Civil Liberties

The Bogus Constitutional Arguments of Arizona's Ultra-Restrictionists

States can't write their own immigration laws

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Defenders of Arizona's harsh new anti-immigration law are going on the offensive: They are fanning out on TV, radio talk shows, and newspaper columns arguing that there is nothing nefarious about this law because all it does is help Uncle Sam enforce its existing laws. Even if this claim were true, it would be as constitutionally presumptuous as Arizona dispatching state troops to help the federal government fight the Iraq war.

Brit Hume, a Fox News commentator, who had previously called the law "somewhat draconian," came out swinging in its favor—declaring that his initial characterization was completely wrong and the law is actually "totally sensible." Meanwhile, the National Review crowd, which has yet to encounter an anti-immigration law that it doesn't like, put its full weight behind Arizona right from the get-go. In this it seems to be marching in lock step with the ultra-restrictionist Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) whose founder, Mark Krikorian, is a regular contributor to the magazine.

CIS advocates a moratorium on all immigration—illegal and legal, unskilled and skilled. And it pursues its agenda with as much finesse as Detective Clouseau displayed when pursuing criminals in Pink Panther movies. Two years ago, it released a study arguing against relaxing U.S. immigration restrictions on grounds that this would raise global greenhouse gas emissions. (Really! Check out the link.)

Even before the ink had dried on the Arizona law, CIS issued talking points insisting that it was nothing more than a mirror image of the federal law—a claim that Byron York, National Review's former White House correspondent, immediately repeated in his column. "Contrary to the talk [of the law's critics]," York declared, "it is a reasonable, limited, carefully crafted measure…that went to great lengths to make sure it is constitutional." Likewise, National Review editor Rich Lowry maintained: "Arizona seeks only to enforce the nominal immigration policy of the United States."

But such talk failed even to reassure Arizona's own legislators, who moved—less than two weeks after the law was passed—to amend the law's more draconian provisions after civil rights groups threatened to sue on constitutional grounds. However, even with these changes, the law raises equal protection and federalism issues large enough to drive a Mexican truck through.

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.

Under the new law, Arpaio could troll Hispanic neighborhoods demanding the papers of anyone breaking, say, a local pooper-scooper law while walking their dogs. If they can't comply on the spot, he could haul them to a police station while their immigration status is checked. 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. "If this doesn't raise equal protection and Fourth Amendment concerns then what does?" asks Cecillia Wang, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union.

But the more serious constitutional problem with the Arizona law is that it illegitimately usurps a federal function given that, as with foreign policy matters, Uncle Sam has ultimate jurisdiction in setting national immigration policy. Professor Juliet Stumpf of Portland's Lewis & Clark Law School notes that courts have given states some leeway to set their own laws to deal with immigrant-related crime and other issues so long as their primary purpose is not to regulate immigration flows. But the Arizona law is not exactly subtle about what its true aim is. Its opening sentence reads: "The intent of this act is to make attrition [of the immigrant population] through enforcement the public policy of all state and local government agencies in Arizona." In short, it is criminalizing immigration-related violations under state law not to deal with immigrant-related crimes—but to give state authorities expanded tools to drive out immigrants. Hence, even if the Arizona law is identical in content with federal law, notes Prof. Stumpf, it might still be overturned by courts on jurisdictional grounds.

But that's not the only way this law steps on federal toes. Congress' 1996 immigration reform act expressly forbade local participation in immigration enforcement without federal authorization and supervision. Except for Arizona, notes Muzaffar Chishti, Director of New York University's Migration Policy Center, he can't think of a single state or locality that has taken upon itself to enforce federal immigration law without first entering a memorandum of understanding with Uncle Sam. "Nothing in law is ever black and white," comments Chishti, "but it is very unlikely that there is a judge out there who would uphold the Arizona law."

The reason is that if states unilaterally start arresting undocumented aliens and dispatching them to the federal government for deportation, they will force the federal government to expend law enforcement resources on immigration when it might have other, more pressing, concerns such as, say, terrorism.

Ultra-restrictionists such as the Center for Immigration Studies who care about nothing else except hounding immigrants out of the country might think this is a good idea. But other cheerleaders of the Arizona law who have priorities other than an anti-immigrant jihad ought to rethink their support. They might well be setting Arizona up for an expensive fall in the courts without addressing the root cause of the illegal problem: The lack of avenues for unskilled foreign workers to legally work in this country. That's what they should be focusing on.

Shikha Dalmia is a senior analyst at Reason Foundation and a biweekly columnist at Forbes. A version of this column originally appeared at Forbes.

NEXT: Who You Gonna Call?

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  1. Good morning reason!
    Why all the AZ hate?

    1. Storm troopers. Cattle cars. Ovens! (Don’t worry. It’s a dry heat.)

      1. Do they have a snappy uniform designer yet?

        1. Don’t know, but I have a suggestion: The guy who dresses all those skinny and pissed-off Euro-trash models in military gowns. You know, the gay one. What’s his name…

          1. Mugato?

      2. Okay, who stole my program notes?

      3. HA-HA-HA-HAA!!

  2. “”””Ultra-restrictionists such as the Center for Immigration Studies who care about nothing else except hounding immigrants out of the country might think this is a good idea.”””

    Once again a Reason author ignores the fact that the US has over a million legal immigrants a year who become citizens, which this law does nothing to restrict and which is more then any other country in the world has.

    1. Would you mind explaining why that is relevant to the law in question?

      1. “””Would you mind explaining why that is relevant to the law in question?””

        It is relevant since it is incorrect to call someone a “ultra restrictionists” when it comes to immigration when the so called “ultra restrictionists” are supporting an Arizona law which supports federal laws which allow over a million people to legally become American citizens each year. More then a million a year is in no way ultra restrictionists and that does not count the millions more foreigners who are given temporary legal status in the US

        1. Except that, if you read the article, you’d know that the CIS supports a moratorium on ALL immigration. It isnt exactly a streach to call such a person an ‘ultra-restrictionist’.

          One could legitimately argue how far afield you could be from such a group before the description failed to be apt, but that isnt what you are doing.

          1. Now, now. Krikorian and CIS support the immigration of their own ancestors. How can someone call them ultra-restrictionist?

    2. Citizenship is not the same thing as immigration.

  3. “it would be as constitutionally presumptuous as Arizona dispatching state troops to help the federal government fight the Iraq war.”

    No — it would be as “presumptuous” as using Arizona National Guardsmen to defend Arizona territory in the event of attack.

    1. Don’t we have National Guard fighting in Iraq?

      1. They are under executive orders.

        I imagine the author means, it would be quite strange if Arizona decided to send troops to Iraq on a whim without being asked by Federal agencies and operating independently from our armed forces already there.

        1. Because they need they’re federal masters to tell them what to do!!!

          1. um, yeah, I guess or something.

            National Guard units weren’t really created to protect their respective state’s individual interests abroad. So, it would be strange if Maine decided to invade Indonesia. That’s all I think he’s saying.

            1. …and what he’s saying is irrelevant in that regard. AZ is not sending anyone anywhere, rather they’re defending their own state.

              1. I agree. But I think the connection he’s trying to draw is a separation of responsibilities between federal and state agencies. If you look at the law as a regulation to control the flow of immigration this comparison is apt. However, it’s my understanding the law does no such thing, so the comparison would, in fact, be wrong.

                So although you’re right, all I was trying to do was clarify what some of the bill’s opponents are arguing. Playing devil’s advocate, I guess.

      2. So if a division of the Republican Guard went all Final Countdown and ended up rampaging through downtown Phoenix, would it be presumptuous of the governor to deploy the AZ National Guard to contain them?

        Seems like a very different prospect from Maine invading Indonesia.

        Maine invading Canada might be possible though 🙂

        1. I doubt a wiped out military could rampage through Phoenix… unless the scorpion king is real.

    2. Even if AZ did, the feds would quickly take control. Like they did when the Gov of Arkansas dispatched Arkansas guardsman to keep black students out of Little Rock Central High.

    3. this. Whoever wrote this anonymous summary picked a hell of a bad analogy considering Iraq isn’t in Arizona.

      1. That was my first thought. Unlike Iraq, AZ law enforcement can enforce immigration without leaving their jurisdiction.

  4. But the more serious constitutional problem with the Arizona law is that it illegitimately usurps a federal function given that, as with foreign policy matters, Uncle Sam has ultimate jurisdiction in setting national immigration policy.

    The Federal Government refuses to enforce its own laws, and refuses to take steps to protect the lives and property of the legal, tax paying citizens on the border.

    How is the State of Arizona overstepping its bounds again? Maybe they should just follow the Federal Government’s lead and let those tax paying citizens continue to get raped, murdered, and robbed, in violation of Article 4, Section 4 of the United States Constitution, which clearly states that the Government has a duty to provide for defense against invasion, which is most certainly what is happening when gangs (fueld by our war on drugs) come across the border, armed, with the intent of violating our laws and harming American citizens.

    If Arizona is such a freaking bad place to live, these people are more than welcome to move their asses back to the paradise-on-Earth which they just left under duress: Mexico.

    1. I predict that this law will lead to a DECREASE in gang members being arrested. Unless you want to explain why you believe that having police spend all their time asking for people’s papers won’t detract from real police work exactly like the drug war has.

      1. Ummmm… Maybe you didn’t get the memo, SomeGuy, but we called them “illegal aliens” before the Arizona law for a reason.

        Busting illegals who are here in violation of the law isn’t “real police work”?

        Ok… That makes zero sense, but hey, you’re entitled to the freedom to have the wrong opinion.

        1. police spend all their time asking for people’s papers

          “Papers” is a dead giveaway to an individual’s stance on this issue. He cannot get beyond the totalitarian imagery and stereotypes. He is the perfect man-on-the-street interview for MSNBC, so long as he works in an anti-Tea Party reference in his harangue.

        2. Except that this uses the same logic as the war on drugs. That is, “it’s *illegal* and therefore it’s *wrong*.”

          Well, if the illegal immigrant is minding his/her own business and lives within bounds of civil society, but the police are wasting time chasing them down, what do you think will happen? Cops will be more concerned with doing background checks on people who don’t speak English very well than with American-citizen criminals. You know, kind of like there are SWAT raids for misdemeanor pot violations but we still have serial rapists and armed robbers out there that the cops are too “understaffed” to catch.

        3. Point being that simply being present in the country without authorization doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing anything particularly harmful to society while you’re here.

          Instead of looking for people actually committing robberies, or murders, or hit and runs, or kidnappings, and worrying later about their nationality, they’re going to be looking for people who aren’t statistically likely to do any of those things (in absolute terms). There’s a much stronger argument against racial profiling here than with terrorism — these crimes happen all the time here, they aren’t motivated by some sort of ideology found in Mexico.

          Every second they spend dicking around with brown people in Arizona who may or may not be causing problems is a second they aren’t spending worrying about white people in Arizona who are.

          1. It’s more of an economic argument to me. Every resident is a burden on public infrastructure and services; that’s not a complaint, it’s a fact. Some pay more than others even in communities where illegal immigration isn’t an issue. It can become a large issue when a small percentage of a community pays for a large amount of citizens who use a majority of the services. In places like Cali and AZ, this phenomenon is amplified because the ratios become even larger.

            When the ratio of folks who aren’t paying for the services rely on those very things to live compared to those who pay for them reaches a certian point, it’s bad news. It’s not sustainable. And when a local economy starts to fail, the community falls into more chaos, which requires more public funds and could lead to less civil freedom. It’s a kind of domino effect. Ask any policy analyst in the West and they’ll verify how bad it is.

