Here’s an interesting clause in the Keeping Brown Down Act of 2010:
Disallows officials or agencies of the state or political subdivisions from adopting or implementing policies that limit immigration enforcement to less than the full extent permitted by federal law, and allows a person to bring an action in superior court to challenge an official or agency that does so.
In other words, any Minuteman who doesn’t see enough cops stopping Mexicans in his town can file a lawsuit. If they win, the judge is mandated to award the militia member costs and attorney fees, and assess the town a $1,000 to $5,000 fine per day between the time the lawsuit was filed and the court ruling.
Between this and the inevitable civil rights lawsuits, every little town in Arizona will either have to raise taxes or declare bankruptcy. Since the former is politically impossible, expect to see bucket brigades and volunteer posses replacing fire and police departments. It’ll be a glibertarian paradise!
I guess the idea that bigger localities should let smaller localities decide their own policies extends from the federal government to the states but not from the states to individual towns. Anti-federalism has its limits, I see.
Can anyone tell me how a piece of shit legislation like this survives a legal challenge?
Arizona, unlike California, is not too big to fail. They richly deserve their impending bankruptcy.
And they will not have volunteer brigades of anything. Volunteering for the benefit of the community is for DFHs, not conservatives. They will happily stew in their own effluvia for the sake of their selfishness.
Hey–not all Arizonans are complicit in this atrocity. While I agree that Arizona richly deserves to fail, that failure will also negatively affect the 40% of the population who are subjected to this law because they are not white as well as the eleven white Arizonans who are opposed to it.
If I had my druthers Russell Pearce and Joe Arpaio would be deported. Failing that, tar and feathers might be appropriate.
The legislature claims that they had legal help in composing the law. Looks like they got that help from Regents’ university.
This law should be called the Arizona Law of Unintended Consequences, because that’s all anyone will be able to count on coming out of this thing.
ETA: Where are the Immigration Mimes when you need them?
This makes community policing illegal. The police must love this… and since when are police supposed to be enforcing immigration, which is a mostly administrative matter?
Hint to the righties: you want to make illegal immigration a matter of criminal law? Do you have any idea of the cost that providing criminal due process will involve? You are going to make so many lawyers so much money that most law schools are going to end up with buildings named after Arizona.
None of this will happen because the law is clearly unconstitutional and will be thrown out of court before it takes effect in 90 days like a lot of other bad legislation.
I suspect that even the whackadoodle Republicans knew this when they passed it, but were more interested in starting a fire than passing good legislation and governing responsibly.
Why any Arizonan would vote for any of them in is a mystery to me.
I guess they are taking that Lionel Hutz claim that “if there’s one thing this country needs, it’s more lawyers” pretty damn seriously.
I don’t live in Arizona, so I don’t really know what it’s politics are like at the state level, but it seems like this bill was dreamed up as a thought exercise never meant to be put into law.
That claus sounds like it’s there to prevent any towns from declaring themselves Sanctuary Cities.
It’s amusing how often the “pro-business” party ignores the law of supply and demand. Or it would be if it didn’t lead to crap like this law.
Will the state survivor this, seriously?
Charlie Pierce makes a good point too. This could get ugly for their economy in all kinds of ways, fast.
I do live in Arizona, and I assure you that the folks (well, one folk–state Senator Russell Pearce) does not think this law is a thought experiment. He means every word of it. He is a vicious, vindictive bastard, right up there with Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
These two are supported by a wingnut base, most of whom live in Mesa and way-to-hell-and-gone in the deserts around Phoenix. North and southeast, people are more gentle and more reasonable. But there are not enough of us to counterbalance the wealthier white people who are scared to death that their race privilege is on the wane.
The scenario you describe would lead to paralysis of government at the local level.
Since a lot of right-wingers are used to the idea of “The Man” working FOR them, they would probably really miss their local government.
That is a very interesting thought.
However, the law will probably be declared unconstitutional [because it is] and never go into effect. That’s a shame. It would have been entertaining to watch.
And I have all this popcorn piled up in the cabinet!
Wait, who collects the fine?
The Minuteman? The State? Does the town or county collect its own fine?
Although, if I were going through life known as the Minuteman, I guess I’d be pretty angry too.
The comment in all caps is very entertaining. If you like douchebags with your morning coffee.
Fox Party Response: The Bush Administration established that illegal furriners don’t deserve due process! What are you, some kind of terrorist-lovin’, miscegenating, Islamofascist commie? Huh?
The comments are always a cesspool on boston.com, and nothing provokes more of them than talking about teh scary brown people. Ugh.
That’s a shame. It would have been entertaining to watch. And I have all this popcorn piled up in the cabinet!
I have a feeling you’ll get plenty of chances to use it!
… to this law’s destruction.
