Immigration Newsletter

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tough immigration bill OK'd by Arizona House

Tough immigration bill OK'd by Arizona House

Nice waste of taxpayer resources - on a law that will be preempted by the United States Immigration and Nationality Act. The United States is in charge of deciding who gets to enter and remain in the United States (not each individual state). That way you help to set uniform national policy and avoid a patchwork of more or less discriminatory and arbitrary laws. Otherwise you can end up with a situation where it would be legal to be present in Illinois and Iowa but not in Texas and Arizona. Reading the bill it looks as much like a revenue enhancement bill as anything else.

From what I have read the "legal" programs that allow local police to enforce federal immigration law [287(g) programs] are failing badly enough. It is not wise to then try to create state by state immigration laws and make things even more confused - nevermind the fact that the laws are an unconstitutional infringement on the power of Congress to regulate immigration.

The law is also internally inconsistent...the part that interests me most "Trespassing" (see my earlier posts on this)... applies to violaters of 8USC1304(e) that is the section that requires Lawful Permanent Residents to carry there resident card with them at all times. So you are going to arrest people who are here legally for trespassing because they don't have their ID on them? Well maybe not because the proposed AZ law also exempts people who maintain authorization from the federal government to remain in the United States.

So what is the purpose of a law that allows for the arrest of people who the law doesn't apply to? Harassment? Profiling?
Well yes, but its more clever than that. If approached by an AZ police officer for "appearing to be an illegal alien trespasser" (what would probable cause look like in such a case I wonder?) I suppose a person could claim to be a legal resident who left there resident card at home. I suppose this law would allow them to arrest the person first and ask questions later. Clever? - yes. Legal? -only if you work for the US Department of Homeland Security. At least in my view.

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