Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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The Politics of Immigration Reform

I was watching Juan Williams on Fox last night, and he was pointing out, almost certainly correctly, that people with darker skin in Arizona will be more likely to have their immigration status checked than will light skinned people.  He seems to think that because he comes from a minority group and has dark skin that he has a special duty to police such things.  No doubt it is good to have people paying special attention to the issue.  On the other hand, it is wrong for someone to be the sole judge in his own case, which is precisely the position Williams, and minority rights advocates generally seem to take.  They seem to think that their personal interest in the issue gives them clarity, and not bias or interest.

On this point, many people seem to think that merely having officers ask people for their papers makes the U.S. like Nazi Germany.  Hardly.  There's a big difference between checking whether people who have committed crimes are citizens and or of they are here illegally, and sending people whose families have lived here for centuries to gas chambers. Amazing that one needs to point that out.

P.S. Since Mexico is complaining about U.S. immigration law, perhaps we should change our law, to Mexico's.

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Discussions - 3 Comments

What some people fail to understand is that the demand to prove legal residence is entirely new, especially to people whose families have been here for generations; and smacks of police state totalitarianism.

I was stopped at 3:00 AM last week by a State Police officer because, he said, my car's right wheel had "crossed over the fog line."

No doubt he was looking for a drunk driver. However, under the Arizona law, he was then empowered, indeed commanded, to demand proof of legal residence. I was born here: must I now carry "ze paperss" proving my status?

And no, I didn't get a ticket. I had moved over to let the car behind me pass on a two-lane road: in the darkness and glare I could not see that it was a patrol vehicle.

But legal immigrants already have to carry their papers with them at all times. Why should we have a lower standard for those who are not here legally? Hence they are liable to be asked for them if they are stopped by the police. I am sure there have been many citizens asked for their papers before. And according to the Arizona law, if I remember correctly, a driver's license is sufficient proof.

As I understand the law, an officer is in no way commanded to ask for proof of legal residency/ citizenship. He only may do so if he has sufficient cause.

Excuse me Pat, but I am quite sure the first thing the officer asked you do when he came to your car was the ask for YOUR LICENSE AND REGISTRATION.
Therefore, he had your proof of legal residence. Done.
If you had been unable to produce these documents, he would then have begun further questioning, and (thankfully) in Arizona, would have been able to haul you in to determine if you were a legal resident in this country, or a criminal (those are the only two options).

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