The Sky is Falling, The Sky is Falling
©2010, By David Talbot
When traveling in Israel the past three years, we’ve observed Israeli police periodically asking individuals for Identity Papers. We notice this as we drive around the country and as casual observers from our apartment terrace over looking the very busy Allenby-Hayarkon intersection in Tel Aviv.
Without exception, these individuals promptly hand over their ID cards and follow the instructions of the police. After a minute or two of what seems like casual conversation, the police hand the documents back and everyone goes on their way.
There are no demonstrations, although Israelis are passionate demonstrators. There are no threats of lawsuits for civil rights violations. There are no Al Sharptons calling for civil disobedience. There is no fear of racial profiling. Why? Because every Israeli knows who the terrorists are and what they plan on doing.
But here in Arizona, and across the country, liberals are reacting like Chicken Little to a new law, passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Brewer, last week Exactly what is it about this new law that has created a firestorm of criticism around the nation?
The new law defines illegal entry to the United States as a crime. But wait, didn’t we all know that already? Doesn’t the very term “Illegal” mean that an activity is criminal? So, there must be something else about this law that has liberals organizing protests, letter writing campaigns, and threatening legal action to make the law null and void.
The law defines “being here illegally” as a crime and establishes penalties for this illegal conduct, including fines and jail time. Further, this law allows law enforcement to ask for proof of immigration status, when a person is suspected of being in this country illegally. This provision of the law is what so many find problematic, with the potential of leading to racial profiling. (Why profiling is bad is totally baffling to Israelis.)
However, law enforcement may only question a persons immigration status when that person is observed, or is suspected of, some other illegal activity. So, a person detained by police for some suspected infraction of the civil or criminal code, may also have his immigration status questioned. If that person cannot prove he or she is here legally, they may be arrested.
Is this a radical departure from prior police procedure? Actually no, it is exactly the same. Except, prior to enactment of this law, persons here illegally were turned over to ICE and deported or set free, pending a hearing. Now, the detained person may be jailed and fined for being here illegally. That is in addition to the civil or criminal charges that person may face from the underlying act.
The question of “legalized racial profiling” is a total fiction fabricated by those who want no restriction on immigration and in fact lobby for open borders. Or, have a need to make political points with their constituents. Truth and accuracy are not critical components in their outrageous commentaries.
This law has shined a spotlight on the real issue, the lack of a national comprehensive immigration policy. To paraphrase President Obama, in the absence of a national policy, states will make policy of their own. In fact, Texas is now considering legislation using Arizona SB1070 as a model for their act.
Although a recent poll showed 71% of Arizona residents favor the new law, we welcome new residents and visitors regardless of Race, Religion, National Origin, Political Affiliation, and all legal immigration categories. Come and stay for a day, week, month, year, or a lifetime. But if you are in this country illegally and commit a crime here in Arizona, you’re going to jail.
Anyway, that’s my opinion.