Friday, April 30, 2010

Understanding the Arizona Immigration Law Means Throwing Aside the Myths

By Douglas V. Gibbs

Accusations of racial profiling, racist motivations, and anti-immigrant sentiments are being levied against Arizona for passing a law that cracks down on illegal immigration in that state. Calls for boycotting the state are going out from numerous groups. The law is S.B. 1070, and the law allows police to question a person's legal status should reasonable suspicion arise while the person is being questioned regarding another infraction.

Protesters call the law unconstitutional, unfair, and irresponsible. Barack Obama has criticized the law as well.

By reading the law, however, it becomes clear that the accusations against it are false. In reality, the Arizona law discourages racial profiling, for example.

According to one of the authors of the bill, Kris Kobach, there are a number of myths circulating about the law, and all of them are false.

The law does not force Americans to "carry papers," does not encourage racial profiling, and Arizona police officers can only question people if the officer has already made a lawful contact with the person over a different issue, and during the contact the officer develops reasonable suspicion that an immigration law has been violated; at which point the officer is required to call ICE to confirm if the person is an illegal alien.

The Arizona law does not create anything radical, but rather gives Arizona law enforcement a tool to enforce the law in regards to immigration. The new Arizona law also prohibits sanctuary cities.

The law is not anti-immigrant. Immigrants are not the problem. Illegals are.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

KOBACH: Arizona acts as Washington dithers - Washington Times

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