Arizona Immigration Law

Arizona new law (SB 1070) gives police authority to use “reasonable suspicion” as a means of inquiring in to a person’s immigration status.  Predictably, this offennnded some people, who decry the law as an invitation for profiling.  Look, illegal immigration is a huge problem in this country.  Our economy and legal system simply can’t handle the influx of people crossing the border illegally.

Does this law increase the potential for profiling?  You bet.  Is this fair? No, not really.  It does suck that legal immigrants that happen to look like illegal immigrants might be stopped and asked to provide documentation.  Hell, I can see how that would be annoying, even hurtful.    That being said, screw people’s feelings!  Our country has bigger issues to tackle than preserving everyone’s fragile emotional state.

If the U.S. bordered Ireland and we had a huge problem of giant leprechauns crossing the border illegally, I’d be the first to say, “Okay, I realize I look like these assholes.  Here’s my proof of citizenship.”

For another example of the same situation, I turn to the TSA debacle involving profiling suspected terrorists.  It’s the same shit!  Who’s most likely carrying a bomb: the seven year old kid with the Nike hat and iPod, or the 37 year old sporting a huge beard muttering “Allah Akbar?” You know the answer, even if you don’t admit it.  Is this fair?  Again, not really.   For a particularly striking example of the need to profile, watch the short clip below:

Ginger Pride (it’s under two minutes, click it already!)

Scary, isn’t it?  If I lived in South Park, Colorado, I’d be the first in line to once again say, “I realize I look like these soulless gingers, but I’m not a Ginger Separatist!”  It would be a waste of funding and quite silly if the South Park authorities screened everybody the same, and didn’t sort out the pasty-skinned, freckled, red heads as possible threats. It’d be even more absurd if I were to allow myself to be upset about that.

So, suck it up people!  This law isn’t that bad, and could potentially be a first step in remedying some of our problems with illegal immigration.

Negative comments and counter arguments are encouraged!

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57 thoughts on “Arizona Immigration Law

  1. It’s understandable. The debate comes down to whether racial profiling is rather an inconvenience (which I’m assuming is your position), or if there is something inherently wrong with racial profiling. So let me play devil’s advocate here. (Incidentally, I’m on the fence with this issue.) With this new law, immigrants (or people who look like immigrants, i.e. people who aren’t white) must have documentation that they are indeed citizens. Now, we all carry ID with us such as a Driver’s License. However, anyone other than white must now carry another document with them at all times. Something like a birth certificate, a Citizenship paper, or something to show that they are indeed citizens. This sounds very inconvenient that you’d have to carry with you all the time. Now you could say, “Exactly. It’s an inconvenience, but that’s the point. Using my example of the Irish, I’d probably have to follow suit and carry my birth certificate with me all the time. It would suck and it would be time consuming, but it’s still understandable.” Ok, so two questions: (1) would you seriously find it an inconvenience to carry your birth certificate with you all the time, or would you find something seriously wrong that redheads now have to carry proof of citizenship while the rest of the country doesn’t?

    (2) It seems that a certain race forced to carry extra documentation has many similarities to previous incidents. What about in Germany where the Jews were forced to carry a Jewish passport? If they didn’t have it with them, they were arrested. The same thing could be said of people who look like immigrants. If they don’t have the proper identification, they could be arrested. This seems to scream some sort of unfair practice. Of course, this won’t turn into a Mexican Holocaust, but the analogy seems to hold that Germany did force an ethnic group to carry identification. The Arizona law seems to have the similar feature. Does it not?

    • To answer number 1. I would be annoyed if I had to carry extra documentation if nobody (non red heads) else had to. My annoyance, however, is a small price to pay for the country as a whole. I wouldn’t necessarily feel as though something were “seriously wrong” with that picture, either. It’s not that big of an inconvenience, just an annoyance.

      For number 2, I think the potential for abuse and/or misuse is there. I see your point. That would have to be kept in check, so mistakes like that would be uncommon.

      Also, off topic but for the record, if some white guy says “ay” after everything, ask for that Canadian’s green card! If he’s illegal, kick him out! Illegal Mexican immigrants are obviously the target in Arizona, but if some Canuck sneaks in to Washington State, get him!

  2. “With this new law, immigrants (or people who look like immigrants, i.e. people who aren’t white) must have documentation that they are indeed citizens.”

    I have never read a law that says “If your brown, you need extra documentation” including this one. Every body thinks this law is a problem because of POLICE ENFORCEMENT AND RACIAL PROFILING. Where is the faith? Are all policemen white? Are all of them racisist? NO!!! This is an excuse to not solve a problem because we are afraid to hurt someones feelings. When can I as a white male start being offended because of the endless money and tax pit occurring due to illegal immigrants. When can I be offended becuase of the unbalanced crime ratio committed by Illegals.
    1. These states are going bankrupt due to a small amount of individuals paying taxes for a large amount of people. This is very simple math and it doesn’t work. The outcome, tax payers pay more.
    2. When I go to a hospital for medical care, I read a sign that says no one can be refused medical care. If I have insurance or not, they know my name and DOB. So they can at least attempt to gather money for service rendered. Is this the case with illegal’s? NO!. I have seen many many times this problem first hand IE medical bills to individuals that do not exist. The outcome? We pay higher premiums for our insurance and the cost of actual service skyrockets.
    3. Public schools cost money. The ratio for tax payers to students have become WAY unbalanced. How do schools get funding with out this money. Who suffers and who pays for this? You guessed it.
    4. If you are here illegally and paying taxes, you have obviously recieved fictious documents showing you are legal (Please see #2 for problems regarding fictious names).

    This is a VERY small list of problems associated with ILLEGAL immigration. Please note the difference between legal and illegal immigrants. Because they are two completely different things. I encourage everyone to come and enjoy the greatest place on this planet. Just follow the rules like the rest of us.

    Ignore the spelling and grammer please.

    • I was hoping I’d hear from either you or John. Exactly right when you said: “Where is the faith? Are all policemen white? Are all of them racisist? NO!!! This is an excuse to not solve a problem because we are afraid to hurt someones feelings.”
      To give my buddy Shaun’s concern #2 credit, what would you propose be done to limit unwarranted or unjust questioning by those police that are corrupt?

  3. Well said Jeff! Your right it does suck, it’s not fair, but hell life isn’t far! Is it the best solution?…..probably not, but until someone comes up with a better idea it’s a start. The resource drain on this country from illegals is one of the things killing our country. Not only our economic system, or our pride and respect as a nation.

    • Exactly right about killing the respect of our nation. The only things the preserve respect of a nation are borders, language, and culture. All three are currently compromised by our way of doing things.

  4. Look, profiling is not illegal. It is illegal to profile based on race, religion etc… If you are in the country and cannot speak the language, well we call that a clue.

    People seem to think as soon as i see a hispanic individual I will run up and taze them dragging them to the nearest detention facitlity. In reality, we are going to go on a person by person basis.

    I have, in my carreer, met an illegal immigrant from Ireland. Right off I could tell that he was not from here. (interresting side note he was a honest to goodness IRA bomber)

    These are going to be the things that are going to lead us to start investigating if the person is here illegally or not.

    Finally, there has to be somthing done. We have become so politcally correct that we will no longer enforce laws for fear of insulting someone. This is a HUGE problem. If we have the law, shouldn’t we be enforcing it. Officers are out talking to people and most that I know would be glad to be able to help the federal government enforce these issues. It is not a drain on resources to have officers cheking this information and frankly it is not quite the inconvienence everyone seems to think it is for either officers or perople questioned.

    Every day I ask where people are from where they are going why they are in a certain area. “are you here legally” does not seem to be such an invasive question. And legal immigrants already have the “papers” that everyone seems to be petrified of asking for.

    I am not sure but think legal immigrants are required to carry thier green card.Why should we coddle criminals more than the people who have done everything that they should to come to America legallly. Get a grip people.Gain some perspective.

    • Hell yeah John. Thanks for commenting. Basically, you think people are blowing this all out of proportion too. Especially since legal immigrants already have papers…

  5. http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2010/04/25/20100425immigration-bill-jan-brewer-arizona.html

    Here is the best article on the list serve actually explaining the preemption argument that the administration will make to strike the AZ law down. It will be interesting to see how SCOTUS comes down on this, as the slight shift towards conservative values on the court, and their expansion of preemption has painted them into a corner. It is not typical preemption in that they are not arguing supremacy but usurpation of enforcement and allocation of resources. Legal hard ons are growing over this issue. All of this changes if they can pass federal legislation on point regarding enforcement of the law as the supremacy clause would supercede the state law. This is possible with the current make up of congress so be watching for quick and dirty legislation to pass. If this does not happen then get some popcorn because the smack down is set for SCOTUS and Scalia will have to pull off a miracle not to directly contradict himself on preemption.

  6. I’m gonna have to disagree. Racial profiling is wrong. This law can and will be used to abuse the rights of legal citizens. Oklahoma wants to take AZ’s law and make 20x stronger.

    I also don’t have a good suggestion for how to solve the immigration issue. (i do agree illegal immigration is a serious problem).

    I hope this AZ law is ruled unconstitutional.

    That is all.

    • I don’t agree that it “can and will be used…”, but thanks for coming by Scorchen. Dissenting opinions are always welcome!

  7. We are not talking about racial profiling. We are talking about profiling behavior or actions. Again no one is going to grab everyone that looks a certain way and drag them to jail. But upon REASONABLE SUSPICION we will investigate further. The media and special interest groups are blowing this way out of proportion.

  8. I hope to write more on this when I get home. For now, I will say that I think the law should and will be held unconstitutional. The SCOTUS won’t even have to touch the issues of preemption or supremacy. I think the new law will be found to violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. To pass constitutional muster under the 14th Amendment a law or government policy which either explicitly or implicitly uses race as a factor must have “narrowly tailored means” to serve a “compelling government interest.” The compelling government interest is not a problem – there is general agreement that we, as a country, need to reform our immigration system and secure our borders. However, whether allowing state police to request citizenship papers from anyone who they have “reasonable suspicion” is in the country illegally satisfies the “narrowly tailored” requirement is another matter. “Reasonable suspicion” doesn’t sound too narrowly tailored to my ears. You never know what the SCOTUS will do, nor the tortured logic they will use to justify it but, to finish, here is a quote from our very conservative Chief Justice John Roberts: “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

    Sorry if this was overly legalistic or lawerly…more later

  9. To both John C. and Eric,
    Could “reasonable suspicion” be defined in such a manner that it meets the criteria for “narrowly tailored?” I’d imagine that it could. The term “reasonable suspicion” is admittedly vague, as it leaves a lot of subjectivity in determining what is reasonable and what is suspicious. The term narrow, however, is pretty subjective as well. I’d imagine with the right semantics, a legal wordsmith could make the marriage of these two terms quite easily.

    By the way, this post rocks. We have cops, lawyers, philosophy professors, liberals, and conservatives chipping in. We just need an illegal alien and a legal immigrant to give their two cents and we’ll be complete. Mr. Illegal, your identity will be protected if you post, just type that shit in English, por favor.

