The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Hate Group Lawyer Drafted Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant Law

By Heidi Beirich on April 28, 2010 - 5:16 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

Arizona’s controversial anti-immigrant law was written by a lawyer at the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which the Southern Poverty Law Center has listed as an anti-immigrant hate group since 2007. The law, a recipe for racial profiling, would make the failure to carry immigration documents a crime and give the police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. (See statement by SPLC Legal Director Mary Bauer.)

Kris Kobach, the author of the Arizona law and a lawyer at FAIR’s Immigration Reform Law Institute, has been the prime mover behind numerous ordinances that seek to punish those who aid and abet “illegal aliens,” including laws adopted in Farmer’s Branch, Texas, and Hazelton, Pa.

The laws have not done well and have cost some localities immense sums of money to defend. Recently, the city of Albertville, Ala., refused to work with Kobach on just such an ordinance, reportedly because of the high legal costs incurred by these other communities.

Before joining FAIR, Kobach served as U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft’s top immigration adviser. He then moved on to take charge of Department of Justice efforts to tighten border security after the 9/11 attacks. There, he developed a program — the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System — that called for close monitoring of men from Arab and Muslim nations, even legal U.S. residents. The program collapsed due to complaints of racial profiling and discrimination.

Given Kobach’s history with racial profiling, it is particularly alarming that he was tapped by Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio in February to train his officers. A federal grand jury investigation is under way amid a slew of complaints that Arpaio used racial profiling techniques to round up suspected undocumented immigrants. The grand jury is also reportedly looking at whether Arpaio used his office to target political opponents.

FAIR’s poison is now spreading. Legislation similar to Arizona’s has been introduced in Texas, and six other states are considering doing so.

It’s not surprising to find a group like FAIR behind this repugnant law. FAIR has an extensive track record of racism and bigotry. The group, for example, has accepted $1.2 million from the racist Pioneer Fund, a foundation established to promote the genes of white colonials and fund studies of race, intelligence and genetics. FAIR has employed key staffers who have also joined white supremacist groups; it has board members who write regularly for hate publications; it promotes racist conspiracy theories about Latino immigrants; and it has produced television programming featuring white nationalists.

FAIR has been dominated for much of its life by its racist founder and current board member, John Tanton, who has written that “for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.” Tanton’s role model for FAIR is John Trevor Sr., founder of the racist American Coalition of Patriotic Societies and a key architect of the racially restrictive Immigration Act of 1924. Trevor also distributed pro-Nazi propaganda and warned shrilly of “diabolical Jewish control” of America. Tanton once said Trevor should serve as FAIR’s “guidepost to what we must follow again this time.”

FAIR’s president, Dan Stein, has warned that immigrants are engaged in “competitive breeding” aimed at diminishing white power. He led efforts to win funding from the Pioneer Fund, saying in 1993 that his “job [was] to get every dime of Pioneer’s money.” Stein also served as editorial adviser to Tanton’s hate journal, The Social Contract, at a time when it ran its ugliest edition ever, “Europhobia: The Hostility Toward European-Descended Americans.” The issue’s lead article argued that multiculturalism was replacing “successful Euro-American culture” with “dysfunctional Third World cultures.” Stein has declined to offer any criticism of FAIR’s founder, instead characterizing Tanton last September as a “Renaissance man.”

The principal sponsor of the Arizona law, state Sen. Russell Pearce, has his own history of hate. In 2006, Pearce forwarded an email to his supporters from the neo-Nazi National Alliance titled “Who Rules America?” The article criticized the media for promoting multiculturalism and racial equality, and for presenting the Holocaust as fact. More recently, Pearce has been photographed hugging J.T. Ready, a Phoenix-area resident who is a member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement.

  • Alex nelson

    history is repeating iself

  • Galloway Grumblefield

    This article provides further validation of the growing body of condemnation against Senator Russell Pearce, whose neo-Nazi connections and covert White Supremacy agenda is of growing concern:

  • Ed

    I’m pretty sure Congress has plenary power to regulate immigration. I mean, I only say that since I’m an immigration attorney, so, what do I know?

