web analytics
Your Independent Alternative!

Arizona Immigration Enforcement Bill Has National Impact

illegalsWASHINGTON - The Arizona legislature's passage of America's toughest immigration enforcement law has thrust the dormant issue of immigration reform back into the national spotlight, energizing groups on both sides.

Immigrant rights' advocates are showing a renewed urgency to push Congress and President Barack Obama to adopt a federal law that provides for a path toward citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country.

"This is a watershed moment, and we are calling on Congress and the White House to use it to pass comprehensive immigration reform," said Janet Murguia, president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic-rights advocacy group.

Obama called Arizona's proposed immigration law "misguided" Friday and instructed the Justice Department to examine the bill to see whether it's legal and whether it violates people's civil rights.

"Recent efforts in Arizona ... threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe," he said.

The president agreed with immigrant rights' advocates that the federal government must act to avoid "irresponsibility by others."

Arizona's proposed law includes a provision that would make it a state crime to be an illegal immigrant by creating a charge of "willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document." It also would require law enforcement officers to make a reasonable attempt "when practicable" to determine the immigration status of a person if reasonable suspicion exists that the person is in the U.S. illegally. It also would make it a crime for illegal immigrants to work or solicit work in Arizona.

Obama called moderate Republican senators from aboard Air Force One this week in an effort to win bipartisan support for a centrist reform bill that Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., wants to introduce. Schumer's plan calls for biometric Social Security cards to block hiring of illegal immigrants; increasing Border Patrol agents and surveillance technology at the borders; creating a temporary-worker program; and requiring illegal immigrants who want to become citizens to pay fines and back taxes, perform community service work, pass background checks and be proficient in English.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., reportedly told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., this week that he wants to make immigration reform a priority before the November election.

But anti-immigration groups say the furor over the Arizona law will scare congressional lawmakers away from voting for reform in an election year that is already expected to be a tough one for the Democratic majority.

"This will send yet another signal to Congress of how dangerous an issue it is for them," said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates reduced immigration. "That's why (Arizona Sen.) John McCain is now a born-again immigration hawk, which is frankly hilarious. If anything, Arizona's action is going to make Congress members more leery of addressing this risky issue."

Both sides agree that Arizona's bill could spark a national trend as states look to fill the political void left by the inaction of the federal government.

William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee, said his group's members are already poised to take "clone bills," modeled on Arizona's SB1070, to state legislatures throughout the country.

"Arizona is ground zero, and it's just the start," Gheen said.

That's just what immigrant rights' groups fear.

"When states interject themselves into the federal government's purview, it creates this patchwork quilt of laws state by state when what we should be having is clear, rational laws guiding our immigration policies at the national level," Murguia said. "The result is chaos."

Such actions also could damage the friendship between Mexico and the United States by threatening the civil rights of Mexicans in the U.S., warned a spokesman for the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C.

"Mexico observes with concern the likelihood of negative effects that this measure, should it be approved, may have for the future development of friendship, commercial, touristic and cultural ties that have characterized the relationship between Mexico and Arizona for generations," said embassy spokesman Ricardo Alday.

States have followed Arizona's lead before, said Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which opposes the kind of reform that immigrant rights' groups are seeking. He cited state voters' passage in 2004 of Proposition 200, which requires residents to provide proof of citizenship before they can register to vote or apply for public benefits. More than half a dozen states took up similar measures after Arizona acted, Mehlman said.

"Arizona has been leading the way," Mehlman said. "But we still believe that Congress needs to get busy enforcing the immigration law on behalf of the American people. If the federal government was doing its job, then we wouldn't have states like Arizona adopting these laws."

At least one immigrant rights' advocate believes that other states will shy away from copying Arizona when they see just how huge the state's legal bills will be to fight challenges to the legislation if it becomes law.

Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said he is poised to file suit to try to stop the proposed law from taking effect. He will assert that it violates the U.S. Constitution by interjecting the state into something over which only the federal government has jurisdiction. He also will argue that it violates equal-rights protections by sanctioning racial profiling - a charge that supporters of the bill deny.

"There is going to be a high cost to Arizona for their act of political symbolism," Saenz said. "Their court fight will have to be funded with taxpayers' money. I think many states may end up telling Arizona, 'You're on your own.' "

15 Responses »

  1. Arizona, 2010 equals Nazi Germany, circa 1933. They used to randomly ask people in Germany "Show me your papers" to prove that they are not Jewish! The governor must veto the despicable bill and Congress must act on immigration this year. No more wait, excuses and lies! No human is illegal!

    • Sorry Ivan, she signed it yesterday afternoon.

      I agree that Congress should act, but I'm afraid that Obama's form of immigration "reform" would be to ensure 12 million new Democrat voters and would not be in this country's best interest.

  2. As an Arizonan, as I walked to the bus stop this morning I noticed the construction stamp within the concrete upon which I walked...Hernandez and Sons; I sat at the stop and watched a 100 percent Mexican crew repair our intersection, then walked into the MiniMart where I was waited upon by a Mexican. I thought about how "Colorado" means "colored", how "Las Vegas" means "the meadows", how "California" is "Little Californ", and then realized it'd all been their turf before we killed them with our guns. There I was, just a lazy white boy sitting at the stop, when the Mexican driver picked us all up for the ride. I'm telling you, folks, you will regret your hatred and mis-understanding of that valiant culture. When there's no one left to rent your apartment, or flip your burgers, you're gonna be cryin'.

    • Speaking strictly for myself, I don't "hate" illegal immigrants. I just don't want them here. There are millions upon millions of people in other countries who would like to come to the USA, but don't because they respect our immigration policies.

      The illegals who are here are just that: illegals. They are breaking our laws and should be jailed and then deported back to their home country.