  10. I got your dissenting opinion right here. I’m not sure where to start…I will try but fail to keep it brief. I would like to clarify a few things:
    1. I will admit that I do have sympathy for many of the illegal immigrants in our fine country. I have ancestors who, in 1847, followed Brigham Young and immigrated illegally into Mexico. I don’t think they were wrong to do it or that they should have waited until the area they wanted to immigrate to became U.S. territory – as it did a few years later. My ancestors who immigrated illegally into what was then Mexico were fleeing some fierce persecution and in my estimation did the right thing in getting the hell out of there. Similarly, I don’t blame many of those coming illegally into our country today. I know the conditions they are coming from. That doesn’t mean I think they should be able to come – I just understand why they try and I feel it would be somewhat hypocritical of me to get all high and mighty about how nobody should ever immigrate illegally into another country given my own ancestors behavior.

    2. You said, “It does suck that legal immigrants that happen to look like illegal immigrants might be stopped and asked to provide documentation. ” I think what you meant to say is, “it does suck that AMERICAN CITIZENS whose grand-parents or great-great-great grandparents and every subsequent generation have been born in this country might have to provide proof of citizenship.” Several others made the same mistake. The issue isn’t so much whether it’s a burden for legal immigrants, it is whether it is a problem for American Citizens who deserve to live their lives, and be left alone as long as they are not hurting other people. I think of my co-worker Amy. She is Native American – how much more American can you get than NATIVE AMERICAN? She has black hair and brown skin. If she lived in Arizona she would now have to worry constantly about getting pulled over for “driving while brown,” and her people have been here a hell of a lot longer than mine.

    3. In response to Shaun’s question 1, you said “I would be annoyed if I had to carry extra documentation if nobody (non red heads) else had to. My annoyance however, is a small price to pay for the country as a whole. I wouldn’t necessarily feel as though something were ‘seriously wrong’ with that picture either. It’s not that big of an inconvenience, just an annoyance.” I want to challenge you on that.

    The problem or inconvenience is not in the having to carry the additional documents it is in having to produce them – at any time based on a very vague standard of “reasonable suspicion.” The vast majority of cops like the vast majority of Americans are good honorable decent people just trying to serve and protect the people in their communities. So, no I don’t think 100% of the cops are white or 100% of cops are racist – but I think there might be a few that are. We’ll use your red heads example. You can think about the following hypothetical a little bit and then let me know if you really don’t think there is anything “seriously wrong” with this picture. Now here is a little story:

    You leave for work one day. You are in a bit of a hurry and as you pull onto the first major road on your journey, maybe you don’t come to a complete stop – maybe you do – it’s a close call at any rate, but you get pulled over. The police officer gives you a warning but as you’re a red head and so many of those damn giant leprechauns causing all those problems look just like you, the officer ask you, if you don’t mind providing some proof of your U.S. Citizenship. You have no problem complying. He verifies your documents and he sends you on your way, the whole ordeal having only added only an extra 10-15 minutes to your morning commute. Five minutes later however, you again see flashing lights in your rear-view mirror. Turns out that this time, the officer tells you that when you signaled you were going to change lanes, it was only one second – not the legally required three seconds. This time, the cop writes you a ticket. He then asks you if he can search your car. You, not sure about what will happen if you refuse, allow him to search your car. He doesn’t find anything. He then asks you to produce your citizenship papers, which you do, which he takes his sweet time verifying. The cop eventually give your documents back to you and sends you on your way. This second police stop took an additional 20-30min. You are now late for work and cursing the fact that you have such a long commute. You are in a bit of a hurry and ten minutes later find yourself driving 5 m.p.h. over the speed limit through a speed trap. The nice highway patrol officer doesn’t take long – he also lets you off with a warning but does once again make you produce your citizenship papers. You eventually make it to work, but your commute which should take 45 minutes actually took more like an hour and a half because of the three times you were pulled over and asked to produce your citizenship papers. Three times in one morning! You feel a little sick as you realize that this could potentially happen to you each and every morning. You are also none too pleased with the bullshit traffic ticket you got for not signaling your lane change long enough. With a moving violation on your record, the cost of your car insurance is going to go up. Was it just you, or did that second cop have something against gingers?

    (How long should I continue with this hypothetical? I will admit that it is unlikely, but it is possible under the new law). Continuing:

    That night you make it home without actually getting pulled over. The next morning you’re more careful at the stop sign and actually waive at the same cop who pulled you over the day before. He waives back and you think to yourself ‘yeah, a minor inconvenience.’ Then five minutes later, there they are again, those flashing lights in your rear-view. It is the same second cop from the day before. This time he informs you that your rear break light is out. Turns out, it is – the bulb must have just burned out. He writes you another ticket and again makes you produce your citizenship papers. As you continue on to work being careful not to speed you realize that, yes that cop must just have something against gingers. You tell yourself that you’re glad the vast majority of cops are not such assholes, but at the same time decide that maybe you should find a new route to work.

    You make it through the week with no other incidents. Thank goodness! After two traffic tickets (which cost you about $95 each – not counting the additional car insurance you will now be paying) you could scarcely afford any more trouble. That Saturday night you and the Mrs. are having friends over to try and forget your bad week. As your getting ready, you realize you need some ice. You tell your wife, no problem – “be right back” and head out the door to drive the four blocks to the super-market for some ice. Unfortunately, you once again don’t come to a sufficiently complete stop for the cop watching the stop sign. Even more unfortunately, it is the same ginger hating asshole who already ticketed you twice that week. You panic when you realize that you ran out of the house without your wallet. You try to explain to the cop that if he’ll just accompany you back to the house you can get your wallet with your documents – that he already saw your documents three days ago – that he knows you! He doesn’t want to hear it and tells you that you will have to get it figured out down at the station. He arrests you for failure to provide the necessary documentation. Your car is impounded – that won’t be cheap. 😦 Down at the police station you are able to call your wife who comes with your citizenship papers and takes you home. Not exactly how you planned on spending your Saturday night, but hey, it’s just a minor inconvenience well worth it to take care of the giant leprechaun problem right? Welcome to your new life.

    Or, how about down the road when your daughter, who is also a ginger gets mugged and they steal her documentation. Somebody called the cops but when they arrived, your daughter being well aware of what can happen to gingers without documentation is acting very nervous. Her nervous behavior gives the cop “reasonable suspicion” and he asks her to see proof of her U.S. Citizenship. Of course she doesn’t have it – it was just stolen. Unfortunately, the cop doesn’t have a choice. He has a potentially illegal ginger unable to provide proof of citizenship and therefore breaking the law he has sworn to uphold and enforce. He knows she is probably a U.S. Citizen but has to arrests your daughter and detain her until she is able to prove her citizenship. You ready to go to your first ginger separatist meeting yet?

    I could go on all night. This is perhaps far-fetched – but under the new law such a scenario is possible. When you give this some thought, do you still consider it to be just an inconvenience you wouldn’t see anything “seriously wrong” with?

    Again, even if the vast majority of cops are not racist assholes – some of them are – I would put it at about the same percentage as the general population – say around 15-20%. That is a sufficient number to make me concerned over the problems this will cause for my fellow citizens whose only crime may have been “driving while brown.” The problem is it doesn’t take many to create serious problems for innocent American Citizens who have the right to be left alone.

    4.To answer your questions, it might be possible to define “reasonable suspicion” in such a way that it satisfies the “narrowly tailored” requirement of the 14th Amendment but the Arizona law in question doesn’t do so – so then we would be talking about a different law. What “narrowly tailored” means is actually defined. In short, if there can be a less restrictive alternative to achieve the compelling government interest the law in question will be found unconstitutional. It gives judges a huge amount of discretion and power and is a very difficult burden to overcome. If a judge (or the majority of judges on a panel) can hypothesize a less restrictive way to achieve the compelling interest – the law is dead. Judges and their clerks can be pretty creative. The test is so vague that a judge can overturn or uphold almost anything. Moreover, if a law, despite its stated goal – which will be a compelling interest, is found to be based on racial animus – then it will fail. I think the Arizona law is in trouble because bleeding heart liberals hate laws that have a disproportionally negative impact on racial minorities and conservatives, generally speaking, don’t like allowing the government to use race as a factor in anything – because after all, once you say it is legal to use race as factor in one area of government action it becomes much harder to say it can’t be used in other areas – like affirmative action programs.
    I guess that brings me to the issue of what should be done about the “illegal immigration problem.” That is a difficult question, and of course a lot depends on how exactly one defines what the problems are. I wish I had the time to shine a bright light on some of the unfounded claims, unwarranted generalizations, and just downright scapegoating going on with this issue but sadly, I don’t. It will have to suffice to say that I have worked with a number of illegal immigrants over the last year. Every single one of them had verification of a Social Security number attached to their names – their real names not some fictitious name. The numbers were fake – the names, addresses and everything else was real. How are the cops in Arizona going to verify the documents? I predict this law, until it is declared unconstitutional, will be a huge boon to the identity theft and fake document producers of Arizona. The other thing about the illegal immigrants I have worked with, was that every single last one of them was paying taxes. They were having social security taken out of their paychecks – paying money into an insolvent system that they will never receive benefits from. Moreover, even those illegal immigrants who may work for cash under the table still pay taxes in the form of sales tax and property tax. Schools are usually funded through property tax so the argument that the children of illegal immigrants are benefiting from an education system without contributing, just doesn’t hold much water. If these people own homes – and many of them do – they pay property taxes. If they rent apartments the landlords pay property taxes and pass the cost on to the tenants. They pay the property taxes that fund the schools their children – often U.S. Citizens according to the Constitution attend. Moreover, they pay sales tax. I have yet to meet a person living in the U.S. who actually pays no taxes. Furthermore, nothing has been said about the fact that these people are providing cheap labor which helps keep the cost of everything low and historically has been a huge competitive advantage for the American economy – this is a good thing. The point I want to make is that it is very easy and convenient to blame a lot of the problems we are facing on a group of people who because of their status, or lack thereof, cannot defend themselves very well. I am in no way saying that we don’t need to reform the system or control our borders – just that people, myself included, often think they know a lot more about complex issues like this than can be backed up by actual facts. The biggest problem I see with the current system is that it creates such huge gray areas in so many different areas.

