Archive for Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Furor grows over Arizona’s illegal immigration law

April 27, 2010


— The furor over Arizona’s new law cracking down on illegal immigrants grew Monday as opponents used refried beans to smear swastikas on the state Capitol, civil rights leaders demanded a boycott of the state, and the Obama administration weighed a possible legal challenge.

Activists are planning a challenge of their own, hoping to block the law from taking effect by arguing that it encroaches on the federal government’s authority to regulate immigration and violates people’s constitutional rights by giving police too much power.

The measure — set to take effect in late July or early August — would make it a crime under state law to be in the U.S. illegally. It directs state and local police to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegal.

“If you look or sound foreign, you are going to be subjected to never-ending requests for police to confirm your identity and to confirm your citizenship,” said Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, which is exploring legal action.

Employees at the Capitol came to work Monday to find that vandals had smeared swastikas on the windows. And protesters gathered for an eighth straight day to speak out against a law they say will lead to rampant racial profiling of anyone who looks Hispanic.

The White House would not rule out the possibility that the administration would take legal action against Arizona. President Barack Obama, who warned last week that the measure could lead to police abuses, asked the Justice Department to complete a review of the law’s implications before deciding how to proceed.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon said the law is discriminatory and warned that trade and political ties with Arizona will be seriously strained by the crackdown.

Currently, many U.S. police departments do not ask about people’s immigration status unless they have run afoul of the law in some other way. Many departments say stopping and questioning people will only discourage immigrants from cooperating to solve crimes.

Under the new Arizona law, 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 a significant escalation of the typical federal punishment for being here illegally — deportation.

People arrested by Arizona police would be turned over to federal immigration officers. Opponents said the federal government could thwart the law by refusing to accept them.

Supporters of the law said it is necessary to protect Arizonans from crimes committed by illegal immigrants. Arizona is home to an estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants and is the nation’s busiest gateway for people slipping into the country.

Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the bill on Friday, said Arizona must act because Washington has failed to stop the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs from Mexico. Brewer has ordered state officials to develop a training course for officers to learn what constitutes reasonable suspicion that someone is in the U.S. illegally.


Eybea Opiner 7 years, 11 months ago

It's illegal (that means against the law) to enter the country (any country that I know of) without going through the proper process and receiving the proper documentation.

Our government not only refuses to enforce immigration laws, it actully sides with the law breakers when a state trys to protect its own borders. Additionally, the corrupt Mexican government verbally attacks Arizona while receiving a free pass from our federal government.

Don't fall into the trap of equating the law breakers who sneak into the U.S. under the cloak of darkness with the millions of immigrants who follow the established procedures.

Go Arizona! I hope Texas, New Mexico, and California joins the fray.

tomatogrower 7 years, 11 months ago

So what about the northern states? There are Canadians who are here illegally too. Are you willing to be stopped on the street and have your papers checked? Are you advocating a national ID card?

impska 7 years, 11 months ago

At this point in time, Canadians are required to have a passport in order to enter this country. Usually the date of entry gets stamped on it. It could be that we stamp their passports to add to their passport stamp collection so they can show off to all their friends... or maybe we stamp it so they can prove they are in the country legally.

Legal Canadian immigrants (along with all legal immigrants) have papers issued to them already, including a permanent resident card or a work visa, which it is recommended they carry at all times.

As a Canadian immigrant, I was required to produce "my papers" routinely: to get a license, employment, schooling, travel, immigration purposes, and as photo ID. Before I had an SSN, I provided my Alien registration number to get utilities, insurance, etc.

Even now, I have a certificate of naturalization which I am required to produce should my citizenship come under question. Natural born citizens have a birth certificate.

They don't give you these papers and identification cards so you can wipe your butt with them. The purpose of providing them is so that you can prove your status at any time, should you need to.

And if Kansas had had a severe illegal Canadian problem, I would have been and still would be happy to produce my papers at any and all times. I take pride in the fact that I'm a legal immigrant, and I would be angry if my fellow Canadians were bogging down the system by not following the law.

