Arizona law - Racist in nature or appropriate under the circumstance?
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Arizona law - Racist in nature or appropriate under the circumstance?

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May 5, 2010, 12:05 am
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Arizona law - Racist in nature or appropriate under the circumstance?
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Arizona law - Racist in nature or appropriate under the circumstance?

New York - May 5, 2010 -- There are always two sides to a story and the latest immigration law to come out of Arizona is no exception.  To understand the situation better, let’s first review the law, SB 1070; the broadest and strictest immigration measure in generations.


The new Arizona law allows state officials to inquire into the immigration status of any person based upon "reasonable suspicion":


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 statute also prohibits so-called sanctuary cities, which prevents a city or town from arresting illegal aliens unless they have committed a crime.


Additionally, the law mandates that a person is guilty of the crime of trespassing if the person is both:  "present on any public or private land in this state" and in violation of federal immigration statutes.  The statute further restricts the judge’s decision by requiring that there is no eligibility for "suspension or commutation of sentence or release for any reason until the sentence imposed is completed.


In other words, the law makes failure to carry proof of citizenship or legal status a crime, and any immigrant (legal or illegal) who can't produce the documentation can be arrested, fined $2,500 and jailed for up to six months.  Until the Arizona law goes into effect, a person in illegal status is not a criminal.  Being illegal in the U.S.  has always been  an administrative violation subject to deportation and not incarceration. 


Two Primary Issues with the law:

Racial Profiling – The state and county enforcement officers are to use the “reasonable suspicion” standard when coming into lawful contact with any individual, not just illegal alien. It could even be an American citizen..  This should mean that the officer must have to have some reason, outside of race alone, to request documentation from the individual who is stopped, questioned, detained, arrested, etc.  Governor Brewer recently toned down the “any awful contact” however, officers may stop and ask for documents from everyone in a van or car that is blocking or impeding the flow of traffic.  This is a very low level of inquiry, which can basically stop a major portion of drivers.

Doctrine of preemption – Whether the Arizona law usurps the power of the Federal Government to be the sole arbiter of immigration laws.

Proponents Argument #1

Doctrine or Preemption - Since the federal government did not do anything about the immigration problem they are in essence relegating the responsibility to the individual states as permitted by the 10th Amendment of the Constitution.

SB 1070 would expose the fact that the Federal Administration has completely abandoned its duty to secure the border and enforce our immigration laws, ultimately forcing Arizona to enact the law.  Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) described the law a reaction to the federal government's inaction, "I think the frustration is that the federal government isn't enforcing the laws, so we're going to do it on the state level."  (The Hill, April 26, 2010).  Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) said that his state had to pass a tough immigration law because Obama has failed to "secure our borders."  (The Associated Press, April 27, 2010).  He added that the situation in his state is "the worst I've ever seen." 

Their argument should fail. Generally, the federal government has exclusive control over immigration.  For more than a century, the U.S. Supreme Court consistently has ruled that the federal government has the exclusive power to regulate immigration.   In a series of cases in the late nineteenth century upholding sections of the Chinese Exclusion Acts, the Supreme Court expressed the federal immigration power in far-reaching terms, as a plenary power not subject to normal judicial restraints.   In subsequent decisions the Court has time after time confirmed Congress’s exclusive authority over Immigration. State and local laws that try to regulate immigration infringe on the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution and are therefore preempted by federal law.

Proponents Argument # 2

Proponents of the law have repetitively refer to the killing of two Phoenix police officers by illegal immigrants in 2007, or the recent killing of a cattle rancher near the Mexican border by a drug smuggler. State Rep. John Kavanagh, a co-sponsor of the law, said of illegal immigrants, "They bring a lot of crime with them." 

Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris told reporters that some 10% of his   arrests are illegal immigrants — a number near the estimated percentage of undocumented immigrants in the local population.  The Maricopa County sheriff's office, which runs the jail for Phoenix and surrounding cities, said 20% of its inmates are illegal immigrants. Fifteen percent of state prisoners are illegal immigrants.

The bill's proponents contend that criminals in Mexico are increasingly heading north through Arizona. "A large portion of [illegal immigrants] are coming here seeking a life and, quite frankly, fleeing the violence in Mexico," said Brian Livingston, executive director of the Arizona Police Assn., who added he was persuaded to back SB 1070 by calls from a Latina complaining that no one arrested illegal immigrant gang members in her neighborhood. "Amongst those people are criminal elements who prey on those people," he said.


