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Author Topic: Illegal Immigration & Arizona
Gaoics79
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quote:
Sometimes I let my wife drive and leave my wallet at home. Should I worry about being arrested for suspicion of being an illegal alien because of that?
You should worry about how dumb it is to ever leave your house without your wallet. Seriously, I don't get people like you. The weight of your credit cards, cash, and ID is just so great that you'd rather be completely helpless and screwed in the case of an emergency than carry them around?
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
A signature on the back of the credit card is all that most places require, unless you write "Ask for ID" on it, and then about 1 in 10 places will actually ask for ID.

That's true in Nashville, but when I'm in Atlanta or Detroit almost every restaurant and gas station requires my license.

Which seems odd for gas stations since I can buy $50 worth of gas at the pump without showing ID, but when I buy a soda for $1.49 I've got to pull out my ID. But nonetheless, if I want a drink I show my ID.

quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
So I take it, JW, that you support a National ID card and giving the police authority to arrest you if you cannot prove you are a citizen of the United States at any given moment?

Just checking. [Smile] Because that seem to bhe the implication of what you said.

My previous answer to the "The World's Smallest Political Quiz":

quote:
Personal Issues
Government should not censor speech, press, media or Internet. A
Military service should be voluntary. There should be no draft. A
There should be no laws regarding sex for consenting adults. A
Repeal laws prohibiting adult possession and use of drugs. M
There should be no National ID card. D

And no, I don't agree with them Arresting me, but detaining me until they can check my credentials is burdensome, but acceptable.
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Wayward Son
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quote:
You should worry about how dumb it is to ever leave your house without your wallet. Seriously, I don't get people like you. The weight of your credit cards, cash, and ID is just so great that you'd rather be completely helpless and screwed in the case of an emergency than carry them around?
Hey, sometimes I don't like taking my credit cards, cash and ID into the swimming pool with me.

And in case of emergency, my wife is there, which is far more useful than a $20 in my pocket. [Smile]

Besides, you don't have to get anything. You ain't my mommy, and you don't get to make the rules. [Razz]

quote:
And no, I don't agree with them Arresting me, but detaining me until they can check my credentials is burdensome, but acceptable.
Fair enough. I just recall that there are many libertarians out there that have a tremendous fear of national ID cards (that would supposedly lead to government tyrrany). It seems such fears pale in comparison to allowing illegal aliens to work in our country.
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
It seems such fears pale in comparison to allowing illegal aliens to work in our country.

I doubt many are afraid of this in particular, I'd say most fears are based more on:
1) higher crime
2) higher cost of social services
3) lower employment for locals
4) xenophobia

Number 3 has directly effected my family. Most of my extended family is in construction and landscaping. They are poorer as a direct result of illegals competing for the same jobs and driving the local wages down in those industries.

My wife's mother makes less doing landscaping now than she did in the 1980's in absolute dollars, she makes far less in inflation adjusted dollars.

Good luck telling her, a 60 year old woman who does manual landscaping around commercial property, how it's fair that she works more hours for less money so a stranger from Juarez can send money back to Mexico.

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cherrypoptart
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Is the worry about these I.D. checks that we will catch too many illegal aliens, or is it that American citizens may be inconvenienced?

If it's the latter, then there is no need to worry because the citizens of Arizona have spoken loudly and clearly. They have said in no uncertain terms that the "inconvenience" of carrying around an I.D. and maybe having to show it to someone is a lot less than all the problems currently caused by illegal aliens such as auto accidents with no recourse against the illegal alien, kidnappings, drug crime, murders, rapes, undermining the employment system and businesses that would like to be able to simultaneously compete AND obey the law, higher taxes because of extra schooling and medical expenses, and so on. Compared to all of that, is carrying an I.D. that more than 99 out of 100 people already carry really that much trouble?

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Doug64
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Just to be clear, I wouldn't be terribly happy with being required to carry proof of citizenship with me at all times. However, considering the mess thanks to the cowardice and/or political opportunism of too many members of Congress, I don't see how Arizona has much choice in the matter if the state government wants to actually do its job of providing security to its citizens. If I lived there, I would be part of the 70% that approves of the new law.

BTW, I don't have time to take a look at this first Democratic proposal, did they say how it's going to be paid for as pay-go requires?

