Hello all. I know it’s been a while since I have posted anything here. My apologies. I will get to the reason why after I make my points. I’m heated folks, and it all stems from Facebook. I posted an link from USA Today about how activists are protesting the Mexican government’s treatment of their own illegal immigrants. It appears that the Mexico is pretty hard on their neighbors from the south when they enter the country illegally. More than 9,000 illegal immigrants have been kidnapped and held for ransom. In 10% of those police took an active part. And the argument ensued.
Now I am not here to debate Mexico’s immigration policies, or their hypocrisy in their criticism of our immigration laws. What I am here to dispute is the Constitutionality of Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law. Now the law has come under much controversy as it gives law enforcement more power that it ever has to stem the flow of illegal immigration. This is the statute in case you haven’t read it:
” FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE, WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON. THE PERSON’S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c)26″
You can see by the two words that are in bold are REASONABLE SUSPISCION for a reason. Now I am going to give you a quick lesson in law. As a police officer you are required to learn the laws of your individual state and municipality. Laws differ from state to state and from city to city. The one thing that does not differ in our 50 states and its outlying territories is the 4th Amendment of The United States Constitution which deals with search and seizure. If you are not familiar with the 4th Amendment, here it is:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon PROBABLE CAUSE, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
The words I bolded in the 4th Amendment are PROBABLE CAUSE. Aside from the difference in their spellings, they have completely different meanings. Reasonable suspicion is nothing more than “I have a hunch.” As a police officer with reasonable suspicion I can say “Hey, I think that guy is up to no good.” Do you know what actions I can take as a police officer? I can go up and talk to that person. I have what is called common law right of inquiry. What this means is that I can ask you what you name is, what your address is and what you are doing in the area. Guess what, you don’t have to answer me. You can even run away from me while I am asking you these questions. Do know what burden of proof I have now even after you ran? If you said reasonable suspicion you would be correct. That’s it nothing more. I still do not have probable cause to arrest you. Probable cause means that you in my opinion as a sworn and train officer of the state believe that you probably committed a crime and I have evidence that backs up what I believe. Do you now see the difference between the two?
SB 1070 allows law enforcement officers to circumvent the Constitution in order to fight crime and coming from somebody who has actually fought crime, that is completely unacceptable. Now am I for a single second saying that illegal aliens are not a problem in this country? Nope. Am I inferring for even a moment that violent crime in the border towns by these representatives of the drug trade is acceptable? Not even for a fraction of a second. Even one murder by anybody is not an item I am comfortable with. To quote from my favorite character from my favorite show, Omar Little; the game is the game. Criminals commit crimes as cops it’s our job to catch them. Are the criminals right, nope. But does that mean that cops shouldn’t still try and catch them. Don’t think so. As a cop you need to come up with creative ways to catch crooks. You need to be innovative and stronger that the prey you are hunting. It’s nature plain and simple, only difference is in this case the strength is strength of mind.
In this argument I tried to think of an example to have people see my point. The one I came up with was this, and it’s a very real scenario. A woman who happens to be an illegal immigrant is raped. The officer at the scene obtains information that she is an illegal and she is subsequently deported. Aside from being raped she in now being victimized a second time. When the trial comes there is no witness because she has been deported. She can’t testify because she cannot be found, and subpoenas from U.S. courts have no power in Mexico. Besides why should she want to help the same court that sent her away? Now a rapist goes free. Wow, that’s a good idea now isn’t it?
You want to stop the crimes taking place in these border towns, here’s my solution. Hire 5,000 new Border Patrol and I.C.E. agents. Have them flood these high crime areas, and enforce the law. If an illegal breaks the law he gets arrested. If he is convicted he gets the maximum sentence plus one year for entering this country illegally and then subsequently deported. Post signs reflecting this at every border crossing and wherever people cross illegally. Make sure it’s neon and in English and Spanish. Even though ignorance is no excuse, we still have to make it fair.
It doesn’t matter if it is for speeding or jaywalking, a crime is a crime, and the reality is that when you are given a summons it is in lieu of an arrest. That’s right if you violate the Vehicle and Traffic Law you technically could be arrested. If a people were arrested for every single offense no matter how minor just think how crowded the system would be. That’s why cops give tickets, well that and as a revenue source for the municipality. If you rounded up every single illegal alien, don’t you think the system would be overloaded? Talk about a burden to the tax payers. But if said illegal commits a crime he’s gone. It should be just like how New York State used to enforce seatbelt infractions. You could not be pulled over solely for failure to wear your seat belt, but if you did something wrong you got a seat belt ticket. You’re illegal and you commit a crime and you are gone. And once deported do you think these people are going to stay put in Mexico? They’re going to find the closest coyote and get back to Arizona or Texas or California or wherever they were originally. That’s the game and the game is the game. If you play the game like that it’s a waste of man hours and money.
Now regardless of how I feel or how you feel SB 1070 violates the U.S. Constitution. Your opinion has validity, but you cannot argue that without probable cause an arrest is not valid. If the arrest is not valid then any information I obtain while making that arrest (ie. your citizenship or lack of it) is not valid. That is called fruits of a poisonous tree. Illegal immigration is a problem and border towns of today’s West are turning into border towns of The Wild West. I will not dispute that, but what I can dispute is the legality of SB 1070. If you want this law to be valid then Arizona has to convince the rest of the country that there needs to be an Amendment to say as such, and I can’t see that happening.
So in the beginning of this entry I acknowledged that I hadn’t been doing much on here. I am guilty as charged. The reason why I have been neglecting you is that I have been putting together my own talk show on a website called www.shovio.com. The show called Pounding The Beat airs every Monday from 9:00 to 10:00 PM EST. On the show we discuss issues of crime and law enforcement. I would love to have you swing by some time and check it out. The beauty of the format is that it is completely interactive where you can actually communicate with myself and other viewers directly by the attached chat window or by calling in via your webcam. There is nothing else like it out there. So now that I have all the required items like a format and my opening sequence all finished I will be back I promise. If you have any show ideas, or would want to be on the show as a guest e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. But if you are watching and want to cam in(or shove in as it’s called) all you need to do is press a button and we’re talking live on the air. I’ll even be posting episodes on here for you to check out once I work out all the tech stuff.