Patriot Groups throughout the Maricopa and North Pinal County area.
Senate Bill 1070
I have been watching the recent developments surrounding the passage of SB1070 and the subsequent signing of that bill by Gov. Jan Brewer to become the law of Arizona with regard to the presence of illegal
I am not too surprised that the Left has become agitated over the addition of this law to the statutes of Arizona. I am not surprised that the “open borders” lobby is worked up over this new law. I am surprised at the Libertarian wing being overwrought by this bill.
First, I think it is in order that anyone wishing to discuss the bill do the right thing and read the bill. Go here to read the full text; http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2R/bills/SB1070H.pdf
Here are a few things to consider when contemplating the implementation of this law. First, there is specific language in this bill to specify that searching for or apprehending illegal aliens can NOT be based
solely on race, color, or national origin. There MUST be reasonable suspicion before a law officer or other entity can proceed to question anyone’s citizenship status.
Let us consider what this means in a real life way. To begin, the phrase “reasonable suspicion” is not a new term to law enforcement, nor to the courts. Based on case law and well established precedence “reasonable suspicion” is fairly well defined. To a peace officer or a judge, “reasonable suspicion” means an action or response that in the mind of a reasonable person (one without an ideological agenda) would arouse
suspicion and warrant further investigation. The police deal with this now on a regular basis in the course of law enforcement, even before they are to be granted this new (?) authority to check on citizenship status.
“Probable cause” is similarly familiar to the courts and law enforcement. These legal distinctions are taught in police academies and law schools from border to border. The police must be familiar with these terms and
their practical application because their ability to arrest and hand over a suspect to a successful prosecution demand that they not act in a way which will jeopardize the case once it enters the court system.
Officers who abuse their powers or fail to establish “reasonable suspicion” and “probable cause” have their professionalism called into question and supervisors and prosecutors take note of those officers on whom they can rely and those they cannot. It is the officer’s best interest to be certain of a “clean” arrest.
In the case of SB1070, an officer could not be believed to have reasonable suspicion of someone solely based on the color of their skin. Not only is this specifically ruled out in the language of the bill, but it
simply would not hold up in court. There must be some other reason or specific incident that would allow the officer to make the leap into the area of citizenship status. When someone is pulled over for a routine traffic stop, they must (in Arizona) produce a driver’s license, proof of insurance and a valid registration for the vehicle. Failure to do any one of these three can result in a ticket. If the driver then displays furtiveness,
avoids eye contact, cannot speak English, tries to run, or exhibits some other behavior that arouses suspicion, then, and only then can an officer have grounds to investigate further. (By the way, SB1070 specifically states that by showing a valid driver’s license, or other government issued ID, it is presumed that you are a legal resident of Arizona (or the U.S.) and therefore no further inquiry should be made as to your legal status.)
Now the hysteria on the Left about police using and abusing their (SB1070) enforcement powers is a somewhat familiar refrain. Looking back at the decade of the 1960’s, the young protestors and
revolutionaries in abundance then made a rallying cry out of “police brutality,” and “kill the pigs!” They deliberately tried everything in their playbook to provoke a confrontation with police in order to “prove” that police were abusive and overstepping their authority and power.
This is a well known agitation tactic to undermine authority and to cast doubt in the minds of the community as to whether the police and the government can control themselves; whether police can respond in
an appropriate manner. When officers respond to provocation, they are seen as bullying the citizens and by extension, they “lose” the PR battle for the hearts and minds of the citizens. (The media, it seems, is all too happy to cooperate in sending this message.) This is the goal of the Left; to undermine constituted
authority in order to promote the collapse of law, and the subsequent overthrow of the government.