Maybe I just have a permissive attitude about the government requiring that I produce papers because I am Canadian, and as a Canadian citizen, I was routinely asked to prove my citizenship (in the form of a national ID card) in order to receive basic services such as health care.

tomatogrower 7 years, 11 months ago

I you come through a checkpoint, but there are plenty of places to cross the border without having the proper papers. It's just that Canadians can fit in better than Mexicans.

tomatogrower 7 years, 11 months ago

Sorry, that should be "If you come in through a checkpoint..."

whats_going_on 7 years, 11 months ago

while I see what you're saying, would you want to be stopped if you're driving your car around or walking down the street and asked to produce all of that stuff, even though you'll gladly give it up, all because you look...well, Canadian (you get the idea).

While the law has the right idea (sort of), its like they are enforcing it at the wrong time...try to focus more on stopping them entering beforehand, I think, even though it's hard.

I don't think people against the bill are concerned so much with actually finding illegal immigrants, but rather stopping people who ARE legal just because of what they look like. I guess we'll have to see how it plays out if it continues to be a law. Maybe it won't be as serious as everyone claims. At least, one could hope. :\

tomatogrower 7 years, 11 months ago

How do you know there aren't millions of Canadians here illegally. Most of them would fit right in.

whats_going_on 7 years, 11 months ago

you're probably one of the few who wouldn't be offended and but*hurt by being stopped though.

skinny 7 years, 11 months ago

Racial profiling? How ya figure that? Just because someone can't speak English?

tomatogrower 7 years, 11 months ago

This guy has grounds for a lawsuit, unless this checkpoint can prove that they ask for everyone's birth certificate. How many of you carry your birth certificate?

whats_going_on 7 years, 11 months ago

I wouldn't just for the pure fact that I wouldn't want to misplace it, drop it, lose it, or get it stolen.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 11 months ago

Perhaps Arizona should rename itself Xenophobistan.

impska 7 years, 11 months ago

It is illegal on a federal level, but since the federal government isn't enforcing that to Arizona's liking, they passed the measure to make it illegal under state law, too, so that state law enforcement could also work on it.

beatrice 7 years, 11 months ago


Hello! 5th largest city in the nation, spelled PhOEnix! (When the first line of the story is corrected, this comment won't make sense.)

It will be appealed and likely stopped. If you have brown skin and are outside without your identification, you can be thrown in jail. That is not the freedom promised by America. It is the Southwest. We have a lot of Hispanics here -- seeing as how this area all used to be part of Mexico.

Imagine passing a law like this in Minnesota because of an influx of Canadian illegals, thus anyone who was white was eligible to be stopped and asked for identification. This is what it is like. Do we really want to live in a police state in which authorities are asking others to "Show me your papers."

The people who support this law are the mental descendents of those who jailed Japanese Americans during WWII.

jafs 7 years, 11 months ago


I disagree with your last comment.

Being Japanese American was not a crime.

Being in this country illegally is a crime.

Danielle Brunin 7 years, 11 months ago

jafs, I disagree. Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps against their will as if they'd committed a crime. Same difference.

tomatogrower 7 years, 11 months ago

So you advocate national id cards? Maybe a chip in your neck, so you can be scanned?

Ceallach 7 years, 11 months ago

I think you only need the birth certificate if you are running for president.

tomatogrower 7 years, 11 months ago

Well, Tom doesn't have to worry. He seldom comes out of his bunker, so he probably wouldn't have to show his birth certificate very often.

tomatogrower 7 years, 11 months ago

Even Bush tried to get some immigration reform, and his own party told him to back off.

Larry Bauerle Jr. 7 years, 11 months ago

Ironically, an immigrant worker probably has to clean the windows. That isn't meant as a racist statement, but one based on the high percentage of service workers of Hispanic heritage. If they refuse, the windows may never get washed.

