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Arizona should kill immigration bill

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Rachel Dearth
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« on: April 22, 2010, 11:40:10 am »

Arizona should kill immigration bill
By Stephen Lemons, Special to CNN

April 22, 2010 11:24 a.m. EDT
 STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Stephen Lemons says activists chained themselves to Arizona Capitol to protest immigration bill
Lemons: If governor signs law, it will create police state and open door to racial profiling
Bill lets police make stops based on "reasonable suspicion" of illegal immigration
Lemons: Gov. Jan Brewer must veto bill in state in which nearly third of population is Hispanic

RELATED TOPICS
Immigration Policy
Arizona
Racial Profiling
Illegal Drugs
Editor's note: Stephen Lemons is a blogger and columnist with Phoenix New Times in Phoenix, Arizona.

Phoenix, Arizona (CNN) -- Every movement needs heroes. The fight against discrimination in the state of Arizona just got nine.

Sometime before noon Tuesday, nine activists entwined their bodies in a thick steel chain, locking themselves to the doors of the Arizona Capitol in protest against the recently passed Senate Bill 1070, a bill that would open the door to racial profiling in the Grand Canyon state and force all law enforcement officers with "reasonable suspicion" to inquire about the immigration status of those they stop.

The bill awaits the signature or veto of Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican facing an election challenge, who is likely to sign it despite widespread opposition here from everyone from police chiefs and civil libertarians to religious leaders and businessmen. (On Sunday, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Los Angeles, Roger Mahony, weighed in, comparing the proposed law to "German Nazi and Russian Communist techniques.")

In a statement, the nine activists said they chained themselves to the doors "because nothing else has worked. ... Our purpose is to expose Arizona's apartheid legislation, and to uphold our dignity and human rights."

If the use of the word apartheid seems extreme to the uninitiated, all I can say is that you have to know this bill, and this state, to understand that it is, unfortunately, all too correct. Brewer should veto this dangerous, abhorrent and costly measure.

The new legislation, which was written by state Sen. Russell Pearce, resembles the dictates of an authoritarian government. It would presume all those stopped by police to be immigrants unlawfully present in the United States unless they are carrying one of several forms of federal or state ID. Even citizens could be held if they do not have their papers on them.

Those here illegally would be turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Aliens here legally, who are not in possession of their registration documents, could be fined $500 and jailed for six months.

Police agencies that do not enforce federal immigration law "to less than the full extent permitted," according to the bill, could be sued by any legal Arizona resident and fined anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 a day.

Although the new law would apply to all residents, in determining "reasonable suspicion" the legislation allows police to take into consideration any two of the following: race, color or national origin. Considering the state's proximity to Mexico, and the fact that nearly one-third of Arizona's population is Hispanic, mass racial profiling will be the inevitable consequence if the governor fails to veto the measure.

As the legislation has inched toward becoming law, the outcry against it has become more and more vocal, drawing both the fringes and concerned citizens into a carnival of the enraged and the desperate. The debate has become polarized, with proponents of the legislation calling opponents "open borders anarchists," and critics referring to the other side's partisans as "racists" or "Nazis."

On Monday, as the state Senate debated the measure, prayer vigils, hunger strikers and protesters comparing the bill to police state-style roundups competed with Second Amendment enthusiasts toting assault rifles and pistols, all for the attention of the media.

For the most part, the pro-firearms people didn't interact with the SB 1070 protesters (gun laws in Arizona allow residents legally to carry their firearms either openly or concealed), but one enraged gun-wearer began shouting, blaming the demonstrators for the death of Rob Krentz, the southern Arizona rancher slain recently, some believe by a drug runner or human smuggler from Mexico.

The man was mostly ignored by the anti-SB 1070 crowd. They were intent on a mock funeral of political "courage," complete with coffins, weeping women and a minister with the United Church of Christ, outfitted in a dog collar.

But on Tuesday, the chaos was more desperate. Hundreds swarmed the Capitol for a rally urging Brewer to veto the legislation, while the bill's supporters stayed away. Then the nine affixed themselves to the Capitol, which dates back to Arizona's days as a territory.

The Capitol Police had to squeeze through the crush of reporters and activists who had crowded near the spectacle, refusing to disperse. The nine, seated, remained quiet. The bolt cutters came out, chains were cut, and the demonstrators were arrested. Later, they were transported to the Fourth Avenue Jail and charged with disorderly conduct.

