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Arizona's Forbidding Landscape

[ Posted Thursday, May 13th, 2010 – 19:02 PDT ]

Arizona is a truly beautiful state. It has many spectacular sights, of which the Grand Canyon is the most awe-inspiring. But Arizona is also a state of forbidding landscapes -- much of the state is desert or near-desert, where the heat of the midday sun is a force of nature to be heavily respected, if not downright feared. But what has put Arizona into the news recently is its "forbidding" political landscape. Specifically, on immigration.

Before I get into recent laws Arizona has passed, though, we have to take a more detailed look at the geographical landscape, because to truly understand the issues involved, people should really understand what it is they are talking about. Arizona's southern border with Mexico is a long and desolate stretch of land, for the most part. There are places along this route as big as Rhode Island with just a handful of people. A crow could travel for hundreds of miles without ever flying over a human being -- in pretty much any direction it chose to fly. The border itself is 389 miles long, and only has nine towns on its entire length -- only three of which are bigger than "one-horse" or even "no-horse" status. The longer leg (the angled western part) of the Arizona/Mexico border has only three towns, the largest of which is home to less than 10,000 people. And hundreds and hundreds of miles of empty desert. As you'd expect, there aren't a lot of roads near the border, either, and a total of only six official border crossings in the whole state. To put it another way, this is Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote territory. Lots of cactuses, and not a whole lot else. It's hard to picture just how empty this region is, unless you've experienced the deep desert before.

Arizona's demographics also require a look, before people from outside the region can adequately comment on their politics. The most populous county contains Phoenix, and (due partially to the vastness of counties in the West) is the fourth-most-populous county in the entire country. Before the advent of modern air conditioning, the state was pretty empty. Arizona was the last of the 48 contiguous states to join the Union, 98 years ago. But Phoenix is one of the fastest-growing cities in America, and has been for a while -- urban planners actually use it as a textbook "bad example" of how "urban sprawl" should be avoided. Arizona, like a few other states, is a prime retirement location, and a lot of its current residents moved there from elsewhere in the country. Racially, Arizona has a relatively low percentage (58.4) of non-Hispanic whites, a relatively high percentage of Hispanics (30.1), and a higher percentage of Native Americans (4.9) than African-Americans (4.2). It also has the second-highest percentage of illegal immigrants of any state, estimated to be 7.9 percent.

Arizona is on the front lines of immigration. Ironically, building border fences on the more accessible parts of the U.S./Mexican border in other states has made the problem worse for Arizona, because it pushed the human traffic out into the desert, which is much more dangerous for illegal immigrants crossing the border. And there is a raging war taking place on the entire Mexican border region between rival drug cartels and the Mexican authorities, which has recently claimed over 20,000 lives. Some of this violence is spilling over into Arizona, giving Phoenix the dubious distinction of being the kidnapping capital of the country right now.

In other words, what is an abstract subject for most of America, or (at best) a minor political issue is neither in Arizona. It is real, it is tangible, and it affects their state on a daily basis.

The problem for Arizonans is that there is a fairly simple fact which many outside the state don't adequately realize or fully take into account when discussing immigration policy. Because while America has lots of immigrants from lots of different places, there aren't a whole lot of immigrants in Arizona who aren't Latino. There isn't a problem with Norwegians flooding the state, or Canadians, or Irish folks. The overwhelming majority of illegal immigrants in Arizona are Latinos. But, even though it is undeniable that "almost all illegal immigrants in Arizona are Latino," what those clamoring for harsh laws tend to discount is that there are a whole bunch of legal Latino residents and citizens in the state as well, so the opposite is not true -- "almost all Latinos are illegal immigrants" is just not a factual statement. And some of their families have been here since before white people arrived (which begs the question: who really is the "immigrant" here?). To say nothing of the Native American population (Arizona is home to the largest reservations in the nation, which take up the entire northeast corner of the state).

I have driven all over Arizona, as well as visited border regions in California, New Mexico, and Texas. And I have been stopped in more than one state by police who have set up roadblocks to check for illegal immigrants. What invariably happens is this: I am waved over to the side of the road. The officer or officers approach my vehicle, take one look at me, and wave me back on my way. I have never even had to roll the car's window down (and let the air conditioning escape into the oven-like desert air) in any of these encounters. I have been stopped when I had a passenger with me who was a foreigner with a travel visa, and who also didn't even give the officers pause, due to being white. Every single vehicle I've seen getting more than cursory attention had brown-skinned people in it.

The only difference between what already exists within about 100 miles of the border in any of these four states, and the law that Arizona just passed is that up until now the officers were federal and not state employees. The agency names may change (INS, ICE, Border Patrol) but what was the same was that they were all federal agents.

So I have to say that the people who are now protesting the "racial profiling" aspect of the new Arizona law may have missed an obvious point. Any immigration policing anywhere in the entire border region already has a gigantic aspect of racial profiling to it. The only difference, really, is who pays them to do so. Don't believe me? Travel there and drive around a bit, and see for yourself (after all, haven't you always secretly wondered what the land we bought in the Gadsden Purchase looks like?).

But the police have a valid point, as well. Sure, they could take the time to check every white person's papers out as stringently as they check brown people's. But it would largely be a waste of their time to do so, as far as they're concerned. They might catch a random illegal immigrant from Europe or Australia once in a blue moon, perhaps, but it would not be a very effective use of their time, as they measure these things. Since almost every illegal immigrant in their jurisdiction is Latino, then it makes perfect sense to them to look harder at Latinos. This is an inconvenient fact, for those decrying the racial aspects of Arizona's new law, but it is a fact nonetheless.

The unintended consequences of Arizona's new law are worth mentioning, as well. Because it will effectively mean that any illegal immigrant who is the victim of a crime in the state will likely not report it to the police. Or, more ominously, say an illegal immigrant merely witnesses a crime against a citizen. They would be mighty reluctant to help the police solve the crime, no matter how serious, since they would be putting themselves at risk by doing so.

Arizona meant to provoke Washington by passing their new law. They also have one particular sheriff in the state who has pushed the issue in a big way, and instituted his own local Draconian policies long before the state's recent actions. Arizona has every right to shove the issue onto Washington's plate, because it was pretty obvious that before they did so, both major political parties had reached a sort of handshake agreement to not even attempt to deal with the problem until after this year's election. But Arizona is tired of waiting.

The supposed "easy" answer to all the immigration problems favored by the Right is to "close the border." In the first place, this is not possible. The flow of people across the border on a daily basis simply is too big to be halted, because the vast majority of it is legal. But even closing the border to "all illegal traffic" isn't really a viable answer as well, although it sounds good to a lot of politicians who have never even seen the region.

Oh, sure, we could actually close the border down to all illegal traffic. We could fence the whole thing off, and put enough federal agents out there to catch any person who attempts to enter. The problem is that this would take a massive amount of police to accomplish. Much, much more than we're willing to pay for. We could station agents every few miles, and have enough high-tech equipment to stop anything larger than a rabbit from getting through. But that's a lot of miles to cover, and to dedicate the personnel to adequately do so would require an enormous budget-busting amount of money. And this money would be a constant drain, because it would have to be paid out for as long as you wanted the traffic stopped -- forever, in other words.

