by Jared O’Brien
Robert Krentz was a 58-year-old good Samaritan Arizonan who was murdered at the hands of illegal immigrants. For many in Arizona this was the final straw. Arizonans, fed up with the ineffectualness of the federal government and fearing for their safety, passed Senate Bill 1070.
Phoenix is not only the capital city of Arizona, but it is also the kidnapping capital of the United States. With 350 reported kidnappings last year, Phoenix only trails Mexico City globally. What do the two metropolitan cities have in common? Drug cartel violence. The blood from the violence is spilling over the border.
So it is no wonder the overwhelming majority of the people in Arizona and the United States support the law. A Rasmussen poll found that 70% of likely Arizonan voters supported the law compared to only 23% against the law. This support is despite efforts of the media and out-of-state politicians to unfairly and meritlessly villainize our forty-eighth state.
The federal government, whose negligence on the immigration issue forced Arizona to protect itself, is flaming with empty rhetoric. The same president that falsely accused the Cambridge police officer of acting “stupidly” says the law is “misguided.” President Obama created an illogical hypothetical situation of a family going out for some ice cream and being harassed because they left their papers at home.
Perhaps the critics should actually read the bill before criticizing it. Attorney General Eric Holder is under fire for saying the bill encouraged racial profiling and he also questioned its constitutionality. He later admitted he had not actually read the bill but had “glanced” at it.
The bill specifically prohibits racial profiling. The law states that an officer will only intervene if they have probable cause to believe that the person has committed any public offense. A person must be caught doing suspicious activities before he will be questioned.
Probable cause is used in the Fourth Amendment and has been defined by court cases so that everyone has a general idea as to when a police officer will intervene. Safe to say, law enforcement will be wary of questioning suspected illegals because the first mistake will garner national attention. Though the first deportation of a drug smuggler will probably not make the evening news.
Opponents also criticize the law for mandating legal immigrants carry documents at all times. Federal law already requires this as “every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card.” Carrying around a green card is a small price to pay for living in the U.S.
This Arizona law simply allows Arizona law enforcement to enforce federal laws that the federal government is failing to abide by. Senate Bill 1070 is constitutional as it does not exceed federal laws and nothing in Article I Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution, which is about powers prohibited to states, forbids Arizona from passing this popular bill.
America is a land of immigration, legal immigration. Thank you Grand Canyon State for upholding the laws. We should emulate Arizona, not persecute it. This law is not the final solution to fix immigration. The solution is for the federal government to protect our borders because that is its constitutional right. Instead of wastefully spending, answer Arizona’s plea for help and prevent another tragedy like Robert Krentz from happening.