Brent Batten: Arizona law doesn't make cops ogres

BRENT BATTEN

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Brent Batten

Brent Batten

There are a couple of things I don’t understand.

Is it “Shrek Forever After,” or, “Shrek The Final Chapter”?

I’ve seen it advertised both ways. The official website uses both interchangeably.

Call me old-fashioned, but I think a movie should pick one title and stick with it. Another thing I don’t understand is U.S. Rep. Connie Mack’s stand against the Arizona immigration law.

There have been arguments against the law that I do understand. I don’t agree with them, but I understand. Like the one that questions whether a state has the ability to take on the responsibilities of the federal government. It is an interesting legal point for lawyers and judges to sort out.

But Mack’s argument, articulated in an editorial he submitted to the Washington Post printed Friday relies on the premise that the Arizona law, “clearly challenges citizens’ freedoms, and it does so by putting some Americans at risk of losing their freedoms while others stand little or no chance of being affected.”

He hearkens back to the internment camps of World War II, likening Arizona’s effort to allow state law enforcement officers to check the legal status of suspects they encounter to the imprisonment of Americans of Japanese descent.

“America took away the constitutional rights of citizens — a shameful overreach of the government. The Arizona immigration law reminds us of how fear and distrust can lead to bad laws and even more government overreach into the private sector and our private lives,” Mack wrote.

He concludes, “I do not want to live in a nation where American citizens are asked, ‘Where are your papers?’ We are better than that.”

The phrase, “where are your papers,” has become a lightning rod in the immigration debate. It conjures images of Nazi Germany and its ubiquitous SS men.

Setting the emotion of that pejorative term aside, we already live in a land where “papers,” some form of identification, are routinely requested by law enforcement.

If I am pulled over for speeding, I will be asked for my driver’s license. If a person with darker skin and a last name ending in “ez” is pulled over for speeding, he will be asked for one too. Under the Arizona law, which recognizes a valid driver’s license as absolute proof of legal residence, the only way either of us stands to lose freedom is if we can’t produce one. Then we will both be making a trip to jail for driving without a license. We will both have our immigration status checked.

The Arizona law allows officers to conduct an inquiry only after a lawful traffic stop, reasonable suspicion of some other infraction, or an arrest. Anyone in those circumstances, regardless of skin color, accent or last name, is always going to be asked for identification, tough new law or not. People can’t randomly — or via racial profiling — be questioned.

So what about encounters with police that don’t involve driving, negating the requirement for a driver’s license? Federal law, 8 USC 1304(e) says that, “Every alien, 18 years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. Any alien who fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”

The federal government already requires immigrants to be able to “show their papers.”

Mack has the credentials of a staunch conservative. His outspoken opposition to Arizona’s law puts him at odds with his fellow travelers.

One has to admire his willingness to take a stand in defiance of his political base.

But understand it? No.

Connect with Brent Batten at naplesnews.com/staff/brent_batten

© 2010 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 7

greathornedlizard writes:

I don't understand what Mr. Batten doesn't understand about the bedrock Republican principals of cheap labor and plenty of cannon fodder?
Mack could care less about freedom for anyone but himself, unless it is the freedom to exploit natural resources for profit.
Looking ahead to a possible (ill-fated) run for the Senate, Mack wants to be in a position to exploit the South Florida Cuban vote.

titanbite writes:

Hispanic residents from this area vote,in large numbers,Mack knows the risk of not supporting certain voting blocks,Personally,I think he's hedging his bet,Republican voters vote Republican,even if they disagree with the candidates philosophy,they certainly will not vote for the Democratic candidate under any circumstances.

So,Mack has a little room to entertain placing his support behind other groups of voters that wouldn't normally find him supporting their causes,he figures he's got the Republican vote in the bag,now if he can persuade some of the Hispanic vote to side with him,as opposed to voting exclusively for the Democratic candidate,who at this point would follow their party and vote for some form of amnesty.

