…but apparently is unaware that almost the exact same provisions they’re up in arms about…exist in the California penal code. Worried about the ability of a police officer to stop you and ask for identification when you’re doing something stupid? Have a shufty at California penal code section 834b:
(a) Every law enforcement agency in California shall fully cooperate with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service regarding any person who is arrested if he or she is suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws. (b) With respect to any such person who is arrested, and suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws, every law enforcement agency shall do the following: (1) Attempt to verify the legal status of such person as a citizen of the United States, an alien lawfully admitted as a permanent resident, an alien lawfully admitted for a temporary period of time or as an alien who is present in the United States in violation of immigration laws. The verification process may include, but shall not be limited to, questioning the person regarding his or her date and place of birth, and entry into the United States, and demanding documentation to indicate his or her legal status. (2) Notify the person of his or her apparent status as an alien who is present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws and inform him or her that, apart from any criminal justice proceedings, he or she must either obtain legal status or leave the United States. (3) Notify the Attorney General of California and the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service of the apparent illegal status and provide any additional information that may be requested by any other public entity. (c) Any legislative, administrative, or other action by a city, county, or other legally authorized local governmental entity with jurisdictional boundaries, or by a law enforcement agency, to prevent or limit the cooperation required by subdivision (a) is expressly prohibited.
And the Arizona law, SB1070 (It’s 16 pages, folks; read it before you shoot your mouth off.)
ARTICLE 8. ENFORCEMENT OF IMMIGRATION LAWS
11-1051. Cooperation and assistance in enforcement of immigration laws; indemnification A. NO OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE MAY ADOPT A POLICY THAT LIMITS OR RESTRICTS THE ENFORCEMENT OF FEDERAL IMMIGRATION LAWS TO LESS THAN THE FULL EXTENT PERMITTED BY FEDERAL LAW. B. FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE, WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON. THE PERSON’S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c). C. IF AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES IS CONVICTED OF A VIOLATION OF STATE OR LOCAL LAW, ON DISCHARGE FROM IMPRISONMENT OR ASSESSMENT OF ANY FINE THAT IS IMPOSED, THE ALIEN SHALL BE TRANSFERRED IMMEDIATELY TO THE CUSTODY OF THE UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT OR THE UNITED STATES CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION. D. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER LAW, A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY MAY SECURELY TRANSPORT AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES AND WHO IS IN THE AGENCY’S CUSTODY TO A FEDERAL FACILITY IN THIS STATE OR TO ANY OTHER POINT OF TRANSFER INTO FEDERAL CUSTODY THAT IS OUTSIDE THE JURISDICTION OF THE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY. (Sorry for the caps, but that was the way it was written in the copy of the bill I pulled up. I did, at least, pull the line numbering…)
The Washington Post interviews an Ed Reyes, a Los Angeles councilman, who is having the vapors over the law, without apparently knowing what’s in his own state’s law. The annoying part of this whole “debate” for me is that everybody throwing a snit can’t seem to wrap their brain around the fact the Arizona law does nothing new. It doesn’t increase existing powers. It doesn’t contravene federal law; it’s a redundancy, essentially empowering the state officials of Arizona to do what the federal powers are not. I suspect it will be just as well-enforced.
The central issue in this debate isn’t the law. It’s the assumption of racism on the part of the legislators and the people of Arizona, and the expression of racism in the criticism from idiots like Reyes. Put simply: Mexicans are the only group of illegal immigrants who feel entitled to break US law, flaunt that illegality, and then bitch about it when the laws are to be enforced. There is a cultural hubris in Mexicans that they are somehow special — above the laws of the nation in a way that Vietnamese, Chinese, English, Italian, Russian, Indian, or Cuban immigrants (legal or no) are not. And their protests put that arrogance of assumption out there for all to see. The result? More people support the Arizona law that oppose it in poll after poll, all around the US. Attitudes toward illegal immigrants — not “brown people”, not even Mexicans, specifically — are hardening in the American populous, and particularly in the legal immigrant community.
You know…all those people who stood in line, waited their turn, filled out the paperwork, and have obeyed the laws of this country.
You don’t see protests from these other groups of illegal immigrants. There’s no smashing of store windows and scuffling with the police by Koreans. Canadian actors aren’t protesting (no, American actors — they’re taking the roles you can’t, or won’t, take!) The Greeks that are coming here come to work, not complain; they left those guys back home. There are no Bangladeshi drug gangs committing violence in the name of cocaine or meth profits.
No, these other groups know they broke the law and have the decency to acknowledge it. Only Mexicans feel they deserve to come across the border, do as they please here, send any profits back home (it’s called capital flight…look it up), and wrap it in Aztlan revanchist crap. The border did not cross you. It shifted 162 years ago — long before you were born — in 1848, after you got your asses kicked in a war. And then on top of it, the United States paid Mexico for the Southwest. The Mexican pride in their heritage and culture is not unusual — step into an Irish-style pub or an Italian pizzeria — and you’ll see the same shmaltzy nationalist stuff; it’s the notion that their nation and culture is superior – a demonstrably false claim, as their having hopped the border to escape the corruption in their politics and culture, the destitution of their economy,the violence of their criminals and police (often the same thing), to find opportunity and stability in the United States shows.
I would prefer to see the government get off its ass and open the immigration system so that we can start draining talent from other nations. I think it should be easy to come in, if you have skills we need, are not a security risk, and no communicable diseases (the latter was the case when my family immigrated.) I would like to see a short-term specialty visa for day laborers looking to do agriculture in the southwest. I want immigrants.
But don’t bust into my house, then tell me you’re better than me because you have.