Of course, there are other answers to the problem of illegal immigration, but in the current political climate, it's hard to see anything commonsense being agreed upon. The recession in America in the past few years has actually slowed the illegal traffic more than any other single factor, but as the economy picks up again, so will the traffic. So that's not really an answer.

The best idea I've heard would be to craft the Draconian laws for the employers. This, however, would likely require some sort of biometric de facto national identification card, which is anathema to many Americans, purely on philosophical grounds (you think the conspiracy theories about Obama are intense now, just wait until a "national ID card" is seriously debated). But, for the sake of argument, assume some sort of national ID card is enacted (Social Security cards are currently a joke, you have to admit), and some sort of quick and easy online employee verification system is instituted. Hand in hand with this would have to be some extremely harsh penalties for employers. Say $100,000 fine for every single illegal immigrant caught working at any employer, or 10% of the total assets of the business -- whichever is higher. That would make employers think long and hard about paying people under the table, I would wager. Perform random workplace checks on all employers, especially in industries that have traditionally used more than their fair share of illegal workers, such as farming and construction. Add to this a few publicized stings of homeowners hiring illegal immigrants for yard work or child care, with equally harsh (but lesser) fines and penalties, and the entire atmosphere would change.

Of course, this would have its downside as well. A head of lettuce might cost ten bucks, but when you bought it, you could feel good about the fact that only legal hands ever touched it on the way to your supermarket. If agriculture had to pay fair wages for backbreaking farmwork to legal residents, the price of food would indeed rise -- perhaps exponentially. As would the price for many other things people buy, as well. This is the true counterargument to really getting tough on the employer side of the equation, but it is not often made in public. The deep dark secret of many industries is that they rely on illegal labor to keep prices down. These industries quietly lobby Congress to keep things pretty much unchanged when it comes to penalizing employers, because it benefits them to do so.

Americans, as a people, go through phases of anti-immigrant fervor. These grow and peak during periods of high immigration and high unemployment. We started instituting harsh immigration laws pretty soon after we became a country, when the target was the French. In the late 1800s, it was the Chinese. In the early twentieth century, it was European Catholics (Irish, Italians, etc.) and Eastern Europeans (Poles, Hungarians, etc.). During the world wars, anti-German feelings ran high, as did anti-Italian and anti-Japanese feelings in World War II. Our century-old "war on drugs" is one of the legacies of anti-immigrant lawmaking (opium dens and Mexicans smoking "marihuana," in particular). Up until the 1920s, though, America pretty much let anybody in who wanted to come (except the Chinese, who were singled out during this period specifically). If you arrived at Ellis Island and you weren't obviously mentally deficient or a disease carrier, you would likely be allowed in. Meaning that for many Americans, pride in the fact that "our family came here legally" is kind of meaningless, because we weren't exactly setting quotas at the time (the way we do now) for legal entry from certain countries.

Throughout a lot of this, anti-Latino feelings were mostly localized in the border states and surrounding regions. But with the decline of the family farm in much of the rural areas in this country in the past few decades, many farming regions went through a decline in population, where small towns across the country became virtual ghost towns with boarded-up stores outnumbering the businesses that were somehow hanging on. More recently, Latinos have discovered these areas and have moved in to help pick the crops and work in the meatpacking plants. This has meant towns have been revitalized in far-flung areas of the country, but it has also meant the earlier residents of these towns are now confronting issues they've never really thought much about before -- such as whole districts of their towns where Spanish is the predominant language, both spoken and on business' signs. Because this migration has happened relatively quickly, in only a few decades' time, it has bred a real culture shock to many, in very far-flung regions of the country.

Arizona's new immigration law will likely be challenged in court, and the whole thing (or significant parts of it) may be declared unconstitutional. That pesky Fourteenth Amendment talks about "all persons" being given equal rights, not "all citizens" or "all legal residents," after all (and it does indeed differentiate between these). The word "citizens" doesn't appear in the Bill of Rights at all, instead referring to "persons" or "people," meaning these amendments apply to everyone standing on U.S. soil. And singling certain people out for police attention because of how they look (the color of their skin) is the real intent of the Arizona law, even if they did craft it in an attempt to pass constitutional muster (and then immediately went back and amended it to make it even more acceptable, legally). Which federal judges will likely see through.

But the larger picture is that the real solution to the illegal immigration problem absolutely must address the employers' side of the equation. If all employers in the United States were as afraid of going to jail (or paying steep fines which could destroy their businesses) as they were about, for instance, child labor, then the problem would largely fix itself. If it became known throughout Latin America that it was almost impossible to find work in America any more because nobody would hire them without valid papers, then the flood of people crossing the border would slow to a trickle. And there would be a reverse migration of recent arrivals back across the border when they realized that there simply would be no way for them to make money here. Of course this doesn't address the immigrants who have been here for a long time -- people who have spent most of their lives here, in some cases.

But when the issue comes up in Washington (if it does, this year or next), look for a lot of grandstanding on the issue from both sides of the aisle on one facet of the problem or another. Republicans will call for more fences and more border cops, but then will likely balk at the price tag. Democrats will call for a path to legalization, but they know that doing so when unemployment is 9.9 percent is going to be a tough sell. But the one aspect of the problem which both parties will likely seek to avoid, or which will be bargained away in the congressional horse-trading, is likely to be the one thing which could go a long way towards solving the heart of the problem. Because it is the only piece of this puzzle which has wealthy and powerful interests lobbying to keep the status quo.

In response to Arizona's new laws, many Americans elsewhere are exercising their economic freedom by boycotting the state. This is meant to show Arizona that there are consequences for what they have done, to the tune of millions of tourist dollars. This has been done before, here, when the state refused to allow a holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King Junior. But this time around, even if Major League Baseball joins the boycott, it may not work. Because sixteen other states are already scrambling to pass similar laws to what Arizona just passed. If more than a few states pass such laws, look for the boycott movement to fall apart as its target gets spread too thin. Nationwide, popular opinion is in favor of Arizona's stance, not that this really means anything (a lot of people were for Jim Crow laws, too, but that didn't make them right). One way or another, though, Arizona is going to goad the federal government into acting, or at the very least, into starting the stalled discussion again. What comes of this is truly anybody's guess at this point.

It is said that there are two signs on our border with Mexico -- "No Trespassing," and "Help Wanted." If the jobs didn't exist, and if it was almost impossible to find work here, the people would stop coming. If that meant exploding prices for farm products, then likely it would breed a countermovement to allow more Latinos in to legally work. But this part of the equation, if ignored, means that no matter what other measures you enact into law are likely to change much of anything, at least in the grand scheme of things.

 

-- Chris Weigant

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

28 Comments on “Arizona's Forbidding Landscape”

  1. [1] 
    Hawk Owl wrote:

    Thanks, Chris, for zeroing in on the "employers"
    piece in this jigsaw puzzle -- it's long bemused me that the same "upstanding American"people who hew to the "moral" view that anyone who's poor or is unemployed doesn't really deserve [moral] compassion because they're "unwilling" to work, -- these same people don't seem able to admire the hard work and "Family Values" of field hands working all day in the sun outside of Homestead, Florida for less than "living wages" while still sending money back to family in Mexico -- such critics don't seem able to admire their "work ethic."
    Thanks, too, for a particularly well-written piece -- balanced and objective in presenting both sides of a complex issue, with something insightful, well exemplified/described and also original for each side to think upon. -- Hawkowl

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    A couple of points.

