Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > AZ Gov. holds the fate of the Constitutional rights of the state’s Latinos with her signature

AZ Gov. holds the fate of the Constitutional rights of the state’s Latinos with her signature

LatinaLista — Immigrant advocates are steeling themselves for bad news to come out of Arizona any day now. There is high expectation that Arizona Governor Brewer will sign into law the most destructive bill yet on Latino constitutional rights.


Now, some will argue that since the bill is directed at only undocumented Latinos that they have no rights under the U.S. Constitution — wrong.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer

While illegal aliens do not enjoy all of the rights granted to citizens by the Constitution, specifically the rights to vote or possess firearms, these rights can also be denied to U.S. citizens convicted of felonies. In final analysis, the courts have ruled that, while they are within the borders of the United States, illegal aliens are granted the same fundamental, undeniable constitutional rights granted to all Americans.

But this bill actually does go farther in denying Latino citizens their Constitutional rights since the bill requires law enforcement to basically racially profile people on their hunt for undocumented immigrants. And it penalizes those law enforcement agencies who are perceived by the public or private sector for not doing enough to round up undocumented immigrants.

For those Latinos and Latinas who are fair skinned, blond hair and look more like they descended from the Mayflower rather than drove across the border, they’re pretty much in the clear. After all, what’s the police going to do? Stop every white person they see and check their papers?

Unfortunately, it’s the dark-skinned members of our families and communities who will be stopped. If anyone thinks that the police doing the questioning is going to believe one of these Latinos who says they were born here and are American citizens, but just don’t have any paperwork on them proving it, they live in LaLa Land.

The likely scenario is that these police will have to take all the Latinos they stopped back to the station until somebody shows up with a birth certificate or other ID.

And that’s OK with these Arizona legislators and their Governor?

It’s OK to sacrifice the Constitutional rights of their Latino citizens in the hopes of snagging a couple of undocumented in the process?

It’s OK to demoralize, humiliate and frustrate 30 percent of the state’s population to satisfy one demographic?

It’s not OK, but people who believe it is are already beyond reason or hope.

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  • Cindi Jane
    April 21, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    If they ever had any sympathy for Latinos, the citizens of Arizona lost it when they became flooded with illegal aliens and their fellow citizens began to support their illicit presence. I do not find it unusual that when people become fed up with such behavior that they take drastic measures. Arizonan Latinos brought this upon themselves.

  • Giacamo
    April 21, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    The Latino communities of Arizona remind me of the Italian communities that harbored the Mafia. When the government came in and purged them of the criminals they screamed to high heaven in righteous indignation that the government was harassing them. It was a case of trickle down economics where the so-called honest folk profited indirectly from crime and in which the Mafioso never negatively affected their own ethnic group but put the arm on the Irish. In this case it’s the economic burden that the relatively high wage earning and taxpaying citizens will feel once amnestied illegal aliens avail themselves of the economic subsidies of our tax code and welfare system. After all, we all know that the working poor pay no net income taxes, but receive their entire contributions back while the rest of us pay through the nose. Adding 20 million non-federal tax paying citizens to our country is frightening to any taxpayer.

  • cookie
    April 21, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Wrong!!! LE will not be allowed to question anyone without reasonable suspicion of them being in this country illegally. Reasonable suspicion does not include skin color or ethnicity.
    Why is it that Latinos complain about every attempt we make at enforcing our immigration laws? That is just plain anti-American.
    It is not a civil rights violation for LE to question anyone whether they be citizen or illegal as long as they have reasonable suspicion to do so.
    I am sick to death of this ethnocentricism that runs so deep within Hispanics that they think it trumps the rule of law in this country.

