By Elois Zeanah
Editorials, President Obama, the usual voices of leftist ideology, and 2012 presidential hopefuls who want to court Hispanic votes have piled on to criticize Arizona’s law. Reasons their arguments are not credible follow.
Arizona law does not allow racial profiling. Arizona’s new immigration law permits police to ask for citizenship documents only when there is “reasonable suspicion” and when police have already detained someone for violating another law such as a traffic violation.
U.S.C. 1304(e) has required immigrants to carry documents to prove they are in the country legally for over 50 years. It’s no more unreasonable to ask an immigrant for documentation, as law requires, than it is to ask a driver of a vehicle to show a driver’s license, as law requires, when an individual is suspected of breaking the law. It’s curious that the same people who oppose asking immigrants for “proof of citizenship” support the imposition of a new law to show “proof of purchase” of health care.
States have the right to enforce federal laws as long as states codify federal laws as state laws. Arizona’s law to make it a state crime for immigrants not to have immigration documents on their person simply follows the constitutional process to give the state the right to enforce federal law. I believe the reason for the pro-amnesty uproar is that protestors are afraid the law will work through attrition — as is being proven – and other states will follow suit.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that police have the right to question whether a person is in the U.S. illegally. In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court noted that police can detail illegal aliens and that the Court has “held repeatedly that mere police questioning does not constitute a seizure” under the Fourth Amendment. The Arizona law incorporates existing authorities.
Those who use Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigration to manufacture a crisis through editorials, unruly demonstrations, lawsuits, boycotts, and accusations of racial profiling are the same people who support amnesty, abdication of border security, more debt, and bloated government. Amnesty will force taxpayers to pay about $90 billion more every year for immigrants who will receive $3 to $4 in public benefits for every $1 they pay in taxes, according to the Heritage Foundation. Should we increase an already exploding deficit?
Partisans hope to use hyped rhetoric over Arizona’s law to pass amnesty. If politicians wanted to curb illegal immigration, they would rescind this Administration’s decision to stop building the border wall, hold employers accountable through E-Verify, end sanctuary cities, and end birthright citizenship to get rid of the welfare magnet.
Instead, politicians purposefully violate their oath to uphold the constitution and pander to lawbreakers to get votes. States should protect their citizens and their sovereignty from federal shenanigans.