    CW, I liked how you drove the point home about the issues that Arizona faces.. Many people go on and on about how Draconian AZ is being as if somehow AZ woke up one morning and said, "Ya know, I think I am going to be an ass today and just trample on some ethnic group. Let's pick on Hispanics.."

    That's not how it was at all..

    Let's make NO mistake about it. The entire fault for the actions of Arizona are directly at the feet of the federal government.

    The Obama Administration (and the Bush,Clinton,Bush Administrations before) have utterly and completely dropped the ball time and time again on securing our southern border.

    So, if ya'all want to blame someone for the actions of Arizona, blame Obama and Bush and Clinton and Bush...

    Secondly, I also like how you went over the geographics and beauty of Arizona. My lovely wife and I were in Tucson for a week back in November and it truly is a beautiful area. And it was personally thrilling for me to be surrounded by mountains again. :D

    Finally, like HawkOwl, I have to give you credit for zeroing in on one solution to the problem. That is, targeting the employers. Action in this area would be a Win/Win for Americans, but it would require considerable testicular fortitude to ignore political considerations, something we know that Obama simply will not do.. To be fair, apparently Bush and Clinton also lacked the testicular fortitude as well..

    I also like how you drive the point home about the boycott that is likely doomed to failure. As many other states initiate the same law that AZ has put into place, the boycott hysteria will die down with egg all over their collective faces. The Los Angeles boycott is especially hilarious as Los Angeles lost more than Arizona and Los Angeles needs the money a LOT more than Arizona does... What a joke...

    I also have to compliment you on a very well-written piece. Like HawkOwl said, it displays both sides of a complex issue. Kudos....

    BUT..... (you HAD to have known this was coming, right??) :D

    But, there are a couple points you missed..

    First and foremost, in all this anti-Arizona hysteria one point is overlooked time and time again...

    Arizona's "draconian" anti-illegal-alien law mirrors the ICE Federal Law exactly...

    So, why is it that there is so much hysteria over AZ's action of taking a Federal Law and making it a state law???

    If people (and you know who you are :D) are really up in arms about Arizona's state law, why is it those same people were silent all these years that the Federal Law was in effect??

    What REALLY bothers people here?? The fact that a state is taking up the banner because the Federal Government has failed and failed miserably??

    Is it because that Arizona has the temerity, the unmitigated gall to enforce a law that the Federal Government has ignored??

    That can't be the problem because Arizona has even started enforcing the law yet..

    So, what exactly is ya'alls beef with the law???

    "If you gave an order that Santiago wasn't to be touched and your orders are always followed, why would Santiago be in any danger? Why would it be necessary to transfer him off the base? Colonel??"
    -Tom Cruise, A FEW GOOD MEN

    I also believe that the lawsuits you mention have little chance of success. I have read the AZ law forwards, backwards, sideways and six ways from Sunday. There is NOTHING in the law that can be found to be unconstitutional. It doesn't single out any ethnic or racial group. It is completely and utterly color or ethnic or race blind.

    Hell, even the 9th Circuit Court Of Appeals have signed off on similar laws. And you KNOW how liberal the 9th is...

    And I am also constrained to point out that "racial profiling" is not the bogey-man that ya'all are making it out to be. In a 1975 USCOTUS case, the Justices (in a 9-0 decision) determined that...

    "The likelihood that any given person of Mexican ancestry is an alien is high enough to make Mexican appearance a relevant factor,"

    So, let's all ground ourselves in reality here, shall we...

    Finally, I don't think it is as impossible to secure our southern border as you think it is.

    It's actually quite simple to do.

    If President Obama were to issue a finding that the open unsecured border represents a "Clear and Present Danger" to the security of this nation and is tantamount to an invasion.

    This would free up the military from the constraints of the Posse Commitatus and allow the US Army to set up and secure our southern border. LPs and OPs could be established quite easily and quickly and the entire border could be secured in a matter of weeks.

    See?? Eeezy Peezy...

    All it takes is a little (ok ok A LOT) of the previously mentioned testicular fortitude...

    These minor quibbles aside, all in all, it was a great piece, CW... :D

    Michale.....

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Dang, this must have been more reasonable than I had thought. I expected to get flamed from several directions, but here we all are being reasonable...

    :-)

    Michale -

    I did mention the federal cops/state cops thing, but didn't want to get bogged down in legal language here, instead, I wanted to present an overview.

    As for the judges, I think it'll probably be overturned (almost identical laws in the past have been) due to being interpreted as state-level interference in a federal duty (foreign policy). I'm not arguing either side, just telling you what the legal rationale will likely be. And, as you said, this is 9th Circuit territory.

    One last thing, though, is that while I agree that we could indeed get the border under control if there was the true political will to do so, what you failed to address is the cost. It would NOT be cheap to do so, no matter how it was done. It would take a lot of manpower and a lot of money.

    Anyway, maybe I should reread this piece... dang it, reasonableness sometimes just sneaks up on me, pardner...

    (OK, I apologize for the gratuitious cowboyisms, just got carried away...)

    -CW

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    but here we all are being reasonable...

    Yea, don'tcha just HATE it when that happens.. :D

    I'm not arguing either side, just telling you what the legal rationale will likely be.

    True, however, there is a component in the here and now that has been missing in previous incarnations of this law..

    And that is the safety and security of the State's citizens.

    There can be no argument that the illegal aliens are a clear and present danger to the citizens of Arizona..

    So, while Arizona may be treading in areas that are normally (and tragically) left to the Federal Government, the public safety concerns MUST take precedence over the jurisdictional issue..

    In other words, the state MUST protect it's citizens first and foremost.. All other considerations, including any jurisdictional disputes, are secondary...

    That is how any judge must see this issue, if they are free of political considerations...

    It would take a lot of manpower and a lot of money.

    Yes it would.. But I honestly believe that, even with the sad shape of our economy, the American people would be willing to spend the money for an ambitious project such as this.

    Let's be accurate.. It's not the money that is preventing the Obama Administration from fulfilling it's duties..

    It's the political namby-pamby correctness, pure and simple.

    It's the difference between doing what's right and doing what is politically correct...

    It seems Obama et al (Bush, Clinton etc etc) have chosen political correctness over the lives of American citizens...

    Michale.....

  5. [5] 
    Osborne Ink wrote:

    A 10-foot fence can be defeated with an 11-foot ladder. I have four words for anyone who thinks the border can be "closed:" GREAT. WALL. OF. CHINA.

    Chris, I have to correct you on one point here: we may think the human traffic coming out of Mexico is all Latino and Hispanic, but it isn't. There is a huge Mestizo population as well. A few years ago, my mother's Alabama Head Start facility found that one in three "Mexican" children they served was actually a Mayan who didn't speak Spanish.

