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Author Topic: Arizona: Racial Profiling?  (Read 1984 times)

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Velvet Babylon

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Arizona: Racial Profiling?
« on: May 28, 2010, 11:26:18 PM »

I'm not sure which side of the fence people are standing on, and I'm a little surprised that I couldn't find a topic on this already. If I missed it somewhere, or this isn't the right place for this topic, please let me know!

It's been all over the news. Living in a highly conservative area, I see a lot of people locally supporting SB 1070 (which allows patrolmen to pull over, harass, and potentially detain and deport anyone who looks like they might not be legal citizens.) That last part is insane to me. How do you tell if someone's an illegal alien? Are they dirtier? Do they drive crappier cars? Are they just more... brown? And even if you're here in the US legitimately, you have essentially no legal recourse if a trooper decides to stop and badger you without any evidence of any wrongdoing. You apparently don't even have to do anything wrong- I guess our officers are going to be receiving top-notch government ESP training to catch those wily illegals and accurately pick them out of the hordes of legit folks.

(Disclaimer: I don't have a problem with any of the hardworking law enforcement officials who put themselves on the line to keep us safe. I do have a problem with Arizona's government giving them carte blanche to harass people without just cause.)

I believe that people should only live in any country legally- with the proper visas and such, or as full-fledged citizens. I also believe that people have the right to work for a better life, and the right to basic human decency. So where's the middle ground?

I actually got a link today in the Lefsetz Letter about a petition from musicians and fans opposing SB 1070. Check it out if you're interested: http://www.thesoundstrike.net

Whether you click the link or don't, sign the petition or not, I'd love to hear what people have to say about it.
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imaginary friend

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Re: Arizona: Racial Profiling?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2010, 11:34:30 PM »

it'll bite the dust soon enough. federal law always supersedes state law.

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overratedtoejam

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Re: Arizona: Racial Profiling?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2010, 01:11:55 AM »

i think there definitely needs to be stronger immigration laws, but there's got to be other ways to go about it than this.
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CeeGBee

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Re: Arizona: Racial Profiling?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2010, 01:44:28 AM »

...SB 1070 (which allows patrolmen to pull over, harass, and potentially detain and deport anyone who looks like they might not be legal citizens.)
Actually, it doesn't.  It requires police to verify residency-status of people they come into contact with
for other reasons, if they have reason to suspect that person might be other than legally present in the
country.  It does not provide authorization to stop or question someone simply for suspicion that they
may be here illegally.


it'll bite the dust soon enough. federal law always supersedes state law.
If it contradicted Federal law, that would be true.  In fact, it merely authorizes state and local law-enforcement
to investigate suspected violations of existing Federal law.  For example, the much-discussed requirement that
legal resident aliens have their "papers" on them when going out?  It's already the law, the Federal law.  The
problem is that the Federal government has failed in large part to enforce such laws for so long that when a
state takes steps like the new Arizona law, they're accused of draconian police-state behavior.



I'm all for immigration, but for reasons ranging from national security to a vague notion of
fairness to all those people who filled out the forms and waited as the law requires, I have
little sympathy for people who are here illegally and now face disruption of their lives because
of it.
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Re: Arizona: Racial Profiling?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2010, 01:01:08 PM »

Can the Arizona state government actually give that sort of authorization? There was a similar law passed by referendum in California...I don't remember the year, but Pete Wilson was the governor at the time. Federal court threw it out and, when Cali tried to appeal to the Supremes, the SC wouldn't even take the case.

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Velvet Babylon

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Re: Arizona: Racial Profiling?
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2010, 01:33:11 PM »

...SB 1070 (which allows patrolmen to pull over, harass, and potentially detain and deport anyone who looks like they might not be legal citizens.)
Actually, it doesn't.  It requires police to verify residency-status of people they come into contact with
for other reasons, if they have reason to suspect that person might be other than legally present in the
country.  It does not provide authorization to stop or question someone simply for suspicion that they
may be here illegally.

If that's true, then I stand corrected. All of the articles I've read (most of which are from newspapers) have stated that the biggest difference between this bill and federal law (and the biggest problem with the bill) is that it essentially negates the "other reasons" clause and allows law enforcement to stop anyone, at any time, based solely on suspicion of illegality. I'll do some more digging after work and see what I can find in the text of the bill itself. (Assuming I can read legalese, ha!)

Even if the hype is skewed (and it almost always is), there has got to be a better way.

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CeeGBee

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Re: Arizona: Racial Profiling?
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2010, 03:59:38 PM »

...SB 1070 (which allows patrolmen to pull over, harass, and potentially detain and deport anyone who looks like they might not be legal citizens.)
Actually, it doesn't.  It requires police to verify residency-status of people they come into contact with
for other reasons, if they have reason to suspect that person might be other than legally present in the
country.  It does not provide authorization to stop or question someone simply for suspicion that they
may be here illegally.

If that's true, then I stand corrected. All of the articles I've read (most of which are from newspapers) have stated that the biggest difference between this bill and federal law (and the biggest problem with the bill) is that it essentially negates the "other reasons" clause and allows law enforcement to stop anyone, at any time, based solely on suspicion of illegality. I'll do some more digging after work and see what I can find in the text of the bill itself. (Assuming I can read legalese, ha!)
Arizona's legislature actually passed a second piece of legislation immediately after the one that's
gotten all the hype, the purpose of which is basically to underline the part of the first law where it
says they can't just stop every brown-skinned person they come across and demand ID...

