Friday, April 23, 2010

Arizona Governor Signs Anti-Immigrant Law

 Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed the state's controversial anti-illegal immigrant bill into law today, claiming she will not tolerate racial discrimination or police profiling.

 Despite her protestations,  the law is directed at what Homeland Security estimates as 460,000 illegal immigrants in the state. The law authorizes police to ask people for their legal status without probable cause. She said the state had been "more than patient waiting for Washington to act."

Hours earlier, President Obama said the law is "misguided."

Obama warned that the law "threaten[s] to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe."
He said he's instructed the Justice Department to examine the Arizona bill to see if it's legal, and said the federal government must enact immigration reform at the national level — or leave the door open to "irresponsibility by others." 

The legislation makes it a crime under state law to be in the country illegally. It also requires local police officers to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are here illegally. It also makes it illegal to hire an illegal immigrant although there is sanctions in an existing law directed at those who employ day laborers.

The bill's Republican sponsor, state Rep. Russell Pearce of Mesa, said Obama and other critics of the bill were "against law enforcement, our citizens and the rule of law."
"Illegal is illegal," said Pearce. "We'll have less crime. We'll have lower taxes. We'll have safer neighborhoods. We'll have shorter lines in the emergency rooms. We'll have smaller classrooms."

Hundreds of Hispanics protested the legislation at the State Capitol complex on Thursday. 

Arizona Democratic Congressman Raul Grijalva closed his Tucson and Yuma offices today in protest. On Tuesday he told Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's Countdown show he was organizing a national boycott against the state because of the new law he expected to be signed by the governor. A similar boycott convinced the state 10 years ago to honor Martin Luther King's birthday in accordance with the national law in order for the state to hold a Super Bowl game.

Arizona Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl, both Republicans, support the anti-immigrant legislation and have asked the Obama administration to send more troops to guard the porous border.

Former Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat now head of Homeland Security, signed a 2007 law that imposes sanctions against employers knowingly hiring illegal immigrants. Other state laws make human smuggling a state crime and restricts illegal immigrants' eligibility for public services.

Readers comments are welcome as long as they remain civil. We reserve the right to delete any comments that are vulgar, libelous and totally irrelevant to this posting. -- Jer 

1 comment:

Tabb Warsinske said...

Whether the law is repealed or not... at least it is creating a good debate.
Yes, the immigration laws of this country need to be overhauled.

But the fact remains...
Coming across the border is ILLEGAL.
Illegal aliens are a drain on resources - very few, if any, own property - and it is through property taxes that schools receive their funding.
Show up at the emergency room and you are treated at tax payer expense.
It is one thing for a society to provide such services to there own citizens... but should illegal aliens also receive free medical attention, free schooling, etc...? They are here ILLEGALLY !

I understand the need in this country for an additional workforce for certain types of jobs... hence I think most people would agree that we need a "documented" worker program (hence one would not be an "illegal" alien).
Yet congress after congress has not been able to agree on the parameters of such a program... so nothing happens.

I don’t buy the argument that the Arizona law leads to racial profiling like that which occurred to the Chinese and Japanese in this country in the past.
The Arizona law doesn’t allow for indiscriminate profiling... one must be stopped by police for another type of infraction FIRST... and then, showing a simple drivers license can be enough in the way of proof... and perhaps this will cause a slight inconvenience to some...
But one has to be a "suspected" illegal alien... and of course there is a racial profiling element to that. But there is a big difference between aggressive racial profiling and the profiling that could occur to a select few after they have already broken a law.

Personally I think as a society we have become too politically correct. Too worried about hurting even just one persons feelings, that we sacrifice a lot of our countries SAFETY in the name of fairness and equality for all (good people and bad... legal citizens and illegal aliens).
When people are screened at the airport for bombs and guns... I think their should be a little more racial profiling going on... If you look and talk like you are from the middle east - you deserve an extra look !.. an extra search !... This is reasonable - just as the new Arizona law is a reasonable attempt to deal with "illegal" aliens.... If the Arizona police overstep their authority - it will be known - society wont stand for it - and the law will be amended....