    • If this is such a "valiant culture", why doesn't this "valiant" culture work to change their own country. Illegal immigrants are just that... illegal. If we had changed our "born here, automatic citizen here" policy, we would not be in this mess. You are now witnessing grown up anchor babies marching and weeping in the streets of Az. because it means that mommie and daddy if caught will have to go home. Britain stopped this joke in 1981. Ireland stopped it in this century. You deliver a child in Canada, the kid is considered a Canadian and has dual citizenship.....however, THE PARENTS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO STAY IN CANADA.

  3. stupid government u B****z cuzed others bad

  4. I wonder what people like Larry would respond if it was say, Ireland, who was our next door neighbor and the so-called "illegals" were white. Where would be the respect for our immigration laws?

    To really drive the point home, what if the Ireland next door had been taken by force, annexed to the U.S., and a bit of blood money paid in penance for the crime?

    History is a bitch, or a bastard - don't you think?

    • Gosh Jesus, sounds to me like you've already got your mind made up regarding me. I'm in a no-win situation: If I stick to my original point (which I do), you will brand me as a hypocrite/liar; if I change my position (which I won't), you will brand me as a hypocrite/liar.

      Our country is on of laws. I make the simple point that we should stand by the rule of law. And yes, this would apply whether our neighbors are Mexico, Ireland, UK, Japan, etc., etcl

      I guess you are saying that we should cede back to Mexico parts of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California? And I agree, history can be either of the two, and can be especially inconvenient at times.

      But none of this changes the fact that we have laws governing immigration, and those laws should be followed - don't you agree?

      • The U.S. bought some of the Mexican territory (specifically southern Arizona and New Mexico) with the Gadsden purchase. The U.S. bought Louisiana with the Louisiana Purchase. The U.S. bought Alaska from the Russians. Last time I checked, you pay for something and it should allow you ownership. The difference between all southern border states and Alaska and Louisiana, is the sellers of these other properties aren't marching in the streets of New Orleans and Anchorage waiving French and Russian flags and yelling in French and Russian demanding "their rights" If you want to learn about how legal immigrants should behave, Google 1907 - Theodore Roosevelt. Old Teddy would roll over in his grave with the press 1 for and 2 crap that this country has allowed....together with voting ballots in 12 languages in San Francisco. Get a grip.

  5. There is a reason they are termed "illegal aliens". It is because they have violated the sovereignty of the United States of America in the method they chose to enter. I will not diatribe about the Mexican Government actually printing cartoon books on how to do this (conspiracy proven completely and authenticated already).

    The fact is that after illegal entry they must obtain fraudulent papers, green card and other ID. This in every state and according to the fed is a FELONY. IF you created a fraudulent Social Security Number you would be prosecuted as a FELON and would do federal time. No question about it.

    In LA county alone, 95% of 1500 Murder warrants are against illegal aliens. 2/3 of all 17,000 felony warrants in LA county are against illegal aliens. 10% of all felons in state prisons are illegal aliens, 33% of all federal felons incarcerated are illegal aliens.

    What part of ILLEGAL and FELON and MURDER do w as US citizens NOT understand. Statistically, it is 3 (murder) -20 (felons) times more likely that an illegal alien will commit a felony than a citizen of the US. There is nothing showing that making them citizens will change this statistic or their actions. The interesting thing is that none of these prosecutions are in relation to illegal documents for an individual or for illegal entry!

    Just the environmental damage by influx of illegals takes over 1 million acres of wild lands from the US and bull dozes or damages them irreparably!

    For ONE single illegal alien to be rewarded for their crime against the sovereignty of the US is INSANE.

    People wake up. Now is the time to end this madness, return all illegals to their home country and take sanctions against such countries for allowing it to begin with. Simple legislation such as that in European countries like France, that charge the country of origin for deportation and repatriation costs will close Mexico's borders without a fence!

    Wake up people....

    • .....and putting a stop to "birthright citizenship" affording permanent residency to illegal parents of anchor babies will curb this absurd lawlessness. It may take 20 years, but you will not have what you have today....protestors who are 'grown up" anchor babies protesting, demanding "rights" because they know it means their parents may wind up being sent back to Mexico.

  6. History seems to always repeat itself. The law that the State of Arizona has chosen to enact is a seed of deception that delves into the heart of America's true fundamental values, called good old fashioned racism. Whenever we are in a crisis when it comes to competing for employment, the seed of racism intercedes. I should know, speaking as an African American. As a people we have been told to go back to Africa. How dare anyone make such a remark especially when their ancestors are responsible for bringing us here in the first place, captitalizing off the back of my ancestry as well as the Native Americans and Hispanics. I am quite sure the Hispanic feel as I do. Do not take this road, it will lead you only to the world of regret. Stop the racism and embrace your fellow brothers and sisters. God is love. As American citizens it is our moral duty to protect our Consitutition and exhalt fairness at whatever price.

    • Doesn't matter what color they are, they are breaking the law. Bottom line? The law is the law. Imagine..... people are upset because Arizona has made it illegal to be illegal! What's next? Oh I know..... Let's make it a violation of their "rights" if we prevent them from voting twice in the upcoming November election!

  7. My kudos to governor Jan Brewer!! It apparently takes a woman to try to do what the Federal government refuses to do -- ENFORCE THE LAW. Now Mehlman is asking people to boycott his own state!!! Unbelievable!! Apparently he cares more about illegal aliens. As for me -- I'm planning on taking a vacation to Arizona this summer just to show my support!!!!

  8. Referendum requires filing 76,682 voter signatures by 90 days. But Still at most of online polls people support the Law. http://immigration.civiltalks.com/
    You can influence the law by simple VOTE
    national polls show widespread support for SB 1070 with one showing that 51 percent of those surveyed considered that it is "about right" in its approach and 9 percent saying that it does not go far enough.