Your Papers, Please? Boycott Arizona

(Photo credit: Archiwum Panstwowe w Krakowie)

Via John Wesley Hall (aka Last Night in Little Rock) at FourthAmendment.com:

AZ: State immigration law signed; what does an illegal alien look like?

The Arizona state immigration bill, S.B. 1070, was signed into law by the Governor yesterday. It permits detention on reasonable suspicion of being an illegal alien, and the burden apparently is on the detainee to prove he or she is a citizen. How does one prove citizenship? Carry your birth certificate? Won't the footprint be a little dated? No picture on a birth certificate. Isn't the burden of proof in a warrantless detention on the government? Doesn't the Fourth Amendment protect illegals the undocumented already inside the U.S.? It has to [in order]to protect the rest of us.

Arizona's S.B. 1070 makes a mockery of our Constitution. Congress needs to put immigration reform front and center now and pass legislation that would invalidate S.B. 1070 and prevent other states from following in its footsteps. [More...]

Boycott Arizona. If you've got a meeting or seminar scheduled there, follow the lead of The American Immigration Lawyers which has canceled their fall national convention at the Scottsdale Marriott.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Godwin's law by image. . . (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 03:39:41 PM EST
    Substantively, of course, I agree with you.

    I think you may mean to refer to (none / 0) (#6)
    by Peter G on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 05:15:03 PM EST
    a reductio ad Hitlerum, rather than to Godwin's Law. Godwin contends that comparisons to Nazism are not inherently unacceptable, erroneous or fallacious, but only that the likelihood of encountering one increases as the length of an internet argument continues.

    My experience is (none / 0) (#7)
    by andgarden on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 05:21:50 PM EST
    that Godwin's law has come to refer to any unnecessary comparison to the Nazi state.

    "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Peter G on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 08:34:21 PM EST
    "which is to be master -- that's all."

    I predict an injunction will be issued (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Saul on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 04:56:04 PM EST
    before this  bill comes into play.  Some federal judge will say its unconstitutional.

    Amazing how politicians will do anything to save their hide.   Last year McCain was for pursing a responsible immigration bill.  Now that he is behind in the polls in his state he makes a 180 and supports this stupid bill.  

    There are only a handful of politicians you can claim are honest and don't change their beliefs at any whim.

    Remember this bill is wide in its definition of asking who is an legal immigrant.  Why couldn't the police, especially those who are against this bill start using the stupid bill to  stop all white people and see if they are legal.  I say this just so it backfires on the lawmakers and then  the white people start griping because they are being challenged to see if they are legal immigrants also.  You are white yes but maybe you are an illegal German or Irish immigrant.  Seems that the bill can investigate anybody regardless of color.

    In theory, everyone is fair game (none / 0) (#8)
    by caseyOR on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 06:16:30 PM EST
    in Arizona. Gov. Brewer has said that the law is not about brown people;that people of all colors will be stopped and asked for their papers, whatever these papers are. Supposedly, law enforcement will receive training to avoid racial profiling.

    I am still confused as to what these magic "papers" are that everyone will have to carry and present on demand.


    True, otherwise the law (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by KeysDan on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 06:21:31 PM EST
    would be unfairly discriminatory, and Arizona would not stand for that:}

    I got papers for them... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by kdog on Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 07:56:13 AM EST
    recently used toilet papers...check the watermark on those you authoritarian freaks.

    GOod Idea (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by squeaky on Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 10:23:57 AM EST
    Time to get some toilet paper printed up to say Arizona "Papers", maybe a bit of the  nuremberg trial for good measure..

    Just like they did with John Yoo toilet paper in Berkeley


    Almost sounds like you need to carry (none / 0) (#10)
    by andgarden on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 06:25:56 PM EST
    your passport.

    Most Americans don't have a (none / 0) (#11)
    by caseyOR on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 06:31:28 PM EST
    passport. I don't think people living in or venturing to Arizona are going to like coughing up $135 per passport.

    Requiring a passport to visit Arizona just makes it more like Mexico, not less, right?


    Honestly, I don't think we'll get that far (none / 0) (#12)
    by andgarden on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 06:46:17 PM EST
    This law seems to suffer from a number of insurmountable infirmities.

    wait ... (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by nyrias on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 10:10:30 PM EST
    do they actually have a LIST of what documents are acceptable and what is not?