Mack will claim he's for amnesty,until it's time to actually vote for it,then he'll have an excuse to not vote for it,an excuse that has nothing to do with helping illegal immigrants gain legal citizenship.

Don't be fooled,Connie Mack has always allowed his political stripes to show through when it comes down to the final vote.

98% of the time he voted in favor of the Bush Administration,under the Obama Administration,he's voted 100% for the Republican Party,which usually translates into a vote for corporate special interests,while voting against the interests of the American people.

Chester writes:

"Voting aginst the will of the people?" If anybody votes against the will of the people its is Obama and the left wingers. Sixty percent of the folks are against illegal immigration and the health care disaster and how did Obama and his lapdogs vote? I rest my case! Mack is a typical pandering politician who will never, ever get my vote again. I won't democrat, but I won't vote for Mack!

hartt writes:

Mr. Brent
I went to work one as a single mother of two supporting myself and my children (Registered Nurse) When suddently without my knowing I was being hunted by a mad man ( a cuban boat lift ) an illegal this man who i did'nt know or who knew nothing about me, thought it was OK to hunt, stalk, harass and hurt another person for no reason. I felt like an innocent deer being hunted in the wild
the police was useless.I can personally identify with Arizona. Arizona and Jan Brewer
is right in her action to keep America safe
and yes we need the same law here in florida and yes every American agrees with Jan Brewer.

greathornedlizard writes:

in response to hartt:

Mr. Brent
I went to work one as a single mother of two supporting myself and my children (Registered Nurse) When suddently without my knowing I was being hunted by a mad man ( a cuban boat lift ) an illegal this man who i did'nt know or who knew nothing about me, thought it was OK to hunt, stalk, harass and hurt another person for no reason. I felt like an innocent deer being hunted in the wild
the police was useless.I can personally identify with Arizona. Arizona and Jan Brewer
is right in her action to keep America safe
and yes we need the same law here in florida and yes every American agrees with Jan Brewer.

If he was a Cuban he was not illegal, hence the Arizona law does not apply to your stalker.

johnnyshooter writes:

Connie Mack is way off base with his view of the Arizona law.
He is just out to get the Hispanic vote.
He has been in office way too long and needs to be replaced.
If anything, we need this law here in Florida too.
He is just riding on his Fathers coattails and has never had a real job. The same goes for his new Wife Mary, who acquired her seat from Sonny Bono.
They both have these high paying positions and need to be replaced like so many of these others in Washington.
We need to vote all of theme out of office!

J.S.

ajm3s writes:

in response to titanbite:

Hispanic residents from this area vote,in large numbers,Mack knows the risk of not supporting certain voting blocks,Personally,I think he's hedging his bet,Republican voters vote Republican,even if they disagree with the candidates philosophy,they certainly will not vote for the Democratic candidate under any circumstances.

So,Mack has a little room to entertain placing his support behind other groups of voters that wouldn't normally find him supporting their causes,he figures he's got the Republican vote in the bag,now if he can persuade some of the Hispanic vote to side with him,as opposed to voting exclusively for the Democratic candidate,who at this point would follow their party and vote for some form of amnesty.

Mack will claim he's for amnesty,until it's time to actually vote for it,then he'll have an excuse to not vote for it,an excuse that has nothing to do with helping illegal immigrants gain legal citizenship.

Don't be fooled,Connie Mack has always allowed his political stripes to show through when it comes down to the final vote.

98% of the time he voted in favor of the Bush Administration,under the Obama Administration,he's voted 100% for the Republican Party,which usually translates into a vote for corporate special interests,while voting against the interests of the American people.

Excellent analysis.

With regard to the article, an illegal alien is NOT a citizen. Let's not quibble about being a citizen, but it is the responsibility of the Federal government to protect its citizens and that includes its borders.

For whatever its worth, this stuff goes back to the founding of this great nation. And we still do not comprehend the difference between an illegal alien and a US citizen. Its all in the paperwork created by laws enacted by representatives that do not have a clue and espouse views to placate or entice voters outside of their base, as so brilliantly stated in your comment.

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