Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Papiere, Bitte.

Or, in this case, "Documentos, por favor."

The Supreme Court knocked down three of the four provisions before them regarding the Arizona “Papers, Please” SB 1070 bill. The one they left in place was the provision that police could ask to see the identification of anyone AFTER THEY ARE ARRESTED. The racial profiling, pre-arrested, show-me-your-papers part of SB1070 was struck down. No matter what nut-job Republican Governor Jan Brewer and FOX “News” says.

The Left seems to think they scored a big victory, seeing as how 75% of the provisions were struck down. The Right seems to think that they scored a big victory, seeing as how the Supreme Court upheld the provision that police are able to arrest “illegals,” which they already could anyway.

What’s the reality of the situation?

Glad you asked.

First off, the heart of the bill was excised. The Supreme Court ruled that “detaining individuals solely to verify their immigration status would raise Constitutional concerns.” Which means, police can only arrest someone for actually breaking a law, not just ‘standing around looking illegal.’

Second, the Supreme Court did not rule the identification-after-arrest provision to be Constitutional. They ruled that they would wait to see it in action for a while because they did not have enough information to rule on its implications. So, if you’re an American citizen and you’re arrested for, say, stealing a candy bar, only after you’re detained for that crime can you be asked to provide proof that you’re a citizen. Can’t wait till the lawsuits start rolling in.

Third, if the whole bill were implemented, well, I’ll let Sheriff Clarence Dupnik of Pima County, Arizona take the mic: 

“Well, [SB1070] would have been a nightmare for law enforcement to try to implement.

One of the things that people don’t understand that right now, when we encounter aliens in conjunction with other stops that we make, we call the border patrol and turn them over immediately and that’s the end of it.

This law would have required us to charge them with a state misdemeanor, put them in our local jail, overcrowd the jail overnight, and then subject them to the local criminal justice system and overwhelm that system overnight, and then put them back in the Pima County jail for a sentence and then call the border patrol and turn them over for the border patrol. And then we’d have to send a huge tax bill to the local taxpayers.

People really didn’t understand what this law was all about. They thought we needed this law to arrest illegal immigrants. The fact of the matter is we have been detaining for the Feds for 54 years that I have been a cop, illegal immigrants and turning them over to the border patrol.”

Fourth, on the magnitude of the illegal immigration problem on Sheriff Dupnik’s part of the border right now compared with previous years, he says: 

“Two years ago, there was a study done by the government which showed that 12 years ago, we were arresting 80% more aliens than we are today. And that’s in spite of the fact that we have increased the border patrol’s presence threefold. So you would anticipate that they would be arresting more people.

The fact of the matter is with the exception of narcotics, drug smuggling, the border is more secure now than it ever has been in the past. Does that mean something to the Right? Not really, because they have taken the position that they’re going to try for the rest of their life that ‘until the border is secure, we’re not going to talk about reforming the system.’

And if you look at Berlin, they built this huge wall, put people with guns up there and shot people that tried to get over, and they couldn’t secure the border.” 

So, after all is said and done, SB1070 adds up to nothing more than a hollow policy of racism that solves no problems but creates a plethora of new ones while trying to make money for the politicians doing it. It sure does fire up the right-wing extremists, though, doesn’t it? What’s next on the Republican Party agenda of political posturing? “La Noche de los Cristales Rotos?” Pinning yellow crosses on Latinos? Forcing them to live in walled-up ghettos to bring them one step further along on the road to the “Final Solution?”

I’m looking forward to finding out. Their extremism seems to know no bounds.

Hey, in the meantime, maybe they could try sticking another attack on women, pro-life amendment  into a completely unrelated national flood insurance bill or something. Oh, wait…

Lawrence explains very clearly in this video just what the Supreme Court’s decision means for Arizona.

"[Arizona Governor] Jan Brewer is so unbalanced, she is legally cubist art."
- John Fugelsang

Good day.

Hey, I got through that entire thing without saying ‘fuck’ even once.


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