Arizona Immigration Bill

Arizona has passed a bill that hopes to tighten up immigration offenses and protect the citizens of Arizona. 

What do you think? We’d love to hear from the folks in Arizona.
Here’s a clip from CNN.com, followed by Jim Wallis’ statement:
 
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a state bill Friday that requires police to determine whether a person is in the United States legally, which critics say will foster racial profiling and discrimination but supporters say will crack down on illegal immigration.

The Republican governor also issued an executive order that would require additional training for local officers on how to implement the law without engaging in racial profiling.


Earlier in the day, President Obama criticized the bill, calling it “misguided.”

Jim Wallis goes further:
The law signed today by Arizona Gov. Brewer is a social and racial sin, and should be denounced as such by people of faith and conscience across the nation. It is not just about Arizona, but about all of us, and about what kind of country we want to be. It is not only mean-spirited – it will be ineffective and will only serve to further divide communities in Arizona, making everyone more fearful and less safe. This radical new measure, which crosses many moral and legal lines, is a clear demonstration of the fundamental mistake of separating enforcement from comprehensive immigration reform. Enforcement without reform of the system is merely cruel. Enforcement without compassion is immoral. Enforcement that breaks up families is unacceptable. This law will make it illegal to love your neighbor in Arizona, and will force us to disobey Jesus and his gospel. We will not comply.
About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • Rick

    From the Arizona Republic:
    “Brewer said she had pleaded five times in letters to Obama for a federal response to help Arizona stanch the flow of illegal immigrants and violent drug criminals across its southern border.
    “Arizona is frustrated, and we’re going to push back,” Brewer said. “The people of Arizona have had it.”
    “She pointed to growing violence in border-area communities as evidence of a need to act. Though statistics to back up her claims are sparse, U.S. Border Patrol figures do suggest a growing problem: There were 142 assaults on agents through March 31 of this fiscal year, while last year there were 110 during the same period. Some local agencies in southern counties also showed assaults on law-enforcement officers rising, though it was not possible to determine how many were immigration-related.”

  • http://wp.me/pD15c-8g Michael Spencer Harmon

    Did I say how much I just love the fact that we pay attention to and post about the same basic issues a LOT? :)
    I am really shocked by this move, and I don’t think it’s healthy. It may be borne out of too much frustration, but that still suggests over-reaction. I wrote more about that here, if you want to check it out:
    “Authoritarian Immigration: AZ and Police Statism.” http://wp.me/pD15c-8g
    Blessings, brother!

  • Kenny Johnson

    It seems to me, that more an more we need immigration reform that allows for a more sensible approach for allowing people to enter the country — especially for the purpose of working. The fact is that U.S. employers want lower-paid workers and immigrants want these jobs. It seems that we should be able to come up with a solution that allows this to happen legally.
    And that solution would likely help with issues like safety and national security because you’d have fewer people trying to illegally cross the border… and the ones then try to illegally cross are likely criminals (drug dealers, etc).
    I’m against illegal immigration. I think people should come here legally. But I’m also realistic. Let’s ensure that people who want to come here and work can — and let’s document them so we know who they are and give them at least legal status — not necessarily citizenship. I’m also sympathetic. I used be more conservative on this issue, but to be honest — if I was in the shoes of most of these people sneaking in — I’d probably do the same thing.

  • Jeff Doles

    Misguided? I think it very well may be, because I doubt it will be very effective and may have some adverse consequences that actually hinder law enforcement.
    But social and racial sin? Mean-spirited? Immoral? No, I don’t think so. That is simply Jim Wallis being judgmental and mistaking his own personal and political opinions for divine imperative.

  • Howard Lichtman

    What is so unclear about the word ILLEGAL? How many readers of this story would tolerate unchecked entry of strangers into their own homes? It would do you some good to research the percentage of prison inmates who are illegals, and are clearly not here “to do the jobs that Americans won’t do”. I say Bravo to the state of Arizona for having the huevos to do what is right.

  • Jason Powell

    I live in Arizona, am a pastor, and I find this bill very disturbing. The ability to correctly “identify” which Hispanic person is legal or illegal is so improbable and poorly thought out there is no way for some level of profiling to take place. I (as a white person) will never be asked to show proof of my citizenship…maybe I’m an illegal Canadian living in AZ…who knows?!?!
    I expect the fallout from this bill to be violence, crime, and a city that is actually more dangerous, more racially divided, and less and less a place where Biblical principals like “welcoming the stranger” will have any meaning. I worry.

  • MNTwins Fan 2010

    Jim Wallis needs to settle down. We have enough problem loving the neighbors we have here, we don’t need to bring more in so we can not love them too. I understand why people want to be here and why they come here illegally, but Wallis is crazy if he thinks we can’t love people because they are in another country.

  • Gloria

    I agree with Howard (5) that illegal means illegal. If a person from another country wants to legally become a citizen of the United States, then he/she needs to go through the proper channels like every other person who has gone through the legal immigration process. This has nothing to do with not loving others. Rather, it has to do with following the steps of legal immigration.

  • http://Immigration Cindy Corning Arizona

    Governor Brewer did the right thing for Arizona residents. And as far as Oboama is concerned why don’t you resign your not helping the US citizens any just making things worse. Arizona resident and born USA

  • Joey

    @ # 7
    Wallis isn’t suggesting that we won’t be able to love them because they are in their homeland – he is suggesting that people who are not white will be discriminated against. I believe he is right.
    @#4
    This is very much a social sin. It is the very essence of not being welcoming to the stranger, many of whom are here for the same reasons our ancestors illegally (or at least in an immoral fashion) came here. This is something that people of faith should fundamentally oppose. Reform is needed, no doubt but this is NOT the solution. It isn’t a political stance of Wallis it is a stance of solidarity with the alien, the fatherless, and the widow and ultimately of solidarity with Jesus.

  • Gloria

    Joey (10),
    No, this is not about solidarity with the alien, fatherless and widows. This is about illegal immigrants behaving illegally. We still love the aliens, fatherless and widows, but nevertheless, there are still legal means of becoming a US citizen. Get in line just as the other legal immigrants have done to become US citizens.

  • Sacred Frenzy

    I think that it’s a sign of solidarity with the people whose lives are destroyed by the drug smuggling and human trafficking that takes place because the federal immigration laws are unenforced.

  • David P Himes

    I’m not sure I appreciate the definition of “social” sin, but I think Mr Wallis fails to make a connection between disobeying law and loving our neighbor. It’s a little difficult to see how loving one another includes enabling illegal behavior.
    And this law is not what make the behavior illegal, it is only an enforcement mechanism. Jesus did not tell us to disobey law.
    I disagree that this issue is matter of faith, in the sense that Mr Wallis suggests it is.
    He and others can easily help the people affected negatively by this law, by going to Mexico had providing the help Mr Wallis feels they should receive.

  • http://lambpower.wordpress.com Steve D

    For those of you who agree with the law, please explain how one tells the difference between a legal immigrant and an illegal immigrant.

  • Gloria

    Steve (14), a legal immigrant has proof of citizenship.

  • legal resident

    I want this law. It protects my family.

  • http://evangelical.patheos.com Timothy Dalrymple

    I agree that comprehensive immigration reform is needed, but I grow weary of Jim Wallis using religious rhetoric that makes it sound as though every person of faith must agree with his policy preferences, or else they are failing in their obligation to love their neighbor. The Left rightly objects when the Right says that “All people of faith must support Policy X.” And the Right can rightly object when the Left (and we all know that Jim Wallis is not non-partisan) says the same.
    We all agree that we should love the neighbor, love the fatherless, and love the alien. But that need not mean that we abandon the attempt to enforce our borders and enforce immigration laws. It does not mean that we cannot hold people who enter the country illegally accountable. Arizona is more familiar than just about anywhere with the consequences of allowing illegal immigration to run amok.
    I don’t like this bill. Without some sort of universal ID, it will be difficult to identify illegal immigrants. But I don’t like it when people like Wallis use the Bible to support a specific policy rather than an ethical principle. We are agreed on the ethical principle of caring for the alien; we are not agreed on which policy best honors that principle or best holds that principle together with our other ethical obligations.

  • AZ Gal

    Gov.Brewer signed in a bill the people of AZ supported(76%).Now, we need the Federal $$$ to erect the fence from Texas to California to secure our borders (make it electrical if need be). We need to shore up our borders. Hire all the union masonry people out of work to build the wall! Hire workers to work with law enforcement to handle their paperwork and the transportation aspect of enforcing this law. This will create much needed jobs, and reduce the number of illegals in Arizona. We aren’t racist, we want people here LEGALLY. We want the opportunity to work the very scarce jobs out there that politicians say no one wants to work them. WE LEGAL PEOPLE DO! Shore up the border and work out a new workers program to get people into the country LEGALLY.