    That said, back to the problem at hand – what should be done? The million dollar question I don’t have the answer to. However, I’ll give it a shot and share some thoughts. I think we should do something along the lines of what Ronald Regan did – for those who are already here, and have been here for a while – abiding by the laws (other than the immigration laws obviously), paying taxes, and more or less just trying to live the American Dream and give their children a better future – they should be given some kind of legal status – maybe not full citizenship like President Regan gave them, but some type of permission slip giving them some type of legal status. It is completely ridiculous to think that we can do otherwise, and make tens of millions of people go back and start over. The economic effect of essentially having to rebuild the base of our service and agricultural industries makes me shudder.
    Once those already here and making positive contributions have some kind of legal status, or simultaneously to it, we need to address the flow – which is the real problem. I think it is largely an issue of supply and demand. If there wasn’t the possibility of income they wouldn’t come. We need to make social security cards a lot harder to forge and get serious about employers verifying citizenship – using a combination of tax breaks to help them do it, and serious tax penalties for failure to comply. Of course this will only increase other problems – increasing the number of immigrants who truly are “off the books” and not paying any income or social security tax, and other problems – but we can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. However, the Az. law in question is not a wise or constitutional approach. In addition to going after employers, we need to get serious about border security. You can’t build a wall – communist East Germany tried that – it didn’t work, but you can increase patrols, better use technology and provide harsher penalties for those caught trafficking in human beings. What is really needed on this issue – as on most issues – is a huge dose of pragmatism. Unfortunately, pragmatism is a scarce commodity in politics these days – and even those who have it, like President Obama just end up being punished for it. This is what needs to change. In today’s political culture where Ronald Regan style pragmatism is needed candidates are being taken down left and right for failure to pass ideological purity tests. In the end though, the responsibility falls on us – “we the people” and our failure to see both sides of issues, find common ground and for giving in to our baser instincts and our own ideological blindness.
    This is way too long already so I will have to leave most of my thoughts on racial profiling for another day. I will say however that the biggest problem with it is that it doesn’t work. Remember John Walker Lindh? I bet he could have cleaned up real nice, slipped on a Nike hat and an ipod and blended right in. If you are only, or primarily, screening young Muslim looking males it is only a matter of time before the terrorist recruit indoctrinate and train others to do their dirty work. Here is a link to an article that probably explains it better than I can at this point:

    http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2005/08/22/racial_profiling/index.html

    The last thing I want to put my two cents in on is your comment that “the only things that preserve respect of a nation are borders, language, and culture. All three are currently compromised by our way of doing things.” It is my experience that when it comes to respect what really earns and maintains it – what gives us our moral high ground is our system of laws and our respect for the rule of law. If anything is jeopardizing that, it would be laws like the one just passed in Arizona.

    Thanks for the discussion – isn’t democracy great?

    • The hypothetical situations were absolute worst case scenarios it seems. I’ve never been pulled over 3 times in a week, let alone a year. Hypothetically, the world could end at any instant, so why bother with anything? Worst case scenario, I get mugged, raped, and murdered for being named Trey, a Dr. named Trey that is. Just saying. Trust me I’m a doctor.

  11. got a little crazy with the hypothetical police stops didnt ya? So, again does no one have any faith in the police.

  12. I don’t think it’s that crazy – at least not to the point of impossible. Why does faith in the police have to be all or nothing? Does anybody really believe that the percentage of cops who are racist assholes is 0%? In fact, when I think of professions that are likely to turn a person racist, cop is pretty high on the list.

    Are you really comfortable having this guy decide reasonable suspicion?

    or how about this badass

    We should avoid laws that require us to judge and rely on what is going on in a police officers’ heads and whether or not it is “reasonable”.

    We are “a government of laws not men.” – John Marshall

  13. Alright Eric, my response will have to come in installments (time permitting).
    1) I am more than aware I am the descendant of immigrants. Furthermore, I recognize those that came to Utah were originally “illegals.” Great, so what? I need to have empathy for the less fortunate? Sure, but to what end? We need laws to enforce our borders, and I think this is a good step.
    2) The hypothetical was extreme (this, you admitted), but makes a good point. Well, I could do the same thing but opposite viewpoint. I’m not feeling creative, so bear with my lack of colorful story. If I were to generate one, it would involve illegal immigrants unchecked access to the country. One day, one of the Zetas was pulled over by a cop. The cop wasn’t allowed to ask for documentation due to this law being rescinded, and the Zeta (or MS-13, take your pick) was let go. He went on to kidnap and murder your entire family. They weren’t just murdered though (scroll to bottom):
    http://blog.jonolan.net/politics/denying-atzlan-nsfw/

    More to come…

  14. Jeff, I never said we don’t need to secure our borders and that laws shouldn’t been enacted and enforced to that end – I was just trying to make the point that for the innocent American Citizen who is the victim of racial profiling – it could very easily be more than a “minor inconvenience.” It could be a major problem.

    The hypothetical scenario to the other extreme of an unchecked border is irrelevant – nobody supports that. Just because I don’t support a law which would lead to racial profiling of innocent Americans doesn’t mean I support an open border.

    I also don’t think my hypo is all that extreme – as I admitted it is a little far-fetched but it is certainly in the realm of possibility. I myself have been pulled over three times in one weekend – just bad luck – it happens. I think with the vast majority of cops this law wouldn’t be a problem but giving that level of unchecked power to all cops just isn’t worth it in my opinion. There are a few bad cops out there who could use this law as an excuse to punish and harass innocent American Citizens. We have to come up with solutions that don’t simultanously punish innocent Americans – like the stuff I mentioned.

  15. “I think with the vast majority of cops this law wouldn’t be a problem but giving that level of unchecked power to all cops just isn’t worth it in my opinion.”

    What unchecked power? To investigate if someone has legal status. We already check other issues as a matter of course during a routine stop. I need reasonable suspicion to do any further investigation from littering to aggrivated murder.

    I guess I am not seeing the gestopo (sp) tactis that are mandated by the law that so many people are suggesting. It is a simple investigative situation. In todays world do you really want people running around that have no identity and no way to prove who they are? Somthing as simple as looking at a driver’s license screen tells me if you have a valid social security number. As such no further investigation needed.

    There seems to be a desire to make all (or at least some) police officers brown shirts dragging people off in the middle of the night.

    I guess my point to this ramble is that we are a nation of laws and currently my hands are tied when I find someone breaking a law (ILLEGAL immigration). Under the Arizona law I could take some action on a violation of that law.

  16. Yeah police need reasonable suspicion to do anything – and there is a ton of litigation about whether or not police had sufficient suspicion for their actions. The vast vast vast majority of the time they do – but sometimes they don’t. Also, you may be able to write someone a ticket for littering, but their car isn’t going to be impounded. People do accidentally forget their wallets at home. In that situation, the difference for an American Citizen who happens to be of Latino decent between having their car impounded, being taken into custody and even potentially detained at a police station or immigration facility until they provide the requisite documentation is entirely up to the discretion of the officer who makes the stop. While I wouldn’t be worried about most cops, my faith in cops is not so absolute that I don’t think there are any cops out there who would not now and then make a bad call in that situtaion. I believe that American Citizens have the right to be left alone unless they do something wrong. Granted, driving without a license is wrong – but if the consequence for that wrong could be an impounded car and detention at a police facility – even if only for a couple hours -that’s a little much and I don’t think it is justified for driving without a license. I wouldn’t be ok if it happened to me, and I am not ok with it happening to my fellow citizens. This doesn’t mean I think illegal aliens should be allowed to enter or operate within our country – it just means I don’t think a law which will lead to racial profiling is an acceptable solution.

  17. The law is not racially profiling. Just because you are of hispanic decent you will not go to jail without some proof of citizenship. As I pointed out just having a driver’s license (not a driving privelage card) should indicate a valid social security number thus proving status. Barring any furhte evidence no further investigation would be needed.

    If you are driving without a driver’s license (suspended, revoked, etc…) then you have committed an arrestable offense. At that point your vehicle would be impounded for safekeeping anyway.

    No new penalties for committing crime just another step of thying to determine status. The same situation applies for illegal immigration from the Ukrane or Germany. This is not about race it is about Illegal Immigration.

  18. Unfortunately illegal immigration and race are inter-twined.
    No the law is not racial profiling – which perhaps we should establish a definition of – I would define racial profiling thusly: “The consideration of race, ethnicity, or national origin by an officer of the law in deciding when and how to intervene in an enforcement capacity.”

    The problem with the Arizona law is it opens the door to racial profiling. While the law is nuetral as to race on its face, it is a little silly to contend it would not have a disproportionate impact on latinos, or that good cops just trying to enforce the law would not use race as a factor (out of several) in deciding whether or not they should verify someone’s citizenship.

    Under this Arizona law, if there was one cop (out of the thousands in the state of Arizona) that was racist against latinos – what would stop him from using any pretext he could come up with for pulling over the obviously latino driver and requesting proof of citizenship? If the person in question was an American Citizen he could send them on their way and just tell them to be safe on the roads. If the person wasn’t a citizen he could send them over to the feds to begin deportation proceedings. He would probably catch some or even a lot of illegal immigrants – but he would also be harrassing a lot of innocent American Citizens who deserve to be left alone. And, what if there were actually more than one cop like that out of the thousands in Arizona?

    I suppose we could reduce it to some kind of equation where we could say – “Well if that one cop who uses any pretext he can to pull over a latino driver so he can ask for proof of citizenship arrests 5 illegals for every 1 American Citizen he harrassas, then the law is definitly ok. If however, he harassas 20 American Citizens for every 1 illegal he catches, then maybe its not ok. I guess everyone would have to decide what number they would consider acceptable. The problem of course is knowing what that ratio would be. Personally, on principle, I am against a law which would allow law enforcement officers to conduct such “fishing expeditions.” And yes I know I should have more faith in the police – but I do think there might be one or two cops out there that don’t warrent that level of faith.

    There are better ways to enforce immigration laws. We can come up with other laws that will not have the same potential for negative effects on American Citizens who happen to look the same as the majority of illegal aliens. Make social security cards harder to fake, get serious about employers verifying immigration status, increase border patrols, harsher penalties for human trafficking and a new approach to the War on Drugs for example.

  19. Ok, we will probably have to agree to disagree. That being said, you continue to speak of these racist cops that would use this law to terrorize a segment of the population. Do you think that these evil evil police are not using existing laws to do the same thing.

    Frankly, if there are these officers out there we would be much better off without them and you would probably see them removed from the job much quicker if they begin to harrass legal citizens. Dont think for a second there are no repercussions for unjustified arrest and detention.

    This is a charged issue and emotion will get in the way sometimes, but think, we are agreeing to have these people enforce laws. Try not to get caught up in the sterotyping of officers. That is at least as unfair as your suggestions of illegal detention.

  20. Oh yea, I also agree that there need to be other steps taken to curb illegal immigration such as the ones you mentioned. As many tools in the tool belt to fight this as we can get.

  21. @Eric – the prevailing opinion in the articles flowing across the list serve as well as the profs at my school (which includes Justice Kennedy) is that this will be decided on preemption grounds.

  22. Yeah we probably do need to agree to disagree – and of course I think that there is already potential for the FEW officers who are so inclined to abuse their power and authority to do so – I think we just need to do everything we can to limit that type of behavior and this law is a step in the wrong direction on that front.

    My general belief on power and authority of ANY KIND is that if it can be abused, it will be. Not by everyone, but by some. Whether the person with power and authority is a politician, a judge, a lawyer a doctor or a law enforcement officer – if their power and authority can be abused it will be. So I guess you could say it’s not so much that I don’t trust cops – I don’t trust power and authority.