  • james mcghee

    I have donated a lot to SPLC, but I think they are on the wrong side of this issue. People who want immigration reform are not all racist. Most simply want a country where rule of law is RESPECTED, ESPECIALLY by those that are not CITIZENS. We are PRO-LEGAL immigration and ANTI-ILLEGAL immigration. We are anti “double talk” that calls illegals “undocumented”. many ilegals are people that OVERSTAYED their VISAs. They should GO HOME. If they have a valid reason for being here they should apply for asylum. SPLC should NOT be taking sides as it is doing. Perhaps the SPLC should put its money where its mouth is, and offer every job held at the SPLC by a citizen, to an illegal, and defend that person’s right to have that job! The SPLC should be quantifying reality, not defending illegal immigration. Calling FAIR a Hate group (labeling of this kind is simplistic and hateful in itself) and the lawyer a racist is creating a “red herring”. I think MOST Americans could care less WHERE an illegal alien comes from; if that person is not “playing by the rules”, it is not FAIR. Americans are COMPASSIONATE to immigrants seeking POLITICAL asylum, but we can’t offer EVERYONE economic asylum. There are people from all over the world, many people of COLOR (such as my friend’s wife from Mozambique), who immigrated LEGALLY to the USA. Why should “line jumpers” be allowed? Why should the children of CITIZENS have to deal with overcrowded school rooms and emergency rooms, when some of the folks there DO NOT BELONG? OK, they may be children, but Americans send millions in private aid and billions in public aid to children in need the world over. We simply can’t absorb them all in this country. Yes, the criticism of the “anchor baby” issue is valid, it is not racist, anti-immigrant, or anti-child. Heck, I LOVE Switzerland. Can I defend my “right” to be accepted into Swiss society and to be cared for by the Swiss cocial system if my wife and I have a baby while we’re there, and decide we want to stay? Yes, illegal immigrants may be looking for a better life, but they should do so LEGALLY. If they were refugees from a war, we’d help. But – We can’t absorb all the downtrodden from the world. We can absorb our SHARE in a controlled manner and have the RIGHT to do so. It is not true that illegals do the jobs Americans won’t do, that Americans will not cut lawns and empty bedpans. All the employees at my grandma’s nursing home are Arkansas born and bred, they wipe bottoms and mop floors and are happy for the job, but they want a legal wage. My lawn man is “white guy” and all he wants is to earn a living. I would have a “Latin” lawn guy if s/he had applied for the job, but I’d only hire him/her if s/he was LEGAL. The reality is that some Americans have been oblivious to the low cost of goods and services that illegal immigration has helped create. Others have ALWAYS been concerned that we had poor enforcement of these laws ands statutes, and KNEW the challenges placed on the social welfare system. However, now that even MORE people are AWAKE to the situation, they know a solution must be found. It is fallacious to say that “we have offered a de facto invitation to illegals”. Who is WE? My cousins in Michigan never invited illegal alien students to compete against them for college scholarships and entitlement for state tuition. My cousins (citizens) enlisted in the military, fought in Iraq… in part to earn funds for college. If the DREAM ACT was FAIR, then for illegals to have “path to citizenship” they’d have to have to make contribution such as serving in the military or Peace Corps, etc. Also, why don’t the folks supporting ILLEGAL immigrants volunteer to SPONSOR them financially, pay their medical bills, etc., instead of trying to FOIST the burden on American CITIZENS whose own CHILDREN and other family members are entitled to those services as TAXPAYERS and LEGAL residents. As for carrying documents, as a traveler in Europe, I have always carried my documents, or a copy, even to the beach, because I was a VISITOR in those countries and expected to be RESPONSIBLE to PROVE my identity. There, and here, anyone in DISTRESS would most likely be HELPED to prove their identity if needed. This law will hopefully not be mostly used to harass people (although that already happens to CITIZENS in high crime areas; profiling DOES happen to citizens), it will be used to more quickly identify who BELONGS here LEGALLY. If a CITIZEN is harassed, he will have a lawyer and a lawsuit ready (with big-buck damages to claim) before you can do a double-take. So, in closing: SPLC members that support illegal immigrants, I say put your money where your mouth is, make your city and amnesty city, then deal with the result. Who knows, it may be paradise! But DON’T foist the result of your generous impulses on the wider community. Then, those who DON’T want to live in an amnesty city will just have to vote with their feet, and let you enjoy paradise. Meanwhile, other communities will still practice generosity and compassion under rule of LAW and fairness for citizens and those who apply for citizenship sincerely. Good luck!

  • http://yahoo ruben

    i’ have read a couple of posts on here from people who say “you have not read the law there won’t be any racial profiling” i say to these people it is you who do not understand this racist law!!…i am a PROUD AMERICAN OF MEXICAN DECENT!! i live in calif…this law was drafted by people with ties to the many white supremacist groups that are thriving in arizona. the republican party itself in arizona has now been infiltrated and hijacked by these disgusting poster who supports this racist law wrote that he has been stopped and he showed his license, registration and proof of insurance and he was sent on his way if the law was that easy that would be fine but it ain’t.if for some reason a anglo citizen or a hispanic citizen forgot there i.d’s before they left home and were stopped by a police officer the anlgo person would just get a citation and be on his way while the hispanic would be handcuffed,put in back of the police car and detained until someone could bring proof that he was a citizen or legal resident.what if i were to visit arizona and a anglo person does not like me for whatever reason he could now order a police officer to harass me and question me to”show my papers” if not they’ll sue the police department.this law is disgraceful and racist and aimed at the hispanic community in arizona and anyone who says there won’t be any racial profiling probably belongs to one of the many white supremacist organizations that are now running the show in arizona.

