Arizona Immigration Bill (in Debates)

Cube April 25 2010 10:50 PM EDT

So, there's a lot of controversy surrounding the Arizona Immigration bill that was recently passed. The concern resides in the police discretion to determine 'reasonable suspicion' of being an illegal alien. Critics say it opens up the possibility for racial discrimination.

Here's a link to the bill

A few significant clauses:
1. Requires a reasonable attempt to be made to determine the immigration status of a person during any legitimate contact made by an official or agency of the state or a county, city, town or political subdivision (political subdivision) if reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the U.S.

Trespassing by Illegal Aliens
11. Specifies that, in addition to any violation of federal law, a person is guilty of trespassing if the person is:
a) present on any public or private land in the state and
b) is not carrying his or her alien registration card or has willfully failed to register.

12. Requires, in the enforcement of this statute, the final determination of an alienメs immigration status to be determined by:
a) a law enforcement officer who is authorized to verify or ascertain an alienメs immigration status or
b) a law enforcement officer or agency communicating with ICE or the U.S. Border Protection.

My take:
After reading the bill, it honestly sounds like it's intentions are perfectly reasonable. Considering how I was seeing the bill portrayed, I was surprised to not find any blatant problems with the bill. It seems to me like it has the potential for abuse, but at least on paper it seems pretty reasonable. I'd hope any abuse of the powers would surface if they were to occur. Also, I doubt the bill will do much to solve the overarching problem.

My take on Immigration overall:
I would like there to be reform, such as the proposed guest worker program. Ideally, a more streamlined process for people who genuinely want to work here and not just take advantage, as well as a way for the Government to keep tabs on them. I expect the number that want to take advantage is far smaller than those that just want to work. At the very least, considering the large number of illegals currently residing in the United States, our current approach seems silly; there has to be a better one even if a guest worker program is not it. It's like trying to keep the tide from coming in. However, Arizona definitely wouldn't be able to enact any vast Immigration Reform on their own, so I can't fault them.

QBRanger April 25 2010 11:43 PM EDT

Having lived in Arizona, I fully support this bill. Which would not be needed if the government did their job and enforced the currently laws on the books. Which they have not done for 20+ years.

Some have tried to link this law to Gestapo tactics which is utterly foolish for numerous obvious reasons. Just political rhetoric designed to inflame people.

There are millions of people here illegally. As long as legal citizens and immigrants are not abused by the police in course of enforcing this law, I have no problem at all with it. And certainly it is a form of racial profiling. Which, to be un-PC, I do agree with in certain scenarios. For which I certainly will take any criticism. Do we really have to search 100 grannies at the airport for every 100 middle easterners? Really? In all of US history, how many 80 year old women tried to hijack a plane? Really?

About immigration overall:
I would like to get our borders enforced as soon as possible, perhaps yesterday. There are good suggestions on both sides of the discussion on what to do with people currently here and I see points for both sides. One can state the statute of limitations is over for those who came in 2+ years ago while others can say it is a continuing crime. I agree with Cube that those trying to better themselves far outweigh those taking advantage of the system, but then again taking advantage of the system in the US is a better life than where they came from. I guess a guest worker type of situation may be best, but right now I personally need to listen more to others before I can come to a conclusion. And read the legislation before I can see how they will do it.

{Wookie}-Jir.Vr- April 25 2010 11:50 PM EDT

Ranger, you never cease to amaze me. =)

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] April 26 2010 1:41 AM EDT

We did this once before, in the thirties. It's interesting to hear my Aunts talk about a time in California without Mexican field workers. They were so young they didn't even realize it until I mentioned the deportation that took place.