After all, not all undocumented aliens are brown.
@Doc: Doc, I completely agree. Instead of boycotting the whole state, etc., the plan should be to sue specific municipalities. You know the ones. The ones where hundreds of illegal aliens are “employed” to pick up after the massa, keep his greens mown, keep his car shining, keep his meal cheap at the local restaurants. Sue THOSE municipalities and 1) you’ll make more (that’s there the money is) and 2) the law will be immediately overturned by the state, somehow, as rich people figger out just how stupid they’ve been.
I think the citizen complaint form re: employers is probably more problematic.
The state attorney general is directed to provide a form for any person to lodge an anonymous complaint that there is an undocumented working.
The complaint is then given to the county attorney, who is to investigate and then determine if the employee is undocumented.
Local law enforcement may “assist” the county attorney in investigating the citizen complaint, but the county attorney shall investigate each and every citizen complaint.
It’s wild to me because the ordinary citizen complaint goes like this: citizen goes to police, who weed out cranks and bullshit and personal vendettas then police make a determination whether to refer to the prosecutor.
This goes right to the prosecutor, who shall investigate.
They’ve given the citizens actual police power, or that’s how it reads.
@Tom Betz: Excellent idea!
Suing the Powers That Be because they aren’t going after illegal Canadians vigorously enough! I love it!
I hope they go through with that idea. There would probably be plenty of volunteers to help out, too.
Every legal Hispanic resident and citizen of Hispanic heritage ought to sue the municipality/county/state every time they see a cop and don’t get asked for ID.
“Of course the police should have asked for my papers, Judge! Do I fucking look white to you? Now gimme my reward money for reporting it, goddamnit!”
love it. about half a decade ago the scotus ruled that a white guy’s rights weren’t violated because he got hauled in for refusing to identify himself to the police. conservatives were up in arms over the decision talking about how it would just lead to national ID cards and ‘your papers please’ and all that.
now arizona passes a law that actually does all that nastiness, but they can’t be bothered because, well, it applies to brown people so who gives a shit.
I demand that Arizona law enforcement check Jan Brewer’s papers, since she looks so much like the blond, blue-eyed Mexicans who are descended from Germans who emigrated to Mexico to escape WWII.
What a great idea! I know just where to start, too.
I’m surprised all those wealthy matrons didn’t think of this possibility beforehand and put a stop to it.
As a citizen of AZ, this whole episode is very embarrassing and dangerous. I am sure Joe Arpaio is relishing using his new found authority and cannot wait for the law to go into effect.
I’d also love to go to the training Ms Brewer is requiring for law enforcement. I am curious how they will come up with an illegal immigrant profile which is not racial. I suspect Arpaio will agree and use the law to pull over and harass white liberal activist who support the immigrant community and claim he is not profiling.
The local paper which is hardly a paragon of liberalism is totally up in arms over this law. I have rarely seen them get so agitated. They have run editorials in opposition for several days.
Sadly, an economic boycott may be the only way to get the local business community to wake up to the harm this law does economically to the state.
Meanwhile the libertarians and tea partiers in the state have been strangely quiet about all this. I guess getting government off your back only applies to white folks.
And yet not a word from Sully or the major players in the punditsphere… This so called law is a friggin trainwreck of unconstitutionality and racism and will eventually turn AZ Van Gogh blue. It also has the added benefit of taking whatever heat was on HCR and transferring it to the heat of thousands of legal immigrants from Latin countries fighting against REAL injustice rather than the (perceived teabagger) injustice of not being denied insurance because of some minor operation you had years ago. For this I thank the AZ Republican Party, now hopefully Obama can make the case for real immigration reform in a humane way.
This law is unconstitutional because the Constitution gives Congress the sole power to refulate immigration. This is clearly a politics-driven decision, which is not a surprise coming from Republicans.
The ABA Journal had an article recently about Arpaio. Turns out he didn’t care about immigration much until a wingnut was elected county attorney. The attorney has been the main driver behind this and has already cost the county millions of dollars in legal fees. When the county commissioners objected, he brought criminal charges against them. When a judge ruled against the attorney, he brought criminal charges against the judge.
I just think it’s crazy to give citizens an form to lodge a complaint that has to be investigated by the county prosecutor. I don’t see that the prosecutor (or police, who are excluded, basically) have any discretion. It says “shall”.
If you and I are running two competing landscape service businesses, you can just keep filing complaints. I won’t have time to do anything other than respond. You can shut me down, on allegations alone. Every citizen complaint filed merits at least a cursory investigation, by statute. The police and prosecutor lose discretion to not pursue a citizen complaint.
I think that’s a freaking nightmare.
I’ve got a suggestion for a new tag for posts of this sort, “Slouching towards Somalia”.
