Logical Disconnects on Immigration?

When seat belts use became mandatory a debate ensued regarding enforcement and limiting police powers.  Would the police pull you over for “suspicion of not wearing a seat belt?”  The debate resolved in a reasonably common sense resolution; if you were detained for some other valid reason and caught not wearing a seat belt you could be cited for it.  This approach represents long standing precedent for police forces all over the nation. 

It is clear from the Arizona Immigration enforcement bill that the same standard would be applied with additional safeguards.  The points of contention regarding “reasonable suspicion” already bear mountains of case law.  “Lawful contact” refers to the precedent noted above and also bears significant case law.  The Police know exactly what to do as well as when and when not to do it. 

The bill excludes race and ethnicity as the exclusive basis for a police officers judgment.  Assuming long experience with secondary contact issues for Police forces and standing precedent in a number of states on other issues.  Where exactly is the justification for media supported cries of right wing, nut job, neocon, racist, Nazi, fascist, hard hearted SOB. 

Is there a chance for a civil rights issue?  You bet; in this day and age it’s nearly guaranteed. If we can’t get a civil rights issue, we’ll make one up.  Many, specifically Mr. Horowitz, have documented any number of set up “crimes” by leftist organizations.  It’s the perfect Saul Alinsky set up.  Freeze the issue, demonize the opponents, create discontent and cry for “justice”.

It is a question of justice; it is a question of broader justice.  If justice for an illegal minority inflicts pain and suffering on the majority (In Arizona 70+% favor the bill) have we achieved justice by any reasonable definition?  Marginalizing 70% of a state’s population with sweeping statements of opposition does not sound like a mainstream kind of thing to do?    

We commence from a point of illegality, the “immigrant rights” argument must be predicated on the acceptance of illegality as a non applicable standard.  Really? 

It’s not really illegal because there’s a good reason?  That never worked for me; “hold on officer just let me leaf through my rapid excuse checklist, I’m sure there’s something in here that will nullify my guilt”.  The issue is, by common sense, framed by rampant illegality and the tenuous acceptance of that illegality by the U.S. Government.  No really, really big crime operation can operate without the tacit approval of the authorities by whatever means; that is the case here over the course of two maybe three administrations. 

We will be asked to accept the idea that illegal is a flexible definition, dependant on circumstances.  To accept the idea that fundamental law and its very foundational assumptions, must change to observe current circumstances no matter the illegality involved in creating the circumstance in the first case.  It’s legal relativism at its most basic point of context and should be viewed for the logical disconnect it is.

  • JD

    Any time you shed light on a dark area there is always going to be someone in the dark area complaining about the bright light.

    My only concern is this is going to become a political talking point and instead of solving the problem, polititions politically position.

    I do think Arizona is taking the right stance on taking action but as mentioned in Nate’s thread, I just worry that the action should have been taken on the employers of illegal immagrants with much less money. If there are no jobs for an illegal immagrant then they won’t stay.

    That said, I think the GOP politically might be putting themselves in a hot spot. The truth is they are needing votes and if they upset the vote of hispanics then it might make the midterm elections more close. There are alot of legal latinos who will show up to the voting booth and cast their vote on this basis alone.

    I don’t like how Dems are politically posturing against this because it forces the GOP to take the extreme opposite and it comes across as if the GOP is anti-immigration. Again, good political strategy but bad politics. I think because of all this the GOP has alot of pressure on how the approach this issue.

    To state again, I would have prefered targeting employers for this very reason. It solves the problem and you don’t have these groups demonstrating in the streets.

  • TheGreatZ

    Exactly how is a police officer supposed to have any “reasonable suspicion” of that unless he’s tipped off(which under current law he can already investigate). The fact that the bill says they’re not supposed to use race or ethnicity doesn’t mean they won’t and doesn’t mean they won’t have convenient excuses to hide it. Putting something in the law is not enough of a guarantee. You also have to take into account human behavior and whether or not we are able to tell if a law(in this case racial profiling) has been broken.

    And what if I’m an American citizen just out for a stroll, don’t have my ID or anything and I get stopped because the cop suspects I’m an illegal. What then? This could be a huge inconvenience for many American citizens.

    I also find it ironic that the same people screaming about how Obama’s health care plan is socialism and big government are so willing to accept expanded police powers and tighter immigration controls. You’d think these people would be saying we should have an open borders policy that grants everyone the status of “legal immigrant” the moment they cross. It would be the “small government” solution.

