Friday, April 30, 2010

Arizona Immigration

I am concerned about the new Immigration law in Arizona. I decided to look up some information about it. After some research, I realized this would be more complicated than it sounds. It is an extremely polarizing subject. What I found out was actually interesting.

I was unable to determine exactly what the law enforcement powers were. From reading the actual law, it is a bit muddled. It states that police officers can, without a warrant, arrest anyone they believe may have committed any public offense if the officer feels they have probable cause. It is a rather broad reaching law that leaves much to the officer in the field.

The problem I see is simple. Although most police officers are upstanding men and women who really do respect the citizens they serve, there are always a few who will take their power too far. They will step over the line in the name of the law. It is unfortunate, but it does happen more often than we would like. In this case, it could lead to racial profiling and that would be disastrous.

The problem as I see it is simple. The argument that Arizona is using is to combat crime that is rampant now. The facts tell a different story. Arizona’s population grew by over half a million between 2005 and 2008 while the crime rate declined. Violent crimes dropped by 1,500 incidents and property crimes fell by about 8,000 in the same time frame. The stats do not fit the argument they make.

I have already heard a report that a woman who was born in Arizona, raised in Arizona, and still lives in Arizona was forced to produce her birth certificate in order to not be arrested. I fear this will not be the last time we hear of an incident like this. From my own experience, I know that even second and third generation Mexican Americans have a distinctive accent. If an officer hears that, does he have the right to stop someone and force them to prove they are an American? This new law may have started something worse than what they are trying to avoid. Keep your eyes open.

Time will tell how this turns out. This new law may have started something worse than what they are trying to avoid. Keep your eyes open. It could get ugly.


♥Cari♥ said...

The biggest problem that I have with it is that a cop can pull you over or question you because he "suspects" you of being an illegal citizen. That strips so many of them down their of the rights....they can't even walk the street without proof of citizenship or else they could be carted off to jail. This opens many doors for discrimination and I think it's disgusting.

cwitgo said...

I agree. I did hear they made a change to the law. Now it specifically says the officer must be pulling a person over, either by car or on the street, for an obvious reason, not just suspicion. We'll see how it goes. I am still skeptical.

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