  • alanramsey

    We’ve seen how closely the New Age RepubliKlan Party resembles the Ku Klux Klan of the last century: it’s roots and slogans deeply grounded in White Anglo-Saxon Protestantism, the “party of true Christianity,” “Real Americans Support the Klan,” “Goals In Good,” “Christian in Right – Moral in Political Purpose,” “Patriotic Purpose,” “Jesus Saves,” “True Christians Vote White,” “real Christians aren’t Catholics” etc…

    Very close in similarity to the voices of the extreme right RepubliKlan TEA Party supporters today like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Rand Paul, et al..

    While cloaking their hatreds and bigotries against others behind the American flag, the Klansmen of the last centruy claimed that if you didn’t think as they dictated, you were “communists,” “socialists,” agents of Satan and the “anti-Christ”: all that was evil and wrong with America.

    Sound familiar?

    They hated ‘papists,’ (Catholics aren’t ‘real Christians’), Jews, trade unionists, lawyers, teachers, blacks, black lovers (read: N—er lovers), browns, orientals, muslims, Buddhists, atheists…their list of hatred included everyone but themselves.

    Of course, that list of the Republican Right has grown to add even more layers to their targets of hatred: homosexuals, lesbians, CNN, NBC, CBS, PBS, MSNBC, PBR, the New York Times, major universities, public education, unions (which comprise those horrible socialist police, fire, telecommunications, pilots, et al), naturalists, agnostics, professors…

    We have been seeing this New Age Klan mindset unveiled in various parts of the country, not just limited to the Bible Belt South’s RepubliKlan Party politics.

    Out West, in the “let’s get everyone to hate people of brown color” state of Arizona, we are seeing a new era of RepubliKlan Party apartheid against those of Spanish descent.

    They are easy targets because…well, those evil brown criminals keep coming across the border to steal our jobs and livelihoods and exploding the levels of crime. Actually, the crime numbers in Arizona are the lowest they’ve been in some 30 years, and illegals coming across the border are the lowest in 10 years, so that whole fallacious argument is a RepubliKlan Party deceit from the get-go.

    But hey, since most Spanish-speaking people are Catholics, they aren’t “real” Christians anyway, so that makes them an even easier target for the RepubliKlan Evangelical Party’s agenda of Arizona Apartheid. Not only is it okay to look at all people of brown skin differently than – say – those of white skin, now the State Superintendent of Education (who, shocker!, is also running for State Attorney General) is pushing for ethnic cleansing against people of color in the school curriculum. It appears that it isn’t ethnically purist to be teaching those of color – brown, black and asian – that they had positive contributions to American societal evolution. No, we can only have white European slant in the textbooks.

    In Apartheid Arizona, having classes devoted to anything other than the white anglo-saxon version of American history is somehow ‘divisive’ and illuminates too much upon the oppression by the white supremacists against people of color in US History.

    Yes, folks, the Ku Klux Klan has re-risen. Oh, they aren’t wearing the white dunce caps and sheets of yesteryear. And they aren’t burning crosses in your front yards.

    Instead, the RepubliKlan Party is engaged in ethnic cleansing through the burning of books in the school curriculums in a newly energized RepubliKlan Party in the state of Apartheid Arizona.

    But they aren’t limiting their ethnic and religiously supremacist cleansing to just Arizona. The RepubliKlanists are doing it in Texas, too with their corruption of the curriculum to mentally and emotionally abuse the public school students through the forced indoctrination of mythology under “Creationism” and through the deletion of science and reason from the curriculum.

    As Bill Murray said in the movie “Stripes”: “That’s a fact, JacKKK!”

  • Rudyinsac


    Make no mistake about it Dekker this law targets one group of people and one group only and they are south of the Arizona boader. Papers please is with out a doubt a racial biased law. Reasonable doubt/cause is the federal interpretation that FDR signed and has since been laxed for several decades now, and for good reason.

    But this law by kris kobach, is meant for one group of people and that is Racial Profiling. Can you unlike Jan Brewer discribe what reasonable suspicion and what type of scenario that may be or what setting? Or what a illegal immigrant looks like?
    Can you honestly say that this law is not meant for people south of the Arizona boader? Nope it is meant specifically for them and again that is racial profiling.

  • Dekker451

    I’m tired of people characterizing this law as “anti-immigration”. It’s not. it’s anti-illegal immigration, and even in that regard it doesn’t go very far. It doesn’t give Arizona State and local police the power to verify someone’ss immigration status based on “reasonable suspicion”. The reasonable suspicion test is tied to all other crimes, not illegal immigration itself. In other words, it gives them the power to verify a suspect’s identity (which is required for any sentence or citation to be enforced anyway) and their immigration status. If they’re found to be here illegally that information is passed on to ICE.

    Read the law. Then you might have a basis for accusing others of ignorance.

