by Moses Apsan, Esq.
Well it’s finally come to America, hate groups taking over the government and getting the elected officials (Republicans) to pass laws so despicable that it can only lead to major unrest in the country and flagrant violations of human rights.
On Tuesday the Arizona House approved a state Senate-passed bill, known as SB 1070, making it a violation of state law to be in the country without proper documentation. The bill that would "create a new state misdemeanor crime of willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document. It would allow officers to arrest immigrants unable to show documents proving they're legally in the country. “Currently it is not an criminal act to be living in the United States illegally; it is an administrative violation. Changing the laws which control immigrants can create a plethora of new problems, such as jail time for previously non-criminal immigrant instead of deportation and the right to legal counsel, which is not available in immigration courts.
Another component of the bill "would allow people to sue if they feel a government agency has adopted a policy that hinders the enforcement of illegal immigration laws," Citizens can sue to compel police agencies to comply with the law, and no city or agency can formulate a policy directing its workers to ignore the law -- a provision that advocates say prevents so-called sanctuary orders that police not inquire about people's immigration status.
The measure has several provisions. It would:
- Create a new state misdemeanor crime called willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document.
- Permit officers to arrest immigrants who are unable to provide documents establishing they're legally in the country.
- Derail “friendly” Immigration policies at local police department and will permit anyone to sue if they believe a government agency has adopted a policy that hinders the enforcement of illegal immigration laws. In other words no “sanctuary city permitted”
- Prohibit people seeking or offering day-labor services on street corners from blocking traffic.
- It will be illegal for anyone to carry illegal immigrants if the drivers of vehicles know their passengers are in the country illegally and if the transportation furthers their illegal presence in the country.
The bill fortifies the Arizona position as the most aggressive state that uses its own laws to fight illegal immigration. As recent as 2006, Arizona passed a law that would dissolve companies with a pattern of hiring illegal immigrants. Last year it attacked it’s own employees, by making it a crime for a government worker to give inappropriate benefits to an illegal immigrant
Police are deeply at odds on the matter, with police unions supporting it but the state police chief's association challenging the bill, contending it could wear away trust with immigrants who could be potential witnesses.
One of the bill's sponsors, Representative John Kavanagh, said that as the economy returns, "so too will the illegal immigrants — larger, stronger and more destructive than they were several years ago... We need to put this law in place now so that when the new illegal immigrants come, we're prepared to do battle with them."
The bill is sponsored by Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, who is one of Arizona's primary anti-immigrant advocate. The bill won support from all 35 House Republicans.
Rep. Bill Konopnicki, R-Safford, said "This bill is filled with problems, huge problems. But more importantly it will not stem the tide of illegal immigration," However he felt "obligated" to support the bill.
The new law requires police officers; if they form a "reasonable suspicion" that someone is an illegal immigrant, to verify the person's immigration status.
The law throughout the United States is at odds with the Arizonan measure: Police officers can inquire about someone's immigration status only if the person is a suspect in another crime. This bill returns us to “yesteryear” when racial profiling was commonplace. Now, that most of the country has done away with the despicable racial profiling the republican congress of Arizona, is taking us back in time; getting us ready to relive those ignoble years.
"It's beyond the pale," said Chris Newman, legal director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. "It appears to mandate racial profiling."
Immigrant rights groups are appalled, and contend that Arizona would be transformed into a police state.
Chris Newman, legal director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, believes the House bill is the work of racists.
"Arizona has long been a laboratory for anti-immigrant experimentation, and its demagogue leaders have become folk heroes for white supremacists throughout the United States," Newman said. "But this bill ushers in a new chapter of disgrace for the state that resisted celebrating the life of Martin Luther King."
Arizona doesn't even have to wait for this law to go into effect to begin it's anti-immigrant cruisade. The state is already on a downward spiral towards what best can be called a “Wild West Syndrome.” Sheriff Arpaio of Maricopa County in Arizona has been running his own one man immigration army and has been arresting immigrants even after he was thrown out of the federal government 287(g) program, for violating it's directive and arresting and processing for deportation violators of minor laws.
Sheriff Arpaio stated “Some local politicians and the media often criticize me for going into other cities to conduct these types of operations. The bottom line is this, my deputies’ safety is affected on a daily basis by illegal alien activity that often originates within city limits and spills out into other areas of the county in the form of load vehicles and body dumps.”
Sheriff Arpaio does not respect the federal government nor its rules and laws. He is a maverick. After the Department of Homeland Security removed 100 deputies’ ability to act as immigration agents, the sheriff put into action a new training program that will sanction nearly 900 sworn deputies with the capacity to detect and arrest illegal aliens when they see one.
What we need is comprehensive immigration reform not uncontrolled immigrant hating government official running police department in disregard of human rights. Unless reform is accomplished, many individual states and cites will create immigration laws in their own image, be it favorable to the immigrant or anti immigrant. Only through federal intervention can we prevent our country from returning to an era were racial profiling and discrimination was a way of life; a way of life that will eventually tear the fabric of our society and relegate us to the days before the civil right movement.
I can imagine Martin Luther King turning in his grave.