But before they were bused away, something small happened -- not that odd, really, but strangely moving.

From inside a room where they had been sequestered to await their lawyers, the nine activists, all Hispanics and 20-somethings, began singing "We Shall Overcome," the anthem of the civil rights movement.

As I listened along with other reporters, bystanders, tourists and groups of schoolchildren there to inspect the Capitol, I felt something like hope tinged with defiance, even as SB 1070 sits poised to rend Arizona's social fabric, bringing forth a new order that is odious -- and un-American.

Nine brave young men and women just stood in the way of that injustice, in an outcry they hope their nation hears.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Lemons.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/04/22/lemons.arizona.immigration/index.html?iref=allsearch
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Myrtle
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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2010, 01:04:29 pm »

Finally, a state that stands up for the rights of white people!  Hallelujah.
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Volitzer
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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2010, 12:18:21 am »

Pull cops off of speeding ticket duty and have them enforce immigration.

Good job Arizona.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2010, 12:59:00 am by Volitzer » Report Spam   Logged
Keith Ranville
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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2010, 12:26:29 am »

there is a hole in the Arizonian cops police policing its like a hole in a donut..   that they pig out on..
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Volitzer
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« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2010, 12:59:49 am »

there is a hole in the Arizonian cops police policing its like a hole in a donut..   that they pig out on..

Are you drunk ?   Roll Eyes
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Keith Ranville
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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2010, 01:30:08 am »

there is a hole in the Arizonian cops police policing its like a hole in a donut..   that they pig out on..

Are you drunk ?   Roll Eyes

why you on your crack break?
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Rachel Dearth
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2010, 11:21:41 am »

Pull cops off of speeding ticket duty and have them enforce immigration.

Good job Arizona.

They can't do that, Arizona is cash-strapped and speeding tickets are a great source of revenue for them! 

Wait till they see all the lawsuits they'll be paying for from this law, which is entirely unconstitutional!
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Rachel Dearth
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« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2010, 11:22:45 am »

Will others follow Arizona's lead on immigration?
By Kristi Keck, CNN
April 21, 2010 6:44 a.m. EDT
 
State lawmakers have introduced about 1,000 bills dealing with immigration this year.STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Arizona bill requires police to question people if there's reason to suspect they're in U.S. illegally
Governor has not yet signed bill
Attorney says lawmakers from 4 states have asked how to follow Arizona's lead
"Arizona's approach is the wrong one," ACLU attorney says
(CNN) -- Now that Arizona lawmakers have passed what's considered some of the toughest immigration legislation in the country, other states are watching to see whether they should follow in the state's footsteps or stand back.

Arizona's bill orders immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there's reason to suspect they're in the United States illegally. It also targets those who hire illegal immigrant day laborers or knowingly transport them.

Critics, including immigrant advocates and the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, are concerned that the legislation will foster racial profiling, arguing that most police officers don't have enough training to look past race while investigating a person's legal status.

The bill made it through the state Senate on Monday after it was passed by the state House last week. It's now awaiting the signature of Republican Gov. Jan Brewer. Supporters of the measure expect her to sign it. Latino members of Congress are calling on Brewer to veto it.

Michael Hethmon, general counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, helped draft the language of the Arizona bill. The institute is the legal affiliate of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

On the heels of the Arizona initiative, Hethmon said he has been approached by lawmakers from four other states who have asked for advice on how they can do the same thing where they live. He declined to identify the states, citing attorney-client privilege.

"Arizona was meant to be the leading edge," Hethmon said. "If you are going to work on developing a state-based response to this enormous problem -- the lack of a national immigration policy -- Arizona is the place to do it."

Hethmon pointed to Arizona's history of citizen ballot initiatives in support of immigration reform, noting that "what's happening in Arizona just didn't pop out of nowhere. It's the latest step in a fairly deliberate process."



Video: Bill makes illegal status a crime

Video: Arizona immigration law sparks debate Republican State Rep. Russell Pearce, who sponsored the legislation in Arizona, said the four initiatives he put on the 2006 ballot regarding illegal immigrants passed by an average of 75 percent.

State laws relating to immigration have increased in recent years, according to numbers from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

In 2005, 300 bills were introduced. The next year, that number nearly doubled, and in 2007, more than 1,500 bills were introduced. Another 1,305 were introduced in 2008, and about 1,500 were considered in 2009.