            I’ve got no beef with folks who want a better life for themselves and their families. But they have to pay into the system in some way.

            1. People who are against real immigration reform are effectively in favor of making it illegal for them to pay taxes.

              And even if you ignore that fact, this law doesn’t reduce the costs borne by the local taxpayers, it increases them. While at the same time removing the economic benefits of that labor pool.

              1. I’m all for making the immigration process as easy as possible. I’d support most forms of reform, quite frankly. I’m not arguing against reform, I’m arguing against the prior poster’s assertion that the problem should be ignored.

          2. Yeah I agree that being murdered is worse than being illegal immigranted.

      2. What is absurd is the idea that something in this law will make police officers go out of their normal daily routines solely to harass anyone.

        There are ample opportunities in the course of an ordinary day to verify a suspected illegal’s status.

        Unless you feel the police as a whole will suddenly become motivated to do even more work than they currently do?

    2. This is BS, crime has gone down in Arizona in the last few years. You make it sound like there is masses of people getting killed everyday. Gangs invading America? Do you really think anyone believes this?

      1. Politicians like people to believe it.

      2. My mother was hit by a drunk driving illegal alian and recieved permanent back damage. How much activity is too much? How much is just right? Does the murder victim have to be one of your relatives before you have an opinion?

        1. And my great aunt was murdered by an American citizen in the Phoenix suburbs. Why don’t we strip the citizenship of all murderers and deport them?

          1. Why deport them when some people should be executed for their crimes?

      3. Some of the anti-Arizona law demonstrators are talking about armed resistance and even “revolution,” although persons who inject themselves into a nation against the law who begin armed resistance against the people of the nation are more like “insurgents” than revolutionaries.

    3. If Arizona is such a freaking bad place to live, these people are more than welcome to move their asses back to the paradise-on-Earth which they just left under duress: Mexico.

      Hopefully they all move to NYC and DC so that the liberal douches that proclaim love for Mexican illegals can get first hand experience of their wonderfulness.

      1. Yea, there currently aren’t any illegal immigrants in NYC or DC.

        1. I actually agree with Josh, but this comment gets a +1 for being witty.

    4. “Maybe they should just follow the Federal Government’s lead and let those tax paying citizens continue to get raped, murdered, and robbed, in violation of Article 4, Section 4 of the United States Constitution, which clearly states that the Government has a duty to provide for defense against invasion, which is most certainly what is happening when gangs (fueld by our war on drugs) come across the border, armed, with the intent of violating our laws and harming American citizens.”

      So let me get this straight. AZ state law enforcement already has authority to prosecute and arrest for murder, rape, drug possession/sale, and robbery. But it isn’t adequately working, so we’ll tack on immigration to the mix and crime will disappear? BTW, you cannot be invaded by “crime” for constitutional purposes and the states have no constitutional right against the Feds to be free of immigrants.

  5. This is a pretty weak article. First, the author claims Arizona is usurping authority it doesn’t have – which it is not. Arizona is in no way “regulating” immigration; it is not making a judgment as to who is allowed to come into this country. All this law does is enforce federal law on illegal immigration, and yes, that is the truth. Even ABC admits as much (see http://www.abc15.com/content/n…..7QVBw.cspx).

    Last time I checked, police powers rested with the States. Yes, Arizona absolutely has the power to enforce federal laws. Or is it a usurpation of state authority for police to enforce our federal ban on murder as well?

    And it violates the 4th amendment? Really? The provision in question almost mirrors the 4th amendment! The 4th says we don’t subject people to unreasonable search and seizure without probable cause. Arizona’s law says law enforcement doesn’t investigate someone’s immigration status without reasonable suspicion, or unless they are already being investigated for some other violation – in other words, probable cause.

    But it’s the conclusion of the article that’s the weakest of all. The crux of the author’s argument heretofore had been that Arizona does not have the authority to regulate immigration, and yet the conclusion of the piece is that Arizona should make legal immigration easier. Really? How is it going to do that – by regulating immigration? I don’t think it’s Arizona’s legislature that’s confused about its constitutional authority. I think it’s Shikha Dalmia.

    1. “”Last time I checked, police powers rested with the States. “”

      Last time I checked, immigration powers rested with the feds. That’s the whole point. It doesn’t matter if the feds don’t live up to AZ’s standards. AZ may have a legit gripe, but that doesn’t mean they get extra authority.

      Here’s the important point. While one could argue that AZ can help enforce federal law, they can not create their own state immigration laws. AZ is not merely trying to enforce federal law, they are creating their own immigration law. That’s where they have crossed the line. Federal law says who is illegal, and what processes happen to those in violation, not AZ.

      I’m not sure if I really buy the urgency. While murder has risen in AZ since the 1960s with some execptions, AZ has some of the most lax gun laws in the union. Is AZ a bunch of pussies? Why aren’t they defending themselves against the wave of crime? If you take their crime complaint at face value, then it argues against the idea that greater gun rights equals a safer citizenry.

      1. If the fedral government makes something ilegal do they have the right to take the policeing power from the states?
        Do the states have a right to use the policeing power if the fedral government makes it ilegal (ilegal immigrents)?
        Why not get the government to change it’s laws on immegration insted of blowing this out of proportion?

        1. “”If the fedral government makes something ilegal do they have the right to take the policeing power from the states?””

          No one is doing that.

      2. You completely miss the point, TrickyVic. Arizona is NOT making its own immigration policy. Read the law, like I have, and compare it to federal law, like I have. They do not decide who is illegal. They do not decide what happens to illegals. It’s enforcement ONLY – how they discover who is illegal. They are well within their bounds. Do the research before having a hissy fit next time, okay?

        1. They are creating their own laws with respect to immigration. Why else would the state legislature get involved.

          1. They are creating a law with respect to *police procedure,* not immigration. Again, you very obviously have not read the law and are relying solely on editorial pieces about it. Sad.

            1. It allows superior court adjudication and state penalties for not following federal law. Not following federal law should be left to federal courts.

        2. “”They do not decide what happens to illegals. “”

          Your incorrect here. It allows AZ to charge them with a state crime since they are inviolation of a state law.

          1. And they are well within their bounds to do so. But it is *federal law* that determines that they are illegal, *federal law* that dictates they can’t stay here if discovered to be illegal. What part of this do you fail to understand?

            1. The ability to go to state court for not following federal law.

              1. Then you fail to understand quite a lot of things. States are most certainly allowed to assess their own penalties for violating federal laws, and do so quite regularly. This is not prohibited in any way either by federal law or by our Constitution. States cannot pass laws that are less restrictive than federal law, but they may pass laws that are more restrictive, so long as they do not in so doing violate our civil liberties. This law does not.

            2. Jen, it’s easy to understand that this law is a result of the feds failures to enforce their own laws to AZ standards. They have made that perfectly clear. If the law is nothing new, or does not give the state any extra abilities that do not currently exist, then the law will not acheive its objective of doing something when the feds will not. This is not just enforcing federal law. The state need not pass a law to do that which they are already authorized to do under federal law. The law clearly allows for state penalites for those not following federal law. While states can assist the feds, they can not create their own remedies for violations of federal laws. Immigration falls from naturalization. In AZ’s case, the lack of naturalization.

              Not only that, it allows AZ to ignore state issued IDs that do not require proof of citizenship as proof of citizenship, something a drivers licenses was never intended to do. It is a license to drive, not a national ID. Sure it’s become a defacto national ID, sort of. But if a hispanic from a state that doesn’t not require proof of citizenship for their drivers licenses is pulled over in AZ, this law allows them to be charge with a state crime.

              1. TrickyDick, er TrickyVic wrote, “The law clearly allows for state penalites for those not following federal law. While states can assist the feds, they can not create their own remedies for violations of federal laws.”

                That’s a lie.

                1. Which part is a lie?

                  1. It’s a lie that states can’t assess penalties for violations of federal law.

                    Any state court may interpret the U.S. Constitution, federal statute, treaty, etc., if the applicable Constitutional provision, statute, or treaty has direct bearing on a case brought in state court under a state law. However, by interpreting the U.S. Constitution, federal statute, or treaty, the state is subjecting itself to federal review. This means that after a state supreme court has acted on a case, the U.S. Supreme Court may review it. In such instances, the U.S. Supreme Court is concerned only with reviewing the state court’s interpretation of the applicable federal Constitutional provision, statute, or treaty. It does not review any matters of law that are under the exclusive jurisdiction of the state courts.

                    Also, yes, it will “achieve its objective of doing something when the feds will not.” You said it yourself: they’re enforcing an existing law that the feds won’t enforce.

                    1. If you violate a federal crime, you go to federal court. If you violate a state crime you go to a state court. The whole purpose of this law is create carve out a way that the state can prosecute those that are in the country, AZ in particular, as a state crime.

                    2. “”Any state court may interpret the U.S. Constitution, federal statute, treaty, etc., if the applicable Constitutional provision, statute, or treaty has direct bearing on a case brought in state court under a state law. “”

                      If it has bearing under a state law, your making an arugment about state law.

                      “”You said it yourself: they’re enforcing an existing law that the feds won’t enforce.””

                      If that was the case, they wouldn’t need to create a new, previously non-existing law.

                    3. The new law is to impose new penalties. And do you honestly think states don’t regularly enact laws that more or less copy federal law? I’ve read municipal laws that are just copy of state laws. This is nothing new.

                      And you are wrong on the jurisdiction; there is no other way to slice it. Yes you CAN go to state court for violating federal law. It happens all the time. That’s what concurrent jurisdiction is. Take the time to read up on our legal system sometime.

                    4. And yes, it WILL have bearing on state law, Arizona’s state law, which was just passed. And that IS the purpose of the law: copy the federal law, enforce it, adjudicate it. Done.

                    5. Yes you CAN go to state court for violating federal law. It happens all the time.

                      Please give one example.

                    6. Diversity of citizenship issues is one example. Federal questions are another.

                    7. What do “diversity of citizenship” or “federal questions” mean?

                      If it happens all the time, could you point me to a newspaper article discussing a current case? Thanks.

                    8. Diversity of citizenship has to do with a civil case arising between parties that do not live in the same state. You can see above regarding federal questions, because it has to do exactly with the issue here: a state passes a law that mirrors a federal law, and adjudicates it because the federal issue is now also a state one (though, of course, the federal courts can review them on appeal).

                      It’s not really my job to show you newspapers articles for specific cases. If you’re that curious, do it yourself. You have a computer. I’m telling you what our laws say, laws that were written for a reason.

                    9. Diversity of citizenship has to do with a civil case arising between parties that do not live in the same state.

                      These are heard by state courts only under the express direction of federal law. I.e., the federal law is that these are heard in state court.

                      …a state passes a law…

                      That would of course be a state law.

                      I still await an example of a federal crime being adjudicated by a state court.

                    10. I can’t believe you can’t understand this. First of all, no, state courts do not hear diversity of citizenship issues “under the express direction of federal law.” Saying that it is federal law that they are heard in state court is a meaningless assertion anyway. Who cares? What exactly is your point? Do you have one? You were trying to say that state courts don’t hear those cases, and, well, you’re wrong.

                      And once again, states can pass laws that address the same things federal laws address, to the letter, and then try them in state court (i.e., exactly what is happening in Arizona). I still await any legal prohibition on states’ doing this. Oh, wait – there is none.