  • Liquid Reigns
    April 21, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Now, some will argue that since the bill is directed at only undocumented Latinos that they have no rights under the U.S. Constitution — wrong.
    Your link is to an page? And you are attempting to actually use that as documented proof?
    First, the Yick Wo v. Hopkins (1886) case states that he was here as an legal immigrant (By the third article of the treaty between this government and that of China, concluded November 17, 1880) and that he was imprisoned for operating a clothes washing company that was in violation of county ordinance, later dropped due to discrimination.
    Second, the Wong Wing v. U.S. (1896) case concludes that Wong Wing was a legal immigrant, not an illegal immigrant as the link title suggests.
    Third, the Plyler v. Doe (1982) case does not grant any constitutional liberties to the children, the decision clearly states: although education is not a “fundamental right,” so as to require the State to justify the statutory classification by showing that it serves a compelling governmental interest, nevertheless the Texas statute imposes a lifetime hardship on a discrete class of children not accountable for their disabling status. These children can neither affect their parents’ conduct nor their own undocumented status. [457 U.S. 202, 203] The deprivation of public education is not like the deprivation of some other governmental benefit.
    The 14th was directed at the State of Texas, not the children. Within its decision it points that out: The children who are plaintiffs in these cases are special members of this underclass. Persuasive arguments support the view that a State may withhold its beneficence from those whose very presence within the United States is the product of their own unlawful conduct. These arguments do not apply [457 U.S. 202, 220] with the same force to classifications imposing disabilities on the minor children of such illegal entrants. At the least, those who elect to enter our territory by stealth and in violation of our law should be prepared to bear the consequences, including, but not limited to, deportation. But the children of those illegal entrants are not comparably situated. Their “parents have the ability to conform their conduct to societal norms,” and presumably the ability to remove themselves from the State’s jurisdiction; but the children who are plaintiffs in these cases “can affect neither their parents’ conduct nor their own status.” Trimble v. Gordon, 430 U.S. 762, 770 (1977).
    Illegal immigrants are afforded “Civil Rights” based on the States requirements of the US Constitution. They are not granted “Civil Liberties” based on the Constitution. States can limit and regulate “benefits” afforded immigrants and “illegal immigrants”, however the States can not limit “civil rights” to illegal immigrants.

  • Texan123
    April 22, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Why not require all legal immigrants and citizens to carry photo ID,and photo auto liability insurance card? I would be ok with producing ID. Most of us do it regularly to cash checks, open accounts, vote. Why not allow local police to check immigration status databases whenever a driver is pulled over? If the ID or car insurance or registration comes back as invalid, a trip to the station is required. Most legal immigrants are required to carry their documents already.
    Lack of enforcement is what is broken in the immigration system.

  • jgraglan
    April 22, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    I haven’t read the whole bill, but the phrases that interest me so far are; “lawful contact” and “reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an illegal alien.” This doesn’t sound to me like “the bill requires law enforcement to basically racially profile people.”
    It’s more like checking the seat belt after being stopped for speeding. I’m sure there will be racists out there like the Hispanic cop who pulled me over on the south side for a burned out tail light and then (because I was a white guy with an Hispanic woman?) proceeded to write me up for everything he could imagine I suppose. (I took it to court and the judge threw everything out but the tail light violation). I hope people get to understand what they’re really protesting against before anyone gets hurt.

  • Bryan J.
    April 22, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    I do believe that by Brewer stating she will “do the right thing”, that she will. I am hopeful she will veto it, especially given the fact that so much more have come out against it than in favor of it.
    I still get arguments from Liquid Reigns that unconstitutional constitutional rights; that is all granted under the UN charter, which is a flat out lie. Even in law school, students are unaware that the constitution does not only cover “citizens”.
    Ah, the tasks ahead are daunting.

  • Alonzo
    April 22, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    “The likely scenario is that these police will have to take all the Latinos they stopped back to the station until somebody shows up with a birth certificate or other ID.”
    Likely scenario? I hardly think so. The likely scenario is that the police are too busy with higher priorities than harassing every Latino they see. Think of how much work this would be. They’d have little time for anything else, even doughnut breaks. One would have to presume that all the police are bad people to aver that rampant abuse would occur. I can imagine that during the advent of arming policemen, way back in our history, there were people like you objected to that, claiming that every policemen would be shooting citizens on the slightest suspicion. Well, it didn’t happen, and your outrageous hyperbole probably won’t come true either.

  • Marisa Treviño
    April 22, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Alonzo, You do realize that part of this bill empowers Arizonan residents to file charges against their local police dept. if they feel they’re not enforcing the law enough? With people already filing silly charges against their local officials in cities everywhere, you really think a few nut cases won’t try and enforce this part of the law? This bill makes stopping Latino-looking people a priority, unless they want to risk being hauled into court and fined.

  • Alonzo
    April 22, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    Have you actually read the law, Marisa? I have, and I don’t read it the way you do. You are ruled by your emotions, Marisa. Try using logic and stop the hysterics and imagining the worst case scenario. The courts can handle the isolated abusers as they do now. Stop demonizing the police who will no doubt be instructed in their limitations in enforcing the law. Instead of depending upon your extremist friends for an interpretation, actually read the bill. It really isn’t very complicated. It doesn’t require a law degree to understand its plain language.

