Civil Liberties

Reason Writers Around Town: Shikha Dalmia Addresses More Bogus Arguments by Arizona Restrictionists

|

In her previous Forbes column, Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia argued that Arizona's harsh immigration law is against the spirit of America. In her latest column, she argues that it is also against the U.S. Constitution. The law's defenders say that it can withstand constitutional scrutiny because it has been carefully modeled after federal immigration law. But that is as constitutionally presumptuous as Arizona sending its own state troops to help the federal government fight the Iraq war. As Dalmia writes:

One of the most controversial aspects of the amended law is that it makes it a state crime for immigrants—legal and illegal—to step out of their house without their papers. Defenders claim that there is nothing Gestapo-like about this provision because immigrants are already required by federal law to carry their papers. What's more, they note, this law won't mean that cops will simply be able to stop anyone on the street and demand proof of legality. Interestingly, they made the same claim about the original law even though it required police officers to make little more than eye contact before launching a full-blown inquiry into someone's immigration status.

The amended law limits such inquiries to instances when cops make a lawful stop, detention, or arrest in the course of enforcing some other law or local ordinance. But including local ordinances as grounds for an immigration inquiry opens all kinds of tantalizing harassment possibilities for officials like Joe Arpaio—the notorious but popular Arizona sheriff who has made it his personal mission to root out undocumented aliens from the state by launching crime sweeps in Latino communities on the flimsiest of pretexts.

Read the whole thing here

NEXT: The Neanderthal in Us -- Neanderthal Genome Sequenced

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. The amended law limits such inquiries to instances when cops make a lawful stop, detention, or arrest in the course of enforcing some other law or local ordinance.

    “Whutchoo doin’ in this hyar part o’ town, BOY?”

  2. I can’t decide who’s more annoying in regards to this issue- the folks who are screaming bloody murder about RACIAL PROFILING!! ARPAIO WILL ROUND UP LATINOS EN MASSE!!! or is it the other side who are screaming DEY TERKER JERBS!!! GO BACK TO MEXICO!!!

    Here I sit in the middle holding up a “wider gates, taller fences” sign and wonder when everyone will stop using Nazi analogies that are disrespectful to the people who actually suffered under the Nazi’s.

    People suck, that’s all there is to it.

  3. So you don’t think it is right for Arizonans to police their own communities, which have become infested with illegal aliens? We’re not talking about illegal immigrants, we’re talking about illegal aliens … illegal aliens have no rights – they are, effectively, criminals.

    The federal government won’t do anything about it so Arizona is acting to police their own state – they have the right to do it!

    The feds exist by virtue of the states, not the other way around…

    As for certain ethnic groups, in this case Mexicans, feeling inconvenienced by this … tough luck. It’s a problem with hoards of illegal Mexican aliens… Americans of Mexican extraction should be patriotic and take this in stride, when the problem is dealt with and the border is secured, things will just go back to normal.

    Stop whining and trying to control the authorities … no one is trying to beat up on the Mexican immigrants, only ferret out the Illegal aliens… what don’t you understand about that?

    Problem is the Mexican community wants immunity for the illegals, and an open border and that is not going to happen.

    And don’t give me the legal mumbo jumbo .. we’re not talking about taking away any citizen rights – WE’RE TALKING ABOUT DEALING WITH A VERY SERIOUS PROBLEM.

    We’re not giving people who jump the fence a free pass to the party. It’s costing Arizona dearly to deal with this problem and is a crippling drain on their resources … they have the right to deal with it.

    1. Tman complains about Nazi comparisons as demeaning to those who suffered from real Nazis and then you start using the same sort of language (“infested”) real Nazis used in the very next post.

      Just FYI, here’s how Oxford defines infest:

      (of insects or animals) be present (in a place or site) in large numbers, typically so as to cause damage or disease.” (emphasis added)

      And people wonder why Nazi analogies keep popping up. And the folks who use language like this keep wondering why they are accused of being racists. Might have something to do with your language about people that makes them into subhumans and that uses the same biological metaphors that real Nazis used.

    2. James is the voice of reason on this. I hope AZ is smart enough and has the will not to cave to the bleeding hearts.

    3. So you don’t think it is right for Arizonans to police their own communities, which have become infested with illegal aliens? We’re not talking about illegal immigrants, we’re talking about illegal aliens … illegal aliens have no rights – they are, effectively, criminals.

      Do you realize Area 51 is in Nevada, not Arizona, right?