  • http://www.theproblemwithkevin.com kevin s.

    I missed the part in the bible that dealt with racial sins.
    The only way this could be construed as a violation of the call to welcome a stranger is if you advocate an open borders policy. Otherwise, this is just a means of enforcing a valid law.

  • Jjoe

    I personally wouldn’t hesitate to move wherever I needed to in order to provide a better life for my family. The legalities would take a back seat to food and shelter.
    Not 1 out of 100 people in the U.S. would cross a desert and risk their lives to find a better job. I think doing so represents ambition and drive. Hispanics, legal or illegal, make good neighbors.
    We have a long history in the US of moving in and taking what we want from the people who live where we want to be. We took Arizona at the barrel of a gun from Mexico, as part of our manifest destiny. Perhaps guilt is why we are so sensitive.

  • http://lambpower.wordpress.com Steve D

    Gloria #15
    So, we stop any who COULD be an illegal alien. What standards do we use? I work with a guy who is Puerto Rican and, of course, is a US citizen. His English is not perfect, so, would he have to carry his birth certificate into AZ since to some he could be an illegal alien?

  • Gloria

    Steve (21),
    Yes, perhaps he should carry proof of citizenship if need be. I would have no problem carrying proof of citizenship. Why is that a problem?

  • CJ

    I generally like Jim Wallis’ comments but he has the tendency to be just as much of an extremist as the extremists on the right. But in this case, he’s not entirely wrong. There are plenty of perfectly reasonable ways to enforce immigration law without resorting to draconian tactics like racial and socio-economic profiling. It falls into that category of violating the civil liberties of law abiding citizens and legal residents to catch a few law breakers. And well as a Christian that does seem to fail the love thy neighbor test.
    But on the other hand, just because you enforce immigration law doesn’t mean you fail to show love. The Bible says to respect the aliens but it doesn’t say to let them go around breaking laws either. In the end I’d have to say this law is wrong but overall Arizona is right to call attention to the problems of illegal immigration.

  • http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/04/jan-brewer-arizona-illegal-immigration.html Chandler, AZ

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/04/jan-brewer-arizona-illegal-immigration.html
    (READ Gov Brewer’s intelligent news brief)
    HEY-We support legislation to allow TEMP Work Permits/Day Workers etc – and
    Hey – IF you’re here legally – you got NOTHING to worry about. Period.
    This isn’t about Hispanics in AZ – this isn’t about Racists. The critics and some media are blowing things WAY out of proportion and are the ones who are fear-mongering!
    THIS IS ABOUT ILLEGALS – HELLLOOOO??? Breaking THE LAW! Disrespecting a country’s immigration laws…and committing crimes… AS IN Drug Cartels – Coyotes – Kidnapping – Murders – Rapes – against people of ALL races, but yes, mainly the hispanic community. – People outside this State do not realize the HORRIFIC Crime stemming from illegals-and it doesn’t matter if they are brown, white,red or GREEN>>>This law isn’t “misguided” – it IS reasonable, and it will be fine tuned. If you’re here legally – don’t sweat it. If you’re NOT breaking the law – relax !
    ILLEGAL is ILLEGAL.
    There are thousands of law abiding residents in this State that came here legally. Carry their Permanent Resident Cards just as they are instructed to do BY Immigration…and have NO problems with the AZ law. They went thru the right channels, the right way and paid their dues. AT a price much cheaper than alot of illegals pay coyotes to get across the southern border.
    Jim Wallis – this is NOT mean spirited. It is NOT sinful or evil. It is NOT UN-Christian. Do you have any idea the problem the PHX police Dept have in fighting the Drug Cartels-Coyotes here in this city? I think not.
    They commit terrible crimes against their own race even…to men, women and children.This is a quality decision by a Christian Gov. ~ she put alot of prayer and careful thought into this bill. AND the PEOPLE of AZ that support this law – are not racist. They support LEGAL immigration, they WANT LEGAL immigration and a multi cultural state. I agree with AZGAL!
    God disciplines and chastises His kids too. There are consequences to every decision – and if you decide to thumb your nose at laws and rules – and break those laws…welll then, there could be consequences. This is NOT racial profiling. Don’t fall for the hype by media and critics. Be wise, be shrewd.

  • danderson

    Jim Wallis is every bit the opportunist that those on the Religious Right have been, waiting to pounce on issues such as these. I work with Latino children on a daily basis — although not in Arizona — and believe we are called to care for widows, orphans and the strangers in our midst. I don’t like the new law, but don’t like how the Wallises of the world use it for political gain.

  • Steve D

    Gloria #22
    “Yes, perhaps he should carry proof of citizenship if need be. I would have no problem carrying proof of citizenship. Why is that a problem?”
    Don’t you see that as a problem? He would have to carry additional proof of citizenship because of his skin color. I’m white, and have no discernible accent would not have to carry proof. By that standard my co-worker’s citizenship becomes second place. It’s a poorly written law, that was not thought out very well. The law assumes that you are guilty and have to prove innocence.

  • Gloria

    Steve (22),
    We carry proof of citizenship in different ways now, such as a driver’s license, a passport when in a foreign country, green cards for foreigners who are here legally, etc. So I see no problem in carrying proof of citizenship for everyone. Skin color has has nothing to do with proof of citizenship.

  • http://www.jamiemulhern.com jamie

    I have lived here my entire life. I am so tired of the polarization of “illegal immigration”. It’s just one more way to create fear. I agree that border towns in particular probably face more problems because of this issue, but that fact is much of our economy revolves around cheap labor. The real victims are those who are caught in the web of slavery, sex trade, and servitude. We need reform, but punishing the victims is not the way. And profiling is inevitable.

  • http://lambpower.wordpress.com Steve D

    Gloria (27)
    If I decide to walk down my street without ID an officer cannot stop me without probable cause. The way the law is written drops the level of probable cause. Which is why I asked the first question. How does one tell an illegal alien? What constitutes probable cause when it comes to an illegal alien? I propose that the way that the law is written is that any person of Hispanic descent will be by default have to prove their citizenship.
    Also, I’m not so sure that driver’s licenses will be considered proof of citizenship.

  • Jeremy

    Gloria, I think you would feel quite differently if every day turned into a gauntlet of questions and random demands for ID. This will border on harassment for anyone that happens to look less than American.
    Do we need to deal with the illegal immigration/drug violence problem? yes, but my entire Phoenix family thinks this idea borders on racist and unamerican. This is extremely reminiscent of the crap that led to Japanese detention camps in WWII.

  • Gloria

    If I knew I needed to carry proof of citizenship or possibly be deported, I would not think twice about carrying my proof of citizenship. That would be no hassle for me! Just like carrying a driver’s license or passport is no hassle either.

  • Mark Mathewson

    I’m not sure those who say things like “Illegal means illegal” (and use all caps as if that somehow wins the argument) or “What part of illegal don’t you understand?” appreciate a finer point some of us want to think about in more detail. What if those laws that make some actions illegal are unjust? Are we required to support unjust laws? I find too often people have a very difficult time separating legality from morality. Merely because something is illegal doesn’t settle the moral issue. While one always hopes laws conform to morality, this is not always the case. It remains a legitimate question whether and to what extent our current immigration laws are just.

  • Jeremy

    Gloria, it’s not a matter of carrying ID, it is a matter of giving the police the right to harass at will anyone that happens to have a skin color other than white. I think you need to stop for just a moment and think really really hard about what it would be like to have to deal with the potential of multiple stops and police scrutiny every time you went out for a gallon of milk.
    I recall something Benjamin Franklin wrote: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    You are asking American citizens to give up control of their daily lives to the whims of police and anyone else that wants to play authority figure, and you see no problem with this? What next? Citizenship checkpoints and CCV cameras all over since those of us not breaking the law have nothing to fear?

  • paul

    i was definitely saddened to read this news earlier today. the idea that being of a certain ethnicity or race could be probable cause for the police to question you and your citizenship is in my opinion both immoral and unconstitutional.
    for those who live in arizona are are affected by this unjust law, please let us know if there is anything we in other states (virginia here) can do…

  • http://lambpower.wordpress.com Steve D

    Gloria #31
    I think you’re missing the point. I have no idea what you look like. So, let’s say that you are blonde and blue eyed. Now, we are having an illegal immigration problem with Scandinavians. So, you are on your way to work. You go to step on the transit bus, an arm grabs you from behind and pulls you aside. Proof of citizenship is requested. No problem you show it. However, the bus leaves and there won’t be another one for 15 minutes. The next bus comes along, you get on and go to your stop for work. As you get off, you run because the first officer has made you a little late for work. As you start to run another office stops you (he doesn’t know that you were checked previously) and asks you for ID again. You’re late for work, you’re a little short , this causes the officer to detain you a little longer while he calls in an ID check on you. Now, you are really late for work. If this happens enough, you could lose your job.
    I’m not trying to be over dramatic. The law is very poorly written because it requires police to stop and question people based upon an undefinable standard. How does one identify an illegal alien? That means that anyone who fits the general description of an illegal alien, be they blonde and blue eyed or dark skinned will get pulled out. This is actually unconstitutional (illegall search and seizure).

