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Arizona law aims at doing what federal government won’t

By Don McKee Marietta Daily Journal Read the following and decide if it is good law or bad law: “For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person. The person’s immigration status shall be verified with the federal government pursuant to 8 United States code section 1373(c).” That’s from Article 8, Paragraph B of Senate Bill 1070 enacted by the Arizona State Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer last week. The new law also makes it a crime to be in Arizona illegally, mirroring federal law. Is this the dread “profiling” that sends left-wing groupies up the wall? Or is it sane, sound policy for a state inundated with illegals – or any other state, for that matter? In its statement of intent, SB 1070 says: ”The legislature finds that there is a compelling interest in the cooperative enforcement of federal immigration laws throughout all of Arizona. The legislature declares that the intent of this act is to make attrition through enforcement the public policy of all state and local government agencies in Arizona. The provisions of this act are intended to work together to discourage and deter the unlawful entry and presence of aliens and economic activity by persons unlawfully present in the United States.” If ever there was a place needing enforcement of immigration laws, it is Arizona. Its capital, Phoenix, has been labeled the “kidnapping capital” of the United States. The kidnappings are for ransom. Most victims and suspects are tied to drug smuggling and usually are traced to Mexico. Arizona is the drug gateway to this country, accounting for about half of all the marijuana seized along the border. In 2008, reported kidnappings in Phoenix climbed to 366 and in the first 11 months of 2009, the number reached 302. Just a few days ago, two kidnappers hijacked a car with four adults in broad daylight in Phoenix and demanded a ransom. Police arrested and charged two men, one of whom confessed to entering this country illegally, the Phoenix New Times reported. The victims were lucky in this case. They were released unharmed. Is it any wonder that Arizona legislators and the governor are trying to do something to stop the flood of illegal immigrants visiting crime upon the state? Liberals from President Obama on down are denouncing the law and some groups are already starting boycotts of Arizona. But Gov. Brewer got it right when she said her state is forced to act because the federal government has flat out failed to stop the influx of illegals and drugs from Mexico. If Washington would enforce existing federal laws, there would be no need for SB 1070.

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