I appreciate the reference to Leviticus. I never considered a religious aspect to the issue of illegal immigration. However, on that point, I would mention the following:

Arizona SB 1070 does not authorize mistreatment of aliens. It orders the enforcement of federal law.

I am not aware of anywhere where aliens are permitted to work in the host country without special permission. Typically a tourist visa explicitly prohibits employment during the stay.

Likewise, I seriously doubt that when the Jews were aliens in Egypt, that they expected to receive free food, free education, free healthcare, and sundry other benefits paid for by the Pharaoh.

Likewise, when I travel to England, I expect to pay for any medical treatment I receive. I do not expect to be fed, educated, or housed at the British public offense. Likewise, I do not expect to take a British job while I am there.

Finally, Christ, who trumps Moses and the Patriarchs, said "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's." Likewise, he submitted to the secular law, even thought they were wrong. Christians are expected to follow the law, even if they don't like it. (Eg. don't kill abortionists even thought you believe it is protecting innocent life.)

CH

-- Posted by Charles Hear on Mon, May 3, 2010, at 5:56 PM

Guesswho,

No laws passed by man are ever perfect, however I will point out that if you read the text of the law in Arizona, as Mr. Hear pointed out it requires enforcement of the Federal Immigration laws. I believe everyone deserves a chance, but that they should do it legally. If you come here illegally I believe you should be sent back to where you came from (and that means from anywhere, Europe, Asia, The Middle East not just south of the border). If you can't try it legally then don't try it at all). I have had several friends from different cultures who have immigrated to our country, They came here legally so that being said, anyone who wants a fair chance in this country should do the same; that is their belief as well. If we were already enforcing the laws as written, would this have been such an issue in the media? And maybe you consider it racial profiling, but to be a safe, secure country we need to ensure that our borders are secure. There is more to it than just illegal immigration, don't forget that our borders also allow for drug traffickers and terrorists to enter illegally also. If we don't enforce the laws we have now, we are opening ourselves up for many more problems.

-- Posted by Localguy1972 on Mon, May 3, 2010, at 12:55 PM

Charles Hear, get over yourself! Are you Native American? If not your own ancestors were foreigners. And yes, the only way to enforce this law is with racial profiling.

Ombudsman, yeah, we are so overrun with illegal aliens in Brazil.

I'm not religious but I believe the Bible teaches many good lesssons. Leviticus 19:33-34, "When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the Lord your God."

It seems too often that people who are religious ignore what the Bible teaches if it doesn't say what they want it to.

-- Posted by guesswho? on Mon, May 3, 2010, at 1:59 AM

Thank you everyone for your comments. However, I must respectfully disagree with what I believe are foundational suppositions supporting the response given by Jenny. It seems to me that the concern with profiling rises from the belief that the law enforcement officers are not ethical and competent or worse, are racist.

Based upon the 14th, 15th, and other Amendments to the Constitution, statutes, and Supreme Court rulings, thou shalt not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, sex, family status, or disability. Discrimination on any other basis is constitutionally permissible and typically not prohibited by law.

If an officer pulls over a vehicle with four blond haired caucasian men who cannot speak English, but seem to speak some East European language, would there be reasonable suspicion to enquire about their legal status within our country? Is that substantially different from the officer who sees someone loitering near a store who appears to be "casing" the place. According to Terry v. Ohio, the officer is perfectly justified in encountering this person and asking him questions such as his identity and reason for being there. What if the car contains four people who do not speak English, but seem to speak Spanish? Is that any different?

Ah, but in Arizona, there would be a disparity of impact on people who speak Spanish compared to people who speak an Eastern European language. Isn't that a problem?

Assume I am a landlord. I discriminate against potential tenants based solely on income and credit score. (Incidentally, that is perfectly legal.) However, it would have a disparity of impact on single mothers. Isn't that discrimination against a family status or sex?

No. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled over and over that impact alone is not enough to establish illegal discrimination. The illegality in the discrimination comes from the motivation of the discriminating person.

Moreover, the Supreme Court has also ruled that all people who are lawfully encountered by law enforcement have a duty to identify themselves if asked for identification. That includes producing your Indiana ID or drivers license. All adults are required to carry ID on them whenever they leave home.

