18 May 10

I’ve had a few interactions with friends recently about the Arizona Immigration Laws and thought I’d publicly share my thoughts.

Three things of interest to me that I haven’t seen being said is:

  1. Employers have a significant responsibility in enforcing immigration status.  And if employers can’t do it, I’m not sure how local police forces can be expected to do any better.  I’ve heard of the fake birth certificates and work credentials that are being presented to employers by illegals, but we don’t have a resource to verify the validity of such documents.  We just have to ask for them.
  2. If this issue truly is about crime, then police already arrest criminals that they catch.  Criminals get a background check already to determine citizenship status, don’t they?  Passing laws like this only provokes a mass revolt by real citizens who are falsely detained because they aren’t carrying legitimate paperwork.  Again, what paperwork would be sufficient? A driver’s license? A fake birth certificate?  Have the police been trained on how to verify birth certificates?  What about green cards?  Personally, I’ve never even seen one, let alone could I verify if one is legit or not.  Or is blond hair enough?  Are we going back to a “paper bag test”?
  3. Isn’t it the Federal Government’s responsibility to enforce border controls and immigration?  I’m curious if the states even have a right to intervene.  That’s not to say the states aren’t affected by it “more than the federal government”.  But I’m curious where the separation of state/federal responsibilities and rights come in.  If the feds aren’t doing enough to patrol our boarders for the criminals, then that’s an entirely different problem to address.  The crime issue and border patrol are related by funding.  Want more?  Increase federal funding for it.

I don’t think running a “police state” or essentially a Martial Law State can correct the problems Arizona is facing.

Are any of these three issues being addressed already?  Am I completely misunderstanding issues?  I’m sure I’m missing lots of facts, but these are the issues rolling around in my head telling me these AZ laws are troubling.

Filed under: Cultural,Legal

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  • Devri

    I would also add information regarding the crime rate in border states: it's gone down in the last decade. Source: http://mediamatters.org/research/201004290029

    Additionally, for those people saying illegal immigrants should just “wait their turn” and go through the process like everyone else, I direct you to this chart that shows precisely how screwed up our current immigration process is: http://reason.org/files/a87d1550853898a9b306ef4… . In other words, the migrant labor that EVERYONE depends on for lower produce prices (among many other things) could NEVER get here legally. Period.

  • Joyce

    Hi Richard,

    You make some interesting comments and I'm sure I don't have the answers to the questions you pose. Being married to a Korean-born U.S. citizen, the law in Arizona could have a direct impact on my family. People may believe that the only legal U.S. citizens who would be adversely affected are Latinos. That's not the case. So, while I admit your comment about blond hair gave me goose bumps, your point was well made.

    As a long-time resident of Arizona I wanted to comment that I can see both sides of the immigration issues we are facing here. Arizona's issues are also felt in my home state, Texas, and our neighboring states, New Mexico and California. Whether or not the Arizona law is upheld, SB 1070 has certainly brought this discussion front and center. I believe that you can't solve a problem that you don't acknowledge and discuss. So the one thing that I am happy about is that the discussion is open and active.

    Yesterday, President Obama requested up to 12,000 National Guard Troops and $500 million in funds earmarked to protect our southern border. I have three thoughts on why he may have made that request:

    1. The federal government is finally admitting that they must take more responsibility for our southern border.
    2. President Obama is doing everything possible to raise the employment rate by fully employing those National Guard troops.
    3. The federal government is hoping that this will appease Governor Brewer and that she will back off.

    This is not a multiple choice question so some weight may be attached to each point.

    We live in interesting times and I look forward to finding out how the various legal issues will play out in the courts, in politics, but most importantly for people, like me, who reside in the State of Arizona.

  • http://legaladmin.info Richard

    Thank you Joyce, for your feedback. Certainly there's plenty of “balance” needed in this conversation and likely we're seeing both extremes right now. But I commend you for reminding us that this issue is finally being discussed in an honest and open forum.

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