Monday, May 3, 2010

Arizona Immigration Law Debate

As a follow-up to my own post regarding the Arizona Immigration Law, which I still don't support, I stumbled upon a brief article on the same act. Peter Wehner, a former staff-writer in the first term of George W. Bush and aide to Bill Bennett, writes:

Still, I would oppose the law (as does Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, and Karl Rove, among others) on the grounds that it potentially changes for the worse the relationship between the community and the local and state police and risks treating some people as guilty until proven innocent. The Arizona law, in my estimation, nudges things a bit in that direction, which concerns me.

The article is well reasoned and clearly written while not being too wild on either side. It also contains links to a debate by two journalists, Michael Gerson of The Washington Post and Byron York of the Washington Examiner.

Ultimately, as someone who sees free (or relatively-free) immigration as compatible not only with Catholicism, but also conservativism and capitalistic-economics, this law is wrong, in my opinion. And more importantly, the law also seems to pertain of future, even more-drastic legislative decisions.


Tim said...

Which law is wrong, Arizona Law or the Federal Law that it mirrors?

Brandon said...

I haven't read this thing, so all I know is what I read in newspapers, and if it's the case that police can stop someone on the street for suspicion of being illegal, that's problematic and probably not going to get by legal challenges. If they can question legal status as a scondary violation that seems fine. But I don't know which is going on (or will go on) because you can't trust newspapers/internet anymore (if you ever could).

Daniel A said...

Brandon, the law does not allow you to stop someone because you think they're illegal. That was a misrepresentation of the law that most of the media fell into (for whatever reason). Your second characterization is more accurate, with the added qualification that before one can question the legal status, one must have a "reasonable suspicion," a term of art which has a long history in itself.