Skip to comments.Brewer says racial profiling won't be issue. Gov. allowing police to stop, detain illegals
Posted on 04/24/2010 10:34:05 AM PDT by SandRat
PHOENIX Defending its legality, Gov. Jan Brewer signed what is the toughest state law in the country designed to combat illegal immigration.
The governor rejected claims that the legislation, which gives police more power to stop and detain those not in this country legally, amounts to legalized racial profiling. She said the measure, in the version that finally reached her Monday, contains sufficient protections to individual constitutional rights.
And if that isnt enough, Brewer signed an executive order requiring that all police officers get proper training about when they can and cannot stop and question people about their immigration status.
The governor pointed out, both in her statement and that executive order, that the new law prohibits police from using race or ethnicity as the sole factor in determining whether to pursue an inquiry.
But she conceded that it does permit either to be used as one factor for an officers consideration. And she defended the language.
We have to trust our law enforcement, Brewer said.
Police officers are going to be respectful, the governor continued. They know what their jobs are, theyve taken an oath. And racial profiling is illegal.
But Phoenix attorney David Selden, who was involved in challenging a 2006 law aimed at companies that knowingly hired illegal immigrants, said allowing race to be used as a factor at all is unconstitutional.
That was a strategy used by white segregationists when they were trying to gut the (federal) civil rights bill, he said. Selden suggested the same logic may be at work here.
If theyre not going to allow racial profiling, lets get race out of it entirely, he said, rather than continuing to let police consider it.
Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, who crafted the legislation, defended allowing it to be used as a factor. He said it recognizes that 90 percent of those who come to this country illegally are from Mexico or points south. You cant just say its not ever a factor, he said. It may be.
Anyway, Pearce argued, police need a reason to pull someone over in the first place.
And he blamed the mainstream media for promoting this misinformation.
Several groups, including the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund already have vowed to ask a court to bar the measure from taking effect as scheduled in August.
Brewer said she expects it to survive in most areas, but did not elaborate. She also said those who believe that this law will lead to civil rights violations are alarmists.
Attorney General Terry Goddard said those who challenge the law may have a case. Goddard wont be involved in any decisions of his office on how and whether to defend the statute, as he is running against Brewer for governor and publicly called on her to veto the measure. Those determinations, he said, will be made independently by his chief deputy.
But Goddard said that, as a lawyer, there are elements of the law that could be troubling depending on how the statute is enforced.
One is that ability to use race or ethnicity as a factor in determining whether there is reasonable suspicion to question someone stopped for some other legitimate reason about their immigration status.
And then, he said, theres the whole question of what constitutes reasonable suspicion in the first place. Goddard said seeing someone come over the border illegally certainly counts. So does being found with others who admit theyre illegal immigrants.
Its one of the troubling things about this statute: So many things are subjective, Goddard said.
At Fridays press conference, Brewer seemed flustered by a question of what an illegal immigrant looks like.
I do not know what an illegal immigrant looks like, the governor responded. She said that is one reason for her order for more training of police.
The law will be enforce civilly, fairly and without discriminatory points to it, Brewer said.
Brewer also brushed aside concerns that illegal immigrants who are crime victims or witnesses wont come forward, as it would open them to be being questioned about their immigration status.
That is based on the most controversial part of the measure which says that when police officers make an official contact with anyone, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person.
Brewer, however, noted there is an exception to that requirement if making that inquiry may hinder or obstruct an investigation.
Goddard, however, noted that is based on each officers individual determination.
On top of that, another section of the measure prohibits government from limiting the ability of their officers to enforce federal immigration law. And any citizen who believes a community is violating that can file suit.
There was a lot of political pressure on Brewer to sign the controversial measure which would give police new powers to stop and arrest illegal immigrants.
All three of her Republican foes in the gubernatorial primary are on record urging a signature. And every Republican legislator, except for Sen. Carolyn Allen of Scottsdale, voted for the legislation.
Brewer, however, sidestepped the question of how politics figured into her decision.
I would like to believe that any politician, when they are elected, after theyre elected, they do whats right for the people of Arizona. And then, speaking of herself in the third person, she said, I think its very, very important that the people out there understand that Gov. Jan Brewer of the great state of Arizona, would always do whats right for the people of Arizona.
The governor scheduled her press conference at a state owned auditorium about a mile from the Capitol. The location not only provide space for the local and national media interested in the issue but also provides some separation from the approximately 2,000 people who gathered in the mall between the House and Senate.
Most of them appeared to be high school or college students.
Brewer says racial profiling won't be issue. Governor signs bill allowing police to stop, detain illegal immigrants
The clueless who don't pay taxes.
They resemble a criminal asking directions.
the brainwashed ...
So if race stays out of it then that means Whitey can get stopped too and asked for his proof of citizenship? And if he doesn’t have it does he get deported to Iceland? LOL!
There is so much misinformation about how this law will be enforced. The left is gnashing its teeth, warning that little Mexican maids waiting for a bus are going to be rounded up by ICE or those darling La Raza students are going to be taken out of their foklorica classes as they twirl their Mexicans flags around their shoulders.
No! When some kidnapper has stalked and captured a child, finally he will be asked to show ID, and if it is from Mexico, then, the other logical question will be asked and pursued until the truth comes out.
Those are the bad guys that are going to be marked and tagged. Those that act-up too, are risking revealing their status, which is good, invaders will not be tolerated; good riddance to bad garbage.
Looks like Georgia is going to try and follow Arizona’s lead!
And Jack Bauer OF 24 Will do the questioning.
Actually “Whitey” gets stopped all the time and asked their citizenship near the border. I get stopped all the time and I am a pale skinned blond. My daughter dated an Aussie for a while and he was thoroughly checked out by Border Patrol several times. Citizenship can be determined without race being a factor. As far as “profiling” by LEO goes- do the people so worried about that think when a tall skinny white guy robs a bank the cops should pursue short fat black women for the crime? Of course in some cases race is a factor in all law enforcement- it would be impossible for it not to be.
ILLEGAL IS A CRIME, NOT A RACE!
While I fully support the new Arizona law, I’m sure that there are those in congress, the presidential palace, and the justice department who are viewing this as an opportunity to declare the need for a national ID card.
A few years ago a Hispanic was stopped for a variety of offenses, DUI, reckless driving (wrecked car for some validity), leaving the scene (at 70+ MPH), etc. When at trial, the attorney said he was stopped due to his ethnicity. This argument was tossed when it was shown that the arresting officer couldn't have seen him because it was dark.
I do not know what an illegal immigrant looks like, the governor responded.
Dwight Eisenhower must be looking down and laughing his
angelic a$$ off.
When you are checked out by the BP what do they ask for? Your birth certificate? Short or long form? I’d love to see the BP check out Obama’s citizenship!
So what if it does? About 80% of illegals in this country are from south of the border. In AZ I would bet that is 98%+. Common sense would dictate that mestizo/Latino/Hispanics are most likely a suspect.
Arizona can arrest illegals, but it can’t deport them - if Obama tells the IRS not to process them, they will just sit in AZ jails at taxpayer expense.
For doing what’s right and upholding the law, Gov. Jan will be defending her position and actions from now on...
I don’t know why this is an issue. I have a friend that’s an illegal from India. He got busted bigtime near the border in New Mexico at a road stop that was checking everyone.
“I dont know why this is an issue. I have a friend thats an illegal from India. He got busted bigtime near the border in New Mexico at a road stop that was checking everyone.”
It’s only an issue to those breaking the law, and those who profit from it.