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Ear to the Ground

U.S. Gov’t Aiming to Stop Arizona Law Before It Starts

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Posted on Jul 22, 2010
Arizona protest
AP / Matt York

Arizona police stand by in April as protesters of immigration bill SB 1070 sit on the state Capitol lawn.

Arizona’s infamous immigration law, SB 1070, is due to kick in July 29, at which point local law-enforcement officials will begin exploring what the term “reasonable suspicion” means to them. But not if the federal government can help it.  —KA

BBC:

Lawyers for the US government are due to ask an Arizona judge to halt a state law targeting illegal immigrants.

The justice department says immigration is a federal issue, and the state has exceeded its powers in framing the law, to be implemented later this month.

The rules require police to query a suspected criminal’s immigration status if the officers believe the suspect might be in the US illegally.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, July 22, 2010 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment

Enforcing state laws against loitering, vagrancy and establishing state residency claims by the local police are none of the federal governments business.

The Feds need to go and look up the 10th and 11th amendments to the Constitution.

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By squeaky jones, July 22, 2010 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How can you blame people who risk their lives to travel to the U.S.of A. leaving behind extreme poverty. The sort of poverty that most Americans have never seen except on their televisions. They are the victims of Techno-industrial global corporation extreme greed. They want what anybody wants, a decent job, decent food, decent housing, medical care, and an education for their children. you know the kinds of things everybody wants.

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By REDHORSE, July 22, 2010 at 4:24 pm Link to this comment

CARL—American political leadership holds no rational relationship to any actual reality experienced by the American people. Sane immigration policy is no different. Neither amnesty, nor a wall will solve the problem. We have sane immigration law that isn’t enforced because corporate thugs, for the sake of personal profit, don’t want it enforced. It’s not something else.

      That the criminal blowback and mass illegal invasion created by NAFTA, the Drug War, and failure to enforce the law has a negative impact on social services, education and law enforcement and, reeks havoc on American lives, is of no consequence to corporate thugs. Their money is their money and your money is their money. They have no fear of Justice. It’s all for sale—starting at the top.

      Like you, I’ve lived in the Border Lands most of my life. Corruption is rife and if you’re willing to pull a trigger, money is easy. What traps most of us is our common decency, desire to live inside the law, and continued belief, that the crooks destroying our lives can be stopped with reason. Few here understand how powerful, widespread and influential the Cartels have become. Gang culture has already overwhelmed our schools. The money is huge. There’s no question in my mind that D.C. has it’s crooked little fingers in the pie. Hell, Bank of America and others were openly laundering Cartel money.

      Arizona, despite the twisted motives of the Republithugs, was right to enact the law. I appreciate your attempt at a reasonable discussion. Most here have no idea what you’re talking about. Sadly, Americans have been designated by whore politicians and Wall Street theives to be the foolish nice guys who finish last. But, be careful of a fool, someday he may get smart.

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By Carl, July 22, 2010 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

According America’s corporate media, Arizona passed a law allowing police officers to inquire if someone is legally in the USA because most Arizonans are racist. That is so absurd that a majority of Americans support the Arizona law. Does that make the majority of Americans racist, even though that same majority elected President Obama?

The basic problem is that the Border Patrol hasn’t the resources to immediately respond when local police encounter people they suspect are illegal immigrants. Since the federal government has little interest in the problems caused by mass illegal immigration, local citizens are demanding their police protect them. One solution is to arrest suspected illegal immigrants and hold them until the Border Patrol comes by to pick them up, something it does almost daily to gather illegals arrested for other crimes. Here are four situations where local police could apply this law.

1. A street cop in Yuma sees a Mexican gang banger hanging around a street corner. He knows this for sure because he arrested the guy for dealing drugs two years ago. He knows the guy is illegal and was sentenced to one year in jail, and was deported afterwards. It seems the guy walked back across and is probably selling drugs for his gang. He wants to arrest this guy knowing the Border Patrol won’t dispatch a unit to arrest him. Yet he has no cause, only “suspicions” this guy is illegal. Now he can arrest him with this new state law, and even drive him directly to the nearby Border Patrol detention station.

