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Grimm, Allegretti Take on McMahon on Immigration…But Do They Know What They’re Talking About?

May 2, 2010

Newsflash: Mike Grimm and Michael Allegretti disagree with Michael McMahon on an issue.

Not exactly news.

What is news is how these two men have ignored the obvious problems in Arizona’s recent immigration bill, something a true independent-minded Republican or libertarian-mided person would not miss.

As you may know, Arizona recently passed a new law. The full text is here.

The provisions that are getting a lot of attention:

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. THE PERSON’S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c).

and

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.

Michael Allegretti had this to say regarding the Arizona measure:

“Congress’ failure to act on immigration has caused the problem that exists in our country today. While I may not agree with everything involved with this law, I strongly support Arizona’s right to take action here, because nothing has been done since Ronald Reagan was President. ”

The problem of up to 17 million illegal immigrants in our country is a serious one. We cannot allow people to live in the shadows. We cannot allow people to be a drain on our resources, our schools, our hospitals, and our tax dollars. When congress failed to act in 2007, under then President Bush, the problem, like so many in our country, was pushed aside.”

Is that “problem” greater than the potentiality of an unstable police state fostering a system of questioning people for, say, speaking in a foreign language? Having a certain color skin? Being born with the last name “D’Anconia (Francisco, eat your heart out)?”

Not to mention, for all you people who love the constitution out there: isn’t this a federal issue?

That’s the position of a recent darling of the conservative right: Marco Rubio, senatorial candidate in Florida.

Fox News recently had this to say regarding Mr. Rubio’s stance on the issue:

After officially filing as a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in the Florida race on Tuesday ,Marco Rubio became the most notable member of the GOP to distance himself from the controversial Arizona immigration law that is quickly becoming a hot-button issue in the 2010 political cycle. Rubio, the Cuban-American son of Cuban exiles, said that while he sympathized with the border state for trying to remedy a “broken border”  infused with drug violence spill-over from Mexico , the new law could have ”  unintentional  and unintended consequences” and would require a “police state” to enforce it.

“I think everyone is concerned with the reasonable  suspicion provisions where people could be pulled over because someone suspects they may not be legally in this country, ” Rubio said to reporters. ” I think people will grow uncomfortable with that,  and that’s why I think the sense of urgency here needs to be a legal immigration system that works for America and that begins with border security, and tightening up the visa process.”

Rubio fully blamed the federal government for failing to secure the border, but  hoped that the Obama administration would not use the controversy to push amnesty…

As for Mike Grimm, he had this to say:

“For too long, Congress has sat on the sidelines as millions of illegal immigrants have crossed our borders… Congress’ inability to deal with this problem has led states like Arizona to act independently of the federal government…. It seems to me that Mike McMahon–who doesn’t even have a plan to deal with the issue–prefers the status quo, which is providing nothing more than amnesty to those here in this country illegally.”

Mr. Grimm, I wonder what your beloved endorser Rudy Giuliani would have to say about your position?

He supported the “sanctuary city” status of New York?. He did so, I believe, because the federal government was not doing its job on the issue, as well:

So, in other words, when faced with the choice Arizona had, Giuliani chose sanctuary over police state. Likely, that’s because Giuliani, intelligent man that he is, realized the plain fact that the city did not have the resources to “round up” illegal immigrants in this city.

Besides that, illegal immigrants and newly legalized immigrants, like it or not, Mr. Grimm, are a vital part of our local economy here in Brooklyn. Good luck with the small business owners who run restaurants and stores in the 13th CD.

They won’t be too pleased with your position, I would think.

Now, let’s be clear: the fact is the federal government has every right and should, under the constitution, protect and defend our borders. A core libertarian tenet of government (one of the few absolutely necessary acts of a federal government) is securing our homeland.

But the fact is that the law, as it is, would allow Arizona to resemble, in the worst case senario, a police state, as Mr. Rubio pointed out.

That is something I, as a libertarian, cannot support.

Hopefully Mr. Grimm and Mr. Allegretti will get wise to these problems, as well.