    My general take on police officers is that they are kind of like lawyers – easy to trash and blame until the moment you need one – and I would hate to live in a society without either. They are both necessarry for the rule of law. I deeply respect and admire anyone (even those few I believe to be racist assholes who would abuse their power) who would put their life on the line each and every day they go to work to help ensure that their communities are safe and peaceful. This past weekend, here in Minnesota, we had a police officer who was brutally ambushed and murdered by a couple of low-life’s who should have been in prison. Another officer who was participating in the man hunt came very close to being beaten to death before he was able to shoot and kill one of the perpatrators. I have deep respect and admiration for anyone who would go to work to keep me and my family safe in the face of such incidents. However, the respect and admiration I have for their service and courage does not overcome my distrust of their power and authority.

    @Mikey – I think the preemption issue is certainly the more interesting of the two and I am honestly curious where both Scalia and Roberts would come down on this law – given that they generally favor the law enforcement community but disfavor government use of racial classifications (explicit or implicit). Since there is always a relatively high probability of Justice Kennedy being the swing vote -any idea on where he would come out on this?

  23. Man, I don’t check the interwebz for a day and look what happens! Here’s what I’d do if I were King:
    1) Make AZ law federal mandate with difficult to forge identification cards for all citizens. (I distrust power and authority too, Eric, but I don’t think this will amplify abuse of authority to the degree you suggest.)
    2) This is tough to say, but set up a path to legalization for all non-criminal illegals (not counting the crime of crossing the border illegally of course). The path would include all the standards legal immigrants must abide by, plus a 5 year probationary period to deter everyone from making shortcuts. Probation revocation/deportation criteria would include full tax repayment for time in U.S. illegally, no criminal record, steady employment, limited public assistance, etc.
    3) All illegals in our prison system would be immediately deported. They make up 33% of prison inmates, which is regawdDamnDikulus.
    4) The Rio Grande will be drained of water. Boiling glue will be put in place of water, with glass shards strewn throughout. On the U.S. side of Rio Grande, 3 genetically mutated attack dogs per square yard will be placed along the border. Behind said dogs will exist a golden wall, upon which an American Flag will be displayed adjacent to a hand painted finger wagging “no no NO!” every 12 feet. 50 cal sniper towers will protrude from the golden wall every 50 feet, with trained marksmen hopped up on cocaine seized from unfortunate, drug cartel gang members. Behind the sniper tower laden golden wall will exist the illegals on the 5 year probationary status mentioned above. Their job will be border patrol agents, they will detain any person that happens to make it through the river of boiling glue and glass shards, nullify the mutated attack dogs, and scale the golden wall while avoiding sniper fire. The detainees will be considered U.S. citizens for their achievement, and immediately placed on the Olympic team. (50% credit must be given to Mace for solution number 4, as the two of us came up with this solution sophomore year in debate class… and yes, we presented it to the class.)

  24. Eric, I don’t think we need to agree to disagree. Let’s keep this going. First things first, let’s not get off-target here. John has been right all along that this is not racial profiling, and that this is in fact profiling illegal behavior. Let me ask you this, do you have a problem with profiling serial killers or sexual offenders? Be honest. I’m going to take a wild guess and assume that you don’t have a major problem with this type of profiling. And why not? I think a large majority of the citizens in this country support serial killer and sexual offender profiling. My hell, there was a popular TV series called Profiler that was on NBC for four years. Not to mention Law and Order: Criminal Intent and Criminal Minds which are still running. Oh, and who could forget the classic Silence of the Lambs? Nobody was crying bigotry back then. Hmmm…weird. Oh yeah, that’s right, because the majority of serial killers and sexual offenders are White…I almost forgot. Funny how profiling this type of criminal behavior is excused, albeit supported, when the criminals are White, and deemed to be nothing more than what the FBI likes to call “criminal investigative analysis.” As opposed to profiling criminal behavior characteristic of an illegal immigrant, which can’t possibly be associated with another race other than White because, oh my God, that would be racist! These are the type of crap tactics imbeciles use to win arguments because you digress so far away from the issue that nobody can even remember what the hell we’re arguing about in the first place. Eric, I don’t think you’re an imbecile…so knock it off, bro. Your use of hyperbole like “driving while brown” is disappointing and unnecessary. I realize why you use such methods, but they’re not proving your point. Sure, they might scare those who are doing their best to remain politically correct in this discussion into pulling their punches, but deep down you know they have no place here. By the way, shame on you all for going down this road with Eric.

    Before you criticize my analogous comparison of illegal immigrant and serial killer profiling by calling it an apples to oranges argument, let’s get a few things straight. This new law has largely been put into place for violent crimes that have occurred in the recent past, not to mention the mind-boggling amount of drugs that come over the border. So don’t even attempt to say that serial killers and sexual offenders are in need of profiling due to the harmful nature of their crimes. How many US citizens have died in the name of illegal immigration? Trust me, it wasn’t just the farmer everyone keeps referring to on the news. Wasn’t it only a couple of months ago that the border towns were so violent that the mayors of those cities had to take refuge in the US for protection? They were cutting people’s heads off for God’s sake, bro! Your characterization of illegal immigrants as poor little brown folk who are doing nothing more than trying to flee persecution and work the low paying jobs that nobody else will in this country again is nothing more than a way for you to digress the argument off topic. You really think Arizona would have put this law into effect if this type of characterization were true? Let me answer for you…HELL NO! The passage of this law was sparked by violent crimes associated with illegal immigration. Not the color of their skin, not the positive impact they have on our economy, or any other of the distracters you have posited in your arguments.

    Want to know what is an apples to oranges comparison? Your comparison of your Mormon ancestor’s illegal immigration and the illegal immigrants of today. For starters, the Mormons were facing legitimate religious persecution and threats to their well being. Mexicans crossing the border into the US are fleeing an economical destitute country. It’s not as if there is some mythical force in Mexico going after its citizens for simply being Mexican. Mormons WERE, on the other hand, persecuted for actually being Mormon. The conditions of the country should not excuse their illegal passage into ours. So no worries about being hypocritical, man. Your hypocrisy would necessitate similar circumstances…which there aren’t. You’re in the clear!

    You know, I’m glad you used all of those silly hypotheticals. They serve as the perfect segue for another point. Real quick though, don’t you think it’s a little misguided when by your own admission your hypotheticals are “unlikely” and “far-fetched”, but you follow up with in defending them when somebody calls them crazy? Sure they’re possible. Shit bro, anything’s possible! I learned that from my third grade teacher when I said I wanted to be an astronaut. Just because it’s possible doesn’t give it merit. I could ramble off a shit-ton of hypothetical situations in stark contrast to the nonsense with which you responded. However, this again would do nothing but digress from the topic. I like that you used getting pulled over by a police officer though. Seems like that’s an inconvenience we’ve all had to deal with at some time or another in our lives. Hey Jeff, didn’t that happen to you just the other day when you were pulled over for having a taillight out? Aside from having to fix the taillight did you have to show them any kind of documentation when they pulled you over? Oh really, your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance? Holy shit! Somebody call the ACLU! Jeff’s civil rights have been violated! What right do police officers have to pull you over when you’re just driving and minding your own business? How dare they make you produce documentation that you’re legally operating a motor vehicle!

    You know Eric, this reminds me of an anecdotal experience I had similar to your first and second hypothetical. I was pulled over twice in one night because my headlight was out and I received two tickets. One for the light and the other for not having my driver’s license because my dumbass lost my wallet in the gym. It was a three week debacle that took two court appearances to diffuse. Yeah, I’m bitching about the inconvenience. But I understand why it is necessary. I have no right to drive my car. Similarly, illegal immigrants by their very nature have no right to be in this country. Like driving a car, immigrating to this country is a privilege, not a right. If it were, then why the hell do they have to go through the legal immigration process as it stands? Because, like the driving and written tests we have to pass to show we’re competent to drive, there is a process they must go through to become legal citizens. Your argument is based on the erroneous belief that having to provide documentation to prove you have the ability to exercise a privilege is somehow a civil rights violation. If that’s true, I better never see you driving again. You need to take your driver’s license out of your wallet and cut it in half and burn your registration and proof of insurance. After all, we wouldn’t want your civil rights being violated.

    Lastly, your argument that illegal immigration and race are intertwined is a bogus argument. Look, I realize the overwhelming majority of illegal immigrants are Mexican, but it doesn’t make the law race-based. Although Jeff’s argument about the leprechauns is funny, I think it holds some water. Like my aforementioned serial killers argument, I seriously doubt there would be similar uproar if there was an influx of IRA terrorists coming into the country, and we began profiling in our airports. I may be wrong, but if we’re keeping this race based I think this is a legitimate question worth asking. Would you mind that type of profiling, Eric? Be honest. Further, your solutions like making it more difficult to obtain a social security card, getting serious about employers verifying immigrant status, and increased border patrols do as much to target Mexican people based on their color as does this law. Now my friend, that is hypocrisy.

    Let’s be honest. The reason this is even an issue is because of the political implications involved. Who the hell do you think illegal Mexican immigrants are going to vote for if immigration reform goes through and some kind of amnesty is granted? Well by golly, none other than President Obama, of course. Do me a favor and don’t throw Regan’s name out there thinking that you’ll be able to bait me into agreeing with you. Don’t get me wrong, Regan’s a stud, but your WWJD-type reference does little to provide a smoke screen for the political agenda relating to the illegal immigration controversy. This is nothing more than a way to import voters. Trust me, politicians have one thing in mind at all times: votes. The more they get, the better off they are. Obama and the Libs couldn’t care less about illegal immigrants. They are nothing more than a means to an end when it comes to the ballot box.

    The argument cannot be broken! Your turn.

  25. @Jeff
    As to your #1 – I never thought I would hear you support any kind of federal mandate. If you were King for a day, I hope you would at least fund your mandate, cause the only thing worse than a federal mandate is an unfunded federal mandate.
    As to your #2 – sounds reasonable. Your #3 – don’t know how much I agree there – it is unfortunate that our resource have to go to punishing/trying to reabilitate illegal aliens – however, I don’t know if I would be ok with just sending them back before their punishment. I guess for me it would probably depend on the crime. Certain crimes I think deserve time in prison prior to deportation. BTW – the Arizona law in question provides for immediate deportation once their criminal sentence has been served. Best solution would be if we could somehow send them to prison in their country of origin. That might even work as a deterrent to commiting a crime in the first place. If they knew that not only would they be sent to prison, but it could be a prison in whateverf country they are from they might not commit the crime. Your #4 – I think that it would definitly get the job done.

    @Mace – my response is forthcoming. Please remember, you asked for it.

    • In RIGHT WING corner, we have a conservative, BYU graduate student in the field of social work (WTF!?). He holds the record for most vulgar, yet logical use of alliteration IN THE WORLD. Weighing in at 210 narcissism fueled, tattooed, tanned, and shaved pounds…. MAAAAACCEE “Dragon Eagle” W*****!!!!!!!!!!!

      …and in the LEFT WING corner, we have a bilingual, leftist, lawyer from a blue state who bleeds University of Utah red. He is a hug a thug liberal, who’s warm and fuzzy heart is only matched by his warmer, fuzzier, face (still have the beard, right?) He weighs in at, and yields an IQ score of 220, EEERRRRRRIC “Have A Nice” D**!!!!!!!!!!

