Guest post from The American Civil Rights Union

The ACLU is already cranking up to challenge the new Arizona law about illegal aliens in that state on the ground that it has "racial discrimination" and violates "civil rights" in the US. Reading the text of the law shows that it follows the most recent Supreme Court decisions on civil rights. A visit to the border shows that Mexicans are about 95% of the people entering Arizona illegally, so if the impact of the law is 95% on Mexicans, there is no discrimination.

Some of the facts for this article, but none of the legal conclusions, come from an article on the website of KTAR in Phoenix, Arizona, on 20 April, 2010. The article quoted the Arizona ACLU that if the Governor signed the new immigration law, that it would probably sue the State, claiming that the law is unconstitutional. The Governor has now signed the law.

The ACLU claims that the law is discriminatory, because "Officers will more likely stop and question individuals based on things like race, national origin, accent." This claim ignores the language of the law itself. It states in plain English that the determination of whether any person has government issued ID to show that they are legal residents of Arizona, does not come into play until there is a "lawful interaction" between the officer and the individual.[# More #]

That means reasonable suspicion that a crime, other than being an illegal alien, has been committed. A car that is speeding, a person who is trespassing on someone else's property, a domestic relations call where there are indications that someone (more often the woman) has been attacked and harmed, a crime scene where someone was in a position to be a witness to the crime, these are all examples of a lawful interaction between officers and individuals. These types of contacts all allow the police at present to approach an individual and ask to see identification, usually a drivers license. The US Supreme Court has long since approved such approaches to individuals.

Apparently the ACLU lawyers prefer to ignore the current state of constitutional law in favor of lying about the contents of this Arizona law. This law does not grant any general ID check for people on the street without cause. Much of the American press has followed the ACLU line and claimed that the law does that.

What the ACLU advises people to do, when asked to show ID, is "state your name, ask for a lawyer, and do nothing else." Apparently, the intent of this advice is to clutter the station houses with legitimate residents of Arizona, who will all get hauled off until their ID can be established. The purpose seems to make the law fail in operation.

The claim that the new law discriminates racially against people of Mexican ancestry can be destroyed by anyone who bothers to go to a soft spot in the border and see the proportion of Mexicans who are climbing over or under the fence or wire. In excess of 95% of those individuals will be Mexicans, though the remaining 5% turn out to be from more than a hundred nations around the world.

If those people turned over to immigration authorities and ultimately are send out of the United States are less than 95% of the total, than there is no racial discrimination present in the enforcement of this law. The ACLU has long held the view that the US should have open borders, and that anyone from elsewhere as some kind of "right" to enter, in violation of the laws of the US, and now Arizona.

That position is both foolish, and dangerous. Arizona has legitimately decided to use its police powers to stop that tide into that State.