  • Rene

    Brave and right decision by Jan Brewer. The States need to all step up and start governing themselves.
    It’s amazing to hear Obama say he is going to look into the law and see if it’s legal – this was passed to allow Arizona to clamp down on “illegal” immigrants – what’s wrong with this picture?
    Waiting to see if Texas, New Mexico, California and Nevada follow
    Arizona.

  • Gloria

    Steve (35),
    You may think I’m missing the point. But my point is that I would find it no hassle to show my proof of citizenship when asked, and if that is what the law requires – then so be it. I show my driver’s license, green card, passport, etc. when asked. If it means I’m late for work, then so be it (this is your worse case scenario example).

  • http://lambpower.wordpress.com Steve D

    Gloria (37)
    Even if it means that you wind up losing our job?

  • Sacred Frenzy

    Have those of you opposed to this law even read it? Jan Brewer issued an executive order which prohibits racial profiling as a means of enforcment. It requires a “reasonable suspicion” that someone is illegal. But some of you make it sound like Arizona will be rounding up everyone with dark skin asking for their ID every time they go for a gallon of milk. How absurd!

  • Sacred Frenzy

    Have those of you opposed to this law even read it? Jan Brewer issued an executive order that prohibits racial profiling as a means of enforcement. It requires “reasonable suspicion” that someone is illegal. But some of you make it sound like Arizona will be rounding up everyone with dark skin asking for their ID every time they go for a gallon of milk. How absurd!

  • http://lambpower.wordpress.com Steve D

    Sacred Frenzy (39)
    What constitutes “reasonable suspicion”? No one has been able to answer that question. What distinguishes an illegal alien? How does one know from a citizen who is Hispanic and an illegal Mexican immigrant? That’s the problem with the law. Poorly worded.

  • Sacred Frenzy

    Steve, I would think that “reasonable suspicion” is similar to probable cause, whereas the racial profiling you mention would constitute unreasonable suspicion. As to what distinguishes a legal alien from an illegal alien, that would be ID. Officers should be able to see identification if they have a reasonable suspicion that someone is illegally in the country. I suspect “reasonable suspicion” would be based on a person’s behavior.
    The highway patrol doesn’t check the driver’s license of every person driving on the road, but they do check those of drivers pulled over for certain behaviors. Is this law any different?

  • Luke

    Kevin S (#19),
    You said, “I missed the part in the bible that dealt with racial sins.”
    Are you suggesting that the Bible has nothing to say regarding race? Are you condoning racism on the (supposed) lack of information in the Bible?
    Perhaps I’m misreading you Kevin, but I’m pretty troubled by your remarks.

  • Luke

    Sacred,
    The point is that the only people who the authorities will be “reasonably suspicious” of are people whose skin color is brown. That’s the issue here and I hope you can see why some of us are afraid it will lead to racism and oppression.
    Maybe the Native Americans should have never let the white people come over here. We were illegal aliens, you know.

  • http://lambpower.wordpress.com Steve D

    Sacred Frenzy (42)
    “The highway patrol doesn’t check the driver’s license of every person driving on the road, but they do check those of drivers pulled over for certain behaviors. Is this law any different?”
    Generally speaking, if you are driving your car at or close to the speed limit in a reasonable manner, an officer will not pull you over. I’m not so sure how you determine an equivalent standard to determine probable cause or reasonable suspicion for an illegal alien. I think that the reasonable suspicion standard will not pass court muster. I think that the standard is way too vague to be effective. The first citizen who gets pulled over and harassed and has the financial means will sue the pants off of AZ collectively. There’s just no way that you can’t racial profile.

  • Peggy

    Friends, if you have not read the link to the Governor’s marks, provided in comment #24, please do so before you continue to comment.
    Please.
    Makes me want to pull out my Jesus Creed deputy badge and pull a few of you over.

  • JRH

    I’m sorry for the writer who missed the Biblical teaching about racism. What exactly do you think the issue was concerning Gentile and Jew? Just an issue of worship styles? The background is the sin of deep seated racism that exist and has always existed. Its interesting that white Americans who think because we rid ourselves of de jure segregation that somehow we are free of racism. A careful examination of our criminal justice symtem and the incredible outpouring of hate toward President Obama are certaintly examples of how deep seated our own racism is. Probably another good example whould be Sunday mornings in America.
    I was born and raised in southern California and spent 13 years in Nevad. Without millions of people who worked the principal industries that provided the economic engine behind the growth of those states – agri business, construction, hotels, etc. – who came up from Mexico, states in the southwest would look completely diffrent. So now that we have allowed Mexicans to build our homes and cities – like Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas (oh, yeah, from whom did we steal that land in the first place), now we can send them home.
    Of course, this law is social sin. It will force racial profiling and continue the distrust of anyone darker than we are. Its interesting that again rather than look at the businesses that hire people they know they can’t, we strike out at the individual and families.

  • http://krusekronicle.typepad.com Michael W. Kruse

    I’m not thrilled about this bill but I think Wallis has gone a bit hyperbolic. My suggestion would be to build a good fence, monitor the fence, and focus on workplace enforcement.
    Using local law enforcement does two unhelpful things. It distracts local law enforcement with what is supposed to be a federal issue, and it makes, not only illegal immigrants, but Latino Americans in general, less likely to be cooperative in crime fighting measures out of fear of harassment or getting others in trouble.
    Furthermore, “reasonable suspicion” sounds perilously close to a lawyer’s stimulus package to me. :-) Take some money and build a fence instead.

  • Peggy

    I am increasingly concerned, Scot, that you are posting more and more volatile issues looking for “thoughts” — which can be a very good thing. But without folks really taking the time to read the links (and I wish you would have included the Governor’s link yourself) — there is more knee-jerk going on than there is thoughtfulness.
    Makes me very sad … seems like the “tables” in the ole “One T” have been lost — and it’s more about folks sitting on the porch getting comments lobbed in from across the street at a fast food restaurant. No time to listen, just volleying shots back and forth … and with that loss has gone precious civility.
    Just sayin’

  • http://www.theproblemwithkevin.com kevin s.

    @Luke
    “Are you suggesting that the Bible has nothing to say regarding race?”
    No. I’m saying that there is no such thing as a racial sin.
    “Are you condoning racism on the (supposed) lack of information in the Bible?”
    No. Wallis didn’t use the term “racism”. He used the term racial sin. In practice, racism is the culmination of a variety of sins, none of which really apply to the Arizona law, and so he uses a weasely term that has no scriptural reference point.
    “Perhaps I’m misreading you Kevin, but I’m pretty troubled by your remarks.”
    Well, you imputed a whole bunch of stuff into my remark, and then became troubled by that which you imputed. But no, I am not suggesting that the Bible is silent on race. If that was what I meant, that is what I would have said.

  • http://www.theproblemwithkevin.com kevin s.

    Here is a somewhat useful FAQ on the bill, from CNN.
    http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/04/23/immigration.faq/index.html
    It seems to me that a way to frame this bill to pass constitutional muster would simply allow police to request documentation for those caught in misdemeanor crimes (e.g. speeding).
    And if you want to argue that the bill is in need of refinement, that’s a fair claim, but to pretend that it is the product of racial animus is disingenuous.

  • EricG

    In law school my Evidence prof. told us about this case he handled where something like 90% of the people pulled over by cops on a certain highway (around Philadelphia) were black, while the evidence showed that less than 5% of the people driving on the highway were black (!) There is a real danger of racial profiling by law enforcement; and that is something white folks (myself included) don’t fully appreciate.
    The legal challenge to this law will be interesting. The problem isn’t that it uses the term “reasonable suspicion”; that is a term used all the time in law. Instead, the potential problem is that it ties reasonable suspicion to illegal immigration status, without providing guidance to law enforcement that would limit their discretion. That could be viewed as an invitation to racial profiling; as noted above, there a real danger of that.
    As I understand the law, it is not really an answer to say that AZ will try to develop guidelines to limit cops’ discretion (see Chicago v. Morales). Those limits should be in the statute itself.
    It also strikes me that it really isn’t an answer to say that the problem can be resolved because cops can just demand ID to determine who is and isn’t legal. The mere fact that a cop is making such a demand is arguably sufficient to raise a concern of unlawful interference with someone based on racial profiling. I don’t know how the challenge will be resolved, but it strikes me that it isn’t an easy one to dismiss.
    Of course, entirely aside from legal issues, there are the significant moral issues on this sort of thing too, given the history of abuse of minorities by law enforcement, as people above have pointed out (Wallis’ overstatements notwithstanding).