モIt is very similar to late Weimar Germany,ヤ Chomsky told me when I called him at his office in Cambridge, Mass. モThe parallels are striking. There was also tremendous disillusionment with the parliamentary system. The most striking fact about Weimar was not that the Nazis managed to destroy the Social Democrats and the Communists but that the traditional parties, the Conservative and Liberal parties, were hated and disappeared. It left a vacuum which the Nazis very cleverly and intelligently managed to take over.ヤ

モThe United States is extremely lucky that no honest, charismatic figure has arisen,ヤ Chomsky went on. モEvery charismatic figure is such an obvious crook that he destroys himself, like McCarthy or Nixon or the evangelist preachers. If somebody comes along who is charismatic and honest this country is in real trouble because of the frustration, disillusionment, the justified anger and the absence of any coherent response. What are people supposed to think if someone says ムI have got an answer, we have an enemyメ? There it was the Jews. Here it will be the illegal immigrants and the blacks. We will be told that white males are a persecuted minority. We will be told we have to defend ourselves and the honor of the nation. Military force will be exalted. People will be beaten up. This could become an overwhelming force. And if it happens it will be more dangerous than Germany. The United States is the world power. Germany was powerful but had more powerful antagonists. I donメt think all this is very far away. If the polls are accurate it is not the Republicans but the right-wing Republicans, the crazed Republicans, who will sweep the next election.ヤ

モI have never seen anything like this in my lifetime,ヤ Chomsky added. モI am old enough to remember the 1930s. My whole family was unemployed. There were far more desperate conditions than today. But it was hopeful. People had hope. The CIO was organizing. No one wants to say it anymore but the Communist Party was the spearhead for labor and civil rights organizing. Even things like giving my unemployed seamstress aunt a week in the country. It was a life. There is nothing like that now. The mood of the country is frightening. The level of anger, frustration and hatred of institutions is not organized in a constructive way. It is going off into self-destructive fantasies.ヤ

Cube April 28 2010 3:04 PM EDT

As long as legal citizens and immigrants are not abused by the police in course of enforcing this law, I have no problem at all with it.

I liked Colbert's rant on it: No matter what the law it's going to be either draconian OR ineffective.

Sure, you may target the people that stand near the corner of home depot, but citizens could be there lawfully as well, or illegals will find other ways to look for work.

I guess I just think it's more likely to be ineffective. Maybe a small effect, but I doubt it will be a big sweeping difference.

QBRanger April 29 2010 10:00 PM EDT

This is probably the best post I have seen on the subject:

The author of the op-ed is someone who helped craft the law.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] April 30 2010 12:24 AM EDT

The law is a blatant political ploy, many law enforcement folks are regarding it as an unfunded mandate. The training for the law isn't even in place yet. It panders to the worst kind of mentality and further exacerbates an environment of fear and xenophobia.

One thing I am interested in is the tendency for the same folks who regard the market as holy and sacred to also have hostile attitudes towards migrant workers. Aren't limitations on immigration attempts to control the market?

QBRanger April 30 2010 12:51 AM EDT

One thing I am interested in is the tendency for the same folks who regard the market as holy and sacred to also have hostile attitudes towards migrant workers. Aren't limitations on immigration attempts to control the market?

Those who agree the law is right are trying to get the government to enforce those laws already on the books.

Illegal immigration is bankrupting states and cities all along the southwest.

Having come from Arizona, I firsthand saw how much resources were being given to illegals.

From free school, to free medical care, to increased crime with a strain on the court and jail systems. I am sure you know Phoenix is the number one city in America for kidnappings.

This law, while perhaps being a political stunt, is just trying to do the job the federal government will not do, which is enforce our boarders.

So while the decrease in cheap labor would seem to spike prices due to increased labor costs, they are more than offset by the expenditure by the public system to education and heal the illegal immigrants.

Remember, this is just for illegal immigrants, and not people who legally came here following the correct rules and laws.

There is no xenophobia in this law. It is just an attempt to do at a state level what the LAWS already on books fail to do at the federal level. And what administrations from Carter to Obama, including Republicans, have failed to address.

