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AZ Gov. Jan Brewer Signs Bill April 23, 2010

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signs illegal immigration bill into law that is scheduled to go into effect in the late summer of 2010.  Despite uproar from Obama and democrats around the country she held firm to solving the growing illegal immigration problem in her state.  See the developing story at Fox News, CNN or MSNBC.  Be aware many main stream news sources leave out the qualifying word "illegal". Do you think this law in Arizona threatens to undermine basic notions of fairness in America?  or do you think Arizona needs to better address people who are there illegally?


  1. The law itself gives law enforcement the authority to stop anyone who they suspect may be in the country illegally without any standard of behavior to quantify "reasonable suspicion" or "probably cause". That language is in the bill itself but there are no quantifying measures or standards written into it. This is typically done to allow officers to exercise their professional judgment. On the other hand, it exposes them. Without justifiable suspicion, the people of Arizona are subject to "guilty until proven innocent" because the suspicion is based solely on a potential status and not on (criminal) acts.

    People are right to question the legality of this law:

  2. Dear anonymous person. Thanks for your comment, sounds like you work in a law firm. I would say when true Arizona citizens are pulled over on suspicion of being illegal they are always found innocent. In contrast when an alien who is not a true citizen is pulled over they are always found guilty.

    The question at the heart of the matter is whether you believe US Constitutional rights apply only to citizens as stated in the bill of rights, or if you believe those rights are extended to folks who are here illegally. Contrary to popular belief our constitution was not created to protect potential invaders.

  3. Sorry it has taken so long to reply. The legality of the issue is the "suspicion of being illegal". It is far too vague.

    Checking immigration status when pulled over for a legitimate reason is not unconstitutional- it's just strict. It's getting pulled over to check immigration status due to the suspicion that one is in the country illegally.
    Being in the country illegally IS a crime, one that is to be punished. But the problem with sanctioning a status, unattached to criminal behavior, is that officers must rely on stereotypes and old wives' tales.
    Besides that, as someone who also happens to like systematic theology, what do you do with passages like Leviticus 19:33-34 and God's seemingly lenient views on immigration and sources of refuge?

  4. Thanks for the link you provided in your previous posting to the actual bill, good stuff. For the record lets get the text accurate. I believe we are discussing page 1 line 22 "where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien". From my perspective this only seems to be an issue if you assume that all police officers are racist. Absent this assumption, suspicion of "fill in the blank" is currently what good police officers do every day. The bill does not say "where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is Mexican". The intention of the law is to draw out the "alien" more characteristics than color of skin can cause reasonable suspicion. If we look at this issue through only the narrow lens that is color of skin, then I agree with your assessment. In this circumstance in Arizona color of skin happens to be a coincidence and not part of the law. Other characteristics: non English speaking person, person looking for work on street corner, person jumping in a van being hired on a street corner, person running through the desert near the boarder, person pulled over with no license. These red flags stand true whether the person is Canadian or Mexican. How could the law possibly be worded in a better more accurate fashion to describe what reasonably needs to be done? I think the tendency in our culture is to project our meaning onto what we read rather than pull out the intention of the author. I love this stuff. Thanks for making me think. Please keep contributing. To answer your Leviticus 19:33-34 question I will answer with Romans 13:1-2 & 1 Peter 2:13-14. Hermeneutics is the art and science of correctly interrupting scripture. Old testament books like Leviticus require careful study and consideration of the historical-cultural context as well as the authors intent and the audience to whom he is writing before proper present day applications can be derived.