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The Drake
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quote:
Good luck telling her, a 60 year old woman who does manual landscaping around commercial property, how it's fair that she works more hours for less money so a stranger from Juarez can send money back to Mexico.
How is it fair that the stranger from Juarez can make less money in the exact same place doing the exact same thing just because of where he was born 25 years ago? Not to mention being told he can't even try...
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noel
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Aris,

quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by noel:
[QB] Aris,


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So someone makes an unsupported assumption about me, I call him prejudiced (about me), and that means I accused him of racism?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In American English the common application, of the term "prejudice", would fit very well into the context of the post, from which I excerpted, as referring to "race".

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No, it really wouldn't. If I was non-white it might make sense of accusing him of racial prejudice when he assumed me opposed to ID checks, but as I'm white it wouldn't make much sense. His prejudice was a political one, against liberals, or against me in particular.

Not quite, read the entire context of your exchange. There is no reason to exclude that you were referencing the race of illegal immigrants, who incidently, are largely hispanic.

Secondarily Aris, you might be white, but it would be an act of prejudice to assume that to be the case. As far as "political prejudice" is concerned, one would have to conclude that the phrase is, at worst, value neutral by your standards as judged by inane statements like this;

quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
You have called me a "racist" on multiple occasions,
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, yeah, I do consider you a racist ass, noel. I just didn't call you (or anyone else) such in this thread. Here it's you who accused me of bringing up racial issues in this thread when I never did.

The thickness of your skin needs to catch up with an unjustifiably inflated ego. Your English could use some work too.

WS,

This;

quote:
One: I believe it‘s unconstitutional. I don‘t think, as you pointed out earlier in this show, that the states have the authority to preempt federal government when it comes to immigration issues.
... appears to contradict this;

quote:
Dupnik also pointed out that he has been doing most of this “new” law for decades now:
It is impossible to "preempt" federal law with duplicate law. This cop is a knucklehead.

quote:
Which begs the question: if police have been doing this (deporting arrested illegals) for years, why does Arizona need this law? What will it do beyond what the Federal laws all ready do?

That is the real question.

What SB1070 "will accomplish" is effective self-deportation of illegals by indemnifying law enforcement against lawsuits consequent to implementation, and that is the only reason the left is reacting so strongly to it.

quote:
No, it does go beyond Federal law.

It requires state officers to check someone's status based on "reasonable suspicion." This is beyond what is done now by state officers, which is check someone's status if they are arrested.

False, State Senator Alfredo Guiterrez needs to clarify his understanding of legal terms.

Are you anxious about the "reasonable cause" standard, the definition of "legal contact", or something else?

RickyB,

quote:
"or anyone trying to hire them."

This is a *good* approach.

Agreed, and the vast majority of the law is focused upon this. It is comprehensive, and constitutional.
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Wayward Son
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quote:
It is impossible to "preempt" federal law with duplicate law. This cop is a knucklehead.
I don't believe the Arizona is law an exact "duplicate." Does the Federal statues include the vague term "reasonable suspicion?"

quote:
What SB1070 "will accomplish" is effective self-deportation of illegals by indemnifying law enforcement against lawsuits consequent to implementation, and that is the only reason the left is reacting so strongly to it.
And, by the same reasoning, the only reason the Right is for it is because they are xenophobes that are scared of anyone who isn't a WASP. By the same reasoning, mind you... [Big Grin] [Razz]

quote:
False, State Senator Alfredo Guiterrez needs to clarify his understanding of legal terms.
Perhaps, but you may have noticed that PolitFact comes to essentially the same conclusion.

[ April 29, 2010, 04:54 PM: Message edited by: Wayward Son ]

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Chael
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I think the legal questions in this are actually quite interesting.

The current law of the land, as Wayword noted, is that a police officer can stop anyone for any reason to ask questions--but that they cannot automatically compel the stopped person to answer. Still, one of those questions they will now ask in Arizona, apparently, is 'are you in the country legally?'

The current rule is that people who are stopped without probable cause are required to give their names if asked by the police, but are /not/ required to show ID--see the end of this article.

It is, however, acceptable for police officers to /ask/ to see someone's ID--but it is /not/ required that the asked person show them that ID--note this.

So this law really changes nothing at all--/if/ it does not require citizens thus stopped to provide more than they have been required to in the way of identification to a police officer heretofore. If the stopped person still legally has the option to say 'no thank you' and walk away, nothing has changed, and I have no problem with this law.

Of course, most people probably don't know what their rights and responsibilities are if they are consensually stopped by the police.

[ April 29, 2010, 05:22 PM: Message edited by: Chael ]

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noel
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WS,

quote:
I don't believe the Arizona is law an exact "duplicate." Does the Federal statues include the vague term "reasonable suspicion?"
No, it is not exact, and neither will Utah's be an exact copy of the Arizona law. The important point is that where differences exist, federal law is not circumvented. If you check the text of SB1070, you will see that it was very well crafted in meeting this test.