                    11. Saying that it is federal law that they are heard in state court is a meaningless assertion anyway. Who cares? What exactly is your point?

                      My point is that Indiana cannot pass a law that says that if someone from Illinois has a lawsuit with someone in Indiana, it must be tried in an Indiana court. That is constitutionally a federal function, and such cases are tried in Indiana only as allowed by federal law passed by the US Congress.

                    12. Oh, and for your examples that you easily could have researched for yourself:

                      murder
                      bank robbery
                      extortion
                      drug distribution and/or growing

                      ALL of these are federal crimes. States, however, pass their own laws banning them as well, JUST LIKE ARIZONA HAS JUST DONE WITH IMMIGRATION, and that gives them concurrent jurisdiction to try these *federal crimes.*

                      If you have a problem with this law, fine. Just admit that you just plain don’t like it instead of trying to obfuscate the issue with what amounts to legal jibberish.

                    13. I am not disagreeing that state law can largely mirror federal law. My point is that it is extremely muddled thinking to imagine that that means that state courts adjudicate federal laws. They do not. State courts adjudicate state laws.

                      Such muddled thinking leads one to conclude that Arizona is simply doing what the federal government does, when it is fact doing more than the federal government does simply by writing federal offenses into the state code.

                      Or do you think that after Arizona punishes the Arizona offense, the US cannot punish the federal offense? That is the only way one could say that Arizona is simply producing more enforcement rather than more offenses.

                    14. Your own thinking is muddled here. It doesn’t matter by what means a state can try federal offenses. Of course that’s by federal law. ALL jurisdictional questions are settled by federal law, or by our Constitution. It doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in your argument, however. You said state courts don’t try federal laws. YES, THEY DO.

                      Congress does not have to pass a law each and every time a diversity of citizenship case arises, just to allow a state court to try it, because the jurisdictional lines are already laid out, just like with federal questions.

                      If a state writes a state law that mirrors a federal law, yes, the state courts are adjudicating a state law, but they are also, obviously, adjudicating a federal law, because they are delving into the same territory. And as our federal laws tell us, this situation means that the state court can and does rule on the federal question in handling that case. All the wishful thinking in the world won’t make that any less true. That’s simply how our system works. Deal with it.

                      Yes, the federal government can and will also punish illegal immigrants. That’s written into the law itself, for starters, and at any rate, they are two separate laws on two separate levels that have two separate venues for adjudication. The US Supreme Court further has appellate jurisdiction after the state court rules. If you need further clarification on this, you can check our own federal judicial system’s websites – uscourts.gov would be a good place to start.

                    15. No, diversity of citizenship refers to how federal courts can adjudicate state law claims in civil disputes. Federal courts, unlike state courts, can only decide certain matters, which generally exclude claims arising out of state law. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH STATES ENFORCING FEDERAL LAW.

                      State courts can interpret and decide questions arising out of federal law but they do not adjudicate federal criminal cases. Regardless, interpreting the law (what courts/judges do when they adjudicate) and enforcing (prosecuting) are two wholly different animals–hence separation of powers. Thus, state courts deciding federal questions in civil contexts has nothing to do with states enforcing federal law.

                      One interesting example on topic: medical marijuana in Colo. and Cal. The states each say its okay; the Feds say “no.” Note, certain municipalities in each state do not want to allow marijuana use. Notice how–instead of circumventing the problem by arresting and enforcing based on federal law–these cities resort to more complicated and convoluted processes to try and prevent medicinal marijuana use (e.g., amending state laws, etc.). Why? Because local governments cannot enforce federal law.

                    16. False, Jon. You have diversity of citizenship entirely backwards, for one, and our own judicial system’s website at uscourts.gov refutes you right away:

                      “Areas of Concurrent Jurisdiction for Federal and State Courts:
                      In addition to areas in which the states have regulated on a matter more extensively than the federal government, state courts have concurrent jurisdiction with federal courts concerning the following points of law:

                      1. Diversity of Citizenship
                      In civil cases involving citizens of two or more states in which the dollar amount in question exceeds $75,000, a state court may hear the case if the defendant in the case does not petition to have the case removed to federal court. Furthermore, if a civil case involves two or more citizens of different states but the amount in question does not exceed $75,000, the case MUST be heard by a state court.
                      2. Federal Question: Any state court MAY INTERPRET THE U.S. CONSTITUTION, FEDERAL STATUTE, TREATY, ETC., if the applicable Constitutional provision, statute, or treaty has direct bearing on a case brought in state court under a state law. However, by interpreting the U.S. Constitution, federal statute, or treaty, the state is subjecting itself to federal review. This means that after a state supreme court has acted on a case, the U.S. Supreme Court may review it. In such instances, the U.S. Supreme Court is concerned only with reviewing the state court’s interpretation of the applicable federal Constitutional provision, statute, or treaty. It does not review any matters of law that are under the exclusive jurisdiction of the state courts.”

                      And it was adjudicating that we were talking about. But if you really want to insist that “local governments cannot enforce federal law,” especially on the immigration issue, you may want to take a quick look at 287(g). Yes, they can.

              2. Actually the law was amended to allow an ID issued by any US state to be proof of legal residence, not just those who establish citizenship when issuing the ID.

        3. I find it hard to believe that you read the law since you are so wrong on what it says

          A. IN ADDITION TO ANY VIOLATION OF FEDERAL LAW, A PERSON IS GUILTY OF TRESPASSING IF THE PERSON IS BOTH:
          1. PRESENT ON ANY PUBLIC OR PRIVATE LAND IN THIS STATE.
          2. IN VIOLATION OF 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1304(e) OR 1306(a).

          That is not a federal law. Or are the words “IN ADDITION TO ANY FEDERAL LAW…” not clear enough?

          C. A PERSON WHO IS SENTENCED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR SUSPENSION OR COMMUTATION OF SENTENCE OR RELEASE ON ANY BASIS UNTIL THE SENTENCE IMPOSED IS SERVED.

          And the law is absolutely requiring the state to punish them itself, not just hand them to the federal authorities. So they clearly do decide what happens to illegals.

          1. Exactly.

          2. C. IF AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES IS
            28 CONVICTED OF A VIOLATION OF STATE OR LOCAL LAW, ON DISCHARGE FROM
            29 IMPRISONMENT OR ASSESSMENT OF ANY FINE THAT IS IMPOSED, THE ALIEN SHALL BE
            30 TRANSFERRED IMMEDIATELY TO THE CUSTODY OF THE UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND
            31 CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT OR THE UNITED STATES CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION.
            32 D. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER LAW, A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY MAY
            33 SECURELY TRANSPORT AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES
            34 AND WHO IS IN THE AGENCY’S CUSTODY TO A FEDERAL FACILITY IN THIS STATE OR TO
            35 ANY OTHER POINT OF TRANSFER INTO FEDERAL CUSTODY THAT IS OUTSIDE THE
            36 JURISDICTION OF THE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY.

            In other words, Arizona only assesses penalties for violating Arizona law, but does not in any way deport a single person from the US. That power remains with the feds.

            Now kindly find the federal law or constitutional provision that forbids a state from imposing penalties for violating federal law. Or you can just save yourself the trouble and admit that there is none.

            1. I think I see the source of confusion here: Someone above is spoofing you, Jen. That person said things like…

              All this law does is enforce federal law on illegal immigration, and yes, that is the truth.

              They do not decide what happens to illegals. It’s enforcement ONLY – how they discover who is illegal… Do the research before having a hissy fit next time, okay?

              You are clearly more reasonable than that spoof and are not misrepresenting the Arizona law as no more than federal law, and you are not calling out others for not knowing what they are talking about.

              1. Once again, it ISN’T any more than federal law. In what way does Arizona’s law change who is illegal and who is not illegal? Where do they make something a crime that previously was not a crime?

                Arizona might be usurping federal power if it deported illegals from the US, but it is not. Arizona is imposing its own penalty, and then turning the offender over to the feds.

                So you say that having additional penalties means it’s overstepping its bounds? I take it you’ve never heard of concurrent jurisdiction.

                1. It is not even a federal crime to be an illegal alien. It’s a civil offense. It is only a federal crime to illegally enter.

                  The Arizona law makes simple private trespass a state crime. It absolutely is making things crimes that are not otherwise crimes.

                  1. The Arizona law makes simple private trespass a state crime.

                    That was worded poorly. Of course trespassing on someone else’s private land is a crime, as it has always been.

                    The Arizona law makes being in your own private house on your own private land a crime if you are an illegal alien.

                    1. False.

                      ? 1325. Improper entry by alien
                      How Current is This?
                      (a) Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection; misrepresentation and concealment of facts
                      Any alien who
                      (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or
                      (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or
                      (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
                      (b) Improper time or place; civil penalties
                      Any alien who is apprehended while entering (or attempting to enter) the United States at a time or place other than as designated by immigration officers shall be subject to a civil penalty of?
                      (1) at least $50 and not more than $250 for each such entry (or attempted entry); or
                      (2) twice the amount specified in paragraph (1) in the case of an alien who has been previously subject to a civil penalty under this subsection.
                      Civil penalties under this subsection are in addition to, and not in lieu of, any criminal or other civil penalties that may be imposed.
                      (c) Marriage fraud
                      Any individual who knowingly enters into a marriage for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or fined not more than $250,000, or both.
                      (d) Immigration-related entrepreneurship fraud
                      Any individual who knowingly establishes a commercial enterprise for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, fined in accordance with title 18, or both.

                    2. ? 1325. Improper entry by alien

                      That’s what I said. Only illegal entry is a crime. Illegal residence is not.

                      Except in Arizona after this law goes into effect.

                    3. If you’re residing illegally, it means you entered illegally. It further means, more likely than not, that you are illegally employed (unless you’re independently wealthy); and if you need a driver’s license to get around, you are likely committing document fraud as well. Lastly, federal law also addresses failure to depart.

                    4. If you’re residing illegally, it means you entered illegally.

                      No it doesn’t. Half of illegal aliens overstay valid visas.

                    5. Which is covered by failure to depart!

                    6. Can you cite the US code section for that? I couldn’t find it.

                    7. Overstaying a visa is legal?

                    8. It is a civil offense, not a criminal one.

                    9. Mike is trying to mince words by saying that a civil offense is somehow legal. It is not. Civil/criminal refers to the penalty for the offense and the manner in which it is tried. It by no means changes whether the act is legal/illegal.

                      And it’s 1324d.

                    10. I am trying to demonstrate that the Arizona law is making things crimes that are not crimes under US law — in contrast to those who argue that Arizona’s law is perfectly fine because it does not.

                      And 1324d of course is about refusing a lawful order to depart, not about overstaying a visa per se.

                    11. The DHS may declare anyone who overstays a visa unlawfully present.

                      Secondly, Arizona’s law is perfectly fine even if it does make something a criminal offense where before it was a civil one. Again, civil/criminal refers to the penalty and in no way changes the fact that a person has violated a law.

                      Furthermore, there is absolutely nothing in the Constitution that precludes states from legislating on immigration.

                    12. I don’t believe I have ever said that I think that Arizona’s law is unconstitutional or otherwise illegal. I am simply arguing against the disingenuous claim that this is no big deal because Arizona is merely enforcing federal law.

                      Arizona is most definitely adding new offenses and new punishments that are not faced in other states.

