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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Demonization and the Arizona Immigration Bill

Here's one thing I am absolutely certain of regarding the new Arizona anti illegal immigration bill. No one's civil rights have been violated yet. I know this because the law doesn't go into effect until August and so it would be impossible.

That's an important statement of fact because opponents of the bill are certain that this bill will trample on civil liberties. Furthermore, when pressed to back up these assertions, they make claims that aren't in the law. For instance, they claim police officers will be able to stop anyone of Hispanic descent and "ask for their papers". Of course, the law only allows for police to ask for identification during the course of another stop for another violation of the law. It's also alleged that this allows racial profiling. In fact, the law specifically prohibits racial profiling.

In fact, this law does nothing that federal laws don't already do. I know this because the authors of the law were careful not to violate the "Supremacy clause". That's the portion of the constitution that states that any federal statute overrides a state statute and thus makes said state statute unconstitutional. So, if the Arizona law is unconstitutional, then what does that make federal law?

In fact, opponents have gone so far as to suggest that this will give Arizona police license to abuse the law. Of course, not only is that a totally uncalled for indictment of the police in Arizona, but wouldn't any law be open to abuse by those that are corrupt.

The one thing that this law has done is opened up a much needed debate on illegal immigration. On the other hand, there has been so much demonization of the law and its supporters that the debate has been entirely rudimentary. We aren't debating the best way to seal the border, stop companies from hiring illegals and what to do with the illegal immigrants already here. Instead, one side accuses the other of being racist. The other responds in kind and the debate is about culture and not illegal immigration.


Benito said...

I hope that every American, regardless of where he lives, will stop and examine his conscience about this and other related incidents. This Nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened. All of us ought to have the right to be treated as he would wish to be treated, as one would wish his children to be treated, but this is not the case.

I know the proponents of this law say that the majority approves of this law, but the majority is not always right. Would women or non-whites have the vote if we listen to the majority of the day, would the non-whites have equal rights (and equal access to churches, restaurants, hotels, retail stores, schools, colleges and yes water fountains) if we listen to the majority of the day? We all know the answer, a resounding, NO!

Today we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free. In a time of domestic crisis men of good will and generosity should be able to unite regardless of party or politics and do what is right, not what is just popular with the majority. Some men comprehend discrimination by never have experiencing it in their lives, but the majority will only understand after it happens to them.

mike volpe said...

Great speech but beside the point. If you have a specific problem with the law,please state it. All you are doing now is speechifying.