Unless your living under a rock, by now you've heard something about the Arizona immigration law that was passed this past week. As I've listed to arguments made by both sides I must confess that they both sounded as if they had validity to them. Arizona alone ends up with nearly $3 Billion in expenses every year created by illegal immigrants (key word being illegal). These are people already violating federal laws but yet the federal government refuses to crack down on them and they are costing states money.
We've seen the opposite such as CA's drug laws that allow things that are still outlawed by the federal laws. What I find interesting about that is that many of the same people who applauded CA for pushing for state rights are among those who now condemn Arizona for doing something similar by instead choosing to enforce federal laws.
But as with most political arguments, when you dive in deeper and begin looking at facts you see that both sides no longer make sense. One side is based on fact and reality while the other is smoke, mirrors and opinions.
For starters finding the text of the bill was not easy. While everyone seems to be talking about it and telling you what they claim the law does not many places actually give details or specific quotes from the bill (compare that to the Republicans who sited pages and specific passages from the healthcare bill they had problems with). I finally found the bill text HERE and I suggest you take the time to read through it if you choose to partake in political discussions about it.
Now if you listen to Al Sharpton and the left you would think this bill gives the local police the power to just randomly stop people based on appearance and demand papers at every steet corner. Websites discussing the bill even claim:
Under the new law, Arizona police now are required to stop and question anyone they "reasonably suspect" of being undocumented.
So police would be "required" to stop anyone who looks Mexican? Sorry but there's nothing in the law stating that. Here's the passage they are referring to:
20 B. FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR A LAW
21 ENFORCEMENT AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR A LAW
22 ENFORCEMENT AGENCY OF A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF
23 THIS STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO
24 IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE
25 MADE, WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON,
26 EXCEPT IF THE DETERMINATION MAY HINDER OR OBSTRUCT AN INVESTIGATION. ANY
27 PERSON WHO IS ARRESTED SHALL HAVE THE PERSON'S IMMIGRATION STATUS DETERMINED
28 BEFORE THE PERSON IS RELEASED. THE PERSON'S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE
29 VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION
30 1373(c). A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY,
31 CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE MAY NOT SOLELY
32 CONSIDER RACE, COLOR OR NATIONAL ORIGIN IN IMPLEMENTING THE REQUIREMENTS OF
33 THIS SUBSECTION EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY THE UNITED STATES OR
34 ARIZONA CONSTITUTION. A PERSON IS PRESUMED TO NOT BE AN ALIEN WHO IS
35 UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES IF THE PERSON PROVIDES TO THE LAW
36 ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OR AGENCY ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
37 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
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.
In other words if there is reasonable cause to suspect a person is breaking the law (ie an illegal immigrant) then police can investigate. Is this different then police investigating any other crime?
And when someone is arrested they check to see if you aren't also violating other laws (ie coming to this country illegally).
That's a problem?
Let's back up a moment though. Those who oppose this law often bring up the fact that people coming here illegally are often times people seeking to better their own lives. If that were the case then should any of us have a problem with it? Of course not but that's not the problem. The problem is that many who see the "better" their lives seek to do it through programs that you and I pay for. That's where the problems come in.
Illegals coming into this country add to the cost of resources. Texas spends an additional $4.7 Billion every year because of illegals. LA, the city, spends over $35 Million due to illegals. NJ is estimated at spending $2 Billion a year because of illegals.
Our court systems end up spending addition $1.6 Billion each year because of illegals in our court systems. When someone is arrested who cannot speak English we have to track down translators which increases the costs of their proceedings.
So the problem isn't that people come into this country legally or not, it's that they come into this country illegally and cost us money, hence cause harm to the rest of us. If we stopped the handouts, forced charities, etc no one would care who came into this country as long as they were not from a country harboring hatred against us (ie terrorists).