  • Luke

    Kevin,
    Nobody is suggesting the bill is a product of racial animus. What we are suggesting is that it could and probably will result in racial animus. That is the issue and concern I believe many of us here are trying to express.
    By the way, thanks for clarifying about the racism thing. I would like to point out the inconsistencies of your approach, though. You mention how there is no such thing as racial sin, and then you go on to say that racism is the culmination of a variety of sins. Would racism therefore not be a sin if what leads to it is sin? Murder is a sin, and all kinds of sin lead to it. I believe Wallis is using “racial sin” as synonymous with “racism.” At least, I think that’s the best way to interpret the phrase. Your point to me seems to be just semantic games. Racism is a very real and prevalent sin, even in the post-civil rights era. The spirit of racism is just as alive today as it ever was, despite the fact that our laws no longer condone it. Laws which can lead to it need to be re-evaluated. I think this is my concern in a nutshell. Any law which can lead to racial discrimination, particularly in such an ethnically diverse country, needs to be re-evaluated and reformed.

  • http://cboye.wordpress.com Colleen

    Peggy, it’s good that there is the executive order, but that doesn’t prevent it from happening. The law is the sort of thing that’s conducive to profiling even if it’s officially forbidden. Think about a college file-sharing network, for instance: the college’s official terms of use will say that the network can’t be used to illegally distribute music and movies, but of course it will be.
    And nobody has yet provided an actual answer: How do you establish reasonable suspicion that someone is illegal? There can be reasonable suspicion that a driver is drunk because he’s weaving around the road. There can be reasonable suspicion that a guy stole a purse because he’s running through a crowd holding a purse. Give us some specific conditions under which you would suspect that a random person on the street was an illegal alien.
    Also, the fact that you (say that you) wouldn’t mind being asked for ID multiple times a day even if it were a large hassle and you were the only one being stopped doesn’t mean that everyone will feel that way. I should think that one has the right to stroll down the street with no ID without worrying about being stopped, and that preventing him from doing so is an unreasonable restriction on his life, liberty, and happiness.

  • JT

    “Render unto God what is God’s, and render unto Caeser what is Caeser’s”. Illeagl aliens, by their contempt for the laws of America, have not rendered unto Caeser. Therefore, go home!

  • RJS

    Peggy (#49),
    I’m with you on this one. The tone of some discussions – and this one is a prime example – just leaves me with a dirty feeling.
    We can discuss merits of issues, but I am hard pressed in 80% of the comments on this post to see Love of God and Love of neighbor in the rhetoric.
    If this was typical of the site – I’d simply go elsewhere.

  • Pat

    It was good to hear from an Arizona sheriff that he and his officers don’t appreciate being put in the position to be the bogeyman. He said their duty is to arrest criminals. Now let me be clear, yes those who are here illegally are breaking a law, however the METHOD by which we deal with the problem is what I am opposed to. It will amount to racial profiling just like in the black community. Drugs or gangs may be a problem, but every young, black male walking down the street with sagging pants and a white t-shirt is not a drug dealer or gangbanger. Some are just teenagers who like to wear the uniform of the day, if you will. Yet, because of their color AND their clothing, many are targeted. Some black men have been pulled over simply for driving a luxury car in a neighborhood not usually frequented by blacks. What’s to stop this from happening in Arizona to Latinos?

  • Marie

    The problem is not with who is here already it’s how they get here. Most of the workers come here to earn money to send home not to become US citizens. Make acquiring work permits more efficient so they can work legally, pay taxes, have the right to a tax refund for overpayment, pay for their benefits like US citizens do and go home/return at their choosing. We should not have to fix Mexico’s problems.

  • http://inchristus.wordpress.com Paul

    I’m in AZ and I do not agree with this bill.
    As I heard of its signing by Gov. Brewer, I was deeply saddened and recall my essay about the impoverished desperation so many have. Although clearly the indigenous people of whom the OT passages speak in my essay were not in their land illegally, and clearly those of whom this new AZ legislation is targeting are here illegally rings true, I’m not advocating breaking the law. What I do advocate is a compassionate solution for the ones already here whose livelihood depends on their remaining in the US. Sharing is my point and, though I did not address it in my essay, I see no reason why we cannot offer a streamlined pathway to citizenship for some with legitimate economic need.

  • les

    it is not hard to determine who may be a legal citizen or a illegal immigrant from another country. Does the person speak english? No, then does the person have any identification, such as a drivers license or some other form of id.
    I have never gone to the store or anywhere else without my wallet which contains id and credit cards. My kids are in elementary school and they have libary cards and school id in their back packs. They also speak english as well as spanish because they are also hispanic and both languages are spoken in our household.
    We are not bothered by this law and hope this is a way to really enforce our immigration laws, deter future ilegal imigration, and resolve the issues of what do we do with the illegals that are already here.

  • Ethan

    So racial profiling is misguided but killing unborn children isn’t, Mr. Obama?

  • Bob

    If I was an Arizona police officer I would ask white people to prove they are citizens…but thats just me

  • Sacred Frenzy

    How sad that so many people are conditioned to think that this is about race when the governor explicitly said that it is not about race.

  • http://transformingseminarian.blogspot.com Mark Baker-Wright

    #60,
    Since English is not, and never has been, given “official status” in the United States, I think you’ll find that using the ability to speak English as a criterion for determining who should be checked for illegal status could run into legal trouble.

  • Bob

    What is the standard for proving legal status. For me I guess it is birth certificate and SS card, neither of which I carry with me. I actually leave them in my lock box at home because I want to minimize the ability to have them stolen.
    #63..I think it is fine to say it is not about race, but logically how can this not become an issue about race

  • http://www.theproblemwithkevin.com kevin s.

    “Nobody is suggesting the bill is a product of racial animus.”
    Jim Wallis said it is a racial sin, which you think means that it is racist. How can a racist bill not be borne of racial animus?
    “What we are suggesting is that it could and probably will result in racial animus.”
    No, you are suggesting that racial animus already exists, and this will give free reign to it. This is the “racial sin” Wallis is talking about. His point is a theological muddle, as it usually is coming from him.
    “You mention how there is no such thing as racial sin, and then you go on to say that racism is the culmination of a variety of sins.”
    Correct
    “Would racism therefore not be a sin if what leads to it is sin?”
    Correct, and very important as it applies to policy. It is sinful, in my view, to own a 50,000 square foot mansion. But it is the culmination of many sins (greed, family neglect, idol worship). Hence, it is not a sin for a government to allow them to be built, nor is it a sin to design it, or to help build it. There’s no such thing as “property sin”.
    “Your point to me seems to be just semantic games.”
    You just conceded that he is using the term “racial sin” as a stand in for “racism”, and I’m the one playing semantic games?
    “Any law which can lead to racial discrimination, particularly in such an ethnically diverse country, needs to be re-evaluated and reformed.”
    You don’t think our lax enforcement of borders has led to racism? I think this bill will mitigate against racism, as Arizona citizens can have more confidence that the Hispanics among them are here legally.

  • Richard Jones

    OK. I LIVE in Arizona, so I will comment. I do not like this new law (nor does anyone I know). It is just another chapter in bizarre behavior by what is arguably the most moronic state legislature that has ever existed. Recent adventures of the AZ state legislature:
    1-passed a law giving everyone the right to carry a concealed weapon-no permit needed
    2-passed a law requiring presidential candidates to prove citizenship in order to be on the ballot in AZ
    3-Closed down all highway rest areas and half of state parks rather than pass even a small tax increase
    4-has repeatedly voted to cut education spending-although we are already near the bottom of the heap.
    Just another day with our crazy, Republican white male dominated AZ state legislature!

  • Toby Swindle

    re comment 67
    1- guarantee the right to keep and bear arms, good
    2- guarantee that candidates are eligible for the office they seek, good
    3- refused to raise taxes for non-essential items, good.
    4- unsure about education spending. You gotta spend money teaching kids, but if the money being spent is not being spent effectively, based on the results it produces, then there isn’t any sense in throwing good after bad.
    I don’t live in AZ, but would love for my state to take these same measures. What do you do when taxes reach 50%? 75%? Government must work within a budget, just like everyone else. If we allow them to raise taxes for every single item they “need”, they will take everything. Kudos to AZ, responsibility isn’t usually the easiest path.

