2006 May 28 Sunday
Arizona Republicans Seek Illegal Immigration Crackdown

Arizona Republican legislators want to criminalize the hiring of illegal aliens and the fact of being an illegal alien so that local police can crack down.

Arizona lawmakers have approved legislation that would criminalize the presence of illegal aliens and seeks to cut off job opportunities that attract illegal border crossers.

"The House and Senate may not get anything done. So we have an obligation to respond, since this is not just a national border [that's being compromised], it's the Arizona border," said state Rep. Russell Pearce, lead sponsor of the bill that passed the Legislature Thursday.

The bill, which calls for revoking business licenses for repeatedly hiring known illegal aliens and bars illegals from some state services including child care and adult education, has passed both chambers of the Republican-controlled Legislature, but is expected to be vetoed by Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat,

Mrs. Napolitano earlier vetoed a bill that would have expanded the state's trespassing statutes to allow the arrest of illegal aliens who wind up there. She has vowed to veto any further measures that would have this same effect.

I think Arizonans saw what happened to California due to large scale Hispanic immigration (not a few of them are Cal expats who fled the decay) and do not want to see the process repeat in Arizona.

Police would be able to figure out whether someone is an illegal when they are approached for some other type of violation.

One key distinction is that the new version could be enforced only when police first approach a person about another offense, such as a traffic violation.

A first offense would be a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail. Subsequent offenses would be a felony carrying a sentence of at least three years in prison.

Political activists in Arizona want to sidestep Governor Napolitano's veto by putting an initiative on the ballot that would accomplish many of the same goals as the legislation that Napolitano will probably veto.

A citizens group is seeking the end of a policy that prevents Phoenix police officers from detaining suspected illegal aliens, questioning a person under arrest about immigration status or notifying federal authorities that an illegal alien is in custody.

Members of Protect Our City have started a petition drive to change the city's charter to require that police officers, along with all other city agencies and employees, assist federal authorities in enforcing U.S. immigration law.

Randy Pullen, a Republican National Committeeman from Arizona and the project's leader, told The Washington Times that he hopes to gather enough signatures to qualify the measure as an initiative on the city's November ballot.

Republican consultants expect this initiative to energize the Republican base and win elections.

Several Republican consultants say putting an immigration proposal on this year's ballot could pay political dividends as the party looks to unseat the Democratic governor and fend off challenges in U.S. Senate and congressional races.

By moving the immigration issue onto the ballot, Republicans are hoping to drive more voters to the polls. Republicans hold an edge of 6 percentage points over Democrats in voter registration.

"At that point it's just pure mathematics," said Doug Cole, a political consultant who works mostly with Republican candidates.

The national Republican Party, under control of El Presidente Jorge W. Bush, is totally blowing an opportunity to win elections by making immigration restriction a major Republican cause. The House Republicans should reject a compromise with the Imperial Senate on immigration and instead run for reelection as immigration restrictionsts.

Update: Maricopa County Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio has orderd his department to arrest all illegal aliens they encounter.

Since March, Arpaio, a Republican who refers to himself as "America's toughest sheriff," has directed the 3,000 men and women in the nation's third-largest sheriff's department to arrest undocumented workers. As of Thursday, his deputies and a posse of several hundred volunteers had captured 170 -- in a region where an estimated one in 10 workers is illegal. "My message to the illegals is this: Stay out of Maricopa County, because I'm the sheriff here," Arpaio said in an interview in his office on the 19th floor of a building in downtown Phoenix.

Notice the liberal Washington Post's use of the Orwellian "undocumented worker" instead of "illegal alien".

Many state and local governments are starting to enforce immigration laws.

In April, Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) signed a tough immigration bill that made Georgia the first state to require municipalities to require immigration enforcement training for their police. Police must check the immigration status of anyone arrested for a felony or drunken driving. The law also fines employers who hire illegal immigrants. Fourteen other states, including Virginia, are working on laws like Georgia's that would require local police training.

While our leaders are trying to dissolve the Republic and turn it into an Imperial government most people still want to save the old Republic. It is not yet clear to me which side will win.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2006 May 28 12:48 PM  Immigration Law Enforcement

Steve P said at May 28, 2006 11:41 AM:

I definitely admire the idea of this initiative and sympathize with the Arizonans trying to implement it. However, on the issue of legal basis-- and this is my experience working in this sort of field-- it is unbelievably difficult to actually pass an initiative on this topic that has teeth in it. Remember Proposition 209, the California anti-affirmative action initiative? It passed with substantial support, but the problem is that it lacked an enforcement mechanism, which (considering the manner in which the initiative process is structured in the West) is really something that only the legislature, unfortunately, can put together. Since the legislature in California has no intention at all of actually introducing such a mechanism, Prop. 209 has effectively lapsed, and affirmative action, racial and gender preferences are now stronger in California than ever before. I've dealt with this thing before and the courts, even conservative judges, make it unbelievably hard to actually pass a functioning law thru the referendum process-- it pretty much always requires some form of collaboration with the legislature, where the governor unfortunately still retains some veto power.

This already difficult challenge is made even more brutally challenging on the immigration issue because the legal system tends to regard this question fundamentally as part of the venue and jurisdiction of federal law, especially for border states. So the legal tangles for *any* state trying to introduce some sort of immigration legislation-- even something as eminently modest and sensible as what the folks are trying to do in Arizona-- are almost insurmountable. I've had some colleagues at the state level invest years of hard work in trying to alter enforcement, only to have all their efforts fail and break down in total frustration because of the confusion about state/federal enforcement mechanisms. Years of toil wasted because of these structural problems.

I'm not trying to discourage the initiative effort in general, I think it's worthy-- I'm just trying to provide a sobering perspective on how frustrating it is to actually implement something productive on this. Unfortunately, it really isn't possible to bypass the legislature and statehouse entirely, and in this area in particular there are countles obstacles to thwart what the good citizens of Arizona are trying to do. I was in Arizona and California myself a few years back, and I left both of those states because I threw up my hands-- it was too damn frustrating to be trapped there and, for all practical purposes, powerless to do anything productive. When it comes to living in the West, IMHO the best states are Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, where both the laws and the culture really do manage to deter illegal squatters (or an invasion by the excessive numbers of legals, for that matter), and also Colorado, Utah and Nevada to a lesser extent though still much better than California. Most of the "refugees" from Arizona and Colorado that I met, were going to Idaho and Montana, and then also to Midwestern states like Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania and most places in the Great Plains, or Tennessee and Kentucky.

Randall Parker said at May 28, 2006 12:09 PM:

Steve P,

In some parts of Arizona the local sheriffs and police want to enforce immigration law against the illegals. A proposition such as this one would give them a firm legal basis with which to do so.

Granted, it is not as effective as having the state government enacting a law to authorize it replete with instructions to the state police to enforce immigration law. But it is an important start and will at least slow the Hispanic illegal deluge.

The local police could get a lot more productive at rounding up illegals with help of local volunteer groups that could serve as the ears and eyes to identify illegals and look for law breaking activities that would give the police a basis for moving in.

A retreat to Montana is only a temporary solution. In a few decades the whole country will be engulfed if Bush and the Imperial Senate get their way.

RueHaxo said at May 28, 2006 7:09 PM:

I applaud these Arizona Republicans. I used to live in Arizona, and I intend to move back someday. I want to move back to red Arizona, not a state that population growth fueled by immigration has painted bluer than blue like California.
I hope the House Republicans find and keep a spine.

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