Posts Tagged ‘reasonable suspicion’

Law Professors Say Arizona Anti-Illegal Immigration Law Is Constitutional

May 16, 2010

We keep hearing people who claim that the Arizona anti-illegal immigration law (SB 1070) is “unconstitutional.”  But it keeps turning out that those who are decrying it on the mainstream media haven’t actually bothered to even read the law.

Well, the Arizona law is ever bit as “constitutional” as the federal law – considering it basically IS the federal law with even more limitations added to it.

Oh, you’ve got the crowd that says that a state can’t protect its own citizens.  The fact that the federal government has refused to do its job and protect Arizona from illegal immigrants for the last 25 years means nothing.  Let an out-of-control situation continue for ANOTHER 25 years, such people say.

Well, baloney, say three law professors who did something that AG Eric Holder and most liberals have refused to do – and actually bothered to read the law before demonizing it:

REGION: Three USD professors say Arizona law is constitutional
By EDWARD SIFUENTES  May 13, 2010 7:44 pm

Arizona’s controversial new immigration law probably would withstand legal challenges on constitutional grounds, according to a panel of three University of San Diego law professors.

However, the professors said the law could create problems, such as racial profiling, if it is not implemented properly.

The professors spoke Thursday during a panel discussion on UC San Diego’s campus in La Jolla hosted by the Institute of the Americas, an organization that promotes cooperation between the U.S. and Latin America.

Arizona’s law, Senate Bill 1070, requires police officers to check a person’s immigration status if they have a “reasonable suspicion” the person is in the country illegally. It makes it a state crime to be in the country without legal documentation; it already is a federal crime.

Critics say the law, which takes effect later this year, could lead to racial profiling of Latinos and other ethnic minorities. Some Latino and civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, say they plan to challenge the law in court.

Those groups say the Arizona law also violates the U.S. Constitution by interfering with federal immigration power and authority.

Professor Lawrence Alexander, who teaches constitutional law at USD, said that argument would fail because the Arizona law does not conflict with federal immigration law. The state law is only seeking to enforce the federal law, he said.

“I don’t see anything in this law that is going to fail a challenge on the grounds of federal supremacy,” Alexander said.

Alexander was a panelist along with professors Donald Dripps, a scholar on criminal law, and Maimon Schwarzschild, who specializes in constitutional law. Former U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Davidow, who is president of the Institute of the Americas, served as moderator.

Supporters said the law was needed due to the federal government’s failure to secure the border.

In response, several cities across the country have passed resolutions or urged boycotts to protest the law, including Oakland and San Diego. On Tuesday, San Francisco city supervisors approved a resolution that urges a boycott of Arizona-based businesses and asks sports leagues not to hold championship games or tournaments there.

About 50 people attended the panel discussion at UCSD, including students, attorneys and immigration rights advocates. About a dozen people who spoke during a question-and-answer session criticized the law.

“The problem is the application of the law,” said San Diego immigration attorney Lilia Velasquez. “On the ground, (the) Border Patrol or the police officers in Arizona will arrest people based on their race and maybe solely on their race.”

Under the law, police officers who detain a person, such as in a traffic stop, are required to question a person about his or her immigration status if there is “reasonable suspicion” that the person is in the United States illegally.

The panelists agreed that defining what constitutes “reasonable suspicion” could be problematic. But that alone does not render the law unconstitutional, Alexander said.

“Could a police officer overstep the bounds and do something that the Constitution does not permit? Of course,” he said. “Police officers can do that now. They can do that without the law, but the law itself does not authorize anything that is unconstitutional.”

The Arizona law, which said that race or ethnicity cannot be the only factor prompting a police officer to ask a person’s immigration status, was later amended to say that race could not be considered at all in questioning a person’s status.

Dripps said the U.S. Supreme Court has said that a person’s apparent Mexican ancestry can be a factor in stopping someone for an immigration stop by immigration agents. The question, he said, is whether that authority would also apply to police officers asking someone about his or her immigration status.