  6. [6] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Chris,

    Allow me to add to your consternation by also agreeing completely with this piece and commending you for an extremely concise and even-handed summation. I particularly applaud your analysis of the effect of employment.

    I'd go even further and state that the real political roadblock to effective solutions is a combination of both businesses wanting cheap labor and the public demanding that food and other staples and basic service costs not be pushed upward.

    As for ensuring the safety of Arizonans as the primary concern, I suggest that Mexico has a far better case against us for increasing violence and lawlessness in the U.S. and Mexico due to our failed drug war than we do against them because the consequences of that failed policy also affect us through Mexico.

    If we weren't creating the demand Hispanics and Latinos wouldn't be trying to supply it; and that applies to both the drug related violence and illegal immigration.

  7. [7] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    For the final time; There is no federal law that allows federal agents to demand proof of citizenship from anyone without probable cause with the authority to jail and begin deportation proceedings against anyone who doesn't provide it.

    The AZ law gives total discretion to AZ LE to stop anyone they please anytime they please and places the burden of proof squarely on suspects to immediately prove their innocence or be presumed guilty of a felony, summarily arrested, and have their rights revoked at the discretion of AZ LE.

    AZ has arbitrarily decreed that federal statutory penalties are enforceable while federal statutory constraints may be ignored. Picking and choosing which parts of the law you will abide by is neither enforcing the law nor adhering to the rule of law.

    What bothers me is that none of the constraints normally placed on LE to protect the rights of citizens appear in the AZ legislation, instead it attempts to appear constitutional by being as vague and as broad as possible in an attempt to authorize AZ LE to effectively do whatever they please.--The very definition of a police state.

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    A 10-foot fence can be defeated with an 11-foot ladder. I have four words for anyone who thinks the border can be "closed:"

    And tell me...

    Using your vast knowledge of the US Military, would said 11-feet ladder be able to defeat a multitude of OPs and LPs situated every couple hundred yards or so, plus the inundation of hi-tech surveillance gear and humint??

    No???

    Didn't think so...

    Let's face it. If the political will is there, it would be an easy matter for the US military to seal the border to all but legitimate and legal traffic...

    If we weren't creating the demand Hispanics and Latinos wouldn't be trying to supply it; and that applies to both the drug related violence and illegal immigration.

    Typical liberal response..

    It's all OUR fault...

    The criminals and scumbags are just responding to the demand and are, therefore, blameless.. :^/

    Well good news for you..

    A military blockade of the southern border will solve the drug problem as well, eh?? Two birds with one military action.. How kewl is that?? :D

    Of course, it WON'T solve it by making all the drugs legal and creating a generation of drug addled fools, but... c'est la vie....

    I consider that a PRO, not a CON...

    Silly me.... :D

    Michale.....

  9. [9] 
    Osborne Ink wrote:

    "Using your vast knowledge of the US Military, would said 11-feet ladder be able to defeat a multitude of OPs and LPs situated every couple hundred yards or so, plus the inundation of hi-tech surveillance gear and humint??"

    Wow, Chris. First of all, anyone who's actually served in uniform would refer to ground distance in meters. But granting this is just a sign of too many years of post-service civilian life: the US-Mexico border is 3169 km long. If you were to position one soldier every 200 m, you would need 15,845 troops to keep the border under such tight surveillance. If every soldier stood a 12-hour shift (i.e., total wartime deployment conditions), you'd need 31,690 soldiers -- a full Army division -- on guard every day.

    But wait, there's more! (It's like a Ginsu commercial.) Each soldier would need regular logistical maintenance -- platoon sergeants checking on them, drivers to deliver them to their points and take them back to barracks, etc. You can't keep a soldier in field conditions forever; they have to come in sometime and take a shower. Then there are the service-support considerations, like mail and food and health/dental care and motor maintenance and so on. Using a bare-bones troop ratio of 2 to 1 (absurdly low), you'd actually need three whole Army divisions to pull off this feat.

    The best part, of course, is that this plan requires soldiers to do nothing but guard the border. It allows no time for maintenance, training, advancement schools, PT, leaves, or any of the normal things that go on in the US Army (as anyone who has actually served as a grunt would know). This permanent deployment would result in a weaker Army less capable of deploying overseas because it would be too busy on the border to make its NTC rotations anymore. In fact, you'd have to retrain these soldiers for what amounts to a law enforcement role.

    Besides these practical considerations, there are the constitutional difficulties. Not only do you have the posse comitatus issue, but this plan would necessarily mean soldiers camped on private land along the border. Someone might just invoke that rarest of Amendments, the third:

    No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

    Not to mention that militarizing a border has always been considered a hostile act. Such a mobilization would not only bring international opprobrium, it would likely result in less cooperation from Mexico.

    And in fact, Chris, this sort of plan has been tried before. It was called THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA. It was thousands of miles long with advanced signaling technology and regular communications between amply-staffed units in fortified positions -- a wonder of the ancient world, and still an impressive achievement. And like almost all such fortification projects (Hadrian's wall, the Maginot Line, the Siegfried Line, Dien Bien Phu, etc.) it was a colossal, expensive FAILURE.

    Now, as to the subject of high-tech surveillance gear: sections of "super-fence" already built feature these high-tech systems today; mostly, however, these cameras and sensors just record poor, starving Mexicans topping a ten-foot fence with an 11-foot ladder. Example here.

    But hey, I'm just a liberal with a mountain of empirical evidence. What do I know?

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK, Ink..

    First off, do you think you can quit the utterly immature and childish game of referring to me as "Chris" when it is obvious to everyone that you are addressing me??

    I mean, seriously.. Is your ego so fragile that you can't admit that you simply can't ignore the posts I make??

    Like I told someone else a few days ago..

    "Quit trying to ignore me and ignore me"...

    Otherwise, man up and just address me directly. You are only embarrassing yourself otherwise..

    Now, to the points you raise..

    Wow, Chris. First of all, anyone who's actually served in uniform would refer to ground distance in meters.

    Your cite for this is... what exactly??? Please don't say personal experience because we know that is simply not true...

    Using a bare-bones troop ratio of 2 to 1 (absurdly low), you'd actually need three whole Army divisions to pull off this feat.

    And how many Army divisions does the US have available?? 10...

    Of course, it would also be logical to make this a joint effort, so you would also have hundreds of thousands of troops available from the other branches of service..

    You WERE in the military, right?? So I am assuming you know about joint task forces.. If you don't, I will be happy to edumacate you...

    Not to mention that militarizing a border has always been considered a hostile act. Such a mobilization would not only bring international opprobrium, it would likely result in less cooperation from Mexico.

    Oh and Mexico has been SOOO cooperative to date, right??? Maybe in your rose-glasses colored world, but not in real life... What would "less" cooperation from the Mexican government look like???

    Now, as to the subject of high-tech surveillance gear: sections of "super-fence" already built feature these high-tech systems today; mostly, however, these cameras and sensors just record poor, starving Mexicans topping a ten-foot fence with an 11-foot ladder. Example here.

    Your entire argument rests with a 7 min blurb on CNN???

    You call that a "mountain of empirical evidence"??

