I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, watching politics is like watching a contact sport. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart. There are so many sides to the Arizona immigration story that’s it’s difficult to know where to start. So I’m going to try to hit on some of the highlights.
Calderon Criticizes the Law
We’ve watched our own public officials criticize the law (more on this in a moment) but I found it pretty nauseating to watch Mexico’s President Calderon criticize the Arizona immigration law in front of Congress, and then receive a standing ovation from the democrats, including Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. How out of touch are the democrats with the sentiments of most Americans? Clearly, a lot.
Read the Damn Law
And what I found even more nauseating this last week was that both Holder and Napolitano admitted that they have not taken the time to read the law, though both have continued to criticize it. Holder has even threatened a potential federal lawsuit against Arizona. Here I am, a little blogger from Kansas, and before posting my own comments on the law a couple weeks ago, the first thing I did was I READ THE LAW! In a recent FoxNews Opinion Dynamics Poll, 83% of Americans found it “shocking” that Holder admitted in front of the House Judiciary Committee that he had taken a stand against the law despite not having read the bill.
Out of Step with Americans
The majority of Americans support a state’s rights to pass laws like the Arizona immigration law. And when you dive in deeper, you find that 84% of Americans, including 75% of democrats, favor “requiring people to show documents proving their immigration status if government officials have reasonable cause to ask for them”. (From the same FoxNews poll.) So while many democrats say they oppose the bill, most of them actually favor the underlying principle.
Supreme Court has Already Ruled on This
One more surprise I learned this week: the Supreme Court has already ruled on reasonable suspicion and immigration status. In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a UNANIMOUS decision in Muehler v. Mena, found that questioning someone regarding their immigration status is not a violation of Fourth Amendment rights — provided that person is already lawfully detained. Why has this not received more news coverage?
And since Arizona has made some changes in their bill, the guidelines in the Arizona bill are now stricter than the federal law they intended to duplicate.
Highlights from the Poll
These are from the same FoxNews poll:
• 76% believe that the security along our borders is not strict enough
• 65% believe that a state has the right to pass laws on immigration and to protect its borders
• 65% favor allowing local and state law enforcement to question anyone they think are in the country illegally
• 76% favor allowing local and state police to detain anyone who cannot prove their immigration status
And in case you don’t like the FoxNews poll, here are some numbers from Rasmussen:
• 55% of voters nationwide favor passage of a law like Arizona’s in their own state
• 69% believe a police officer should be REQUIRED to check immigration status of anyone stopped for a traffic violation
• 55% say they agree more with political leaders in Arizona than they do the political leaders in Washington
• 71% in Arizona support the state law
It really makes you scratch your head sometimes. Why do the leaders in Congress and in the White House seem so far out of step with public sentiment? It’s hard to justify their position. The law is clearly against them. And the people are clearly against them on this issue. The only conclusion I can come up with as that they’re attempting to energize their base (the left) for the upcoming elections in November. The right is clearly energized due to health care reform and out of control spending. So maybe this is the issue that energizes the left? I really don’t know.