2. A sheriff on a highway south of Phoenix sees an old van at 1 am. It has lots of orange dirt, like a vehicle that has been driving off pavement, and is riding low to the ground because it is heavily loaded. He pulls it over to find two dozen Mexicans with backpacks crammed in the back, sweating from the heat and asking for water. The van driver claims he is just driving friends to Phoenix, but doesn’t know their names. The frightened passengers don’t speak English and have no ID. They claim they live in Phoenix, but don’t know their address and don’t recall their social security number. The Border Patrol can’t respond for several hours, so should the sheriff send everyone on their way, or detain them on “suspicion” and keep them in jail until the Border Patrol picks them up later?

3. Local police have received several complaints about a group of men living in makeshift tents near the railroad tracks next to a nice subdivision. Trash is piling up and the area smells of camping fires. A nearby resident who speaks Spanish reports that he approached some when they were “dumpster diving” around the neighborhood, and is certain they are illegals.  He and his neighbors think this group is responsible for the two recent burglaries in the neighborhood. 

Several police officers show up at the crude camp to confront the group of men. Two try to run away but are chased down.  None speak good English, none have ID. They state they have green cards, but lost them, and can’t recall their alien number. They can’t afford an apartment because they can’t get jobs. There is no Border Patrol station for a hundred miles, and the police know they won’t respond. Should the local police tell citizens they are powerless, or arrest the foreign campers on “suspicion” and transport them to a Border Patrol detention facility?

4. Arizona police arrest several people every week for DUI who have no driver’s license. They claim they lost it and can’t remember their social security number. Fingerprint checks turn up nothing, so the routine is to release them without bail until their court appearance. Police suspect they are illegal immigrants who gave them a fake name and will never show up for court, but had no cause to hold them. The new Arizona law allows a felony charge for illegal entry, so they can be held until a court date, and then picked up by the Border Patrol.

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By Carl, July 22, 2010 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

I have lived near the Mexican border for most of my life—in San Antonio, Chula Vista, Laredo, and Las Vegas. I speak Spanish (and Mexican [an inside joke]) and many of my friends are of Mexican descent. We can pick out an illegal by the way they dress and even their accent. Most are “Sur” from Southern Mexico or from Central America. They are a different breed from the traditional “Nortenos” from along the border. Some are “Indios” who don’t speak decent Spanish.

As part of its “racist” campaign to keep cheap labor flowing across the border, corporate America often displays wealthy, articulate, educated people with some Spanish blood on TV, and pretends they may be harassed in Arizona because of profiling. I saw the singer Shakira claim the law frightened her, and even faux Latin American, Governor Bill Richardson, agreed that he could be questioned about his status.

This spin is laughably absurd. It doesn’t matter what you look like, if you have a valid state driver’s license you are not suspect. If you “lost” your driver’s license yet speak decent English and know your social security number and home address, you are not suspect. But if you are confronted by a policeman for sleeping in a park, drinking beer behind a 7-11, or loitering in front of Home Depot for two hours, and have no ID, speak limited English, and don’t know your social security number or alien number, you may be questioned further. If a name/date of birth computer check turns up nothing, and you don’t recall your home address, police will find that “suspicious” especially if you are with a group of men with the same lack of ID.

All this media hysteria is a corporate assault on the power of local people to use democracy to force change, and is now being spun as an excuse to push through a second illegal immigration amnesty disguised as “reform”. It is laughable to watch these corporate spinmasters on TV insist they don’t support another amnesty. Yet they say we must forgive the illegal issue and allow them to remain and work in the USA and provide them with a “pathway to citizenship”, which would not be available to aspiring immigrants outside the USA. They claim this is the only choice, but reasonable action is blocked by “politics” and “racism.” They make bizarre claims that deporting illegals is impossible, even though around 300,000 a year are already deported.

Meanwhile, corporate strongmen seek legal and business reasons to punish Arizona for resisting their control, and their chief enforcer, Barak Obama, has begun to act. He may be successful even though half of Democratic Congressmen oppose amnesty, because most Republicans quietly support “immigration reform”. Bi-partisan legislation to slip through another amnesty that is strongly endorsed by our corporate media may succeed despite overwhelming public opposition.

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By REDHORSE, July 22, 2010 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

Calling all “kneejerks” and “racebaiters”!! NO MORE AMNESTY!! ENFORE CURRENT IMMIGRATION LAW!!  JAIL CORPORATE THUG EMPLOYERS NOW!!

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