  • http://www.theproblemwithkevin.com kevin s.

    @bob
    “I think it is fine to say it is not about race, but logically how can this not become an issue about race?”
    a) Illegal immigration is against the law
    b) Illegal immigration costs money and lives
    c) Citizens want to end illegal immigration
    d) The government is taking steps to end illegal immigration
    That’s how, logically, this isn’t about race.
    It is about race only insofar as most illegal immigrants in Arizona are not white. As such, those prone to read everything through a racial lens will find plenty to read into this conflict. That is a matter of perception, not of logic.
    As a Christian, I see everything through the lens of depravity and grace. It would be very difficult for me to watch the movie Kick-Ass without noting elements of depravity and (perhaps) grace. That does not mean the film is, innately, about depravity or grace.

  • http://lambpower.wordpress.com Steve D

    3- refused to raise taxes for non-essential items, good.
    Obviously, you’ve never had to use the bathroom on a long trip. Then you might reclassify keeping rest stops open on highways as essential. :)

  • Matt

    #63 Sacred Frenzy said: “How sad that so many people are conditioned to think that this is about race when the governor explicitly said that it is not about race.”
    Just because someone states, “It isn’t about race” doesn’t make it so, Sacred Frenzy.
    If this involved an immigration challenge on our northern border with Canada, we would primarily be focusing in on Caucasians as race would be a determiner. As it is a challenge on our southern border, we’re focusing on Latinos.
    Of COURSE race is part of this. There is no way that it cannot be.

  • Sacred Frenzy

    Just because someone states, “Of COURSE race is part of this. There is no way that it cannot be” doesn’t make it so, Matt.

  • Matt

    Sacred Frenzy, context is everything. There were statements that preceeded my last one, making a case for why it is so. But hey, you knew that.

  • Sacred Frenzy

    Matt, I don’t see a case made. I see an assertion that “we’re focusing on Latinos.” Arizona’s new law says nothing about focusing on Latinos.

  • http://lambpower.wordpress.com Steve D

    Sacred Frenzy (74)
    I don’t think that Arizona is having an illegal immigrant issue with Norwegians. Wouldn’t you have to agree that if the problem of illegal immigration in Arizona is with Mexicans/Latinos? Just because the law doesn’t specify a distinct group doesn’t mean that it wasn’t aimed at a group. On the other hand, Ikea is now in Tempe, could this be a reaction to the sudden increase in Swedes?

  • Sacred Frenzy

    Last time I checked, Norway doesn’t border Arizona, and Norwegian Cartels weren’t smuggling drugs and human slaves across the border.
    Those of you viewing this issue through a racial lens are missing a major point: race is incidental to this issue. What is relevant is legal versus illegal immigration. If Arizona was being overrun by legal immigrants from Mexico, Norway, or wherever, then a law that required Mexicans and Norwegians (but not others) to have to prove their citizenship would be a problem. But that’s not what’s going on here. The state is being overrun by illegal immigrants, some of whom are engaging in drug smuggling, human trafficking, and, in the case of Rob Krentz, homicide. If you assume that only Mexicans will be targeted by this law, then you also seem to assume that Mexicans are the only ones smuggling the drugs and kidnapping people. In my opinion, that is more racist than anything the state of Arizona has done in wanting immigrants (including Mexicans) to be here legally.
    Viewing this through a racial lens blinds you to the greater issues being addressed by Arizona’s law.

  • http://www.theproblemwithkevin.com kevin s.

    @Matt (73)
    “Sacred Frenzy, context is everything.”
    No it isn’t. Context is context. If it were everything, we would call it everything.
    @Steve D
    “Just because the law doesn’t specify a distinct group doesn’t mean that it wasn’t aimed at a group. On the other hand, Ikea is now in Tempe, could this be a reaction to the sudden increase in Swedes?”
    No, it isn’t. Whether or not you like IKEA (I do not), it’s presence has nothing to do with whether or not you like Swedes. You just argued against your own point, and did so by accident.

  • Dave Francis

    The criminal decay is spreading and that is why the governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer has been forced by these circumstances to enact police actions. BECAUSE THE US GOVERNMENT REFUSES TO ENFORCE IMMIGRATION LAWS– AMERICANS ARE CONFRONTED BY ALIEN CRIMINALS WHO’S ACTIVITIES ARE SPREADING NATIONWIDE. But read what this internal war is costing taxpayers, by not securing the dilapidated fence across the Southern border. Not the original Sen. Hunter fence as intended
    Information about expenditures are available by applying Google and using keywords, such as “Illegal alien entitlements.” or words to that effect. Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2010/04/15/illegal-immigration-is-a-tax-dollar-drain/ Learn where your tax dollars are going?
    Authored by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) Lamar Smith is the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee. Every country has a right to restrict foreign nationals from entering its sovereignty lands–no matter their country of origin? America has been infested with extremist groups that are stealing our–OUR–rights, freedoms and denouncing the US Constitution. Even the national press has been infiltrated by staunch Liberals, hiding behind the Democratic mantle.
    The feds need to permanently install E-verify, that includes the 287 (G) empowerment of police to inquire of a person’s nationality. This has finally happened in Arizona, as the legal residents are sick and tired of subsidizing illegal immigrants. It is incessant battle of law enforcement in principle cities, throughout America fighting against the deadly encroachment of drug dealers.
    Phoenix–where law abiding citizens are afraid to go out at night, home invasion robberies, multiple kidnapping, murder and sexual and violent assaults on every gender and children too are a daily occurrence. California–the Sanctuary State–for illegal alien’s welfare and protection is not any better in its constant battle against illegal immigrant crime. Hit and runs are a never ending activity by foreign nation getting intoxicated, leaving a trail of blood around this nation. Many prosecutors have their hands tied, or hide the truth. YEARS OF INDIFFERENT ADMINISTRATIONS ARE ENTIRELY TO BLAME. WE WILL FIGHT PRESIDENT OBAMA’S AMNESTY THAT GIVES A FREE PASS TO CITIZENSHIP OF ANY PERSON WHO VIOLATED OUR LAWS OF SOVEREIGNTY. WE WILL NEVER, EVER ALLOW THIS TO BE SIGNED INTO LAW. Learn the outrageous facts of passing AMNESTY, that our taxes will pay for at NumbersUSA

  • Pete

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/24/us/politics/24immig.html
    My dream is to overhaul the immigration policies.
    Treat every immigrant with respect and the same guidelines regardless of race. This is NOT a racial issue. There are many great “legal” immigrants that have immigrated to the USA over history, and whom have made valuable contributions to our country.
    1.) English is required as a primary language. Learn multiple languages, but English is the primary
    language, and each immigrant allowed into the USA would be required to demonstrate their
    English abilities after one year of residency. If they can’t, then they would be sent back. Period.
    2.) Give them a SS#. Make them pay taxes. Bring them into our system.
    3.) Americanize them. Establish American history courses. Each immigrant would be required to attend the courses, and pass the courses with a passing grade on each exam. The courses would be paid by the immigrants by a deduction from their paycheck.
    4.) Probation. Each immigrant is put on probation. We would establish sound guidelines. If they step out of line and violate their probation, they are sent back.
    5.) Immigration Contract. Each immigrant would be required to sign a binding and enforceable contract agreeing to the terms of their invitation to the USA.
    This country was built on immigrants. It is our responsibility to accept them with strict guidelines, and then follow up with accountable actions should they violate our clearly defined guidelines.
    Until that infrastructure is implemented, they NEED to be shipped back to their homelands. If they were such great people, they would fight for their rights in their own countries. It is irrelevant what country they come from, so this is NOT a racist issue. Pigs will always find their way to the nearest pig pen.

