Arizona’s immigration law is constitutionally troubling

Arizona’s new immigration enforcement law, just days old, already is sparking challenges and extensive controversy.  Most Republicans, including many self-proclaimed “conservatives” who might otherwise oppose expanding government police powers, have lined up squarely behind this measure.  This is mystifying.

The law is fundamentally at odds with principles of federalism designed to reflect proper spheres of authority as between state and federal governments.  It also is in conflict with traditional notions that the police are not permitted to stop and detain individuals based on mere suspicion.

Many supporters of this measure appear to have concluded that, since the federal government has not been sufficiently vigorous or consistent in its enforcement of federal laws against illegal immigration, it is perfectly permissible for the states to step up to the plate and take on this responsibility.  Interestingly, this argument has rarely, if ever, been employed to justify states stepping into federal law enforcement shoes in any context other than immigration. 

Protecting our borders is in fact a singularly federal function; reflecting the fundamental responsibility of the national government to protect our sovereignty.  Traditionally, and appropriately, states have not been permitted to assume federal government functions; just as Washington should not be permitted to assert powers properly left to the states.  This split of enforcement authority – while in modern times often not honored by the federal government – is codified in the Constitution, including in the Tenth Amendment.

There are any number of federal laws and responsibilities that do not receive the attention many citizens and state governments believe they should; but this is hardly reason to jettison constitutionally-sound principles of federalism, and open the floodgates to states assuming federal functions. 

The vast and virtually unfettered power the new Arizona law grants local law enforcement to stop, question and detain individuals to determine if they are in the country lawfully, is even more troubling.  But here also, many citizens, state legislators, commentators, and of course, members of Congress, appear far too ready to grant police this broad power simply because it purports to address the problem of illegal immigration.

While a number of Republican supporters of the Arizona law claim that its provisions would come into play only after a police officer had lawfully stopped an individual for another offense, the clear language of the law says otherwise.  Under it, an officer need only have “lawful contact” with a person – which can be something as innocuous as passing them on the sidewalk – to provide the officer the justification to demand the person produce papers establishing their lawful status in the United States.  The only predicate then required, is that the officer have a “reasonable suspicion” the person is an unlawful alien – based on what, the statute does not say.

The new law includes many other provisions troubling because of their vagueness and breadth.  For example, a person is subject to arrest without a warrant if an officer has probable cause to believe the person has committed an offense that makes them “removable from the United States.” Determining exactly which offenses make someone “removable” is hardly an exact science.  But, insofar as being in the country unlawfully subjects one to “removal,” this provision in the law becomes completely circular.

Hopefully, the federal courts will quickly avail themselves of the opportunity to determine the constitutionality of this Arizona law.  And hopefully, they will find its exceptionally broad grant of police detention powers to be unconstitutional.  If not, it won’t be long before the same powers are sought and applied to other areas in which police agencies want to enhance their ability to detain and question individuals.  Once released, this genie will not easily be returned to the bottle

252 comments Add your comment

Jeff in ATL

May 3rd, 2010
1:20 pm

“As written, the Arizona law does not allow profiling and does not allow a police officer to question someone’s status as a resident of this country unless there has already been a legal reason to detain that person.”

That already existed and had for years. No new law was needed to provide law enforcement officers the ability to ask someone about his or her immigration status after probable cause established of breaking another law.

The new law mandates law enforcement officers question people they reasonably suspect are in the country illegally.

I’ll ask again: If not by race, then how is an officer to reasonably suspect someone may not be in the country legally?

Jeff in ATL

May 3rd, 2010
1:22 pm

“Everyone talks about enforcing the law? I live in a big city. Do they enforce traffic laws? Do drivers obey the traffic laws? Do pedestrians not Jaywalk? Where is the police when we need them?”

Hahaha. I jaywalk. All. The. Time!

HDB

May 3rd, 2010
1:23 pm

jconservative May 3rd, 2010
9:10 am
“Amendment 9
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

The Airzona law attempts TO deny the 4th, 5th and 14th Amendment rights of ALL the people under the guise of protecting the border. Under this law, not ALL drivers’ licenses would be construed as proof of citizenship; therefore, EVERYONE would need a passport!!