"Reasonable suspicion" is employed at both Federal, and State, border crossings every day. The "legal contact", of simply appearing at the border, occasions this. The feds are not precluded from using ethnicity as contributing factor in determining legal status. If a border officer opens the trunk of a vehicle, and out pops four hispanics, the individuals would probably be treated with with some degree of reasonable suspicion regarding legal status.

quote:
And, by the same reasoning, the only reason the Right is for it is because they are xenophobes that are scared of anyone who isn't a WASP. By the same reasoning, mind you...
Hyperbole aside, is this a tacit admission that what really concerns you is the effectiveness of the Arizona law? [Wink]

quote:
Perhaps, but you may have noticed that PolitFact comes to essentially the same conclusion.
Reasonable people can differ based on what you believe relative to the integrity of law enforcement personnel, but even here, the courts exist to address abuse.

[ April 29, 2010, 05:49 PM: Message edited by: noel ]

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Wayward Son
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quote:
Hyperbole aside, is this a tacit admission that what really concerns you is the effectiveness of the Arizona law? [Wink]
No. Personally, I have little concern if an illegal alien is sent back to his home country. I do recognize that a vast majority of them are here to work for a better life, and thus do not see them as a major threat to our country. But I also recognize that we need to maintain borders (open borders would be a terrible idea!! [Eek!] ) and need rules for those borders. Although I simpathize with those who break the rules (you wait forever for admission to the U.S. if you don't have any specific skills, even though there are people here who will hire you [Frown] ), I don't shed any tears if they are caught.

So, no, the effectiveness is not my issue.

What I am concerned about is a small group of people (hispanics) who will be targeted by this law. Hispanic American citizens will (most likely) have to prove repeatedly that they are Americans to the police. Part of being American is not having to look over your shoulder constantly, worrying that the Government is going to arrest you if you happen to forget your wallet at home one day.

While the majority of Arizonians think this is worth the price of ejecting illegal aliens, I suspect the majority of Arizonians will not be subjected to such scrutiny. And I suspect they might rethink their stance if they were. [Wink]

But race isn't really important to me. The fact that American citizens will be under the microscope, having to repeatedly prove to the police that they are citizens, is what disturbs me about this law. Hopefully I am wrong, but I am not reassured by what I've seen so far.

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Wayward Son
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And thinking about the actual question you asked (since somehow I got sidetracked by an implication of it [Embarrassed] ), I do have some question about how effective it will be.

Sure, day-laborers will dry up, as apparently they have all ready started to. They are too exposed. Those with more stable jobs will become tricker, probably getting forged licenses and such to try to circumvent the law. Others will probably go to other, less-intrusive states.

But again, at what cost to those the American citizens? The law will have to be enforced to keep those who left out. Which means American citizens will need to be harrassed needlessly.

Yes, there will be fewer illegals, at least until they learn how to live with the law. But at the price of making life unpleasant for a segment of Arizon's citizens. It is really worth it?

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noel
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WS,

quote:
But race isn't really important to me. The fact that American citizens will be under the microscope, having to repeatedly prove to the police that they are citizens, is what disturbs me about this law. Hopefully I am wrong, but I am not reassured by what I've seen so far.
Like a number of other conservatives here, I have no issue with the concept of a national identity card, nor with being required to present it to police within the context of "legal contact".

While the purpose of the law is explicitly to address the illegal immigration problem, in practice, it's provisions are triggered incidental to the normal activities of policing. Had I been here illegally, I would have been deported twice last year due to routine traffic stops.

quote:
Part of being American is not having to look over your shoulder constantly, worrying that the Government is going to arrest you if you happen to forget your wallet at home one day.
As it happens, in one of those two traffic stops, I did not have my drivers license. It took the CHP three minutes to confirm my identity against their database, by simply supplying my license number. The standard is probable cause.

quote:
While the majority of Arizonians think this is worth the price of ejecting illegal aliens, I suspect the majority of Arizonians will not be subjected to such scrutiny. And I suspect they might rethink their stance if they were.
I think the majority are as aware of the provisions, as you are. Judging by polls, it is a small price relative to the perceived benefit.

quote:
... having to repeatedly prove to the police that they are citizens, is what disturbs me about this law.
This is not about the citizen "repeatedly proving citizenship", but identity, which is already required by law.

quote:
Hopefully I am wrong, but I am not reassured by what I've seen so far.
What have you seen so far?
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Michelle
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How do they deport someone who claims to be a citizen and can't produce papers, if they don't know what country they originated from?

