Maybe if the feds just did their job ...
The passage of the Arizona law has led to the typical overheated rhetoric and hyperbole from the Left, but it's usually always from those who don't live near the US-Mexico border, and/or have little to no understanding of the situation there.
Let's take a gander at the situation:
- The AZ law was passed because the feds are doing next to squat. Pundits constantly harp that "immigration is a federal responsibility," yet the feds are shirking that very responsibility. Meanwhile, AZ has to (by law) absorb the cost of, among other things, educating and giving health care to illegals. The total cost is around $1.3 billion.
- How is a state enforcing immigration laws different from it enforcing other federal laws? The individual states enforce federal drug laws, anti-pollution laws, and even hate crimes laws. (See the interesting analysis of state GHG regulation vs. that of the feds here.) So, why are immigration laws any different?
- AZ's new law is NOT a "demand to see papers." Contrary to the paroxysms of the "progressive" elite punditry, AZ law enforcement cannot arbitrarily approach someone on the street and demand to see proof of citizenship/legal residency. Indeed, the "reasonable suspicion" standard applies, just like it does for many other potential criminal instances. A check for immigration status could take place
... when police are engaged in "lawful contact" with someone where there is "reasonable suspicion" the person is an illegal alien, [and] that the police shall make a "reasonable attempt... when practicable" to determine the person's immigration status.
Arbitrarily stopping someone on the street to "demand papers" is not "lawful contact." An example of how enforcement of the law would work would be if, say, a van was stopped for speeding on a notorious "coyote" route, and during the police traffic stop cops notice the back of the van is packed with people. It thus wouldn't be a surprise if the cops have a "reasonable suspicion" that those in the back of the van are illegals (and possibly the driver, too, though at the least he is committing a crime by transporting illegals).
- Many talking heads believe the inevitable lawsuit centering on federal law supremacy is a slam dunk. But let's take a gander at the Constitution -- Article I, Section 10:
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.
Is it possible that AZ will argue that it is "being invaded?" That it is in "imminent Danger?"
- Why do so many pundits automatically lump all Latinos into one category -- as in, for instance, "The GOP is taking a chance of losing Latino voters over this law ..." Can't they possibly realize that myriad Hispanic immigrants came here legally, and they are just as miffed as other Americans at our porous border and the pathetic federal response to such?
Meanwhile, Legal Insurrection points out that enforcement of the AZ law is really no different than ObamaCare.
The Philly Daily News is, well, the Philly Daily News as usual.
Elsewhere, the Big Tent: Karl Rove has issues with the AZ law, as do Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio and former Governor Jeb Bush.
Locally, the new blog in town Delaware Tomorrow attempts to play the middle ground, but just ends up sounding wishy washy.
Posted by Hube at April 28, 2010 06:29 PM