                    13. Yes, you did say that. “I am trying to demonstrate that the Arizona law is making things crimes that are not crimes under US law — in contrast to those who argue that Arizona’s law is perfectly fine because it does not.” The implication here is that there is something wrong with Arizona’s legislating on immigration.

                      Even so, so what? Are you arguing therefore that it IS a big deal? They have a perfect right to pass their own immigration laws, especially if the federal government will not act on the issue, as per the 10th Amendment.

                      Arizona, again, did not add new offenses anyway. What they added were new punishments. It was already illegal to enter the US in a manner other than as designated by immigration officers. It was already illegal to overstay a visa. It was already illegal to hire an illegal immigrant. It was already illegal to smuggle others into the US. Whether these were deemed civil or criminal offenses isn’t so much the point, because, either way, if these are measures are violated, someone has broken a law. Whether the offense is civil or criminal only changes the penalty for committing it: e.g., having a criminal record, serving jail time, etc. So, new punishments, yes (which Arizona is allowed to do), but new offenses, NO.

                    14. New punishments, yes, and consequent new opportunities for double jeopardy.

                      You said above…

                      They do not decide what happens to illegals. It’s enforcement ONLY – how they discover who is illegal. They are well within their bounds. Do the research before having a hissy fit next time, okay?

                      That is what I am arguing against. It is disingenuous to say that Arizona is not deciding what happens to illegals when Arizona in fact fines or imprisons them and then hands them over to ICE to be fined, imprisoned, or deported under federal law.

                      If the law were simply the “no sanctuary localities” portion, then you would be correct. But the Arizona law is more than that, and therefore it is “deciding what happens to illegals” and it is more than “enforcement ONLY”.

                    15. Then you’re arguing against nothing because you took one portion of one post out of context. As I’ve said several times already, this is not immigration policy. They are NOT deciding what ultimately happens to illegals, because they are not deporting anyone. They are not making a judgment on who is or is not in the US, only on who is or is not in Arizona. After they pay the penalty for being in Arizona, they get turned over to the feds, who will then deal with them.

                      Nor is this double jeopardy. As already said above, concurrent jurisdiction means that the state court deliberates on the federal question in addition to state law. The federal courts therefore will have no need to try the case all over again; they can review it, and either uphold or overturn the previous court’s decision. That’s not the same thing as double jeopardy.

                    16. The state does not try the federal law: it tries the state law. And the state prosecuting and punishing a parallel state law does not prevent the federal government from prosecuting and punishing the same act.

                      After the state tries and punishes under state law, the feds will try and punish under federal law. Only in the state of Arizona will a person serve both penalties. Therefore Arizona is adding laws that decide what ultimately happens to illegals.

                    17. I’m sorry, Mike, but you are wrong on this. If a state has a law that overlaps with a federal law, the state court can and will interpret the federal law as well. All you have to do to verify this is check our own federal judiciary’s website and you will quickly realize this.

                      The federal court, in this case, would not then try the case a second time. If there is an appeal, they will review it. That’s how our system works.

                      And you really should stop deliberately taking things out of context. My post above was in response to a comment suggesting that Arizona is “making immigration policy.” Arizona’s law makes no judgment on who is and who is not illegal; Arizona deports no one; Arizona does not decide who can become a citizen Arizona has absolutely nothing to do with who passes through our national borders, only who is in Arizona itself. So no, in that respect, they do NOT decide what happens to illegals.

                    18. The federal court, in this case, would not then try the case a second time.

                      But it is not up to the federal court: it is up to the federal prosecutor.

                      Let’s see if I understand what you are getting at… If California, afraid of US prosecution of federal drug crimes in medicinal marijuana cases, writes up an identical law to the US law but changes the penalty to be $1, then no federal court will touch the case after California has found a medicinal marijuana user guilty?

                      How I wish that were true, but parallel jurisdiction doesn’t work that way. The feds can and will try the same incident under federal law after it was tried under state law. The Arizona immigration law is practically explicit that that’s what will happen.

                    19. No, it is not explicit about this at all. What it says is that, after serving the sentence imposed under the Arizona law, that person will be turned over to the federal government. Turned over does not necessarily mean tried. They may or may not face additional federal penalties like deportation, but that is for a separate issue that Arizona’s law does not address.

                      And I’m unaware of California passing any law assessing a mere $1 penalty for medicinal marijuana, but yes, in matters in which concurrent jurisdiction applies, either the state or federal court may try the case, so long as a state law applies. If those drug crimes are tried in State courts, they are not re-tried in federal court, because that is double jeopardy.

                    20. Double jeopardy under dual sovereignty doesn’t appear so clear cut. The obvious example I recalled was the King beatings, which I found to be double jeopardy, but which courts did not.

                      Looking at a couple articles, it is not a well explored territory, although the written direction of the DoJ is that its prosecutors should not in general retry cases decided by states.

                      Anyway, this certainly gives an entertaining avenue for defense against federal usurpation of state powers in, e.g., drug laws. Or perhaps New Mexico could pass its own Arizona-style law that makes state offenses out of federal immigration offenses and punishes with 12 hours of community service that must be served before the offender can be remanded to federal custody. Oh, and there is no limit to how many years he may take to serve the 12 hours.

                    21. Yes, interesting it is. I’m not sure if I would consider the Rodney King trials double jeopardy if the federal charges were civil and the state ones were criminal. If the state court had already delved into the same subject matter (and laws) as the federal court, then I would call that double jeopardy.

                      It is my feeling that either Arizona’s state courts would deliberate on the federal and state issues at the same time, per concurrent jurisdiction (thus allowing for appeal with federal review), or they would narrowly rule on their own law, leaving it to the federal courts to also narrowly rule on the federal law. I think the latter option would be somewhat less desirable for some of the reasons mentioned in the article you linked, and at any rate, the general precedent, as you said, is to not re-try.

                      At any rate, yes, I believe New Mexico, and other states, could indeed pass their own immigration laws (and several states are actually looking into doing just that). That’s not necessarily such a bad thing, even for those who support open borders. If enough states were to crack down on illegal immigration, it may well cause an unskilled labor shortage that might actually convince Congress to make legal immigration more open. It’s food for thought.

                    22. If you are an illegal alien, without a resident permit, how would you legally live on the property even if you owned it?

          3. The actual amended document doesn’t include such language. Instead:

            A. In addition to any violation of federal law, a person is guilty of willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document if the person is in violation of 8 United States Code section 1304(e) or 1306(a).

            B. In the enforcement of this section, an alien’s immigration status may be determined by:

            1. A law enforcement officer who is authorized by the federal government to verify or ascertain an alien’s immigration status.

            2. The United States immigration and customs enforcement or the United States customs and border protection pursuant to 8 United States Code section 1373(c).

            C. A law enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state may not consider race, color or national origin in the enforcement of this section except to the extent permitted by the United States or Arizona constitution.

            D. A person who is sentenced pursuant to this section is not eligible for suspension of sentence, probation, pardon, commutation of sentence, or release from confinement on any basis except as authorized by section 31?233, subsection A or B until the sentence imposed by the court has been served or the person is eligible for release pursuant to section 41-1604.07.

            E. In addition to any other penalty prescribed by law, the court shall order the person to pay jail costs.

            F. This section does not apply to a person who maintains authorization from the federal government to remain in the United States.

            1. It’s good that they removed the nauseating violation of property rights that trespass on one’s own property represents.

              And this would, it seems, take away the most egregious one-upping of the federal law in the Arizona law.

              It still of course leaves the state punishment and the ancillary sections about hiring people from your car as new state laws that aren’t federal laws.

    2. Or is it a usurpation of state authority for police to enforce our federal ban on murder as well?

      Murder is actually banned at the state level. But your larger point is correct — local cops can enforce federal laws without asking permission from the feds to do so.

      1. “”But your larger point is correct — local cops can enforce federal laws without asking permission from the feds to do so.””

        And that’s not exactly the issue at hand. It’s what happens after you arrest them. State courts can’t adjudicate federal law, that’s left to a federal judge in a federal court. So even when a state arrests them, they must be turned over to the feds. That’s why AZ has passed the law. They want the state to have the authority not the feds. AZ is trying to move a federal issue under state law by making it a state crime to be in AZ illegally. I really, really doubt that will pass a SCOTUS review.

        1. So the fedral government has taken the right to police?
          By the way the fedral government taken AZ right to enforce that fedral law specificaly… I think I know who’s the abouser here…..

          1. “”So the fedral government has taken the right to police?””

            Your confusing the right to police with the right to adjudicate. The police arrest you, the courts take it from there. Nothing prevent AZ from arresting illegals and turning them over to the feds. AZ’s problem is the feds don’t always want to take custody. I understand and sympathize with AZ frustration at the feds, but that doesn’t give them the right to pass their own laws.

      2. Yes, but that makes it even more analogous: murder is banned both at the federal and state levels – in other words, just because the feds banned it didn’t mean that states weren’t allowed to also ban it, and then to enforce and adjudicate that ban. That’s what concurrent jurisdiction is all about – giving the state courts the power to hear cases involving violations of state law that are also violations of federal law.

    3. Jen,

      I’m sorry but you have the law wrong. States do not get to enforce federal laws unless the feds specifically grant them that power. This includes murder, which is primarily within state control. Feds can have laws against drugs, murder, etc. because, apparently, this is within their power under the Commerce Clause. However, the Constitution gives Congress the exclusive right to handle certain things–e.g., foreign affairs and naturalization.

      1. I’m sorry, Jon, but it is you who has the law twisted. Murder is banned at the federal level, AND AGAIN at the state level, and the state courts enforce and adjudicate those laws. Arizona’s immigration law will work exactly the same way.

        Nor is it truthful to say that Congress has an “exclusive right” to handle foreign affairs. That’s not what the Constitution says.

        A professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Montana had this to say on the subject:

        “First, the Constitution gives the federal government supreme authority over foreign policy. Congress and the President can pre-empt an issue by exercising one or more of their enumerated powers. If Congress dislikes a state action in that realm, Congress can pass a law overriding it.

        If, however, Congress has not acted or acted incompletely, the states have certain reserved powers to act on their own. In other words, the Constitution acknowledges concurrent, although subordinate, state authority over foreign affairs ? including immigration.

        How do we know this? From both the constitutional text and from the record left by those who debated and ratified the Constitution. Here is the evidence:

        * Instead of simply stating that states have no foreign affairs powers, the Constitution (Article I, Section 10) only lists a few specific foreign affairs powers denied to the states. For example, a state may not make a treaty or enter into a confederation with a foreign government.

        * Under a rule of interpretation widely recognized by the Founders, the Constitution’s listing implies that all foreign affairs powers not denied remain with the states (subject to veto by federal law or treaty).

        * In addition to prohibiting the states from exercising a few foreign affairs powers, the Constitution lists a few others subject to congressional pre-approval ? such as the power to make non-treaty compacts with foreign governments. If foreign policy power were exclusively in the federal government, the Constitution would not recognize that states had any ability to enter compacts with foreign governments.

        * Nowhere does the Constitution include language such as “all state authority over foreign relations is hereby abolished.” On the contrary, at several points the document assumes some state authority over the subject is retained. For example, the Constitution explicitly acknowledges state power to tax foreign goods to fund inspection programs. It elsewhere assumes that if Congress chooses not to adopt a “uniform Rule of Naturalization,” the states may adopt their own laws.

        * The historical record confirms what the text suggests. For example, the records of the Constitutional Convention tell us that the delegates considered whether states could impose embargoes on foreign goods, and deliberately decided to leave that power with the states. A committee of the First Federal Congress recognized this power also.