You can't send a columbian to Mexico.

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Aris Katsaris
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noel, you keep babbling about me. Why? So far you wrongly accused me of attacking as racist this policy when I didn't, you randomly brought up Greece's troubles, asked *me* to make a thread about issues that concerned you...

And now you tell me that my English needs work, when you can't even use words such as "prejudice" or "ethnicity" propertly.

Get a grip. And some professional help, perhaps.

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flydye
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
So yes, you'll have to carry your license around with you and I'm sure you'll cope with the excessive burden.
So I take it, JW, that you support a National ID card and giving the police authority to arrest you if you cannot prove you are a citizen of the United States at any given moment?

Just checking. [Smile] Because that seem to bhe the implication of what you said.

That is a plainly ridiculous statement. There is no talk of arresting anyone. (I say this as an opponent of the bill). Supposedly, in a traffic stop, you are required to show an ID (which is different how?) Let us say I am a passenger or forgot my wallet or whatever. I am not necessarily arrested. Some effort is made to ascertain my citizenship status.

This also strikes at Aris' contention for OOS licenses. We have this thing called a 'computer'. The police tend to share information. So if I, with an Ohio license, travel to Arizona, even assuming that the officer is enough of a dick to not take it at face value, will probably take the step of calling it in to establish it's validity, if only to avoid harassment suits.

Worst case scenario, I get taken to the station to establish my identity. Chances of it actually happening? Virtually zero. Now a Hispanic with the words 'Kill Cops' tattooed on his fists? Maybe...

Which goes to the squishiness I don't like.

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noel
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Aris,

quote:
noel, you keep babbling about me. Why?
Excellent question. Trivial, isn't it? [Wink]
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Chael
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quote:
Originally posted by noel:
This is not about the citizen "repeatedly proving citizenship", but identity, which is already required by law.

Can you please show your source for this statement? My understanding is that it is not required to prove your identity in random not-committing-crime cases, merely to state it.
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noel
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Chael,

Let's examine your own link;

quote:
The encounter took place at the side of a road in Humboldt County, Nev. The deputy had received a report of a man striking a woman in a pickup truck. When the deputy arrived at the scene, Mr. Hiibel was standing outside a pickup truck that was parked on the shoulder of the road. His daughter was sitting inside the truck.

The deputy asked Hiibel 11 times to produce identification. Hiibel repeatedly refused, saying he'd done nothing wrong. The deputy placed him under arrest in accord with a Nevada law that permits police to detain criminal suspects for up to 60 minutes to compel them to identify themselves.

Hiibel refused to comply. He was charged and convicted of violating the mandatory identity law, a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail. His conviction was affirmed by a state appeals court and the Nevada Supreme Court.

In upholding his conviction and the mandatory identity-disclosure law, the majority justices also said the law only requires that a suspect disclose his or her name, rather than requiring production of a driver's license or other document.

Assume Mr.Hiibel responded to the officer demand with "John Smith". The purpose of the law is to identify, not placate. That officer would likely first confirm that the name provided did not conform with the license plate registration. This leads to two probable cause assumptions, in addition to the battery, even if "Smith" really was his name;

- The truck is stolen.
- The plates are stolen.

In the absence of a straight answer, and explaination, Mr Hiibel is going to jail. When it is discovered that he has lied about his identity, a charge is added to the six-month maximum term for refusal to identify himself.

As I already mentioned, it is unnecessary to produce a physical piece of identification to be identified.

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Chael
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Noel,

The only sentence that had bearing on my question, as far as I can see, is your last one: that it is unnecessary to produce a physical piece of identification to be identified, in your view.

In mine, positive identification requires something more than a name. Thus, the existence of photo identification cards in the first place. However, given your stance, I do not disagree with you. The law does already require that anyone asked state their name to an officer of the law.

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noel
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Chael,

License photos, and even thumbprints, are electronically transmittable directly to a patrol vehicle. Even before modern identification capabilities an officer could get adequate information, over the radio, to determine with reasonable certainty an identity. It is not really that hard.

The point of my scenario was to show what would happen if a person attempted to conceal their identity from LE by deceit, instead of silence.