    And here I thought you had a REAL argument... :^/

    No one is claiming it would be easy..

    But it WOULD be doable..

    Of course, you bleeding hearts would have a conniption fit that all the druggies and other assorted criminals would actually be punished for crimes and such..

    I know it's soooo much easier to just blame the victims of the crime..

    Tell you what. Why don't you visit that rancher's family and explain to them how THEY are at fault that their husband/father was brutally killed by an illegal immigrant...

    Yea, that will go over real well...

    Typical liberal.. Blame the victims for the actions of the criminals...

    Michale.....

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ooops Missed one..

    Someone might just invoke that rarest of Amendments, the third

    Oh wow.. You don't think that those landowners wouldn't be ECSTATIC to have troops housed on their lands??

    Newsflash for you, son...

    Not everyone in this country hates this country like you do.. Not everyone in this country wants to coddle criminals and terrorists and scumbags like you do..

    You can bet that any landowner with property on the border would just LOVE to have troops on their land, protecting them...

    You think in a state that is 4-1 in FAVOR of the Arizona law there would be landowners on the border who wouldn't want troops there??

    I think you have been smoking way too much of that illegal stuff that comes over the border from Mexico......

    Michale.....

  12. [12] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Chris,

    It occurs to me that I do have one minor quibble. It isn't just the 14th amendment that is "inconvenient." I doubt that you meant to imply that it alone granted constitutional rights to anyone in U.S. territory, citizen or not, legal immigrant or not, but just to be clear: the constitution specifically defined slaves as "not really people" so that they, and they alone, would not fall under constitutional protection. The 14th was intended to eliminate that distinction and the sole exception to constitutional protections.

    And Michale,

    The primary driver of our immigration policy towards Hispanics and Latinos, in particular, is not security, its economic, protecting American laborers from unfair competition and local economies from excessive demand for public services. Its one of the main reasons that the cost, to taxpayers, to business, and to consumers kills effective immigration reform every time.

    No one wants immigration control enough to pay for it. And so the expense of implementing your "solution," even if successful, which is doubtful, would be self-defeating. There's no need to fear unrestricted Hispanic and Latino immigration devastating the American economy if we're going to do it ourselves attempting to restrict immigration.

    What you see as political cowardice is actually policy catatonia due to the conflicting needs, and desires, of the nation as opposed to the machismo of the military or the mob-mentality of "low information voters."

    As for your insane view that the U.S. government subsidizing the illegal drug trade by keeping prices high so that violent street gangs, national and international cartels and even governments actively promoting drug use is preventing "a generation of drug addled fools"--that's a discussion we can have some other time.

  13. [13] 
    Osborne Ink wrote:

    Chris, my father is not leaving comments on this website; "son" is a good way to get popped in the mouth. Stuff like that is the reason why I address you instead of it.

    "It" showed up in my blog a long time ago under the name of Michael Murphy, a dead hero. Classless behavior like that is one reason I don't talk to it. Also: boorish behavior in other blog threads as well as my own blog. But the biggest reason is the evident fantasist behind the pseudonym. To wit:

    Wow, Chris. First of all, anyone who's actually served in uniform would refer to ground distance in meters.

    Your cite for this is... what exactly??? Please don't say personal experience because we know that is simply not true...

    Hm. I dunno...maybe it was...BASIC TRAINING? Y'know, where they teach you the basics of reading military maps -- the kind that are laid out in a metric grid? Anyone who has actually attended Army basic would know the distance increments of the M-16 range targets IN METERS. Anyone who attended PLDC or OCS or Ranger school or the Q course or even CEWEOC would know their hundred-meter pace and how to use ranger beads.

    But anyone who tried using "yards" in a military grid-map situation would get funny looks. There would be a query for clarification. It would stand out for lameness. The military uses the metric system for distance and ranging; it doesn't stop doing so just for the benefit of one comment troll.

    Here's the thing, Chris. The pseudonym can contact the Army and obtain public records of my service; it has my name. I'll even help: 111993-062003. If it likes, it can visit the Lauderdale, AL county courthouse and ask for my DD-214. I doubt that's true for the pseudonym, however, which has left a long trail of breadcrumbs that convince me its full military "experience" sits on a bookshelf.

    It is inadequate, and habitually protects its mental self-image by projecting that inadequacy onto others. This is how it stays uninformed about itself. For instance, I just left a long list of historical examples of extensive national fortifications that failed the test of security; yet it chooses to focus only on my link as "empirical evidence." The cognitive dissonance is palpable.

    A telling example: it uses the term "humint" above in reference to border control. (BTW, the term is capitalized as HUMINT.) It argues thusly:

    Not to mention that militarizing a border has always been considered a hostile act. Such a mobilization would not only bring international opprobrium, it would likely result in less cooperation from Mexico.

    Oh and Mexico has been SOOO cooperative to date, right??? Maybe in your rose-glasses colored world, but not in real life... What would "less" cooperation from the Mexican government look like???

    "Less" could be the complete absence of HUMINT from the Mexican side, for one thing. Mexican and American law enforcement agencies can and do share information; generally, Mexico supplies HUMINT in exchange for SIGINT. It would be unwise to "go it alone" on the border, as any operation with a big question mark on the other side of your FLOT is a recipe for disaster (see: US Eighth Army and X Corps, November 1950).

    Here is what it does not want to read about itself, Chris: it is the electronic pseudonym of an authoritarian personality. Projection and cognitive dissonance are hallmarks of the type. It offers rationalized fascism and tortured logic -- indeed, it insists there is a logic to torture, though it offers no evidence except its own surety. It cannot be reasoned with; its mind is invulnerable to facts and incapable of change. Just look at the exchange here: it obsessively returns to answer me. I have let many exchanges drop because I have better things to do, yet it seems to have nothing better to do. It accuses others of having a "fragile ego" because its own ego is so easily bruised.

    It accuses others of its own inadequacies. It constantly alters the subject of argument. It is a Monty Python sketch in your comment threads.

    And with that, Chris, I'll decline to return to this particular thread. I find the pseudonym "Michale" a fascinating specimen, but there are a million others like it in the wingnutosphere.

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    LD,

    No one wants immigration control enough to pay for it. And so the expense of implementing your "solution," even if successful, which is doubtful, would be self-defeating. There's no need to fear unrestricted Hispanic and Latino immigration devastating the American economy if we're going to do it ourselves attempting to restrict immigration.

    Oh I agree completely.

    I was simply addressing the point made by CW as to how difficult it would be to secure the border..

    It WOULDN'T be difficult if our so-called "leaders" had the will to do it...

    Shirley,

    Chris, my father is not leaving comments on this website; "son" is a good way to get popped in the mouth.

    "Bring It On"
    -George W Bush

    :D

    "It" showed up in my blog a long time ago under the name of Michael Murphy, a dead hero. Classless behavior like that is one reason I don't talk to it. Also: boorish behavior in other blog threads as well as my own blog. But the biggest reason is the evident fantasist behind the pseudonym.

