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Post Link Posted: Tue May 04 2010 8:19 pm
Post subject: Wall Street Journal - Arizona's Immigration Mistake
Reply to John Manning Reply with quote





Arizona's Immigration Mistake

by Clarence W. Dupnik, Sheriff of Pima County, Arizona


--- I HAVE SPENT 50 years in the law-enforcement profession in the
Tucson community, the past 30 of which I have served as sheriff. I have
seen relations between our community and law enforcement personnel shift
with the times: sometimes challenged when the actions of a few police
officers cross the line, and often improving when there is a sense of
partnership.

But in the past few weeks Arizona became a model for the rest of the
country of what not to do.

The immigration reform law that was signed by Gov. Jan Brewer on April
23 effectively requires that immigrants be able to prove their legal
presence in the state of Arizona. I have argued from the moment that
this bill was signed that it is unnecessary, that it is a travesty, and
most significantly, that it is unconstitutional.

Pima County, where I am sheriff, shares 123 miles of border with Mexico.
Patrolling this area for illegal immigrants is like trying to keep water
from passing through a sieve.

I have always believed that the federal government, charged with the
task of regulating immigration into the United States, bears the
responsibility for this task. However, it has also never been the policy
of my department to ignore the existence of those that are in this
country illegally. That's why my deputies are instructed that if they
come in contact with an illegal immigrant they should detain him,
contact Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and turn
him over to federal authorities.

My deputies have referred more illegal immigrants to Border Patrol and
Immigration and Customs Enforcement than any other state or local law
enforcement agency in Arizona. But this new law will pass the burden of
immigration enforcement to my county department. This is a
responsibility I do not have the resources to implement.

The more fundamental problem with the law is its vague language. It
requires law enforcement officials to demand papers from an individual
when they have a "reasonable suspicion" that he is an illegal immigrant.

The Preamble to the Declaration of Independence states that "all men are
created equal" and that "they are endowed . . . with certain inalienable
rights" including "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Those
who look "suspiciously" like illegal immigrants will find their liberty
in severe jeopardy and their pursuit of happiness disrupted—even if they
are citizens or have lived, worked, paid taxes, and maybe even have
served in our Armed Forces for decades.

When used in a law-enforcement context, "reasonable suspicion" is always
understood to be subjective, but it must be capable of being
articulated. In the case of identifying illegal immigrants, the
ambiguity of what this "crime" looks like risks including an
individual's appearance, which would seem to violate the Constitution's
equal protection clause. Such ambiguity is especially dangerous when
prescribed to an issue as fraught with emotion as that of illegal
immigration.

I have an enormous amount of respect for the men and women of my
department—the deputy sheriffs who respond to calls for assistance
throughout Pima County every day of the week. I have no doubt that they
make intelligent, compassionate and reasonable decisions countless times
throughout their shifts. But no one can tell them what an illegal
immigrant looks like and when it is ok to begin questioning a person
along those lines.

This law puts them in a no-win situation: They will be forced to offend
and anger someone who is perhaps a citizen or here legally when they ask
to see his papers—or be accused of nonfeasance because they do not.

There is a horrible problem with illegal immigration in this country,
and it affects the citizens of Pima County every single day. Because of
our proximity to the border, our county population demographic is
heavily Hispanic (both legal and illegal). That means we must interact
with witnesses and victims of crime in their times of need, regardless
of their immigration status. Though this legislation states that inquiry
into a person's immigration status is not required if it will hinder an
investigation, that's not enough to quell the very real fears of the
immigrant community.

Law enforcement did not ask for and does not need this new tool. What we
do need is assistance from the federal government in the form of
effective strategies to secure the border. Additionally, the federal
government must take up this issue in the form of comprehensive
immigration reform policy. If any good is to come from this firestorm,
it is that our legislators will finally recognize that a problem exists
and that they are the only ones with the authority to address it.

online.wsj..../ar....adlines





Immigration Arizona Journal Mistake
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Post Link Posted: Tue May 04 2010 10:59 pm
Post subject: Re: Wall Street Journal - Arizona's Immigration Mistake
Reply to Enkidu Reply with quote



On Tue, 04 May 2010 21:19:18 -0300, John Manning wrote:


Quote:
Law enforcement did not ask for and does not need this new tool. What we
do need is assistance from the federal government in the form of
effective strategies to secure the border. Additionally, the federal
government must take up this issue in the form of comprehensive
immigration reform policy.


Exactly! This is not a state problem, and no state can solve it. Tighter
controls on the border *and* serious penalties for employers are the
solution. Make it difficult to get here illegally and not worth the
effort.

--
Enkidu
AA 2165

Of all things, good sense is the most fairly distributed: everyone
thinks he is so well supplied with it that even those who are the
hardest to satisfy in every other respect never desire more of it
than they already have.

René Descartes, Discours de la Méthode. 1637.












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