  • beholder

    Jim Bloom,

    I agree with your observations on polls and the perfidy of majorities.

    It troubles me deeply that the level of ignorance in our country — or at least the average person’s attention span — is such that polls and summaries provided by television pundits and entertainers have greater value to voters than studying our Constitution and nation’s history, which are filled with examples of mistakes to avoid and exhortations against the kinds of laws which Arizona has seen fit to approve.

    I also see our lawmakers taking advantage of this ignorance to their personal gain and to the detriment of the People.

  • Samantha

    Look at the blogs about this law. How can we really say there won’t be racial profiling when all the blogs are about illegal immigrants coming through Mexico. I happen to know that there are Haitians, Cubans, Canadians, French, English, Muslim, Arabics who have entered illegally. How can you tell if they are legal or not without profiling them. My mother is English, she is a legal resident, Do you think she is going to be asked to present her green card. Probably not. However my daughter who is half Mexican but is a natural born citizen will be because of the color of her skin. The law has not even taken effect and I have already been asked by patrons if she was born here. Lets be honest. The police are even divided on this law. Many are confused about how to enforce it. Without some racial profiling. So if they can’t figure it out. How can you make a law clear in less then a month or so. You can’t. Not only is this law unenforceable but it really does nothing to fix the problem. instead we will have over crowding in the jails which means more criminals will be released early. The fines will probably never really be paid. More houses will be left empty because those who are legal will leave the state. Our colleges will lose students. Jobs will probably still be lost because if you don’t have people to come into the state for their vacations then hotels, recreational jobs and other hospitality jobs will not hire new people. Not counting that most of the hospital visits are not done by illegals but by people like myself who can not afford reasonable insurance. I do think that we a Americans should call for our Federal Government to start creating some kind o immigration reform. So lets all call our senators and congressmen and say “create reform or lose my vote.” Our law officers have enough to do in their jobs don’t make it more difficult for them by making them responsible to handle the Federal job of immigration.

  • ruben

    america needs to wake up!!the people that drafted these racist laws in arizona are the american/christian version of the taliban/al qaeda…both groups are right wing extremists and both groups would like to plunge civilization back to the middle ages with there evil and twisted way of thinking….but i believe that the right wing extremists in arizona harbor a more primitive and sinister hatred….racial hatred!…which makes them more dangerous.

  • Alt Nume

    Mary Ellen,

    It is obvious from your comment that the only news program that you listen to is associated with Rupert Murdoch, no need to mention its name. It is either that you are ignorant to the current immigration system, when you refer to the “wait in line” issue or you are familiar with it and you are propagating a lie. If a) you are ignorant to the issue than you have no place ti discuss about it, if b) that you are a hypocrite because you mention that you “absolutely detest people who lie and cheat to get what they want,” in your case being a resolution to the immigration issue that favors your view. The rational reason why people don’t wait in a line is because there is no line, especially for the qualifications that this people are here for. And if there is a line it is for the highly skilled individuals, and the waiting time on that list is about 6 years, with no assurance of a positive answer. Now I wonder if you are willing to wait 5 to 6 years for your next round of tomatoes. Another lie that you are propagating is the fact that they would be rewarded with citizenship for breaking the law, which reminds me of the fear of “amnesty.” If you want to remember it right, none of the bills that were stipulated at the federal level came attached with an amnesty provision. All of them required a fine imposed on the immigrant of upwards of $ 5.000. If paying a fine sounds like amnesty to you we have nothing more to discuss.

  • Jim Bloom

    I can’t understand the flawed logic of the repeated mantras of “70% approve” and “60% approve.” Since when does a majority opinion mandate what is morally right? When the majority of American Southerners approved of slavery, did that make it right? When the majority of Germans (at least tacitly) supported the Third Reich, did that make it right?

    “The majority is always right” is only true for lemmings.

  • John in Dallas

    Disgusting. Hate mongers should not be allowed to rule the law in states

  • Keep_It_Real

    Arizona needs to stop pretending this is about illegal immigration. This law does NOTHING to stop it. The law greatly expands Police Power in an already POLICE-STATE. I am Latino, an Arizona pioneer family, all US citizens and many US Military and war Veterans. RACIAL PROFILING against non-whites is a daily occurrence in my community. This law attempts to legitimize it. Tea-Party supported NAZI groups are flourishing here. Too bad our Governor and legislature have taken sides with the Axis forces against basic America principles. Previous score: America-1 to Nazi’s-0.