    4. So you don’t think it is right for Germans to police their own communities, which have become infested with Jews? We’re not talking about German citizens, we’re talking about Jews … Jews have no rights – they are, effectively, criminals.

      The Weimar Republic won’t do anything about it so Germans are acting to police their own country – they have the right to do it!

      The Weimar exists by virtue of the German people, not the other way around…

      As for certain ethnic groups, in this case Jews, feeling inconvenienced by this … tough luck. It’s a problem with hoards of Jews… Germans of pure extraction should be patriotic and take this in stride, when the problem is dealt with and the country is secured, things will just go back to normal.

      Stop whining and trying to control the authorities … no one is trying to beat up on the true Germans, only ferret out the Jews… what don’t you understand about that?

      Problem is the international community wants immunity for the Jews, and a free Germany and that is not going to happen.

      And don’t give me the legal mumbo jumbo .. we’re not talking about taking away any human’s rights – WE’RE TALKING ABOUT DEALING WITH A VERY SERIOUS PROBLEM.

      We’re not giving Jews a free pass to the party. It’s costing Germany dearly to deal with this problem and is a crippling drain on their resources … they have the right to deal with it.

      1. Oh, please…

        No one’s talking about rounding up legal Mexican-Americans and putting them in gas chambers, or prison camps.

        A worst case scenario is that some legal immigrant caught without his/her papers might be detained for a few hours while they straighten it out. Annoying, yes, but Aushwitz it aint.

        1. I don’t know, if Arpaio was in a position of authority in Nazi Germany (the things already been Godwined)he would outwork Haydrich in his zeal to kill. The man is irredeemably evil, he lacks any qualities that don’t inspire disgust. The world would be a better place if he went off to meditate in a cave somewhere and took his jackbooted underlings with him.

          1. Sounds like you’re projecting, dude.

          2. He does punish animal abuse harshly, so he’s not all that bad

        2. “A worst case scenario is that some legal immigrant caught without his/her papers might be detained [in a box in the Mojave desert] for a few hours days while they straighten it out.”

          FTFY

      2. heller, thanks for doing such an awesome job of proving my point.

        Also, throwing around Nazi comparisons like so much dick cheese makes you a contemptible bitch.

        Toodles!

        1. No, I would be proving your point if the substitution of Jews for illegal immigrants didn’t work as well as it actually does. This is not a comparison of the political reasonings behind the Arizona bill and Nazism, but a comparison of the *rhetoric* being used. If James and his friends weren’t saying things like “illegal aliens have no rights,” then your point would be proven. So sorry, but if the shoe fits…

          On a separate note, I think I, as a Jew with relatives who died in the Holocaust, would know better than you what is disrespectful and what isn’t to the victims of the Holocaust. And even if I wasn’t, I certainly would know that protecting the equal and unimpeachable rights of ALL human beings is a testament to those victims, and not disrespectful in any way.

          1. The comparison doesn’t work at all, period.

            Your pedigree does not allow you to alter the fact that there is no reasonable comparison between the US and Nazi Germany. It actually makes you sound more contemptible.

            Show me the box cars and ovens or STFU.

            1. Ummm, the post where I substituted Jew for illegal alien sounds exactly like a Nazi. So there is your comparison. Didn’t I already explain to you that I was showing that the rhetoric is similar?

            2. And saying “Show me the box cars and ovens or STFU” is stupid, since those things aren’t the only factors that a comparison to Nazism can rely upon. Sort of begging the question there…

              1. Tman,

                Way to slam down this pathetic troll.

  4. Off topic, but The Daily Caller is promoting the video of the Columbia, Mo., SWAT team shooting the family dog during their drug raid video. A very good development.

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/#ixzz0nAzZTbKy

  5. “If it turns out that they are here illegally, they could be arrested, pending deportation. This means that the same pooper-scooper violation that would produce nothing more than a small fine for unaccented white folks–since they would not raise any “reasonable suspicion” that would justify an inquiry into their immigration status–could well result in a lengthy police encounter for Hispanic citizens or Hispanics with valid visas–and deportation for anyone who had overstayed their visa by even a day.”

    That is some just horrible logic there. First, police all over the country stop and inquire on small violations. It is called “broken windows policing”. Maybe Dalmia wasn’t in the country during the 1990s, but she might want to google the term.

