Arizona Calling: How Law 1070 Pushes Immigration Reform to the Brink James Campion May 7, 2010 Columns 11 Upon the launching of my web site in the early months of 2000, a 3,000-word screed from a concerned Arizona law officer was posted on its now defunct Sound-Off page. It emphatically stated that if in the following decade the United States government didn’t do something about the state’s “sieve border security;” there would be “terrible bloodshed” and “dire consequences.” Bingo. Fast forward those ten years, and Arizona now has a Wild West showdown of murderous proportions, whose death toll rivals the slaughterhouses of Iraq and Afghanistan. A grievous dereliction in the federal government’s duty to provide for the common defense and preserve U.S. sovereignty, long derided in this space, has reached such a pressure point in Arizona that its local government thought it necessary to enact what amounts to an abject mockery of constitutional law. SB1070, rubber stamped by Governor Jan Brewer, is nothing more than a hand-cupping, throat-shredding scream for help. Though many people will disagree, I believe Senate Bill 1070 is what’s best for Arizona. —Governor Jan Brewer upon signing into law Senate Bill 1070 on April 30, 2010 Mission accomplished. For the bellow has been heard loud and clear. Worded very much as the last vestige of survival, stemming from a Mexican drug lord war spill-over which has resulted in a plethora of random beatings, stabbings and collateral violence against Arizona’s citizens, the 1070 Law could not have hoped to survive a national outcry of racial profiling and unconstitutional tyranny, but more importantly the bevy of ensuing lawsuits and a predictable Washington intervention. Fact is Brewer and the Arizona Senate ran out of legal and sane options. Because no one in an ostensibly free society could accept Law 1070 as a sane or legal option; in fact, the thing is so completely irresponsible, it even leaves the police at risk. To wit: The law lists a Context of Arrests; in other words, the fashion in which the Arizona police are to enforce it: Routine policing (bar brawl, speed trap), Routine suspicion (no hunches), and Not relying solely on race. How then, you may rightly ask, is anyone going to effectively round up illegal aliens, of which by the way there are—according to the Office of Homeland Security (your tax dollars at waste)—460,000 in Arizona today, without racially profiling, working on hunches, or going beyond “routine policing”? The answer is they can not. Thus, the 1070 Law is set up to fail, or at the very least, set up to cause illegal search and seizures, police-state abuses, and those rough-and-ready lawsuits. Truth is the damn thing is an atavistic draconian national embarrassment. And yet this brilliantly directed showpiece by Arizona lawmakers, fronted dramatically by their governor, has now fully engaged the federal government and our president, who correctly pointed out in numerous speeches hence the law’s ridiculous constitutional liability and hardly a concrete answer to what now amounts to a new and improved concern for Immigration Reform. Once again: Mission accomplished. The mere fact that the president is on this subject, faced with massive oil spills, a Tennessee flood disaster, a Times Square terrorist plot, and the endless financial reform histrionics, is a bell-ringing success for crazy bill gone even crazier law. Make no mistake about it; because of Arizona’s desperate and wholly reckless legal hissy fit, the nation’s eyes are now squarely focused on what has been an escalating problem for states bordering Mexico. It is no longer merely an argument about fining businesses who employ illegal aliens, their free health care or running under the radar of national security and other tertiary criminal activities. Now it’s lunatic drug dealers and gun runners blasting away at suburbanites; mothers and children being hacked to bits on street corners and the elderly bludgeoned by thugs who waltzed unhindered across our border. This is why 70 percent of Arizonans back the law, just as you would too, if you were frightened for your life. Intellectually, there is a reason to raise eyebrows, as I surely did in the months following 9/11, as Air Force fighter planes whizzed the East River or tanks remained parked outside the Lincoln Tunnel. Overkill? Police state? Or a reasonable response to a horrible breech of national security? There is little arguing the law’s ratification as anything other than unconstitutional chicanery or the wild plea for federal assistance long overdue, but it does come with some precedence. Since 1940, federal law has dictated that aliens must carry papers, such as U.S. citizens keeping passports at the ready in foreign countries, including all of Europe. Moreover, since 1976, the Supreme Court has recognized that states may enact laws to discourage illegal immigration without being pre-empted by federal law. As long as Congress hasn’t expressly forbidden the state law in question, the statute doesn’t conflict with federal law and Congress has not displaced all state laws from the field, it is permitted. This is why Arizona’s 2007 law making it illegal to knowingly employ unauthorized aliens was sustained by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Basically, it seems, Arizona can do whatever the hell it wants, save Martial Law, which is pretty much next. Ah, that is until the vagaries of carrying out the law—the whole reason we have laws is the penalty levied if said laws are broken—then a great deal of problems arise. And the backlash is going to be expensive in an economic downturn. Therefore, without further ado, I give you, with the teeth of a rabid dog, the federal government’s time to face the music. Suddenly, amidst the wrangling over Health Care Reform and Financial Reform, bailouts and stimulus packages, here comes a state begging Big Government to do its job or else. This will be an issue come November when the Live Free Or Die set and their candidates of choice weigh in on its aftermath, from civil libertarians to xenophobes. Mission accomplished. James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of Deep Tank Jersey, Fear No Art, Trailing Jesus, and Midnight For Cinderella. 