Curious Observer

May 3rd, 2010
1:29 pm

If enforcement of labor law proves impractical, there is another, less intrusive way to deal, at least in part, with illegal immigration: states can update their motor vehicle laws to require proof of legal residency as a condition of obtaining or renewing drivers licenses.

hryder

May 3rd, 2010
1:30 pm

Having been a resident of Arizona and New Mexico for many years, I am well aware that the vast majority of U.S. citizens have no concept of the border situation. Douglas, Arizona, my one time home has an over twenty foot high cyclone fence and a deep ditch on the border. Similar to the former Berlin Wall except it is metal instead of concrete. Hugh spot lights at night with ICE vehicles between every two or three lights which illuminate the fence. The vehicles windows are covered with steel for protection against the various objects which strike them from people breaking immigration laws on both sides of the border. People with adobe fences place glass bottles on top while masonry is drying, breaking them when permanently in place, so people attempting to enter illegally will cut their hands. If I had not seen and/or experienced the described I would say to void the Arizona law. But, since I did, I agree with the law, recently tweaked, as do most of my former home town’s legally registered voters. They are descriptively under siege.

Danielle

May 3rd, 2010
1:31 pm

does everyone carry their i.d. if they are not driving.. I don’t.
walking, passenger, bus? seems silly.

DDJ

May 3rd, 2010
1:48 pm

When the economy bottoms out everyone points a finger and scapegoats those that are most defenseless. Its instinctive blame game…This kinda reminds me of what Hitler did to Jews because they were more successful than the Germans during one of their worst economic crisis in history. We basically are missing the larger picture and instead of looking at politicians who are corrupt as hell and do whatever they choose, we point fingers at undocumented workers who have been here for decades (only now we need to them for our miserable economic state..woe to us is what I say) Reality check is in dire need! Bottom line…I like Barr and I like what Jconservative had to say…Right on the money.
We need to look at ways to protect our boarders that does not involve such laws as this one targeting one ethnic group..the other thing we need to do is start accepting that Hispanics are not all illegal aliens. Puertoricans are American citizens.

Mexico has great natural resources we can use and vice versa so why not find a way to resolve this so that everyone gains? It won’t happen while we fight over stupid laws like this that distract us from the more important and pressing issues at hand..that is to find a working solution..there is no need for hate or name calling as that too is another distraction from the more critical issues we need to address.

No More Progressives!

May 3rd, 2010
2:14 pm

ATLPRINCE

May 3rd, 2010
9:52 am
Yet another PROBLEM that OBAMA is going to have to step in and be the voice of reason for. Another mess we have to clean up because you conservatives are only thinking about yourselves again.

Ne feceris ut rideam.

Take a hike.

RealDawg

May 3rd, 2010
2:16 pm

Oh well, I don’t want to be a racist so just let them all stay, bring their families over and their drugs. I will pay for their health care, extra car insurance for the wrecks they cause, and more taxes to support the jails we hold them in. Now, everybody happy?

No More Progressives!

May 3rd, 2010
2:17 pm

HDB

May 3rd, 2010
1:23 pm
Under this law, not ALL drivers’ licenses would be construed as proof of citizenship; therefore, EVERYONE would need a passport!!

Why is having a “passport” such a nefarious act, yet Queen Nancy & Congress are all for a National ID Card.

No More Progressives!

May 3rd, 2010
2:21 pm

Danielle

May 3rd, 2010
1:01 pm
What is hard to understand is why so many people think that US citizens will not be effected by this law. Not just ‘illegals’ will be asked for their papers.

I can’t see a Doctor, get a drivers license, obtain insurance, get a job, buy an airline ticket, write a check and a handfull of other daily functions without showing some form of identification. It doesn’t bother me at all. And yes, I am a Citizen of these United States.

Danielle

May 3rd, 2010
2:25 pm

no more progress, you can ask yourself that same question.

a national id is bad but forcing americans to carry a passport is ok w/ you?

me thinks, both are bad idea.

Danielle

May 3rd, 2010
2:32 pm

no progress, you do all those things but it’s not to prove yourself innocence of a crime. illegal until proven legal.

Chris Broe

May 3rd, 2010
3:28 pm

Arizona’s new immigration bill could be called “Vigilante Legislation” because the state is taking federal law into it’s own hands, as a lynch mob does, or any posse would. Because the tone of law and order is set from the top at the legislature, the trickle down of this anarchy could ignite vigilante fever in Arizona.

The illegals will not change their behavior. The change will be Arizona’s reaction to the same illegal aliens’ behavior.

