Thursday, April 29, 2010

Understanding Arizona's Immigration Law

Source - Center for Immigration Studies :

The new law recently signed by the governor of Arizona, SB 1070, makes it a state crime to violate some federal immigration statutes. While the law is extremely popular in the state, with 70 percent of Arizona voters approving of it and just 23 percent opposed, it has raised controversy. Below is a brief summary of the relevant information on illegal immigration in Arizona, followed by a short analysis of SB 1070’s major provisions.

Illegal immigration in Arizona:

  • The federal government estimated that Arizona had one of the fastest growing illegal immigrant populations in the country, increasing from 330,000 in 2000 to 560,000 by 2008.1

  • Arizona has adopted other laws to deter the settlement of illegal immigrants in the state in recent years. The federal government estimates that the illegal immigrant population dropped by 18 percent in the state from 2008 to 2009, compared to a 7 percent drop for the nation as a whole.2 This may be evidence that the state enforcement efforts are having an impact.

  • The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office has found that 22 percent of felonies in the county are committed by illegal immigrants.3 Illegal immigrants are estimated to be 10 percent of the county’s adult population.4

  • Analysis of data from State Criminal Alien Assistance Program showed that illegal immigrants were 11 percent of the state’s prison population. Illegal immigrants were estimated to be 8 percent of state’s adult population at the time of the analysis.5

  • Approximately 17 percent of those arrested by the Border Patrol in its Tucson Sector have criminal records in the United States.6

  • The issue of illegal immigration and crime is very difficult to measure, and while in Arizona there is evidence that illegal immigrants are committing a disproportionate share of crime, it is not clear this is the case nationally.7

  • In 2007, the Center for Immigration Studies estimated that 12 percent of workers in the Arizona are illegal immigrants.8

  • In 2007, the Center estimated that illegal immigrants and their U.S.-born children (under 18) comprise one-fifth of those in the state living in poverty, one-third of those without health insurance, and one out of six students in the state’s schools.9

  • In 2007, the Center estimated that one-third of households headed by illegal immigrants in Arizona used at least one major welfare program, primarily food-assistance programs or Medicaid. Benefits were typically received on behalf of U.S.-born children.10

  • The new law (SB 1070) is extremely popular among Arizona voters. A Rasmussen poll found that 70 percent of voters approve of the new bill, and just 23 percent oppose it.11
Among the new law’s provisions:
  • The new Arizona law mirrors federal law, which already requires aliens (non-citizens) to register and carry their documents with them (8 USC 1304(e) and 8 USC 1306(a)). The new Arizona law simply states that violating federal immigration law is now a state crime as well. Because illegal immigrants are by definition in violation of federal immigration laws, they can now be arrested by local law enforcement in Arizona.

  • The law is designed to avoid the legal pitfall of “pre-emption,” which means a state can’t adopt laws that conflict with federal laws. By making what is a federal violation also a state violation, the Arizona law avoids this problem.

  • The law only allows police to ask about immigration status in the normal course of “lawful contact” with a person, such as a traffic stop or if they have committed a crime.

  • Estimates from the federal government indicate that more than 80 percent of illegal immigrants come from Latin America.12 Thus, there is concern that police may target only Hispanics for enforcement.

  • Before asking a person about immigration status, law enforcement officials are required by the law to have “reasonable suspicion” that a person is an illegal immigrant. The concept of “reasonable suspicion” is well established by court rulings. Since Arizona does not issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, having a valid license creates a presumption of legal status. Examples of reasonable suspicion include:
    • A driver stopped for a traffic violation has no license, or record of a driver's license or other form of federal or state identification.
    • A police officer observes someone buying fraudulent identity documents or crossing the border illegally.
    • A police officer recognizes a gang member back on the street who he knows has been previously deported by the federal government.

  • The law specifically states that police, “may not solely consider race, color or national origin” when implementing SB 1070.