[ April 30, 2010, 01:09 AM: Message edited by: noel ]

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Chael
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Noel,

With the pieces of information that a police officer may legally insist on having from a person who is not under reasonable suspicion being, as far as I am aware, an accurate name,.. well, there's a difference between reasonable certainty and positive identification. Does the driver's license photograph, taken as many as seven years ago, still look adequately like the person in question? Which of the seven James Smiths matches best? Prints aren't among the things that can be taken without cause. Sure, if you're stopping someone in a car, you can run their plates--but if you're stopping them for a traffic violation, you're going to ask 'license and registration, please' as a matter of course, and they're going to show them or get fined. [Wink]

So no, I don't think requiring someone to show photo ID is the same as requiring them to give their name. But as you're okay with them just giving their name, this isn't particularly germane.

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noel
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Chael,

quote:
Does the driver's license photograph, taken as many as seven years ago, still look adequately like the person in question?
Where do you live that only requires license renewal every seven years?

In any case, this is certainly an indentfication standard up to the task intended by SB1070.

quote:
... but if you're stopping them for a traffic violation, you're going to ask 'license and registration, please' as a matter of course, and they're going to show them or get fined.
Well sorta, in California it is a fix-it ticket. [Smile]

quote:
So no, I don't think requiring someone to show photo ID is the same as requiring them to give their name.
It is if the officer downloads your license electronically.

quote:
But as you're okay with them just giving their name, this isn't particularly germane.
I am OK with an officer having a reasonably reliable identification of the person supplying information about themselves. 98+% certainty is good enough for me.
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flydye
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I was reading a piece by Jonah Goldberg and it reminded me of the absolute hypocrisy and bad faith offered by the Left on this issue.

There are supposedly 30 'Sanctuary' Cities in the U.S. where the local law enforcement essentially tells the Feds to F*** off regarding all immigration laws.

As full bore immigration is not a Republican talking point (headnod to the visceral protests by the Right against Bush on the issue), this is a bit of Leftist dogma. And yet these are the same people telling us that a State with state rights and a state government is overreaching it's authority, while these cities are...not? Arizona is telling their cops to work with the Feds..and these other cities are telling them not to. Difference? Oh yeah...

Which goes to one of my greatest points of discontent with the Left: they always always always have to get their own way. If they have a majority, it's 'the will of the people'. If they do not, it's a 'civil right' and they'll use whatever friendly court they can find to try and do an end run around the legislatures.

Good faith goes both ways. Who here is going to lambast sanctuary cities? Cherry sure. Any lefties?

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Chael
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quote:
Originally posted by noel:
Chael,
Where do you live that only requires license renewal every seven years?

I live in Texas. My license is renewed every four years. However, every second renewal I am allowed to renew online rather than in person. I am not asked to supply a photograph for this online renewal for obvious reasons. Thus, a new photograph is applied to my driver's license every.. 7.95 years or so. Because why on earth would I wait in the DPS office if I had a choice? [Smile] I rounded down to seven instead of up to eight for the sake of fairness. Who knows--some people might renew earlier than me.

quote:
I am OK with an officer having a reasonably reliable identification of the person supplying information about themselves. 98+% certainty is good enough for me.
You're okay with them just giving their name. So am I, for the most part (though there are some freedom of association situations where I'm more bothered by this). We have no quarrel. I mean, unless you really really want one. 'Is this person in the country legally' is something which I have no problem with an officer trying to ascertain, if they can do so with the pieces of information which are legally supposed to be given to them. Using it to randomly harrass people for no good cause--not good. Trying to cover up a certain right to privacy possessed by anyone stopped by the police without cause--not good. Adding 'is this person here legally' to the list of things they are supposed to try to figure out if they stop someone for other reasons? Just fine.
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noel
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Chael,

We are good.

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Chael
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Cool.

Amusingly, I'm one of those people who can be identified with 99.995% certainty with just an accurate name, presuming the presence of picture ID databases. I'm pretty sure that only one other person in the world has my last name. So no privacy for me. [Wink]

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Aris Katsaris
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Rumpelstiltskin, is that you?
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Doug64
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All of these threats of lawsuits and cries of outrage could end up working against the Democrats: More Americans Favor than Oppose Arizona Immigration Law. The Democrats are going to have a tough time placating their base without offending/pissing off the more numerous number of voters that agree with the Arizona consensus. What would look really bad is doing everything they can to bring down the Arizona law while refusing to take up the slack the law is a reaction to.

[ April 30, 2010, 09:28 PM: Message edited by: Doug64 ]

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Chael
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
Rumpelstiltskin, is that you?

Curses! And I /so/ wished to have your firstborn for myself..
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flydye
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quote:
Originally posted by Doug64:
All of these threats of lawsuits and cries of outrage could end up working against the Democrats: More Americans Favor than Oppose Arizona Immigration Law. The Democrats are going to have a tough time placating their base without offending/pissing off the more numerous number of voters that agree with the Arizona consensus. What would look really bad is doing everything they can to bring down the Arizona law while refusing to take up the slack the law is a reaction to.