      When the action begins, we have referee in charge, Killer J.

      “are you ready? FIGHT!”

  26. Mace – welcome to the discussion. When I said we would have to agree to disagree it was directed at John who originally suggested it. Sorry that wasn’t more clear – guess I should have started that post “@John.” It is probably true that John and I do have to agree to disagree. I, while not a “card carrying member of the ACLU,” do consider myself to be, in general, a civil libertarian. John is not going to convince me that the expansion of police power created by Arizona law SB1070 is not going to wrongly (and unconstitutionally) infringe on the civil liberties of American Citizens. As I said in a previous post, my general belief on power and authority of ANY KIND is that if it can be abused it will be. Not by everyone but by some. I am not going to convince John, who is a police officer (and from what I can tell from his posts, is in the majority of cops that would not abuse their power and authority when it came to this law,) that the police should not be allowed this expansion of power. So, I do think that he and I will have to agree to disagree. At the end of the day a civil libertarian and a police officer are going to have a few differences of opinion.

    Anyone else that wants to continue the debate however – ¡Bienvenidos sean!

    Mace, I think it might help if you took three deep breaths, and went and slowly re-read Jeff’s original post and all subsequent comments. However, I think I would still have to end up walking you through, breaking things down and clarifying – so I’ll just go ahead and do that now. If nothing else, it will be a good lesson in reading comprehension. I apologize in advance because this is going to be one long-ass post because I will have to copy and past from previous posts and add additional explanation. So, let’s get started.

    You said: “First things first let’s not get off-target here. John has been right all along that this is not racial profiling, and that this is in fact profiling illegal behavior.”

    Actually this whole discussion is about racial profiling. If you will refer back to Jeff’s original post he explained that the new Arizona law gave police the authority to inquire into a person’s citizenship or immigration status if they had “reasonable suspicion” that a person was in the country illegally. Jeff then went on to say,

    “Does this law increase the potential for profiling? You bet. Is this fair? No, not really. It does suck that legal immigrants that happen to look like illegal immigrants might be stopped and asked to provide documentation.”

    He then went on to explain that he was ok with this, and would be ok with this even if he were the one subject to the profiling, with his examples of giant leprechauns, and his hilarious Ginger Separatists clip. He was essentially saying that he would be ok with giving up some of his liberty (his right not to be stopped and questioned about his status) in exchange for the increase in safety and security it would provide by increased enforcement of immigration law. He then invited other people to share their thought and opinions.

    Jeff, if this is an inaccurate or unfair summary of your post please correct me.

    So, while Jeff only used the word “profiling” and not the words “racial profiling,” it is clear from the rest of his blog – specifically the discussion of the fact that legal aliens look the same as illegal aliens, and that he looks the same as the giant leprechauns and the Ginger Separatists that we are in fact talking about profiling based on race, or at the very least, based on appearance.

    Now, if when you said, “this is not racial profiling and that this is in fact profiling illegal behavior,” you were only addressing the Arizona law (SB 1070) and the fact that the law addresses illegal behavior and doesn’t say anything about race, well that is another matter, but the issue is still racial profiling. The part of the law being debated from Jeff’s original post onward is the provision allowing cops to demand proof of citizenship or legal immigration status based upon their “reasonable suspicion.”

    I think it would be helpful to establish some definitions to make sure we’re talking about the same thing. First, a definition for profiling. Does this work for you? Profiling: “The act of suspecting or targeting a person on the basis of observed characteristics or behavior.”

    For a definition of racial profiling I would go with the one I suggested to John: “The consideration of race, ethnicity, or national origin by an officer of the law in deciding when and how to intervene in an enforcement capacity.”

    With those definitions established, can I ask you what you mean when you say, “this is not racial profiling and that this is in fact profiling illegal behavior?” I understand the law is trying to prevent illegal behavior, but when it comes to a law enforcement officer upon “reasonable suspicion” demanding proof of citizenship or immigration status, I don’t see what illegal behavior is being PROFILED. For example, take a cop who makes a routine traffic stop for a car traveling 15 miles per hour over the speed limit. The driver of the car doesn’t speak a lick of English and is acting extremely nervous. The car has two stickers on the rear window, a Mexican flag and the Virgen de Guadalupe. Under the new Arizona law, the cop has a judgment call to make – does he have reasonable suspicion to ask the driver for proof of citizenship or legal immigration status? I would argue that he does. How did he get there? Well, by profiling – “suspecting on the basis of observed characteristics or behavior.” The only behavior involved was acting extremely nervous and not speaking English. Neither one of those is illegal, so I don’t agree that the cop is profiling illegal behavior. Now, race may or may not be one of the characteristics the cop considered. It wouldn’t have to be – but on the other hand it could have been, and is certainly raised as an issue of concern under the new law.

    As I conceded to John, the law is neutral on its face. It does not say, “Law enforcement officers will stop and question people of Hispanic decent to determine their citizenship and immigration status.” What it says, (once again,) is that if law enforcement officers have “reasonable suspicion” that a person is in the country illegally they can demand proof of citizenship or legal immigration status. If the person does not provide proof of legal status they will be turned over to federal officials to begin deportation proceedings.

    This is an example of a law which is neutral as to race on its face but would have a disparate impact on a particular race or ethnic group – in this case, Latinos. If you would like to do a little research on Supreme Court jurisprudence involving laws which are facially neutral but have a disparate impact on a particular ethnic group I would recommend you start with Yick Wo v. Hopkins (1886) – which is also a could place to start researching Supreme Court jurisprudence on alienage (immigrant status).

    Back to the argument at hand. As I explained to John, my problem with the law is that it opens the door to racial profiling. As I said in my earlier post, “Under this Arizona law, if there was one cop (out of thousands in the state of Arizona) that was racist against Latinos – what would stop him from using any pretext he could for pulling over the obviously Latino driver and requesting proof of citizenship?…He (the racist cop) would probably catch some or even a lot of illegal immigrants – but he would also be harassing a lot of innocent American Citizens who deserve to be left alone. And what if there were actually more than one cop like that out of the thousands in Arizona?”

    I then went on to say, “I suppose we could reduce it to some kind of equation where we could say – “well, if that one cop who uses any pretext he can come up with to pull over a Latino driver so he can ask for proof of citizenship arrests 5 illegal immigrants for every 1 American Citizen he harasses, then the law is definitely ok. If however, he harasses 20 American Citizens for every 1 illegal immigrant he catches, then maybe it’s not ok. I guess everyone would have to decide what number they would consider acceptable. The problem of course is knowing what that ratio would be. Personally, on principle, I am against a law which would allow law enforcement officers to conduct such ‘fishing expeditions.’ And yes, I know I should have more faith in the police – but I think there might be one or two cops out there that don’t warrant that level of faith.”

    So, my problem with the law is that it would allow a cop, if he or she were so inclined (and I believe there a few that would be so inclined) to conduct a “fishing expedition” and American Citizens, who have the right to be left alone would get caught and released. For other people, it might be a question of how many times the American Citizen of Latino decent gets pulled over but I myself am against allowing the police to violate American Citizens’ constitutional rights on principle.

    Please, please. Please, note that my problem is with the few cops who would TARGET and use PRETEXT to pull over Latino drivers – I am not talking about routine stops that would have happened anyway. John correctly pointed out that such racist cops can already use pretext and harass Latinos under current law. I conceded his point but explained that I thought the Arizona law in question would expand their ability to do so – so I am against it. With Arizona law SB 1070, if a racist cop were to conduct a fishing expedition, once the law enforcement officer had verified the person stopped was American Citizen they can be sent on their way with a warning to drive safe. In that scenario (a cop who happens to be racist targets a Latino driver and uses some pretext to pull him or her over) – did the law enforcement officer violate an American Citizen’s constitutional right – definitely. Is it likely that anything is going to happen to him for doing so – no. For me, it is a matter of principle –it is not ok for the police to violate American Citizens rights – no matter how small the violation.

    So, Mace, I’m not sure what your position is. Do you disagree with my belief that there are a few police out there who are racist and would be inclined to target Latinos? (John’s position). Do you disagree that the law would allow a cop, if he were so inclined, to go on what I term an “illegal alien fishing expedition”? Do you disagree that if that happened American Citizens of Hispanic dissent would be stopped and questioned? Perhaps it doesn’t bother you if they were – or at least doesn’t bother you to the point that you disagree with the law (Jeff’s position).

    Now, back to your post. In your post, after talking about how “this” is not about racial profiling but rather about profiling criminal behavior and then talking about profiling serial killers and sex offenders, you said, “These are the type of crap tactics imbeciles use to win arguments because you digress so far away from the issue that nobody can even remember what the hell we’re arguing about in the first place. Eric, I don’t think you’re an imbecile…so knock it off bro.”

    I must admit that I am not sure what the hell you are talking about. Perhaps I am an imbecile after all. What are the “tactics that imbeciles use to win arguments?” I can only guess that you are accusing me of changing the argument from one about illegal behavior to one about racial profiling. Well, as I hope I made clear above, the entire discussion from Jeff’s original post on was about racial profiling – both in the context of the Arizona law and in general. Jeff pointed out in his original post that he thought racial profiling while admittedly unfair was a small price to pay for increased security and stability. So, hopefully, you can now see that I was not “digressing so far away from the issue that nobody can remember what the hell we’re arguing about in the first place.” Racial profiling was the issue and was what we were arguing about in the first place.

    Next you said: “Your use of hyperbole like “driving while brown” is disappointing and unnecessary. I realize why you use such methods, but they’re not proving your point. Sure, they might scare those who are doing their best to remain politically correct in this discussion into pulling their punches, but deep down you know they have no place here. By the way, shame on you all for going down this road with Eric.”

    Again I don’t know what you’re talking about. Given that my problem with Arizona SB 1070 is that it opens the door for racial profiling – a cop (if he was so inclined) using any pretext he could come up with pulling over Latino drivers and requesting proof of citizenship or legal immigration status. Given what my concern is, how is the use of the phrase “driving while brown” hyperbole? Perhaps it is a bit colorful and not the most politically correct phrase I could have chosen – but it actually sums up what I find the problem with Arizona SB 1070 to be pretty accurately, and, I would argue, does in fact, prove my point. I wouldn’t have taken you for someone who would get upset at my lack of political correctness. I guess I could revise it to “driving while Latino,” or “driving while appearing Latino” since I used the phrase talking about my Native American coworker. Now, when you say, “I realize why you use such methods,” what “methods” are you talking about? –Colorful language? Politically incorrect speech? And, when you say that the use of such “methods” scares people into pulling their punches – what are you talking about? Same goes for shaming everyone for “going down this road with Eric.” What road? What are talking about? Please explain.

    Moving on. You said, “Before you criticize my analogous comparison of illegal immigrant and serial killer profiling by calling it an apples to oranges argument, let’s get a few things straight. This new law has largely been put into place for violent crimes that have occurred in the recent past, not to mention the mind-boggling amount of drugs that come over the border. So don’t even attempt to say that serial killers and sexual offenders are in need of profiling due to the harmful nature of their crimes.