    "Of course, you can PROVE that, right? Oh that's right, I forgot. You were absent the day they taught Law at Law School."
    -Tom Cruise, A FEW GOOD MEN

    I have only posted once on your blog and that was probably years ago. Further, I only post with my own name, never any phony name like others I could name, but won't... You know who you are. Finally, it's interesting to note that you censored my comments in your blog and changed them to say something I never posted. That's why I never bothered to follow up on your blog, since it was obvious you could not be trusted..

    But, of course, you would have to manufacture such accusations to justify your unjustifiably immature behavior on this forum..

    But, enough about me. Let me, once again, completely and utterly devastate your childish argument with reality and the facts..

    Hm. I dunno...maybe it was...BASIC TRAINING? Y'know, where they teach you the basics of reading military maps -- the kind that are laid out in a metric grid? Anyone who has actually attended Army basic would know the distance increments of the M-16 range targets IN METERS. Anyone who attended PLDC or OCS or Ranger school or the Q course or even CEWEOC would know their hundred-meter pace and how to use ranger beads.

    Son, I was in BMTS before you were born... Suffice it to say, metrics hadn't become the standard it allegedly is today...

    But you base your entire fantasy on an off-the-cuff mention of "yards" vs "meters"???

    Seriously???

    THAT is the gist of your entire argument?? That I used "yards" instead of meters???

    WOW...

    Now THERE'S an argument that will go down in the annals of history as the most lame and childish argument in the HISTORY of lame and childish arguments...

    Boy, you really are reaching, ain'tcha... :D

    It accuses others of its own inadequacies. It constantly alters the subject of argument. It is a Monty Python sketch in your comment threads.

    And with that, Chris, I'll decline to return to this particular thread. I find the pseudonym "Michale" a fascinating specimen, but there are a million others like it in the wingnutosphere.

    Speaking of Monty Python, you should appreciate this..


    Brave Sir Robin ran away.
    Bravely ran away, away!
    When danger reared its ugly head,
    He bravely turned his tail and fled.
    Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about
    And gallantly he chickened out.
    Bravely taking to his feet
    He beat a very brave retreat,
    Bravest of the brave, Sir Robin!

    :D

    Let me know when you grow a pair, Shirley...

    Until the next time you "ignore" me..
    Buh Bye.... :D

    Michale.....

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    LD,

    The AZ law gives total discretion to AZ LE to stop anyone they please anytime they please and places the burden of proof squarely on suspects to immediately prove their innocence or be presumed guilty of a felony, summarily arrested, and have their rights revoked at the discretion of AZ LE.

    The AZ law simply DOES NOT do this..

    Please show me where it says this, because you must be reading a completely different law or else you are reading the same law in a completely different reality..

    Michale.....

  16. [16] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Alright Michale, I'll speak slowly and use simple words.

    "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" gives LE total discretion as LE has the authority to initiate a lawful contact with anyone within their jurisdiction at any time.

    "WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES," again gives unrestricted discretion to LE as the "probable cause" standard is reduced to "reasonable suspicion." As the term is undefined and subjective, with no requirement that LE be correct in their "suspicion" and no penalty if they are wrong, this is meaningless legalese intended to make the statute constitutionally palatable by appearing non-racist and prudent while actually neither requiring either nor inhibiting their antithesis.

    "A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE, WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON" with LE determining whether its reasonable or practicable maintaining total LE discretion, they can choose not to inquire of anyone at any time just as they can choose to inquire of anyone at any time.

    "THE PERSON'S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c)." The first and only unambiguous and non-discretionary declaratory statement in article 8C which alone details all the supposed constraints on LE in applying SB1070--None.

    And while the immigration status is being verified, assuming ID acceptable to LE and ICE is presented, the subject is detained and in the custody of LE--without a shred of due process. Under SB1070 first comes the arrest, then a search for a crime and charges. It might only take seconds, or minutes, or it could take hours, but it is totally at the discretion of LE and precedes any finding of probable cause.

    Only after immigration status has been verified does SB1070 begin to actually follow the law and require probable cause, but who cares? The point of requiring probable cause is to prevent LE fishing expeditions like SB1070 authorizes. All SB1070 does is prevent LE from turning someone they know is a legal alien or citizen over to ICE--Big Whoop! I'm sure we can all sleep safer knowing how diligently AZ is protecting our rights.

    And as to your statement that this is some internal matter that only Arizonans have any right to judge, as Chris mentioned sixteen other states are already contemplating similar legislation.

    You can debate whether SB1070 might hypothetically turn out to be racist but as a black man with over fifty ears experience with American racism, who's personally experienced Jim Crow laws, I know it is. And as someone who has been mistaken for Latino on more than one occasion, even if legislation remains directed at Latino illegal-aliens it could well affect me personally. I also have a vested interest, as well as a duty by virtue of being a citizen, to try to preserve and protect the constitution as well as my fellow Americans.--Even the Latino ones.

  17. [17] 
    LewDan wrote:

    As you will undoubtedly hang your hat on the "requirement" for "reasonable suspicion" I might as well address it now.

    Probable cause requires at least something substantive, factual, and objective. You can prove LE doesn't have probable cause if they cannot produce anything substantive, factual, and objective.

    But reasonable suspicion can be completely subjective. How do you disprove what someone is thinking? Since every court in the country will bend over backwards giving LE the benefit of the doubt you'd have to have a very clear video of a particularly stupid LE officer unambiguously confessing to willfully violating your rights to have any chance of proving LE didn't have seasonable suspicion. All LE has to do is lie.

    The deck is stacked so far in LE's favor as to be a game of solitaire. The only protection afforded citizens under SB1070 is if LE voluntarily decides to play nice.

    Effective total LE discretion, an effective police state, and not the least bit constitutional.

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    "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"
    gives LE total discretion as LE has the authority to initiate a lawful contact with anyone within their jurisdiction at any time.

    How so??

    It does not give LEOs the authority to initiate contact on whim..

    It merely states that when LAWFUL CONTACT exists yada yada yada...

    It says nothing about initiating LAWFUL CONTACT...

    The rest of your argument is moot because the only issue (at this particular time.. :D) is the Lawful Contact issue..

    SB1070 starts with LAWFUL CONTACT. Period...

    In this case, LAWFUL CONTACT is contact where probable cause has already been established. A traffic stop, where the LEO has witnessed a crime or has been informed of a crime, etc etc etc..

    Initiating Lawful Contact on a whim (hot blonde) or based on race/ethnicity is not part of SB1070.

    The deck is stacked so far in LE's favor as to be a game of solitaire. The only protection afforded citizens under SB1070 is if LE voluntarily decides to play nice.

    Well, gee whiz.. Isn't that the same with ANY action taken by LEOs?? They are the people with the guns after all...

    What exactly protects the American public from ANY wrong action taken by LEOs???

    Michale.....

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    What this all boils down to is simply a difference in beliefs..

    You believe that the vast majority of Law Enforcement is a bunch of racist thuggish StormTroopers bent on wanton and brutal destruction..

    Whereas I *KNOW* that the vast majority of Law Enforcement are dedicated public servants who put their lives on the line each and every day in an effort to make someone else's life a little better.

    The thing that you don't get is that, if YOUR view of LEOs is the correct view, then it doesn't matter WHAT laws are passed or WHAT the law says because LEOs are just going to ignore them anyways to further their own brutal racist agenda..

