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Archive for Thursday, April 15, 2010

Arizona may crack down hard on illegal immigrants

April 15, 2010

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— Civil rights activists Wednesday warned that Arizona is inviting rampant racial profiling and police-state tactics if it enacts what would be the toughest law in the nation against illegal immigrants.

The measure — on the verge of approval in the Legislature — would make it a crime under state law to be in the country illegally. It would also require local police officers to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegal.

Immigrants unable to produce documents showing they are allowed to be in the U.S. could be arrested, jailed for up to six months and fined $2,500.

“That is an unprecedented expansion of police power,” said Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona. “It’s giving police officers a green light to harass anyone who looks or sounds foreign.”

The ACLU and immigrant rights groups are demanding Republican Gov. Jan Brewer veto the measure if it reaches her. The Republican has not announced whether she will sign it, but said she is a strong supporter of pragmatic immigration laws.

Her predecessor, Janet Napolitano, a Democrat who is now President Barack Obama’s Homeland Security secretary, vetoed similar proposals.

Current law in Arizona and most states doesn’t require police to ask about the immigration status of those they encounter, and many police departments prohibit officers from inquiring out of fear immigrants won’t cooperate in other investigations.

The new measure would be just the latest crackdown of its kind in Arizona, which has an estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants.

State Sen. Russell Pearce, the bill’s sponsor, has been the driving force behind Arizona’s tough new measures, including a law copied in other states that punishes companies caught knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.

“I believe handcuffs are a great tool, but you have to put them on the right people,” said Pearce, a former cop who can list the local officers killed or wounded by illegal immigrants. “Get them off the police officers and put them on the bad guys.”

Anger over the porous Mexican border mounted last month when an Arizona cattle rancher was shot to death. Investigators said he may have been killed by drug runners working for cartels based in Mexico.

The new measure is supported by police unions representing rank-and-file officers, who deny they would engage in profiling.

It is opposed by police chiefs, who worry that the law would be too costly, that it would distract them from dealing with more serious problems, and that it would sow such distrust among immigrants that they would not cooperate with officers investigating other crimes.

Legal immigrants fear that the law would give officers easy excuses to stop them, and that even U.S. citizens could find themselves detained if they can’t prove their legal status.

“When they come up with these things, it doesn’t matter if I’m here legally,” said Jose Melendez, a 55-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Guadalajara, Mexico. “If they see a Mexican face and a Mexican name, they’ll ask for papers.”

Anti-immigration activists say the larger goal is to discourage illegal immigration by making the U.S. inhospitable.

“Most illegals would leave on their own if they felt the U.S. was serious about our laws,” said William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee.

House Republicans passed the bill on a party-line vote Tuesday. The Senate approved it in February but must vote on changes made in the House before sending it to the governor.

The law also would crack down on employment for illegal immigrants by prohibiting people from blocking traffic when they seek or offer day labor on street corners.

Also, a judge could fine a city for not enforcing the immigration law vigorously enough.

Comments

pooter 3 years, 12 months ago

What's the big deal.

We saw how Zero proved his citizenship so it shouldn't be hard for all the rest of them to do the same.

*

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UfoPilot 3 years, 12 months ago

Enter Mexico illegally and see what happens to you...

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jaywalker 3 years, 12 months ago

By "stomped out" I mean 'stopped.' Heaven forbid porch person should read that post and then use it sadistically over the next several months to say I advocated killing Americans for hiring illegals.

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cowboy 3 years, 12 months ago

Arizona has to be one of the single most ignorant political arenas . Having been raised there for half of my life I'm embarrassed . This is the state that has given you Joe Arpaio , JD Hayworth , McCain. They aren't even close to the Goldwaters and Udalls that made the state proud. They are effing clowns. If you ship all the illegals out of arizona they are going to have a tough time getting anything done there.

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jaywalker 3 years, 12 months ago

"They are dirt poor (often thanks to NAFTA)"

Right. 'Cuz all Mexicans were thriving and prosperous before NAFTA.