As you point out, there is no one in this great nation who's family did not originate from somewhere else. The vast majority of Americans are proud of their heritage and tolerant of, if not welcoming of, the heritage of others.

However, illegally crossing a national border is illegal. Before EU rules changed things, you could not cross borders anywhere in Europe without passing through checkpoints. Every visitor to another nation (with very few exceptions) must carry their passports on them at all times. Some nations also require you carry your U.S. ID, your vaccination records, your travel visa, and a certain minimum amount of cash.

In sum, there is nothing wrong with requiring visitors to our nation to obey our laws. If that is a problem, then there is something wrong with the underlying laws. There is nothing wrong with controlling our borders. Virtually no country will permit the entry of people with felony convictions. They do not accept smugglers. They do not accept people with hostile intentions.

We have a duty to our nation and to our fellow citizens to regulate who comes here, how long they stay, and what they do while they are here.

CH

-- Posted by Charles Hear on Sun, May 2, 2010, at 11:08 PM

I think its great law and needs to be in all states...I do agree a little about the racial profiling but they dont have many choices to catch the illegals and them out of there.

-- Posted by mom of3 on Sun, May 2, 2010, at 2:41 PM

My problem with this is that it MAY cause racial profiling. In order not to do this the officer needs to ask everyone about the resident status do they not or the next thing could be a law to wear their status on their lapel as the Jews did their star in Nazi controlled Europe so they could be herded and controlled and treated less than human.

We just bid farewell to friends on their way from their home in Canada to visit family in North Carolina. We kidded with them that it's good that they are not headed for Arizona as three of the four of them are "foreigners". This of course was said tongue in cheek however as I will bet that the enforcement now legislated by Arizona will likely be only carried out on those who look indigenous Latino and not WHITE. It used to be that the Irish in New York were the ones profiled..to the point where the vehicles that took those arrested to jail were called "Paddy" wagons as they were full of men named Patrick.

Hopefully law enforcement in Arizona will not repeat the mistakes of the past and ask EVERYONE for their ID's. Not just those who look different or have a foreign accent. We have many legal immigrants in our country who contribute to our economy and do jobs that locals are not willing to do. We also enjoy hosting foreigners who vacation here and bring money to spend to be educated at our universities from many other countries. We do not want to make them feel unwelcome by profiling them just due to their appearance or accent. We are known the world over for our "melting pot" and our acceptance of peoples from different cultures as contributors of our society.

Being a proud descendant of immigrants whose names grace the halls of Ellis Island and Plimoth Colony both, who realizes that many come here legally to realize the American dream of opportunity and democracy that their home country could not give them and their families.

It would seem that to associate this stigma with those whose bloodlines may have been in the Americas long before the bloodlines of many of us U.S. citizens would be counter to what the US of A has stood for ...or maybe not, and just a revealing clue to what some of us may still be thinking underneath the surface when our white European forefathers wiped out so many of the indigenous peoples above the Rio Grande...? Maybe we have conveniently chosen to forget this portion of our history as well? Maybe I have not as in addition to my immigrant bloodlines there is also a wee bit of Narragansett blood in me from a great great great grandmother whose lineage was never recorded as not thought to be worth writing alongside those family members who hailed from England, France,and Germany and only noted as Francis' wife, an Indian [Narragansett]girl, bore him 6 children...?

Readers might study their own history before deciding that this law can only be good for unless they are a pure member of the Native Peoples here [and even those immigrated over the straits long ago from what is now Russia scientists say], they are here only because someone else thought the same as today's immigrants do.

Have a good day.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sun, May 2, 2010, at 10:14 AM

This is a great law, we could use one like it here in Brazil.

-- Posted by Ombudsman on Sat, May 1, 2010, at 8:25 PM

This is a great law tht we need to have ENFORCED in 100% of America

-- Posted by SPQR_US on Sat, May 1, 2010, at 8:06 PM

WOW! A law that apparently was written to make sense without having to be translated from legal jargon into plain English.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sat, May 1, 2010, at 6:57 PM


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