A recipe for catastrophe?. Maybe. Or maybe all the illegals will come out of their hiding places with their hands in the international sign of surrender and say, “Gringo, don’t shoot, we are surrendering. We will go back to Mexico. Give us three steps, give us three steps mister and you wont see us no more.”

or not.

Rational Person

May 3rd, 2010
3:50 pm

For once, Bob takes a rational, freedom-affirming, Constitutionally sound position—and everybody starts knocking him. Sad.

No More Progressives!

May 3rd, 2010
3:52 pm

Danielle

May 3rd, 2010
2:32 pm
no progress, you do all those things but it’s not to prove yourself innocence of a crime. illegal until proven legal.

If an “undocumented worker” or an “illegal alien” aplies for a loan in the US using forged documents, that’s a crime. It probably is a crime in Mexico, Belgium, Egypt and Australia as well.

So, if you’re here illegally, and you fill out the application for an apartment, what form of identification to you use for the application? If you’re here illegally, explain how you obtained your drivers license.

Again: Why is this so frickin’ hard to understand?

ugaaccountant

May 3rd, 2010
4:43 pm

I’m done with this blog. If you can’t see that deporting illegal aliens is a vital police function that every city, state, and federal cop should be doing, then you’re platform just isn’t for me.

George

May 3rd, 2010
4:43 pm

“For once, Bob takes a rational, freedom-affirming, Constitutionally sound position—and everybody starts knocking him. Sad.”

Not everybody! Just some commies masquerading as conservatives! Bob is a true conservative!

Danielle

May 3rd, 2010
5:48 pm

No more progressives,

This has nothing to do with illegal immigrants. Why can’t you understand that.?

The only thing this law allows is to ask Americans to prove they are American and to force American citizens to carry ID at all times or risk being arrested.

This law does nothing to stop illegal immigration.

Also, you say you don’t want a national ID. Yet you also say you don’t mind carrying around ID even suggesting we shouldn’t all mind carrying around a passport. Just proves you don’t care about the issue you only care what the pundits tell you to think.

The conservative party is very much divided right now.

LOL

May 3rd, 2010
6:41 pm

mmm, mmm, mmm, Barack the LIAR Obama, BEND OVER, here comes the CHANGE! – You are correct on Ben Franklin and immigrants. Here’s a quote:

Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our Language or Customs, any more than they can acquire our Complexion.

So he was right. I can’t even go to Pennsylvania and read the signs. It’s all in German.

dom youngross

May 3rd, 2010
8:52 pm

Barr’s arguments would have substantial merit on paper and in real life if it was a case of the Feds trying to augment federal police powers to then exercise such in Arizona rather than the staties in Arizona attempting to parallel federal law without pre-empting it. If you want to talk about traditions, FEDERAL encroachment upon the states and individual liberties is what raises a Supreme Court hackle the most.

Any law that cannot or will not be enforced is only a suggestion — or more likely, a capricious political tool. It could turn out that the Supreme Court takes a dim view of the federal government squatting on a responsibility and duty traditionally ceded to it by the states rather than vigorously exercising both, essentially saying to President Obama and AG Holder, “Tough nuts. You snooze, you lose. Ketchup.”

For those who support Arizona’s immigration law — don’t get upset about anything. Celebrate! The cat is out of the bag. The Feds wouldn’t (and likely won’t) do it, a state did, now the Feds are left in the dust — legally. Arizona’s immigration law has everything to do with illegal immigration. Illegals already are self-deporting from AZ. They know the gig is up — both the Feds and the illegals.

Arizona showed that a real PERCEIVED threat of getting caught and subsequently deported is all it really takes. Not another 10,000 new border guards. Not another 1000 km of new fence. Not another 100,000 new ICE agents.

Law enforcement in any area works only when 95% self-enforced, meaning 19 out of 20 people don’t break the law to begin with. It’s not going to be any different with immigration law, be it 19 out of 20 immigrants deciding not to cross the border illegally — or self-deporting if they already did — or 19 out of 20 potential employers of illegal immigrants deciding not to employ them. With the 19 obeying the law on their own steam, you have the manpower and resources to effectively catch and punish the errant 20th to fulfill the law.