Xenophobia is a dislike, hatred and/or fear of that which is unknown or different from oneself. Having lived in Arizona, I can certainly state that there is no hatred of people from Mexico or S. America as a general rule. We do not like illegal aliens, however. So if you wish to call it a fear or hatred for those breaking the law, perhaps you may possible be correct. The law is xenophobia of those breaking the law. There certainly is a fear of bankruptcy and increased crime.

One last point. If you think the new Arizona law "panders to the worst kind of mentality and further exacerbates an environment of fear and xenophobia." than you have no idea about Mexico's approach to illegal aliens. It makes the Arizona law seem like a slap on the wrist. I have yet to see anyone complain about their approach:

Read this and them tell me Arizona's law is unfair:

Yes, it is from a conservative site but the information is non-disputable fact.

I think the other link did not work so here is another:

kevlar May 5 2010 3:44 AM EDT

Aren't limitations on immigration attempts to control the market?

Good lord. Did you just use the word "immigration" automatically as a legal stature?

Show me the "immigration" papers and I will agree...

"attempts"... that is just a whole new can of worms

QBRanger May 5 2010 9:10 AM EDT


Best if you do not fall into those type of straw man discussions.

The Arizona bill is nothing more than a duplication of federal law.

It adds nothing to the immigration debate other than actually using local police as additional agents to find illegal immigrants.

Something that the federal government has a policy for.

Illegal immigration is sort of like a "Don't ask, Don't tell type of policy". When the economy was booming, to some it was acceptable. To others like myself it never was.

However, with illegals breaking the bank in the border states with respect to public services and healthcare (to name just 2), people are starting to realize that this is a major problem.

And not just in the US. I have read this is becoming a big concern for the UK and may effect their election. Something about the PM calling someone a bigot for asking about it.

I wish people would read the NYT article and then give their comments.

Cube May 5 2010 10:18 AM EDT

I read the op ed article you submitted about a week ago, and it honestly calms most of my concerns. As you said, there is only a problem if citizens are harassed. Police have the potential to do that, but that's a problem outside this new law.

Aren't limitations on immigration attempts to control the market?
Yes, this is a problem with our current immigration system, and why a guest worker program/ more streamlined attempt to immigration would be better. I'd rather people who want to work here be able to come here legally without paying someone to cross the border without any worries about going to police or the hospital. Either way you have to admit that the current way we treat immigration overall is a very messy situation.

Though I've always felt stricter enforcement of immigration laws wasn't the way to go, the economic pressure to cross the border is too strong.

But I don't think that Arizona has the ability to fix that problem on it's own.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] May 5 2010 1:35 PM EDT

The stupid thing is, if the bill is a duplication of federal law in order to use local police to enforce federal law, why is this necessary in a time when budgets are strapped, in a time when there is no money to fund this kind of thing? The law enforcement folks said it best when they said this is an "unfunded" mandate.

Besides all of that, I say let Ranger run the country, he seems to know what is best for everyone anyways. We all know illegal immigration is one of those hot-button issues, especially in Arizona, that gets voters out. Der took er jerbs!

kevlar May 5 2010 3:41 PM EDT

wow. the comments here are astonishing. Sorry Ranger, I have never heard of straw man whatever that means. The fact of the matter is there are a lot of people trying to enter the country legally... and what is going on in Zona is much more than mexicans coming in and taking jobs... wow, Ver.

The southern border is a floodgate not only for Mexicans. People need to wake up. They have had over 100 different nationalities entering illegally ... and you can bet your britches there is danger entering.

But no... everyone remains naive and sees the taco bell aspect to the border situation.

QBRanger May 5 2010 4:16 PM EDT

The law enforcement folks said it best when they said this is an "unfunded" mandate.
Who stated that? 1 or 2 policemen who are against this law? It is favored by over 60% of Arizona citizens and over 50% of the US population according to all the polls I have read.