    Second, if you over stay your VISA, you are supposed to be deported. If you are here illegally you are supposed to be deported. By her logic if they stop someone for not picking up their dog crap and that person ends up being covered with blood and guilty of murder, they will end up in jail over murder for “the same pooper-scooper violation that would produce nothing more than a small fine for” people who haven’t committed any other crime.

    Look, Reason and Dalmia’s position is that it is wrong to deport anyone. That is not an uncommon position. Why don’t you guys just take that position and defend it rather than making spurious arguments like this one?

    1. I’M JOHN

      SON OF A BITCH IMMIGRANT

      IMMIGRANT IS PIG

      DO YOU WANT A VISA?

      DO YOU WANT A GREEN CARD?

      IMMIGRANT IS PIG DISGUSTING

      SHIKHA DALMIA IS A MURDERER

      FUCKING REASON

      1. Be gone troll. Or at least have the courage to post under your name.

        What is up with reason attracting so many trolls?

        1. John,
          I know who you are. You’re almost invariably male, Caucasian, middle-class. Your parents were normal, vanilla folks. Maybe you had a sibling or two.

          You went to a public school, pulling high or middle grades with ease and relative disinterest. You didn’t really gel with most of the other kids; you found them boring, they found you weird. Your contempt for the average person grew with your age, never seizing control like in some emo dipshit, but simmering casually in the back of your head. When some asshole who could barely read got hurt, you probably laughed. When some stuck-up skank got herpes, you probably smiled. Chances are you got on well enough with your teachers; you weren’t a preening asshole like many of your peers, at least showed vague interest in learning, and perhaps the teacher sensed and picked up on your general contempt for others in your classes. This trend no doubt continued into college, if you had the motivation to bother.

          It’s a bit of an exaggeration to say you hate women: you don’t, after all, enjoy the socializing game. You’re probably no Don Juan, either. You long ago began to think of women as disappointingly petty, but you still hope to encounter someone interesting at some time or another.

          You enjoy being a “John” on Reason’s Hit & Run because it is a release from the normal world: no “John” has an identity; “John” is a preening faggot. “John” doesn’t realizes he is just a guy fucking around on the internet. “John” knows others of his kind enjoy this fact, too. You despise the intelligent, the empathic, the person who is not on the Autism spectrum for one simple reason: he acts like the internet isn’t the real world, a place where actions should have social consequences and where there needs to be a pecking order. Needless to say, you, John, do not approve.

          1. Wow Dan T. have you been reading my mail? Do I need to get a restraining order on you?

            That is just funny. I love how you think you know my entire life by my political views. Actually it is not funny. It is kind of creepy. And it is very creepy that someone could get so angry and bitter of postings on the internet that they could invent an entire fantasy persona for someone they didn’t like.

            Get help. And get it soon. Seriously.

        2. The original John makes a fair point. That said, the law still creates a two teir system for US Citizens based on the color of their skin and their accent. No caucasion has to fear not carrying their ID, while non-caucasion hispanics do. It also clearly creates oportunity for harassment and abuse of power.

          John, even though you’re right that Reason supports open borders – that doesn’t make the organization’s concerns over the ‘Arizona Law’ less valid.

          1. I am caucasion and I never leave the house without my ID. I am very sympathetic to the concerns about the “show your paper’s” society. But that battle has sadly been lost. This law doesn’t really make much difference. I don’t think anyone can really go around in society without and ID, black, brown or beige.

    2. Re: John,

      Second, if you over stay your VISA, you are supposed to be deported.

      It’s not when you overstay your visa. The problem is when you overstay your I-94 permit, expired visa or not. The visa allows a person to enter the country, but at the border crossing or in the airport you have to apply for the I-94 internalization permit, which allows you stay in the country for a set period of time, which can be and has been past the expiration date of visas.

  6. Of course, if immigrants have to carry their papers around, so must everyone.

    For how else could you prove you’re not an immigrant?

  7. My prediction: Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia will vote for Obama in 2012.

    1. Your prediction is not the form of a quatrain. Yet your inherent style, though amateurish, seems quite familiar to me….

      Please sir, leave the prognostication to proven professionals such as myself. A word please?

  8. My prediction: Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia will vote for Obama in 2012.

    She can’t vote from the OMFGAS CHAMBER all us beigey-lookin’ types are about to get shoveled into.

  9. Americans of Mexican extraction should be patriotic and take this in stride

    Of course they should.

    And you should let the police regularly search your home. Because you’re not doing anything wrong. Are you?

  10. Shikha is falling into the trap of LET THE FEDS DO IT.

    In fact, the Constitution does NOT grant the feds authority over immigration. It merely grants them authority over NATURALIZION, or becoming a citizen.