        The doubt about the judicial fate of Arizona’s law arises only because of the Supreme Court’s occasional practice of striking down state laws that Congress has decided to leave alone. This occurs primarily in the area of commerce and foreign affairs, and appears to be driven in part by the historically-false claim that federal power in those areas is exclusive.”

  6. Hey Reason,

    My name is John, and I hate every single one of you. All of you are fat, retarded, no-lifes who spend every second of their day looking at stupid ass cosmotarian blog posts. You are everything bad in the world. Honestly, have any of you ever gotten any pussy? I mean, I guess it’s fun making fun of people because of your own insecurities, but you all take to a whole new level. This is even worse than jerking off to pictures on facebook.

    Don’t be a stranger. Just hit me with your best shot. I’m pretty much perfect. I was a captain in JROTC , and starter on my basketball team. What sports do you play, other than “jack off to Kerry Howley”? I also got straight A’s, and have a banging hot girlfriend (She just blew me; Shit was SO cash). You are all cosmotarian faggots who should just kill yourselves. Thanks for listening.

    1. I’m very interested in what you say, and would like to receive your newsletter.

    2. F. Very weak spoof. Comes closer to capturing a progressive’s hubris.

    3. Was that supposed to be clever, John?

    4. Fail Copypasta

  7. In New York City, the have a stop-and-frisk program, which also requires reasnable suspition, if I am not mistaken, and what are the results of that policy:

    Initial reports state that in 2006, the Department completed stop-and-frisk forms on 508,540 individuals. Of that number, only 50,436 were arrested or received summonses, leaving 458,104 people, or 90 percent of all people stopped, found to have engaged in no unlawful activity. According to the Department, 85.7 percent of all persons stopped were black or Hispanic.

    Can you support this policy, knowing it will lead to a similar regime in the whole state of AZ?

    It isnt enough to acknoledge that illegal immegration is a problem, you have to ask yourself if reducing the number of illegals in the state is worth the price you will pay in civil liberties with this bill.

    1. Yep, I think I can handle the civil liberties violations you allude to. Since like 99.9% of the population I typically bring my id with me in case i want to drive or buy a drink or pay for anything with a credit card. In other words, your civil rights argument = FAIL.

      It only makes sense for our “guests” to carry their ID and/or permission slips on their exotic field trip here in a foreign country. Haven’t you ever traveled anywhere outside the US?

      You should really double check your sources and ideological foundations, I believe you are confusing US law with the Candyland board game instructions.

  8. “But that’s not the only way this law steps on federal toes.”

    Those poor (big fat) Federal toes.

    1. Is that the same response you would have if the feds were stepping on the states toes?

      1. Huh? (with vacant Homer Simpson stare)

        1. Maybe that was me being Sideshow Bob and stepping on a rake.

          1. I want some peanuts…

            1. Maybe a donut?

  9. I say that if Roger Waters can bring The Wall to Phoenix (in November), the feds really have no excuse for all their ass-dragging on building The Wall at the border.

    So if Bernie Madoff had been operating out of Tucson & a local bunko squad uncovered his violations of the federal securities laws, would the local cops be allowed to arrest him, or would they have to wait for the feds to get their shit together?

  10. “..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.”

    Uh…Shitka?? He finds them when he roots too. Rarely are one of his flimsy pretexts wrong and even more rarely are one of his sweeps unproductive.
    Here is a guy (Arpaio) who, if he were working a production job, paid by results, would be cashing a check that would rival a Goldman Sachs bonus.
    Seems Shitka here knows the illegals run rampant, just doesn’t want anything done about it.

    1. Don’t take a rocket scientist!

  11. “Uncle Sam has ultimate jurisdiction in setting national immigration policy”

    The AZ law isn’t establishing an uniform rule for naturalization. The targets of the law are here llegally. Do you have evidence that the illegals are following an uniform rule of naturalization?

    1. “” The targets of the law are here llegally.””

      According to who? The answer can’t be AZ. AZ can arrest people who they think are illegals, but they need to turn them over to the feds so the feds can make the determination. The feds might even move them to the front of the line for naturalization, so they can stay in the US, for whatever reason the feds want. I know states don’t really like that. They will arrest someone for being illegal and the feds may not pick them up like they are suppose to do. The states have a legit claim about the feds lackluster interest of upholding their own laws.

      1. You seem to believe everyone should answer to the feds… are you in the right spot?

        1. No. But the Constitution gives naturalization to the feds. I’m a believer in the Constitution even if I might disagree, so I think I’m in the right spot.

          1. Hey, if Congress wants to pass a law giving the states the ability to pass their own immigration laws, then the states could.

          2. No, the Supreme Court gave naturalization to the feds.

            The Constitution gives the federal government supreme authority over foreign policy (immigration is not mentioned). Congress and the President can pre-empt an issue by exercising one or more of their enumerated powers. If Congress dislikes a state action in that realm, Congress can pass a law overriding it.

            If, however, Congress has not acted or acted incompletely, the states have certain reserved powers to act on their own. In other words, the Constitution acknowledges concurrent, although subordinate, state authority over foreign affairs ? including immigration. It is precisely because the feds won’t enforce the law that Arizona is empowered to act.

            1. Thank you very much.

            2. It is precisely because the feds won’t enforce the law that Arizona is empowered to act.

              All the Feds have to do is pass a law indicating there are no restrictions to immigration. AZ can’t override *that*. ‘Problem’ solved.

            3. No, the Supreme Court gave naturalization to the feds.

              No. The Constitution gave naturalization to the federal government.

              1. My mistake. But this doesn’t change the fact that immigration is NOT the sole jurisdiction of the federal government. Naturalization determines who can be a citizen (something AZ’s law is silent on, which is why it is NOT usurping anything); regulation of immigration is something a state can speak to in exercising its 10th Amendment rights.

          3. I think what TrickyVic meant to say here was, “I’m a believer in the Constitution except for the 10th amendment, with which I disagree, so maybe I’m not in the right spot.”

      2. Of course, the Arizona law has nothing to do with naturalization, so your point is pretty irrelevant here.

        Also, if you had read Arizona’s law, you would know that it DOES require police to turn illegals over to the feds.

        1. And if the feds don’t pick them up, what happens next?

          1. OK since the Feds aren’t enforcing their own laws, this makes you worried that they might not pick up arrested illegal immigrants?

            So then this demonstrated ineffectiveness and dereliction of upholding laws and procedures, means that they are capable of determining and fast-tracking super special illegal immigrants? Your logical connection = FAIL.

        2. “”Also, if you had read Arizona’s law, you would know that it DOES require police to turn illegals over to the feds.””

          After they have served time for tespassing because of their naturalization status.

          I have read the law.

          1. And so AZ is not allowed to hold criminals?

            What is so special about illegal immigrants that they shouldn’t be pursued and rounded up like any other class of criminal?

            Are you here illegally?

      3. Thank you very much

  12. When you have illegals climbing the fence and coming in YOUR yard, what do you do when the Federal Gummint is too interested in expanding everything but border patrols? You take action.
    Every once in a while it’s kinda nice for some level of government to actually do something that is in the interest of the CITIZENS of this country.

    1. I agree with Paul above and why are many groups caving in to the illegals when they have broken our laws to enter.If Americans are coming back from Mexico and try to sneek across the boarder they would be arrested and charged. And let us try to sneek into Mexico and demand from their goverment what the illegals demand here and see what happens. The only reason some groups have no problem with this is they want to register them to vote and vote Democrate.

      1. The only reason some groups have no problem with this is they want to register them to vote and vote Democrate

        Most people here, just want cheap nannie, gardeners and house cleaners.

        Oh and they never complain.

        1. Abolish welfare and limit unemployment insurance to no more than six months and the nanny, gardner and house cleaner problem is solved.

      2. I’d be willing to overlook your sneeking into a second-grade English class, even though you’d have broken our laws to enter.

        1. And for the murder of a 19yr.young man who walk into the path of Illegal gang-members

      3. Maybe because laws against immigration are a violation of the free market principles that many libertarians consider a pillar of their philosophy? Maybe because the evidence seems to support the idea that immigrants, illegal or otherwise, are generally productive members of the communities? I’m curious… what is it that “illegals demand here”? Schooling for their children? Why shouldn’t their kids go to school? Because the parents don’t pay taxes? Half of all Americans don’t pay taxes (directly) at this point. If the immigration laws weren’t at odds with a free market, “illegals” would be paying taxes (leaving aside the role of taxes in free markets).

        The biggest problem here is that the Feds, for whatever reason, have this law they are unwilling or unable to enforce fully and fairly, which means we have a problem that is not going to be solved by jingoistic name-calling. Either the law is faulty and should be scaled back to allow full and fair enforcement, or the Feds need to dedicate more resources to said enforcement. Anything else guarantees that the law will not be equally applied.

        1. Its not a law about “immigration”, might want to check the knee-jerk reactions.

          Its a law about “illegal immigration”.

          The difference is huge. You want to come to the party, ask for an invitation, and sign the guestbook when you arrive. Where’s the problem?

          You try to crash the party, then you run the risk of getting booted.

          Its simple courtesy when your someone’s “guest”.

          Experience also teaches us that party crashers, often cause liquor depletion, broken toilets, and soiled linens… among other things.

          If this basic fact of life escapes you, I don’t think immigration discussion and reason is your bag.

          1. Actually, being against illegal immigration is to favor immigration controls. If any immigrant were allowed to come on in, provided they sign the guest book, then, yes, I’d probably agree that those who refuse to do so should be subject to some penalty. These folks, these “illegals,” would gladly sign the guest book in most cases if it were an option is my guess. But don’t let the complex thinking get in the way of your opinion.

            1. Any immigrant? All of them?

              Most third world countries would empty into ours.

              There are logically, only so many immigrants we can accept for resident Visas and citizenship. If it were a ‘free market’ system, only the most desirable immigrants like those with higher skills, experience or wealth would get the spots.

              The system we have now is pretty clear about the various procedures for visitors. Which part is confusing you?

              Nice try.

      4. I dont know about the Democrate part but. I am with you Go to Mexico and demand from their government what they demand here you would be KILLED!

  13. What does this brainless article have to do with Reason or reason??

    1. I hope that it is a way of making fun of them by showing they’re words otherwise some one at reason ow’s alot of money!

    2. It’s the same author who wrote an article claiming that Hummers were more environmentally-friendly than Priuses. While that fiasco in itself does not mean we should automatically dismiss Dalmia’s claims here, it should make one confident in dismissing the claims after considering them.

      1. Depends on the definition of hummer.

  14. addressing the root cause of the illegal problem: The lack of avenues for unskilled foreign workers to legally work in this country.

    That sounds as if we should allow any low-skilled worker from any country to come here if the idea should spontaneously enter into their head that they should come to the United States. That idea has already entered the minds of billions worldwide. We don’t have the infrastructure to support them, and consequently have a right to regulate who enters.

    1. This is why I would support some sort of guest worker program along the lines that Bush suggested, ie, you can come here if an employer has work for you but it is not a path to citizenship.

      Of course the Dems scuttled that because it would lead to Mexicans and others coming here, making money, and then bringing it back home and staying there, rather than staying here and potentially voting for Democrats.

      1. Yes I too support a guest worker program… in fact it’s already called a f@cking Visa! Why the redun-dan-dun-dan-dun-dan-dun-dancy?