Even if the hype is skewed (and it almost always is), there has got to be a better way.
There is, but it's in the ounce-of-prevention category.  If they'd bothered to pursue visa-violators
over the last 20 years,  we wouldn't have millions of people HERE who, by any rational legal standard
should be deported (and there wouldn't be an awful lot of natural-born US citizens whose parents
should be deported, and prosperous businesses whose owners should be deported &c &c &c.)

There's a lot of talk about border-security and patrols and fences and crap like that, but in fact,
most of the illegal aliens in the US arrived legally, but simply never left when their tourist- or
student- or temporary-worker visas expired.

There is, of course, abundant blame to be placed, and fingers to be pointed, but none of that
addresses the real problem we now have.

IMHO, the best solution (starting now, not 25 years ago) is maximum enforcement of laws against
employing illegal aliens.  American Apparel?  Sieze the whole damn company and send the officers
to prison.  Bob's Paint Service (who somehow underbid every other contractor in town)?  Take the
trucks, take the man's house ('proceeds of a criminal enterprise'), send Bob to prison and his workers
back to wherever they came from...   When the rich white guys are no longer willing to hire illegal
aliens, the problem will be halfway solved.
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Rob

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Re: Arizona: Racial Profiling?
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2010, 05:34:51 PM »

I almost agree with you, Cee.

You are most definitely correct regarding all the hype and calls of racism.  This law does nothing but allow peace officers to investigate additional violations of Federal law (specifically immigration related) once someone has already been detained for some other violation.

Sending owners of companies to jail or confiscating their property is a bit overboard.  Though they may be responsible for the actions of their employees ultimately, these penalties seems a bit harsh.  Perhaps one or the other may be deserved after repeated offenses. 
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CeeGBee

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Re: Arizona: Racial Profiling?
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2010, 10:02:20 PM »

I almost agree with you, Cee.

You are most definitely correct regarding all the hype and calls of racism.  This law does nothing but allow peace officers to investigate additional violations of Federal law (specifically immigration related) once someone has already been detained for some other violation.

Sending owners of companies to jail or confiscating their property is a bit overboard.  Though they may be responsible for the actions of their employees ultimately, these penalties seems a bit harsh.  Perhaps one or the other may be deserved after repeated offenses. 
Clearly, as with any call for MAXIMUM ENFORCEMENT....  You find worst-case offenders (like, say,
American Apparel) and hurt them.  Start by hittin' em in their wallets.  If (when?) that doesn't make
an adequate impression find another scofflaw and demonstrate that the buck really does stop at the
top.

As for confiscating property...  Treat it like any other business whose profitability is dependent on
an ongoing criminal element.  What happens to the guy who's selling drugs out of his Quik-E Mart?
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Velvet Babylon

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Re: Arizona: Racial Profiling?
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2010, 11:48:05 PM »

The relevant section of the law pertaining to "reasonable suspicion":

B. FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY OF A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE, WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON, EXCEPT IF THE DETERMINATION MAY HINDER OR OBSTRUCT AN INVESTIGATION. ANY PERSON WHO IS ARRESTED SHALL HAVE THE PERSON'S IMMIGRATION STATUS DETERMINED BEFORE THE PERSON IS RELEASED. THE PERSON'S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c). A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE MAY NOT SOLELY CONSIDER RACE, COLOR OR NATIONAL ORIGIN IN IMPLEMENTING THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SUBSECTION EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY THE UNITED STATES OR ARIZONA CONSTITUTION. A PERSON IS PRESUMED TO NOT BE AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES IF THE PERSON PROVIDES TO THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OR AGENCY ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:

1. A VALID ARIZONA DRIVER LICENSE.
2. A VALID ARIZONA NONOPERATING IDENTIFICATION LICENSE.
3. A VALID TRIBAL ENROLLMENT CARD OR OTHER FORM OF TRIBAL
IDENTIFICATION.
4. IF THE ENTITY REQUIRES PROOF OF LEGAL PRESENCE IN THE UNITED STATES BEFORE ISSUANCE, ANY VALID UNITED STATES FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT ISSUED IDENTIFICATION


"For any lawful contact" is pretty vague, in my opinion. Is there a more specific definition or clarification? "...May not solely consider race, color, or national origin..." sounds a bit better, but then they seem to provide an out for that immediately after by allowing for any exceptions permitted under federal or state law. Even if they had the best of intentions with this, and even if it isn't overturned, I think AZ will be the worse for it.

I agree, Cee,  that those responsible for hiring illegals in the first place need to take their share of the blame, but I don't think that's all we need to do. I think if we made the actual immigration process simpler (not necessarily easier, because we don't want to be a revolving door o' citizenship), that would help, too.
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Rob

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Re: Arizona: Racial Profiling?
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2010, 11:01:55 AM »

"Lawful contact" isn't vague at all.  It means that the officer must have come into contact with the person for a reason already provided for by the law. 

ie: routine traffic violation, assault, trespassing, etc..
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CeeGBee

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Re: Arizona: Racial Profiling?
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2010, 04:11:48 PM »

"Lawful contact" isn't vague at all.  It means that the officer must have come into contact with the person for a reason already provided for by the law. 

ie: routine traffic violation, assault, trespassing, etc..
The law was amended almost immediately after passage.  That language was changed:
Quote
· Changes “lawful contact” to “lawful stop, detention or arrest.”

·Stipulates that a lawful stop, detention or arrest must be in the enforcement of any
other law or ordinance of a county, city or town or this state.

Arizona Legislature website
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Rob

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Re: Arizona: Racial Profiling?
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2010, 07:08:36 PM »

So, I'm glad to see that they inteded it exactly as I interpreted it.
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