Some things have changed dramatically since that decade. First, police departments went through extensive soul searching and policy reforms to address the balance of power in responding to protests and the level
of force permitted to address provocation. Secondly, the racial and ethnic make-up of police departments has changed dramatically since the 1960’s. Many, many more minorities are represented on police forces today as the result of outreach programs. Today, the vast majority of Americans have a level of
confidence in the police that is not easily shaken, and most Americans prefer law and order in society rather then the anarchy the alternative would bring. And we have indication that law enforcement, down to the street level, supports this bill. That would include many minority officers, now charged with enforcing
Yes, we can stipulate that not all police officers are above reproach. Those that go astray of their powers, or abuse their privileges are the subject of media attention, and community repudiation. However, the vast
majority of officers are decent law abiding citizens and your neighbors trying to do a seemingly thankless job. When an officer is killed or injured in the line of duty, the community pours out its heart in empathy. The vast majority of peace officers are competent professionals and take pride in the execution of their duties and responsibilities. We currently have no reason to believe otherwise.
With all this being in evidence then, is it reasonable to expect that police officers are not extremely aware of the ramifications of the powers they have just been granted by SB1070? Will they not bend over
backwards to make certain that their implementation of the provisions of this bill is administered by the book and to the letter? Our peace officers, who overwhelmingly support this bill, are residents of the communities in which they serve, and they have for too long been unable to pursue illegal alien status issues even when they KNEW beyond a reasonable doubt that someone should not be here and should not be allowed to re-enter the community to commit further violations or crimes which will consume more of their time, budget, and perhaps lives.
It is perfectly reasonable to assume, until proven otherwise, that law enforcement will act with restraint in the application of this law and make a concerted effort that when and if this statute is invoked, it will withstand the scrutiny of not only a judge but of public perception. Now that law enforcement has been granted this ability to check on citizenship status, they will be loathe to having it taken away from them because of over
zealous use and abuse of now lawful authority.
As a backstop to peace officers, we must consider that judges will be scrutinizing the routine application of this authority as well. The question we must ask is, do we still have confidence in our law and judicial
systems, or has the Left succeeded in casting enough doubt on constituted authority as to weaken and undermine our faith in law?
The hysterical predictions of peace officers abusing their authority will not manifest itself with the passage of SB1070 anymore than people “starved and died in the streets” after the passage of welfare reform in
the 1990’s. Indeed, our communities are better off with the passage of both of these bills.
Let us also consider the bogus argument that SB1070 puts Arizona in the business of immigration law, thus usurping Federal authority in the matter. SB1070 most decidedly does not place Arizona above the Federal government in immigration policy and administration. Please notice that SB1070 in NO way changes the immigration process for legal immigrants. SB1070 does not address the qualifications for immigration, nor the requirements for citizenship status, nor does the State set itself up to accept application for citizenship outside Federal authority.
SB1070 solely addresses a crime. It is a crime to be in the Unites States illegally. Now, specifically, it is a crime to trespass the State of Arizona without proper citizenship or valid travel documents or a documented visa. SB1070 cannot be enforced unless there is reasonable suspicion or probable cause to do so. SB1070 merely supports the enforcement of a duly enacted law and in no fashion changes the immigration
process or qualifications of citizenship. This argument is a straw man and can be easily disproven.
Finally, illegal immigration includes aliens from many countries around the globe. It is not limited in Arizona to any one country or any one race of people. Police and prosecutors will readily testify that illegal immigrants have been apprehended from a myriad of foreign countries. Each illegal alien is breaking the law to be in Arizona, and the Unites States. SB1070 now requires that law enforcement live up to its promise to enforce all the laws equally and without bias.
Illegal immigration is financially no longer tenable for the State of Arizona. Estimates range from $1 Billion to $3 Billion annually for the costs of law enforcement, incarceration, health care, education, and welfare benefits accorded to the issue of illegal immigration. Currently the shortfall in the Arizona State budget is close to $3 Billion dollars. Ending or curbing illegal immigration will go a long way towards easing
the financial burden on already stretched State resources and beleaguered taxpayers.
Lastly, this is a moral question. In the hysteria of promoting doubts in the minds of the public that this law will be abused without restraint, we must ask ourselves, how many more robberies, rapes, burglaries,
kidnappings and murders are we willing to endure? Does not the State have an obligation to provide safety and order to lawfully constituted citizens?
We can be confident that with the language of “reasonable suspicion” and “probable cause” being prominently employed in the application of SB1070 that we have not surrendered liberty for security. We have secured liberty by the application of law.
SB1070 will pass Constitutional muster and will serve as a model for the other 49 States in the Union.
Well done Arizona.