  • landreaux


    The police may be tipped off, I would venture a guess that they already are in some measure. Logically I would make the argument that if you’re correct in the determination that there is no reasonable way to determine “reasonable suspicion” in the case of illegal immigration then you have to accept the argument that they probably cannot make that determination in a wide variety of other situations, rendering their training and experience as null and void because as you say “what about human behavior”.

    What about it? It’s why we’ve organized a society built to be about laws, not men. We surround ourselves with the law and it is not to be lightly thrown away because you’re afraid of “human behavior”.

    The strolling example is possible, but if we use the word possible it means no limits. Anything is, possibly, possible!

    My final recommendation is not to try and think like a conservative, it’s not working for you. A solution such as open borders will demand an expansion of government. How do you take on 20 million relatively low skill workers and not assume that, nearly automatically they will qualify for all manner of assistance and financial support while high percentages of their earnings are sent south?

    Not a small government solution.

  • landreaux


    You’re fear of internecine warfare amongs the parties is likely, I’m not sure how you take the politics our of this. They are too potentially powerful to ignore. But on this issue I say let the battle begin.

    I agree with the Arizona law as well, seems carefully crafted and mirrors Federal Law, near as I can sort out the various opinions.

    I think from the GOP perspective they have little short term expectation for Hispanic support in large numbers. It is for them a game of simply making sure the other side does not pick up 20 million voters. Or, at least kick that can years down the road by way of an extended “path to citizenship”.

    I think you’re being entirely rational about this and I’m attempting to think it through as well.

  • “My final recommendation is not to try and think like a conservative, it’s not working for you. A solution such as open borders will demand an expansion of government. How do you take on 20 million relatively low skill workers and not assume that, nearly automatically they will qualify for all manner of assistance and financial support while high percentages of their earnings are sent south?

    Not a small government solution. ” landreaux

    I have to agree there. Opening the boarders would certainly land us a situation where the government would be giving money to all the poor immigrants and would likely skyrocket taxation. Also the mexican immigrant works DO in fact send all their earnings back home to mexico rather than spending it here where they earned it, sucking us dry in a sense.

    Another good reason for the FairTax, or any tax on consumption and heavy taxing on sending money OUT of the country outside of mailing checks and money orders.

    I am not sure if we limit offering government benefits to immigrants here on work permits. I mean I suppose they pay taxes and have a right to receive government benefits. But I say if you are here simply to work and send money to another country, we should be a bit weary of giving that person out tax dollars. I don’t know.

  • TheGreatZ

    “What about it? It’s why we’ve organized a society built to be about laws, not men. We surround ourselves with the law and it is not to be lightly thrown away because you’re afraid of “human behavior”.”

    That’s just a happy fiction. Ever hear of methodological individualism? Basically society and the law can’t do anything. Anything the state does or the law does or any organization does is really the culmination of a number of actions taken by human beings. Laws aren’t magical and can’t override free will. If a person does not respect the law(and there are many crooked cops who don’t) and they think they can get away with it or that the consequences won’t be too bad then the law doesn’t matter. And since in court the officer’s word especially the word of him and his buddies(many police are very chummy with their coworkers) will be given greater face value to judges and juries than the other party. Social norms, which can differ between communities and within small social groups can sometimes have a stronger impact on human behavior than laws. Ever watch Serpico? True story about a cop who holds out and doesn’t go dirty, but its clear from what happens in the movie that in the police subculture the norm to go dirty and accept bribes had a lot more pressure than the law for most of the cops and the hero winds up having to suffer through a lot for obeying the law instead of the subculture’s norms. Differences in norms in police subcultures don’t just affect bribes, they can also affect a police department’s private stance towards racism, brutality, leading to it becoming a “normal” part of the job to cover that up for your coworkers. In addition some police departments do not use psychological testing or do not use it adequately enough and the police department can be a very alluring career for sadists and bigots, the kind of people you don’t want on the police force.

    “My final recommendation is not to try and think like a conservative, it’s not working for you. A solution such as open borders will demand an expansion of government. How do you take on 20 million relatively low skill workers and not assume that, nearly automatically they will qualify for all manner of assistance and financial support while high percentages of their earnings are sent south?”

    Wouldnt the small government solution be to have open borders but abolish all the government assistance and financial support or at least have a law that if you are not a citizen yet you can’t get it? Oh wait a minute, we already have that. Look it up. Noncitizen immigrants, no matter if you are legal or illegal can not get access to public assistance besides public education and emergency room care. And then legal immigrants still have to pay into social security. They will never see any of that money unless they become citizens someday. Some never do, so some are actually giving back a lot more than American citizens are taking.

