Arizona Takes a Step Back With Immigration Legislation

April 22, 2010

- See all 34 of my articles

Earlier this week the Arizona Senate took a huge step back when it decided to pass a new tough immigration bill 17-11 along mainly party lines (Republican for, Democrat against). The bill make it illegal for illegal immigrants to not have paperwork on them proving they are in the country legally as well as requiring law enforcement to question the legal status of an individuals.

Now the first part of the law is kind of redundant and idiotic. An illegal immigrant is not going to have any proof they are in the county legally so making it a crime for them not to have the papers is kind of moronic – similar to the laws that make failure to pay taxes on illegal drugs a crime when there is no mechanism in place to pay the taxes.

The second part of the legislation is the more controversial and the part I will spend my time discussing here. Basically under the legislation, if and more than likely when the Governor of the state signs the bill into law, if you can’t prove you are a citizen on the spot, then you are just gonna have to go to jail while they sort it out. The Governor faces a primary challenge, so the logical thought is that if she does veto this she will kiss her political career in Arizona goodbye. Heck even John McCain who is trying to out teabag the teabaggers in Arizona to save his political career has come out in support of the legislation calling it a needed and useful tool for law enforcement in the state. A complete 180 from his recent as of the 2008 Presidential race on immigration reform.

Anyway, outside of a Social Security card and a Drivers License, I don’t know what I myself would have on me while driving at any given time. So I am guessing I should make sure to carry plenty of extra documentation on me next time I go to Arizona. Then again I am not the main objective of the law (which will focus on non-white people, primarily Hispanic individuals, legal or illegal) so I wouldn’t probably face much of a hassle, but then again that is what is wrong with the law in general. It requires law enforcement to question the legal status of everyone, but in reality the mood of the law as well as the probable enforcement is for one particular group of individuals.

Then again, what exactly will prove the legal status of someone on the spot, I said I wouldn’t probably expect someone to have more than their License and Social Security card on them, so that isn’t gonna be enough more than likely as I have said. Birth Certificate? I don’t carry mine around or really know anyone who does on a regular basis. Then again this is Arizona – where the legislature doesn’t believe in the accuracy of the President’s birth certificate. Why would I expect them to believe in the authenticity of mine? Immigration papers? A person whose family has been here for generations is not gonna have anything of the sort. Green Card? Once again that’s only gonna be useful if I were not a citizen but here legally. Student visa? same story as above.

You get the point? It is gonna be near impossible for someone to actually prove to the officer who already probably has prejudice against you that you are a legal citizen, so your time and civil rights are going to be trampled upon and racism rules the day.

I get that illegal immigration is a problem that needs to be solved, not only in Arizona but around the country as a whole. However blatant racism is not the way to “reform” the issue. I am guessing the next legislation they are going to propose is shoot first and prove innocence or guilt later, or maybe to post armed militia at the borders ready to shoot to kill those crossing the border.  Oh wait, it is Arizona they already do that, don’t they?

And now for the Bad Nuts of the Month (other than the Arizona Senate)

As always in no particular order, because a bad nut is a bad nut….

Bad Nut No. 1: Jacksonville, FL City Councilman Clay Yarborough

Yarborough’s questioning of prospective Human Rights Board members suggested that he was seeking members who would discriminate against gays and Muslims.  In later interviews, he also said that gays and Muslims should not be able to elected office – only Christians should be allowed to hold office. Just another dumb small-minded bigot, but on the deeper note of his bias and ignorance, I am guessing he means only people with a similar view of Christianity as him should hold office.

Bad Nut No. 2: Dr. Gregory Thompson, former Humansville, Missouri School Superintendent

In a recent opinion piece the former Public School official says amongst many other moronic notions and “facts” that you will go to hell if you don’t take your kids out of public schools.

Bad Nut No. 3: Thomas Mitchell, Editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal

Had an editorial piece on it being time to repeal the 19th amendment, because “men are consistent and women are fickle and biased.” Full opinion piece from him is here.