  • Thomas Frazee

    Mary Ellen

    Your heart is in the right place, but, your mind isn’t. Historically, before these “borders” were drawn on pieces of paper, by people very much removed from the land and people who inhabited it, folks walked and rode horses, visited relatives, hunted, etc. and it wasn’t very long ago when it became the rule to check into a customs office and declare where you were going, where you were coming from and how long were you planning on staying. Things were simpler then. 160 years ago, Santa Ana took a bribe and signed away half of Mexico. Families, culture still existed just as they had for millineums, but, the rules started to change. That will never negate nor lessen the bonds between the peoples who live in the “frontier”, border region. I’m from California, but have lived in Mexico for 31 years and appreciate and am deeply grateful to know, live, love and work with the people in Mexico and the people of the U.S.A. Anything that detracts or harms the relationship of our two nations is not in the best interest of either nation. We are so rich because of the variety and abundance of cultures, languages and peoples. We should be nurturing it. It’s truly a good thing. Hip, hip and Viva! Tom Frazee

  • Douglas Holbert

    I would adopt the Mexican Immigration Law today. This would shutdown this complete misunderstanding of the Federal Immigration Law and how AZ is trying to enforce wha tUS Congress passed. What suggestions or corrections have been made for the AZ Law – by those who have read the law. NONE. This sitution is nothing but to cause hate and cause division. The divide is growning us apart and not bring about a calm, cool and informed dialog. I have been asked to present my drivers license, proof of insurance and registraton. My my skin color did not cause any further questions. There must be more informaiton in the ‘local’, ‘state’ and ‘national’ databases to let the official know whom they are dealing with. If there is a question because the databases does not come up with the correct information than the official needs to figure out what more infomation maybe needed to get a better understanding of the situation he maybe in. What would be the next logical question to ask if nothing matches. The best way to boycott Arizona is to leave it and head to San Francisco, California. Too bad AZ can not cut off the water to California but the Indians who run out of water and fast. I wonder how many other states are not only looking at this law but will adopt it. If this offends anyone; SORRY. Come to Phoenix and experience the situation first hand.

  • david lee

    what we’re seeing from the extreme right is a desperate attempt to maintain political relevancy. they know they’ve lost influence among the young, so they freakishly attempt to inculcate people with fear of somehow “losing” something. what is it they think we loose? the notion of the supremacy of Anglo-Saxon/Germanic/Nordic culture is a fallacy, as is the notion that we are a Judeo-Christian European culture. we’re all descended from immigrants, many of those ancestors (black & white) came here in bondage servitude. our culture is a brilliant amalgam of people blending together and getting along. we’re magnificent adapters – we Americans. let’s hope these vain attempts at division only serve to bring us into “…more perfect Union…”. Peace & Blessings to ALL!

  • DorisV

    So sorry to all folks in AZ who value human rights and want to see something positive done instead of the bill recently passed. I fear that our country is on a bad path with all the negative things that are happening. My grandparents came here in the late 1800’s and were able to provide their children and grandchildren with opportunities that we would not have had in what is now Poland and the Czech and Slovak Republics. Most immigants both legal and illegal just want the same thing, an opportunity for a better life. Hope we can get this law repealed and not have any more of these ugly things.

  • beholder

    Jim at such time as the immigration restrictionists address the hard core racists and violent extremists within their ranks, I will entertain the idea that what we are seeing is anything other than a desperate effort to maintain the demographic majority and historical privileges of whites in this country.

    You speak of reverse discrimination (and I presume you consider consider me guilty of the same), yet when I look at the facts and reasons presented in your argument, I do not see how symbolic ideological opposition to the historical oppressors in our land can be compared to the alabaster pillars of institutional racism that to this day support whites, as a group, at a level above that of the common person.

    And I refer to judicial, educational, public health and other statistical facts to substantiate my opinions on this matter.

    Your argument, as I understand it, is mere guilt by association with white racists. I therefore challenge your views on the basis of faulty logic and a fanciful exaggeration of the social ills of so-called “reverse discrimination”.

  • beholder

    Well folks, as I called it, Sgt Cotton of Bellaire, Texas was found not guilty — I repeat not guilty — of shooting down an unarmed black man on his own front yard, for doing no more than attempting to rise to his knees after being ordered to the ground, when Cotton started pushing his mother around. What did Robbie Tolan do to deserve being ordered to the ground by the white cops? Why did he get the gun? He was driving while black. The cop who stopped him claimed his car was stolen, but it was the cop’s mistake. Tolan has a white cop’s bullet lodged in his liver. Cotton, the triggerman, walks free like every white cop who guns down a black man in the South walks free.

    This is “justice” in Texas. But this is not America.

  • Aubrey Rodriguez

    I dont understand the idea that most American’s have of “If your here illigeally get the heck out” How about looking at the mexicans that were brought here when they were under 18? Like my husband who was here since he was 3 years old. Tell me you have the same opinon. Is he a criminal? Just because his mother took it upon herself to bring him here, he had no choice. But he lives in a country that HE FEELS IS HIS HOME BECAUSE ITS ALL HE HAS EVER KNOWN. And now he is facing deportation… tell me how that is ethical

  • Jim

    Thanks for your comments Ruslan. Unfortunately there are some racists and reverse racists (it goes both ways) in this country that will never get on board no matter what. But I believe the majority of Americans are smarter than that. I think another solution would be to cut off an immigrant’s welfare rights after a few years unless they are enrolled in a college or tech school.