  • JD


    First, I want to reiterate that I would prefer to see tough immigration laws focus on employers and not the people because if you can’t get a job here then there would be many times less illegal immigrants. This could mean tighter ID methods and harsher consequences when caught employing.

    None the less, I think you bring up a good point of corruption in the police force. This is something we all wish didn’t exist but has since law was established in ancient civilizations. I also agree that current social norms do have a harsher view of immigrants not only because the problem has been going on for so long but because the amount of unemployed American citizens see the large amount of employed illegal aliens. This is a product of the times and history and does not make it right but neither can the problem be ignored.

    The truth is the US does have a Legal way of becoming a citizen and for millions in the US this Legal way has been flagrantly ignored.

    Although, I don’t think this new measure is best I do think it seeks to solve the problem. Legal citizens harassed do have legal avenues to push back on the police departments. Much like civil suits were put on them during the civil rights movements and much was and still is paid out in losses.

    The police department may not be perfect but it does answer to our civil and criminal courts. This can’t be ignored and will offer a counter push down into the police force. Hence the reason the bill is littered with language of training because they know if they mess up they will be sued. No police officer will keep their job if they are constantly costing the department money… buddy system or not.

    So as my final thought, I think you make a good point but the real question is if this law is going to do more good than harm and I think it will. No matter the solution any legislation that solves or seeks to solve illegal immigration is going to be exponentially painful because we have allowed this problem to grow out of control. This has resulted in substandard treatment to illegals, substandard pay, substandard work environment, and substandard living almost reflecting American culture toward blacks during slavery. This problem is a lot like a cut that is left unattended and gets infected, the pain associated with the cure is also increased and so is the recovery.

    In truth none of these issues would be around if we worked harder to shrink and not allow such a huge population of illegal aliens, much like we would not have had slave issues had we not allowed slave trade. Which is why I blame American employers who chose to hire illegal workers because they are the rain which brought the flood in the name of making a buck. I think they should be the ones to bare the brunt of this cost.

  • landreaux

    Sorry for the delay, I don’t check the site everyday.
    If you are correct and it is indeed a “happy fiction” that law is a civilizing set of parameters, we have little left upon which to maintain an engaged discussion.

    I know enough about methodological individualism to know that it’s adherents can’t even decide what it is, or whether it’s subsets are more or less illustrative. Appears to me to be another set of directionless assumptions and justifications believed to be true but absent a “pass go” to move from theory to demonstrative results.

    The “social sciences” have a little problem with that from time to time.

    You are correct, society and law are not the be all and end all. They are a repository of mores, accepted limits, accepted by the vast majority of individuals. That majority chooses to respect societal mores and the law. You’re right again, law is not magical, but the belief system that underpins it often is.

    I shy away from arguing a point when the point is based on what “may” happen with any single individual so I’ll skip the courtroom drama.

    I would argue that laws grow out of social norms, but,Z you argue both for and against the impact: “Basically society and the law can’t do anything,” and then, “small social groups can sometimes have a stronger impact on human behavior than laws”. Are groups only valid if they are small; perhaps a subset of the methodological individualism school of thought? I confess, I’m not an expert.

    You’re issues with the cops are your own; my personal experience with them has been limited and devoid of any major complaints. In fact I hold a number of them in exceptionally high regard.

    Finally, the idea that denying benefits would be a small government solution is vaguely on target, but can you point me to any example of it happening?

    When large blocks of potential voters are in line for curried favor do you really believe your suggestion is vaguely achievable? Especially under the current administration.

    Finally, a conservative would first and foremost attempt to look for the root of the problem. The root of the problem is a combination of open boarders and corruption in Mexico that would give you a whole new perspective on American law enforcement. A conservative would attempt to find the likelihood of unintended consequences. A conservative would be concerned with sovereignty and, yes, the law!

  • landreaux


    Just a note, if my memory serves me correctly we were doing employeer immigration checks back in the 80″. I was called the I 9 form. Did not work all that well then either.


    If employers are not requiring their illegal immigrants to fill out a I9 form then it doesn’t really help us prevent illegal immigrants from working. lol

  • JD


    We live in modern times. Alot of the failures stem from the simple fact there is no picture or instant cross reference for employers to use on a few of the required forms of ID.

    First, I think you have to fix the ID and create a database to double check the information. So when an employee hands you his or her legal form of ID there is a picture of said person and if that picture matches you can pull up the official file picture on a compter to verify this was not someone elses ID with their picture pasted on it.