Arizona police officers won’t have to ascertain citizenship status beyond the most clear-cut situation of reasonability for the law to have it’s desired deterrent effect, AND to keep them from being sued for either not enforcing the law toughly enough, or too toughly. Everybody against this law is citing being stopped for a broken tail light as inevitably provoking a Gestapo response. NOT LIKELY GONNA HAPPEN!!! Arizona police know the whole world is watching. And get real, they also know they will likely be set up for ’sting’ operations by opposition groups whereby completely-legit Latinos (probably lawyers!) will try to portray themselves as seemingly-illegal immigrants (seemingly according to THEIR most insidiously racist views that is), deliberately violate a pissant municipal ordinance as a fine-only misdemeanor act of political civil disobedience, and goad the responding officer into making a mistake.

Long story short, the 19 out of 20 otherwise ‘law-abiding’ illegal immigrants won’t be able to sweat the increased perceived threat of getting caught for being in Arizona (and the US) illegally. So they will continue to self-deport. The one out of twenty bad apple who doesn’t sweat anything as being both an overt criminal and illegal immigrant will likely stay put — then get nabbed when he/she eventually does what he/she is already spring-loaded to do — commit or attempt to commit a crime — or get pinched by a specific and dedicated illegal-immigrant law-enforcement actions as led by Arpaio.

Now is that fair, that an otherwise ‘law-abiding’ illegal immigrant has that duress hanging over him/her? THAT’S ALREADY BEEN ADDRESSED BY FEDERAL LAW! That’s what it means to be illegal. If you get away with something initially you still have the threat of getting caught hanging over your head. The main thing Arizona’s immigration law does is increase the perceived likelihood of an illegal being caught. You have the right to be secure in your papers, possessions, and things and against self-incrimination, among other things. Constitutionally, you have no right to be secure in your illegality.

The right-down-the-middle, cross-T’s-and-dot-I’s route to fulfilling the legal will of Arizonans has a whopping-big spotlight on it, and Arizona police officers don’t have to do anything more than follow that spotlight. The facts that the law is already effective before even taking effect via self-deportation — and would continue to be so — and that Arizona police have every reason not to go ape-sh*t enforcing it is what REALLY bunches up so many panties. Pre-emptive lawsuits based on the supposed potential for abuse in Arizona’s immigration law could very well be overruled by a court determination that there is a greater likelihood of non-abuse. Arguing what COULD happen is a two-way street. Look both ways before crossing it.

So, BRING ON THE LAWSUITS! Get this to the Supreme Court as soon as possible! I think it will survive constitutional scrutiny. And I think right now some of the Supreme Court justices are having a good chuckle while reading all the pundit arguments trying to say Arizona’s immigration law is unconstitutional.

Now though I applaud Arizona’s immigration law, if the Supreme Court finds it unconstitutional, I can live with that. That’s their job. That’s their expertise. They don’t tell me how to do my job, and I don’t tell them how to do theirs. The question is, for all those who THINK Arizona’s immigration law is unconstitutional — especially President Obama — if the Supreme Court RULES that it is, will such be able to live with it? As we’ve seen with the Citizens United decision, the answer for President Obama is a likely NO. And THAT’s something Bob Barr should raise an eyebrow over.

Dabid

May 3rd, 2010
8:55 pm

As a Native American and a natural citizen of America, All I can say we had very poor imagration laws, look at what has and is still happening to us.

Reid Adair

May 3rd, 2010
9:13 pm

The law has been revised, Bob, to say that the individual must have been stopped by a police officer for an offense of some nature. They cannot stop someone simply because they appear to be an illegal immigrant.

I’m curious also, Bob, how you would propose the citizens of this country who are very concerned about illegal immigration address the issue? Clearly, the President and Congress have no intentions of dealing with this.

Mike

May 3rd, 2010
9:17 pm

Bob, grow a pair. Nobody gives a crap if anybody wants to immigrate to this country if they will go by the rules that the USA has put forth. If they don’t, then by all means should each state have the right to secure their borders if the US government won’t. I’m so sick of all the BS every freaking bleeding heart liberal starts crying about when somebody that is not even legal to be in this country is questioned about their status. Give me a freaking break. If you don’t want to do what it takes to become a legal immigrant of this great country, then please just stay out.

Brakeman

May 3rd, 2010
9:55 pm

Welcome to the UNITED STATES OF IMPOTENCE.

Sharon

May 3rd, 2010
10:05 pm

Coming up to every election there is always an uproar over why registered voters have to present ID in order to vote. There is opposition by some people in every state, of every race, political view, etc. So now you want to make everyone have a national ID card required to be presented upon order by the always infallible law enforcement officer.

