Carla Salazar

“Daisy’s parents are fearful of U.S. anti-immigrant sentiment, which for many Latin Americans is epitomized by an Arizona law taking effect in July that gives police the right to demand ID papers of anyone suspected of being in the country illegally.”

No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

No.

As our president loves to repeat, let me be clear: No. N-O. No. That is a false, specious, inaccurate, fraudulent, fabricated, unsupported, blatantly erroneous, patently misleading, entirely incorrect, totally unfounded statement. It is an untrue statement. It is a misrepresentation of the facts. That it appears as an assumed fact in an otherwise “objective” news story is extraordinary and unconscionable.

The power of invincible ignorance is irresistible – which is why democracy is so perilous. The much maligned Arizona law does not … let’s repeat: DOES NOT … give police the power to demand identification from anyone. Period.

First, that power already exists and Arizona law has nothing to do with it. Immigrants have been required by federal law to carry proof of their legal status on their person since 1940. The Arizona law simply requires police to enforce that federal statue during the lawful pursuit of their job.

That’s the second point. Police can’t just randomly walk up to someone and ask them for identification. Ever. There has to be “reasonable suspicion” that a crime has been or is being committed. Speeding, running a red light, breaking and entering, homicide, genocide, wielding nunchucks in a public place, whatever… Buying a sandwich doesn’t count. Bouncing a basketball doesn’t count. Reading a newspaper doesn’t count. Mowing your lawn doesn’t count. Being Mexican doesn’t count. Lawful behavior – in other words doing normal things that do not break the law – does not invite the police to demand to see someone’s “papers.” Further, ethnic or racial profiling is explicitly proscribed by the very Arizona law everyone seems to be yelling about.

You can tell right away the reporter who penned this article opposes the law by the phrase “demand ID papers.” What papers is this referring to? Its’ a driver’s license or a passport or an ID card or whatever other card you have to identify yourself. If you put yourself in position to warrant “lawful contact” by a police officer, chances are he’s going to ask for your identification. Demanding your “papers” is something that doesn’t happen in America.

Honestly, police stops are not pleasant at any time. I’ve been pulled over in New Jersey at random DUI style stops so the police can check to see if I’m wearing a seatbelt or have proof of insurance. I haven’t seen any left wing outrage over that. For that matter, we will soon all be forced to carry health insurance – thanks to most of the same left wing malcontents who are blathering about this law. If you don’t’ have your “papers,” you will be forced to pay a fine. There is no outrage to be found on the left about this. Why do you think that is?

Well, the President himself provided a telling clue when he used the word “fairness” to criticize Arizona. If the mischaracterization of Arizona’s law were true, fairness would not be the problem. Erosion of liberty would be. Yet that isn’t what you hear from the various agitated corners about this law. It’s all about racism or equality. Both of those are valid concerns to be sure, but conspicuous by its absence is the one concern government should have above all others: freedom.

You see the left have no problem with legal intrusion into the lives of free citizens so long as that intrusion is carried out uniformly (or unless the subdivisions in question are financial. IE: screw the rich). Equality under the law – however oppressive that law may be – is the only litmus test they have for just government behavior. That is a much bigger problem than some random complaint about Arizona’s perfectly reasonable attempt to protect its borders.