  • Chicano future tense
    April 23, 2010 at 12:23 am

    Arizona SB 1070-
    Illegal law that codifies and legalizes racial profiling will surely be overturned by the US supreme court..
    Arizona SB 1070-
    Alien to freedom..legislation that is an usurpation of our constitutional rights and which trample on human and civil rights.
    The backbone of SB 1070 is the granting to Arizona law enforcement authorities the power to exercise “probable cause”-racial profiling.
    The officer …“may arrest a person if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the United States”.When this case goes before the US Supreme Court I am sure it’s backbone will be broken and tossed into the trash bin from which it came.
    This outrageous decree has absolutely no just rational criteria for determining what constitutes “probable cause” other than the officers subjective and personal prejudices.I wonder just how many white skinned,blonde,blue eyed grannies will the police be stopping because of “probable cause”??..hypothetically,even if the police were to stop,question and detain all of the latter mentioned group you can bet you would hear a thunderous roar of outrage and anger coming from white Arizonans against state politicians,police and courts.. but of course we know this will never happen..right..?
    ..but it’s perfectly ok with racist Arizonans if it happens to brown people..right?..”probable cause” meaning to racist Arizonans..
    “”I’m probably going to punish and cause all these brown people a hell of lot of pain and suffering..anyway who gives a damn if they are US citizens or not they all look alike to us..wetbacks..all of em..””
    This illegal and alien legislation opens a gateway to hell through which all types of racist and fascistic evils can pass through which will divide people by race and color,and which will encourage and give moral support to racist hate mongers who think they have some god given right to dominate and rule over minorities.These types of people if left to their own designs will surely succeed in destroying the United States of America and transform into a garrison police state and society where whites become the jailers and prison guards over a growing and burgeoning minority who will in less than 30 years comprise over 40% of the US population.
    Do we want the USA to be the USA or do we want it to become a Republic of South Africa with a tyrannical ruling white minority american style apartheid complete with internal passports and papers,racial color coded id’s to travel to an from brown Bantustans and brown Sowetos(SouthWesternTownships)..
    ……if you seek the latter than you are guaranteeing the death doom and destruction of an entire nation the USA,because laws such as SB1070 do have the potential to escalate out of control and god forbid explode into race wars of Balkan Kosovo type barbarity and bloodlust..
    if the country is consumed in fire all will perish in the flames.
    … the words of the great english poet John Donne I end this post with these lines…
    “because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

  • cookie
    April 23, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Alonzo, you are right. The pro-illegal advocates are getting desparate to pick apart this bill and use every imaginable excuse not to get it passed.
    Although I think the part of the bill about citizens being able to sue LE for not nabbing enough illegal aliens is silly, I highly doubt that it will be excercised. It would be next to impossible to prove.

  • Bryan J.
    April 23, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Your legal argument is deceptive because you right:
    “Illegal immigrants are afforded “Civil Rights” based on the States requirements of the US Constitution.”
    Right, the U.S. constitution mandates that the States respect their rights. Thus, it is a “right” deriving from the U.S. constitution.
    And here is an exact example of non-state constitutional rights: Federal Crimes, such as kidnapping for example.
    If an illegal immigrant is charged with a federal crime, the constitution directly mandates that they are provided with an attorney.
    You recklessly assert authority on legal matters to which you are flat out wrong, like this from your blog:
    ““Deportable Aliens” have ‘NO RIGHTS’ granted to them by our Constitution just by being in the United States if they are in violation of our immigration laws. They are only granted ‘due process’ (Civil Rights granted from the UN Charter on Human Rights) if they are charged with an “infamous crime” for which the Government has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, otherwise the penalty imposed is Deportation for first time offenders.”
    The Constitution does grant them rights; the UN Charter is not what grants them their “civil rights”. It’s the constitution, be it for a federal crime or the Constituions limitation on the States. Stop the deception.

  • irma
    April 23, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    My husband’s grand parents had to wear a big yellow star on their clothes
    – it was legally decreed in their country- so that Jews could be identified. They also had to carry official documentation of their Polish citizenship at all times. They folowed these laws in their country. They were rewarded by being sent to a camp and were never heard from again.
    The Arizona legislation is immoral and should terrify all Americans.
    We are becoming a police state.