    I will take this opportunity to answer your questions about serial killer and sexual offender profiling. You asked, “do you have a problem with profiling serial killers and sexual offenders?” Just because you told me to, I will be honest. I don’t know. If you could describe what profiling of serial killers and sexual offenders entails I could better answer the question of whether or not I have a problem with it. If it involves the police violating American Citizens’ constitutional rights, then yes, I do have a problem with it.

    You seem to have a problem with people being ok with profiling serial killers and sex offenders but not being ok with profiling illegal immigrants. You said, “Funny how profiling this type of criminal behavior is excused, albeit supported, when criminals are White, and deemed to be nothing more than what the FBI like to call “criminal investigative analysis.” As opposed to profiling criminal behavior characteristic of an illegal immigrant, which can’t possibly be associated with another race other than White because, oh my God, that would be racist!”

    I have read and re-read that section of your post a number of times and still not sure what you are trying to say. You talk about profiling the criminal behavior of an illegal immigrant. What is the criminal behavior of an illegal immigrant? An illegal immigrant is: A) a person; B) in the United States of America; and C) without permission from the federal government. So, the “criminal behavior” of an illegal immigrant consists entirely of being in the Country without permission from the federal government. Now, of course, illegal immigrants can, and do, commit other crimes – but those crimes are not characteristic of an illegal immigrant.
    I think that maybe you are trying to argue that being an illegal alien is a common characteristic of other illegal activity. So, if for example, we wanted to profile criminals involved in human trafficking, we could list as a common characteristic of human traffickers that they are illegal immigrants. So, illegal immigrant status could be part of a profile for the criminal behavior of human trafficking. It does not follow however, that human trafficking is a criminal behavior of an illegal immigrant.

    It might be overkill but perhaps if we break it down to a simple syllogism it will be more clear.

    Some human traffickers are illegal immigrants
    Juan is an illegal immigrant
    Therefore Juan is a human trafficker

    This is not a logically valid argument.

    Even if we were to say 100% of human traffickers are illegal immigrants it would not be a valid argument. The syllogism would look like this:

    If you are a human trafficker you are an illegal alien
    Juan is an illegal alien
    therefore Juan is a human trafficker

    If P, then Q.
    Q
    Therefore, P

    This is the common logical fallacy of affirming the consequent. It is not logically valid.

    The only way that human trafficking, drug running or whatever other illegal behavior you think should be included in, “the criminal behavior of an illegal immigrant,” would actually be the criminal behavior of an illegal immigrant would be if it were a characteristic of all illegal immigrants – that is if it is true of all illegal immigrants.

    So, back to your statement that I shouldn’t “attempt to say that serial killers and sexual offenders are in need of profiling due to the harmful nature of their crimes.” I’m going to do it.

    If for the sake of argument I agree that profiling of serial killers and sex offenders is ok but that profiling of illegal immigrants is not – I think it is valid to point out the difference in the nature of the crimes. Serial killer – by definition has murdered multiple people. Sex offender – by definition has violated someone sexually. Illegal immigrant – by definition is in the U.S. without the permission of the federal government. Yeah, illegal immigrants might commit other crimes but then we’re not talking about the crime of illegal immigration. If we limit the discussion to the crime of illegal immigration then it is pretty clear that being in the U.S. without the permission of the Federal Government ≠ murdering multiple people or sexually violating at least one other person.

    Yes, there are some illegal aliens who are involved in the drug trade, human trafficking, prostitution, welfare fraud – whatever crime you want to name. It does not follow however, that illegal immigrant = drug dealer; illegal immigrant = human trafficker; illegal immigrant = whatever crime you want to assign. If you want to convince me otherwise, you better have some reliable data, which given the fact that we don’t even know how many illegal immigrants are in the country will be damn near impossible.

    Now, I doubt you really believe that all illegal immigrants are criminals (beyond breaking immigration laws) – that is, that all illegal immigrants are human traffickers, involved in the drug trade, sex trade etc. So, the question becomes what percentage of illegal immigrants are participating in those types of crimes?

    To figure that out, first we would need to know the total number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. The range on the number of illegal immigrants is usually cited as between 7 million and 20 million. That’s a huge range. An often used number is 11 million. Why don’t we use 10 million (even though it hurts my argument) because it’s a nice round number? Jeff pointed out that 33% of our prison population is illegal immigrants. I’m not sure what the prison population is exactly but I think I’ve heard it’s around 2.3 million. That would mean 759,000 illegal immigrants in our prisons. Now, 759,000 out of 10,000,000 illegal immigrants – that’s about 13%. So we have established that illegal immigrant = criminal 13% of the time. Of course that only counts the ones who get caught and are successfully prosecuted. However, to get the 13% ratio up to a threshold of just over 50%, it would mean that police and prosecutors are only successful about 25% of the time. Although I don’t have any data to back it up (I haven’t looked for any) – I personally think that our law enforcement community does a better job that. So, I guess I have to ask you – of the roughly 87% of the illegal immigrant population that is not in prison – what percentage do you think are participating in whatever it is you consider “criminal behavior characteristic of an illegal” immigrant – and what do you base that on? Be honest. Now of course – all of this is only tangential to our debate – which is about Arizona SB 1070 and racial profiling.

    So, moving on: After telling me not to criticize your comparison (which you call analogous) of people who murder multiple other people and people who sexually assault at least one other person to people who are in the U.S. without the permission of the Federal Government – as an apples to oranges comparison you said, “Want to know what is an apples to oranges comparison? Your comparison of your Mormon ancestor’s illegal immigration and the illegal immigrants of today.”

    Apples to oranges huh? Let’s see, why did my ancestors immigrate illegally to Mexico – what was it they wanted?

    Different people probably wanted different things, but in general, they wanted to live in a place where they could simply practice their religion, work hard, live off the fruits of their labors, and raise their families in peace.

    Well Mace, I’m not sure, but I think if you took a poll of all the illegal immigrants in this country asking what it was they wanted, the majority answer would be something along the lines of “to live in a place where they could simply work hard, live off the fruits of their labors, and raise their families in peace.”

    So the difference is that the vast majority of illegal immigrants today are not specifically looking for a place where they can freely practice their religion. Other than that, it seems that what my ancestors wanted and what the majority of illegal immigrants want is pretty similar. Granted, the reasons that caused the two groups to leave their respective situations were not the same – but what they were seeking was the same. So, maybe it’s not an apples to apples comparison – how about an oranges to grapefruit comparison? Is that sufficient for it to affect the way I view the issue of illegal immigration?

    The broader point I was making was, in the interest of full disclosure, to explain my general approach to the issue – which is, while I don’t think it is ok to immigrate illegally into our country I do have sympathy for them and understand why they come. I wasn’t trying to convince anyone that they should feel the same way – nor was I making any argument about what should or should not happen with the current situation – the ONLY thing I was doing was giving some context to MY general feelings on the issue. Do you really want to argue with me about how I feel and why?

    At last we get to my hypothetical story – or as you call it, “all those silly hypotheticals.” First, I’ll answer your question – “don’t you think it’s a little misguided when by your own admission your hypotheticals are “unlikely” and “far-fetched,” but you follow up with in defending them when somebody calls them crazy?” No Mace, I don’t think it’s misguided in any way because “unlikely” and “far-fetched” don’t mean the same thing as “crazy.” In addition to having different definitions, they carry different connotations – the connotations of “crazy” being much more negative. I’m glad you admit they are possible though. However, I don’t agree with you when you say that “just because it’s possible doesn’t give it merit.” Whether or not something being possible “has merit” depends on how possible it is and the context of the discussion. One context in which things being possible definitely DOES have merit is in the context of the law. Legislators and judges constantly evaluate what is possible given the language of a law. If the language of a law is too vague it can be rule void for that reason alone, because judges cannot tell what is likely to happen. When judges make a rule – that is when they interpret the law – they do so by considering what would be possible given their interpretation. As an attorney, if I write a contract I need to write it assuming it will be breached and providing for what is possible – to do otherwise would be legal malpractice. So, what is possible matters a lot in legal contexts – which is what we are dealing with. Moreover, it didn’t digress from the topic at hand (which for my hypotheticals is whether or not being the victim of racial profiling is merely an “annoyance” or something more.)

    I guess I have to explain a few things about my hypothetical story. The reason I admitted it was far-fetched or unlikely was because it happened in such a condensed period of time. It is unlikely that all of that would happen in one week. However, if the time period is extended to say, one month or three months, then I would no longer concede them to be unlikely or far-fetched. I should also explain a few more things.

    First, the point of the hypotheticals. Jeff and Shaun had discussed the burden of racial profiling and having to carry additional documents that everyone else didn’t have to. Jeff said, “I would be annoyed if I had to carry extra documentation if nobody (non red heads) else had to…It’s not that big of an inconvenience, just an annoyance.” The point of my hypothetical was to demonstrate 1) that the issue isn’t carrying extra documentation and that 2) it could be more than “just an annoyance” if you were the victim of racial profiling. While those were the main points, there were a few other things I wanted to convey – specifically:

    The majority of cops would not be a problem. There were four different law enforcement officers in my hypotheticals – three out of the four didn’t have a bias bone in their bodies and were simply doing their job. The fourth one happened to be racist. This follows what I said about not all cops being racist but some are. There were comments made that people think all cops are racists etc. I responded that no –not all cops are racist – but there are some. I argued that the percentage of racists cops is probably similar to the percentage of racist people in the population at large which I put at 20-30%. So, I made one out of four cops my story racists against gingers.

    I should mention here that I don’t think racism is a black or white issue (ha ha) – that is, I don’t think people either are, or are not racist. I think racism falls along a spectrum and everyone is probably racist to an extent – if for no other reason than the way the human brain organizes information. The racism spectrum ranges from people who are minor racist and even that is only at an unconscious level to those who are overtly racist and believe and advocate policies based on racial superiority/inferiority. Now for purposes of our discussion “racist” – as in “racist cops”, or “racist people” only refers to those for whom racism passes a certain threshold and would be considered overt. Now, back to the explanation of my hypos.

    It sucks getting pulled over but there are few perfect drivers out there and as you said, “that’s an inconvenience we’ve all had to deal with at some time or another in our lives.” I intentionally made the incidents with the un-biased cops close calls – the first time getting pulled over – it was arguable whether or not he stopped, but the cop only gave him a warning. The third time he got pulled over was for speeding (but only going 5 m.p.h. over). The point was that these cops did nothing wrong and while it may suck it is going to (and should) happen. I wasn’t saying there was anything wrong with this. The problem comes (or the point I was trying to make comes) when on top of these expected and justified police interactions we add racial profiling. The cop who targeted and ticketed Jeff just cause he was a ginger. The point was to challenge whether or not being the victim of racial profiling is really just an “annoyance” or something more. I was essentially arguing that regular police enforcement of the laws is a sufficient inconvenience that if you add racial profiling to the mix it could be more than just “an annoyance.” The hypothetical with the ginger daughter who was mugged was to show that the law could have the unintended consequence of further victimizing people who were already the victims of crimes.