    I do however have a problem with your last statement “That’s what leads people to believe it’s about racism. If the problem is people breaking one simple law, the most efficient solution is clear- make it easier for the people to immigrate legally.”

    Isn’t this the same thing as saying the best way to keep people from breaking the laws is to do away with the laws altogether?

  • http://yahoo ruben

    i live in southern ca and will never go to another spring baseball game in arizona again or arizona for anything!…although many will deny it…the fact is that many republican politicians with ties to the many right wing extremist groups that are thriving in arizona are the ones behind racist laws like this and the birth certificate law aimed at obama.and i believe that this is only the beginning of there campaign of ETHNIC CLEANSING.70% of people back the law in arizona but it does’nt make it right….jim crow laws were very popular in the south pre civil rights as were the nazi laws in germany during and before a veteran i was led to believe that right wing extremists were being fought in the middle east to keep them out of here?what a joke! they are alive and thriving in arizona and being pandered to and fueled by the hypocrite republican party.

  • beholder

    There are two general offenses, as I understand it.

    “Unlawful presence” under the INA is not a criminal offense, but a federal civil offense and is not handled generally under criminal law (even though under 3 INA § 276; 8 U.S.C. § 1326 the offense can become criminal with re-entry according to some quick tinkling of the metacarpals on my search engine).

    The act of crossing the border without authorization on the other hand can be either a federal misdemeanor or a crime depending on the circumstances (just as it is a crime to fraudulently file an application for entry). But just being in the country without a visa is not a priori a crime.

    In some respects I think that it might be a good idea to make unlawful presence a crime (albeit a very inocuous one) simply because then criminal procedures would apply and there would be a better chance of due process and stronger protections for defense. In civil law, preponderance of evidence takes over, rather than proof beyond a reasonable doubt, so it’s a generally lower bar to achieve deportation.

    But then again, the anti-immigrant folks would certainly use criminalization of unlawful presence as an instrument of harassment and tyranny.

    One thing is certain. If we don’t stop this nonsense now it will get much worse. If there has ever been a time that the civil rights community needs to get active, it’s now. This is the next step up the ladder after same-gender marriage rights and the civil rights movement.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    The thing is Jim, most of these people say they aren’t racist, it’s just about the law(one law, which happens to be a federal misdemeanor BTW). So like you alluded to, there is an easy solution. For people who want to immigrate from Mexico, they could streamline the entry process- fill out a form, go through a background check, get a green card, temporary or otherwise(it could be contingent on yearly background checks or something). But will you ever hear the Minuteman types supporting such an idea? Absolutely not. They want to waste billions on border defenses, and to deploy the military.

    That’s what leads people to believe it’s about racism. If the problem is people breaking one simple law, the most efficient solution is clear- make it easier for the people to immigrate legally.

  • beholder

    By the way, for anybody interested in the Tolan case — which seemed to escape much national press for some reason — Cotton’s trial is beginning this week. Let’s see what the jury says.

    Knowing what I know about Texas justice, especially when law enforcement is the aggressor and a black man the victim, I am willing to bet he’ll walk and get promoted to Bellaire police chief. Might even have a shot at mayor.

    Think I’m exaggerating?

    Eight cops in Houston — eight — just savagely beat a single 16 year old black kid for “resisting arrest” after a car chase. The only problem is that he didn’t resist at all — it was all caught on tape.

    The FBI is involved in this one, so the cops might actually do some time for once. Otherwise, in a few months they’ll be right back on the streets protecting and serving the white people of Houston.

  • Jim

    I’m a white male, born in the U.S. But I’m not so naive to believe that I would be her if not for immigration. My ancestors are from England and Germany. I love this country and her laws. Even in this time of national upheaval it is still the greatest nation on the face of the planet. 3 years ago my daughter met an Egyptian man while on a trip to Egypt. Over the next year we assisted him with the legal process of immigrating to the U.S. There’s no way I was going have my grandkids raised anywhere but the U.S. No one knows better than I the legal nightmare it is to become a citizen of the United States, not to mention the ungodly cost. We definitely need some reform when it comes to immigration. If I lived in Mexico or some other impoverished country I suppose I would do whatever it took to provide a better life for my loved ones.

    The U.S. has created a real problem by making legal immigration too difficult and costly along with making it so easy and attractive to immigrate illegally.

    Instead of throwing around terms like “Hate” and “racial profiling” we need to come up with a real solution. Both sides need to be vigorously debated. Real solutions need to be reached. I don’t feel right kicking out good people who came here for a better life for their families and are working hard to provide for them. At the same time, we can’t just open the borders and invite anyone to just walk across without knowing who they are. Remember 9/11? Unfortunately our government has failed to secure our borders or create a working immigration process. So now the states have had to take action for themselves. Bottom line is that it is the enforcement of laws that make this country so great. Illegal immigrants are here illegally and to ask our law enforcement officers to ignore the law tears away at the very fabric that makes this country so great.

