Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Left Misrepresents Arizona Immigration Law

by Michael Coyne

Apparently, the Left is a little confused. What else is new?

They seem to now think that “illegal” is a race. I have to applaud them on this one: accusing supporters of Arizona’s new immigration enforcement law of racism while, themselves, lumping all Mexicans and Latinos in with illegal aliens. I wonder if they hurt themselves trying to simultaneously reach behind their backs and chew on their feet.

The common claim is that the law is “racist.” If the law allowed police to stop people based on skin color, it would indeed be horrendously racist.

As usual, though, the Left did not bother to read the bill before they decided it was awful. The following is a direct quote from the bill as represented on the Arizona State Legislature's website:

“[This bill] stipulates that a law enforcement official or agency cannot solely consider race, color or national origin when implementing these provisions, except as permitted by the U.S. or Arizona Constitution.”
So again, if this is the fourth provision of the “controversial” common-sense law, where is the racism?

The fact is simple: a police officer needs to fill out a small mountain of paperwork any time they make a stop. This universally includes explaining why the stop was made. “He looked Mexican” is not a valid reason to put on such paperwork.

Moreover, this law demands that, should someone fail to provide their “papers”—which, by the way, could simply be an Arizona or other state or federal ID or drivers’ license—ICE has to be contacted before any action can be taken against the suspected illegal alien. Again, here is the quote:

“Stipulates that the immigration status may be determined by:
- A law enforcement officer who is authorized by the federal government to verify or ascertain an alien’s immigration status.
- ICE or CBP pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1373(c).”
It is, therefore, unlawful to detain anyone under this law without the federal government providing the final check. That is to say that only the Feds can make the final “legal or illegal” decision.

But then, there is no reason to let the actual facts get in the way of a good old uninformed charge of racism and state overreaching. So rant on, Lefties! Rant on.

For more conservative commentary, visit Michael Coyne's RepublicanBlue.