Schwarzschild also raised questions about whether the law could be discriminatory.

“I think the answer there is: It could. In the way that it is enforced,” Schwarzschild said. “But it certainly doesn’t, on its face.”

CORRECTION: Law professors incorrectly identified

The original version of this story incorrectly stated that the three law professors who took part taught at UC San Diego. They teach at the University of San Diego School of Law.

We apologize.

In any event, ANY law enforcement officer can abuse ANY law.  If the left wants to abolish this law because a police officer could conceivably abuse it, let’s abolish all laws and have total anarchy instead.

We get to the root of the real issue: the people who are protesting this anti-immigration law are not doing it because it’s “unconstitutional,” but rather because they are opposed to any form of action to deal with the soaring and searing crisis of illegal immigration.  They are open borders fanatics; they are leftwing ideologues who want illegal immigrants from Mexico to be able to undermine the vote of legitimate citizens and impose the next failed socialist Utopia.

They don’t want the United States to do ANYTHING to control our borders.

Here is the text of the Arizona law.  Read it.  If there’s something wrong with it, then cite the relevant passage in your argument.  Don’t give me any of your bogus penumbras and emanations in which you gaze into a crystal ball and find things that aren’t even there simply because you want to see them.

Otherwise, let’s have less complaining, and more shutting the hell up.

Advertisements

Obama Is Not Only Demagogic But Anti-Government On Immigration

May 8, 2010

Laura Ingraham’s site details the basic facts regarding what Obama said and why it isn’t true:

Obama attacks again: AZ law would ‘single out people because of who they look like’
Posted by Staff

At a Cinco de Mayo reception at the White House Wednesday evening, President Obama launched another attack on Arizona’s new immigration law. “We can’t start singling out people because of who they look like, or how they talk, or how they dress,” the president told the crowd. As he had in earlier criticisms of the law, Obama ignored the law’s specific stipulation that any check on a person’s immigration status can only come after a “lawful stop, detention or arrest” when a person is suspected of breaking some law — that is, as Arizona lawmakers explained in a footnote to the bill, it must come “during the enforcement of any other law or ordinance of a county, city or town or this state.”

And even after meeting that standard, the law directs that police meet a “reasonable suspicion” standard before “a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person…” The phrase “reasonable suspicion” means that there must be a number of specific factors that an officer can cite before taking action, and the law specifically says that prosecutors “shall not investigate complaints that are based solely on race, color or national origin.”

And even with those safeguards, the law specifies that if the person involved produces a valid Arizona driver’s license, or other forms of identification specified in the law, then that person is immediately presumed to be in the country legally. In other words, the whole question of legal or not legal becomes moot once the person produces a driver’s license — a common experience for nearly every American, regardless of his or her race or ethnicity.

So there’s the fact that Obama is simply wrong on the facts.  And he’s not only wrong, he’s demagogic.  He uses his lies to slander and demonize his opponents.

But there’s another aspect to this story that comes out of something else that Obama recently said:

“What troubles me is when I hear people say that all of government is inherently bad,” Obama said after receiving an honorary doctor of laws degree. “When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it ignores the fact that in our democracy, government is us.”

Government, he said, is the roads we drive on and the speed limits that keep us safe. It’s the men and women in the military, the inspectors in our mines, the pioneering researchers in public universities.

So, okay, we’ve got Obama saying that we shouldn’t distrust government, or view it as inherently bad (like conservatives are out there demanding that all government be abolished and we live in total anarchy – which is to say that Obama is yet again being the slandering demagogue here).  But let’s take Obama’s statement here at face value.

Isn’t what Obama says we shouldn’t do exactly what he’s in fact doing?

What is the cornerstone of our society if not our laws and our justice?  And what is the cornerstone of our system of justice if not our police who are out on the streets enforcing our laws?

But Obama and liberals – even as they decry the right as being “anti-government” – are patently anti-government when it comes to the Arizona law.