        1. Yes I too support a guest worker program… in fact it’s already called a f@cking Visa! Why the redun-dan-dun-dan-dun-dan-dun-dancy?

          That’s the problem with ‘comprehensive immigration reform’. The Feds can’t (or won’t) even enforce the laws we have now. We’re supposed to trust they’ll enforce a new set of laws?

          1. Exactly. Our whole legal system needs a comprehensive pruning.

    2. We don’t have the infrastructure to support them? What does that even mean?

      Of course, you seem to believe that it belongs to you and that you have a right to exclude others. BS. If I want to fly a person from Mexico to live in my house on my property, and work in my home, and eat food I pay for, and receive medical care I pay for, and watch my TV, who the hell are you to tell me I can’t? I guess you have the right to tell me what I can do with my property? What gave you that right?

      1. We don’t have the infrastructure to support them? What does that even mean?

        That means that we don’t have roads, sewers, fire departments to support the billions of people who would show up if we opened borders. That would make life difficult for those who use and actually paid for those resources.

        If I want to fly a person from Mexico to live in my house on my property, and work in my home, and eat food I pay for, and receive medical care I pay for, and watch my TV, who the hell are you to tell me I can’t?

        You can, I just ask they register themselves at a point of entry to ensure their entry is noted for purposes of safety and health.

        I’m saying that it is unfeasable for everybody who wishes to come here to actually come here. Some would arrive for purposes of illegal activity (and would be undetected due to corrupt policing in their home country), others would nomadically look for low-wage labor here and few of the billions who arrive would actually find it. Then we’re left with several hunderd million unemployed.

        1. “That means that we don’t have roads, sewers, fire departments to support the billions of people who would show up if we opened borders. That would make life difficult for those who use and actually paid for those resources.”

          Billions would show up here? The cost of travel alone would suggest otherwise. It’s also important to note that there has been a net decrease in illegal immigration since the beginning of the recession.

          http://www.foxnews.com/politic…..-declines/

          “You can, I just ask they register themselves at a point of entry to ensure their entry is noted for purposes of safety and health.”

          Wow, that’s false.

        2. Your theory explains perfectly why Manhattan has a population of 300 million — 295 million of them unemployed.

      2. Lets put it this way their are alot of rules in any country. OK you say it’s OK to break those rules. Now there is also RULES that say I cant come to your house and take anything that you think rightfully belongs to you so would that exclude me from a place where you say you dont have the right to exclude anyone? There have to be some sort of RULES or I would be at your house right now watching your TV, eating your food, and if I got hurt somehow you would be paying my Medical bill’s +++++. Besides who the HELL are you to say I cant!

        1. Actually, by telling me that I can’t invite a guest to my home, you are in effect taking my property from me. But I don’t expect you to get that. You like following rules? Try following the simple rules of punctuation and spelling.

  15. Phil Collins said it best: “It’s no fun being an illegal ali-un”.

  16. That sounds as if we should allow any low-skilled worker from any country to come here if the idea should spontaneously enter into their head that they should come to the United States.

    “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”

    It’s on the fucking statue of liberty. And there is no “this only applies to skilled workers” clause either.

    1. Supporting old school American values is so last century. 😉

      1. Absolutely! Let’s go kick us some injuns offa their land.

        1. They didn’t require the new arrivals to get green cards, so lets cut them some slack.

          1. Hey! YOU played the old fashioned values card…

          2. They didn’t require the new arrivals to get green cards, so lets cut them some slack.

            Yeah, and see how well that worked out for them.

    2. I agree with you on that subject, but that dosn’t mean that our boarders are not a deffence and I’m not for a empire I just believe libertarians are not against self deffence.

    3. I was unaware that inscription was actual applicable and enforcable law.

      It’s meaning is that those poor that are shunned and dismissed in their countries, and their economic progress legally and socially hindered, would find here the opportunity to lift themselves up without resistance from the rest of the populace.

      I never said low-skilled workers should all be denied entry, but the process must be legal. We appreciate their work ethic and offer them opportunities to enrich themselves despite their lack of skills, but we won’t tolerate those who subvert the rule of law in coming to this country.

    4. “Give me your tired, your poor…”

      “It’s on the fucking statue of liberty.”

      Um, it’s just part of a poem, not the, you know, Constitution.

      1. Why should we listen to that French whore. 😉

    5. “It’s on the fucking statue of liberty. ”

      And as we all know, anything on the Statue of Liberty has the force of law. (Where’s my spray paint?)

  17. Please check your premise for this article. The AZ law does NOT do anything that Federal law doesn’t do already. All it’s doing is dictating that local/state law enforcement enforce another Federal law.

    1. If you had actually read the article you will find your statement is wrong

      1. He say’s read the bill it’s self which is law, you say read the opinon of some one else… I wounder which is fact or ficton

        1. AZ doesn’t need a state law to enforce federal laws.

          1. AZ doesn’t need a state law to enforce federal laws.

            A state law can be useful for indicating *how* to enforce those laws, though.

          2. Why not? it’s there right as a state unless you can point at the artical in the constitution that states are not alowed to POLICE how they choose?

    2. Federal law makes it a state crime of trespass to be an illegal alien on private land in Arizona?

      Cite?

      1. Exactly. It’s not about enforcing federal law.

  18. Ah yes, this is why I quit coming to this site. Really? The guy couldn’t put his pooper-scooper down and get his proof of citizenship? Besides, if he is scooping the poop, isn’t he in fact OBEYING the law not breaking it? Well, I might check in in another 6 months if it is another slow news day.

  19. First I thought Tea Partiers were hypocrates for saying they support limited government while simulatanesly supporting the wars and our empire overseas. Now I see some libertarians here are hypocrates for the same thing except they support a police state and restricting free trade.

    1. I don’t know what a hypocrate is, but it does sound techno-sinister. Down with hypocrates!

      1. a hypocrate is a container for hypocrites.

  20. First I thought Tea Partiers were hypocrates for saying they support limited government while simulatanesly supporting the wars and our empire overseas. Now I see some libertarians here are hypocrates for the same thing except they support a police state and restricting free trade.

    1. I don’t know what a hypocrate is, but it does sound techno-sinister. Down with hypocrates!

    2. You do not understand the diffrence between supporting the troops and wanting war,
      you do not understand the diffrence between free market and black markets,
      you do not understand the diffrence between rule of law and a police state,
      you do not understand the diffrence between a libertarian and a anarchist…
      But you don’t sound as if you even want to be here in the first place

      1. “you do not understand the diffrence between free market and black markets,”

        Black markets exist only when the free market is hindered. (See drugs, prostitution, and uh… trekking through the Arizonan outback.)

        1. Agreed but that dosn’t make them a free market, they use force just like the government.

  21. The thing that continues to strike me about this debate is the fact if our government would simply enforce the current immigration laws on the books & secure the border, this whole issue becomes a moot point.

    One of the biggest issues that I have with proposed so-called comprehensive immigration reform is we would create whole a new set of laws that our government has no intention of enforcing.

    This is the Reagan Amnesty all over again.

    1. If the government would simply pass immigration laws that actually match what free people acting freely end up doing, this whole issue becomes a moot point.

      You are right that so-called comprehensive immigration reform is a disaster in the making: it is driven by political people for political ends. Far better to simply offer any who wish to come and who can’t be proven harmful an unlimited visa that grants no targeted welfare and makes no claims about citizenship.

      1. Sound’s like RELIGON!

    2. Exactly. What liberals want is for AZ to defer to the feds so that the feds can continue their campaign of “ignore and hope the problem goes away on its own”.

  22. I went to Mexico once, and as soon as I got off the plane there were all these Mexicans in uniform asking for MY papers. Racist bastards.

  23. I’m just going to come out and say it. I want the borders to be wide open. As far as I’m concerned crossing the Canadian and Mexican border should be no more difficult then crossing state lines.

    1. Well, 70% of Arizonans don’t agree with you.

      1. Frankly, I don’t care.

        If someone comes onto your property without your consent, you have the right to defend yourself. The only borders I respect are property borders. State borders are arbitrary creations of the State itself.

        1. And when millions of amnestied illegals predictably vote overwhelmingly Democrat, helping them impose more property-violating policies, then what?

          You cannot consider applications of individual libertarian principles in a vacuum. To do so is to fatally misapprehend reality, which is a system of complex interactions and feedback. That kind of thinking (every instance of reduction of regulation is always a win, regardless of broader context) led to the S&L crisis of the late 80s.

          The feedback here is de facto wide open immigration in the context of a welfare state that has shifted substantially from a limited govt republic to a democracy/mobocracy. There *is* a priority/order to the battles for liberty. To pretend otherwise is self-righteous simplistic suicide.

    2. Sure, and while we’re at it lets cede the balance of our sovereignity to the UN.

  24. States before the Civil War issued passports and had immigration policies. While Naturalization is a delegated power of the fed govt, “immigration” is not, and it was left to the States under the 10th amendment, once upon a time. States had rules about who could settle in their boundaries (no vagrants, drunkards, slothful, etc.) and enforced them. What provision in the constitution would be violated by a State doing so today? (Note the key words, “In the constitution”)

    Re: States sending troops to Iraq. Read McCullough’s excellent biography of John Adams and you will encounter the story of the town of Newburyport Mass., which built a warship with the intention of loaning it to the federal government to be used in an anticipated war with France, during the Adams administration.

  25. “Even if this claim were true, it would be as constitutionally presumptuous as Arizona dispatching state troops to help the federal government fight the Iraq war”

    You mean like the national guard, lol. I think they have already been over there.

    1. Who controls those troops when they’re in Iraq?

  26. What shall we do with the drunk illegal?
    What shall we do with the drunk illegal?
    What shall we do with the drunk illegal?
    Earlie in the morning

    Kick his butt and throw him out
    Kick his butt and throw him out
    Kick his butt and throw him out
    Earlie in the morning

    Keel haul him from a pick-up truck
    Keel haul him from a pick-up truck
    Keel haul him from a pick-up truck
    Earlie in the morning

    Lock him up and throw the key away
    Lock him up and throw the key away
    Lock him up and throw the key away
    Earlie in the morning

    Way! Hey! Seal that border!
    Way! Hey! Seal that border!
    Way! Hey! Seal that border!
    Earlie in the morning

  27. Yet another pro-illegal immigrant article that does nothing but cast insults on anyone who disagrees with the author.

    “The lack of avenues for unskilled foreign workers to legally work in this country. That’s what they should be focusing on.”
    because 20% unemployment is no where near enough. 30% or 40% is much much better.

    1. So US citizens have a right to those jobs and shouldn’t have to compete for them fairly with all comers? I see how you are.

      1. Well Mike… thats the reward for taking all those citizenship classes or properly filing your Visa paperwork… you get to compete for jobs.

        If you file for a drivers license, you get to drive a car.

        What happens if you do either of things without going thru the process? Thank you and goodnight.

      2. We dont have enough jobs for the people we have in the country right now. So sure, lets bring in more people to expand the wellfare state even more!

  28. Perhaps Arizona should, instead, commence building a wall across the southern border. Would that infringe on some federal authority?

  29. Arizona’s law was very carefully crafted to mirror federal immigration laws, hence do not violate the Constitution.

    Reason’s editors may not like the concept of “controlled substances” but most states also have statutes that mirror the federal Uniform Controlled Substances Act. In the latter case, some state controlled-substances acts may go farther than their federal model but Arizona legislators were very cautious not to do so with SB 1070.