    BTW, Boycotting is NOT the solution.

    The solution is to EMBARRASS them with hidden camera. Some hispanic congressman should travel into Arizona incognito and see they got detained. And make a big deal out of it on national tv.

    There is only one acceptable document possible (none / 0) (#22)
    by Mitch Guthman on Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 12:20:35 AM EST
    As a practical matter, there is only one document which might be acceptable, namely, a US passport for a US citizen or a resident alien card ("green card").  A driving license is not necessarily proof of citizenship since it's actually possible to obtain a license without being a US citizen or legal resident.  By the way, this turns out to be true even in Arizona.

    Moreover, if the Hispanic congressperson should travel to Arizona, he or she had better bring a passport because police have a perfect right to engage anyone in conversation and (based upon their observations) develop (or lie about having developed, depending on your point of view) non-racial or ethnic reasons for suspecting that the person isn't in the country legally.  At which point the officer can ask that person for his or her papers and, if they aren't produced or are not in order, the officer can place that person under arrest.

    By the way, people like Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio aren't really capable of being embarrassed into changing their ways and neither are the people who keep reelecting him. Joe Arpaio, in particular, has been an international embarrassment for years and it's only made him more popular at home.

    Hopefully, though, the feds will find enough people brave enough to testify against him and they'll toss him in the pokey for the next twenty or thirty years (and maybe make him wear a pink jumpsuit---that would be justice!)


    A better approach to attacking this law? (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by Mitch Guthman on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 11:21:20 PM EST
    After giving this some thought, I think focusing on "racial profiling" (whatever that is when it's at home) is a serious mistake.  I think the law's greater vulnerability is the fact that it appears to give police officers virtually unfettered discretion in making custodial arrests of anybody not in possession of a valid US passport or a "green card".  There are simply no other documents that will serve and in their absence, there is no proof of citizenship or legal residency.  Clearly, then, anyone not personally known to the officer can be suspected of being in the country illegally (which, by the way, can also mean working on a student visa or a Canadian or an Aussie overstaying a tourist visa).

    American law imposes essentially no restrictions on a police officer's ability to initiate an "encounter" with someone by, for instance, simply walking up to that person and introducing himself.  At that point, he is free to use what observations he makes and whatever information he is able to gather to determine whether there is a basis for detaining that person and, in Arizona, asking him to produce his papers for inspection.

    Consider also that the Arizona law apparently doesn't limit the basis on which a police officer can question a "suspect's" citizenship or legal residence.  So, again, if the police officer does not have some kind of personal knowledge that the "suspect" is probably a citizen or legal resident, the officer is entitled under the law to ask for papers and he is also free to draw reasonable conclusions about the "suspect's" residency status based on that person's answers (or refusal to answer) or his inability to produce papers or (and this will be the big one) observations about the "suspect's" demeanor such as a "guilty appearance" or hesitation in answering questions about his place of birth, miscellaneous suspicious stuff, etc.  Don't forget that there are literally thousands of "street encounters" or Terry stops every day that lead to arrests and, by and large, unless the officer is a total jerk, the courts have traditionally hesitated to second guess even where the initial encounter is entirely based on a hunch.

    I think we can all see where this is going.  There will, of course, be "specialized training in detecting illegal aliens", including the various "indicators" of illegal status and no doubt all Arizona police officer will be instructed not to make stops or initiate street encounters based upon race.  But I don't that that kind of thing---which we've seen in other contexts---will be enough to save this particular atrocity of a statute.

    Here's why I think that: There are a surprisingly large number of cases, decided over a significant period of time and litigated mainly in the context of loitering and vagrancy statutes which say, essentially, that you can't write a statute that gives the police totally unfettered discretion because this tends to encourage arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement.  (See, e.g., Papachristou v. City of Jacksonville, 405 U.S. 156, 168--171, 92 S.Ct. 839, 31 L.Ed.2d 110)[An oldie but still a goodie!].