  • http://lambpower.wordpress.com Steve D

    “Phoenix–where law abiding citizens are afraid to go out at night, home invasion robberies, multiple kidnapping, murder and sexual and violent assaults on every gender and children too are a daily occurrence. ”
    Here are crime stats for 2007-09
    07 Homicide 214
    07 Total Violent 11125
    07 Total Property 96819
    07 Drug 9928
    07 Total Crime 117872
    08 Homicide 196
    08 Total Violent 10864
    08 Total Property 89779
    08 Drug 9145
    08 Total Crime 109784
    09 Homicide 139
    09 Total Violent 9282
    09 Total Property 71002
    09 Drug 9679
    09 Total Crime 90024
    Crime has been dropping for the past three years in Phoenix. All these stats are BEFORE the new carry law and the immigration law.
    Source:http://phoenix.gov/haht-nsapi/hsrun.hse/payf/CRIMGRIDP/CrimeGrid.htx;start=HS_crime

  • Pete

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/24/us/politics/24immig.html
    My dream is to overhaul the immigration policies.
    Treat every immigrant with respect and the same guidelines regardless of race. This is NOT a racial issue. There are many great “legal” immigrants that have immigrated to the USA over history, and whom have made valuable contributions to our country.
    1.) English is required as a primary language. Learn multiple languages, but English is the primary
    language, and each immigrant allowed into the USA would be required to demonstrate their
    English abilities after one year of residency. If they can’t, then they would be sent back. Period.
    2.) Give them a SS#. Make them pay taxes. Bring them into our system.
    3.) Americanize them. Establish American history courses. Each immigrant would be required to attend the courses, and pass the courses with a passing grade on each exam. The courses would be paid by the immigrants by a deduction from their paycheck.
    4.) Probation. Each immigrant is put on probation. We would establish sound guidelines. If they step out of line and violate their probation, they are sent back.
    5.) Immigration Contract. Each immigrant would be required to sign a binding and enforceable contract agreeing to the terms of their invitation to the USA.
    This country was built on immigrants. It is our responsibility to accept them with strict guidelines, and then follow up with accountable actions should they violate our clearly defined guidelines.
    Until that infrastructure is implemented, they NEED to be shipped back to their homelands. If they were such great people, they would fight for their rights in their own countries. It is irrelevant what country they come from, so this is NOT a racist issue. Pigs will always find their way to the nearest pig pen.

  • shane mahan

    hip hip hu- rah!! This woman has more right to be president than the one we have now,,,
    lets put them peacefully on a bus for home…MEXICO and if they want back in ,, do it the way you are supposed to.. end of story… Imagine millions of Americans sneaking into Poland and demanding the rights of Poland’s tax money—stop listening to Stephanie Miller and applaud this brave Govenor that did what is lawful and correct… send them home.

  • True American

    I believe if you truly believe in the word of Jesus then you would have an unbiased and unracist view on this law. The law doesn’t help stop illegal immigration, it simply targets anyone who is mexican even if they are perfectly legal tax paying citizens to harassment and racial profiling. Basically this dehumanizing law is the legalization of racial profiling. It also brings in to question the amount of police time and our tax money that will be spent on this new law rather than actually solving serious crime.

  • Richard

    Late to the conversation. For supporters of the new legislation, how does this help the immigration issues facing Arizona or the rest of the nation?
    Does this make illegal sojourners more illegal than they were before?
    Will this curb people coming across the border through unofficial channels?
    I honestly I have a tough time seeing anything good or Christlike coming from this legislation but I want to understand the position of those who support it and the previous comments didn’t help me understand.
    If we support this bill, submitting to an authority (state legislature) that is under a higher authority (federal government), how do we wrestle with the explicit OT commands to care for the sojourners and aliens?
    In supporting this legislation, do we recognize that Abraham was an alien? That Moses was an alien? That Joseph, Daniel, Ruth, Shad, Meesh, and Abed were all aliens? Or that Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were aliens?

  • http://www.theproblemwithkevin.com kevin s.

    “For supporters of the new legislation, how does this help the immigration issues facing Arizona or the rest of the nation?”
    It gives police more latitude to enforce illegal immigration laws. Many immigrants exploit the anonymity that comes with being outside of the system.
    “Does this make illegal sojourners more illegal than they were before?”
    No. Neither does any effort to crack down on crime.
    “Will this curb people coming across the border through unofficial channels?”
    Nice euphemism. I think it will, since anything that makes it more difficult to reside as an illegal immigrant reduces the incentive to emigrate. Even if it doesn’t, it will reduce the number of illegal immigrants in the state, which is the goal.
    “If we support this bill, submitting to an authority (state legislature) that is under a higher authority (federal government), how do we wrestle with the explicit OT commands to care for the sojourners and aliens?”
    The same way you care for other criminals. You treat them with respect, but do not allow them to continue to commit a crime. If your neighbor is stealing from a store, do you not report him to the “higher authority”. Is it unloving to do so?
    Is it unloving to have borders at all?
    “In supporting this legislation, do we recognize that Abraham was an alien?”
    This is irrelevant. Nobody here has a problem with immigration in principle. Jesus committed no crime. Ditto Abraham. Further, the cast of Biblical characters you cite were not aliens for the purpose of benefiting from a local economy, abandoning their responsibility to instill justice in their own communities.
    If you support an open borders policy, please explain how it is possible to maintain the social order. If you do not support an open borders policy, please explain what we are to do about illegal immigration, and how you reconcile that with the fact that Jesus was an alien?
    Many of the comments above address your questions, but none address mine.

  • http://lambpower.wordpress.com Steve D

    For all of those who think that the bill is a good idea. Why does the Police Chief’s Association oppose the law?

  • http://cboye.wordpress.com Colleen

    To all the “illegals go home” people:
    Would you agree with the statement that it is possible for a proposed solution to a problem to not be a good solution, even if it fixes the problem, because it introduces other problems?
    Don’t think about this particular issue. Just think in general. For instance, if we instituted the death sentence for every infraction, however minor, crime would probably go down a lot, but that would be a terrible idea because you could get executed for speeding or because a kid stole a candy bar from the grocery store.
    If you agree with me about that example, then we agree on the principle that some solutions are bad solutions. You should then be able to understand that we are saying the same thing about the Arizona bill. Immigration is a problem; we all agree on that. But we think this bill is a bad solution because it opens the door to other problems and probably won’t help illegal immigration much anyway.

  • http://www.theproblemwithkevin.com kevin s.

    @steve
    “Why does the Police Chief’s Association oppose the law?”
    Because they feel it amounts to an unfunded mandate that will create added stress on smaller precincts. This is a valid argument, but quite unlike the one Wallis is making when he calls the law a racial sin and say it forbids citizens to obey Jesus.
    There are many cops and sheriffs on the record in support, by the way.
    @colleen
    “Would you agree with the statement that it is possible for a proposed solution to a problem to not be a good solution, even if it fixes the problem, because it introduces other problems?”
    Yes.
    “Immigration is a problem; we all agree on that. But we think this bill is a bad solution because it opens the door to other problems and probably won’t help illegal immigration much anyway.”
    I’m not sure everyone here agrees that illegal immigration is a problem. When people compare illegal immigrants to Jesus and Moses, that tells me they welcome the practice.
    I don’t see any reason to believe that it won’t help illegal immigration, but the topic of this post isn’t really about the efficacy of the proposed solution, but rather the morality. Does the law present sticky constitutional issues? Perhaps so, but those can be fleshed out without resorting to “Jesus said so” type arguments and calling a bill racist.

  • BenB

    Here’s the problem, and I see a lot of supporters trying to skirt this issue.
    If there is only ONE white, western-european immigrant in Arizona that is Illegal (which there very well may be) then the following scenario proves the injustice and inherent racism in this law.
    - White, Western European Illegal gets pulled over for a traffic ticket. He does not get asked to show any proof of citizenship. He’s cited for the traffic violation and sent on his way.
    - Hispanic, Mexican legal alien gets pulled over for a traffic ticket. He gets asked to show proof of citizenship and time is taken to verify it. He’s late to work.
    Not racist? How can it not be? The fact is that this scenario is practically written into this bill. It’s inevitable. What I don’t understand is people trying to deny this.

  • Rcihard

    “This is irrelevant. Nobody here has a problem with immigration in principle. Jesus committed no crime. Ditto Abraham. Further, the cast of Biblical characters you cite were not aliens for the purpose of benefiting from a local economy, abandoning their responsibility to instill justice in their own communities. ”
    I think you might want to reread what the economic reasons that Abraham located to Egypt. It was because of a famine.
    How do you maintain social order with open borders?
    The underlying assumption is that people that have risked their lives and made some arrangements with some really seedy people in some cases are going to be bad citizens.
    I’m actually not an advocate of purely open borders but I do think that the entire system needs overhauled and the doors need to be widened. I’m not a big fan of profiling either. As to answering your question about maintaining social order, last I checked the social upheaval came as much from US citizens as it did from immigrants.
    how about we try not making it an impossibly long wait to get into the United States? Why do you think Haitians risk their lives on flimsy rafts instead of following “legal” channels? Because it’s nearly impossible for a Haitian in desperate poverty to fulfill those requirements.
    How is this different than the ghetto in Palestine, apartheid practices, or the internment camps of the Japanese in WWII?

  • http://mbjones.net Brandon

    To those that claim “Racial profiling!”, you were right…it has happened, and here is the story: http://www.azfamily.com/video/featured-videos/Man-says-he-was-racially-targeted-forced-to-provide-birth-certificate-91769419.html
    Note from the article that he provided a drivers license and social security card and that wasn’t enough.
    This is a very poor law that should never have been passed…

  • Mich

    Gov Brewer has invited Nancy Reagan to throw out the first arrested illegal immigrant under the new bill.