Why should they pay a price now when they've been able to get away with it all these years?

I'm appalled at the support it's getting...but it's the nation I live in, for good or bad and I understand the frustration even if it's lead to bad law.

Has anyone had the sense that immigration reform including enforcement has been a priority for Obama? It isn't my issue so I haven't paid attention.

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MattP
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Supposedly it's on his todo shortlist, but I haven't been paying enough attention to know any specifics.
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Doug64
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Of course it hasn't been an issue for Obama, any more than it was all that much an issue for Bush before him, and for the same reason - the first step of any immigration reform that has a chance of solving the kind of problems Arizona is facing is to seal the southern border (and the northern one, in the interest of "fairness"), and the Hispanic community is the fastest growing ethnic group in the country and vigorously opposes it. The party that pushes it through could lose the majority of Hispanics for a generation.

Well, like it or not, thanks to Arizona it's an issue now and isn't going to just go away any time soon. Nor is this something new, just the most in-your-face. Laws addressing employment verification issues have passed in seven states and have had bills introduced in the legislatures of 29; laws dealing with IDs and drivers licenses have passed in nine and introduced in 23; and laws addressing bail, parole, and plea bargains with respect to immigrants have passed in four and been introduced in 29. So far, I've read of legislators in Texas, Utah and Oklahoma that have announced their intentions to introduce bills similar to Arizona's in their legislatures, and Republican gubernatorial candidates in Minnesota and Iowa have announced that if elected they would seek to enact something similar as well. Makes me wonder if the people calling for boycotts might end up refusing to do business with half the country. And one surprising bit of news, a measure before the Massachusetts legislature that would have barred illegal immigrant from receiving state and federal benefits failed by only 75-82. A similar measure last year failed 40-118.

So, add this to the bribocracy that passed a massive new entitlement in the middle of a recession when the entitlements we already have are already breaking, massive deficit spending (with massive tax hikes to follow), and now Washington's cowardice/opportunism causing it to ignore our border problems and so fundamentally fail at one of the primary purposes of government (security for its citizens), I'd say the Democrats are in for a very bad time come November.

Of course, it's possible that the Republicans, once in power won't have the courage to do what needs doing, either. In which case, they could find themselves voted out of power (most likely in primaries, or in general elections against Democrats ostensibly more conservative/libertarian/courageous than they are) until the American people finally get people in Washington that will listen to them. It wouldn't be the first time in our history that we've done something like that, I believe something similar happened during the Jacksonian period.

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flydye
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Peg Noonan

quote:
Which brings us to Arizona and its much-criticized attempt to institute a law aimed at controlling its own border with Mexico. It is doing this because the federal government won't, and because Arizonans have a crisis on their hands, areas on the border where criminal behavior flourishes, where there have been kidnappings, murders and gang violence. If the law is abusive, it will be determined quickly enough, in the courts. In keeping with recent tradition, they were reading parts of the law aloud on cable the other night, with bright and sincere people completely disagreeing on the meaning of the words they were reading. No one knows how the law will be executed or interpreted.

Every state and region has its own facts and experience. In New York, legal and illegal immigrants keep the city running: They work hard jobs with brutal hours, rip off no one on Wall Street, and do not crash the economy. They are generally considered among the good guys. I'm not sure New Yorkers can fairly judge the situation in Arizona, nor Arizonans the situation in New York.

But the larger point is that Arizona is moving forward because the government in Washington has completely abdicated its responsibility. For 10 years—at least—through two administrations, Washington deliberately did nothing to ease the crisis on the borders because politicians calculated that an air of mounting crisis would spur mounting support for what Washington thought was appropriate reform—i.e., reform that would help the Democratic and Republican parties.

Both parties resemble Gordon Brown, who is about to lose the prime ministership of Britain. On the campaign trail this week, he was famously questioned by a party voter about his stand on immigration. He gave her the verbal runaround, all boilerplate and shrugs, and later complained to an aide, on an open mic, that he'd been forced into conversation with that "bigoted woman."

He really thought she was a bigot. Because she asked about immigration. Which is, to him, a sign of at least latent racism.

The establishments of the American political parties, and the media, are full of people who think concern about illegal immigration is a mark of racism. If you were Freud you might say, "How odd that's where their minds so quickly go, how strange they're so eager to point an accusing finger. Could they be projecting onto others their own, heavily defended-against inner emotions?" But let's not do Freud, he's too interesting. Maybe they're just smug and sanctimonious.