Besides all of that, I say let Ranger run the country, he seems to know what is best for everyone anyways. We all know illegal immigration is one of those hot-button issues, especially in Arizona, that gets voters out. Der took er jerbs!
And there you go folks, the first direct attack in this thread. From an ADMIN none the less who will likely get a nice free pass on any punishment. Until that very post, things in this thread were quite civil with a nice degree of disagreement but no personal attacks.

NICE JOB VERIFEX on taking this thread to a new low!!!

QBRanger May 5 2010 4:25 PM EDT

why is this necessary in a time when budgets are strapped, in a time when there is no money to fund this kind of thing?

Have you bothered to even read the law or the NYT link? Instead of just spouting the same trash that all the liberals spew? IE cries of "racism!!".

Where in the law does it state additional money is needed? Please show me where? Other than having the police ask someone if there is "reasonable suspicion" if they are a citizen or legal immigrant.

I lived in Arizona for a few years and can first hand tell you the increased in crime and the excessive monies spent on education of illegal immigrants/children as well as the burden on hospitals which, by law, HAVE to treat illegals.

Read the bill or the NYT post and then come back and we can have a real discussion of the LAW itself instead of changing the subject to racism or something.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] May 5 2010 5:21 PM EDT

Ranger, throughout this thread you've posted numerous times that you know Arizona because you have lived there, and because you like this bill and you lived in Arizona that you are some authority on immigration and that you know what is best. Anyways, I don't mean to sound combative, I just want to hear more substance than: "utterly foolish for numerous obvious reasons". If these things were so obvious, than why are we talking about it at all?

Anyways, I would like to contribute my own anecdote to why this bill is bad.

I have been dating someone who is Mexican, up until recently, and she exposed me to a whole world of stuff I didn't quite understand nor was aware of in Latino culture in general, it's pretty awesome stuff.

One thing that she made me aware of is that people of her skin color sometimes are treated differently, ALREADY. This is not because of any bill or any legislation or anything. The idea, or concept of separating someone out from the crowd based on some criteria (such as being an illegal immigrant) for the sake of enforcing some law more stringently, for some reason or another, only serves as a means to re-enforce pre-existing discriminatory tendencies that some people have.

I have read the bill, and what I have taken away from it, is that it gives state, county and city law enforcement the job of enforcing federal immigration law with broad strokes. I don't think it is going to end well.

I also don't think freedom (including freedom from harassment) is just for light-skinned people. :(

QBRanger May 5 2010 5:56 PM EDT

I have read the bill, and what I have taken away from it, is that it gives state, county and city law enforcement the job of enforcing federal immigration law with broad strokes. I don't think it is going to end well.

I fail to see the "broad strokes" that you are stating.

Reasonable suspicion is a well documented part of the legal system and have withstood numerous legal challenges in all aspects of life.

If the police are abusing their authority, then those officers need to be punished.

But in no place in the new law does it state there will/can be racial profiling and/or racism.

I also don't think freedom (including freedom from harassment) is just for light-skinned people. :(

That is something we can 100% agree about. As a minority, I have experienced racism and discrimination. Especially during my medical school application process.

However, these people are here illegally.

But then again, since you dated someone from Mexico, I will defer to your judgment as you are the authority on the subject. Using the same pathetic argument you attempted on me.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] May 5 2010 7:41 PM EDT

I knew you would say that, that's why I put this in my post
Anyways, I would like to contribute my own anecdote to why this bill is bad.


Mikel May 6 2010 9:32 AM EDT

This bill needs to be enforced to the max. I don't care if you want to call it racial profiling. If you are here legally, then carry your papers with you 24/7. I have to carry my Passport/Papers with me 24/7 when I am in another country. No difference there.

If you aren't here legally, then follow the rules to avoid an encounter with a cop. Cops don't just pull people over for a thrill. If you are doing something wrong (ie speeding) and you get pulled over and they question your status and discover you are illegal, then off you go!

Do you people realize how much it costs to bring someone here legally and the simple fact that they have to pass medical tests before they will even be allowed into the country?