  • Keith

    So…ah…what don’t you understand about the word illegal?

  • kevin s.

    “I think you might want to reread what the economic reasons that Abraham located to Egypt. It was because of a famine.”
    And not because of a corrupt government, and not at the expense of those who would seek to legally escape a famine situation.
    “The underlying assumption is that people that have risked their lives and made some arrangements with some really seedy people in some cases are going to be bad citizens.”
    No it isn’t.
    “How about we try not making it an impossibly long wait to get into the United States?”
    But, if you decrease the wait, so as to eliminate illegal immigration, you are effectively enacting an open borders policy. Our immigration policies are among the most flexible in the world as it is.
    “How is this different than the ghetto in Palestine, apartheid practices, or the internment camps of the Japanese in WWII?”
    Apartheid was a means of legal racial segregation. We do not segregate citizens, and have not for decades. Internment camps imprisoned people based on their ancestry. Part of the reason we put them in camps was so they COULDN’T go back to Japan.
    Nobody is proposing segregating or imprisoning people based on race. Your comments speak to the hear of the pro-amnesty cause. You simply lack the nuance to deal with a complicated issue.
    Japanese internment camps… For crying out loud.

  • Woody

    What people here are doing is getting legal justice and social justice confused. The politically correct individuals are shouting for social justice, but what needs to take place in this country is that legal justice be enforced. Those entering America legally have embraced our legal justice system. Those entering illegally are all screaming for social justice claiming to be just as discriminated against as the blacks in the sixties. There is no comparison for their claim. The discrimination of American blacks was just that…discrimination of American citizens. Not so for illegals no matter how long they have illegally gotten away with their crime and no matter how many children they have produced to get around the American system. And it is a crime. We have and will always welcome immigrants into America, but not if they tried to enter illegally and we must never give into social justice to justify criminals…never. In doing so we would be opening a hugh can of worms and it is putting America on a slippery slope that may never recover from.What people here are doing is getting legal justice and social justice confused. The politically correct individuals are shouting for social justice, but what needs to take place in this country is that legal justice be enforced. That’s what Arizona is trying to doing because our federal government has failed America for decades now. Those entering America legally have embraced our legal justice system. Those entering illegally are all screaming for social justice claiming to be just as discriminated against as the blacks in the sixties. There is no comparison for their claim. The discrimination of American blacks was just that…discrimination of American citizens. Not so for illegal’s. No matter how long they have illegally gotten away with their crime and no matter how many children they have produced to get around the American system. And it is a crime. We have and will always welcome immigrants into America, but not if they tried to enter illegally and we must never give into social justice to justify criminals…never. In doing so we would be opening a huge can of worms and it is putting America on a slippery slope that it may never recover from. The Arizona law mirrors this country’s federal law.

  • http://lambpower.wordpress.com Steve D

    @woody 95
    The trouble is that citizens, legal immigrants, and illegal immigrants will all be treated the same under Arizona’s poorly written law. The law tells police to stop people who they have a “reasonable suspicion” of being an illegal immigrant. There is no definition of “reasonable suspicion”

  • eddie

    illegal is illegal…we all live under the rule of law…that’s what perserves our freedom from anarchy. Enforce laws and crime will decrease.

  • http://cboye.wordpress.com Colleen

    Keith, Woody, and Eddie either didn’t read the rest of the thread, or are in favor of the “death penalty for all infractions” policy. Eddie seems to be the latter.

  • Richard

    @ Kevin S.
    Thanks for the respectful engagement with my comment. I really appreciate you refraining from insulting my intelligence.
    Answer me this one question.
    So what is reasonable suspicion that someone is an illegal immigrant?
    And remember, the governor said you can’t profile on appearances.
    Also, nuance between illegals vs. citizens is irrelevant when it comes to constitutional issues and human rights. The foundational documents of our nation rested on the assumption that all men are created with certain inalienable rights, not just US citizens. Not to mention the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that we helped draft and approved of. Both the Declaration and our own Constitution guard against invasions of privacy.
    As to this statement, “Our immigration policies are among the most flexible in the world as it is, do you have any evidence to support this? Every anecdotal piece I’ve ever heard comparing us to other nations has been that we are far more restrictive, especially after 9/11. After all, we transformed the global transportation grid to suit our standards.

  • BenB

    I see 10 more comments, many by supporters, and not one single supporter has addressed the racism inherent in this bill, per my scenario. Why is that?

  • Justin

    @BenB
    Explain to me the racism. There is nothing wrong with asking someone for proof of citizenship. No one has said anything because there is NOTHING racist about this bill. There is nothing new about it either. These are old laws being reinforced. When you are in this country Illegally you have NO rights. Supporters of this bill have logical and solid arguments about the bill. All the people against have started to preach racism and “unfairness” like all the other liberals that disagree with something that is RIGHT.
    @Richard
    There are plenty of reasonable suspicions. Like not having an Arizona State Licence. The police have to run your name anyways. People are not going to be pulled over based on the color of their skin.

  • Dave

    This issue has been pushed aside for far too long. Kudos for someone actually taking a stand. We can no longer accept all the people who don’t want to stay in their own country. They drain the resources, fail to pay taxes, break the laws, yet expect to be equal. Whats so wrong with having to produce a piece of paper saying you are here LEGALLY!!

  • Richard

    @ 101
    A driver’s license isn’t proof of citizenship always. Many states allow immigrants that are not citizens, including illegals, to own and operate vehicles. And how about this guy from Arizona that had to produce a birth certificate in addition to his commercial drivers license and social security number.
    http://www.azfamily.com/news/local/Man-says-he-was-racially-targeted-forced-to-provide-birth-certificate-91769419.html
    How many Caucasians will be asked to prove their citizenship when they’re pulled over?
    It’s prejudiced because it is not applied equally to all people and it’s racist because it’s systemic.

  • Ben

    @ Justin,
    I guess you didn’t read my post at 89. I explained the racism. Did you miss that? It can’t be applied fairly. White illegal immigrants will not be targeted – but mexican immigrants will be. It’s racist at it’s core. It can’t be applied fairly. Read my scenario, I’d like to see the “logic” you claim that people can use to defend it. I await such a reasoned response.

  • Manuel Gomez

    last summer I was riding a bus to El Paso TX, from Los Angeles CA,
    when we stopped in Indio after 2 Hrs from LA to get something to eat
    ICE was waiting for the bus and ask randomly for verification of innmigration status, this bus was 100% latino pasengers, I wonder if they do the same in the white areas of the country, who are they trying to fool with this law, it is to harass latino people

  • James B

    This law does not affect me personally because I have white skin and look like an “American.” Anyone who thinks citizens with brown skin or native Americans in Arizona won’t be challenged more than white people is just plain naive. It doesn’t surprise me that Arizona’s law enforcement unions are in favor of this, they’re going to be in favor of anything that gives them carte blanche to harass anybody at any time. I also find it funny that people say we should beef up our immigration laws “like other countries.” We’re not other countries, we’re the U.S.A. I’ve done alot of genealogical research, as my surname goes back to the 1750′s in this country, and it never ceases to amaze me how many Americans with long standing generational roots in this country fail to realize how many of their ancestors came to this country by whatever means necessary, many of which were illegal. It was okay for their ancestors, but not for Mexicans. Forcing people to “carry their papers” is a standard practice of totalitarian regimes, and people want to institutionalize that in my country? The free country founded on equality and freedom from government tyranny that I spent six years defending in the military?
    I am a patriotic American to fought for this country. My family roots establish that my ancestral line in this great country is preceeded by few but native Americans. And I absolutely oppose this law. I do not hold the idyllic delusion that many of my fellow Americans hold that their ancestors were all great people who came to this country through honorable means. Many of them did not, and neither did many of your ancestors.
    Surely there must be a better way to deal with the problems this bill attempts to remedy than creating a gestapo-like state. Is this really America? Is this what I fought for?

  • Ed Vieira

    I’m all for a firm control of our borders. I came here from Brazil in 1965 and my legalization was done before I flew into New York as I prepared to immigrate here. My green card came in the mail less than a month later, then in 1980 I became a US citizen. I would not have dreamed of breaking the laws of the US to enter here illigally. I watch the famous UNIVISION local channel here and feel my culture have many things in common with hispanics (we’re portuguese and brasilians by birth), but cannot ever agree when in their news they report what happened in Arizona as if it were a discriminatory law against immigrants. In fact when they mention the word “immigrant” they never add the word illigal to it. The US was built and is made of all kinds of “legal” immigrants. If we allow for people from third world countries to just flood our states illegally because they feel this is a better place to live, stepping into our land illegally, this country one day will become just like the places they came from.