    So, why argue what a law says or doesn't say if cops are going to obey the law anyways??

    Michale.....

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Grrrrr That's what I get for typing at 0415....

    So, why argue what a law says or doesn't say if cops are going to obey the law anyways??

    That should read...

    So, why argue what a law says or doesn't say if cops aren't going to obey the law anyways??

    Michale.....

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    Here is the latest (and probably last) amended version of SB1070..

    http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/summary/h.sb1070_asamendedbyhb2162.doc.htm

    Please don't be like AG Holder and not read it before you comment...

    As an aside, the best line regarding this comes from CongressCritter Poe...

    "Here we have the Attorney General of the United States getting a legal briefing regarding an action on a law from the media."

    That ALMOST supplants "by and large, illegal aliens obey the law" as the most hilarious statement ever with regards to illegal immigrants..

    You can watch the exchange here:

    video.foxnews.com/v/4196754/holder-holding-out-on-arizona

    It's priceless.... :D

    Anyways, moving on...

    For those who DO actually read the law, there are many things that should be noted..

    Civil and criminal penalties against LEOs who violate the racial profiling prohibitions..

    One of several (actually 4) legal and valid IDs are suitable to prove legal residency..

    NO LESS than THREE TIMES, the law states quite clearly...

    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.

    There is absolutely NOTHING in the law that is unconstitutional..

    NOTHING...

    Now, of course, it can be claimed that an LEO could violate the law..

    And that claim would be accurate...

    But that claim is also accurate on EVERY LAW WE HAVE ON THE BOOKS!!!

    So, what's the course of action? Take every law we have off the books because it MIGHT be violated??

    That's preposterous...

    I know many here like to get their "facts" from HuffPo, DailyKos and FireDogLake..

    I invite everyone to get the REAL facts from the law itself..

    You can bet that, once AG Holder actually gets around to reading SB1070, there won't be any more talk of a federal lawsuit against Arizona...

    Now, I have slammed Holder a lot for this..

    But I have to give credit where credit is due.. At least he told the truth when he said he hadn't read it... He could have just blustered and BS'ed his way thru the question (as many of ya'all and President Obama would have preferred him to do, I am sure.. :D )

    So, he DOES deserve credit for his honesty..

    As to his competence as an Attorney General...???

    I think that ship has sailed...

    Michale.....

  22. [22] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Thanks for the link. I hadn't read the amended version yet or gotten around to looking for it.

    Now, into the fray...!

    Someone in AZ thought my concerns had merit because they certainly addressed them! This version I can mostly support.

    In support of my argument, and as a refutation of yours, "lawful stop, detention or arrest... in the enforcement of any other law or ordinance..." supersedes "lawful contact" which addresses my point. If you're on public property, in a public establishment or otherwise out in public all LE has to do to initiate a lawful contact is walk up to you and start talking. Now LE initiating lawful contacts for the purpose of alien status verification is prohibited and only appropriate lawful contacts as a consequence of normal LE functions are to be used. The previous version, counter to your claims, had no such restrictions.

    My only remaining concern is with the inclusion of stops, I've no problem at all with detentions or arrests. Its only common sense that LE run the bases for detentions or arrests. Thy should, of course, check every database they can as a routine intelligence gathering procedure so they can quickly learn as much as they can about the person in custody and act appropriately.

    I don't even have a problem with checking during stops, if it can be done expeditiously. My concern is that if verification can't be done expeditiously during stops I'd like statutory assurance those stops won't turn into detentions or arrests for no other reason than to verify alien status.

    My only remaining concern is with designating AZ driver's licenses and AZ state IDs as acceptable proof of alien status instead of all driver's licenses and state IDs--You know, that "full faith and credit" thing in the constitution.

    And personally, my issues with the racism in SB1070 had nothing to do with LE. I object to white legislators and voters cavalierly discounting and discarding the rights of non-whites, secure in the knowledge that their actions would have no affect on them; and with all the apologists swearing up and down that SB1070 is color-blind, no racism here!

    How stupid do you think we are? When the goal is to control Hispanic and Latino illegal immigration and the vast majority of immigrants are Hispanic or Latino who would believe LE dumb enough not to target Hispanics and Latinos? People pissing on my leg and telling me its raining I have a problem with.

    That the authors felt the need to insert racial profiling prohibitions three times, and even worse, that they actually may have been necessary to gain court acceptance, is simply further proof, as if any more were needed, that America is incapable of honestly addressing or even recognizing racism.

    Racially profiling someone who looks and sounds Hispanic or Latino in a lawful AZ detention or arrest by verifying their immigration status is common sense not racism. My issue has always been the indifference to safeguarding the rights and freedoms of Hispanic-Americans and Latino-Americans. The new version finally seems to address that instead of the rabid racist original.

    I do not "believe that the vast majority of Law Enforcement is a bunch of racist thuggish Storm Troopers bent on wanton and brutal destruction" but unlike you and other conservatives I believe in facing reality and I believe in the rule of law.

    Facing reality means addressing what statues actually say not your fantasies about how they might work. It means that there will be abuses, no matter how a law is crafted, and if you invite them there'll be lots of abuses, so there must be an attempt at minimizing them, identifying them and addressing them. "Trust, but verify."

    The rule of law means that rights and obligations must be explicitly spelled out in statutes so that the people can know and accept them as well as adhere to them.

    Your "just trust them" attitude, "they don't need to be circumscribed by the law, LE can be trusted to spontaneously do the right thing all on their own" if found in a black American male would probably be legally acceptable as clinical proof of insanity.

    If conservatives and independents, in general, are as self-delusional as you are in evaluating policy and law its no wonder a decade of Republican rule brought this country to its knees. The "don't bother me with the details" approach is why we had eight years of failed Republican policies and initiatives.

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Someone in AZ thought my concerns had merit because they certainly addressed them! This version I can mostly support.

    Glad to hear that.. The wording has been changed a tad here and there, but it is substantively the same as it was and it is actually more restrictive on LE than the ICE version.

    Your "just trust them" attitude, "they don't need to be circumscribed by the law, LE can be trusted to spontaneously do the right thing all on their own" if found in a black American male would probably be legally acceptable as clinical proof of insanity.

    Of course, I trust LE... I was one.. But beyond that, what is the alternative??

    I am not saying we should allow LE to run rampant with no oversight and no controls..

    But what I AM saying is that we can't craft our laws with the assumption that LE won't obey them..

    Because if we do, if we have the concept that "LEOs won't obey the law anyways" then it doesn't matter WHAT is in any laws..

    The "don't bother me with the details" approach is why we had eight years of failed Republican policies and initiatives.

    The "don't bother me with details" approach seems to be more of a Democrat malady than a Republican one..

    Or have you already forgotten about CRAPWe'll-Known-What's-In-It-When-It-PassesCARE

    Let's face facts..

    Every claim you make against the GOP can also be made against the DP as well...

    Michale.....

  24. [24] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Where did you get this notion that I think laws should be crafted on the assumption that LEOs won't obey the law?