And by the way, where is the money going to come from to fund this all of this activity? As one poster stated, Arizona, like every other state, is broke and so is the federal government.

I guess it makes for entertaining blogging though.

patrick sulley

May 3rd, 2010
10:14 pm

Jameser
May 3rd, 2010
8:18 am

I don’t often comment, but ended up here on the conservative pages and I must…
The Constitution guarantees against illegal search and seizure. Pulling someone over FOR NO OTHER REASON than that they are suspected of being illegal is in itself illegal.
==================================================

Oh contraire. The law consistently sets up sobriety check points….insurance check points and DL check points. Is this also a violation of the constitution? Dont they stop people for no reason and check them for papers then. You clearly dont know the law or the constitution

patrick sulley

May 3rd, 2010
10:17 pm

you idiots compare the systematic round up and execution of jews to a state protecting its borders from invaders from the south

patrick sulley

May 3rd, 2010
10:23 pm

Danielle
May 3rd, 2010
1:31 pm

does everyone carry their i.d. if they are not driving.. I don’t.
walking, passenger, bus? seems silly.
——————————-

seems silly? Immigrate to any other country and you will by law. Seems silly for us not to do the same thing

Jeff

May 3rd, 2010
10:25 pm

Bob, I must respectfully disagree with you. The whole issue for me boils down to this: our government, ANY government, be it national, state, or local, MUST to ANYTHING to protect our nation from illegal immigrants coming into our country. The safety and security risk for our future is too great to get hung up on some obscure way to look at this issue.

I say we protect our borders, our citizens, and our national security by ANY MEANS NECESSARY. If you are a LEGAL citizen or even a LEGAL immigrant, you have no worries. You won’t get sent back to your home country because some police officer in Mesa, Ariz., looks at you funny. But if you are ILLEGAL and BREAKING FEDERAL LAW, then by all means, I want them to strip search you on the street and find out why the crap you are in MY country illegally.

I don’t think it’s too much to ask, for what this country provides, to ask anyone who wants to join us to come here LEGALLY and follow the necessary steps to become a citizen. Learn the language, get your paperwork in order, get a government-sanctioned ID, take a citizenship test, get a driver’s license, pay your taxes, and do what the REST of us are required to do to be citizens in our great country.

God bless the United States of America… and for you ACLU-minded, liberal, illegal-immigrant-sympathizers, I give you this warning: If we DO NOT tighten up our borders in the next 10 years, then our country will be in SERIOUS danger of some sort of attack or destruction from within our own borders in the next 20 years. There are millions of people on this planet who would love nothing more than to sneak into the U.S. and help destroy it from within…. why don’t we make it a LITTLE harder for those people to accomplish that?

patrick sulley

May 3rd, 2010
10:28 pm

GoodScout
May 3rd, 2010
12:20 pm

Bob, how dare you challenge the dicta of the Brownshirts! We come for the Mexicans, now, and since you’re not a Mexican you shouldn’t speak up. Next we’ll be rounding up other minorities, but since you’re not one of them, stay quiet. We’ll let you know when the GOP, er, Brownshirts will be coming for you!
============================

wrong analogy. Mexicans are not suppose to be here anyway without permission. If you are trespassing on my land I can remove you with what ever force I deem necessary. If you are there legally I can not. See the difference?

Concerne for California

May 3rd, 2010
10:42 pm

If you believe strongly that Arizona has this wrong, then you should stand up for what you beleive. You should go to Arizona now. Pick up a car load of illegals and bring them to their new home, in your community, where they will be cherished for the vibrancy and diversity they will undoubtedly add. Yes. I thought so. Not a single taker. Why is that?

Bruno3

May 4th, 2010
1:15 am

Bob Barr, what about the states responsibility to its legal citizens in this case Arizona and the lack of enforcement of the law and its constitutional duties by the federal government to protect the state of Arizona and its citizens from unlawful entry into this country. That include all crimes associated with this unlawful entry, state and federal violations and crimes. I do not agree with some of Arizona’s provisions in this new state law and the potential for abuse of authority; however is it not the duty of a state when the federal government does not enforce its own law to take appropriate action to protect its sovereignty by persons committing a unlawful action against the people of that state?

