Ariz. immigration law mirrors federal version but with state enforcement

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MSNBC host Joe Scarborough has an odd obsession for criticizing conservatives for calling Mr. Obama a “Nazi” all the time, yet he has no problem comparing the newly signed Arizona immigration law to Nazi guards asking to see your papers.” Even President Obama did not go that far, but he did call the new law “misguided.

On both accounts Mr. Scarborough is wrong. One day he will hopefully realize that LaRouche Democrats who attend various protests with Nazi images of Mr. Obama are not conservatives and Arizona’s new immigration enforcement law is designed to mirror federal immigration laws already in place.

Federal law mandates that aliens register and carry their documentation. Arizona’s new law functions the same way. Why hasn’t the MSNBC host called the federal law “Nazi” in nature?

“Let’s clarify what isn’t in the bill. The law does not give police officers any additional powers to stop or pull anybody over. You’re still going to have to abide by lawful contact,” said Bob Dane spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) , a Washington, D.C., based immigration nonprofit.  

Mr. Dane made it clear that an officer of the law cannot simply walk up to an individual who is not committing a crime or traffic violation and ask the person for his or her legal status.

“You need a legitimate reason … speeding, reckless driving. The law is predicated on the protections of the fourth amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures.”

If an individual committing a violation or crime is found out to have an illegal status, the law enforcement officer will contact immigration authorities.

“They’re going to contact ICE, immigration law enforcement support center in an attempt to verify status. ICE will need to properly staff and resource themselves in order to support the new Arizona law, although I wouldn’t expect a surge of illegal aliens being identified and arrested,” Mr. Dane said, pointing to Oklahoma’s tough immigration laws that he says led to more “attrition” through enforcement than anything else.

While Democrats on Capitol Hill look to convince voters that their party will bring prosperity back to the nation, members of their party are calling for economic boycotts of Arizona. In fact, even an Arizona Congressman is joining the charge.

Raúl Grijalva, Arizona Democrat, called for an economic boycott against what he described as “unjust and racist” legislation that will damage Arizona’s prestige and credibility.

NBC reports that San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera (a Democrat) “called for a sweeping boycott of the state of Arizona and Arizona-based businesses.”

FAIR’s Dane explained that the bill his organization helped draw up for Arizona explicitly exempts race, color, or national origin as a reason for a law enforcement officer to ask about immigration status:

“Most police contact with the public happens [via motor-vehicle contact], so it’s not going to change the mechanical lawful process that a police officer goes through. He’s going to write you up if you are doing something wrong, like driving down the highway doing 90 miles on hour. He’s going to pull up and ask for license, registration and documentation identity.

Only after all of that is the cop going to be required (he is now required under the law) to ask about immigration status, but then and only if the person has reasonable suspicion the person might be an illegal alien, and then, even then he can’t use as part of his reasonable suspicion, he can’t consider race, color, or national origin, as part of his suspicion.”

In the past, Arizona police officers were allowed to ask the immigration status of an individual who, for example, they may have been pulled over for speeding. Under the new law, they will be required to ask about immigration status. Does this mean everyone gets asked about his or her immigration status, when pulled over for doing 90 in a 65-mile-per-hour speed zone?

“No. If you have proper identification, you’re going to be on your way. If you produce a driver’s license, a valid Arizona ID card — if you are a Native American, there’s a lot of Native Americans on reservations in Arizona, police officers very often get the tribal ID cards or any other state or federal ID that requires proof of legal presence,” Mr. Dane said. 

Do you still believe Arizona is Nazi Germany, Mr. Scarborough?

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About the Author
Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket, a former Opinion Blogger/Editor of The Watercooler, was associate producer for the Media Research Center, a content producer for Robin Quivers of "The Howard Stern Show" on Sirius satellite radio and a production assistant and copy writer at MTV.

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