Posts Tagged ‘state crime’

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.