The American president has the power to control America's borders if he wants to, but George W. Bush and Barack Obama did not and do not want to, and for the same reason, and we all know what it is. The fastest-growing demographic in America is the Hispanic vote, and if either party cracks down on illegal immigration, it risks losing that vote for generations.

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MattP
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quote:
Washington deliberately did nothing to ease the crisis on the borders
What, specifically is the crisis? Are we talking increased crime? The use of expensive public resources? Unfair competition for jobs? Are there any decent metrics for the level of harm caused by illegals and how that represents an actual rather than perceived crisis?

I also question how effectively we really can shut down such a huge border. Weren't there a few rather high-profile and expensive attempts by Bush to do as much? I remember both a high-tech "virtual fence" that failed miserably and a low-tech physical fence that was easily breached. Aside from hiring enough border patrol to have eyeballs continually monitoring every inch of border, what can be done?

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Doug64
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Praising Arizona
quote:
Supporters of Arizona’s new law strengthening immigration enforcement in the state should take heart from today’s New York Times editorial blasting it. “Stopping Arizona” contains so many blatant falsehoods that a reader can be fully confident that the law as actually written is a reasonable, lawful response to a pressing problem. Only by distorting the law’s provisions can the Times and the law’s many other critics make it out to be a racist assault on fundamental American rights.

The law, SB 1070, empowers local police officers to check the immigration status of individuals whom they have encountered during a “lawful contact,” if an officer reasonably suspects the person stopped of being in the country illegally, and if an inquiry into the person’s status is “practicable.” The officer may not base his suspicion of illegality “solely [on] race, color or national origin.” (Arizona lawmakers recently amended the law to change the term “lawful contact” to “lawful stop, detention or arrest” and deleted the word “solely” from the phrase regarding race, color, and national origin. The governor is expected to sign the amendments.) The law also requires aliens to carry their immigration documents, mirroring an identical federal requirement. Failure to comply with the federal law on carrying immigration papers becomes a state misdemeanor under the Arizona law.

Good luck finding any of these provisions in the Times’s editorial. Leave aside for the moment the sweeping conclusions with which the Times begins its screed—such gems as the charge that the law “turns all of the state’s Latinos, even legal immigrants and citizens, into criminal suspects” and is an act of “racial separation.” Instead, let’s see how the Times characterizes the specific legislative language, which is presumably the basis for its indictment.

The paper alleges that the “statute requires police officers to stop and question anyone who looks like an illegal immigrant.” False. The law gives an officer the discretion, when practicable, to determine someone’s immigration status only after the officer has otherwise made a lawful stop, detention, or arrest. It does not allow, much less require, fishing expeditions for illegal aliens. But if, say, after having stopped someone for running a red light, an officer discovers that the driver does not have a driver’s license, does not speak English, and has no other government identification on him, the officer may, if practicable, send an inquiry to his dispatcher to check the driver’s status with a federal immigration clearinghouse.

The Times then alleges that the law “empower[s] police officers to stop anyone they choose and demand to see papers.” False again, for the reasons stated above. An officer must have a lawful, independent basis for a stop; he can only ask to see papers if he has “reasonable suspicion” to believe that the person is in the country illegally. “Reasonable suspicion” is a legal concept of long-standing validity, rooted in the Constitution’s prohibition of “unreasonable searches and seizures.” It meaningfully constrains police activity; officers are trained in its contours, which have evolved through common-law precedents, as a matter of course. If the New York Times now thinks that the concept is insufficient as a check on police power, it will have to persuade every court and every law enforcement agency in the country to throw out the phrase—and the Constitution with it—and come up with something that suits the Times’s contempt for police power.

On broader legal issues, the Times is just as misleading. The paper alleges that the “Supreme Court has consistently ruled that states cannot make their own immigration laws.” Actually, the law on preemption is almost impossibly murky. As the Times later notes in its editorial, the Justice Department ruled in 2002, after surveying the relevant Supreme Court and appellate precedents, that “state and local police had ‘inherent authority’ to make immigration arrests.” The paper does not like that conclusion, but it has not been revoked as official legal advice. If states have inherent authority to make immigration arrests, they can certainly do so under a state law that merely tracks the federal law requiring that immigrants carry documentation.

