Sunday, May 23, 2010

In reply: If the 3 yo law in VA that targeted illegal immigrants like AZ's SB1070 was so good, why did VA change it?

In reply to: Moonhowlings - WaPo Says PWC Immigration Resolution Still Controversial

While I've cautiously supported the AZ law, I believe that Prince William county ended up with a far better law and means for enforcing it, and made those changes away from "probable cause" stops for the same reasons that keep me from fully embracing the AZ law.

If the goal is to deter crime, it's a far better idea to target a guy arrested for committing a crime rather than a guy who's dog barks too loudly... even if the second guy is actually in the country illegally. (And I'm still not sure that the AZ law doesn't prohibit questioning the immigration status of the neighbor who made the complaint about the barking dog, if HE in some way looks/acts as though he may not be here legally.)

Second, even though the AZ law probably is both constitutional and ethical on paper, enforcement will not occur in a vacuum. Law enforcement officers are just as human as the rest of us, and they bring their own prejudices and political/social beliefs with them into every encounter they have. There will be accusations of bigotry and of profiling, and just as with other alleged police misconduct (or if you prefer, workplace misconduct) at least a few of them will prove to be true.

While I am a liberal--often a far left liberal--I don't support open-borders or amnesty for everyone living here in the US illegally. Unless/until we can persuade other countries to join America (either figuratively or literally) and enact our laws and way of life, there has to be a line between "America" and "not America." While I'm still reading about how this particular VA law has worked, pro and con, I'm far more willing to support the law VA eventually enacted, rather than the one they started with... which is essentially the AZ law.

For those who're on twitter and the blogs echoing each other's crowing about this "Three year old law in Virginia [that] targets illegal immigrants much like Arizona's SB 1070," I have one question:

repsac3: If 3yo law in VA that targeted illegal immigrants like AZ's SB1070 was so good, why did VA change it?

Submitted for moderator approval May 23rd, 2010 at 12:05 pm (Moonhowlings blog time) Comment #11 (assuming it will appear).

Also blogging:
Excellent fact-check of the claims made in the KOLD News story I tweeted about --> Kynn's LJ - fact check: the Prince William County law similar to SB1070

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