Wednesday, July 28, 2010

SB 1070 and ID

One of the memes going around wrt Arizona's SB1070 is the question: "Are you carrying proof of legal residency in the US right now?" The presumption is that many, if not most, forms of ID will not be accepted as proof of legal status. Legal immigrants, and citizens for that matter, would wind up being held until someone, somewhere, can be called in to present a birth certificate or something. Heather MacDonald addresses this in: Clueless L.A. Councilman Distorts the Arizona Law - Heather Mac Donald - The Corner on National Review Online

Los Angeles city councilman Ed Reyes deserves top billing on any updated compendium of idiocy for the following statement, made in anticipation of the Los Angeles City Council’s resolution to boycott Arizona:
As an American, I cannot go to Arizona today without a passport. If I come across an officer who's having a bad day and feels that the picture on my ID is not me, I can be . . . deported, no questions asked. That is not American.
It should not be necessary to rebut Councilman Reyes’s hysterical fabrications, but for his fellow members of the L.A. City Council, who compared Arizona’s law to Nazi Germany and to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, and for all those other grandstanding politicians who are busily denouncing Arizonans’ racism, a primer is apparently needed.

If Mr. Reyes was planning to fly to Arizona from L.A. (pre-boycott, of course), he would need either his driver’s license or his passport to get on a plane. So we had better add the TSA to the list of Holocaust-in-waiting perpetrators. The only way he could be “deported” is if he is in fact an illegal alien, and before that happens, there will be plenty of “questions asked” and other legal wrangling, thanks to decades of work from the immigration-law industry. The only way the police would have a chance to discover that he is an illegal alien is if he has given them lawful grounds to stop him, such as running a red light, driving drunk, or acting suspiciously enough to suggest imminent law-breaking — and then has given them further ground to suspect that he is in the country illegally, such as possessing no valid identification.

If, on the other hand, Mr. Reyes presents any form of valid government ID during the course of a lawful police stop, he will be presumed to be in the country legally, and there will be no inquiry into his immigration status. So if, after getting through the brownshirts at LAX, Mr. Reyes continued to carry his California driver’s license, he would have nothing to worry about in Arizona.

Interestingly enough, I haven't heard very many people voicing concerns about being hauled in, subjected to immigration checks, and possibly deported. You'd think, if people were worried about that, they'd avoid the state for reasons other than a desire to punish with a boycott.

Since Mr. Reyes and all the other boycotters are so convinced that the Arizona police are itching to abuse their rights under SB 1070, they would make a much better case against the law by actually traveling to Arizona and demonstrating to the world their mistreatment at the hands of the police. Until then, their unhinged denunciations of the law reveal only one thing: They are terrified that it will work.

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