The Times tips its hand at the end of the editorial. It calls for the Obama administration to end a program that trains local law enforcement officials in relevant aspects of immigration law and that deputizes them to act as full-fledged immigration agents. The so-called 287(g) program acts as a “force multiplier,” as the Times points out, adding local resources to immigration law enforcement—just as Arizona’s SB 1070 does. At heart, this force-multiplier effect is what the hysteria over Arizona’s law is all about: SB 1070 ups the chances that an illegal alien will actually be detected and—horror of horrors—deported. The illegal-alien lobby, of which the New York Times is a charter member, does not believe that U.S. immigration laws should be enforced. (The Times’s other contribution today to the prevailing de facto amnesty for illegal aliens was to fail to disclose, in an article about a brutal 2007 schoolyard execution in Newark, that the suspected leader was an illegal alien and member of the predominantly illegal-alien gang Mara Salvatrucha.) Usually unwilling for political reasons to say so explicitly, the lobby comes up with smoke screens—such as the Times’s demagogic charges about SB 1070 as an act of “racial separation”—to divert attention from the underlying issue. Playing the race card is the tactic of those unwilling to make arguments on the merits.

The Arizona law is not about race; it’s not an attack on Latinos or legal immigrants. It’s about one thing and one thing only: making immigration enforcement a reality. It is time for a national debate: Do we or don’t we want to enforce the country’s immigration laws? If the answer is yes, the Arizona law is a necessary and lawful tool for doing so. If the answer is no, we should end the charade of inadequate, half-hearted enforcement, enact an amnesty now, and remove future penalties for immigration violations.


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Greg Davidson
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I am not sure that this issue has to break down liberal/conservative or Democrat/Republican, I think there may be a libertarian/non-libertarian split that is more fundamental. What do you think of the following hypothetical policy, based on conservative economics (charging a price for services) but also on liberal equity (equal treatment for all):

- Vastly expanded guest worker program for foreign nationals
- Guest workers must pay all relevant federal, state and local taxes, and in addition, a guest worker tax equal to 3 times the current rate of unemployment (so in today's world, that would be 28.1%)
- Path to citizenship that also includes additional payments (taxes) to cover the additional benefits that they may receive
- National identity cards mandatory for all citizens and guest workers
- Everyone's identity checked on every consumer transaction, on all wage transactions, and on every police stop based on suspicion of committing an illegal action

Which adverse consequences of illegal immigration would be addressed by such a plan, and which would still remain?

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Doug64
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Greg Davidson, the big problem with your guest worker program is that it doesn't address the economic impetus pushing it from the employer side, cheap labor, while increasing the costs on the illegal immigrants for the privilege of becoming legal immigrants. There's not much point to setting up a guest worker program if hardly anyone uses it.

For the guest worker program, I'd go with something along the lines of:
  • All signing up must do so in their home countries, unless the individual can prove that returning home would be seriously hazardous for his/her health (not to say ability to keep breathing).
  • Any signing up must have clean criminal records (exceptions for political/religious/whatever motivated persecution on the part of authorities), both in their home countries and in the US (with an exception made for any charges solely related to illegal immigration into the US prior to the creation of the guest worker program). Also, they cannot be linked to organizations hostile to the US.
  • The guest workers must have enough money on hand to live for a time while looking for work, someone already in the US willing to support them, or have a job waiting, and enough to return home if it is necessary.
And that's it, for getting into the US. Basically, if they're willing to work or have someone willing to support them, able to pay their way getting here and going home, and have clean criminal records, they're in.

For governing them while here:
  • They cannot use any welfare services other than emergency aid during their stay.
  • They must keep enough money saved to pay for their tickets home. If they cannot find work or lose their jobs, they can be supported by charity. But if the charity isn't enough and they can't find a new job, they must use the savings to return home.
  • They must carry ID certifying their legal right to remain in the US whenever they are outside of their homes.
  • No federal minimum wage laws would apply to them, nor any contributions for any services that they will not receive (social security, etc.) They'll still be paying taxes for services they can't use (sales taxes, anyone?), but at least that injustice will be reduced.
  • Any convicted of a violent misdemeanor or any felony will be sent home once his or her sentence is served and cannot return for a period of time determined by the level of the crime, up to never.
  • For the path to citizenship, I'd go with being able to speak English, passing a basic civics/history test (in English), and living in the US without being convicted of a crime for five consecutive years, or two years of military service.
I'm sure there are other details and ideas that people can come up with, but that's what I come up with off the top of my head.

Of course, all of this can only be put into place after the borders have been secured.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
"No federal minimum wage laws would apply to them"
Since the main negative I find in the presence of immigrants is the downwards pressure on worker wages, I'd say that your solution is worse than the problem.
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