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Squeaky
    Apr 22, 2010 @ 14:50:47

    Squirrel, I find this statement insulting:

    “It is gonna be near impossible for someone to actually prove to the officer who already probably has prejudice against you that you are a legal citizen, so your time and civil rights are going to be trampled upon and racism rules the day.”

    I’d have to vote you bad nut #4 for that reckless and prejudice statement.

    There is definitely a need for the law. In today’s world, these violations are all handled Federally so local law enforcement is nearly obsolete in enforcing it. If someone from the I.C.E. office can’t make it to your location or the person in question doesn’t have a warrant the person is released. This will empower LEO’s in the state of Arizona to help mitigate the damage being done by illegal immigrants.

    The law doesn’t say that they will presume someone guilty until proven innocent. I’m not sure where you’re drawing this conclusion, but it sounds like an assumption and a reckless one at that.

    You’re certainly entitled to your opinion but I’m befuddled at your prejudice against the Law Enforcement community. We have a problem with illegal immigration and we need better tools to fight it. If we were in any other country we wouldn’t be having this conversation. They would just detain the person if they were illegal. There would be no bleeding heart tears over someone not being able to break the law. No ACLU demanding the prisoner get a Twinkie. No public rally from the democratic activists demanding the release of the down trodden and victimized criminal. No candle light vigil for the criminal that has broke 10 different laws trying to get here, including crimes against the AZ residents.

    We have a problem and it needs to be cured. If that means the states taking the matter in to their hands, so be it. This may not be what you like, but it sounds like a step in the right direction.

    Good guy of the week: All of the real Tea Partiers across this great nation.


  2. Squeaky
    Apr 22, 2010 @ 14:52:02

    I forgot–need to get one more thing in:



  3. Evan @ 40Tech
    Apr 23, 2010 @ 08:27:11

    Disclaimer- I haven’t read the full statute, as I don’t live in Arizona, but this sounds like craziness. As an example, I have a friend who moved from Pennsylvania to a part of California where they have an illegal immigration problem. My friend is partially of native American descent, and has already been pulled over a few times, being mistaken as someone from Mexico. If he didn’t have a driver’s license on him, would he be in jail under the Arizona law, since the officer who stopped him already did so on the suspicion that he was in the country illegally?
    .-= Evan @ 40Tech´s last blog – Review =-.


  4. The Angry Squirrel
    Apr 23, 2010 @ 14:43:51

    Squeaky: Please do not think that is my opinion of law enforcement in general. If you notice the entirety of the article it was with my shots at Arizona, as I don’t think every single Arizona law enforment official is going to have a bias either, but is more a shot at the ones I have seen talking about this particular bill and other immigration issues in the past. Especially the one sheriff who is all gung ho about border militia and think that all Hispanics legal and illegal should be shipped back to their country of orgin.

    Also the law itself is to be handled locally in any instance police have contact with the public they would be required to question the legal status of the individual. If they are brought in then yes that would end up going through INS and other federal level areas, but the initial part of the law I am talking about in waste of time and violation of rights involved is on the hands of local/state law enforcement. It is not just a matter if the person is actually an illegal immigrant or not, but if you cannot prove it to them at the moment of questioning then you are taken in. That is what I am talking about here. What is going to actually prove to the local/state law enforment official that you are in fact legal? It is more the racial profiling of an entire group that I am talking about. And I am not talking about being sympathetic to illegals or criminals, I am talking about genral public who is the victim of a crime, sees a crime, reports a crime, stopped for a routine traffic violation, etc is going to be the ones that take the brunt of the racial profiling here, as the criminals would have already been brought into custody already and immigration status would be under questioning there.

    Evan: I would suppose your friend could be. It is unsure what exactly will be proof of citizenship to any given officer in any certain circumstance. The law just allows makes it for the questioning of their status during police business. It doesn’t actually state what you’ll need to supply to the officer on any given instance, but as with most things leniencey and harshness will depend on the given situation I am sure.
    .-= The Angry Squirrel´s last blog ..Arizona Takes a Step Back With Immigration Legislation =-.