Richard Payton 7 years, 11 months ago

All states already have ID's called drivers license or state issued ID. Most people carry this daily without giving it any thought. When I went to Canada I was required to get a passport which was inspected.

Richard Payton 7 years, 11 months ago

It's the crooks that make it hard for the honest American person. Airport security has tighten also because of criminals. Many airports use full body scanners which could be upsetting to many U.S. born Americans. Signs of the times in which we live?

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 11 months ago

What if you lost your driver's license, your social security card, and your birth certificate all at once?

That's all anyone would need to assume your identity!

Well, a credit card or two would help, but in that situation, might be redundant.

whats_going_on 7 years, 11 months ago

and then if you got stopped after're really screwed.

Mike Hoffmann 7 years, 11 months ago

Apparently the same people who think Obama is a Socialist and Communist have no qualms with a law that would allow citizens of this country to be stopped, questioned and made to provide documentation solely on the fact that they are Hispanic.

beatrice 7 years, 11 months ago

So you don't mind living in a police state? You think it just fine for police to stop and question anyone who "looks" like they might be here illegally? Really?

Richard Payton 7 years, 11 months ago

Vertigo this isn't law yet! Proof of birth must exist now.

beatrice 7 years, 11 months ago

Brown people of America -- Republicans hate you. Now, shut up and show me your papers!

Republicans, with that tiny tent of yours, good luck on that big bounce you are all hoping for come No-vember.

Jay Keffer 7 years, 11 months ago

Just admit it - you hate borders. What a bunch of pillow biters.

This is an example of what Arizona is facing. The governer sent no less than 5 letters to the White House begging, pleading for help and personally spoke to P-BO about the issue. She was snubbed. Read on:

"Late on the night of June 22, a residence in Phoenix was approached by a heavily armed tactical team preparing to serve a warrant. The members of the team were wearing the typical gear for members of their profession: black boots, black BDU pants, Kevlar helmets and Phoenix Police Department (PPD) raid shirts pulled over their body armor. The team members carried AR-15 rifles equipped with Aimpoint sights to help them during the low-light operation and, like most cops on a tactical team, in addition to their long guns, the members of this team carried secondary weapons — pistols strapped to their thighs.

But the raid took a strange turn when one element of the team began directing suppressive fire on the residence windows while the second element entered — a tactic not normally employed by the PPD. This breach of departmental protocol did not stem from a mistake on the part of the team’s commander. It occurred because the eight men on the assault team were not from the PPD at all. These men were not cops serving a legal search or arrest warrant signed by a judge; they were cartel hit men serving a death warrant signed by a Mexican drug lord.

The tactical team struck hard and fast. They quickly killed a man in the house and then fled the scene in two vehicles, a red Chevy Tahoe and a gray Honda sedan. Their aggressive tactics did have consequences, however. The fury the attackers unleashed on the home — firing over 100 rounds during the operation — drew the attention of a nearby Special Assignments Unit (SAU) team, the PPD’s real tactical team, which responded to the scene with other officers. An SAU officer noticed the Tahoe fleeing the scene and followed it until it entered an alley. Sensing a potential ambush, the SAU officer chose to establish a perimeter and wait for reinforcements rather than charge down the alley after the suspects. This was fortunate, because after three of the suspects from the Tahoe were arrested, they confessed that they had indeed planned to ambush the police officers chasing them.

The assailants who fled in the Honda have not yet been found, but police did recover the vehicle in a church parking lot. They reportedly found four sets of body armor in the vehicle and also recovered an assault rifle abandoned in a field adjacent to the church.

This Phoenix home invasion and murder is a vivid reminder of the threat to U.S. law enforcement officers that stems from the cartel wars in Mexico."


Jay Keffer 7 years, 11 months ago


Violence Crosses the Border The fact that the Mexican men involved in the Phoenix case were heavily armed and dressed as police comes as no surprise to anyone who has followed security events in Mexico. Teams of cartel enforcers frequently impersonate police or military personnel, often wearing matching tactical gear and carrying standardized weapons. In fact, it is rare to see a shootout or cartel-related arms seizure in Mexico where tactical gear and clothing bearing police or military insignia is not found."

