Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Arizona Enacts Illegal Immigration Legislation

President Obama has instructed Attorney General Holder to look into a potential
federal challenge to the new law in Arizona to deal with illegal immigrants. When the bill was signed into law by the governor, Obama weighed in that is was "misguided". As is his pattern, Obama weighs in without the full context of a subject.

I would argue that it is 'misguided' for the Federal government to stay on the sidelines and not correct the problems faced by border states like Arizona. I would argue that it is 'misguided' for the President of the United States to insert himself into the argument before he has read the actual bill. While it is obvious that the Democratic leadership in Washington no longer feels obliged to read legislation, I would argue that not reading bills is also 'misguided'.

Frank Antenori, Arizona State Senator, said, "in Arizona, we actually read bills". He claims the new law does not allow profiling, that those here illegally would come under scrutiny only if stopped by police for suspicion of unlawful acts. He said the law 'uncuffs' the hands of law enforcement so that detention is possible if someone is suspected of being in the state illegally.

Arizona State Senator Russell Pierce, the author of the legislation, said that parts of the Arizona law are the exact wording from Federal legislation. Unfortunately, the Federal law is not enforced. From Sedona Biz : Russell Pearce is the author of S.B. 1070, which requires officials and agencies of the state and political subdivisions to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration laws and establishes crimes related to illegal immigration. It specifies requirements for employers who assert an entrapment defense for intentionally or knowingly employing an unauthorized alien.

Pearce is one of Arizona’s most outspoken advocate for stopping the illegal invasion, securing our borders and enforcing our laws. In 2004 he was the architect of The Citizen’s Initiative known as Proposition 200, also known as Protect Arizona NOW (Arizona's Citizens and Taxpayers Protection Act), to require: Arizona's Fair and Legal Employment Act; Arizona’s Employer Sanctions legislation, the toughest work site enforcement bill in the nation to stop illegal employers and to protect jobs for Arizonans.

In 2009 he was recognized as the number one legislator, “Hero of the Taxpayer” by the Americans for Prosperity, a taxpayer’s watchdog group. He has been consistently rated in the very top every year he has been in the legislature. As a State legislator he was recognized by the Goldwater Institute as the number one legislator who proved to be the strongest ally against government encroachment on liberty.

He was one of only seven legislators in the nation and the only one in Arizona to receive the "Hero of the Taxpayer" award by the American Tax Reform Association, a national taxpayer and limited government association. He is currently Chairman of the Arizona Senate's Appropriations Committee and proudly states that, “I am the gatekeeper, not the gift giver. Taxpayer money comes from the hard labor of Dads and Moms."

I tend to agree with Jeb Bush. He looks at it from a practical approach. Jeb Bush said in an article published by Politico: “I think it creates unintended consequences,” he said in a telephone interview with POLITICO Tuesday. “It’s difficult for me to imagine how you’re going to enforce this law. It places a significant burden on local law enforcement and you have civil liberties issues that are significant as well.”

The law appears to be unconstitutional as well. The fourth amendment states: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Democrats, like Obama and Holder, work the issue of illegal immigration as a way to gin up their base and hope to use it as a battering ram for electoral success. This is the lowest form of politics - it exploits the poor and hopeless as well as American citizens directly affected by the consequences of illegal immigration.

It is easy to understand what led up to the action taken by the Arizona legislature and Governor Brewer. Frustrated from years of willful neglect from those in Washington tasked with keeping our borders secure, the state of Arizona is in chaos. Murders on ranches that bump up to the border with Mexico, as well as other criminal activity have overwhelmed the state's law enforcement. No serious effort from the federal level has been used since the days of Ronald Reagan. To now demand, however, that even legal citizens carry their paperwork on their person just in case an officer of the law suspects they might be an illegal immigrant, is not the answer.

The top requirement of the federal government is national security. Secure the borders. Enact a path to citizenship. Immediately deport those here illegally that commit crime. Whether those in office in Washington wish to confront these solutions or not, it has to be done. It is time for Washington to enforce the laws already on the books.

Leadership comes from the top down. This act was not done because the people of Arizona are racist or bitter or hateful people. It occurred as a last resort.


nicholas said...

Excellent post.

I would argue that the Fourth Amendment protects the people of the United States against illegal search, but it does not prohibit law enforcement from identifying who people are, and checking out if they are in fact who they claim to be.

nicholas said...

As per the language in the law in passed:

If a police officer comes into “lawful contact” with a person (because their job as a police officer requires them to do so), and the officer has “reasonable suspicion” that the person is an alien or illegal resident, that officer must make a reasonable attempt to ascertain whether that person is in the United States legally. If, in the course of that “lawful contact”, the person provides an Arizona driver’s license, photo ID, tribal identification, or any other piece of identification for which they had to prove their legal residence when they got it, then that person is automatically assumed to be a legal resident.

I doubt you will respond, Ms. Penguin, as you rarely do, but I think it is worth looking at.

Karen said...

Thanks, as always, for your thoughtful comments.
My concern with the law signed by the governor is that it will be abused. Like Jeb Bush, I think it will be fodder for lawsuits. I believe in states rights, as a conservative, and have no problem with law enforcement asking for id should someone be stopped reasonably. It is federal law that a non-citizen carry legal id, too.

I live in Houston and it is a sanctuary city. I understand the frustration. Gov Perry has requested help with our border for several years with no assistance.

I hope we don't see unintended consequences. I am disgusted that immigration reform has become so politicized. The issue affects all of us.

nicholas said...

And those are reasonable concerns. Would that our lawmakers thought about unintended consequences before we passed such things as FMLA, or endless extensions on unemployment benefits, removing the impetus to work, or as we shall soon see, the healthcare "reform" legislation recently signed into law. But this is the people of Arizona attempting to protect themselves and defend their border from people illegally entering the state.

For the president, it is an opportunity to impugn his political opponents, in this case conservatives and the Tea Party movement. There is no care or concern on his part for the citizens of Arizona, and his language encourages the illegals to challenge the local government and law enforcement. His actions underscore his tacit abdication of his own responsibilities. It is reprehensible behavior on the part of the president.

We should support the people of Arizona and criticize the irresponsible posturing on the part of the president.

Thanks for your response.