  30. Please let your voice & opinions be heard and join the following Tea Party websites to become part of the movement in taking our country back from liberal/progressive left wing loons who are destroying capitalism and the Free Market System that has built this great country:

    http://www.TeaParty.org

    http://www.TeaPartyExpress.com

    http://www.TeaPartyNation.com

    http://www.TeaPartyPatriots.com

    http://www.The9.12Project.com

    http://www.teapartyrevolution.com/

  31. Dalmia’s arguments are erudite nonsense. Essentially it comes down to two things:

    1-Illegal immigration is solely a federal obligation and the federal government has the authority to abdicate its obligation, never mind the consequences to the State of Arizona nor its other obligations to Arizona as provided by the federal constitution.

    2-Not all immigrants are created equal. All legal immigrants prior to becoming (myself included prior to becoming a citizen) are required by federal law to carry their ‘green card’ at all times. So therefore Arizona’s requirement is no more onerous than the federal requirement yet Dalmia thinks its a violation of the equal protection clause to require an illegal alien to carry documents that the courts have upheld that a legal alien must carry. Since it is rather obvious that an illegal alien cannot carry a permanent resident alien card since illegal aliens do not qualify for such a status she implies that any effort to enforce existing laws are unjust on its face. Arizona actually grants illegals ‘more’ rights than a legal immigrant since it presumes that any government issued ID is sufficient proof of legal residency in the US unlike a legal alien who must produce the alien registration card to prove legal residency.
    The police have a right to stop anyone under the guise of reasonable suspicion and demand to be shown an ID. What Dalmia is worried about is that the Arizona police might actually find illegal aliens and force the federal government to actually do what it is supposed to do with illegal aliens, deport them.

    1. >The police have a right to stop anyone under the guise of reasonable suspicion and demand to be shown an ID.<<br />
      Apparently, that’s not true everywhere.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S…..80.9D_laws

  32. The Word of the Day for May 11 is:

    navel-gazing \NAY-vul-GAY-zing\ noun
    : useless or excessive self-contemplation

    Example sentence:
    Instead of more of the feel-good lyrics and beats that launched her to stardom, the songs on the diva’s sophomore release border on tedious philosophizing and navel-gazing.

    Did you know?
    If you are scratching your head over something, then you are probably in a state of puzzled contemplation. But if you are staring at your navel, you could either be indulging in some useless self-contemplation or in a state of deep meditation. If the latter, the technical term for your activity would be “omphaloskepsis,” which is a form of meditation that has been practiced by mystics for centuries. Navel-gazing is a pop form of omphaloskepsis that is devoid of any serious meditative value. The word has been used more or less disparagingly since its first appearance in 1963.

  33. This article should appear on a website called “Ignorance” rather than “Reason.” If the author had done propoer research he would know that Arizona’s law only enforces Federal law, that is to say the Arizona law is identical to United States Code, which the Feds have failed to enforce. Arizona’s law is a good law that will help to curtail the problem of illegal immigration and all of the negative side-effects such illegal behavior brings.

    1. For the umpteenth time, this

      A. IN ADDITION TO ANY VIOLATION OF FEDERAL LAW, A PERSON IS GUILTY OF TRESPASSING IF THE PERSON IS BOTH:
      1. PRESENT ON ANY PUBLIC OR PRIVATE LAND IN THIS STATE.
      2. IN VIOLATION OF 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1304(e) OR 1306(a).

      …is not federal law!

      Why is it that everyone who claims that the Arizona law is identical to federal law says that other people need to do their research?

      1. Because it’s easier to assert you’re right and your opponents are stupid than it is to actually think critically?

      2. From your threaded past/future:

        MikeP 5.11.10 @ 5:26PM|#

        It’s good that they removed the nauseating violation of property rights that trespass on one’s own property represents.

        And this would, it seems, take away the most egregious one-upping of the federal law in the Arizona law.

        1. And this…

          It still of course leaves the state punishment and the ancillary sections about hiring people from your car as new state laws that aren’t federal laws.

        2. There’s also the bit about anyone being able to sue Arizona law enforcement officials who do not pursue the law to the furthest extent possible. There is no federal law that is anything close to that.

  34. I think the law is gong to lead to discrimination/harassment against legal US Latino (and even Asian) citizens. That is my only beef with it.

    I’m actually enjoying the AZ exceeding their authority angle. Since when does the federal government adhere to the limits placed in it by the constitution? In that respect I say F the federal government. Why should anyone else respect their proper roles? The militarization of the local police just adds to the entertainment. I heard AZ officials are planning a violent armed revolution against the Obama administration. Anyone else hear that one?

    1. Where does one go to enlist?

    2. “I’m actually enjoying the AZ exceeding their authority angle.”

      Wait until the slapdown comes, and it always comes. Remember when Montana used any “safe and reasonable speed for conditions” as their interstate speed law? Traffic moved effeciently, no more were killed or maimed than at 70mph, yet the Federales suspended Montana’s share of highway funds until they knuckled under.

      1. “the Federales suspended Montana’s share of highway funds until they knuckled under.”

        Montana’s Reasonable and Prudent law was not abandoned for that reason.

    3. Two wrongs don’t make a right. And you don’t really want the feds to have a vaild excuse to exceed their authority either. But I do understand your point.

  35. If the government does not like the Arizona law then they should start enforcing Federal immigration law. I agree with a moratorium on legal immigration. Our unemployement rate is over 10% and you want to let in more unemployable people? Not to mention that the vast majority of immigrants will start to consume more tax payer dollars in government assistance programs. Immigrantion to this country is a privilege, not a right.

    1. Probably not have a total moratorium, but certainly levels of immigration flood control. It’s ridiculous to have the faucet turned to full, when areas are underwater.

  36. “”If the government does not like the Arizona law then they should start enforcing Federal immigration law. “”

    So if the feds don’t like a state law, they should exceed their authority? They often do, as bigbigslacker points out, but we should stay firm about that behavior being wrong. Not give give government the permission to do as they please.

    I prefer to keep each in its place according to the Constitution.

    If you accecpt the idea that the states can exceed their authority when they want, kiss your constitutional rights goodbye.

    1. Permit me to be more clear. If the Federal government was enforcing the immigration law that it is constitutionally required to do the people of Arizona (70% of them) would not feel compelled to act as they have.

      1. If the 60% of US-born residents of Arizona who were born in other states didn’t immigrate to Arizona, the people of Arizona would not feel compelled to act as they have.

  37. Shikha – Since you seem so stuck on this issue why don’t you post your address and we can just send all the illegals to your home to live with you and off of you. Hey your yard would be well kept at least. It is getting old listening to some people act like they want illegals to be free to come and go but yet bitch that government provides freebies to these people. Which do you want more illegals sucking on the government tit and voting against you in elections when you want to have smaller government or to just have smaller less costly government. I don’t want to hear any bitching if they give these invaders amnesty and then follow it up with special entitlements that WE ALL have to pay for. Seems like that is what you want by the stance you take, after all adding another 20 million to the welfare rolls is sure to cut our taxes and make the government less of a nanny to their voters.

    1. Good argument, very well thought out and addresses the points of the article.

  38. Those who are in the United States without documentation that they are required by federal law to carry on their persons (just as people are required in most states to display on police demand their drivers’ licenses, proof of insurance, and registration for themselves and their vehicles, in most states) don’t comprise a suspect classification for equal protection purposes. Also, the Arizona law meets not only the rational purpose test but the compelling state interests test. The less restrictive alternative would be enforcing the federal law, but the United States government is not doing that. So I have doubts about an equal protection violation.

    No illegal immigrant has a fundamental right to refuse to show his immigration documentation, so the Arizona law doesn’t seem to be violating the rights of illegal immigrants. No legal immigrant is free from a legitimate policy inquiry after lawful contact, either.

    On the 4th Amendment front, I don’t see how a lawful police contact leading to a check of someone’s immigration status amounts to an unlawful search and seizure.

    It’s true that the federal government has jurisdiction over immigration and its regulation, but I have no doubt that there’s concurrent justification for states to pass regulations on issues constitutionally reserved to the feds laws when the United States government won’t enforce its own laws.

    After all, as the great liberal justice Robert Jackson pointed out so long ago, the United States Constitution is not a suicide pact.

  39. Being an illegal immigrant in Mexico is a felony crime punishable by years in prison.

    And what’s it like to be an American, even one of Mexican ancestry in Mexican prison? It can be very rough, a cruel death. Racism is rampant south of the border, especially racism against Americans. Yes, we are considered a race as much as a nationality.

    With such blatant hypocrisy why are we attacking Arizona for what is a states rights issue?

    I no longer live in Arizona, but I’m born and raised and will always be an Arizonan. They rightfully should rule themselves as they see fit.

    Let my people go!

    1. Being an illegal immigrant in Mexico is a felony crime punishable by years in prison.

      What do you expect? Everyone knows Mexicans are all racists and rabidly hate all those gringo immigrants that flood the country.

    2. So you’re saying that the Mexico should be our role model? In case you haven’t noticed, it hasn’t been doing very well lately…

  40. “it would be as constitutionally presumptuous as Arizona dispatching state troops to help the federal government fight the Iraq war.”

    Isn’t the AZ national guard in Iraq right now??

  41. “it would be as constitutionally presumptuous as Arizona dispatching state troops to help the federal government fight the Iraq war.”

    Isn’t the AZ national guard in Iraq right now??

    1. Under the command of who?

    2. Yes, and no doubt getting valuable experience on handling foreign insurgents.

      Gotta kinda suck to spend all that time stuck over there, only to come home and have to deal with the same problem.

    3. Not by order of the Governor or State Congress.

  42. Major General Rataczak. I don’t recall his first name.

  43. Apparently, this author has never travelled in foreign countries. She ought to get out more and understand that anyone in a country less than friendly can get hauled off to jail unless they present their “papers” on demand to authorities. This is so, even in Europe if they want to make a point of it; and particularly true in Mexico where you are advised to only show police the papers – never give it to them because you’ll have to pay to get them back in your hands.

    1. You right… and because I’m sure you’re not a hypocrite, it’s safe to assume you’re also for universal healthcare. After all, everyone else is doing it, right?

    2. You right… and because I’m sure you’re not a hypocrite, it’s safe to assume you’re also for universal healthcare. After all, everyone else is doing it, right?

  44. What part of illegal do you not understand?

  45. If the Federal Government would secure it’s border with Mexico, Arizona wouldn’t have to resort to such measures. Joe Arpyo does not represent the majority of Sheriffs in Arizona. He was put in office by the Phoenix Republicans who back his every move. He’s a publicity hound. Most of law enforcement here is over-burdened with their own jobs to do, and deep cuts in their budgets as the rest of us. They don’t want the extra expense of more jails, more prisoners, taking on the job of Immigration, because they can’t afford it. That being said, we are over-run by violent, armed immigrants daily here on the border & we have a President that laughs at us. 81% of ALL illegal immigrants come from Mexico & Latin America. Only 19% for the rest of the world. What’s that tell ya? Things are not like they were 30 years ago. This is an invasion!

    1. I want the numbers of the violent, armed immigrants committing crimes versus the total number of immigrants coming across our southern border.

  46. Some very sloppy logic…

    Just because white racists don’t let hispanics or blacks in their homes under any circumstances, laws against violent home invasion are wrong because those idiots support them?

  47. Bank robbery and kidnapping are federal crimes. Is it unconstitutional for a local police officer to arrest a bank robber or kidnapper and turn them over to federal authorities? How is that different from taking someone into custody for breaking federal immigration laws and turning them over to federal authorities? Is that not what the Arizona statute contemplates?

