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21.4.08

Arizona: The Anti-Sanctuary State

There are a number of cities around the country that are "sanctuary cities." These cities decided that their local law enforcement would focus on enforcing local laws, since 1) they lack the time, resources, and training to do the Feds' job for them, and 2) trying to enforce immigration law interferes with enforcing local laws, since it makes whole communities of people fearful of interacting with the police in any way.

The state of Arizona wants every city and county in the state to be an anti-sanctuary city. The Senate just passed a bill that would require local law enforcement to enforce immigration law.

The sanctuary city rationale laid out above is solid enough, and it works even if you assume that police forces, systemically and at the level of individual officers, are basically dedicated to the common good. The problem only gets worse when you factor in that these folks the state is now demanding enforce immigration law are not only under-trained and over-worked, but also quite often racist bastards. The latest evidence of this comes from a review (pdf) of Arizona traffic stops, which showed that the cops are 2 to 3 times more likely to search a person of color's car than a white person's. And to add insult to injury, Latinos and American Indians were substantially less likely than whites to have any illegal stuff in their car (blacks were just slightly more likely).

3 Comments:

Blogger ogre said...

Building bridges to the 19th century. Ah, yes, the state that offered us John McCain. Thanks, AZ.

(But no thanks!)

8:37 AM  
Blogger Stentor said...

Actually, for most of the 19th century, the US had little or no immigration law to be enforced. That aspect of the 19th century I'd be happy to revive.

And remember, John McCain is actually not that well liked down here, because lots of people think he's too liberal, particularly on immigration.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Elaine Vigneault said...

That's depressing.

9:17 PM  

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