Fascism on the March in Arizona
SB-1070 would require police to attempt to determine the immigration status of anyone they encounter as part of a "lawful contact" and allow them to arrest undocumented immigrants and charge them with trespass. If residents believe police officers are not enforcing immigration laws, they can sue them. It would also outlaw the hiring of day laborers off the street and prohibit anyone from knowingly transporting an undocumented immigrant for any reason. The ACLU points out that SB-1070 unconstitutionally allows the state to regulate immigration -- a power which the Constitution assigns to the federal government. The ACLU also highlights a provision of the bill that grants police officers authority to conduct warrantless arrests of anyone who cannot immediately produce documents and notes that such action has already been deemed invalid by the Ninth Circuit Court. The ACLU concludes that the bill will "exacerbate racial profiling" and tries to "rewrite the Constitution by turning the presumption of innocence on its head." Several research institutions have also cited the high fiscal costs associated with local immigration crackdowns. The National Employment Law Project pointed out that smaller-scale anti-immigrant ordinances have cost individual localities millions of dollars. The Perryman Group estimates that if all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Arizona, the state would lose $26.4 billion in economic activity, $11.7 billion in gross state product, and approximately 140,324 jobs.I've never been particularly upset about illegal immigration. I really don't get what gets people so worked up about Mexicans coming here for a "better life". The fact is, they are coming here because someone is willing to pay these people-- better than in Mexico but under the minimum wage here. It just seems to me that if you want to stop illegal immigration, go after the freaking employers. Also, I'm pretty sure a great deal of US agriculture depends on illegal labor, so removing these laborers would make many produce items go way up in cost...
But in any case, this bill is clearly going to cause more trouble than solving anything, and it obviously has fascist elements.
UPDATE: This Arizona sheriff makes some interesting points against the law. This guy defends the law, not entirely convincingly to me.
UPDATE 2: Some news about Kris Kobach, who wrote the NYTimes piece.