    The Feds did not pass an immigration law until the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1875. The first Comprehensive Federal Immigration Act was not passed until 1921.

    The states should be in charge of immigration, with NO federal quotas on immigration.

    The federal laws are the cause of the problems. But the states are acting to enforce the laws that are the problem in the first place, instead of declaring their ninth and tenth amendment powers to make their own immigration policy.

    Sure, the federal courts will resist. Then, the proper thing to do is nullify the courts orders, or secede.

    If only people would read the darn Constitution, and not opinion-ate first!

  11. Shikha is falling into the trap of LET THE FEDS DO IT.

    In fact, the Constitution does NOT grant the feds authority over immigration. It merely grants them authority over NATURALIZION, or becoming a citizen.

    The Feds did not pass an immigration law until the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1875. The first Comprehensive Federal Immigration Act was not passed until 1921.

    The states should be in charge of immigration, with NO federal quotas on immigration.

    The federal laws are the cause of the problems. But the states are acting to enforce the laws that are the problem in the first place, instead of declaring their ninth and tenth amendment powers to make their own immigration policy.

    Sure, the federal courts will resist. Then, the proper thing to do is nullify the courts orders, or secede.

    If only people would read the darn Constitution, and not opinion-ate first!

    1. “The states should be in charge of immigration, with NO federal quotas on immigration.”

      While you’re right about the Constitution, actually antifederalizing immigration would mean that Arizona would either have to tighten its border against California, or freely let in any immigrant that Cali admits. Ditto all the way inland — federalizing immigration means that we don’t need border controls at the state level, nor is the power completely handed over to border states.

      1. Well, as a current Arizonian I wouldn’t mind if they tightened the border at California. I’d probably use my brakes a lot less, not having to dodge all those dickheads in giant SUVs with California plates driving like the world’s going to end if they get to the local martini bar a couple of minutes late.

  12. Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia discovers new cottage industry.

  13. Police abuse is theoretically possible under the new law, but I have my doubts about that. Will the police detain every single Latino for not picking up after dog poop or jay walking, although they look like perfectly decent human beings minding their own business?

    Ideally, a cop should inquire about a suspect’s immigration status after detaining him for shooing a rival gang member or something. But if you caught someone smoking too close to federal property, and he looks suspiciously like a known criminal, that also deserves the cop’s attention. We can’t always foresee what’s an appropriate scenario for a cop to ask about someone’s papers (during lawful detentions)

    The amnesty crowd often marginalizes their opponents as white rednecks seething over dirty Latinos taking over their jobs, but it’s not uncommon for illegals to complain about other illegals. The few illegal criminals often hurt other minorities and immigrants. But no one really cares when a Latino thug punches a Chinese man to death at a park.

    1. You’ve missed the cases talked about recently in Reason where Arpaio’s crew have detained perfectly legal visitors with their papers in order who were able to present them upon demand. If they do that to people who have their papers, it seems personally reasonable to expect them to do worse when given the cover of law.

      1. But did he know in advance that they were “legal”? How would he know, unless he asked them for their papers?

        I’m not defending the police, I’m just not anticipating any gestapo like violation of civil rights sweeping across Ariznoa. I live near LA, where people break laws left and right without the police lifting a darn finger. Go to Koreatown, and you can visit certain restaurants that offers you an ashtray as if they were still South Korea. I’ve heard rumors about dog meat sales (GASP) too. Angelenos courageously stand up to their big government bullies by talking on their cell phones while driving 24/7. Because you know, LA is such a libertarian town.

        Maybes things will turn out for the worse in Arizona. But even then it won’t be as bad as the scaremongering whipped by the Al Sharpton crowd. Arizona will go broke pretty quick if the police spent all their town tracking down minorities who downloaded pirated films or threw gum wrappers onto the street.

        If they indeed stopped everyone for breaking 400 silly laws enacted by their busybody governemnt, that could be interpreted racial profiling, since a chunk of those offenders will be non whites. And profiling is speficially forbidden in the language. The police probably can’t afford bad publicity by deporting a nice old 50 year Chinese lady anyways.

        Again, I was an illegal, and we have real issues to deal with. Terrifying immigration raids rank near the bottom. Illegals are actually DENIED plenty of entitlement services. Almost every (reputable) jobs or services demand proof of residency. Free clinics can’t turn away illegals for obvious reasons.

