Apr 28, 2010

The Frito Bandito does not approve.

Contrary to popular belief I have faith in the immigration policies of this country. Often decried as being too conservative by many I disagree. If one simply looks at the laws regarding aliens entering the country of most of the world's nations they would view ours are very lenient. Think I'm wrong? Just open a browser and look up the laws and punishments for those crossing the borders illegally for Saudi Arabia, China, Denmark, and heck even Mexico. We set the standard for being liberal.

As most of you are aware Arizona passed its own immigration bill which has caused a stir of controversy. According to the law police are required to ask for documentation from someone suspected of being in the country illegally and if they fail to provide proper papers they are to be detained and handed over to federal authorities for processing.

Now I'm unclear as to what constitutes probable cause for asking these people for their identification. Depending on what pundit or activist you listen to they all have different answers. Conservative claim that police officers can only do that while the person in question is committing a criminal offence, such as speeding or streaking through a Jehovah's Witness Hall, while liberals state cops can ask for a drivers license at any time regardless.

I'm still unsure as to who is right as the specifics aren't clear in the bill, at least to me, but this is not my biggest problem with it.

What I'm really surprised about regarding the passing of this legislation is that it allows citizens to sue law enforcement if they feel they're not locking up enough illegals. This is absolutely ridiculous. This puts soliciting documents from Latinos at the highest priority for all departments, state and local, for fear of a lawsuit.

Let me set up a scenario.

A cop gets two calls, one for rape and another for a possible illegal alien daring to step foot in Arizona. The officer will respond to the latter each and every time. If he doesn't he knows he can face disciplinary action.

The Supreme Court has made it very clear that police departments are not required to protect and to serve, even if they advertise such. All they have to do is respond. I'm not kidding. If you are the victim of a violent crime in Arizona and the cops decide to go drill Juan about his green card before they get to your case all you can really do is write a strongly worded email to the police chief.

Do you all feel safer now that Home Depot parking lots will have less brown people?

As I don't live in Arizona I have no idea why 70% of the population feel this legislation is a good idea. Are they all racists? I would certainly hope not, but even if illegal immigration is that much of a problem as they think it is it's no excuse for how asinine this law is.

"If I have a shots-fired call or the potential to stop someone who might be checked for documented status, I'm going to do that before I respond to shots fired because I won't get sued if don't respond to shots fired," - Colorado Springs Chief Richard Myers


Mattbear said...

Arizona does have one of the biggest illegal immigration problems in the country, and also one of the highest rates of racist assholes.

I know, you'd think Alabama or something, but no, Arizona is probably worse.

Also, you mentioned probable cause for checking an immigrant's papers - but this new Arizona law only requires "reasonable suspicion." Both are actually legally defined things, and reasonable suspicion is a much lower bar to hurdle than probable cause.

JLee said...

They can get SUED?? Ridiculous. I am like you...I see that it's a problem, but not sure how this is going to work. Interesting point about other countries because we were just talking about how strict immigration laws are in Mexico. Oh the irony...