Because they demagogue the police who are the ones at the very forefront of our system of justice.  They claim that the fact that the law specifically says that police can’t just walk around saying “show me your papers,” that’s exactly what they’ll do.

Why?  Because these guarantors of our system of justice are inherently evil, inherently biased, and inherently racist.  You can’t trust the American police officer.  And you can’t trust the government to enforce its laws fairly or honestly because it’s those same dishonest, biased, bigoted, and deceitful police officers who would do it.

Now, as a laughably hypocritical matter, it doesn’t matter to liberals that most Americans are compelled to “show their papers” to their government as a matter of routine course.  It’s okay all the other times when government demands proof of our identities; it’s only evil this time, when Arizona tries to deal with a population that Democrats regard as “their” race who will vote for them.

A Politico article understands Obama’s racial polititicking quite straightforwardly:

Obama speaks with unusual demographic frankness about his coalition in his appeal to “young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women who powered our victory in 2008 [to] stand together once again.”

Which makes another of Obama’s remarks beyond asinine:

On April 28, while speaking in Iowa, President Obama denounced Republicans who “exploited” the immigration issue “for political purposes.” President said Arizona’s new immigration law would “undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans.” He painted an alarming picture: “local officials are allowed to ask somebody who they have a suspicion might be an illegal immigrant for their papers. But you can imagine, if you are an Hispanic-American in Arizona — your great-grandparents may have been there before Arizona was even a state. But now, suddenly, if you don’t have your papers and you took your kid out to get ice cream, you’re going to be harassed.”

Just who’s exploiting immigration for political purposes?  How on earth can Obama possibly claim that it isn’t anyone other than himself?!?!?!

And why are these legal immigrants going to be harassed?  Because, to put it in terms that Obama has made in the past, “police act stupidly.”

What a profoundly anti-government thing to say.  If Obama is right, and our police – who are all-too-prone to “acting stupidly” or in a racist and bigoted manner – are fundamentally incapable of being honest or fair, then on what possible basis do you want to grow the size of government, so that there are more laws for more police to enforce in a fundamentally unfair and bigoted manner?

Let me put it bluntly: if I can’t trust the police – the guys who go out to your house and arrest you for disobeying all the laws that increasingly big-government will pass – then why in the freaking world would I want MORE government that will pass MORE laws for the dishonest police to maliciously and falsely roust me over?

Just who are the ones out there referring to “when our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity”?

By Obama’s own logic, YOU SHOULD BE ANTI-GOVERNMENT.

Obama and the Democrats – who falsely charge that conservatives are “anti-government” – are therefore the ones who are themselves profoundly anti-government.

They are also anti-truth, and pro-race baiting:

So, do all these politicians have a point or is it just scaremongering? Unlike the couple thousand plus page laws passed in Washington that are filled with very complicated legalese, the Arizona law, along with the minor clarifications passed last week, is only about four pages long and is written in pretty straightforward English. Anyone reading the law will clearly see that the claims made by some Democrats are false.

As a matter of fact, Arizona legislators themselves didn’t want the police to have the power to simply “ask somebody who they have a suspicion might be an illegal immigrant for their papers.” So they set up not just one but two requirements. First, police must have “lawful contact,” meaning officers must already have detained an individual they suspect violated some other law.

Even then, authorities must have “reasonable suspicion” that someone is an illegal alien. This “reasonable suspicion” standard has regulated police behavior since the 1960s and is a rule that police nationwide already deal with every day. “Reasonable suspicion” requires that the known facts and circumstances are sufficient to convince a person of “reasonable prudence” that a crime has been committed.

Opponents of the law claimed “lawful contact” was much boarder than the legislature intended and would allow police who were simply questioning an individual to ask for an ID. On Friday, April 30, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed a bill clarifying the point, replacing “lawful contact” with “lawful stop, detention or arrest.”