  48. Dear Ms. Dalmia,
    the federal govt is not enforcing their own law. How do you suggest such an unconstituionality be corrected?

    By your logic, no law can be enforced, at federal or state or any level because such attempts of enforcement may cause some nonofenders some inconvenience—because everybody is innoncent until proven guilty.

    Arizona law is not about immigration—it is about correcting federal practice of not enforcing a serious breach of law of this land. I am an immigrant. And i will certainly not be offended if a police officer stops me just to make sure that i am here legally. What else are police officers for?

    Also, Arizona law does not “step on federal toes” (which SHOULD be stepped on). It doesn’t make its police forces to enforce a federal law in Texas or D.C. for example. Arizona, is simply exercising its obligation to enforce a law that should ideally be enforced by federal govt. (if the latter was honest about it).

    There is a difference between “Reason” and “legalese sophistry”.

  49. The poor woman who wrote this article is obviously grasping at straws and is not aquainted with the constitution.

  50. Without comment on the merit of the view(s) expressed in this article, I find it noteworthy that the author insists on framing this issue as Arizona’s “anti-immigrant” law. Nowhere in the article does he refer to it as an anti-illegal-immigrant” measure, which is exactly what it is.

    As far as I know, Arizona takes no position for or against legal immigration.

  51. I consider myself a libertarian. I believe that adults should be free to do as they like so long as they do not harm somone else. Marijuana should be legalized, gambling and prostitution are choices for adults. The IRS and the welfare state should be abolished as should the Federal Reserve. Sex and morality are no business of government, etc. I am a libertarian and I totally support the Arizona immigration law. The law does not clash with libertarianism. As a sovereign nation we have a right and duty to control our borders. How do libertarians feel about the fact, yes the FACT that these Mexican nationals who are invading us are poor uneducated leftist, and who will collectively vote for leftist democrats? You think this will help establish a more libertarian society? At what point does a libertarian stop with idealism and consider the world practically? If we allow these Mexican nationals to demographically transform the country there will be consequences. If these are Mexican citizens their allegiance is to Mexico not the United States, our Constitution, and our values. Individually this may not be the case, but overall it is. Many libertarians love Ayn Rand and the novel Atlas Shrugged. Did “John Galt” allow anyone to enter “Galt’s Gulch” the libertarian society in the mountains? No they did not. Why? Because they did not want to allow the type of people into their society who did not share their values! The same can be said for millions of Mexican nationals. They live next door, and its time for them to go home. With unemployment as high as it is, to say that illegals are doing jobs Americans wont do is a joke. After a raid in Arizona that ousted hundreds of illegals, scores of Americans lined up for the jobs that had been usurped by the illegal Mexican nationals.

    1. I believe that adults should be free to do as they like so long as they do not harm somone else.

      Such as cross a border or take a job?

      How do libertarians feel about the fact, yes the FACT that these Mexican nationals who are invading us are poor uneducated leftist, and who will collectively vote for leftist democrats?

      Libertarians feel that governments have an obligation to secure inalienable individual rights — rights such as migration and residence. Libertarians also feel that such obligations do not extend to granting citizenship, which is not an inalienable individual right. Therefore the question of how migrants will vote is not justification for prohibiting their migration, residence, or employment.

      Naturalization can follow whatever requirements and timelines the citizenry desires. But migration, residence, and employment must be generally free.

      Did “John Galt” allow anyone to enter “Galt’s Gulch” the libertarian society in the mountains? No they did not. Why?

      Because John Galt owned Galt’s Gulch. The US does not own the territory claimed by the US.

      1. I think you mis-understand the diffrence between anarchist libertarian and minimal government libertarians.

        1. No I don’t.

          Minimal government libertarians believe that…

          We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

          …while anarchist libertarians believe that governments can’t be trusted to constrain their powers to those that secure rather than abrogate individual rights.

          Regardless, both should find that prohibiting the free movement of peaceful people is a violation of preexisting individual rights.

          1. Agreed, if peaceful people are harassed,the state has gone too far, but asking an accused criminal for identification is routine. If Arizona police go beyond this, they should be held to the law and charged.

            1. You may have missed my point. The fact that migrants cannot legally enter the state’s dominion is the harassment of peaceful people. The federal government, in legislating and enforcing present immigration law, has indeed gone too far. Arizona simply goes too far too.

      2. For all reasonable purposes, countries possess sovereignty over their territory. If you own property you do not have the right to make visitors citizens of the country. Whether they are invited or not. If you mean to argue that there should be no countries, and that anyone is free to be anywhere they choose without restriction, that is a different matter, if somewhat utopian.

        1. If you own property you do not have the right to make visitors citizens of the country.

          I believe I said exactly that: migration and residence are rights; citizenship is not.

          The property owner has the right to have anyone from anywhere on his property, just as anyone from anywhere has the right to be on that property if invited. The state has no authority over those private voluntary associations, but the state has complete control over whether and how the visitor can gain citizenship.

      3. I would agree with you IF we did not have a massive debt and deficit ridden welfare state. But we do! So again, if we allow millions of uneducated, poor, leftist Mexican nationals to enter the country THERE WILL BE CONSEQUENCES, and there will be nothing “libertarian” about them. So if you want free immigration, you have to get ride of the welfare state first. What do you think is going to happen when Obama and the loony left legalizes all these illegals? Well after they become citizens they will vote for more loony leftist. This is bad and will further erode the Constitution and the libertarian values this country was founded on. SO! You have to be practical and not some stubborn idealist. The illegals must be stopped or else it will lead to more debt via welfare, and more leftist who vote for leftist.

  52. The nation can survive very well if law enforcement officers were prohibited from stopping and searching a pedestrian. Most of the searches are done only for the purposes of finding illegal drugs, those searches could be handled on the property of the suspect with a court issued warrant. The stopping and frisking of illegal immigrants for ID is wrong when it can be done in their place of employment. Public areas are sacred and being told to freeze and having to put the hands against a wall should be unlawful. It is true that police powers would be limited and criminals harder to catch if the powers of search and seizure were directed only to those on private property, but making a cop work harder to make a bust makes life easier for everybody.

  53. Mr. Dalmia fails to comment on what a state is supposed to do if the Federal government fails to enforce the laws regarding immigration. When the citizens of a state are subjected to threats to their security as a result of unlawful behavior of illegals does the state not have a responsibility to do something? Must Phoenix accept unprecedented crime while the Fed’s sit on their hands ? The people in that state have a right to protect themselves, and the use of state govt. to do that is legitimate.

    1. Limitation of Federal Power seems to be important except in cases where the Feds fail to act, when, suddenly, States and local government must not address the problem. (States do not have a right to go beyond the constitution, but to mirror it seems rational).

  54. Would you apply the same constitutional question to cities which order their law enforcement officers to scrupulously ignore any illegal immigration status even after an arrest?

  55. If the U.S. didn’t have a specific method for entering this country and AZ made this law, I might agree they were going out on their own and doing whatever they want. But the law is a federal law..that is being broke.. and the U.S. isn’t doing anything about it. AZ has had enough and has decided that if the U.S. isn’t going to police their borders, they would. And now people are up in arms.

    As for not worrying about the white people, I guess he’s not heard that Canadians cross illegally too. It’s not such a problem north as it is south, but it happens.

  56. Just my 2cents: The idea that tougher laws against illegal immigrants will somehow curb violence and crime is completely illogical. Those people are going to get into the country even if we had LE go around and corral every single person we suspected of being here illegally and sent them back to their country of origin. Hell, even if we had a giant wall with troops stationed along it they would still get in. Hadrian’s Wall and the Great Wall of China didn’t fully keep invaders out.

    I am by no means saying we should bend over and take it, but I’m not sure that asking anyone who commits a minor infraction if they are citizens or not is the right way to go about fixing the problem.

    1. On a side note, I wonder if the people that support the Arizona law on state’s rights grounds also favor the “Sanctuary Cities” that have passed ordinances that police cannot inquire about immigration status. I would love to hear your opinions.

  57. “Defenders of Arizona’s harsh new anti-immigration law”

    Come on, Shikha — when you LIE in the FIRST EIGHT WORDS, how am I supposed to take any of the rest seriously?

    It is an anti-ILLEGAL-immigration law. To imply any different is like saying that the cop who arrests you for drunken driving is enforcing an “anti-driving law.”

  58. In democratic societies like the United States, the voting process is a means by which citizens hold their government accountable, conflicts are channeled into resolutions, and power transfers peacefully. Our system of representative government works only when honest ballots are not diluted by fraudulent ballots. When elections become corrupted, democracy becomes threatened.
    The FBI has a limited role in ensuring fair and free elections in the United States. Election crimes become federal cases when:
    The ballot includes one or more federal candidates;
    The crime involves an election official abusing his duties;
    The crime pertains to fraudulent voter registration;
    Voters are not U.S. citizens.
    First Name: kenyan born at the white house
    Last Name: TRUTH
    Address: AMERICA
    Address: INPEACH OBAMA
    City: USA
    State: usa THE END OF AMERICA
    NPR archive describes Obama as ‘Kenyan-born’
    Michelle say Barack born in Kenya
    Obama’s grandmother say he was born in Kenya
    Subject: OBAMA SAID approval ratings are still very high in the country of my birth.
    Message: INPEACH OBAMA TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT
    obama people have no idea of the extent to which they have to be gulled in order to be led.” “The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one.” “All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those towards whom it is directed will understand it. Therefore, the intellectual level of the propaganda must be lower the larger the number of people who are to be influenced by it.” “Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise. “pelosi don’t see much future for the Americans … it’s a decayed country. And they have their racial problem, and the problem of social &^% …obama feelings against Americanism are feelings of hatred and deep repugnance … everything about the behaviour of American society reveals that it’s half &^%, and the other half &^& How can one expect a State like that to hold TOGTHER.They include the angry left wing bloggers who spread vicious lies and half-truths about their political adversaries… Those lies are then repeated by the duplicitous left wing media outlets who “discuss” the nonsense on air as if it has merit? The media’s justification is apparently “because it’s out there”, truth be damned. State: *usa Obama chuckles at America*
    If YOU PASS THE NORTH KOREAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET 12 YRS HARD LABOR, YOU PASS THE AFGHAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET SHOT. Under the Mexican law, illegal immigration is a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison,There is no immigration allowed in China, India, Bangladesh, Russia, Japan, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Turkey and MOST other countries YOU PASS THE AMERICAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET A JOB, DRIVER’S LICENSE, ALLOWANCE FOR A PLACE TO LIVE, HEALTH CARE, EDUCATION, BILLIONS OF DOLLARS SPENT SO YOU CAN READ A DOCUMENT. WE CARRY PASSPORTS IN OTHER COUNTRIES OR FACE JAIL TIME. REPOST THIS IF YOU AGREE!! ((STOP COMMUNIST OBAMA)) THE COMMANDER

  59. Your first paragraph argument blows up instantaneously.
    Arizona does in fact send state troops to Iraq. It’s called the NATIONAL GUARD.
    NG units are state level, state sponsored militia units under control of the individual state governors until mobilized into federal duty.
    The command and control structure for training and provisioning is under the Department of the relevant federal military branch but the governors still have control within their respective states.

  60. The lack of avenues for unskilled foreign workers to legally work in this country. That’s what they should be focusing on.

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