Which is more anti-minority?

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Which is more anti-minority?, Aretae asks:

  1. Arizona’s law making it illegal to be an illegal immigrant?
  2. Portland or assorted rich coastal California towns using land use regulations to make absolutely certain that no poor people (read Non-Asian Minorities) with families can live anywhere nearby?

Commenter Mark Horning makes the point that the Arizona law was very carefully written:

It makes illegal under Arizona law exactly what is already illegal in all 50 states and the territories and district. They copied the language verbatim from the existing federal statute.

The only legal difference is that now an Arizona Post certified officer can enforce the law under Arizona statute, instead of needing a federal officer to enforce it under federal statute. No different than charging someone with counterfeiting under Arizona law as opposed to federal law. If you have a problem with that, the problem is with the Federal statute that has been on the books since 1940.

The requirement for “reasonable suspicion” is the same language as set forth by the SCOTUS in Terry v. Ohio. (Also see Hibbel v. Nevada) If the cops have reasonable suspicion that you have broken a law, they can detain you until you identify yourself. (Terry Stop) They already have this power under Supreme court precedent. Again, the problem is not with the law, it’s with Terry v. Ohio.


  1. Arizona lawmakers have approved changes to the state’s controversial law cracking down on illegal immigrants. The changes were designed to answer charges made by protesters that it will lead to racial profiling by police. The original law stated police can conduct an immigration status check during any quote “lawful contact,” if they have reasonable suspicion a person is an illegal immigrant. It replaces “lawful contact” with “lawful stop, detention or arrest,” clarifying police may not stop people without cause. The revised law also removes the word “solely” from the phrase “The attorney general or county attorney shall not investigate complaints that are based solely on race, color or national origin.” Read the new Arizona Immigration Law

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