We can look at the actual language used. After Friday’s bill signing, the new Arizona law reads: “A law enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, or town or other political subdivision of this state may not consider race, color or national origin.” Before Friday, the bill said that police could not just consider race, color or national origin. But this was also superfluous, as every police officer who arrests someone or stops them for a traffic offense requests identification.

Democrats are playing with fire by misleading the nation to stir up racial tensions. Secretaries Clinton and Napolitano, Rep. Rangel, and President Obama are all lawyers. They know what legal terms such as “reasonable suspicion” and “lawful stop, detention or arrest” mean. To quote Congressman Rangel, the distortions are “outrageous.” The new law is so short, just four pages, and written in such plain English that they must hope that no one else bothers reading it. And the worst part of all this? The racial animosity Democrats are creating will last for years.

Barack Hussein: the demagogic, anti-government race baiter-in-chief.

The Real Issues Behind Arizona’s New Illegal Immigration Law

April 26, 2010

George Will, on ABC’s “This Week,” hit the nail right on the head regarding Arizona’s new illegal immigration policy, just signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer:

“Reasonable suspicion” that the person is an alien. What does that mean, George?

WILL: Well, the Fourth Amendment says there should be no unreasonable searches and seizures, and we’ve generated volumes of case law trying to sort out what that means over the last century or so. So it’s not clear what that means. Let’s say this about Arizona. They have 460,000, an estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants there. So before Washington lectures Arizonans on irresponsibility, perhaps Washington ought to attend to the central attribute of national sovereignty which is to control the borders. We are the only developed nation in the world with a 2,000 mile border with an undeveloped country and we have a magnet of a welfare state to the north.

So this is not Arizona’s fault. Beyond that, this should be said however. Reasonable suspicion is going to put upon the police of Arizona a terribly difficult job. This is what the governor said. “We must enforce the law evenly and without regard to skin color, accent or social status.” I don’t know how do you that. […]

WILL: Again, in defense of Arizona, large majority of Arizonans support this bill and a large majority of Arizonans are not, by definition, the fringe of the state. They are temperate, decent people with a huge problem.

What the Arizona law does is make a state crime out of something that already is a crime, a federal crime. Now, the Arizona police — and I’ve spent time with the Phoenix Police Department — these are not bad people. These are professionals who are used to making the kind of difficult judgments. Suspicion of intoxicated driving, all kinds of judgments are constantly made by policemen. And I wouldn’t despair altogether their ability to do this in a professional way. […]

GLICK: So put the 3,000 troops on the border as McCain suggests.

WILL: Build a fence, do what McCain suggests, and you’ll find that the American people are not xenophobic, they are not irrational on the subject, but they do want this essential attribute of national sovereignty asserted.

TUCKER: And where does the money come from for that, George?

WILL: It’s a rounding error on the GM bailout.

A number of major points come out of George Will’s remarks:

1) This is NOT Arizona’s fault; it’s the federal government’s fault.  The first order of business for any government of any nation-state is to protect their borders from invasion; and the U.S. government has utterly failed to perform that function.  Worse, up to this point, they have even perversely prevented the states from acting to save themselves.

2) Arizona’s illegal immigration policy is NOT some “racist” or “extreme” agenda; it is supported by an overwhelming majority of Arizonans:

The Arizona legislature has now passed the toughest measure against illegal immigration in the country, authorizing local police to stop and check the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that 70% of likely voters in Arizona approve of the legislation, while just 23% oppose it.

These are reasonable people put into an unreasonable position by a bunch of extremists who are running our government and who are leading racist organizations such as La Raza (which literally means “the race” – and how racist can you get?).

The “racist extremists are on the other side from the decent Arizona people:

Whenever I’m asked about media treatment of the Tea Parties, I ask myself a simple question: What do you suppose the media would say if tea partiers were biting off people’s fingers?

A new question for today: What would they be saying if even a small group of Tea Partiers physically attacked the police at a rally?

Witnesses say a group protesting against SB1070 (Arizona’s harsh new immigration law) began to fight with a man who was for the controversial immigration bill.