I expect this will really be the killer, assuming this law survives to see the light of day. I think we can all picture the main users of this law: the Kook on the Next Street Who Has the Big Fence and Weeds Six Feet Tall. I’m not a lawyer, but have done enough policy work to know how much government officials are concerned about forbearance, and reading this must have made prosecutors’ heads explode.
The best, and quite possible, outcome we can get of this is the political immune reaction that other people have mentioned. The AZ hispanic community has to come together so that, no matter what you think about gay marriage or taxes or whatever, somebody’s got to take the keys from the crazy sonsabitches in the state government for good.
My thinking is that the law provides an economic disaster. Not trying to stereotype, but just who the fuck do these Arizona Racist Legys think wash dishes in restaurants, mow lawns, build houses?
Of course, all of this is moot cuz this will be declared unconsty within days.
Right. I mean, the bar to harassing someone using the civil system is that it costs. You have to sue.
The bar to harassing someone using the criminal system are the discretionary power of the gatekeepers; police and prosecutors.
Did they just get around that? Was that wise?
So far, Sully’s more interested in the British Brown than the Arizona brown.
this is an issue of class, the wealthy ginned up race as an issue against chinese immigration, irish, italian, there were national federal quotas on southern europeans.
this gives the tea party types something other than say wall street or outsourcing of jobs to india to blame the fact that their quality of life is on the wane
remember how St. John of Mavrick tried to tell a bunch of people that they wouldn’t work in the fields for $50 an hour, to the people who finance the GOP it’s about cheap labor, to the rubes who watch Fox it’s easy to get them focused on race-hate instead of why their job went overseas to get a tax break, and why a Bush admin with a GOP congress wanted to open the door for more immigration from south of the border.
and don’t even try to explain how NAFTA made more of the folks south of the border more needy and willing to try coming north to get a decent life.
Yep. Just wait for the screams of “black robed tyrants!” as soon as this thing gets thrown out and then a landslide of fundraising letters from tea party candidates.
As noted above, Sully is concentrating on British politics at the moment. He does have a large readership in England, after all. I figure he will get around to this when his Tory blogging spate has run its course.
American citizen arrested for not carrying papers:
It has begun. American citizens with brown skin are being put in jail because they don’t have their papers in order and they can’t prove they’re not guilty of being illegal immigrants.
They are considered guilty and thrown in jail until proven innocent.
via dKos diarist BlueHighwayman
The unintended consequences from trying to enforce this stupid law is going to add astronomically to Arizona’s already unsteady fiscal situation. Consider this recent news story:
Arizona going Galt is going to lead it straight to bankruptcy.
@celticdragonchick: I think you may have hit the reason for this ridiculous legislature on the head . . . the assumption is that it will be declared unconstitutional by the Federal Gov’t, and that will be the next talking point for secession/states’ rights/”big” gubmint, etc. (ie: fundraising tactics).
Better would be to anonymously accuse the fabulously wealthy for employing illegals – over and over again. As noted in several prior comments, the law states they “shall” be investigated by the county/state prosecution, and paid for by that very same county/state.
Let the state of Arizona, itself, be who declares this unconstitutional . . . if they can.
RE: And yet not a word from Sully
I’m not sure what this is supposed to mean. Illegal immigration is a problem for most rich, developed countries. The immigration issue probably helped undermine the candidacy of Liberal Dem candidate Nicolas Clegg (Clegg loses cool with first-time voters after Radio One listeners slam immigration amnesty).
And in the UK, the immigration issue doesn’t just involve “brown people,” but Poles and other immigrants from lesser developed EU nations.
You know, the Church used to award all the property of any “convicted” witch or heretic to the one who ratted them out. This so-called law has a whiff of that level of witch-hunting to it. A lot of racist shit-bags are going to get a lot of money from their city or county just for thinking that their police aren’t doing enough to save them from the brown menace.
I await the repatriation of thousands of former California residents back into this state as they flee the inevitable loss of both the service sector and anything resembling civilized life as AZ comes crashing down.
ETA: and I am not entirely sure if this is a good or bad thing for California. Thoughts from my fellow Californians?
@Niques: I wonder who tends the grounds at John McCain’s houses in Arizona…
Goldwater won the Deep South and Arizona. Correlation or Causation?
I assume “British Brown” = Gordon.
This law brings out so many of the anti-statist/pro-defense contradictions in the GOP I hope the Dems start emphasizing it nationally. Tort reform is imperative when it’s patients suing their doctor, but anonymous and required prosecution is patriotic; when the census worker comes around it’s time to grab your wife’s shotgun, but when you’re hauled off to jail for not having an ID – that’s just a state enforcing it’s own laws. And so on.
