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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > Arizona’s Immigrant Hotline May be Legal, but Is It Right?

Arizona’s Immigrant Hotline May be Legal, but Is It Right?

LatinaLista — In Arizona, anti-immigrant feelings run higher there than in any other border state.
It’s gotten to the point where the local sheriff has installed a hotline for people to report suspected illegal immigrants.
There’s nothing wrong with keeping a community safe but there’s something inherently wrong about feeding into mass hysteria under the guise of keeping law and order.


Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has a reputation for being tough. In fact, he wants to live up to that reputation so much, it would seem, that he has made one of his official objectives to get tough on illegal immigration.

The Illegal immigrant hotline is just one aspect of the Sheriff’s strategy. Visit the Sheriff’s homepage and you’ll find the latest stats of illegal immigrant apprehensions and even mugshots of people his men have arrested for “conspiracy to commit human smuggling.”
This week, illegal immigration is the Sheriff’s “Crime of the Week.”
So far, since the hotline was installed last Friday, the Sheriff says that his office has received 300 tips. He claims that his office won’t go and investigate unless there is probable cause to do so.
The advocates for the undocumented want the Sheriff to disconnect the hotline. He won’t.
So they plan on setting up a hotline of their own for people to call who have been unjustly targeted.
And that is what should happen, but also the Sheriff’s hotline should stay up.
Why?
It would be an interesting “experiment” to see how the public perceives the so-called illegal immigrant and how often they think they see one. It could also prove to be a good tool in measuring the hysteria that is sweeping the country.

The hotline began last Friday and has received about 300 messages, which include tips about family and friends, employment, day laborers, drop houses and crank calls.

That anyone would report their own family members is a sad situation that warrants greater vigilance and documentation as to what these kinds of targeted laws are compelling people to do.
What kinds of laws intimidate people to do what is legal, but not what is morally right?

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Comment(14)

  • Avatar
    yave begnet
    July 27, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    There’s a special corner of hell reserved for people who report illegal immigrants.

  • Avatar
    Irn
    July 27, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    That anyone would report their own family members is a sad situation that warrants greater vigilance and documentation as to what these kinds of targeted laws are compelling people to do.
    What kinds of laws intimidate people to do what is legal, but not what is morally right?
    I’m not sure that you’re correctly understanding those phone calls. Not that I know any better, but I have heard of multiple situations where people call the Border Patrol on their friends or family members out of spite.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    July 28, 2007 at 8:27 am

    We have crime hotlines in may areas of the country, but we don’t say that they’re contributing to mass hysteria. The mass invasion by uninvited foreign nationals is a fact, not some figment of the imagination. If the sheriff has probable cause to arrest a violator of our laws then he should do his duty. Arpaio is doing his duty.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    July 28, 2007 at 9:55 am

    “What kinds of laws intimidate people to do what is legal, but not what is morally right?”
    Who is intimidating whom? And what’s so morally right about permitting illegal immigration? It’s funny that Mexico, and almost every country in the world, has laws against illegal immigration. Is every country in the world immoral by doing so? I suggest that morality is a matter of convenience to the observer, especially those who would use such claims to justify breaking our laws or protecting those who do. If your brother is a thief and has broken the law, and is faced with punishment, claiming the law is immoral won’t gain you any supporters, except from his friends.

  • Avatar
    David O.
    July 28, 2007 at 11:21 am

    Mass Invasion? Why I would say that sounds like hysteria. As for morally right, invading another country and killing thousands upon thousands of it’s civilian population is right up there with good ole U.S. Of A values. It’s all been approved and stamped legal.
    There is no way I would ever turn in an ‘illegal invader’; heck I might even help more of them across to subjugate your culture, language, and laws, and overrun the health and social services system that has you and your ilk completely terrified. I can even see some public schools named for Benito Juarez and Che Guevara, oh yes, I can see them now.
    Of course, to stem this invasion of ‘foreign nationals’, you could mark illegals with a mandatory
    symbol on their ID. That worked real good with law abiding citizens in other countries.
    We are here and we are not going anywhere, all 12 million of us. Take down 50 a week and hundreds more will fill their ranks.

  • Avatar
    webmaster
    July 28, 2007 at 11:45 am

    I doubt that this hotline will be very effective. It seems that Sheriff Arpaio is stepping in on ICE’s turf. I wonder the extent that crime in his jurisdiction is related to illegal immigration in the first place. Why don’t these people ever target the businesses that employ the illegal immigrants? They are just as guilty as those who crossed over without papers.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    July 28, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    Tens of thousands of illegal aliens crossing our borders without our permission constitutes a mass invasion. Just as you don’t like the words “amnesty”, “illegal alien”, “mass invasion” is a fact.
    There’s nothing in the Constitution that gives the power to control immigration to the federal government. The states granted the federal government the power to establish naturalization rules. Under Arizona law, Arpaio is well with his rights to arrest and prosecute illegal aliens for conspiring to smuggle themselves across the border. Even after the adoption of Constitution states were permitted to govern immigration, so there’s precedence for permitting Arpaio to what he is doing. A future Supreme Court ruling will prove this out, and the laws created by the lower courts will be nullified.
    President Bush dislikes punishing his business friends, so he under-resources ICE and makes them ineffective at investigating employers of illegal aliens. If you’d read the newspapers and listen to the news you’d get the big picture.