Police tried escorting that man away from the scene, fearing for his safety, when they too came under attack by people throwing items, including water bottles.

And, yes, the police are under more than just rock and bottle attacks from protesters who want to prevent Arizona from keeping illegal immigrants outside their borders:

(CNSNews.com) – Law enforcement officials from the Arizona counties hardest hit by illegal immigration say they want U.S. troops to help secure the border, to prevent the deaths of more officers at the hands of criminals who enter the country illegally.

“We’ve had numerous officers that have been killed by illegal immigrants in Arizona,” Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said Monday at a Capitol Hill news conference. “And that shouldn’t happen one time.”

Babeu said the violence in Arizona has reached “epidemic proportions” and must be stopped. “In just one patrol area, we’ve had 64 pursuits — failure to yield for an officer — in one month,” Babeu said. “That’s out of control.”

I have seen a number of occasions in which a situation went way too far one way, which ultimately led to it swinging way too far the other way.  I believe that the Democrats under Obama have done that very thing on virtually every issue under the sun.  I would say the following: don’t act like a bunch of rabid leftwing extremists, and then cry when conservatives start acting like a bunch of rabid rightwing extremists.

3) Given the fact that the federal government – aided by a powerful special interest lobby, and aided even further by judicial activists who refuse to make a distinction between citizens and illegal immigrants – have refused to protect our borders, Arizona decided to do the job the federal government has refused to do.  That means that Arizona police officers are going to have to step up and do a tough job.

Being a police officer means making judgment calls, and balancing peoples’ rights with enforcing laws every single day.

Bottom line: if you think police can’t make a reasonable determination whether someone is here illegally, I hope you don’t think law enforcement can make any other reasonable judgments (such as whether I’m driving drunk), either.

4) Finally, if we just built the damn wall like Bush tried to do, we wouldn’t be in this stupid mess to begin with.  And the people who screamed about that wall have no right to complain with Arizona’s new policy now.  They BEGGED for the tough new Arizona law.

The shrill cry of the leftwing was that a border wall was identical to the Iron Curtain.  The only thing wrong with that is that it is beyond ignorant; the Iron Curtain was created to keep citizens from escaping to freedom; a border wall would protect out citizens by keeping illegal immigrants who have no right to be here out.

Liberals also cite the Posse Comitatus Act as preventing the powers of the federal government from using the military for law enforcement.  But that begs the question: just how is protecting our borders from foreign invasion “law enforcement”?  This is a clear situation in which our national security is at issue.  The soldiers on the border would not be arresting American citizens; they would be detaining foreign invaders.

The Chinese built the Great Wall of China to keep the Mongols out; and it worked.  And I’m just guessing that a people who put a man on the moon can build a damn wall that does the job.

Bottom line, I think the Arizona law probably ultimately goes too far.  But like I said, pro-illegal immigration forces DEMANDED a law that went too far by steadfastly refusing any form of reasonable policy.

There is no reason whatsoever that citizenship should not be checked along with identity and residence, under the same conditions and situations in which it is reasonable to ascertain identity and residence.  And if you are here illegally, your ass should be on the next bus out of the country – after serving jail time for violating our borders and breaking our laws.  And the wall that we build should make sure you don’t come back.

Checking citizenship (or immigration status) at every arrest, or at every reasonable situation in which police check for identity, would take away the “racist” profiling issues.

Because, yes, I’m just as ticked off at the illegal immigrant Canadian or Irishman as I am at the illegal immigrant Mexican.

At the same time, building a wall to protect what is yours should be familiar to any child who has ever walked down the sidewalks of his or her own neighborhood.  I’m not “racist” for building a wall; and it is frankly racist to suggest that I am.  It amounts to basic common sense.  And combined with a military patrol that would be able to identify and apprehend anyone climbing over that wall, it would make the issues surrounding “border enforcement” moot.

You can disrespect America’s borders as much as you want – so long as you remain on the other side of them.