    My substantive objections to the original law were entirely based on the assumption that LEOs would obey the law. And that law required them to verify the immigration status of anyone they reasonably suspected might be illegal. And in AZ that means targeting Hispanics and Latinos. Further it encouraged citizens to sue any LE agency not sufficiently zealous in implementing its provisions. (So much for tort reform.)

    It didn't just issue a hunting license and declare open-season on Hispanics and Latinos, it threatened to shoot LE if it didn't target them in sufficient numbers. Believe me, my concern wasn't that LEOs wouldn't obey the law! I only wish I could've believed they wouldn't!

    My problem was knowing that of course they were going to obey the law. And the more enthusiastically, effectively, and efficiently they obeyed the law the worse it would be.

    Its the legislators, governor, their supporters and the law itself I'm attacking, not LE.

    And you really should get over this idea that no one else in the world has any experience but you. You want to talk about experience with the trustworthiness of LEOs?

    I could tell you about my grandfather and beautiful fair-skinned grandmother, both black, and how a white Georgia sheriff became interested in her, ran granddad out of the county and married her. I attend family reunions in which half the family is white and half black and we're all descendants of the same black woman.

    Or how about when my dad as a young man worked for a cobbler who taught him shoe repair and dyeing. When the old man died he left dad the business. Only when dad arrived to work, discovered the body and notified police he was escorted off the property. When the police left all the cash and stock were gone and dad had to sell the business to pay off the bills.

    Or the time dad sold his beloved Model-A Ford and bought a brand new big black Buick sedan. Driving home from the dealer dad was stopped by police escorted to the station-house where the car was searched. Finding nothing, the car was dismantled and searched. Still finding nothing but firmly convinced that a black man driving a car like that just had to be involved in something illegal they finally let dad go. It upset dad so much he immediately sold the car for something far more modest.

    Or I could tell you of my own experiences watching AL troopers using attack dogs and clubs on women and children for daring to march down the street protesting their treatment.

    I could tell you about watching Chicago cops training prior to the Dem convention and how word circulated through the black community to stay away "'cause the cops were look'n to crack heads." So I watched on TV as, deprived of their anticipated targets, they attacked anyone and everyone outside the convention. I could tell you how amused I was that all the white people who'd never seen a LEO attack a black that wasn't justified suddenly were outraged and shocked, shocked that LEOs would attack people without provocation. So amused, in fact, that after a while I just had to go down there myself and enjoy the spectacle firsthand!

    Then there was the time I was in D.C. walking through Georgetown in my class-A uniform on my way to work at the Pentagon when LEOs stopped me demanding to see my orders...

    Hell. I could do this all night. There are over thirty-five million of us who could explain two centuries of experience with LE. About one in five black men are, or have been, imprisoned. You can't throw a stick in a black community without hitting someone with experience in just how trustworthy LEOs are.

    So, its not that I don't expect them to do their jobs by any means, its that I know better than to trust them any further than absolutely necessary.

    And I'm sure the Founding Fathers would agree with me.

    Experience.

    Lots and lots of experience. Decades, centuries of experience.

    If you want someone who thinks LEOs can't be trusted to obey the law you should take a look at the AZ Republicans you're so hot on defending they're the ones who think they need to insert in their statutes--three times, three times! a declaration that LEOs will obey the law!

    ...And, no, eight years of disastrous shrub "governance," allowing a major American city to drown, and practicing torture wholesale, are unique GOP achievements that no one can even begin to make against the DP.

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    ...And, no, eight years of disastrous shrub "governance," allowing a major American city to drown, and practicing torture wholesale, are unique GOP achievements that no one can even begin to make against the DP.

    Oh really???

    What about allowing an entire ocean body and eco-system to be destroyed?? Obama and his administration actually gave BP an AWARD for safety on the DeepWater Horizon.

    What about CONTINUING the {so-called} worst aspects of "wholesale" torture by the Obama Administration?? Rendition is also up under Obama's watch.. Let's not forget wholesale warrant-less surveillance as well...

    You want to talk of "devastating governance"??

    http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/wapoobamabudget1.jpg

    In LESS THAN TWO YEARS of governing, Obama and your vaunted Democrats have more than QUADRUPLED the deficit!!!

    When it comes to disasters in government, no one holds a candle to Obama and your Democrats...

    Guess the GOP's actions aren't so "unique", are they LD?? :D

    Michale.....

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hell. I could do this all night. There are over thirty-five million of us who could explain two centuries of experience with LE. About one in five black men are, or have been, imprisoned. You can't throw a stick in a black community without hitting someone with experience in just how trustworthy LEOs are.

    I am sure you can..

    Just as *I* can go on all night on the good things Law Enforcement has done...

    You simply prove my point for me as to how you consider the vast majority of LE as thugs and brutal storm troopers..

    No one is claiming that ALL LEOs everywhere are perfect angels..

    But the point you fail to see is that, as flawed as the very very small minority of LEOs is, they are still better than the alternative..

    At least we now agree that the Arizona Law is constitutional and workable.. :D

    Michale.....

  27. [27] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale, you misunderstand (I'm assuming.)

    I gave specific examples of LEO misbehavior not isolated examples. I am in no way talking about a few bad actors. Nor am I saying that they don't serve the public. I'm saying that in America the public, and therefor their "servants" are frequently a danger to non-white Americans--as SB1070 amply illustrates.

    I agree that now SB1070 is mostly constitutional although I think there are still legitimate due process, equal protection, full faith and credit, as well as supremacy issues. Its much improved, yes, but far from being out of the woods yet.

    And nothing that is done now changes my view of the original, its authors and supporters as racists legislating hate. I'd still support economic and political action against AZ on that basis alone. White people need to learn that the days of attacking and exploiting non-whites with impunity are over. If the AZ GOP thinks this is a good way to get reelected, its their decision to make, but actions have consequences.

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    I gave specific examples of LEO misbehavior not isolated examples. I am in no way talking about a few bad actors.

    So then, you ARE saying that the "bad actors" are the majority rather than "a few"..

    You can't have it both ways, LD... Either it's your opinion that the majority of LE act as your examples indicate or it's only a few..

    Which is it??

    I'm saying that in America the public, and therefor their "servants" are frequently a danger to non-white Americans--as SB1070 amply illustrates.

    Your example doesn't paint a picture of "frequently"... It's a very VERY small speck of a drop in the ocean of the billions upon billions of LEO/Civilian contact that has occurred...

    I am also constrained to point out that a very good portion of those contacts gone awry are because the minority in question INSTIGATED the event solely for the purpose of emphasizing allegedly racist contact... There are many individuals who delight in entrapping LEOs to commit supposedly racist acts...

    As far as SB1070 goes..

    Please point to ANY aspect of the newly revised law that you feel is unconstitutional...

    If the AZ GOP thinks this is a good way to get reelected, its their decision to make, but actions have consequences.

    Considering that the people who are FOR the AZ law are running to 4 to 1 in Arizona and 3 to 1 nationwide, I would say that they are on the right track...

    YOU also have to realize that INACTIONs also have consequences.. And, until you have lived in Arizona, you really have no right to condemn for their actions...

    Michale.....

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