We have returned to the days of slave trading and the Trail of Tears according to Patrick Kennedy, (D RI-1) and offspring number three of three from the late Edward M. (Teddy) Kennedy. Kennedy seems to be under the impression that America (the Arizona part of it at least) is violating the spirit of our Constitution by writing a law that enables local enforcement of laws the Federal Government refuses to enforce.
Kennedy thinks Calderon was right when he criticized the AZ Immigration law, and he thinks the new law is demeaning to our country and beneath us as a People. His wisdom regarding Calderon's criticisms:
"Well he’s right on. I mean, it violates the spirit of our own Constitution. So, you know, we had a tragic history in this country. The most shameful parts of our history were when we had our slave trade, when we, when we, the Trail of Tears -- what we did to our Native Americans. And, you know, the proudest moments in our history are when we had the Civil Rights Act, when we moved forward on integration and expanding the opportunities for all of our citizens. So, this idea of, you know, racial profiling, takes us backwards and really goes to the worst character of our nation and it’s, it’s demeaning to our country that we would move in that direction. It’s beneath us as a people."
I have the text of the law (SB 1070), including the amendments put in place (HB 2162) that were meant to address concerns about racial profiling. This law is worth a closer, more detailed look...and we'll do so after the jump. Teaser alert - Section 1, Intent:
The legislature declares that the intent of this act is to make attrition through enforcement the public policy of all state and local government agencies in Arizona. The provisions of this act are intended to work together to discourage and deter the unlawful entry and presence of aliens and economic activity by persons unlawfully present in the United States.
I could opine here that the babbling nonsense of Kennedy’s response was, itself, “beneath us as a people”…but that wouldn’t be very objective of me, now would it? It should be lost on no one that the very Constitution Kennedy laments is the same one that assigns the task of defending our sovereignty and securing our borders to the Federal Government which continues to fail in meeting its responsibility to do so.
Kennedy, like so many other Democrats over-worried about pandering to their Mexican constituency (yeah-I said that on purpose), not only misses the point but proves he doesn’t even care what the real point is. I’ve seen far too many headlines that tell us our Political Heroes are against the law even as they admit to not having actually read the law. They don’t care what it says; like the Health Care Bill no one read, or the Stimulus Bill no one read…or even the (expletive removed in deference to the posting guidelines) Immigration bill a couple years back that no one read, all that matters is whether they’ll get re-elected based on how strongly they come out for or against something.
Moving on to "Sec. 2. Title 11, chapter 7, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding article 8, to read: ARTICLE 8. ENFORCEMENT OF IMMIGRATION LAWS 11-1051. Cooperation and assistance in enforcement of immigration laws; indemnification, Para. B."
B. FOR ANY LAWFUL
CONTACTSTOP, DETENTION OR ARREST MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY OF A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF ANY OTHER LAW OR ORDINANCE OF A COUNTY, CITY OR TOWN OR THIS STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHOAND IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE, WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON, EXCEPT IF THE DETERMINATION MAY HINDER OR OBSTRUCT AN INVESTIGATION. ANY PERSON WHO IS ARRESTED SHALL HAVE THE PERSON'S IMMIGRATION STATUS DETERMINED BEFORE THE PERSON IS RELEASED. THE PERSON'S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c). A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE MAY NOT SOLELYCONSIDER RACE, COLOR OR NATIONAL ORIGIN IN IMPLEMENTING THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SUBSECTION EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY THE UNITED STATES OR ARIZONA CONSTITUTION. A PERSON IS PRESUMED TO NOT BE AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES IF THE PERSON PROVIDES TO THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OR AGENCY ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
1. A VALID ARIZONA DRIVER LICENSE.
2. A VALID ARIZONA NONOPERATING IDENTIFICATION LICENSE.
3. A VALID TRIBAL ENROLLMENT CARD OR OTHER FORM OF TRIBAL IDENTIFICATION.
4. IF THE ENTITY REQUIRES PROOF OF LEGAL PRESENCE IN THE UNITED STATES BEFORE ISSUANCE, ANY VALID UNITED STATES FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT ISSUED IDENTIFICATION.
In Sec. 3. Title 13, chapter 15, they explicitly ADDED Para. C to state, AGAIN, that profiling was not allowed; "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."
This is similar language to that found in nearly all our hiring practices, workplace discrimination statutes, and benefit distribution mechanisms already in place at the Federal level. The screams and wails and gnashing of teeth seems to be solely due to the fact that we are talking about a problem consisting almost entirely of Spanish-speaking brown people. Imagine for a moment if 95% of the people in this county illegally were obese. Ridiculous, yes...but imagine having to write legislation to dance around a problem you can only identify by sight while not being allowed to actually USE your sight to enforce it.
Citizens of this country need ID to do almost everything they do in living a normal day in the life. So long as I'm not being asked to present mine just because I'm walking by a law enforcement officer, but am being asked for one when I get pulled over or arrested or find myself in an accident where Police are called...I'm not being profiled-and neither is any one else. The issue here is that folks that are here illegally don't HAVE the necessary ID and are about to get caught...more's the pity for them, and I applaud Arizona all the more for saying enough is enough.
Further down, the Arizona legislature struck almost ALL of the harsher penalties and fees and fines, and dramatically reduced the sentencing structure for first-time offenders. They added language in the section that addresses the hiring and transport of workers...AGAIN...to prohibit racial profiling. They added it again in the "transporting, moving, concealing, harboring or shielding of unlawful aliens" section as well. Arizona went out of its way in the amendment to make SURE this law was structured consistent with Federal law...and it seems pretty clear to this non-lawyer that, of all it MIGHT do in addressing the illegal alien problem it faces every day, it absolutely does NOT do so with any racial slant or prejudice or bias.
Again, the text of the amended law is HERE. A synopsis of HB 2162 and the areas it addressed is HERE. I highly recommend you read these for yourselves because you certainly can't take the words of your Political Heroes on this issue.
Whatever else Arizona did, they most certainly did NOT take America back to the days of the slave trade OR the Trail of Tears. Suggesting as much with such dishonesty and disingenuousness, and further driving that wedge between law abiding citizens and the Government they can no longer trust...THAT is what has taken us back in history; not to these horrible times in our past, but back to the times that drove us away from the tyrants of England to begin with.