Only one of many examples of the cartels and the mess they are causing for Arizona.

But we might hurt someone's feelings if we enforce the laws!!! Ya bed wetting pillow biters.....

beatrice 7 years, 11 months ago

Homeslice: "But we might hurt someone's feelings if we enforce the laws!!! Ya bed wetting pillow biters...."

No, we aren't hurting people's feelings, we have taken their rights away. They can't be Americans in their own country without proof at all times. Show me your papers! (coming from the birther bunch, however, this doesn't surprise me).

As far as "bed wetting pillow biters," I recommend you keep your sexual fetishes out of it.

Just asking -- how would you like to be a suspect of being part of a drug cartel just because of the color of your skin?

marcez0z 7 years, 11 months ago

I am 100% Mexican American my family has been here for generations, I can trace my ancestors back to the Alamo in the great state of TX that used to be owned by Mexico! I believe this is 100 percent racial profiling, how would you feel if you are on your way to church, the store, work and to be pulled over because the color of your skin. How would I explain this to my child? We were stopped because we are brown. And for those out there that hear someone speaking spanish or in your words (mexican) this does not mean we are illegals! Some people take pride in their heritage.

geekin_topekan 7 years, 11 months ago

I believe that is what most people expect Agnostic. I know I expected more when I crossed back and forth between countries without so much as a nod. The only time I was questioned was right after 9/11 and the Mexicans searched me for guns on the way into Mexico.

W. had a plan and his repub friends shot it down. Illegal labor is $$! And as long as their is money to made from illegal labor, that fence will never happen.

I can only assume that supporters of racial profiling are going to be raising their children to become respected Carrot and Lettuce pickers? It would be the American thing to do ya know.

independant1 7 years, 11 months ago

My, my, my,

So we put legal immigrants through naturalization process, it has a cost in time and money. The money cost is not great, been there done that, but it is a cost. About $2K over 5 years. No lawyer, did it ourselves.

Same goes for applicants all over the world trying to immigrate to usa.

If one has ever had to deal with INS,now ICE, you'll agree they are not nice tp deal with (no pun intended).

Go to a swearing in ceremony for those that went through the process, those who followed the rules cry bucketsfull of tears of joy.

But it's free for illegals and there are no consequences if one just walks across the border.

Our southern border and illegal entry problem is chaos.

AZ attempts to do something about the chaos and it's evil?

Or throw open the door and allow anyone/everyone entry?


A lot of folks here are attacking the process and not the problem. The problem is economic flight.

I have empathy for the less fortunate but the problem has gotten too dang big, inaction only exacerbates the problem.

independant1 7 years, 11 months ago

Do something, even if it's wrong do something darnit. The problem isn't getting any better, it's getting worse.

independant1 7 years, 11 months ago

and if that don't work, try someting else

get your head out!

independant1 7 years, 11 months ago

the problem with politics is

Politicians never find a solution for a problem.

They find problems for solutions.

Jay Keffer 7 years, 11 months ago

Question for those here that are Mexican - why don't you band together and fight against the illegals? They are the law breakers and you might get hassled because of them. Why not join the effort to enforce the laws on the books? All we seem to hear is that you will be impacted - so why not work to deal with them so you are not?

jafs 7 years, 11 months ago


The point was that bea was comparing those who favor being tough on illegal immigration with those who interred the Japanese-Americans during WWII.

I think the internment was horrible and wrong, since they were American citizens who had committed no crime.

But, I think we need to do something to stem the tide of illegal immigration, which is a crime.

Is that clear now?

ivalueamerica 7 years, 11 months ago

A controversial new immigration law in Arizona might impact the vote in the mid-term elections later this year. For one, it could energize Hispanics and bring them out in large numbers to vote.

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