Arizona Gets It Wrong Again

I’m not surprised that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law immigration reform that  gives cops the authority to stop people on the suspicion of being “illegal”.  This comes from the same state that refused to honor the federal Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday for 9 years until a tourist boycott pressured voters into finally changing their minds.

This law will bring immediate constitutional challenges on the grounds that it violates the federal supremacy clause and the 14th amendment which protects people from unreasonable search and seizure.  States do not have the authority to enforce federal immigration laws.  For supporters of the harsh Arizona immigration law who argue that the state must take matters into its own hands because the federal government has failed, remember this – we live in a democracy.  There is a process by which legitimate change can be made – voting.

One of the biggest disappointments in the debate is the position of Senator John McCain who once joined forces with Senator Ted Kennedy and sponsored sweeping immigration reform legislation which was ultimately defeated.  The bill certainly did not include a provision to allow cops to engage in racial profiling.  In yet another giant flip flop, Senator McCain now supports the new Arizona immigration law which requires cops to stop people who look like they might be in the state illegally.  What does an “illegal” immigrant look like anyway?  You can’t tell me that cops will turn a blind eye to anyone who looks Mexican or foreign and instead concentrate only on suspicious behavior.   In order to enforce this uncivil law, cops will have to engage in racial profiling.

The law is surely unconstitutional and will be struck down by federal courts. However, if it makes its way to the Supreme Court, who knows how the justices will rule. The court has a conservative majority.   It may take another boycott for the voters of Arizona to come to their senses and already Arizona Congressman Grijalva is leading the charge.

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2 Responses

  1. My friend what are you talking about that the Supreme Court has a Conservative majority? Thats just not true. Justice Kennedy is no conservative. Thats why he is considered the Swing Vote on every case. He makes or breaks a case.

    The other thing is yes you will likely get some discrimination but cops cant just stop a guy walking down the street and demand his papers. Its going to be when a cop pulls someone over or has to deal with a situation. And in my opion every single person should be asked to show they are a citizen.

    Do you realize in citys like San Fransico the cops are told to do the very oppisite of this law, in the sancutary citys they are told they CANNOT ask a person if they are a citizen or not?

    And finally if the federal government had been enforcing the current immigration laws then this new law would not be need.

  2. My friend, the conservatives on the court are Scalia, Roberts, Thomas, Alito + Kennedy the majority of the time.

    In my opinion, no one should be asked to show proof of citizenship in this country for acting “suspicious” or looking “illegal”. And you might not mind being asked to show your citizenship – but frankly, I’m not accustomed to carrying my passport and people who don’t have a passport I would imagine would not want to carry around a copy of their birth certificate and present it whenever stopped. As to the cops, I don’t think many want to be put in the position of having to pull people over to ask for papers. And there will be some who will profile, and will stop Latinos on trumped up charges (car didn’t come to a full stop, or failure to signal or whatever) because they think the car might contain “illegal” immigrants. We don’t live in a police state – except for Arizona.

    This country should be a sanctuary for the undocumented until Congress passes comprehensive immigration reform. Immigrants, undocumented or not, pay taxes, work hard and contribute to society. Don’t forget, we are a nation of immigrants!

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