    The big law review article in this area (which I suspect we'll all be reading if this gets litigated) is still Prof. Anthony Amsterdam's , Federal Constitutional Restrictions on the Punishment of Crimes of Status, Crimes of General Obnoxiousness, Crimes of Displeasing Police Officers, and the Like (3 Crim.L.Bull. 205)  Still the best analysis and its one of the few articles on the subject written in English as opposed to academic gobbledygook.  If the ACLU goes after the Arizona law this article will have pride of place in their briefs.

    Amsterdam mainly focuses on the existence of meaningful guidelines as a genuine constraint on police behavior as a way of evaluating necessarily vague statutes.  Basically, if the law leaves determination (like vagrancy or, arguably, whether someone in a legal resident) solely up to the discretion of the police officer, that's bad.  In the context of the Constitutionally of vagrancy laws he says: "As has been said with respect to such 'satisfactory account' requirements in vagrancy statutes, 'It takes little imagination to perceive that the 'reasonable account' (or 'good account' or 'satisfactory account') requirement of the ordinary vagrancy law operates simply as a charter of dictatorial power to the policeman.'  Thus, whether or not a suspect is hauled off to jail for suspicious loitering depends, for all intents and purposes, upon the whim of the policeman". (Amsterdam, op. cit., p. 223.)(internal citations omitted)(emphasis added).

    Sorry for the really, excessively long and meandering post but I want to highlight that racial profiling isn't the strongest argument against the constitutionally of this law----I think the fact that what you really get is a law that allows a police officer to make a custodial arrest, basically anytime he wants to, of almost any American not is possession of his or her passport is the real weakness of the law.

    I have long thought that boycotts (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Jen M on Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 08:22:31 AM EST
    Should have two "faces" for lack of me thinking up a better word.

    Yes, organizations and individuals should boycott Arizona -- except for Hispanic organizations and individuals. American citizens of Hispanic descent should flock to Arizona like protesters to DC.

    Demand Phoenix' removal from consideration (4.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Ben Masel on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 04:50:49 PM EST
    as Host City for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

    (stupid idea even before this law, why give Sheriff Arpaio a chance to sabotage via a bloody police riot on anti-War protests?  See 1968, 2000)

    "F" Goodwin. (3.50 / 2) (#2)
    by 1980Ford on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 03:52:16 PM EST
    Call a club a club and I'll take Orwell over Goodwin any day. This is what happens when cops grow up to make the laws and what happens when so many have blind faith in the police state. We've been 1984ed.

    Hopefully, there will be (none / 0) (#3)
    by KeysDan on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 03:55:09 PM EST
    an injunction in Arizona's future, followed by  stern judicial reminders about the Constitution.  And, then comprehensive and fair legislation.

    Jeralyn, your boycott is as misguided (none / 0) (#14)
    by Coldblue on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 09:20:52 PM EST
    as the intent of the offensive legislation.

    A more effective means to ending this would be to support Democrats running for local office in Arizona, but that would require a real effort on your part.

    A reasoned analysis of why you think (5.00 / 5) (#15)
    by Peter G on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 09:42:14 PM EST
    a boycott is a bad idea would be a lot more persuasive than a snarky comment directed at the hostess.  But of course that would require a real effort on your part.

    I stated what I believed (none / 0) (#16)
    by Coldblue on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 10:07:53 PM EST
    to be a better solution, but that obviously escaped your attention.

    The "hostess" might want to detail how her call for a boycott will produce any meaningful result in overturning this legislation. Until then, I'm not under any obligation to take her whim to task.


    Of course you have no obligation. (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Peter G on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 10:27:15 PM EST
    I was genuinely interested in learning the rationale against a boycott.  I didn't miss that you suggested something different.  If you don't want to explain, then don't.  No problem.  (I stand behind my comment that gratuitous nastiness in lieu of explanation doesn't tend to win people over.)

    Why do you hate America? :-) (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Cream City on Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 01:44:00 AM EST
    The consumer boycott has been a crucial tool from the American Revolution forward -- and when the housewives of the colonies organized a boycott of tea and other English products, it was considered a heck of a lot more effective than Sam and the boyos who tossed tea in the Boston harbor.  

    And, of course, the housewives were not so politically incorrect as the boyos, who masqueraded as Native Americans.  The housewives did not hide their identities when they signed their pledges.

