promoting the unwanted, redheaded stepchild that is individual liberty

HB 1070: Profiling Implied

In Uncategorized on May 3, 2010 at 2:48 am

On Thursday, Republican Sen. Gary Nodler met with Missouri Southern students to talk politics. During the question and answer period, one woman asked Nodler his opinion on the Arizona immigration bill.

Twenty-three year old student Echo Essary brought up the issue of discrimination. However, Nodler dismissed the idea that the law advocates “racial profiling.”

But does Arizona HB 1070 indeed promote prejudice law enforcement?

Here are the more controversial exerts from the bill:

FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE, WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON.

A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, WITHOUT A WARRANT, MAY ARREST A PERSON IF THE OFFICER HAS PROBABLE CAUSE TO BELIEVE THAT THE PERSON HAS COMMITTED ANY PUBLIC OFFENSE THAT MAKES THE PERSON REMOVABLE FROM THE UNITED STATES.

It should be noted that HB 1070 was amended on Friday in an attempt to make the bill constitutionally correct. The amending legislation, HB 2162, changed the phrase “lawful contact” to “lawful stop, detention or arrest.”

However, HB 2162 only clarifies what constitutes legal contact. A “stop” can be legal — all that is needed is probable cause. As every person residing legally in the United States knows, probable cause can be anything from mud on your license plate to jaywalking.

So the problem has not been put to rest. The real controversy is that surrounding the phrase “REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN.” Arizona lawmakers have yet to clearly define what exactly would make a person suspect of being an “alien.”

So a person is lawfully stopped with probable cause present. What then suggests to the officer(s) the person is undocumented?

What Nodler and others refuse to recognize is that the Arizona law makes racial profiling nearly unavoidable. Both the plight and reaction of Arizonans is understandable. But let us be honest about the consequences their new legislation.

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  1. What people opposed to Arizona’s law fail to understand is that it’s only impact is upon people who are not in the United States legally. It’s not too hard for any reasonable person to understand what would constitute reasonable suspicion that a person is an undocumented alien. And, it is not a great imposition for anyone who is here legally to prove it… I have to show my driver’s license every time I’m stopped, but I don’t yell ‘racial profiling.’ If the Feds had done their job of protecting our borders, there would have been no need for Arizona to act to protect its citizens.

  2. My question regarding the “racial profiling” claim given here is a simple one, in the form of an analogy. Let’s say a crime has been committed, and the suspect is on the loose. Given the description of the suspect as a black male, approximately 6’1″, 210 pounds, wearing a red jacket, would it then be “racial profiling” for police to only stop black men around six feet tall wearing red jackets? Would they need to stop 85 year old ladies in black dresses to avoid accusations of racism? Or is it okay that they zero in on the most likely suspects, given what they know about the alleged perpetrator?

    The same thing applies in Arizona. The vast majority of illegal aliens there (not all, mind you, but the vast majority) are Mexicans. That’s mainly due to the shared border, obviously. Because of that fact, is it now wrong to be a little suspicious during a routine stop if the person you’ve stopped is A) Mexican, B) unable to show proof of citizenship, a visa, or a permanent address, and C) unable to speak English? Don’t they then fit the same reasonable description of the alleged suspect? Or are we going to once again require that the officers demand to see the green card of the 85 year old ladies just to be seen as being fair?

    Point is, when the crime is committed overwhelmingly by members of one ethnic group, how is it wrong to focus mainly on that ethnic group when looking for suspects? Not exclusively, of course, but mainly. If police pull over a Caucasian male who cannot show proof of citizenship, shows no permanent address, and speaks only Russian, there’s probably cause there too. But given the preponderance of numbers, the odds of that are fairly slim. If 90% + of certain crimes in a certain area are committed by certain groups, how is it profiling to focus on those groups? How is that not simply known as “good police work”?

