Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Immigrants-as-Trespassers Law Closer to Passing

Seriously, this could be the most f-ed up thing that happens this year, as far as state legislation goes. A bill that Arizona Senator Russell Pearce wrote (SB1175) would make it so undocumented immigrants' existence in this state would be considered trespassing, and would also prevent any policy that restricts the police or other state agencies from enforcing federal immigration law. This bill just passed in the senate this week.

This means that undocumented immigrants' presence in the state would cause them to be breaking a state law. Although i think it's a stretch and might be unconstitutional, the idea is to override the federal immigration law, as far as enforcement goes. As long as police attempt to enforce federal law, they are on shaky ground, but they can much more easily enforce state law. This is what arpaio has been doing by enforcing the smuggling law, the employer sanctions law, and other such laws to go after undocumented immigrants). Although his actions are controversial and he does say that he is enforcing federal immigration law, his primary means of attacking the immigrant community is by enforcing (though many would say inappropriately) the state laws.

Pearce's bills aim to create more crimes out of the actions (or mere existence) of undocumented immigrants so they can more easily be arrested and removed. He wrote a bill (SB1337) that would make a class I misdemeanor out of not having a state-issued drivers' license (you have to be legal to get a legal one), which is in the legislature at the same time as various state police departments are discussing not recognizing the Matricula Consular, the ID issued by the Mexican government. Additionally, another bill (SB1177) would make it a crime to solicit for work.

The wider picture involves a new ICE program called "Secure Communities" which will target "criminal aliens" by linking up various law enforcement and immigration databases to be accessed when a person is in police custody. The new and existing laws and policies would give the police cause to arrest, detain, and check the databases on the suspect, and since undocumented immigrants would then have charges against them that they wouldn't otherwise have had, they will more likely be face the consequences of being labeled "criminal aliens".

Clearly "criminal alien" will mean nothing different from "illegal alien", or to us, "undocumented immigrant" because anyone without papers could be categorized as a "criminal alien". The criminal alien term will be used to make the general public feel that the right people are being deported. However, just as previous ICE raids have been purported to target dangerous criminals, they have in fact caught in their nets mostly people without criminal records. Now, creating more people with criminal records will justify various actions against the undocumented community.

*This article contains some text from a previous posted blog post. Apologies to anyone who were thinking, "haven't i already read this?".


  1. Trespassers or jaywalkers? So give them a ten dollar ticket and leave them alone.

    The age-old pesky U.S.-Mexico border problem has taxed the resources of both countries, led to long lists of injustices, and appears to be heading only for worse troubles in the future. Guess what? The border problem can never be solved. Why? Because the border IS the problem! It's time for a paradigm change.

    Never fear, a satisfying, comprehensive solution is within reach: the Megamerge Dissolution Solution. Simply dissolve the border along with the failed Mexican government, and megamerge the two countries under U.S. law, with mass free 2-way migration eventually equalizing the development and opportunities permanently, with justice and without racism, and without threatening U.S. sovereignty or basic principles.

    To read the details, Google "Megamerge Dissolution Solution", or click


  2. i'm going to have to disagree about any solution involving the continued existence of the u.s. government, especially if that means expanded power for the u.s. government.

  3. You'd rather work for the continued existence of the ever-corrupt Mexican govt., which is owned by two dozen or so fatcats?

    At least U.S. citizens you are part of the political process, plus you get a U.S. passport anytime you want :)