    And ever since, boycotts have been very effective.  Just ask the guy who "borrowed" the rallying cry of "Si, se puede!" from Dolores Huerta, who came up with the slogan for her successful grape boycott.

    Yes, we can! let Arizona know this is wrong.


    Boycott will backfire (none / 0) (#19)
    by diogenes on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 10:50:31 PM EST
    There are a few angry bloggers who will boycott Arizona; if the press gets wind of an actually meaningful boycott, there will be a lot of tea party folks who will decide that this is the year to express solidarity with Arizona by seeing the Grand Canyon at last.  

    The hypocrisy of tea partiers rallying (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by andgarden on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 11:10:11 PM EST
    in support of this would not be lost on me.

    Me either... (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by kdog on Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 07:48:47 AM EST
    the big bad government asking for papers without cause, detaining people, and putting the burden of proof on the people accused...logically that is something an anti-big government pro-individual liberty pro-constitution group like the tea partiers would get behind...lol.

    Now if they spoke out against it, and the drug war, and our corporate welfare defense budget...I'd might reconsider attending a rally.  But until then they're brand of full of sh*t just stinks too bad.


    A poll shows that 70% of (none / 0) (#36)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 12:05:02 PM EST
    the citizens of Arizona favors the law.

    I didn't know there were that many Tea Party folks in the state.


    I like parts of the law, others make me squeamish.

    The legislation, sent to the Republican governor by the GOP-led Legislature, makes it a crime under state law to be in the country illegally. It also requires local police officers to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegal immigrants; allows lawsuits against government agencies that hinder enforcement of immigration laws; and makes it illegal to hire illegal immigrants for day labor or knowingly transport them.

    Washington Post

    I like the getting after the people who hire them.. they are a much a part of the problem as the UR's..and I like allowing suits against government agencies that hinder enforcing the laws... see the problems in San Fran where criminals have been kept from being deported as an example of what can happen. And I like the part that clearly defines the status of the UR's in the state of Arizona.

    Stopping and questioning if there is a reason to suspect....that is a bother. But the facts are that we have lost control of our borders and the Feds won't fix the problem. What you have here is a natural reaction to the killing and crime that has flourished on the border.

    Problem is that the Democrats will probably over reach and offer amnesty without any concrete demonstration that they will close the borders.

    2006 all over again. And the majority does not favor the Demos position.


    Arizona... (none / 0) (#39)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 08:14:18 AM EST
    doesn't have an immigration problem, they have a prohibition problem...they're on the front lines of the war on drugs, like the streets of Chicago were during the war on booze.

    Harassing people over papers ain't gonna do d*ck to solve their problems, in fact they're probably gonna get worse.


    Yes, kdog they have a problem (none / 0) (#40)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 12:44:31 PM EST
    And legalizing drugs wouldn't stop the influx of people, it would just slow down the killing.

    In addition to the crime, you have problems with the ER's being the primary care, the schools being flooded with kids who can't learn unless taught in Spanish and housing problems upon top of it all.

    All politics aside, labor is a commodity, just like tomatoes and potatoes. When there is an endless supply the price goes down. That doesn't help the citizen workers nor does it help the UR's.

    I favor giving the ones here a green card and a chance to apply for citizenship. But please. No more anchor babies and for heaven's sake shut down the border so we don't keep on adding problems.


    Yes... (none / 0) (#41)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 01:01:18 PM EST
    Labor is a commodity...and until it is given the same freedom of movement as the commodity of cash, we're gonna run into problems.

    This isn't a problem chains and cages can fix my friend...it is a problem of a global economy...if investors can send their dough anywhere in the world for the best deal, then laborers should have the right to bring their commodity where ever they can get the best deal...thats just basic free market economics.


    kdog (none / 0) (#42)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 10:13:57 PM EST
    It is all that commodity labor coming across the board that is the problem. If "labor" was controlled like money then the spigot would be turned off until the interest rates got high enough to allow a decent living.

    It has nothing to do with jails and cages.


    The most immediate and most (none / 0) (#26)
    by MO Blue on Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 08:02:05 AM EST
    effective boycott would be for organizations to cancel conventions already scheduled in Arizona due to the fact that members do not have passports and are unwilling to incur the additional expense.