  5. kosmo
    Apr 24, 2010 @ 13:33:06

    I’d be interested to see how US citizens of Hispanic heritage feel about this. I understand the desire to get illegal immigration under control. However, this law could create a situation where Juan Smith, 6th generation American, has less rights than John Smith, 2nd generation American, simply because of the color of his skin.

    The crux of this is going to be how law enforcement determines that there is “reasonable suspicion” that a person is in the country illegally. If it is defined to vaguely, it will open our Hispanic citizens to having LEO’s repeatedly ask them for documentation – something that I, personally, would find a bit annoying after a while.

    If, on the other hand, it is defined more precisely, perhaps this won’t be as much of a problem. We shall see.


  6. Squeaky
    Apr 24, 2010 @ 15:29:34

    Thanks for the clarification squirrel. I certainly respect your opinions whether I agree with them or not. I’ve heard on every news channel this week people walking all over the LEO’s. They’ve been making it sound like they’re a bunch of Nazi’s ready to take every Mexican, Cuban, etc and put them in jail forever or ship them out. I can assure that it will never happen that way. We’re so wrapped up in legal processes that if someone has a questionable resident status they would certainly be detained for a period of time. That will be short or long depending on their level of cooperation. I agree that it doesn’t spell out what will be required to be shown, but many of our statutes don’t. It instead leaves the legal requirement usually as, “that which would satisfy a reasonably prudent person”. Sometimes it’s better to have some flexibility/gray in a statute rather than spell out the only items that will meet it.
    Adam, I understand your concerns as well. If your friend is legal, I’m positive that everything would work out fine as long as he would cooperate. I had several situations where the individual would provide a false name or just plain refuse to provide any information. Had the person cooperated, they wouldn’t have spent any time in jail. Instead of simply answering a few questions, they were arrested for providing false information or for refusal to obey a legal order by a LEO.
    I’m not sure if either of you have spent time in Arizona, New Mexico, Southern California, etc. That my friends is craziness. This law will help reduce the frustration of the citizens of Arizona and help to reduce the drain the US economy by illegals. There are probably several other positives and negatives, but the bottom line for me is that is a necessary tool for the law enforcement community. Leaving their hands tied with the inability to enforce such important laws is ridiculous.
    You have probably already seen this, but the governor signed the bill today, so it’s a done deal.
    Additional good guy of the week: Dr. Robert Breeze in Aurora, CO. He has just completed a life saving surgery on my mom. She suffered a brain hemorrhage yesterday and this procedure has certainly taken a huge step toward saving her life.


  7. The Angry Squirrel
    Apr 24, 2010 @ 16:50:19

    Well sorry to hear about your mom squeaky and hope that the procedure does help here out.

    Of course the Governor signed the bill, I stated as much that she HAD to if she wanted to get renominated. However I see a backlash in the General election to some extent, but we’ll see. As for the law itself I still see it as not helping the immigration issue one bit.
    .-= The Angry Squirrel´s last blog ..What’s Going On? =-.


  8. Martin Kelly
    Apr 27, 2010 @ 10:46:23

    I have to say that I like the back and forth this article has generated. I fear the same negatives that you do squirrel. Arizona had to do something, though. The promised barrier and additional resources (promised by then President Bush and a Democratic congress) have not materialized, the crime rate is sky rocketing and unfortunately most of the new crime is illeagle immigrant based. I am not saying that all illegle immigrants are going to go on to more serious crimes, but some of the worst people in the world have been coming in to take advantage of our national charitablity.

    I also want to point out that the polls have shown a 70% support in Arizona. I have never lived in Arizona (in Texas yes) but I do have friends there and I can assure you that the popultation is not 70% white racist bigot. On the contrary, it is nearly 60% hispanic. The legle residents of hispanic origin are just as fed up as the non-hispainics. The only groups who seem to be against this new law (and I admit I dont like parts of it) are the liberal crowd and the illegal immigrants. I really dont like the president critizising a state law when the federal government is not enforcing the existing federal laws. Either do the job or get out of the way so that local people can take care of the problem as they see fit.