    I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has real ideas on how to fix the problem, how to streamline the process as a country of compassion without compromising our laws. Any takers? I’m listening.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    So there you go Emmett, another attack merely destroys your own argument yet again. Fail.

    Are you keeping score?

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    You sure are confused Emmett. The very fact that European nationalities actually look different from one another is just another proof towards the fact that there is no “white race”. If we are speaking of people of Serbian descent(which also includes many of the Bosnian Muslims), these people carry the influence of Iranian tribes of the steppe(particularly Sarmatians), and no doubt have influence from the Greeks and Turkic peoples in the area as well as the influence from the Ottoman Turks(themselves the product of mixing with the European peoples they conquered). Yugoslavs tend to have dark hair, different eyes(this is very difficult to explain to anyone who has not had the opportunity to observe them), and a longer nose(Dinaric is the archaic classification I believe). Obviously where there was more Germanic influence in Croatia and Slovenia, they appear closer to the Austrians and Germans(different groups of Germans often look quite different than one another, for example, Tyroleans).

    Again, all this goes to prove that there is no “white race.” You can easily find Arabs or Turks who look far “whiter” than many Serbs, Bosnians, or even Croats, and yet the WN will embrace the Serbs and Croats so long as they know the nationality of the person in the photo. Hilariously, they almost universally reject Bosnian Muslims, with the claim they are not “culturally white”, proving yet again that it is a social construct.

    All that being said, it is far more likely that no Europeans will be questioned by police in Phoenix.

  • Mitch Beales

    So one would think that President Obama (assuming he is nominated again) could get on the Arizona presidential ballot simply by presenting his driver’s license or social security card but the same legislature that passed this hateful and unconstitutional law also seems to think that a birth certificate should be required to get on the ballot. Anyone considering a trip to Arizona should contact Arizona tourism bureaus and make sure they have appropriate documents so they don’t land in jail. While it may not be unreasonable to ask people for identification it is unacceptable to arrest them for not providing it. In my youth the phrase that identified a movie character as a Nazi was, “Your papers please!” Perhaps this is still a useful tool for identifying Nazis.

  • Emmett

    Ruslan Amirkhanov said,

    “The only Europeans they would even conceivably stop would be members of Phoenix’s Yugoslav community- easily distinguishable from the WASP types”

    Well, would you look at that? After all this time of adamantly denying even the existence of white people, now Rus is going to lecture us about the diversity of various European people’s phenotypes. Please do enlighten us in this matter, and tell us more about what physical and anthropological features of the Yugoslavians, that make them so “distinguishable” from the “WASP types.” And since I’m someone who doesn’t have ancestors that came from any part of the British Isles, can you also explain what exactly makes the “WASP types” look so well… “WASPy”? While you’re at it, you might want to update your knowledge of toponymy to a bit more to that of the today’s times, since Yugoslavia doesn’t even exist anymore.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Anyone who thinks the law won’t cause racial profiling ought to ask what exactly one must do to look “reasonably suspicious.” Do you really think they are going to be stopping white people on the streets? The only Europeans they would even conceivably stop would be members of Phoenix’s Yugoslav community- easily distinguishable from the WASP types.

  • beholder

    In Bellaire, Texas (greater Houston with its own city administration) also says it has no racial profiling, even though every person of color knows that driving through means risking a traffic stop.

    After Sgt. Cotton — who has been indicted by a Grand Jury — of the local police force shot down Robbie Tolan on his family’s property after making such a stop (Tolan had committed no offense before he was stopped, and was wrongly assumed to be driving a stolen vehicle), the city still insists that there is no racial profiling and none will be tolerated. Details of Tolan’s shooting are available here:

    Don’t tell me this doesn’t happen, because it DID happen.

    So when you talk about a racial majority (i.e. white people) in Arizona making sure that racial minorities will be protected, when the law in effect specifically targets those of foreign nationality/ethnicity, I think you can be reasonably suspicious that the talk about preventing racial profiling is just that: deflection and idle bla bla bla from public officials who have capitulated to nativism and now seek to absolve themselves from the legitimate concerns of citizens of conscience.

  • Martha

    Has anyone ever noticed that a Social Security card is NOT to be used as a form of identification? Anyone can possess that little piece of blue and white paper, so it’s never accepted as identification. So, I ask again to the self-righteous WHITE people, how will you prove you are an American citizen? I agree with the previous poster who mentioned yellow stars.
    Get real, racist justifiers, even the police hate this law, Sheriff of Pima County has come on news shows to say he will not do anything to enforce this stupid law, and no one in law enforcement even knows HOW to enforce this law.
    All you militant “militia” people, if you keep pushing this crap it will be YOU who causes us to all have “identity papers” or a tattoo, or a microchip. There’s even a member of the House who promoted the microchip idea. Keep it up, loonies, and you will fulfill the prophesy you all whine about, GOVERNMENT INTRUSION in the most personal and demeaning form.

