I’ve waited to write this post (and another one I had planned) until some of the brouhaha over the new Arizona law died down a bit. As so often happens to me, I am left befuddled over the uproar. Call it once again, much ado about nothing.
Why do I say that? Well, it has been brought out that non citizens are already required to carry their identification at ALL times under federal law. And then there’s that inconvenient fact that illegal immigrants are, well, illegal. And of course, you and I are generally required to carry identification if we want to engage in things such as driving, cashing checks, etc.
But more to the point, there has long been ensconced in federal law 2 things that make the Arizona law essentially just a restatement of what already is, and what is already required of local law enforcement.
The first is known as a “Terry Stop” which comes from a 1968 case, Terry v. Ohio. It had to do with the stopping of 3 men who were thought to be casing a store with the intent of robbing it. The detective stopped and frisked them. Weapons were discovered.
The Supreme Court ruled that there was a limit on the unlawful search and seizure rule and that an officer, with reasonable suspicion, could stop someone.
In the years after, the “stop and frisk” as it became known was expanded to include traffic stops and allowing police to request and require identification.
Next is a program that is known as 287(g) which EXPLICITLY empowers local law enforcement to enforce the immigration laws.
This program was started 15 years ago under President Clinton, and guess who expanded it? You got it, Obama. So, the squeaks you hear coming from Eric Holder and Obama himself might just be so much, well let’s say it, lies.
There are those inconvenient facts getting in the way of the storyline again. Sorry.