This argument should not succeed, as it is an exaggeration.

* According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, violent crimes in Arizona fell from 512 per 100,000 people in 2005 to 447 per 100,000 people in 2008, the last year for which data is available.

* According to a 2008 report from the conservative Americas Majority Foundation, crime rates are lowest in states with the highest immigration growth rates, such as Arizona. From 1999 to 2006, the total crime rate declined 13.6 percent in the 19 highest-immigration states (including Arizona), compared to a 7.1 percent decline in the other 32 states.

* Although the unauthorized immigrant population doubled to about 12 million from 1994 to 2004, data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicates that the violent crime rate in the United States declined by 35.1 percent during this time and the property crime rate fell by 25.0 percent.


Well is the law racist in nature or appropriate under the circumstances?


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To determine whether the law is racist in nature we have to see who wrote the law and who submitted it to Arizona’s congress. In a recent Rachel Maddow show she established clearly who the participants were. As you will soon agree, they are all racists.

Senator Russell Pearce, introduced the law to the Arizona State.  He authored an official email to his supporters and donor base in which he made the conspiratorial claim that journalists pushed the view of:

“a world in which every voice proclaims the equality of the races, the inerrant nature of the Jewish ‘Holocaust’ tale, the wickedness of attempting to halt the flood of non-White aliens pouring across our borders…


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In the photos above and the video on your left, the close relationship between Pearce and J.T. Ready is displayed.  Ready is a Minuteman and nativist, photographed with the comparatively strong Neo-Nazi movement in Arizona.  His other ties have been well documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

Pearce has been associated with local Neo-Nazi and John Birch types for many years.   In 2006, he came under attack for speaking commendably of a 1950s federal deportation program called Operation Wetback, and for sending an e-mail message to his supporters that included an attachment from a white supremacist group.

Critics point out the law in itself is a clear violation of the 4th Amendment, and is unconstitutional.  Others agree that there is simply no way that a ‘reasonable suspicion’ can apply without actual racial profiling take place.

Kris Kobach, who is running for Secretary of State in Kansas, authored the law itself. The man is also a firm believer in the birther conspiracy that contends Barack Obama was born in Kenya.

Kobach is an attorney for Immigration Reform Law Institute, the legal arm of the chameleon named organization Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR. As Maddow reveals, the founder of FAIR was a well-known racist and the seed money to get it started also came from an infamous Eugenics (the same thing the Nazi’s did) outfit. See the video.

As Rachel Maddow revealed in her show last week, the founder of FAIR is known racist.

There seems to be no doubt that the law was written by racist neo Nazi sympathizers working on their own agenda: to turn America into a fascist country.

Politicians in at least five states are pushing for their state legislatures to pass immigration laws that mirror Arizona's new measure.

Lawmakers in Texas, Utah, Georgia, Ohio and Maryland are attaching to Arizona's hard-line approach to illegal immigration, which appears to have gained support many conservatives who argue that such a law is necessary in the absence of adequate federal policies. The law, however, has outraged people across the country that say it violates Americans' Constitutional rights and/or infringes on federal authority to regulate immigration.

Today the Washington D.C. Council joined the fight against Arizona’s law, as it sponsored a bill forbidding the police chief from sharing arrest data with federal immigration officials (except for criminal aliens) and also declared their undivided support for a resolution calling on the city to discontinue doing business with Arizona.

Council member Michael Brown (I-At large) said parallel resolutions will be introduced or have already been introduced in Boston, San Francisco, New York, Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Chicago.

Is this what Pearce and the other racist promoters of the anti-immigrant Arizonian law really trying to do:  Destroy the United States, by pitting one state against the other?

The effect of this law is eerily similar to how the Jews were treated in Germany at the start of World War II.  Nazi in 1939, Nazi in 2010.  Jews were required to carry papers and identify themselves publicly.  That is the same method the neo-Nazi linked legislator set up the current immigration law in Arizona. 

Unless the president steps in, and does it fast, this country will go down a very slippery slope.

Author: Paulo Martins
Paulo Martins is a graduate of the London School of Journalism. His writings concern the plight of man in a digital world and Environmental Issues. He is currently residing in Rio de Janeiro Brazil.
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