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12 Comments
  1. Young Republican permalink
    May 3, 2010 7:49 am

    I’m not sure where the constitution prohibits states from protecting their borders. Is this the ideal law? Probably not. But am I going to sit here in Brooklyn and judge Arizonans? Also not. I’m no expert on libertarianism, but I would assume that one of its principles is to respect a peoples’ right to create its own laws and determine how it wants to live without outsiders interfering. I wouldn’t want Arizonans coming out and protesting against our laws that we choose to live under here in New York, (though I’m sure that they don’t approve of many of our laws, and many of our laws do infringe on liberty,) and I treat them with the same respect.

    New York’s crime problem was very different than Arizona’s problem. The vast majority of crime being committed in NYC was by US nationals so making a law like the one in AZ would obviously be useless and perhaps counterproductive. In AZ on the other hand, the vast majority of crime, (the kidnappings, the executions, human trafficking, drug wars etc.) is being committed by illegal immigrants, so a law like this one might be a necessary response.

    What is interesting about those worried about having a cop stopping random people and asking them for their papers, (and I spent two years in Russia, and I know what a pain in the ass it is to always have to carry your passport and visa whenever you leave your house, and how much “fun” it is when you forget,) the federal government for years has had this law on its books but is was not enforced. Any federal immigration enforcement officer can do the same in any city in any state, what this law does it gives the state police the same ability to enforce federal immigration law.

    • May 3, 2010 12:52 pm

      But as a libertarian I believe that Constitutional Law trumps State law. If the Constitution protects every individual’s right to liberty, privacy, and property (or the property of their own being- self-ownership), then yes, Arizona’s law is unconstitutional and someone needs to point that out.

      We need to differentiate between “democracies” and “republics”. Nowhere in our Constitution does the word “democracy” even show up because democracies have been known to elect tyrants and bring out the “tyranny of the majority”. However, Article IV, Section IV does guarantee every state a “republican form of government.” Republics abide by laws to protect citizens, not infringe upon their citizens rights.

      This is a border issue, not a state issue. If the problem is at the border, settle it there- not in the states. Arizona, New York, whatever State – it doesn’t matter. State’s cannot pass laws that do not comply with the Constitution. That’s why it’s there.

      • Young Republican permalink
        May 3, 2010 2:26 pm

        We probably agree on much, I don’t like democracies as I don’t like mob rule, I believe in individual liberty, but together with that I don’t claim the right to tell others how to live. I don’t think I have the right to tell Israel what to do, or Honduras or Arizona. Don’t get confused between state constitutions enacted by the people they affect, and the federal constitution. Look at it this way, imagine that the UN would decide that it could make laws and that its law trumps any member state’s law. That is what has happened here. Several states chose to create a union and created a federal constitution, the federal government has since grown way out of its intended size, and on top of that it decided – unilaterally – that its laws trump state laws. If anything state legislatures are closer to the people and are entirely elected by the people they affect, so their laws should override the federal congress who is mostly elected by people who are not Arizonans (or New Yorkers when it comes to laws that affect us).

        The ultimate responsibility to protect yourself lies with yourself. Government is supposed to protect but I wouldn’t wait around too long for them. Arizona has waited for many years for the federal government to act but it has failed and now Arizonans are compelled to do what they think is necessary to protect themselves. I may disagree with the decision they made, but I will not disagree that it was their decision to make.

        What I think people fail to realize is that these laws have been on the federal books for years and that today a federal officer can stop anyone in any state who he believes to have “probable cause” that the person is here illegally and arrest them if they don’t have “papers.” Is this wrong? I may think so, and on federal issues I can voice my opinion because it affects all of us, but I don’t think it is my place to tell another state how to take care of its own business.

    • Roy is Right permalink
      May 3, 2010 5:33 pm

      Whether Arizona has these serious issues or not, they have to come up with laws that don’t conflict with federal laws and that don’t threaten people’s basic rights. That’s what the constitution would require. It has nothing to do with us “judging” them. It’s about what’s constitutional and what’s not. That’s all.

