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Feds improve Arizona immigration law–by accident

Post by Brian O'Neill on July 31, 2010 at 10:25 am with 3 Comments »
July 31, 2010 12:58 pm

When the courts wade into police procedures it usually means life is about to get more difficult for cops, yet the opposite is true in Arizona.

Key portions of the new immigration law, which went into effect on Thursday, were tossed out by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton. The judge ruled that a requirement for officers to ascertain the legal status of any suspected foreign national not only impinged on federal authority, it also exposed far too many law-abiding and documented people to seizure.

In short, Judge Bolton gave police officers that most treasured of tools: discretion.

Cops are no longer required to substantiate the legal status of a suspected alien. Absent this ruling, last Thursday would have been the beginning of a wave of arrests by police that would have satisfied no one. Not the taxpayers who would have to pay for incarcerating huge numbers of illegal aliens (and legally residing individuals without proper documentation), not the politicians on both sides of the aisle who would be wading through the backlash, and not the cops.

This result would have added one more burdensome task to a job where paperwork, not public safety, is occupying more and more of an individual officer’s shift. This law, as written, would have created a sweeping and fundamental change for every municipal and county law enforcement agency in the manner of handling street contacts.

By example, consider the following scenarios: 1) police detain a family stopped for speeding on the way to the movies; 2) police detain a gang-banger arrested for a drive-by shooting. Arizona’s law required that both scenarios be treated equally in terms of status verification. But the federal court ruling has removed this absurdity, once again allowing Arizona law enforcement officers to use the judgment for which they were screened and trained to utilize.

Nobody likes to be told how to do their jobs. Especially by politicians.

Leave a comment Comments → 3
  1. FreeAmerica says:

    “Nobody likes to be told how to do their jobs. Especially by politicians.”

    So….Who should make the laws for the police to enforce?
    Police themselves?
    Like the inmates running the jail.

  2. scott0962 says:

    Yes, it does make the job of police officers easier when courts tell them which laws not to enforce.

    Let’s hope we never experience problems because of our international border like Arizona does because our cops wouldn’t be able handle it in a fair and professional manner without violating people’s rights. Apparently only Federal law enforcement officals are able to do that, no doubt because their badges are different or they get some sort of training that state and local law enforcement don’t have access to.

  3. Roncella says:

    Brian, Arizona’s, and Texas and Calif.’s problems are over or at least less severe.

    All day friday on many Cable Channel came the news that Washington State and Utah and New Mexico are the new Destination states for illegal Mexicans and other illegals to move to. Washington offers the most benifits along with attaining a drivers license without proof of citizenship or residence.

    Governor Gregoire has better find alot more money as all these illegal Mexicans arrive in Washington State. They will be bringing crime and gangs and large families that will cause more problems than we have already.

    Maybe the Governor can open up some kind of camps as we had in World War Two, to help all the new arrivals get adjusted in their new suroundings.

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