Arizona

I seldom post on day-to-day political developments.  What is this, a real blog?  But, here are two really good comments on Arizona’s new illegal mmigration ilaw.

The first does what much liberal commentary on the AZ law has not done: Acknowledge that illegal immigration is a real problem in Arizona and the Feds have not acted.  But, he still gives the new law the condemnation it deserves.  The second gives some recent history of Arizona politics, and shows that this kind of thing is hardly new there; e.g., last month AZ eliminated a health care program for 38,000 poor children and considered a bill to end welfare benefits for anyone who purchased cigarettes or cable TV.  Also, where is tea partiers’ outrage about government tyranny when AZ passes a law letting the police arrest anyone who cannot prove on the spot that they are citizens? 

Also, Oklahoma just passed a law restricting abortion.  Among other goodies, the law shields doctors from legal  liability if they fail to tell pregnant women that their fetus has a birth defect!  OK doctors can now lie to their patients in the interest of perventing abortions.

I read stuff like this every day.  I just don’t put it on the blog.  I swear, one of these days I’m gonna catalogue all the outrages I read about for a week and then list them for you.

Update:  Here’s how the AP describes the new law’s provisions.  Notice that it makes just not having ID papers on you a crime, whether or not you’re here illegally!  The first time the police catch you without papers you can get 6-months in jail.  The second time it can be a felony.  Am I reading this wrong?

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2 responses

  1. You’re not reading it wrong, David. In 2004, the Supreme Court upheld a Nevada law making it a crime to refuse to identify oneself to law enforcement officials (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A57604-2004Jun21.html). Arizona is acting within what the Supreme Court considers Constitutional.

    Alan Dershowitz, the respected criminal appellate lawyer or media whore (wherever you stand), has been in favor of a national id card for many years. His reasoning, police have irrefutable, standardized evidence that someone is who they claim to be. If someone were stopped by police for “driving while black”, a national id card would immediately identify that person and their ownership of the vehicle.

    Europe has used personal id cards for decades. Germany’s “Personalausweis” had been a small, hardcover booklet about 20 years ago. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identity_document)

    The new Arizona law is simply institutional racism. Although law enforcement now has another tool in the undocumented persons deluge, the law is aimed directly at Hispanics. I doubt any suspected Canadians will be pulled over and asked for id.

    Actually, what if an Arizona sheriff demands id from a visiting Canadian? How would they prove they’re visiting and not living in the U.S. illegally? Does the law itemize what’s valid proof of citizenship?

  2. Thanks, John. I’m preparing a Civics 101 post on the basics of illegal immigration and proposed solutions. A day or two ago, the Democrats unveiled a 20-page outline of their proposed reform law. It is similar to the one that passed the Senate in 2006 with 62 votes, including 23 Republicans. The bill was authored by John McCain and Ted Kennedy and had Bush White House support, and widespread business and religious organization support, as well.

    It ultimately was pulled because the GOP base and its media organs had a major freak out over “amnesty” provisions and the bill’s drift towards…something bad, I’m sure. See http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/nj_20100501_3569.php?mrefid=site_search

    DavidG

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