Raising Arizona

Well, now they’ve done it in Arizona: taken an actual step to curtail illegal immigration. The squawks go up from the usual open-borders crowd, including our amnesty-giver-in-chief.

It is clear why Obama and his merry crew of post-Americans are against this kind of enforcement: it annoys Hispanics, most of whom vote for Democrats. To be fair, it’s clear that most Hispanics, aside from breaking the law to gain entry in the first place, are law-abiding, and only wish to work and send money back “home.” Where home is usually not the United States, even if they’ve been here for decades.

Touching story, except for the drain on our GDP. And the fact that there are at least 11 million illegals among those hard-working Hispanics. The usual liberal approach to crime? Change laws so that a favored minority (i.e. a group that votes Democrat) is no longer breaking them.

Arizona has a better idea, or so they believe: make it a state crime to be an illegal immigrant in Arizona. So, what’s the problem? Crime is crime is crime. But this particular crime is a misdemeanor, and the Arizona law empowers its police to stop someone and demand papers to prove they are in the United States legally. For no other reason than the suspicion that those stopped are illegals.

The problem is not that the crime is a misdemeanor, or that some lawyers and academics, safe in their ivory towers, opine that it’s a federal responsibility to police immigration. No, the problem actually resides in the Fourth Amendment:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no Warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

So: is it “unreasonable” for someone to be stopped merely because they look Hispanic? Only if all Hispanic-looking people are illegals, clearly not the case.

My advice would be to demand proof of legal residence only from those stopped for other reasons. Something already on the books in Arizona, and other states. Else we will quickly get into the situation where citizens and others who are here legally, going about their lawful business, will be stopped and, probably without the German accent, but you get the picture, be ordered “show me your papers.” I don’t think so. Not in my America.

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