This is the land of opportunity, but a big percentage of USD is flowing South, East and West with little to no return.

Mikel May 6 2010 9:34 AM EDT

PS They have checkpoints all over in the Southern states where they catch illegal immigrants all the time, and you don't hear anyone complaining about that?

QBsutekh137 May 6 2010 11:07 AM EDT

I would like to lodge a formal complaint against checkpoints used in Southern states to catch illegal immigrants.

I jest. Let's just make it an informal complaint.

ControlFreak May 6 2010 11:18 AM EDT

I've never carried a passport (other than during border crossings) while travelling. For some countries, I may bother to bring a photocopy.

If life on the road has taught me anything, it would be that carried stuff is easy to lose. Getting to an embassy to have it renewed is neither easy or cheap.

Doubt that being caught without an ID in the relative few countries requiring it to be on 24/7 is more probable, expensive or time consuming than losing it.

QBRanger May 6 2010 11:27 AM EDT

I have no idea where you travel CF, but when I travel abroad I keep a copy of my passport on me at all times.

While I may not "have to" by the laws of the country I am visiting, common sense dictates it is far easier to be able to quickly show the foreign authorities my passport than the possible trouble from not.

I agree 100+% with Mikel. If you are a legal immigrant, you are required by law to carry your papers. If you are a citizen, an Arizona driver's license is proof enough.

Nothing in this law dictates racial profiling and if that occurs, I am 100% certain the ACLU and Mexican advocacy groups will be filing lawsuits before the ink dries on the arrest report. Nothing in this law is racist but just reinforces the federal laws that are neglected by both federal and state authorities.

The people of Arizona finally grew a pair and are standing up for their state rights.

PS: I agree in LEGAL immigration. My ancestors came here legally through Ellis Island. Those that try to make the straw man argument that those supporting the new law are against immigration are just using this for political purposes. It is far from reality.

ControlFreak May 6 2010 11:47 AM EDT

So far.. only East Europe, Asia, the Mid-east and Oceania. (Well.. technically I've also been to the US once, but only for 8 days).

I am not trying to advocate breaking laws, but I always combine justice with common sense. While travelling, you are frequently subjecting yourself to situations where stuff may be easily lost. (Wildlife treks, tough nightlife, a crowdy subway).

Not to forget... in a lot of places (especially around south-east Asia) you are required to leave your passport as a collateral.

And also.. while confronting some nations "officials", I would be in doubt if I really wanted to hand my passport over for a check-up on the street.

QBRanger May 6 2010 11:52 AM EDT

I never keep my original passport on me. I have a photocopy of it in my wallet at all times. I always carry my wallet and keep it in my front pocket as protection from pickpockets.

When I travel to foreign countries, I keep my passport in the hotel safe or my room safe.

I agree, I would never give my passport to an "official" on the street.

{CB1}Sparticus [Screwed Justice] May 6 2010 12:00 PM EDT

[Admin Edit} Off topic and personal... please keep with the subject at hand.

ControlFreak May 6 2010 12:02 PM EDT

Ah.. I think we act similar then.. as I stated, I carry a photocopy in some countries where I think that it might be an issue, like Japan.

But for instance, if I go to Australia, I wouldn't bother about bringing ID out at all times. (For all I know it is not required either).

Demigod May 6 2010 12:11 PM EDT

I'm from the South -- Georgia, to be exact. I've never once come across a roadblock looking for illegals, though I'm sure it's more common in border states.

If you've ever heard of Dalton, GA ("Carpet Capital of the World"), it's a mix of upper middle class white people and lower class illegals. The girl I've been with for years works as a Speech Therapist in the school system there and meets with illegal immigrant parents constantly. She's never seen a road block, either. But she has seen a number of cases of families being torn apart and one case of a father being deported FAR away and literally walking most of the way back.

