Friday, April 30, 2010

Arizona has passed a very bad law

The state of Arizona has recently passed a new law that persecutes latino-American citizens in the name of controlling immigration from Mexico.

Arguing about this law with conservatives makes my head explode.

This law is simply bad law. Only the Supreme Court can determine whether it is unconstitutional, yet one conservative after another declares it is constitutional. Evidently being a talking head on Fox gives you insight into the future decisions of SCOTUS.

But we can all see it is bad law, because it moves us closer to a police state, in which all private actions are closely watched by the police and no one is ever safe from police interference.

The law does not define what is "reasonable suspicion". It is vague and general, and relies on the discretion of the individual, unsupervised police officer. Whether there is proof the law will be abused is beside the point. The fact is, it could be abused, because it offers no guidelines for the police.

Some have assumed that the legislature would not have passed the law if they believed it to be unconstitutional. This is obviously not true. Laws are passed because the politicians believe their constituents want them passed. So this is a politically motivated law.

What is that motivation?

Many people of Arizona do not like latino immigrants. Furthermore, they have no objection to subjecting citizens of latino heritage to harassment by the police. So the legislature and governor scored political points by giving them a new law. Yielding to bigots and racists is not a good reason to create a new law.

Many people of Arizona are upset that the federal government has not resolved the issue of immigration. So the legislature passed the law to send a message to the federal government that immigration reform is necessary. By doing so, many of them must have realized that the states cannot legislate in areas where federal law takes precedence. Passing a bad law to punish the federal government makes no sense.

Many politicians of Arizona would like to make a popular gesture in an election year. This includes many Senators and Representatives, the very people that are responsible for making improvements to immigration laws. But these people are ducking their responsibility. Instead of taking responsibility for bad laws and making better ones, they blame the poor and powerless, the ones who are the targets of this very bad law.

This is a very bad law

1. Because it is at least partially motivated by racial hatred.
2. Because it is at least partially motivated by political animosity.
3. Because it permits the harassment and imprisonment of American citizens for the crime of being brown.

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