Gideonsword

May 4th, 2010
1:46 am

Sir, I think you should reexamine this issue from another perspective. As some of the other bloggers have noted, this is not a “wildcat” piece of legislation without precident. It mirrors the Federal laws that are being “unconstitutionally” ignored by the Federal Government.
The Federal Government was established with only a few responsibilities: Provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, establish justice… You get the idea. Well, Washington has just about crapped out on all of the things that it was supposed to do, and instead, has taken on a plethera of new responsiblities it was actually prohibited from, like the “income tax” that it unconstitutionally rapes from Americans every year to pay for the things it wasn’t supposed to do!
So, yes, if the Fed refuses to do its job, it is left up to the States to fill the void. May God preserve our Nation, and protect it from enemies, both foreign and DOMESTIC! Gideonsword.

carl aven

May 4th, 2010
3:43 am

Mr Barr ;
I have generally been in your corner on political views but I take exception to you on this one
[1] The public was assured originally that profiling would only take place if a perpetrator was caught or apprehended for a crime. That would seem perfectly normal
[2] The borders are still open crime does prevail and our reps continue to do nothing regarding it
What is it about the words illegal immigrant one does not understand..
kindest Regards
Carl M Aven

Retta

May 4th, 2010
4:15 am

If ONLY we had had this anti-immigrant fervour during Plymouth Rock … or maybe during African slavery !!

By the way, … didn’t Europeans ALWAYS have preference for YEARS over non-white immigrants ?? Where is the blacklash against Canadians who live here without dou\cumentation … and how will a police offficer profile THEM ??

Chris Broe

May 4th, 2010
6:51 am

Bob Barr is so right: Arizona’s immigration law is constitutionally troubling.

However there is danger in overstating the illegality because although the Arizona bill is troubling, it’s not upsetting. It’s a little discombobulating, to be sure, but it doesn’t give me the heebee jeebies, okay?

The constitutionality of any law is a fine, fine line between Marshall Law, anarchy, and the worst case scenario of matriarchal dominatrixism. (see 2008’s GOP Veep candidate).

Look, it just wouldn’t be fair to the GOP if we dismiss this new immigration bill out of hand. Liberals claim to be tolerant of other’s ideas. Democrats should be open to admit it when they are wrong. Let Arizona play this law out, and attempt to gain some measure of control over the Ole leak on our southern border. (my kingdom for an accent grave key). Then, when it blows up in their face, and they blow the November landslide victory they are certain to win, the democrats all across this great land can look across the aisle and say, “I’ll be seeing you in all the old familiar places….”

Why can’t I get an umlaut or an accent grave key? I can never type the diacritical marks I need. I hate blogging. I hate myself. I hate the world.

Nuke IRAN!!!!

Drawing Black Lines

May 4th, 2010
8:23 am

Who is organizing all the protests? Seems like an awful lot of people to organize so quickly? Is this an astroturf movement? All we need is some bricks to be thrown and then complete hypocrisy can begin.

Don

May 4th, 2010
8:45 am

I am all for:

1. Defending our boarders
2. Deporting known illegal aliens
3. Requiring employers to verify residency before hiring
4. Checking residency status after any arrest
5. Pushing the Federal gov’t to do their job and fix the immigration system.

I am against:

1. Poorly written, but well intentioned laws
2. Broad police/gov’t powers to detain virtually anyone not carrying proof of citizenship with them
3. National ID cards
4. Citizens being required to carry ID with them at all times.

We are giving our freedoms away much, much too easily. It will come back to haunt us.

George

May 4th, 2010
8:54 am

The way some of the clowns on this board are arguing one would think that the Hispanics tried to bomb Time Square. If you look at the political commercials one would think that Hispanics ran the plane into WTC…not radical moslems…get a life and get over your bigotry and focus on what needs to be done when we have limited resources…tackle Islamic terrorism…and to those who say they want their country back…pay the national debt and you will have your country back. A nation nose deep in debt has no sovereignty, however which you might all try to protest. Bob Barr is right…this law smacks of communism and people who support it are commie-KGB sympathizers, whether they are smart enough to know it or not! End of story!

Roger

May 4th, 2010
9:26 am

Respectively Bob, when the Federal government abandons it responsibility to enforce the existing laws of the land, States have the right and obligation to protect its citizens. Regardless of old laws or new laws it comes down to the practical matter of enforcement in tangible and practical ways. You would not permit a group of homeless people to camp out on your lawn or around your house. You would call for enforcement. Our country is no different than your home. Mexicans are coming across the border illegally therefore profiling to some degree is a no-brainer. One does not turn their head to a situation to follow a self-destruction abandonment of the basic premise to secure the land and its citizens.