Both sides of the coin need to be severely punished. I can't blame these people for trying to get here; I'd probably do the exact same thing. Still has to stop, though. And Americans hiring illegals on the cheap needs to be stomped out as well.
But the thing that really makes me mad about all this is that D.C. hasn't done bupkiss. And over all the years since I started working, this is the ONE issue that has been at the top of the list the entire time. How can this not have been addressed and dealt with in its entirety by now?

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 12 months ago

Bust the employers. They are the reason immigrants come across the border.

There are enough laws on the books.... not enough enforcers.

Bust the employers!

If people are so concerned why not notify immigration authorities on the whereabouts these folks are employed? This is the easy way... go for it!

Don't need more laws that will not be enforced!!!

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Tom Miller 3 years, 12 months ago

Good idea, even if you ARE being sarcastic...IMHO.

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Jaylee 3 years, 12 months ago

My guess is they'll have town shooting competitions, now that anyone in AZ can conceal and carry, and the top percent of each town's shooters will be assigned badges by the local sheriff and assigned as Arizona Vigilante Border Patrol. When the cops can't get their hands dirty, the AVBP can!

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barrypenders 3 years, 12 months ago

Reagan ruined everything by 'Legalizing' the IR's

Who better to hire than someone hiding from the Law? IR's can meld into the rest of society and work for 'Peanuts'.

Now Poser wants to do Reagan one better by 'Legalizing' the 'Cheap' help and give them 'Free' Posercare to boot.

Retirement in Mexico is looking better everyday. I already pack heat so I should meld in nicely.

Stimulus, Meld In, and Posercare live unprecedented

Darwin bless us all

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Tom Miller 3 years, 12 months ago

I say ship 'em to Gitmo, open a side gate, and give them to Raul...kinda like payback for that little thing his brother did to us a few years back. And, that 90 mile swim would take a bit longer than it takes to walk/swim across the Rio Grande...but what do I know, right?

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50YearResident 3 years, 12 months ago

Greenworld says "Jailed upto 6 months, so there going to need then a prison to keep the 20-30,000 a day that jump the border locked up. Yeah right. Good luck with that"

I say if we have 20-30,000 a day then we have a much larger problem and need to close the borders completely.

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Tom Miller 3 years, 12 months ago

"...my papers? But I only have a pipe..."

from "A Childs Garden of Grass", circa late '60s...

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greenworld 3 years, 12 months ago

Jailed upto 6 months, so there going to need then a prison to keep the 20-30,000 a day that jump the border locked up. Yeah right. Good luck with that.

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Paul R Getto 3 years, 12 months ago

This should be interesting, once it makes it to a federal court. In response to some of the earlier comments about businesses hiring illegals, the Reagan administration cured this in the mid-1980's. Employers know if the people they hire have a right to be here when they check their paperwork as they begin a job. There seems to be a bit of slippage in the system, however. I suspect many of the firms who complain about illegals also hire them and they tend to contribute to politician's campaign chests if they agree "it's OK to gripe about the system, just don't change it too much or my labor costs would increase."

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deathpenaltyliberal 3 years, 12 months ago

"lawrenceguy40 (anonymous) says… ...As a nation, are we fools? Of course we are - a majority voted for barry o - the biggest idiot to act as our President in history."

I guess you forgot about Bush 43.

As for immigration, I agree 100% that we should end it. No other country is so welcoming of foreigners (legal and illegal) taking their jobs. Wages would be higher if there were 10 million less workers.

But you got to admit that Arizona is approaching totalitarianism when a cop can demand your citizenship papers. Americans are always ready to give up liberty for the illusion of security.

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beatrice 3 years, 12 months ago

If signed, not only will the police be required to make arrests of people in the country illegally, using it as an excuse to stop anyone at any time (mostly people who are on the darker shade of beige), but they also must wonder who is carrying a weapon since a permit is no longer required.

Arizona is a beautiful state, run by some of the dumbest politicians ever.

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Bob Kraxner 3 years, 12 months ago

You all talk about penalizing these illegal aliens, when you should know that penalizing one is as productive as trying to get blood from a turnip. How will they pay penalties when they have nothing? These people come here because they are poor, and can't make a decent living in their home country. They come here knowing if they do get put in jail they will not have to worry about food and shelter fort the duration of their stay, which is far better than living outside of jail in mexico, for most. The solution would be to shut down companies that have a history of employing illegals. Then close off the border from Texas to the pacific ocean with a wall that cannot be easily breached, or scaled.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 12 months ago

"ivalueamerica (anonymous) says… And yet once again, no call to demand the Americans who hire illegal immigrants be held accountable to American laws." Actually there are a lot of people demanding that. The politicians usually don't seem to hear them.

