It's being suggested that conventioneers, entertainers, even spring training for major league baseball boycott Arizona because of the unprecedented immigration law that just passed. Given the number of Latino players from Mexico, South America, Puerto Rico, etc., it should be interesting next spring, particularly if any of them are stopped at random. Any thoughts from writers? Should we avoid events, signings, etc., in Arizona as a protest? I recently blogged my thoughts about the law at: http://open.salon.com/blog/christopher_valen
Here's the part that people object to (full text here):
B. FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY
OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS
STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS
UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE,
WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON. THE
PERSON'S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c).
C. IF AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES IS
CONVICTED OF A VIOLATION OF STATE OR LOCAL LAW, ON DISCHARGE FROM
IMPRISONMENT OR ASSESSMENT OF ANY FINE THAT IS IMPOSED, THE ALIEN SHALL BE
TRANSFERRED IMMEDIATELY TO THE CUSTODY OF THE UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND
CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT OR THE UNITED STATES CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION.
D. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER LAW, A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY MAY
SECURELY TRANSPORT AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES
AND WHO IS IN THE AGENCY'S CUSTODY TO A FEDERAL FACILITY IN THIS STATE OR TO
ANY OTHER POINT OF TRANSFER INTO FEDERAL CUSTODY THAT IS OUTSIDE THE
JURISDICTION OF THE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY.
E. A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, WITHOUT A WARRANT, MAY ARREST A PERSON
IF THE OFFICER HAS PROBABLE CAUSE TO BELIEVE THAT THE PERSON HAS COMMITTED
ANY PUBLIC OFFENSE THAT MAKES THE PERSON REMOVABLE FROM THE UNITED STATES.
Essentially what the law says is that if a law officer suspects that any person with whom they come in contact is an illegal alien, then they SHALL attempt to determine the status of that person. If that person's status can't be verified, then they can be taken into custody. So, if you happen to be a Latino U.S. citizen, and aren't in the habit of carrying your birth certificate around with you, you could be sent to a federal detention center and even deported if a you come in contact with a police officer who thinks you "look illegal." It's basically mandating racial profiling, and forcing Latino citizens--not just foreigners--to produce proof of their citizenship on demand. And that's obviously problematic in a country that claims not to be a police state.
Good! I never saw the full law. Now that I see it here I see gray areas that might have to be interpreted by legal professionals. But if you asked me Jon, I see the words "FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT..." which to me means to be PROBABLE CAUSE. If a guy is on a job working, minding his own business, and not involved in any illegal activity I don't see how PC exists. Which of course would have to be a judge's interpretation, and BTW also a good reason for the "Believe" I.D. card.
But if he/she's is contacted for burglary, robbery, drugs or breaking other laws which bring attention to him/herself, and THEN found to be illegal, they can be turned over to border patrol rather than placed into county jail. Honestly, I'm not seeing where it says a person can be contacted for "looking illegal."
I'm not a lawyer, but my understanding is that the language is sufficiently vague that it appears to authorize racial profiling. Coupled wih the fact that the bill was authored by an anti-immigrant group with white-supremacist ties, the whole business is enough to set off all kinds of alarms for people who worry about the erosion of civil liberties. Most likely the law will be shit-canned the first time it's challenged in federal court, so a lot of anti-immigrant posturing to no real effect--except to cripple the Arizona Republican party for years to come.
I have no problem deporting illegals who have been convicted of crimes and served their time. But how about this scenario? I'm an illegal immigrant minding my own business and working hard. I've been in the country ten years (as the majority have) and have caused no trouble. Then a gangbanger breaks into my house, rapes my wife and my daughter and pistol whips me. Now, I have a choice. Say nothing or call the police and risk being deported. Oh, and my 12 year old daughter was born here. So she stays alone in the U.S. while my wife and I get deported or goes to a country where she's never been before and knows no one. Or what if I see a crime committed and can provide a description of the perp? Under the law, illegals are not going to talk to police or help them in any way when it might jeopardize their status. That's why many law enforcement agencies are not in favor of this law.
Sure Chris V., there’s a huge number of crimes against illegal aliens that go unreported because they don’t wanna get deported. But speaking from a law enforcement standpoint.
If I said, “He is in illegal possession of a firearm.” The word illegal stands right out and smacks you in the face. But the word “Illegal” is not being processed in proper context with the term “Illegal immigrant.” Both terms mean, “Not in accordance with the law.” In your scenario, for ten years the illegal immigrant was not in accordance with the law.
As US citizens we don’t enjoy this leniency in Mexico.