    This gives a way to positively verify and double check so there is no doubt. The I 9 form has too much overhead on it and no real checks and balances to really make sure. So yes it has some successes but has not done what it was suppose to do but the idea is still a good one. It just needs to be updated with better technology.

  • landreaux


    Good luck with the ID thing, the civil libertatians will be crawling out of the woodwork as they have before. Same folks that can’t live with body scans at the airport. It’s a tremendous amount of hypocracy in the context of how many documents we need, have to carry with us (drivers license), must provide as proof of residency to register to vote in many states it goes on and on. The thing Orwell did not anticipate was how much more subtle it is in reality.

    I would only offer the point of advice that the issue is rarely what they say it is and we should look for that.

  • JD


    the ID thing is age old and yet still use old age ID systems with huge flaws in it. Identity theft and so on go crazy because people don’t want “Big brother” watching them so they fight the change that would solve the problem. At the same time they want to tatoo illegal immagrant on people’s forehead.

    The truth is we have technology that can simplify and be more accurate then what we have now. We will get there but I wish it was today and not tomorrow.

    As for George Orwell, he was a firm believer in Domocratic Socialism and his Animal farm spoke out against totalitarianism. Feel free to read “why I write” by George Orwell to gain this understanding.

    As said from the begining I am not against going after the household but I just think it is going to cost more money and cause more division than targeting the employer. No matter the solution, It will most definitely have controversy.

    As for people not liking IDs, well I think we have to ask ourselves why? There are only two major forms of ID most people carry. Drivers License and Passport. I wonder about people who argue about having to show IDs…what do they have to hide? The truth is the most basic of systems require first on being able to identify. You can’t have a valid vote if you can’t garuantee people aren’t lying about who they are.

  • Email I received,

    April 22, 2010

    Dear Kendale,

    Despite all the limited government rhetoric you’re hearing from the Republican Party these days, it appears that Senate Republican leaders, including Richard Shelby, are more than ready and willing to work with Chris Dodd to empower the Fed, add more layers of federal bureaucracy to our economy, and set the stage for future crises.

    According to Talking Points Memo, Shelby has stated, “We’re very close to a deal and there will be a substantial number of Republicans that go along with it.”

    The White House is doing everything it can in the media to cram yet another powergrab down the American people’s throats. A vote could come at any time, so it’s crucial that liberty activists make their voices heard immediately.

    Keep reading for more information on how to contact your senators.

    Chris Dodd’s legislation, which should be called the “Fed Empowerment Act,” ignores the true cause of the recent financial downturn: interference in our economy and manipulation of our currency by Congress, the Treasury, and the Federal Reserve.

    For all the talk of “change” in D.C., our elected officials are following the same tired old script: if the federal government created the problem, the only solution must be to give it even more power.

    Now Senate leaders want to create a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which will be housed in and funded by the Fed.

    And the Dodd bill would create a “Financial Stability Oversight Council” that would have the ability to require nonbank financial companies to be under the Federal Reserve’s supervision based not on their current status, but on what effect they may potentially have on the economy!

    Who knows how many businesses will soon be targeted and broken up, under the guise of “reform,” solely for standing up to the federal government.

    Recently, Washington Examiner journalist Tim Carney has done some terrific work exposing the corporatism behind the White House’s rhetoric.

    To see how Obama’s “reform” plan will actually benefit the big banks and Wall Street firms, especially Goldman Sachs, at the expense of smaller companies and the rest of us, click here to read his piece entitled “Goldman rallies for Obama in Wall Street ‘reform’.”

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    The American people have already suffered too much because of Washington’s previous interference in our economy.

    Together, let’s take a stand for freedom and true reform by opposing the Dodd Fed Empowerment Act and pushing for a long overdue standalone vote on Audit the Fed.

    In Liberty,

    John Tate

  • Amahdinejad is still being a little prick. The US disclosed the amount of nuclear warheads we have. Amahdinejad brins up the use of the atomic bomb WAY back in WWII as if that has anything to do with talks of ridding the world of Nuclear weapons today.


    “U.S. discloses size of nuclear arsenal” Los Angelas Times

  • Bones

    “Good luck with the ID thing, the civil libertatians will be crawling out of the woodwork as they have before. Same folks that can’t live with body scans at the airport.”
    landreaux May 3rd, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Well that’s the heart of the issue right there, isn’t it? Giving the police the power to demand anyone carry around documents to prove citizenship is wholly at odds with civil liberties. If I don’t like the government scrutinizing me or my friends, I can’t very well ask them to look closer at my neighbors. It just won’t work.