  • Ed Vieira

    There is nothing to be feared by anyone who is here legally. I don’t carry my citizen papers or passport with me unless I cross the border into either Mexico or Canada. How hard is it for anyone to prove they are here legally? It’s very easy for the police to spot a illigal person because most illegals do not care to learn speak the English language. They also do not care for our culture and ways, and all they care is to make dollars and send them to their countries. Even though I was born in Brazil, this is now my country and I wish to abide by its laws.
    Ed

  • al

    ey you ed,i am glad for you,you were one of he luky to get a green card before you came to the states,there are many people that can not feed their family because the situation in their countries,they have no opion than to look elsewhere.It is very easy to critize when you have not suffered like most of these people have,enjoy life i hope you dont havet be in that situation

  • Lou Williams

    Why is it these illegals expect to have all the rights of a citizen of our country the minute they step across the border??? Why hasn’t our government just inforced the laws already in place. Find the busines people who hire the illegals,too simple.Don’t give them any aid and they will soon either go back where they came from and spread the word to their countrymen that this in no longer a haven for illegals.

  • BenB

    There are a lot of supporters here supporting this Bill because “I support enforcement of illegal immigration.” I don’t think that’s in question here, but whether or not this is a just way to go about it or not….
    Just because it is “just” to enforce our immigration laws, does not make any means of enforcement equally as just. That’s not true, and this is an example of an unjust means.

  • Zoe Gibson

    I support this bill strongly. This has nothing to do with ethnicity bias. It has to do with people who have no regard for our laws.
    If each of us could pick a law we did not have to obey, what kind of anarchy would ensue? My parents raised me to know that I should not break laws. There are many of us who “want a better life” but not at the expense of others. It is not ok to break the law to get what you want. It is that simple.
    And: Welcome to legal immigrants! We are proud to have you. You enrich this country.

  • BenB

    Zoe,
    Again, this bill is an unjust system of enforcement. I’m all for enforcement, but can we at least be honest enough to say that all forms of enforcement are not okay? Are not just?

  • William Turnbull

    I do not believe that most of the people commenting and complaining about this bill have even read the bill. You all just listen to the talking heads and most of them probably have not read the bill. I have been looking for the text of the bill for about an hour and cannot find it on the internet. I will call AZ and see if I can find a copy to read for myself. I would strongly suggest that you all do the same….including the idiots who are talking about it. With all the conflicting claims either someone is lying or just has not read it.

  • Mori

    Zoe,
    This law has everything to do with ethnicity bias. This law affects everyone that is brown or is percieved as hispanic.I am a red blooded multiracial brown American. My father served in the US army during WW2 and my sons served in the US Navy. I am not Hispanic but appear to be. This law permits the police to question me and requires me to prove my citizenship. A driver’s license(which I always carry) does not prove citizenship. Do I need to carry a birth certificate too? My birth certificate is from Hawaii and many do not accept President Obama’s as valid. To think that I can be detained simply because of my color angers me to no end and goes against everything MY country stands for.

  • http://mbjones.net Brandon

    And just a reminder for folks like Zoe that this law has already been shown to profile and that it discriminates based on race. There is an article posted (it’s linked at least twice) where a guy was profiled and because he was hispanic arrested because he didn’t have “sufficient” id with him. And he had on him a social security card and drivers license. It’s an incredibly unjust law. Stop illegal immigration, yes. But do it justly.

  • http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/sb1070h.pdf Gene

    Okay all you liberal zealots out there. Here’s a link to the actual Arizona bill.
    If you read it it clearly states law enforcement can only verify citizenship status if the individual has been invloved in a law infraction or the commission of a crime.
    Law enforcement can’t perform this action “just because” they look illegal. This is not a case of profiling. Its a state enforcement of the actual federal law.
    I hope Florida puts a bill like this together.
    I applaud Arizona for taking a stand. Arizona’s not the problem. The Federal government is!!

  • BenB

    @117,
    The question remains. Will the white, western-european, Illegal immigrant with no real accent get asked? If not, it’s racist. Plain and simple. And yes, I’ve already read the full Bill. I read it the day it passed.

  • Kathleen

    This is not a racial law. Please see below on Gene he is correct I am an Arizonian and I fully support this and so do 70% of Arizonians. I am not a biased in any way I love all people due that we are all from God and we are to love our bothers and sister, however, to be in this country you need to be a citizen. Please do not believe what you hear due that it takes the spin on what that persons beliefs are See Genes posting he gives you web to read the bill. I know that people will still say what they want even the president however I applaude my state and and proud that I live here. I do not feel that this is unconstitutional due that illegal immigrants have no rights here in the US. Wake up America!!!!! AZ is the only state right now to actually stand for what is Federal Law.

  • denise

    It’s sad to me and it breaks my heart that one day I as a parent have to explain to my kids that there are some people out in this world who wont accept you because of the color of your skin or how you look. Its heartbreaking because obama as a black man and president of the united states of america has an obligation to protect those that need protection and cant protect themselves. Being a black man knows what its like to be discriminated against and all he can say is this is not the right time for this. OMG

  • Andrew

    First of all Jim Wallis is wrong but that is beside the point.
    All these people who are concerned about showing proof of legal residence should read the bill (this includes the President who obviously has not read it). I’ve copied and pasted the acceptable form of ID. I say a drivers license or state ID from any state is pretty fair and there will be no ratial profiling.
    1. A VALID ARIZONA DRIVER LICENSE.
    38 2. A VALID ARIZONA NONOPERATING IDENTIFICATION LICENSE.
    39 3. A VALID TRIBAL ENROLLMENT CARD OR OTHER FORM OF TRIBAL
    40 IDENTIFICATION.
    41 4. IF THE ENTITY REQUIRES PROOF OF LEGAL PRESENCE IN THE UNITED STATES
    42 BEFORE ISSUANCE, ANY VALID UNITED STATES FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT
    43 ISSUED IDENTIFICATION.

  • John

    ¿PIENSO LOS SOLES &, PROPIETARIO de S HIZO UN “ERROR” DRASTICO JUGANDO LA TARJETA de la POLITICA EN DEPORTE COMO REPRESENTAN a ARIZONA & no ALGUN POLITICO BILL PASO EL “la MAYORIA DE TODOS los CIUDADANOS QUE VIVEN EN ARIZONA? ENTONCES PIENSA la MAYORIA DE CIUDADANOS EN ARIZ. ¿No DEBE TENER UN DICE SOLO que EL LADO LIBERAL DEBE TENER UNA VOZ? ¿”DIOS PERSONAS BUENO” se “DESPIERTAN” DE AHI QUE Estados Unidos DE AMERICA YENDO Al AYUNO del INFIERNO? ¿OBAMA & SUS LADRONES DE SOCIALISMN ARRUINAN NUESTRA CONSTITUCION DE DENTRO POR UN PRESIDENTE NI UN “CIUDADANO LEGAL”??

  • GC Reid

    The AZ law is a copy of the federal law. John, May 6, You are what what is wrong with illegals.

  • D

    1st of All John – ENGLISH PLEASE. Immigrants from all country read & write ENGLISH, your no longer in your country. I’m an American Indian & was MADE to speak English by being tied up & having a soap put in my mouth if I spoke my language. (1975). those that can’t read or write English, learn it, there are free classes & you’re not going to be mistreated like I was.
    JUST:
    A. Live By The Rules
    B. Pay YOUR Taxes
    C. Learn the LANGUAGE like immigrants have in the past
    D. Please don’t demand that we hand over our lifetime savings of Social Security Funds to you & if you don’t want to contribute Go Home – Bye…
    F. You have NO Rights, you have to earn it first. I can’t go to another country & demonstrate. Are you kidding – I would be thrown in jail or never be heard of again.

  • Pam

    Hi
    I posted my comment yesterday. It showed up yesterday, now it is gone. No freedom of speach on this site? If you don’t like what people have to say, then don’t ask the question.
    I believe in the rule of law. Oh, yes their is allready a federal law in place that deals with this issue. It is not inforced. It should have been for years. I welcome anyone into this country if they do it the right way, legally.
    Hey Denise – The world is a tough place. Remember, people cross the desert to get to this country. Your kids are in for a shock when the relize what really goes on in this world. W
    Obama has to protect illegals??? Excuse me – his obligations should be with the American Citizens. He is the commander in cheif.
    Illegals are invading our borders. We are under attack and he does nothing.
    I feel sorry for your kids because you and people like you are letting non americans control our country. Wake up – Don’t you understand………………………
    WE ARE LOSING OUR FREEDOM IN AMERICA. WE ARE LOSING OUR COUNTRY.


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