By an almost two-to-one margin overall, respondents to an NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll released today are somewhat or strongly supportive of the recent immigration measure signed into law in Arizona that would make it a state crime to reside there illegally. Fully 64% of the respondents, including Hispanics, viewed the law favorably. However, seven out of ten of the Hispanics respondents said they were somewhat or strongly opposed to the law as compared with only 34% overall. One thousand people were polled but it is unknown whether the respondents were asked whether they were citizens or legal residents or whether a truthful answer could be expected to that question.
The poll did not report the percentage of non-Hispanic respondents who supported the law so all that can be said is that it would certainly by significantly higher than the 64% overall percentage. Among Hispanics 27% are somewhat or strongly supportive of Arizona’s law. Fully 82% of Hispanics said they were concerned about profiling compared to 66% overall. Only 16% of Hispanics said the law was unlikely to lead to profiling, while 31% overall said it would not.
What this means is that law enforcement officials in Arizona need to pursue an evenhanded approach to the implementation of this law treating all they stop for other reasons with the utmost in courtesy and thanking them for their cooperation. All should oppose any unfair treatment of Hispanics whether they are citizens or not. Illegals must be treated humanely and provided with timely food, water and bathroom facilities. This the only way this law will work to the advantage of everyone in the way intended.
If it were not illegal, profiling is an effective law enforcement technique. In fact, the poll shows some support for the use of profiling to identify terrorists. Profiling would help law enforcement to narrow down the search for illegals or terrorists to the populations where they are most likely to be found. This would be not a perfect solution because of the Timothy McVeighs of this world but it would be a major help to law enforcement if it could be used in an appropriate way.
While there is a legitimate concern that the law could lead to discrimination against Hispanics who are citizens or who are residing in the U.S. legally, this need not be as onerous as it might sound. We all are subject to routine traffic stops and required to produce a driver’s license and proof of insurance. Since Arizona does not allow illegal aliens to get a driver’s license, it is logical to ask occupants of an auto stopped for traffic or other violations to also produce proof of citizenship or legal residency. Carrying this additional document should not be considered a major imposition by anyone. To facilitate the implementation of the law all citizens could be asked to carry such identification. It should even be possible to institute a special new ID that could be obtained by presenting proof of citizenship at motor vehicle departments or police stations where one’s bona fides could be checked against national data bases using E-verify. This capability could even be added to police cruisers so that the check could be done right on the spot with little delay or inconvenience. This would be similar to the police capability to check license plates against the list of stolen vehicles.
We should all be supportive of our Hispanic citizens to make sure they are not discriminated against or treated unfairly as a result of this law. Their full cooperation is important make sure the law is effective and works as intended only against those who are present in the state illegally.
Some Hispanic citizens fail to support the law not because of the potential for discrimination or profiling but because they want their ethnic brethren to be left alone and the border unsecured. Their discrimination and profiling concerns are secondary to that larger issue. They are the open borders, pro-amnesty, and increased legal immigration proponents. The discrimination and profiling issue is just a red herring they use to advance their larger agenda.
Working for logical immigation reform based on a stable population, a recognition of the finite nature of our natural resources and the adverse impact of continued growth on our quality of life, standard of living, national interest, character, language, sovereignty and the rule of law. Pushing back and countering the disloyal elements in American society and the anti-American rhetoric of the leftwing illegal alien lobbies. In a debate, when your opponents turn to name calling, it's a good sign you've already won.