  • Avatar
    webmaster
    July 29, 2007 at 11:02 am

    Horace,
    I do read the papers and listen to the news. I am also aware that there are banks that give mortgages, loans, and credit cards to undocumented residents. I am trying to make sense of these conservatives who want to invest in all of these hotlines, bigger walls, and more immigration agents, yet, at the same time, want to make money off of these people.
    I don’t know the extent that Arpaio is working with ICE, that I will admit. I understand that the states can take measures to regulate immigration. The Minute Men were not stopped from reporting illegal immigrants to the Border Patrol. I question its overall effectiveness. How is the average citizen of Maricopa county going to know if residents X, Y, and Z are illegal? Most undocumented people live in the shadows and try not to draw attention to themselves. Certainly, their employers are not going to report them.
    So I guess my real question is how do you know that someone is illegal? Or how does one suspect that someone is illegal? Horace, you seem to be an expert in illegal immigration. You obviously are passionate about this subject. How would you identify someone who is illegal?

  • Avatar
    David O.
    July 29, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    “Horace, you seem to be an expert in illegal immigration. You obviously are passionate about this subject. How would you identify someone who is illegal?”
    It’s not really important what Horace thinks, what does matter to us is what criteria are the police using to identify illegal ‘Aliens’?
    It is all academic to to write anti-immigrant comments, but it’s
    another thing when one is stopped and asked to produce an ID and state one’s citizenship, repeatedly. The Fed’s are teaching local police on identifying illegal aliens. I would like to know what they use to train the local cops. That information should be available.
    David O.

  • Avatar
    CarlaArenas
    August 9, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    I say we call and flood it with useless info to spite them!

  • Avatar
    Horace
    August 10, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    David O., I’ll be satisfied if the Department of Homeland Security carrys out its campaign on combatting employment of illegal immigrants in the workplace. Deprive them of work and illegal aliens will go home. This is a tit for tat with Mexico and Latin America, which also have workplace laws and also combat illegal immigration by imprisonment and deportation.
    The abuses of illegal immigrants by our givernment and mentioned in this blog are minor compared to that attributed to the Mexican government, but I never hear the operator of this blog complain or do anything about it.
    According to illegal alien advocates, only the rest of the world is entitled to make immigration laws and enforce them, as they cry nativism and xenophobia when citizens demand enforcement of their will. Illegal Latin Americans have contempt for our laws because although their countries may have a legal system and a Constitution, they’re authorities are thoroughly corrupt and consequently they have lost respect for the concept of law. It is evident by the crimes reported in the news every day that illegal alien Latin Americans are bringing the worst of their culture with them.
    One last thing. The citizens of this country will decide who shall and shall not become a legal resident or citizen, and they wont be swayed by threats or violance. Marches and protests by illegal aliens only evoke the ire of the citizen and resistance. The more they march and protest, the more resistant the citizen becomes. In the end, the citizens will win, as they are morally and legally correct in their positions.

  • Avatar
    RS
    August 13, 2007 at 3:50 pm

    HOORAY FOR ARPAIO!!! Round them all up, and send up packing. The law is the law – you break it & you face the consequences. And for those of you who can’t remember, or those of you who didn’t stay in school long enough to learn it, perhaps you should take a look at a world map to understand where your territory starts and stops. If you want to come to OUR country, stand in line & take a numer. Otherwise STAY OUT!!!

  • Avatar
    Bettybb
    August 20, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    Well the hot line has produced its first murder. Guess it does have crime fighting potential. The dead body was in an illegal immigrant drop house. The Sheriff had several tips from different sources.
    That won’t make the illegals crying “racism” happy. That is the only argument they have against their multiple crimes; coming in illegally, document or identity fraud, and driving without a license. You see that is the problem with breaking the law, once you start, you think it is okay to continue.
    David seems to have a real anti-American attitude. If he is not American, why does he stay here if he is so miserable? If he prefers another culture, go join it. If he is American, what has he done to change things?
    Would I turn in an illegal? Depends. Those guys who executed the three going to college girls in New Jerseay I could not report fast enough. Or the illegal who raped that young girl in AZ. If I was working and asked as part of my job to do the paperwork checking, yep I would have no problem turning them in. But not someone I met on the street or in a social occasion, as I could not be sure they were illegal.
    But even though Bush’s enforcement is a half hearted sham, it still should get the ball rolling. It will be interesting to see how people react.
    I think it would be best to give all illegals amnesty for 6 months to return to the homes, after which if they are caught it is 2 years in jail, and a second time,10 years in jail. Those are the penalties in Mexico.

  • Avatar
    VINCENT PA
    September 17, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    Hats off to the Sheriff! Every state and city should adopt the same program. We have to stop the influx of ILLEGAL ALIENS especially coming from Mexico. We must also send all illegals back to where they came from. Americans can’t get jobs because these illecal aliens work for peanuts undercuting our workers. WE WILL DO OUR OWN WORK WHEN ALL THESE ILLEGAL CRIMINALS ARE GONE.

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