    You seem to have missed the points I was trying to make – and thought I was making some argument about “having to provide documentation to prove you have the right to exercise a privilege is somehow a civil rights violation.” I made no such argument – the argument I was making was that being the victim of racial profiling could be more than a mere annoyance or inconvenience.

    We’re getting to the end. Next you said, “Lastly, your argument that illegal immigration and race are intertwined is a bogus argument. Look, I realize the overwhelming majority of illegal immigrants are Mexican, but it doesn’t make the law raced-based.” I am assuming that the second sentence there is supposed to be an argument in support of the statement in the first sentence. However whether or not the law is raced-based is not the same issue as illegal immigration and race being intertwined. You say my argument is bogus but you don’t explain why. I’ll address both issues. Race and illegal immigration are intertwined. My problem with this law (which is a law dealing with illegal immigration) is that it opens the door to racial profiling wherein law enforcement officials will, in their attempts to catch illegal immigrants, violate the constitutional rights of American Citizens of certain racial and ethnic backgrounds. That makes race and illegal immigration inter-twined. As to whether the law is “raced-based,” see the discussion above wherein I concede that the law is neutral on its face as to race, but point out that it will have a disparate impact on one racial group.

    Next you said, “Although Jeff’s argument about the leprechauns is funny, I think it holds some water. Like my aforementioned serial killers argument, I seriously doubt there would be similar uproar if there was an influx of IRA terrorists coming into the country, and we began profiling in our airports. I may be wrong, but if we’re keeping this race based I think this is a legitimate question worth asking. Would you mind that type of profiling, Eric? Be honest.”

    Once again you seem to be equating illegal immigrants with more serious criminals. As I explained above just because some illegal immigrants are more serious criminals does not make all illegal immigrants serious criminals. That said, I will answer your question – and because you told me to, I will be honest. I don’t know if there would be a similar uproar over profiling gingers or not and that doesn’t concern me. I can only speak for myself, and I would have a problem with it. Lest you think I am not being honest, please see my previous post where, in reference to Jeff’s comments about racial profiling in general and at airports in particular, I said, “This is way too long already so I will have to leave most of my thoughts on racial profiling for another day. I will say however, that my biggest problem with it is that it doesn’t work. Remember John Walker Lindh? I bet he could have cleaned up real nice, slipped on a Nike hat and an ipod and blended right in. If you are only, or primarily, screening young Muslim looking males it is only a matter of time before the terrorist recruit, indoctrinate and train others to do their dirty work.” I then posted a link to an article that explained why racial profiling doesn’t work. I would like to amend my statement above however, and say that in addition to it not working I am against it because it violates people’s constitutional rights. So yes, Mace, I would have a problem with that type of profiling.

    Next you said, “your solutions like making it more difficult to obtain a social security card, getting serious about employers verifying immigrants status, and increased border patrols do as much to target Mexican people based on their color as does this law. Now my friend, that is hypocrisy.”

    First, I will point out that my solution was making social security cards harder to forge not harder to obtain. Second, I will point out that my concern was more the targeting of American Citizens based on their color – not Mexicans. Next I will point out that you don’t back up your claim with any explanation or argumentation – just an unfounded and misplaced ad hominem attack. (Which is another common logical fallacy). So Mace, can you back up your claim? Take any one of my solutions or all three and explain to me how it would target American Citizens based on their color as much as this law does. If that is too difficult I will even take an answer to your “does as much to target Mexican people based on their color as does this law.” Explain that.

    And now we reach your last paragraph. You said, “The reason this is even an issue is because of the political implications involved. Who the hell do you think illegal Mexican immigrants are going to vote for if immigration reform goes through and some kind of amnesty is granted? Well by golly, none other than President Obama, of course.”

    You seem to be arguing that Arizona SB 1070 is an issue is because President Obama could gain the votes of people who are currently illegal immigrants but under an immigration reform law would be given some kind of amnesty. Just to be clear – is that why the Arizona legislature (which is Republican) and the Arizona governor (also republican) passed the bill? or are you claiming that is why I am against the bill – because it will somehow get rid of those potential votes for Obama? Either way, not a great argument. Obama, stands to lose as many, if not more, votes than he will gain giving the 10 million or so illegal immigrants amnesty (and presumably therefore voting rights). Moreover, Obama’s re-election is dependent on the electoral college – which current illegal immigrants are not going to swing in his favor. He might be able to do better in a few states – notably Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Texas, Nevada and California. However, even if any gain in votes were not off-set by a lose in votes from people against the amnesty program, which of those states would change. Obama is not about to win Utah, Texas, or Arizona because illegal immigrants are given amnesty and will vote for him. In 2008 he won Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and California. Those states, with the exception of California (for now) will be swing states. The illegal immigrant vote could help Obama hold on to those states but that is only assuming he didn’t lose votes for giving illegal immigrants the right to vote – which would be a big assumption.

    I do agree with you however, that political implications have a lot to do with this whole thing. It is an election year and the Republicans in Arizona are trying hard to suck up to their tea party base. In doing so they had to prove their “tough on immigration” status. It is notable that of the 35 members of the Arizona House who voted for Arizona SB 1070, the illegal immigration law, (the entire Republican caucus), 31 of them, a short time after, voted for SB 1024 – a “birther bill” which would require the Arizona Secretary of State to verify the birth certificates of all presidential candidates in order to be included on Arizona’s 2012 ballot. These people are clearly trying to appeal to a certain segment of the population – and with good reason – that same segment of the population just made Utah’s Bob Bennett the first incumbent candidate in 60 years to not win their party’s nomination. Those are the political implications at work here.

    As for the political implications for the Democrats – I think this bill is a good thing for them. This could potentially push a lot of Latinos, many of whom naturally fit in the GOP coalition into the Democratic coalition. The Tea Party may provide the GOP with some short term gains, but I think that alienating the nation’s largest and fastest growing minority group is going to be political suicide in the end.

    Now you asked me not to throw President Regan’s name out there – “thinking you’ll be able to bait me into agreeing with you.” I wasn’t. I just know that it’s a HISTORICAL FACT that this is not the first time our country has faced the problem of huge numbers of illegal immigrants from Latin America. I don’t know the particulars of what Regan did – which is why I didn’t list them – I do however, know and agree with his general approach – which was pragmatic. I’m not making any WWJD-type reference. I try to use logic – not name dropping. If I were a name dropper I would have pointed out that Mitt Romney, after getting caught having illegal immigrants do his yard work, said it was inexcusable for employers not to verify immigrant status. I know you’re not going to be swayed by something that simple however, – so I don’t resort to it. I only mention Regan because I think his approach – which again I don’t know the particulars of – is a good one to follow in general. That is, a pragmatic legalization of people here with stepped up enforcement of the borders and current laws.

    You finish by saying, “This is nothing more than a way to import voters. Trust me, politicians have one thing in mind at all times: votes. The more they get, the better off they are. Obama and the Libs couldn’t care less about illegal immigrants. They are nothing more than a means to an end when it comes to the ballot box.” Again, you don’t support your argument. Sure, Obama could gain some votes from those who would gain voting rights – but what evidence is there that it would result in a NET GAIN in votes for Obama? He stands to lose just as many votes by granting those people voting rights. Moreover, what do you base your statement that Obama and the Libs couldn’t care less about illegal immigrants on? Do you have any, you know, facts to back that up or is that just pure unadulterated cynicism?

    So at long last, the end. Perhaps a summary is in order. Despite the fact that you accuse me of using a discussion about racial profiling as a “distracter” from the real issue or argument, if you go back and read Jeff’s post and the subsequent comments you will see that racial profiling is the issue – both in regards to Arizona SB 1070, and in general. This bill, while racially neutral on its face, will open the door to racial profiling. It will not be a problem for most law enforcement officers, but for an overzealous few who are prejudiced against Latinos, there is nothing to stop them from going on what I term “illegal immigrant fishing expeditions.” As a result American Citizens’ constitutional rights would be violated. Even if it is a relatively rare occurrence, on principle, sacrifice of people’s constitutional rights is too high a price to pay. In addition to it being wrong on principle, Arizona SB 1070 also violates Article VI and the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. In addition to being unconstitutional, it is a bad idea because it will damage the relationship between Latinos (legal American Citizen Latinos or legal immigrants) and the law enforcement community. People need to trust the police sufficiently to call them when needed and work with them when possible. I myself have admitted that while I respect and admire police I don’t necessarily trust them. However, my distrust does not rise to the level that I wouldn’t call them if I saw a serious crime occurring, or that I wouldn’t talk to them about said crime. A bill which does nothing to protect these innocent American Citizens from harassment by police based on their race (see “fishing expedition” above) will damage relations between the Latino community and the police. As a result crimes within that community will go un-reported and un-solved. This is not the way a wise course of action. There are better ways to deal with the problem. What is needed is a pragmatic approach combining a road to legal status for those who have been here a minimum number of years etc. (see Jeff’s “King for a day” #2) with stepped up enforcement of border security, and employer verification of immigrant status, aided by harder to forge documents.

    THIS ARGUMENT IS INVINCIBLE!!! The ball is in your court bro.

  27. Just for reference you seem very calm about the initial crime of illegal immigration. Maybe it is because I am a police officer, but I have a real problem with this.

    Additionally, I do not bellieve that anyone would have to carry additional documentation that they do not currenly have to carry anyway. As long as the states use care in issuing driver’s licenses and identifications, a valid state id would be enough to determine status. In most of your examples the person stopped is driving. As such, they need a valid driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle. If they do not have one this is an additional violation of law.

    Currenly, if you are arrested in Utah for any violation of law and your legal status is questionable, then it is checked at the jail. No one seems to have a problem with this system. Violation of the law knows no color race or creed. I cannot issue a ctiation to someone that I cannot identify (I would hope this would make sense).

    I do not see the difference between the system I just described and arizona’s law in practice.

    Again, it does not operate on race, creed or color, just on illegal activity.

  28. Round 1, and Eric “Have A Nice” D** comes out swinging! Mace is against the fence defending accusations of fallacies, and illogical arguments. His own words are being used against him, folks. He’s covering up! If he doesn’t defend soon, Killer J is going to have to stop the figh— OHH!! He gets some help from the crowd! John C. just ran in to the cage and thumped Eric with a police baton!

    (eating popcorn with Dr. Trey)

  29. Maybe I’m late to the party, but I thought it was worth putting this out there. I just got my UT drivers license renewed. I don’t know if any of you have had to do this yet but you are in for quite the treat.

    With the creation of the Utah Driving Privelege Card, it has become quite the task to prove that you are a U.S. Citizen. Like the DMV isn’t a damn nightmare to begin with, you now have to do everything but give a DNA sample and pee in a cup at the counter. For a detailed list of acceptable “Positive Identification” materials you can see this link: http://publicsafety.utah.gov/dld/acceptable_id.html

    So here is my point, if you live in Utah and have a valid state issued driver’s license, that is proof you are a legal resident. If you have a driving privilege card, you did not provide evidence of your legal status. If Arizona enacted a similar law wouldn’t this resolve a lot of the issues with the new law ?