  • When Arizona’s governor signed the new law, she also issued an executive order requiring the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board to provide local police with additional training on what does and what does not constitute “reasonable suspicion.”13

Important U.S. Supreme Court Victory: Salazar v. Buono

Ted Cruz on this important Supreme Court decision:

Yesterday, by a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a 75-year-old veterans’ memorial in California’s vast Mojave Desert can remain standing. The memorial, a seven-foot metal cross, was erected in 1934 by World War I veterans to honor their fallen brethren.

This is an important victory for every veteran and every lover of liberty in America. Nothing in the Constitution supports tearing down this monument to those who gave their lives in World War I, and the Supreme Court has rightly reversed the lower-court decision that, until now, has shamefully required that the monument be covered up in a plywood box.

As Justice Kennedy powerfully observed in yesterday’s lead opinion, the Mojave Desert Memorial “evokes thousands of small crosses in foreign fields marking the graves of Americans who fell in battles, battles whose tragedies are compounded if the fallen are forgotten.”

I was deeply honored to represent over three million veterans in this case. Along with my dear friend Kelly Shackelford, we filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, The American Legion, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and the American Ex-Prisoners of War. Read our brief here.

Kelly and I also wrote a piece on the case in the Wall Street Journal, which you can read HERE.

There was much at stake in this decision. All across this nation, monuments with religious symbols memorialize fallen veterans.

The ACLU challenged the Mojave Desert Memorial. If they had won this case, veterans memorials throughout the nation would have been in jeopardy, including the crosses in Arlington National Cemetery. That is an extreme and radical view, and it is not consistent with the Constitution of the United States.

The most effective part of our brief, in my opinion, is not the legal arguments, but the appendix, which has pictures of veterans memorials throughout the world that could have been imperiled by this lawsuit. I commend you to review those pictures and reflect on the stakes of this case.

Moving forward, we will certainly face many more challenges to monuments that acknowledge or reflect our religious heritage. But yesterdays Supreme Court decision is an important step toward protecting freedom of religious expression as intended by our Founding Fathers.

Listen to this interview with NPR in which I explain this very point.

America’s veterans who have died defending our country gave their last measure of devotion to preserve our right to free speech and religious expression. We owe it to them to remain vigilant against those who would dishonor their memory.

And yesterday, the Supreme Court protected them, and remained faithful to the Constitution.

- Ted Cruz, former Texas Solicitor General

Monday, April 26, 2010

New York Times Can't Admit that Obama is Unpopular

The New York Times acknowledged Saturday that there's a no patience out in the hinterland west of the Hudson River for Democrats and the direction they're taking this country, in their story "Democrats’ Long-Held Seats Face G.O.P. Threat."

Of course, the journalists Jeff Zeleny and Adam Nagourney never once mention that President Obama is a major reason for expected losses. Instead, it's Democrat representatives support for big government initiatives. The initiatives aren't linked to Obama.

Zeleny and Nagourney only say there is a 'discontent with Washington' without mentioning why there is such discontent:

Yet the discontent with Washington surging through politics is now threatening not only his [21-term Democrat David Obey] seat but also Democratic control of Congress.
Sean Duffy, who is Obey's challenger, says he's running against Obey because of his leading role in the health care socialization bill and other big government efforts. That's where the discontent originates, according to the Times weak handling of that issue. Never is the 'discontent' assigned to Obama. The only mention of Obama is the fact that his old Senate seat in Illinois (and Biden's by the way) is in play as well.

The Time continues to shill for Obama, once again ignoring his unpopularity and what will be the overriding reason for Democrat losses in November.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Democrat Jobs record

British politiicians and Obama

A concise American view of British elections:

Brown hasn’t a clue about real life, Cameron seems determined to torpedo his own political fortunes, and Clegg is ashamed of his own country.

It takes three people in the UK to do all that, while we Yanks are much more efficient, with Barack Obama doing all three things himself.

Friday, April 23, 2010

America, meet the challenge, remember in November

HT to Powerline, a powerful video on America's rising in 2010:

Remember November. 11-2, that is.