    This law isn’t perfect by any means. But it’s a start. I had to chuckle over internet headlines that read “Illegal Immigrants Leaving Arizona Over New Law”. Think that breaks the heart of anyone in Arizona? No one wants to stop immigration. But we have to do something to stop illegal immigration. Since the federal government won’t do a thing about it for political reasons, it was up to the states to take over. Arizona has started the ball rolling. Let’s see where it takes us.

    • The purpose of this post was simply to show that the Arizona law makes racial profiling almost unavoidable — contrary to what some people are claiming.

  3. Jessica,

    You wrote “…the Arizona law makes racial profiling nearly unavoidable” So my first question is “And therefore…?”.

    I can’t believe the above two commenters have similar views to mine. Thus far my position is NOT in support or opposition to the law recently passed. I want to see how it plays out on the street and in overwhelming numbers of coming court cases.

    I will echo Bill O’Reilly and Bret Humme from last night in that the media coverage of this law and its implications has been abomnible, terrible, unbelievable, you name it.

    It is a current and long standing federal law for all aliens to carry proof of entry and/or residency into the United States “at all times”, just like I do with a passport when traveling or working overseas, even Mexico or Canada. Why should they not do the same here and why should that requirement not be enforced by federal, state and local officials? And don’t try the “it is a federal law and thus should only be enforced by feds”. Hogwash.

    Anson

  4. I want to preface my comment by saying I am hispanic. Lets look at the profile of the criminal. On the AZ border when any reasonable person sees a person who can’t speak english , has no Identification it would be reasonable to a blind man to “suspect” that the person “may ” be here illegal. This is just as reasonable for a blind man to suspect that someone had been drinking if they smell alcohol or speak with slurred speach. Whats important is that the profile of the crimE OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION in AZ is largley latino. If we were on the quebec border it would be a person with a french accent. Don’t blame common sense and reasonable suspicion that a Hispanic who can’t speak a lick of english and can’t produce any ID FOR RACISM ,,,,THATS JUST POLITICAL CORRECTNESS RUN AMUCK.

    That being said If I were mowing a lawn in AZ I as a American would not want to be stopped and questioned because of my looks ,,,,,however if I were stopped for speeding and had a very thick accent ,,,I would not be offended if asked for ID ANY MORE THAN IF THEY ASKED TO SEE MY INSURANCE CARD.Under the circumstances of whats going on these days on the border. Hispanic Americans have to reqlize that we Americans first. Our first Loyalty as with all people should be to the country of America not the countrys that we decended from.

  5. How can you pretend your “Redheaded Politics” is fair and unbiased?

    Your article “HB 1070: Profiling Implied” shows bias and is factually incomplete.

    Regarding the determination if an already lawfully detained person may be illegally in the US, I quote: “A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL … MAY NOT CONSIDER RACE, COLOR OR NATIONAL ORIGIN …”

    Where in that is there ANY room for profiling, implied or otherwise?

    You mentioned the revisions to the bill, but failed to mention that it now EXPRESSLY forbids the use of race/color in the determination of probable cause, leaving the uninformed reader with the impression that race/color WILL, and almost must, be used. Based on this article, I can only conclude your “Redheaded Politics” is just another biased rag publication which favors your feelings on a subject over the facts.

    Of course I’ll give you more than this one chance and read more articles, since this topic seems to have brought out premature judgements in many people.

    I hope you other articles will be not only fair in your criticism of both sides, but will do better to include ALL the salient facts on the topic you write on.

    • Mike,

      Actually, I must admit I did not read all of the amending legislation, HB 2162. I was concerned with the section concerning “lawful stop, detention or arrest” so that is what I studied.

      If I would have taken the time to read the entire legislation, I would have undoubtedly included the section forbidding racial discrimination. Not only in the interest of accuracy, but also because it shows the impossible nature of the bill — a bill who’s language attempts to be color blind while at the same time making racial profiling almost unavoidable.

      However, you have misquoted me. My blog, “Attempts to be fair and balanced in its critic of both the Left and the Right” — a jab at the not-so-fair-and-balanced FOX News. Perhaps we both should be more careful in the future.

      And any political blog claiming to be unbiased is not worth reading.

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