    Just a thought….

    • Yes, it would actually. If a cop had reasonable suspicion as to somebody’s immigration status, all he’d have to do is ask for that type of ID. Detractors (ERIC!) will point out the harassment that would ensue if you forgot your wallet as he did above, but I say tough! Be accountable!

  30. Eric,

    No worries my friend. I’ve read all the previous posts, however, I’m not going to acknowledge that this is a discussion about racial profiling. I know YOU would favor such a discussion because you would have an implied “upper hand” in the argument. Something I’m not willing to concede. Granted, you may have geared the discussion in that direction from the beginning, but I think the rest of us have done well to remain on target. You are entitled to your interpretation of this law, and if that means that YOU think it’s a law promoting racial profiling, then fine. That being said, seeing as the title of the f#@king post just so happens to be Arizona Immigration Law and not Arizona Racial Profiling Law, I think it’s what we’re discussing.

    So, your “long ass blog” once again proves fruitless, and only proves my point further that your skills in the art of discourse are elementary at best. Psuedo-intellectuals (like you) love to write long blogs that they know the majority of others won’t read. Then, if they do, you make the argument so convoluted that by the time someone’s done reading it they actually do think the argument is about something else entirely. Trust me bro, I know you would LOVE LOVE LOVE for this argument to be about racial profiling because I think we can all agree on the moral and legal shortcomings of such activity. That’s now what we’re talking about. Get over it!

    If we’re picking apart quotes, look closely at what you wrote about the beginning of Jeff’s blog in the first place. Not anywhere in your referencing Jeff’s original thoughts on the matter does it reference race. Jeff certainly referred to behaviors and characteristics (consistent with your definition of profiling), but in no way did it mention race. Look carefully and you will see. My hell, you acknowledge that the word race wasn’t even used in Jeff’s original post. That BS didn’t start until others, including you, started to comment on the original post. Jeff didn’t have race on the mind the entire time he made the original post. You, on the other hand, targeted race as your primary starting point for your argument. Again, you do this so others will scale back their own arguments for fear of being branded a racist. Your pals Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are notorious for this nonsense. So, if anyone here has some sort of prejudice against a race, it is you my friend, because you just can’t seem to get your mind off the shit.

    Again with the f*#king hypothetical situations! Do you really think that helps your argument? For an answer to your question: “…can I ask you what you mean when you say, “this is not racial profiling and that this is in fact profiling illegal behavior?” Look, the specific behaviors and characteristics would be better described by police officers in Arizona. Neither of us is qualified to speculate on what can be considered reasonable suspicion of an Arizona police officer. Again, you use inflammatory, albeit fantasized, examples of what is and is not behavior and characteristics that fit the “reasonable suspicion” requirement. You have no clue what you’re talking about! You just throw that nonsense out there to incite racy (no pun intended) thoughts against the counter argument. What kind of lawyer are you? Must not be a litigator.

    Want a reality-based example of profiling that gives us a microcosm look at race-neutral profiling that works? How about drunk driving? It’s no secret that police officers hang out near bar and club parking lots at the end of the night, purposely targeting behaviors and characteristics of drunk drivers. I’m gonna assume that we don’t need to go over the list of behaviors and characteristics consistent with an individual who drives while intoxicated. If you need such information, I’m sure John will be willing to help you out. In any event they’re not targeting individuals of a specific race, but rather an illegal behavior (i.e. driving while intoxicated). Now, let’s say that this particular bar targets specific customers. For the sake of the argument, let’s say the bar largely targets the Hispanic population. If every patron of that bar that get’s pulled over for drunk driving that night happens to be Hispanic, is the officer guilty of racial profiling? HELL NO! What if the bar is a “gay bar” and everyone pulled over for drunk driving is a homosexual? Is the officer guilty of sexual preference profiling? HELL NO! They’re targeting a behavior and characteristics, just like you said, consistent with illegal conduct. If, by chance, I chose to go to one of these bars that targets a specific customer base, and subsequently drove out of the parking lot like an idiot, I would be subjected to the same reasonable suspicion as everyone else in the bar. Similarly, every individual in the State of Arizona that exhibits behaviors and characteristics consistent with being an illegal immigrant will be equally subjected to the reasonable suspicion of the police officers. Not all illegal immigrants are Hispanic, right? So, once again, your race-based argument doesn’t hold any water.

    This isn’t a fishing expedition. Wow! Criminals try to conceal their criminal behavior and blend in with the rest of us. What a revelation! I never would have thought that criminals wouldn’t be willing to broadcast the fact that committing crimes to everyone around them. Criminals force police officers to profile. They have no other choice. If you don’t want a strictly reaction-based system of law enforcement and you want some actual prevention then this is what must be done. Unfortunately, yes, some people will be subjected to stops and searches that won’t result in catching a criminal. However, just like Jeff said from the beginning, I’m equally willing to give up some of my rights to ensure the security of others. Specifically, I’m willing to be pulled over and comply with a police officer’s required demands if I swerve and speed out of a bar parking lot at two in the morning even if I’m not drunk. I think we are all willing to be subjected to such an occurrence because none of us favor having drunk drivers on the road.

    I skimmed the rest of your post, but I’m not going to read all that crap. Entirely too repetitive and off-target. Bottom line, neither of us knows specifically what types of behaviors police officers target when it comes to profiling. That’s for them to know to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. My point, throughout, has been that this law isn’t about racial profiling. It’s about profiling individuals breaking immigration laws. Granted, not all Hispanics are hardcore criminals like serial killers and sexual offenders. Most of them probably just want jobs. Just like most drunk drivers just want to get home. At the end of the day, they’re both engaging in illegal behaviors. THE END! The specifics about what types of behaviors and characteristics are not important, and further would be counter-productive for the police officers to make public. Think about it, if the targeted behaviors were made public wouldn’t the criminals just attempt to do the opposite of those behaviors described in an effort to blend in?

    If my argument is difficult to dissect, you have no one to blame but yourself.

  31. Oh, and the beauty of America and States having the ability to pass legislation specific to their citizenry, is that if you don’t like it you can move to another state. Same reason I live in Utah and not California. I don’t agree with California’s liberal take on laws, and simply could not hack it there. Never would choose to live there. If, however, Utah passed similar laws I would surely look to move elsewhere in the country.

  32. …and Mace comes storming back in to the fight. Returning fire with seven syllable insults and accusations of muddling the post’s original intention, “DragonEagle” has countered Eric’s early onslaught! He better be careful, as has not scouted his opponent due to the admission “I skimmed the rest of your post, but I’m not going to read all that crap.”

    Eric is on his heels, but Mace’s lack of scouting may show up if he gets too aggressive. Eric has a nasty counter punch game, but is Mace’s aggression just too much for him?!
    …and Round 1 comes to a close. That one was just to close to score, folks.

  33. …and no more shots below the waist, you two. Don’t forget I’m reffing a fight between a friend and bro in law. I’ll deduct points for any future ad hominems from either of you!

  34. No need fellow DragonEagle. Engaging liberals who specialize in tautological arguments is like teaching a paraplegic how to ice skate. I’m done-da da. I’m right, he’s wrong…that’s the end of the story! And capitalism is BOSS!

  35. My only argument which Mace managed to address directly was whether or not the discussion is about racial profiling.

    Jeff – I think I’m going to have to ask for a ruling here. You wrote the blog – so in addition to being the referee and judge, as the original post’s author, you are in the best position to say what it is about.

    On the one hand, as Mace notes, the title of your post was “Arizona Immigration Law,” not “Arizona Racial Profiling Law,” – which is appropriate given your position that racial profiling will not be a problem under the new law. (That doesn’t mean that it isn’t a discussion about racial profiling in which you conclude that it won’t be a problem.) Mace also noted that you didn’t expressly use the words “racial profiling.” However, it is easy to have a discussion about racial profiling without using the words “race” or “racial.”

    On the other hand, you did concede that the law increases the potential for “profiling.” While you didn’t use the words “racial profiling” you did focus your discussion of profiling based on appearance – noting how it does suck that legal immigrants look like illegal immigrants and how you look like both a giant leprechaun, and a potential Ginger Separatist.

    Now I know that you don’t believe that racial profiling will be a problem under the new law. However, my interpretation of your original post was that it conceded a potential for people who “look like illegal immigrants” to, on that basis, have to provide proof of citizenship.

    My take away was that your position was that while innocent people who look like illegal immigrants may sometimes have to unfairly prove their citizenship status that that is a small price to pay for the increased security and protection the new law would provide – so people should just “suck it up.” You proved your point with two examples where, because of the color of your skin and hair, you would look like the targeted group, but would not have a problem demonstarting to law enforcement that you were in fact not part of the targeted group(s).

    I guess you could say that you were not talking about race in any way (as Mace contends) when you said that it does suck that legal immigrants look like illegal immigrants – but if you were not talking about racial characteristics what were you talking about?

    Please clarify.

    I will finish my destruction of Mace’s “arguments” after I get a ruling on that.

  36. For the most part, you interpreted my argument correctly Eric. I purposefully put “profile” rather than “racially profile” because essentially we’re talking about categorizing people based on common characteristics, not just race. In this case, however, race could easily play a factor. It isn’t, however, the sole factor (language use, behaviors, mannerisms, living conditions, SES, etc. all play a role). Race would come in to play, of course, as brown skinned people would fit the profile of an illegal immigrant much more accurately than a black or white person.

    In Arizona, much more than race will have to be considered since a huge chunk of the population are Mexican (including half of the police force, according to John and Tyler).

  37. How about a new route to think about this?

    How about the Arizona Law is wrong, not because of any racial or ethical standards, but because a state isn’t allowed to do something about immigrants. Any sort of immigration law seems to be a federal thing. Thus, when the state is making laws about immigration laws, it could usurp any federal power which is unconstitutional.

    Now, you could say that Arizona will handle their own stuff, they won’t bring in the federal govt. However, what if there is indeed some immigration problems? This would immediately get the federal government involved. With that, a state is forcing the federal government to get involved in an issue which was originally a state issue. If that’s the case, this could thereby increase federal power which is something that I believe most people would not want.

      • I’m no constitutional lawyer, but here’s the closest I’ve found in the US Constitution. Article I, Section X:

        Section X – Powers prohibited of States

        No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal.

        Now what in the world is “Letters of Marque?”

        Letter of Marque:
        Archaic. A letter of marque was issued by a nation to a privateer or mercenary to act on the behalf of that nation for the purpose of retaliating against another nation for some wrong, such as a border incursion or seizure.

        With this, states cannot interfere into another border, because that is the federal government’s job. However, Arizona isn’t seizing or doing any incursion; they’re just simply stopping people who’ve crossed the border illegally.

        Still, it seems to suggest that the state is doing the federal governments job. Illegal aliens deals with people crossing into the nation’s borders. Thus, that is in a federal jurisdiction, not the state. Again, I’m no lawyer on this so if anyone can clear this up, it would be appreciated.

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