    I believe it was scribe... (none / 0) (#27)
    by kdog on Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 08:06:49 AM EST
    who mentioned pro athletes as an effective boycott...too bad athletes rarely stand up for causes anymore.

    I'd like to think Kareem or Ali or Clemente woulda been all over this.


    Misinformation about the law (none / 0) (#29)
    by Jack E Lope on Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 09:15:13 AM EST
    ...does not help its detractors argue against supporters.  When we jump to conclusions or repeat misinformation, we may as well be listening to something like Faux News....

    http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/sb1070s.pdf is the text of the bill - 17 pages that I have only selectively/partially read, so far.

    The statement of intent tries to present this law as enforcement of existing federal immigration law.  That frames the debate - much as the term "illegal immigrant" frames the actions of a person as an inherent characteristic of that person.

    The law says that racial profiling will not be used...but it states that race can be considered when determining reasonable suspicion.  (Since race can't be the ONLY factor, they think that precludes profiling?  I think it's still profiling when my sunburned skin, blue eyes and blond hair keeps them from suspecting that I've overstayed my student visa.)

    The law outlines acceptable forms of ID - Arizona Driver's License or the non-driver equivalent, and driver's licenses from states that require proof of legal residence.  (Arizona police will need to develop a list, though that won't be too difficult.  Brown-skinned people from states that do not qualify should probably avoid Arizona.)

    Additional strategies (none / 0) (#30)
    by Jack E Lope on Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 10:04:57 AM EST
    Boycott is an OK choice, but I've lived my life without knowingly supporting Arizona.  They are not going to feel the sting of my boycott.  (I set foot in Arizona once.  One foot only.  Then, I pulled my foot back into Colorado.  Actually, I think my foot was in the Navajo Nation part of Arizona.)

    Some people are not going to feel politically motivated to boycott, but there may be other things that make them uncertain about visiting Arizona.

    Know of an organization that is considering some event in Arizona that would bring people from out-of-state?  Let the organization know that they need to remind people to bring proof of citizenship or legal residence that is acceptable under Arizona law.

    According to Wikipedia, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Washington have passed legislation opposing the federal Real ID requirements.  It may be that Arizona won't trust driver's licenses from their neighbors Utah, Colorado and Nevada.

    Fantasy strategy: President Obama proposes to help Arizona enforce immigration laws by instituting a mandatory National ID Card....

    Maybe it's a "work in progress"? (none / 0) (#32)
    by EL seattle on Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 10:41:08 AM EST
    The AZ governor issued an executive order that would address these problems if the executive order is followed.

    PDF Link here.

    This executive order directs the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board to come up with a "minimum course of training" for those involved in enforcement of the bill that...

    protects the civil rights of all persons and and respect the privledges and immunities of United States citizens.

    This course of training will provide "clear guidance" for what constitutes reasonable suspicion, and what specific forms of identification will "provide a presumption" that someone is not an illegal alien.

    The Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board has to give the governor a timeline for working this out by May 21, have their propose course of training completed by late June, and report to the governor by December 31 any changes that they recommend for the law.

    I think that it will be interesting to see what specific types of activity the Board decides will constitutes reasonable suspicion that someone is unlawfully in the USA.

    As near as I can tell, the AZ governor has just passed the buck to the constitutional scholars at the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, at least for a couple of months.  

    Fair guess that reasonable suspicion (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by MO Blue on Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 10:49:32 AM EST
    will not include fair skinned, blue eyed, and blonde.

    I can't wait to see (none / 0) (#34)
    by andgarden on Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 10:53:47 AM EST
    what holes they dig.

    BTW, this is yet another example (none / 0) (#35)
    by andgarden on Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 10:55:35 AM EST
    of Secretary Napolitano abandoning her state to the wolves. I hope she's happy.

    Think so??? (none / 0) (#37)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 08:15:29 PM EST
    2005 Janet Napolitano, Governor

    The State of Arizona has been trying to fix what they see as a serious problem for the state for decades.


    I don't see how that's related (none / 0) (#38)
    by andgarden on Sun Apr 25, 2010 at 09:28:16 PM EST
    to my comment.