  9. kosmo
    Apr 27, 2010 @ 13:41:31

    @ Martin:
    According to a 2006-2007 census survey, the demographics of Arizona are:
    Caucasian: 59.6%
    Hispanic: 29%

    I’m sure that illegal immigrants were underrepresented (or not counted at all) in this study, but I doubt that they were underrepresented enough to shift from 29% to 60%.

    Let’s run the math on this. The fixed number would be the Caucasion population of 60%, which would represent 3,900,000 of the state’s 6.6 million people.

    In order for the Hispanic population to be 60%, the Caucasian population would need to represent 34.3 precent and other race 5.7% (as the ratio of Caucasian : other would remain constant).

    This would mean that the actual population of the state is 11,370,252 (3.9M / .343), with 4.77 million of them being illegal immigrants. There may be a lot of illegal immigrants in Arizona – particularly southern Arizona – but 4.77M? That seems high.

    In any case, you’d think the polling would probably under-represent the population of illegal immigrants, for some obvious reasons.

    What’s my point? You seem to be implying that Hispanic residents of Arizona are strongly in favor of the bill, based on the quoted demographics of the state. In fact, with the demographics you quote, it would be impossible to have 70% support without at least 50% support by the Hispanic population.

    While it may be true that the Hispanic residents support the bill, it would actually be mathematically possibly to have 70% approval by legal residents without a single legal Hispanic resident being in favor.


  10. The Angry Squirrel
    Apr 27, 2010 @ 20:00:50

    Martin: Well I am not really saying that Arizona is a majority white racist bigot state either, nor am I really caring about the affects of the law on actual legal immigrants. My focus is on the effect on legal citizens born here of a generation or more or those that have immigrated legally.


  11. The Angry Squirrel
    Apr 27, 2010 @ 20:02:14

    that’s what i get for trying to type a quick response, above response is supposed to say i don;t care about the effects on illegal immigrants, I only car about the effects on legal citizens.


  12. Tiberius Kane
    Apr 29, 2010 @ 09:17:44

    When I was 18 and working in a factory I tried to get an apartment, I was denied (illegaly) because of my age. When I first got married and wanted to rent a house, I was denied (illegly) because of our age. Did I get mad? Maybe a little but it was more directed to the idiots of my generation that gave me a bad name. In both cases I did find other housing and proved myself worthy to the landlords.

    Phoenix, AZ is the kidnapping capitol of the world followed my Mexico City. Ninety percent of the drugs entering America come across the Mexican border. Would I be mad at the police, Arizona legislators, governor Brewer, or 70% of voters for being pulled over for reasonable suspicion of being an illegal immigrant? No, I would be angry with the criminals giving law abiding hispanics a bad name.

    If this law is effective the incovenience will soon pass as illegal immigration is reduced. Indications are that the law is already working.


  13. kosmo
    May 01, 2010 @ 11:47:16

    I saw this on CNN:

    The law has been changed so that the police can only ask for documentation only while enforcing another law or ordinance. Granted, there are some laws (loitering, jaywalking) which are routinely violated and would serve the purpose. However, at least Juan Smith, 4th generation American, should be able to go for a jog in his sweat pants without worrying about being questioned. Personally, I never carry my wallet when jogging.

    I’m still not sure I like the law, but I like the newer version a lot more than the original one. “Reasonable suspicion” seemed to be a term that could be interpreted in several different ways.


  14. Squeaky
    May 01, 2010 @ 13:07:08

    I’ve wanted to get sick this week as I hear news anchors, public figures that oppose this law and others say that they oppose this bill because they value diversity.

    This is not about disdain for diversity. This is not about Mexican people, Cuban people or Europeans. This law is about people that do not follow the law and are doing something illegal. ILLEGAL. If someone is breaking an immigration law it is no different than a burglary or any other law. It’s time people in our country quit making exceptions to the law because we feel sorry for people.

    If someone commits an armed robbery for food because he/she doesn’t have a job does that mean we should look past it? Well we don’t. People in other countries have a process to follow if they would like to immigrate to the US. Those that follow the process are outraged that others try and cheat. I work with many people from India that are going through the process or have gone through the process. They can’t imagine why someone would try and cheat the system. They are extremely bitter about them and fully support enforcement of the immigration laws as do I.



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