        1. Did you read what I wrote? These were people who would actually have complied with the new law and Arpaio still held them. The gave him their papers (so he knew that they were legal, at least to a standard that would have satisfied him about anybody else) and it didn’t matter.

          I guess you also missed the part about his deputies holding some (U.S. citizen) Latino guy for driving by accident down a flooded road. This fellow had his ID in order and still got cited for the offense and held even though Arpaio’s crew was simply redirecting the whites without citation who drove down the road.

          Why should we give any more cover or authority to the kinds of LEOs who think it’s also OK to pilfer papers from defense attorneys in open court and ignore court orders to return them? If you think that this law, which reinforces their conviction that they are already above the law when convenient for them, won’t result in worse abuses, then you’ve got another thing coming.

  14. I stopped reading when I scanned the article and read “Gestapo-like”.

  15. Brendan is quite correct – the Constitution is silent on whether the States or the Feds have jurisdiction over immigration (as opposed to naturalization).

    If you take the Bill of Rights seriously, of course, this means the States have jurisdiction.

    So that whole “its as presumptuous for the states to police immigration as it would be for them to send state troops to fight a war” thing doesn’t really hold water.

    Now, can the States violate Due Process in policing immigration? Of course they can, but that’s a separate issue.

  16. err, perfectly reasonable.

  17. What’s supposed to justify a police officer’s suspicion that a person is not in the US legally so as to ask for proof of residence? Don’t tell me: His thick British accent, right? Yeah, sure.

    Having your ID is NOT proof of citizenship or residence, it is only proof that your face belongs to you – you would have to carry your PASSPORT or your BIRTH CERTIFICATE with you ALL THE TIME if you happen to look like Pancho Gonzalez and are an American citizen, just to avoid having your ass placed in jail or beaten to a pulp IF you are stopped by a police officer for a minor infraction and DON’T happen to have anything more convincing than your driver’s license.

    Anyone that believes this law is to stop illegal migrants in Arizona, is on drugs. This law will do no such thing, rather, it will open the door to even more harrassing of American-born Panchos and Isauros and Jesuses by the police, now that the law FINALLY justifies their (the cops) criminal activities.

    1. The “green card” (meaning you’re a permanant non resident, I believe) is a size of a driver’s license. It’s not a hassle to carry around. If you left it at home and the police stopped, he’d probably give you a chance to get it or run a background info.

      That someone who looks “foreign” in Arizona will be under the microscope is unlikely. Asians will be in some serious trouble if that was true. Some fair skinned Latinos or Spaniards might pass as white Americans. No way in hell any Chinese or Koreans will be confused as “Americans” in Arizona.

      But my guess is that Arpaio will leave Asians alone, because we’re really great at math, and our kids help mainatin test scores in schools at a respectable levels. They need us to invent super intelligent cyborgs to replace the exploited illegal day laborers. When these robots become self aware take over the world, all the right wingers in America will have wished the Meixcans stayed.

      Of course, there’s also the fact that the Chinese aren’t kidnapping or shooting Arizona Ranchers. Same with most Mexicans, and many other illegals whose only threat to this country is their incessant smoking.

      1. But my guess is that Arpaio will leave Asians alone, because we’re really great at math, and our kids help mainatin test scores in schools at a respectable levels. They need us to invent super intelligent cyborgs to replace the exploited illegal day laborers.

        Wow, Lee, thanks for sharing your “Asian genius” with all us knuckle-draggers. And for coming all the way across the world, abandoning all the other Asian geniuses, just to invent all those “super intelligent cyborgs” for us right-wingers. And where would we be without your test scores? What an incredible sacrifice you’ve made for us all, coming to this terrible country. Your generosity is only exceeded by your modesty.

    2. IF you are stopped by a police officer for a minor infraction and DON’T happen to have anything more convincing than your driver’s license.

      Read the bill moron. The police are required to accept an Arizona drivers license as proof of ctizenship.

  18. How can controlling illegal immigration not be harsh on some people? Laws are a bitch, excuse me bastard.

  19. Yep, Lets all pile on and keep calling Arizona a racist state. We all know it’s the only place where blatant racism exists

  20. Dalmia makes a convincing case she should be deported too.

    1. +1

  21. All of you pro-illegal commenters are right, Arizona is a hell hole on par with Nazi Germany. Fortunately, all you have to do is cross over the border into that tolerant Mexican paradise, where everything is run by noble brown people and those evil racist gringos are hardly to be found. Adios.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.