  • Liquid Reigns
    April 23, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Right, the U.S. constitution mandates that the States respect their rights. Thus, it is a “right” deriving from the U.S. constitution.
    The Constitution does not grant rights, nor does it mandate that states respect a persons rights. It only mandates that people be given equal protection under the law within their own jurisdiction. The US Constitution is a document firmly founded in the principle of Enumerated Powers. The document is meant to set forth the limited powers that the People were granting the government “to establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty.”
    The first sentence of Article I, Section 1 says it all. “All legislative Powers herein granted…”
    It is clear that the People are granting certain powers to the government. The People are not being granted rights. Article I. Section 8 lists the specific powers granted.
    The Constitution does grant them rights
    It merely grants limited Governmental powers, not rights.
    Doesn’t the Bill of Rights grant us rights?
    Nope, it only sought to enumerate and protect those that were considered important enough to list.
    It does not contain phrases like, “The People shall have the right to free speech.” It contains language like, “Congress shall make no law… abridging free speech…” or “..the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
    If the People did not already have the right to free speech, how could Congress abridge it?
    Stop the deception.
    Is that like your deception of “rights are derived from the Constitution”?
    I will give you the UN Charter argument, I, in fact was incorrect with it, but next time you think you are going to “call me out” using my blog topics, at least have the decency to do it on my blog instead of on somebody else’s.

  • Alonzo
    April 24, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    The fact is that judging by the lawlessness in Arizona, shown by the complete contempt of our immigration law by mobs of illegal aliens and their supporters, extraordinary action should be taken by the federal government. Martial law is indicated. The state has been overrun by a body of foreigners who have the support of their primary proponent, the Mexican government. If this doesn’t alarm our government and our citizenry, to paraphrase Shakespeare’s Hamlet, something is indeed rotten in the State of Denmark.
    When the concerns of foreigners are given consideration equal to the concerns of citizens, citizens who have the backing of established federal immigration laws, then our nation is on the verge of collapse. The “We” in “We the People” found in our Constitution becomes meaningless.
    Harry Reid, Barrack Obama and Nancy Pelosi are caving to angry mobs who seek to undermine the sovereignty of the American people, and as such are traitors to our fundamental concept of rule of law. And I find it ironic that the same illegal aliens and advocates who show contempt for our immigration laws and in so doing, contempt for rule of law, a principle crucial to our continued success as a nation, now call upon our courts to protect them from what they claim to be a violation of their civil rights. The duplicity of this would be laughable if they didn’t have the POTUS and his lacky congressional leadership on their side. The most tragic element of this is that these advocates and some honest citizens cannot recognize their horrible mistake.

