The new law, which takes effect by August of this year, gives more power to law enforcement in containing what is clearly an out-of-control influx of people crossing our borders and getting into this country without the proper documentation. It has been applauded by many, including Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose tough crackdowns have made him a hero in the anti-illegal immigration community.
Its detractors say it will result in racial profiling. So what?
The fact of the matter is that we don't have blond-haired blue-eyed people sneaking across the southern border to get into this country, just as we don't have 80 year old grandmothers attempting to hijack planes and slam them into buildings. The fact is that it is Mexicans breaking the law to cross the border illegally, so they are the ones who are going to be scrutinized under the new Arizona law, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Brewer has vowed to implement training courses for officers to learn what constitutes reasonable suspicion someone is in the U.S. illegally. But civil rights advocates vowed to challenge the law in court, saying it would lead to racial profiling despite the governor's assurances. Republican Sen. Russell Pearce, the sponsor of the bill, said "This is not about profiling. They're worried about the laws being enforced."
Current law doesn't require police officers to ask about the immigration status of those they encounter, and in many departments they are actually prohibited from inquiring out of fear of offending Hispanics and that they will not cooperate in criminal investigations or report crimes. This new Arizona law unties the hands of law enforcement officials, giving them a greater opportunity to nab violent criminals and drug dealers.
The new measure also toughens restrictions on hiring illegal immigrants for day labor and knowingly transporting them. When one takes into account that there are roughly 460,000 illegal immigrants in Arizona and that it is the state with the most illegal border crossings, the new law was long overdue in protecting the citizens.
Barack Obama has referred to the legislation as "misguided", and has instructed the Justice Department to examine it for its legality. He said that the failure to enact immigration reform in Washington left the door open to the "irresponsibility by others." But Obama and the Democrats idea of immigration reform is to fast-track citizenship of illegals and to put them on the public dole. Obama and the Democrats also do not want to offend their Hispanic voter base.
One cannot of course lay this entirely at the feet of Obama. President Bush was also in favor of this type of amnesty, as was John McCain, who, now that he is fighting for his senate seat, has changed his tune and is calling for the military to be placed on the border.
The Mexican government has condemned the approval of the law" and "the criminalization of migration." Mexican President Felipe Calderon's office said in a statement Saturday that the law will serve as an obstacle as Mexico and Arizona try to solve the shared problems along the border.
If anything, this new law should serve as a warning to Mexico that it's time for them to get their act together and do more to keep their people from crossing our borders illegally.
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