  • Kam

    @ d I’m an Arizona resident (Tucson) and I have read the law. Previous versions of the law said “lawful contact” which doesn’t have to be a stop.

    Arizona driver’s licenses, but not licenses in which you don’t have to prove you’re are citizen to get one. Utah, Hawaii, Illinois, New Mexico and Washington licenses do not count with this law. Considering that two of those states border Arizona it could potentially affect a lot of LEGAL citizens.

    Overall, I think the connection with the white supremacist is pretty damning and abhorrent. (And funny how the right overlooks that yet Obama still continues to be excoriated over Reverend Wright).

  • d

    The law isnt racist, racial profiling is illegal in arizona. Cops have to be already involved in a legal stop with someone before they can use ‘reasonable suspicion’ to ask for documents ( a requirement for foreigners since 1940) a arizona drivers permit will do.

    Ive read the law. it mirrors federal immigration laws at least 99%, so are fed laws racist? hmm?

    ‘concurrent enforcement’ means that the feds cant pre-empt the law, the surpremacy clause doesnt apply.

    And the constitution doesn’t even mention ‘immigration’ so the 10th amendment kicks in, and Arizona gets to do what it has to do

    These people broke the law to be here. You try breaking into Mexico, and you see how they treat you. Our laws are a cakewalk next to theirs… all you internationalists out there, if you dont believe in borders, etc., in the interest of consistency, you should protest the Mexican solution to immigration before you open your pie hole to condemn a law you probably havent read and most likely cannot comprehend.

  • Angela

    What can be done with people breaking the laws of this land? I have gone through many roadblocks, been stopped several times because of the police looking for someone who answers to my description and driving a car like mine. I know that it can be an inconvience at times however, I am glad to see the law enforcement out in my area, I feel safer when they are around and it is a small price to pay to have safety. I am white, in my 50’s and I don’t know why I am caterogized with any group however, stop me if you think thier is something wrong, I am legal, have my ID drivers license, and Insurance card. No problems, search my car, search me, I have nothing to hide. Protect our nation from those who totally disrespect the US by being here illegally.

  • MrsCaptJack

    To Lara N: The atrocities that you speak of that are occurring in other countires are in other countries. Get involved in some of the groups that are doing something about those crimes. If enough of us work together, we can effect change. For today, we’re talking about Arizona. Arizona now wants to see an Alien Registration card if a person drives through and “looks illegal”. In an effort not to worry Arizona’s already overworked law enforcement (not meant in disrespect) I’ll stay away. If I do happen to travel through Arizona, I’ll do my best to not look illegal. How I’ll mange that I don’t know, since I have blood from enough different countries in me to have me pass as Hispanic, Indian or Middle Eastern.

    By the by, not everyone who came here as a child needs to be a citizen. My parents were born in other countries. I was born in another country. I don’t find it necessary to label myself when I can still be passionate about where I live. I hold true to the fact that we live on one planet, where we should all be treated equally and are not.

    And finally, why is that the majority of Americans are always talking through the national anthem when I stand respectfully still and think about the meaning behind the words while the Americans in the audience use the time to check their phones and take calls? I’ve been in this country 40 years and it’s far worse now than when I was a child.

  • Scott

    I find it somewhat gratifying after having read all the comments here that folks like Reed and others really get it! It’s so simple to make claims against “illegals” (how does a human being become “illegal” anyway?) and use those claims as justification for unconstitutional laws like SB1070 in Arizona. An anecdotal story, one I have no reason to doubt the veracity of, heard on the Pete Dominick show on Sirius/XM radio: A truck driver called in to the show while a discussion of the Arizona law was taking place to let people know that several days _before_ the law was signed a Mexican-American truck driver on a run from San Diego to Phoenix was stopped by police and after having showed his CDL (Commercial drivers license), which is legal id in every state but Oregon, was detained without charges until his wife could be contacted (presumably in San Diego) and then travel to Arizona with a copy of the man’s birth certificate. One fact is, most “illegal” persons (the only aliens I have seen are in science fiction movies) are simply trying to feed their families, and as Reed stated, they and theirs could probably starve while waiting for legalities to be worked out. Whatever happened to the ideal of “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”?

    What’s next, yellow stars sewed into clothing?

  • mel

    Grateful as always for your investigative work. I hope that the US government intervenes. Strong Federal leadership on comprehensive immigration reform is long past due. These racist “fires” just need a strong wind to carry. The same coalition of voters that stood together to vote for Obama needs to stand together now to demand fairness in immigration reform: now. It cannot wait. They’ve left a vacuum these idiots can fill.