  • Ralph J.
    April 25, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    I believe that all of you debating the Constitutional rights of Citizens legal or illegal need to read the laws on Immigration.
    They are as follows:
    Illegal Immigration is a Crime
    Under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, “Improper Entry by Alien,” any citizen of any country other than the United States who:
    Enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers; or
    Eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers; or
    Attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact;
    has committed a federal crime.
    Violations are punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment for up to six months. Repeat offenses can bring up to two years in prison. Additional civil fines may be imposed at the discretion of immigration judges, but civil fines do not negate the criminal sanctions or nature of the offense.
    See: Unlawful entry a crime since ’29 – Rocky Mountain News — June 11, 2006
    Also see the following………..
    Illegal Immigration is a Crime
    Each year the Border Patrol is making more than a million apprehensions of people who flagrantly violate our nation’s laws by unlawfully crossing U.S. borders to work and to receive publicly-funded services, often with the aid of fraudulent documents. Such entry is a misdemeanor and, if repeated, becomes punishable as a felony. Over eight million illegal immigrants live in the United States — some estimate even more.
    In addition to sneaking into the country in violation of the immigration law that requires that aliens be documented for legal entry (referred to as “entry without inspection — EWI”), others enter with legal documentation and then violate the terms on which they have been admitted by taking jobs that are not authorized or overstaying the authorized period of stay in the country. The INS estimated in 1996 that about 60 percent of the then estimated five million illegal immigrants were EWI and 40 percent were overstayers. Both types of illegal immigrants are deportable under Immigration and Nationality Act Section 237 (a)(1)(B) which says:
    “Any alien who is present in the United States in violation of this Act or any other law of the United States is deportable.”
    Apologists for illegal immigration like to paint it as a victimless crime. But in fact, illegal immigration causes substantial harm to American citizens and legal immigrants, particularly those in the most vulnerable sectors of our population–the poor, minorities, and children.
    Illegal immigration causes an enormous drain on public funds. The seminal study of the costs of immigration by the National Academy of Sciences found that the taxes paid by immigrants do not cover the cost of services received by them. We cannot provide high quality education, health care, and retirement security for our own people if we continue to bring in endless numbers of poor, unskilled immigrants.
    Additionally, job competition by waves of illegal immigrants willing to work at substandard wages and working conditions depresses the wages of American workers, hitting hardest at minority workers and those without high school degrees. Ý
    Illegal immigration also contributes to the dramatic population growth overwhelming communities across America–crowding school classrooms, consuming already limited affordable housing, and straining precious natural resources like water, energy, and forestland.
    The Border Patrol plays a crucial role in combating illegal immigration, but illegal immigration cannot be controlled solely at the border. About half of the illegal alien population is comprised of visa overstayers–people who entered the country legally, but became illegal aliens by their failure to leave the U.S. upon expiration of their visa. Once entry occurs, there is little chance of detection and virtually no chance of deportation, except for convicted criminals.
    We need a comprehensive program to end illegal immigration; that means ensuring that people who enter illegally or overstay their lawful status will not be able to obtain employment, public assistance benefits, public education, public housing, or any other taxpayer-funded benefit without detection.
    The three major components of immigration control–deterrence, apprehension and removal–need to be strengthened by Congress and the Executive Branch if effective control is ever to be reestablished. Controlling illegal immigration requires a balanced approach with a full range of enforcement improvements that go far beyond the border. These include many procedural reforms, beefed up investigation capacity, asylum reform, documents improvements, major improvements in INS detention and deportation procedures, limitations on judicial review, improved intelligence capacity, greatly improved state/federal cooperation, and added resources. See How to Combat Illegal Immigration.
    Effective control and management of the laws against illegal immigration require adequate resources. But those costs will be more than offset by savings to states, counties, communities, and school districts across the nation.
    FAIR, 3/03
    Also see: Federal Immigration and Nationality Act Section 8 USC 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv)(b)(iii)
    and…. 1996 Brief: ‘Illegal Immigration is a Crime’
    Now, I suppose you are going to tell me that the Immigration Laws are all Unconstitutional. Get real people. They are here illegally and Illegal is Illegal. Let me hear your arguments on the above please. And, while you are at it, please check out the Immigration laws of the Country of Mexico. I tend to believe that when you do, you will cease to argue about Immigration being Unconstitutional.

  • Texan123
    April 27, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Violence from Mexico is spreading into Arizona. It is the kidnapping capital of the U.S. The majority of these crimes are committed by human and drug smugglers.
    Do Hispanics want the same lawlessness they fled in Mexico? Do you want criminals to determine which laws they will obey?
    Federal Law already exists that, if enforced, would control illegal immigration and the lawlessness that comes with it. The Federal gov., has steadfastly REFUSED to protect citizens from being victim to illegal immigrants. Arizona is trying to protect her citizens. America does not need another amnesty. We need the enforcement we were promised when the last amnesty rewarded illegal immigrants for illegal actions.

  • Bryan J.
    April 27, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    I called you out because you chastised Marisa for citing to “”
    I did not deceive; the result is that they have rights, regardless of how it got there.

  • Bryan J.
    April 27, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    For your own health, do not comment on legal matters.

  • Marco
    May 4, 2010 at 11:44 am

    One comment, and one comment only;At the end of paragraph one, you call this bill “The most destructive bill yet on Latino constitutional rights.” I wasn’t aware that the Constitution was written for “Latinos”. Thought it was written for Citizens of these United States, regardless of race,color,or creed.Thought you might like to know you’ve kind of missed the point on which to base an argument.

  • Marisa Treviño
    May 5, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Marco, you missed the point of the post. The reasoning behind SB 1070 is that Latino citizens don’t have Constitutional rights. Otherwise, there would be more concern that Latino citizens will be stopped, questioned and hauled away if they can’t convince law officers that they are citizens. It’s not a hypothetical. It’s already happened.

  • Evelyn
    May 6, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    The reasoning behind SB 1070 is that Latino citizens don’t have Constitutional rights. Otherwise, there would be more concern that Latino citizens will be stopped, questioned and hauled away if they can’t convince law officers that they are citizens. It’s not a hypothetical. It’s already happened.
    OMG! Speak of BIG GOVERNMENT interfering in the lives of American citizens, where are the teabaggers? Does anyone know where they are protesting in Nazizona? Anyone?
    Teabaggers protesting this BIG Government infringement on American citizens rights and the nauseating violation of our constitution.
    Say what, they arent protesting…..damn hypocrits!

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