      Roy, outstanding.

  2. Roy Is Wrong permalink
    May 3, 2010 10:11 pm

    Local law enforecement has the duty to support and uphold the law of the land. The Arizona law mandates that local law enforcement enforce the Federal Immigration Laws that are on the books as I write this comment.

    The Arizona authorities have the right to stop and inquire any time that the have “probable cause” to believe that Federal Immigration laws are being violated. This is identical to the authority of Federal Officers, and it is how they are charged to enforce the law.

    There is nothing apparently unconstitutional in the wording of the Arizona Law. Whether the practices of the local autorities pass constitutional muster is yet to be litigated.

    • May 3, 2010 10:16 pm

      That’s like saying, “Welfare kind of looks Constitutional” but realizing that the only way welfare can exist is if you steal money from one social class and give to another, which is in fact unconstitutional.

      So, the wording of the Arizona State law may look nice on paper, but in practice, racial profiling is the only way to practice that law. If they somehow manage not to do that, then wonderful for them.

      I do respect Arizona for passing such a law on its own, though. It’s a way of pointing out the faults of the Federal government- that I do respect and agree with. It’s just the manner by which it may be carried out has the potential of being unconstitutional.

    • Roy Is Right permalink
      May 3, 2010 11:49 pm

      Um, aren’t you forgetting federal conflict preemption, Mr. “Roy Is Wrong”?

      • Young Republican permalink
        May 4, 2010 2:05 pm

        Arizona has no immigration laws of its own, (that conflict with federal law,) all it is it make federal immigration law state law. So not only have you violated federal law, you have also violated state law. State law enforcement officers in AZ can only do what INS officers are aloud to do under current federal law. It doesn’t conflict with federal law, it is federal law being enforced on the state level. At any time if the federal gov’t changes its immigration laws, AZ’s laws will automatically change with it. AZ law can only be unconstitutional if the federal immigration laws are unconstitutional, because they are the same law. (The only reason there hasn’t been outrage before about the federal law is because it was hardly enforced, now that someone is actually going to enforce it, everybody is up in arms…)

      • Roy Is Right permalink
        May 4, 2010 5:16 pm

        With all due respect, Young Republican, you don’t seem to understand what conflict preemption is.

        The Arizona law says:

        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.

        The federal immigration laws only allow a state officer to arrest an illegal alien that “has previously been convicted of a felony in the United States and deported or left the United States after such conviction.”

        The Arizona law authorizes arrest even without a showing of a prior felony. That goes far beyond what the federal law allows them to do, which, under conflict preemption, likely makes the law void. States can’t make laws that go outside of concurrent enforcement of federal laws on the books. This one does, it would appear.

        Hope that makes sense.

  3. Still Wrong permalink
    May 3, 2010 10:20 pm

    Enough,said.

  4. May 3, 2010 11:59 pm

  5. Charley Dickanus says: NONSENSE permalink
    May 4, 2010 11:42 pm

    But there is no conflict, Arizona seeks to enforce the Federal Law and policy.

    If the failure to enforce the Federal Law creates a hiatus in the “Immigration Policy” of THESE United States, the inherent police power of the “States” enshrined in the 10th Amendment and the Common Law are sufficient authority for a state like Arizona to act and/or enact. It’s kind of tough to argue the preemption doctrine when the feds have abandoned the field.

    In addition, if Arizona can show an “overriding state interest” even a fundamental constitutional right can be abbrogated. The various anti-profiling decisions of the Federal Courts will mean NOTHING if the threat is grave enough. But grave threats are merely a matter of perception, right?

    btw, soon enough we (we being all non-Islamic Americans) all will be begging all kinds of Latinos to come into the USA as the Islamic population in the USA approaches real numbers like 25% of the population, oh in about 25 years. A Charles Martel, Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, John Sobieski III and Leopold Hapsburg would look on this so-called Constitution as a “Death Pact” for “our” view western civilization, including yeah, The Constitution. Catch 22!

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