11 Responses Martin C May 7, 2010 I live in Phoenix, and the one thing that i don’t get is this, Jan Brewer has the authority to enact the National Guard to the border,but has failed to do so WHY? Jan you can’t stem the flow of illegals by enforcing? in the cities of Arizona, is this backward or is it just me, furthermore McCain/Kyl big push for more control at the border is a joke, these Dumbasses had 8 years to do something with the border, but yet they did nothing, so instead of joining with the Dems to figure this out, they find it more appropriate to work against them, how does this help the situation, The two John’s need to grow up, and they are the one’s talking about being responsible, they both need to look in the mirror. Reply David Nichols May 7, 2010 Since the Presidents State of the Union Adress the Two J-Johns have had their arms folded, have been holding their breath, and Mc Cain publicly said he would not co-operate with Democrats on any Bill for the rest of the year! Where I have to work, in the “Real World” if you tell the people that you work for that you are not going to work for the rest of the year, you have just publicly Resigned! This is not just the Party of “No”, this is Insubordination, to the United States of America! Any one saying they will not do their jobs should be Fired and Replaced Immediatly! I don’t care if they think they are Dukes or Duchesses! To: Political Tantrums. Regarding Immigration Reform, the lack of Responsible Reform in 2007 is what has Crashed our Economy, and the Violence you refer to is in Mexico and I beleive the majority are people being killed or dying that were Deported to the middle of the Desert with out even a drop of water. Americas Deportations have caused this pollitical unrest along the Border! The U.N. should be sent to verify how many of the thousands of deaths are drug related or Deported “Humans”! To: Truth? Reply Roberto May 7, 2010 I’m a Chilean man, born in Santiago, that understand why Americans don’t want a immigration reform. Our former president (the best leader that every country want to have) Michelle Bachelet did an amnesty which gave chilean citizenship to peruvians, argentinians, bolivians, bazilians, etc In my country, Bolivians and peruvians are most than any other alien people in Chile. Peru and bolivia never forgave us for the issue of “Pacific War” 1879 y 1883. Most of their people have been growing resentment toward us, and their manners aren’t the best. For example, in Argentina, bolivians defecate in the street, Some people said U.S.A. is a nazi nation (Arizona’s new law) Well, a Mexican lady, friend of my mother, who lived in California for 10 years (But now she is in Miami) said Mexicans only gave to USA: drugs, kidnapping, drunk. For us, the Arizona law is not an racial issue, in an patient issue. Sadly, good Mexican people, some europeans, asians, central americans, even Chileans, would not reach the american dream due that vicious actions from people with animals minds. I living in Miami, the “gringos” always have bring me a smile, from naturalized latinos, discrimination, due my english skills aren’t the best. (Even right now, as you can read) Is so easy to blame, but living here in Miami, the Latino state, I can understand why the white house didn’t anything about immigration reform. Most of the illegals are latinos, most of latinos have animal minds. All of us, hardworking people, must blame to our own people, not to that generous and blessed country. Reply Sebastian May 7, 2010 This is historic…each 20 years the world have a new ” nazy spirit.” I never immagine this in my land….. Reply John May 8, 2010 I’m not a democrat nor republican , I’m trying to watch what the politicians are doing now a days and it scares me!!! You can’t trust anybody! everbody is changing their statements every other day, nobody is trying even to keep their word and to do what they are saying they are gonna do, that’s crazy! Mcain is saying he is not gonna vote even for his own bill because he doesn’t wanna work with the democratic party, Graham pushed Obama to take the lead on immigration reform after he did, Graham says he will not support even his ow bill !!! Sen Reid , said in front of almost 6000 ppl in Las Vegas that they will do immigration reform exactly like they pushed for the health care and after only 1 day he is saying that immigration isn’t even on the agenda! Obama promised to solve the problem in 100 days after he would yaky the office, as we know nothing happened, after that he said the first year, again nothing, the beginning of 2010 nothing! What I wanna say about all of this is that I don’t care what issue they are talking about , it could be anything! But when I see ppl that are lieing in our faces that is pathetic! How can I decide who to vote for if nobody deserves to run a country that is the most powerful in the world ! I feel lost! Could anybody tell me what’s going on up there!??? Reply Trencher May 10, 2010 Everyone has been bashing this bill and nobody has bothered to notice that it’s not hardly different at all against current immigration law. Well except for the fact that it might get enforced. That would be a pleasant change. Reply Steve D May 13, 2010 My son lives in AZ and approves of this law, he told me while i was visiting 2/10 that a woman knocked on the wrong door. When that woman cohorts tried to kick in the door they were greet with gunfire from the lady of the house who was home alone at the time.The would be robbers of course were illeagal aliens. Reply bobf May 14, 2010 In the short-run, the Democratic Obama Administration should immediately create some kind of public work/jobs program that quickly provides good-paying jobs and free health care for all native-born working-class and lower middle-class people in the USA. And, in the long-run, all Mexican citizens will probably eventually be allowed to work and live in the territory in the Southwest that was acquired by the U.S. government from Mexico following the Mexican War of the 1840s without being harassed by federal or state government law enforcement agencies, I imagine. Reply tim paynter attorney May 18, 2010 The comprehensive immigration reform bill to be placed in front of congress ( cir ) solves the border security question. Subsequently, it addresses immigration reform. Conservatives who nay say the proposed law are losing a grand opportunity for a slam dunk since the law is marginally pro immigration. Reply Ambojia May 21, 2010 Unemployment rate is still high but illegal immigrant have job. So i salute Arizona. Plus those illegal immigrant paying no taxes but using American’s money when they get sick and continue to have an American’s life. I’m sorry to say but punish them. Or you can’t just give them greencard right away.They should go to due process. Because this is unfair for those people that are waiting for their visa in a legal way. Reply dave June 2, 2010 Law 1070 for the immigration reform is the same as “a strong pain-killer is given to a patient who gets intestinal perforation”. It is very hurmful and dangerous. 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