About 15 percent of those were enacted, dealing with issues such as driver's licenses, health and education.

About1,000 bills have been brought up so far this year.

Hethmon cited the election year, the Democratic leadership's position on the issue and the tough economic times as catalysts for introducing legislation.

"Historically, not only in the U.S. but in virtually all industrialized nations, when the unemployment rates go up ... the public becomes much less sympathetic toward programs which bring in large numbers of foreigners as workers and economic players," he said.

Whether Arizona becomes the standard-bearer on illegal immigration depends on the fate of the legislation, said Ann Morse, the program director of the National Conference of State Legislatures' Immigrant Policy Project.

"Certainly states will look at it, but not in a rush," she said. With court challenges promised from opponents, states will be watching to see if the legislation is deemed constitutional and if it's costly, Morse said.

Omar Jadwat, the staff attorney with the ACLU's Immigrants Rights' Project, said following in Arizona's footsteps would take states in the wrong direction.

"Although we are aware that people are trying to convince other legislatures to go down this path, I think it's clear that both as a policy matter and a legal matter, that Arizona's approach is the wrong one," he said.

Isabel Garcia, a legal defender in Arizona's Pima County, blasted the bill as "the most dangerous precedent in this country, violating all of our due process rights."

"We have not seen this kind of legislation since the Jim Crow laws. And targeting our communities, it is the single most largest attack on our communities," she said.

'Illegal' is not a race, it's a crime.

--Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce
 
RELATED TOPICS
Immigration
Arizona
American Civil Liberties Union
Pearce brushed off her criticism, saying, " 'Illegal' is not a race, it's a crime."

"We do not tolerate those who break into our country, just like we don't tolerate those who break into our homes," he said.

Hethmon praised the legislation as "the most cost-effective and the most humane way to deal with the illegal immigration problem."

"Every time you convince an illegal alien to self-deport, you bypass having to resort to direct physical deportation," he said.

In addition to providing a model for other states, Hethmon said the legislation in Arizona and other bills in the works in other states also provide an example on the national level.

"The states are laboratories for democracy. The federal government is in gridlock," he said. "We're providing models for the day when the ice breaks up on the Hill and the legislative waters flow and the country decides to confront this problem in a realistic way."

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/04/21/arizona.immigration.bill/index.html?hpt=Sbin
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Rachel Dearth
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« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2010, 11:23:34 am »

State lawmakers have introduced about 1,000 bills dealing with immigration this year.

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Kara Sundstrom
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« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2010, 01:11:50 pm »

Pull cops off of speeding ticket duty and have them enforce immigration.

Good job Arizona.

You are kidding right, Volitzer?  You do know there is nothing in the bill specific to "brown" people.  The way the law is written, they can pull over anyone and send them to jail if they aren't carrying around the proper papers.  It is a major impingement on everyone's civil rights.
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Keith Ranville
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« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2010, 01:31:14 pm »

Pull cops off of speeding ticket duty and have them enforce immigration.

Good job Arizona.

You are kidding right, Volitzer?  You do know there is nothing in the bill specific to "brown" people.  The way the law is written, they can pull over anyone and send them to jail if they aren't carrying around the proper papers.  It is a major impingement on everyone's civil rights.

When I was near the boarder of Tijuana while vacationing, the boarder guards confronted me in spanish? they thought I was mexican but when I showed them my canadian DL it confused them? I guess many of the boarder guards are bilingual..   
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Wally Ashcroft
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« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2010, 03:02:44 pm »

I wonder if they can pull over and strip search female illegal aliens?  If so, I am going to Arizona to become a policeman!  Hallelujah!  What a fun line of work.
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Keith Ranville
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« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2010, 03:31:30 pm »

I wonder if they can pull over and strip search female illegal aliens? 

Now you are getting to wishful thinking..

 Tongue
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Volitzer
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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2010, 09:58:21 pm »

It's not going to be all that hard to round up illegal aliens.

When they are driving drunk and they don't have licenses or proof of insurance.  DEPORTATION !!!!!!!!!!

Or if they catch a bunch of gang members and none of them have an American Birth Certificate or a legal green card... DEPORTATION !!!!!!!!!!!!

Review the wekfare rosters, no proof of American citizenship... DEPORTATION !!!!

See no one's 4th Amendment Rights will be violated.
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Edith
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« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2010, 01:06:42 am »

Thank the almighty that a good, God-fearing state like Arizona is looking after the rights of white people!
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