Yes. He heard what the folks were asking and responded. He also saw a way to use immigration as a wedge issue against the Republicans in November, and decided that it was a useful thing to do as well, which it is. The Congressional Republicans must now either continue to say that they will reject efforts on the Congressional level to pass immigration Reform, or support it. If they support it, they will tend to alienate the more Xenophobic of their base voters. If they continue to reject it, they can look at their efforts to convince potential Latino voters that Republicans are the party that understands Latino issues and supports them goodbye.
A great set of reasons to change course. It makes the Democrats feel that the President is flexible and responsive, and makes Republicans feels he's a flip-flopper. The Republicans thought that already. They're generally ready with something foul to say about the man, and this will just get lost in the ground clutter.
If the Republicans had decided to pick their shots, it might have some impact, though probably not too much. Ironically, the folks that might be most swayed by the arguments are the unions, who do not like the influx of illegals at all, and who are pretty protectionistic; but the Republicans have gone to such lengths to alienate them that it's going to be difficult to get the unions to listen to what the Republicans have to say. Reagan was able to do it, but there's nobody out there right now who has the common touch like Reagan did, at least on the Republican side of things.
asking me to specify a number is silly
Actually, Bob what is silly is saying occasionally, frequently, or all the time.
So taking time out for a personal swipe at my language use is fine. The fact that you asked me if I'd experienced anything like that sort of police behavior I'd mentioned and your getting an answer you didn't like was simply coincidental, was it? It was probably a coincidence that you raised the issue and didn't pursue it as well. Perhaps it's better to take a shot at me and pretend the issue didn't come up? I can understand that, Mike. It's simply an issue that, having once raised it, made you unbearably bored when it was addressed and which is now too much trouble for you to deal with in a reasonable way. You've mentioned this sort of thing to me before. You're not obligated to address issues you've brought up.
I'm sorry, I mean issues that I've responded to at your request.
No, no, no, that's issues that I bring up, isn't it? That's right!
Most arrests and detainings are probably on the basis of those things, and not on the basis of immigration status
I agree...and there is nothing in this law to change that.
Except that the percentage of arrests that can go wrong goes up. More arrests, more possibilities of mistake. And the people who will be arrested with a greater possibility of error will be racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically biased. Know a lot of people driving late model Beamers who get pulled over for problems with their tail-lights? Know a lot of white folks driving expensive late model cars who get pulled over in expensive neighborhoods because their driving looked a little erratic? Know a lot of folks in Million dollar homes who get pulled over because their description matches that of someone who comes over the scanner as being a suspect in a breaking and entering? They might match the description as well or better, you know?
It's possible. Really it is possible, but it's not as likely.
Having to check those folks for ID means that there will be a lot of them who don't have identification with country of origin on it.
They don't need ID with a country of origin....not sure where you came up with that one. I don't carry any ID that shows my country of origin, either. Acceptable id could be a driver's license, social security card, voter's registration card, credit cards and things that show you had to produce id to get them. Seriously, how many people do you know who DON'T walk around with any form of ID at all? I don't know any.
The law says that the officers may accept as proof of legality any of the following:
1. A VALID ARIZONA DRIVER LICENSE. 2. A VALID ARIZONA NONOPERATING IDENTIFICATION LICENSE. 3. A VALID TRIBAL ENROLLMENT CARD OR OTHER FORM OF TRIBAL
IDENTIFICATION. 4. IF THE ENTITY REQUIRES PROOF OF LEGAL PRESENCE IN THE UNITED STATES
BEFORE ISSUANCE, ANY VALID UNITED STATES FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT ISSUED IDENTIFICATION.
The Arizona License and the Arizona Nonoperating Identification License both include sections requiring statement of citizenship. Tribal enrollment card places a member of the tribe on legal footing by treaty in The United States. It would take a lawyer to untangle the meaning of the fourth requirement — (whose) legal presence in the United States before issuance (By whom and Of What document or thing). Sticking the grammatically obscure phrase"ANY VALID UNITED STATES FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT ISSUED IDENTIFICATION.[...]" on the end does little or nothing to clarify the meaning of the sentence. It only includes reassuring words, but does not specify what relationship they have to the rest of the section. They are, indeed, out of parallel with the rest of the section, which describes how one may prove National origin and legal right to be in the country.
Quite possibly, you missed Ringo's entry...
..since 1940, it has been a federal crime for aliens to fail to keep such registration documents with them. The Arizona law simply adds a state penalty to what was already a federal crime.
Actually, the exact statute is:
"(e) Personal possession of registration or receipt card; penalties
Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. Any alien who fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall upon conviction for each offense be fined not to exceed $100 or be imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both." http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/8/usc_sec_08_00001304----000-.html
If it has been a federal crime since 1940, what's the big hoopla now about actually enforcing it?
I really should find out more about this law, and will. In the meantime, the problem with enforcing is is a matter of Probably Cause. In 1940, there was no particular problem with violations of civil rights because of race, color, creed or national origin. Segregation was the law of the land. Lots of folks sympathized with Hitler and lots of folks thought that killing off inferior genetic material was just grand. Hitler pointed out that the American Eugenics movement was a big inspiration for him.
Lots of laws passed in that era would not pass the stink test today. Simply because a law is old and on the books doesn't mean it's a good or even constitutional law. It simply means it's still on the books. Lots of counties still have blue laws on the books. Some folks want to enforce them. Do you? There are probably some race laws still on the books in some jurisdictions. Do you want to try to enforce them? You can bet that some people do.
The argument you make about it being an old law and all we need to do is enforce it is simplistic and perhaps risible. It needs to be legal today, and not simply a relic that's been proven obsolete by Supreme court decision made since that time.
Has it been tested and is it still a valid law?
That would be, off the top of my head, the initial big hoopla about simply enforcing it.
In terms of Probable Cause, how do you form a reasonable suspicion that somebody is in violation of this law? In other words, what does an Alien look like, and how is that different from what a citizen looks like or sounds like?
It gets folks into the same potentially racist trap as they are trying to avoid with the amendments to the current Arizona law. Racial profiling, ethnic profiling, and states taking over the functions of the Federal government are all potential areas of constitutional conflict here. There may be more.