I am a Phoenician. Here’s how it plays out:
Cranky Tea Partier in Paradise Valley gets woken up by his neighbors landscapers on Saturday morning. He hears Spanish being spoken. Calls 911 (this is an emergency after all) to report brown people in the vicinity who just HAVE to be illegal. Dispatcher says we will get right on it…after we deal little things like stolen cars and meth labs. Cops never show. Cranky Tea Partier hires Dennis Wilenchik to sue the City on behalf of him and every similarly situated Cranky Tea Partier. Thousands spent in legal fees. With no money for anything, Arizona drops to 51st in public education. Good times. At least Chuck D can now make a come back.
@Brachiator: It was my feeble attempt at a pun. Sully’s been posting a lot recently on the UK elections and really slamming PM Gordon Brown. I had hoped that my capitalizing the proper name and lower-casing the adjective would have made the joke clear, but fail, I guess. (How come it works for UPS but not for me? Huh? HUH?)
Had the same thought. Right now there seems to be lots of housing in the inland empire, though not much in the way of work. So if someone pulls up stakes in AZ and moves to CA with no job that’s not going to help CA recover. But everyone has to be somewhere, and it sounds like being in AZ right now sucks, no matter one’s skin color.
I feel bad for all the good people of AZ, as I do for all the good people of other wackatoo states (yeah, Oklahoma, I’m looking at you right now), but personally, I’m boycotting the entire states. No way in hell I’m going to AZ or through it. I am not brown, but I have been mistaken for an indigenous person, who, by the way, will also be greatly harmed by this law. It rankles every fiber of my soul that this odious piece of legislation passed into law. There are four Supreme Court justices who probably support it or can at least justify it in their legalese.
Peak wingnut may not be approaching, but my peak disgust for these asshats is.
Aaah. Got it now. And the UPS thing works as well, as in “What can Brown do for UK?”
Mr Stagger Lee
The All-Star game is coming to Arizona, in 2011, there are some who are calling for MLB to move the game somewhere else, just like they did in the nineties, with the Super Bowl, f–k with money, always get the best results!
People forget, or don’t realize, that there is a small, but sizeable number of Asian illegal immigrants, primarily in California and New York, but distributed through other states as well. An Asian who does not speak English well could easily end up pointlessly hassled by this BS law.
I’m not sure how Native Americans could be greatly harmed by this law. However, I can see Native Americans suing the ever loving crap out of Arizona if they are bothered by the cops or others because some asshat tries to lump them in with supposed illegal immigrants.
It’s hard to get me worked up about this. Besides the obvious fact that this law is unconstitutional, it will bankrupt Arizona economically and hand the state firmly into the “D” column in 8 years, just like 187 did in California. Only difference? At least the R’s in California got another 4 years of Pete Wilson as a horse trade. Not sure what the state gets (from a national level it makes sense, but on the state level?).
People forget that Arizona has over twice the percent of Hispanics/Latinos as the rest of the country. Anti-immigration is a 50+1 dog whistle that is not supposed to be actually used on the border (San Diego, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas).
This reminds me of John McCain’s concession speech in 2008. I thought it was an honorable speech, but I couldn’t help but notice (and tweet) that there it was 98% white. An ex-co-worker of mine took offense to the tweet saying that Arizona was 85% white, so it was just a reflection of the state-at-large.
Yes, indeed, Arizona is 85% white… if you take a census from 10 years ago… *and* if you ignore that 35% of those “Whites” are Hispanics. When I said “98%” it was because I saw about 2 Hispanics in the crowd. I explained this and said, by her argument, I should have tweeted the crowd 100% white.
She didn’t really have a counter argument for that.
The shitfest that will ensue upon the first Native American harrassed by cops from this law will be *EPIC*.
Arizona may actually be forced to turn over the GOP legislators for a literal scalping.
@sloan: Holy fuck!
I love the ICE’s response. They “said this was standard operating procedure…it is not uncommon to ask for someone’s birth certificate.”
Yeah, right. Outside of passport/driver’s license applications, etc, the only person I know who’s been required to show their birth certificate is…Obama!
If all the towns go broke though, you know who they’ll blame…the brown people! You see, the great thing about being a “real ‘Murkin” is that nothing is your fault, not matter how badly you eff up.
@Brachiator: That’s actually what I meant. Thanks for expressing it better than I did.
i think the most telling thing about this law is this comment from the AZ gov:
so, we admit there really isn’t a way to tell if someone is an illegal immigrant. but, AZ is adamant they aren’t goint to implement racial profiling. if we assume both are true: no way to tell by looking, not going to profile; then the only logical result is that AZ police will have to check the papers of every single person in AZ.
somehow, i doubt that will happen. also, honestly wondering how anyone thinks this is not a gross violation of the 4th amendment.