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50YearResident 3 years, 12 months ago

The real problem is there are no penalties for an illegal when they are caught. Most are simply returned to Mexico to re-enter another day. Sooner or later they will escape being caught. If a bank robber was caught inside a bank and taken outside the bank and released with a slap on the wrist, do you think he would never try to rob another bank? There has to be penalties or it will never end.

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beatrice 3 years, 12 months ago

Hey. You. Show me your papers.

Oh what a wonderful "land of the free" we live in.

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Graczyk 3 years, 12 months ago

"Legal immigrants fear that the law would give officers easy excuses to stop them, and that even U.S. citizens could find themselves detained if they can’t prove their legal status."

I guess this legislation isn't much of a problem unless you are a particular shade of brown. There are tons of legal brown people down there that may soon be unjustly hassled. Arizona really needs to be careful with how it proceeds.

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Agnostick 3 years, 12 months ago

Should businesses that hire illegals be held accountable?

2006:

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2006/may/16/sebelius_wary_new_call/#c143475

2007:

http://www2.ljworld.com/onthestreet/2007/jan/20/mos_immigrants/#c279924

2008: (better ideas for penalties here, IMHO)

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2008/jan/24/immigration_bill_targets_employers/#c506840

Links to Barbara Jordan testimony here:

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/sep/02/tuition_battle_brewing/#c411535

Jordan said it best: It's not so much what your policy says, as much as how effectively it's enforced.

Many have forgotten Mexican president Vicente Fox's visit to the White House, demanding blanket amnesty for more than 3 million of his citizens that had stole their way into the USA:

http://tinyurl.com/cnn-bushfoxvisit

This event was understandably overshadowed by the sad events of the following Tuesday: September 11, 2001.

Agnostick agnostick@excite.com

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lawrenceguy40 3 years, 12 months ago

We should stop all immigration. I read last week that American software engineers are facing over 50% unemployment because of the number of LEGALLY imported competitors. Not only are we shipping jobs out of our country, but we are allowing in folks to do those jobs we have.

As a nation, are we fools? Of course we are - a majority voted for barry o - the biggest idiot to act as our President in history.

197

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scott3460 3 years, 12 months ago

Do both! Expel the invaders and impose stiff criminal penalties on the cheats that employ them.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 12 months ago

Be legal or be gone, makes no difference if you come from Norway or Peru.

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ivalueamerica 3 years, 12 months ago

And yet once again, no call to demand the Americans who hire illegal immigrants be held accountable to American laws.

If you want illegal immigrants to stop coming, the quickest and cheapest way to do it is to hold those who hire them accountable, yet that never seems to be a significant part of the equasion.

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barrypenders 3 years, 12 months ago

This 'Enforcement' of 'Reasonable' laws is not going to enhance IR's (Illegal Residents) efforts to 'Retire' in Arizona.

Stimulus, PAD IR Love and Posercare live unprecedented

Darwin bless us all

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Agnostick 3 years, 12 months ago

Thank God, it passed. Round up the criminals.

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The_Original_Bob 4 years ago

It isn't "cracking down hard," as much as it is "enforcing the law."

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barrypenders 4 years ago

I want the 'Wise Latinas' and 'Hard working' Latinos' to do Arizona like they have done Mexico.

Stimulus, Wise PAD's, and Posercare live unprecedented

Darwin bless us all

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cowboy 4 years ago

Misspelled the dateline , it's spelled Phoenix , moran (sic)

Having been raised in the Phoenix area if all the legal immigrants from Chicago , New York , and back east would all go home it would be a much nicer place

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SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years ago

"Anti-immigration activists say..."

Journalists who intentionally mislabel groups as "anti-immigrant" are as unworthy of my time as those reporters who label advocates for lower taxes as "anti-tax." Intelligent readers quickly identify the spin.

Why does the Journal World even print this?

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