Jess

May 4th, 2010
10:00 am

This law does not “smack” of communism, it “smacks” of Europe. I lived and worked in two different Europeon countries, and traveled extensively in Europe and the far east. While there I was required to have my passport, with appropriate visas, with me at all times. While living in the London area I was required to register with local officials as an alien anytime I moved. Although I did not test it, I fully understood if I violated any of the rules for aliens, I could lose my visa and be deported. It never once occured to me that these rules are overbearing. I really do not see a problem with asking someone to show they are in the country legally.

No More Progressives!

May 4th, 2010
10:47 am

Danielle

May 3rd, 2010
5:48 pm
No more progressives,

Also, you say you don’t want a national ID. Yet you also say you don’t mind carrying around ID even suggesting we shouldn’t all mind carrying around a passport. Just proves you don’t care about the issue you only care what the pundits tell you to think.

No one, literally no one, “tells” me what to think. Including limp-wristed anti-American folks like you.

It is already a Federal requirement (a law) for Foreign nationals to carry identification with them at all times when in the US. That wasn’t a problem a month ago before the Arizona issue came up. This nation (tries) to enact legislation that is for the good of all. You do NOT get a pass simply because your “special.”

Phillip

May 4th, 2010
12:54 pm

Problem is with Progressive Democrats and yes Progressive Republicans running Washington DC for their own personal power and needing the Hispanic vote. The Progressive Democrats and Republicans will not protect the borders. Gee, Where did i read about the governments responsibility in protecting our country? Oh! That’s right the Constitution.

No More Progressives!

May 4th, 2010
1:16 pm

Well said, Phillip.

Another Problem in America

May 4th, 2010
1:20 pm

I kind of agree with some of almost everyone, but what is the answer. This problem just didn’t start, its been going on forever. What really makes me mad is if I who was borned & raised in GA. want to enroll my granddaughter who is also an AMERICAN CITIZEN in school where WE reside than I have to have all of this paperwork and proof, everything short of a letter from the President, but parents that are here ILLEGALLY can enroll their kids in school, no problems at all. NOT FAIR! I am STRUGGLING to pay the IRS taxes & back taxes, plus penalty & interest, which is killing my pockets, but people that are here ILLEGALLY can work and keep every dime they make. NOT FAIR!!

babrad

May 4th, 2010
1:23 pm

Mr. Barr: I agree with you completely. I am mystified that any true conservative would support giving such breathtaking power to the government. I am equally mystified at the prevalence of the “polls support it, so it must be right” theory, when part of the purpose of the Constitution is to protect our rights from majority rules that would infringe on those rights. As a former prosecutor, I’m sure you are also aware of the inevitable temptation for prosecutors and police to stretch a vague criminal statute so it can be applied to heretofore unforeseen situations. Another commenter stated in part “I highly doubt that AZ police officers are just going to start arresting brown people at will.” That’s probably correct. The problem is precisely that the police COULD do that under this law, while giving some other justification. Almost all the defenses of this law I’ve seen rely in part on the “reasonable enforcement” theory. I’m an attorney. Take it from me–90% of cops are dedicated (and badly underpaid) public servants, but if the law can be stretched or abused, it will be.

Not Palin

May 4th, 2010
1:55 pm

Marie you said it perfectly. I am tired of riding past construction sites and seeing most of the crew that is probably illegal. I say do a ssn verification and have the employer check those eligible to work and if they cant be verified the first and second time. They have to be manually researched those found to be illegal can be sent home.

jarvis

May 4th, 2010
2:03 pm

I would never show my identification to anyone without proper cause, and me hanging out isn’t proper cause.

It will only take the arrest of one citizen for refusing to present identification, and this entire debate will become moot very quickly. It will only take one lawsuit to have this thrown out.

We have the right to go about our business every day without being questioned by the local police because we might have the physical characteristics of law breakers.

George

May 4th, 2010
2:08 pm

“This law does not “smack” of communism, it “smacks” of Europe. I lived and worked in two different Europeon countries, and traveled extensively in Europe and the far east.”

Eastern Europe! If it smells like communism, it is communism! And we are talking about impact on citizens and legal residents…and next time try catching an Islamic terrorist and stop focusing on good Christians because their skin color is different!