I can't add much to this topic, though, as I barely understand the system for becoming a US citizen legally. Since I don't understand the proper details like I should, I'm taking the idiot route of waiting for the law to stand the test of the ACLU.

But I can vouch that it is a huge burden on the schools (and keeps her employed).

QBRanger May 6 2010 2:57 PM EDT

I'm taking the idiot route of waiting for the law to stand the test of the ACLU.
Unless there is a very activist court or one swayed by the rantings of a minority, this new law will almost certainly withstand legal challenges.

The law was specifically written to mirror federal law. In addition there have been 3 legal challenges to prior Arizona immigration laws. All of which were upheld in the favor of Arizona. Including one that prohibits businesses from hiring illegals.

Arizona knows full well what they did with respect to the legal ramifications. From speaking to people there, they really did not expect such a reaction.

kevlar May 8 2010 3:57 AM EDT

I also don't think freedom (including freedom from harassment) is just for light-skinned people. :(

... I'll try to keep myself from banging my head to a bloody pulp as well...

My gf is international, but we are going at it legally. We will hire an immigration attorney and pay the ton of money it takes to take care of our situation, LEGALLY. There are SO many people who want to enter the US in good faith, apply for the green card lottery, etc etc... and are going about it in the legal way. The open flood gate of illegal immigration in the southwest is SOOOOO much more than a racism stereotype. My god.

Verifex, I hate to say it, ... actually I won't.

QBRanger May 8 2010 11:13 AM EDT

In America we believe freedom is for all those here legally.

Nothing in this law changes Federal law. There is no racial profiling. The first borderline cases will certainly be taken up by the ACLU.

It never ceases to amaze me how often the racism card gets played by liberals. There is no racism in this law.

Most shocking is Obama's initial response before, as a lawyer, he even read the bill and before he had the DOJ review it. Not very presidential in my mind. Just pandering to his base.

But I challenge anyone to find me in the law anything that promotes racism or racial profilling. Other than "well a few bad cops may overstep their authority".

{CB1}Sparticus [Screwed Justice] May 8 2010 11:33 AM EDT

Personally i think they needed to address immigration reform decade's ago.

I live in southern Idaho, and believe me when i say I feel like im living in mexico already. Half of all jobs that are agricultural in nature are held by illegals here. The local governments chose to turn a blind eye, really only getting Immigration officers involved when there has been a crime.

Half of those crimes, which are not violent or atleast really low on the violent scale, generally give them a free ticket back to mexico as soon as the courts are done. No Jail time other then what they spent awaiting to see the judge.

What i have noticed is that same person could be found in the same area in less then a weeks time.

Ofcourse crime rates spike in the hispanic population around the holidays, As they know this trick for a free trip home, thus getting a free ride around X-Mas to see their fam's. then back across the border to steal another job.

Look I know mexico is in a world of turmoil ATM. with the drugwars escalating on both sides of the border, i would want to leave too.

So here's what i have always proposed.. So many want to live here anyway, and with all the violence and corruption that exists there, it has become clear they can not run their country anymore. So make it the 51st state. then impose our taxes and our laws. Problem solved.

I'd have to say, if you are going to live in the U.S. you atleast better know some english if you dont want them profiling you. Ive seen some of the same illegals come and go around here for the last 10+ years but they never speak a lick of english and never want to learn. Their theory is "steal their jobs, get the white women pregnate and then go back to mexico. Next year go back and do it all over again." Well atleast thats what is happening in my region.

Yes, racial profiling is involved here as it targets hispanic communities,but, it may be the only way to find out who's legal and who's not. with unemployment already at 10% and over 6+ million illegal immigrants filling jobs that americans really need, something needs to happen.

So kudo's to Arizona for having the balls to attempt legislation of this magnitude. There is nothing like forcing the issue, especially when it has been shoved under the proverbial carpet for decades.

Admin{CB1}Slayer333 [SHIELD] May 8 2010 12:51 PM EDT

Closed by yours truly.
This thread is closed to new posts.