Bienvenido a Arizona

Don’t be surprised if police in Arizona seem particularly friendly.  And what’s wrong with that, bringing the police closer to the community and generating camaraderie and good will?  Happy police.  Happy public.  Everybody’s happy.  Especially anyone in Arizona with dark skin, who speaks Spanish or maybe just has an accent, who wears work boots and stands on a corner.  They may well be the special friends of cops.

When Governor Jan Brewer signed Arizona’s illegal alien bill into law, it was the dawn of a new age of friendliness.  Via Turley, this is the heart of the law.


It begins with “any lawful contact.”  There’s nothing unlawful about saying “good morning” to a dark skinned fellow in blue jeans walking down the street.  It’s just being friendly.  Certainly, cops can be friendly.  But now that lawful contact has been made, the response of “buenos dias” may take on new meaning.

The second prong is “where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States.”  This gets a bit dodgy.  Does looking like a foreigner suffice for reasonable suspicion to believe the fellow is an illegal?  They don’t have scarlet letters on their foreheads, and it’s not clear what part of their appearance, speech or dress would distinguish a legal alien from an illegal.  Or even a citizen from an alien.  From my view, it’s going to be very hard to tell the illegals from others.  But there’s no harm in asking a question between friends.

But there’s nothing wrong with the police officer, after a friendly greeting, asking a fellow if he’s an illegal alien.  I mean, it’s just a question and there’s a common law right to inquire.  He can’t force the guy to answer.  But if he does answer, then the cop can ask for some proof, since the dark skin fellow asserted he’s here legally and the officer would be remiss if he didn’t followup.  On the other hand, if he runs from the officer rather than answer, well, that’s suspicion since a legal immigrant would never do that.  And it’s definitely suspicious if he refuses to answer.

If the Spanish speaking guy says he doesn’t have his proof of citizenship on him, then the officer will be required to determine his immigration status with the Feds.  That could take a while, of course.  A day or two.  The Feds are busy, you know, and can’t always answer the phone, or run the computer check, or care. 

My guess is that there won’t be a lot of Swedes becoming close friends with the Arizona police.  It’s unclear how grave a problem exists with illegal Swedish immigration, but word around Arizona is that they have a big problem with Mexicans coming across the border illegally and, if Senator McCain is to be trusted, purposefully crashing cars.  Nobody wants to be in a needless car crash.

The good people of Arizona don’t seem to like people from Mexico very much, even if the local police become really close friends with them.  I’ve been told in the past that those of us who live in other parts of the country don’t understand how illegal immigrants have overrun their state, causing crime, unemployment and, per the Senator, car crashes.  It’s not that I’m not unsympathetic about the problems endured by Arizonians.  I am.  I wouldn’t want to have my car crashed anymore than the next guy.  But that’s no reason not to get all buddy-buddy with the dark skinned, Spanish speaking guy in work boots on the corner.

And what’s wrong with having really friendly cops?

8 thoughts on “Bienvenido a Arizona

  1. Catherine MUlcahey

    So now anyone involved in a car crash in Arizona will have to prove he is in the country legally?

  2. R. Raymond

    Oohh, I love sarcasm. But yes you are essentially clueless. What, would you want me to agree with you? I would hazard a guess that the good people of Arizona spend more time in Mexico and have a higher rate of non-native Spanish speakers then the good people of New York. I do find, however, that it’s those people from Illinois and New York that cause the greater problem here. We. Can’t. Stop. Them. Though. Shame.

    The problem is not with the people of Mexico but with illegal immigration, which includes Guatemalans, Hondurans, hell, even Chileans, and the occasional Canadian snowbird who just won’t go home. My Ukrainian neighbors and my Russian neighbors came here legally, as did my Mexican neighbors. They waited in line. No problem with them.

    Statistically, I don’t believe the illegals (shorthand for illegal immigrant not Mexican) cause any more crime, other than the increasingly necessary ID theft. The felonies are about the same rate, although I have seen local statistics that would rebut that. I’ll leave that to Mark Twain.

    Are car accidents a problem? Yes. Not in the number but in the disappearance/lack of insurance that happens with illegals. They often will go back across the border if Mexican. Guatemalans, not so much, because they hate and fear the Federales. We have the same problem with Rez-idents, who run back to their Reservation after a car accident, minor or major. It’s near impossible to get restitution in either situation. And un-insured motorist doesn’t cut it in major accidents. Hey, where do New Yorkers run, other than down the street?

    Regarding unemployment, you need to read up on the trades. Illegals have had a major impact there, underbidding the locals including Latino-Americans. Too many of the home builders, as well as home-improvement companies, have cut costs that way. And, yes, Americans of any color, especially brown, will take those jobs for a better life. It’s one way I financed college, but I’m not brown but reddish. Moot at the moment, of course given our economy. Just because you don’t see it in your neck of the woods doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    One of the things I think you Easterners forget, as you were too busy smacking the legal Italians (Raymond is a bastardized Ellis Island Italian name) and Irish, not to mention Slavic Jews, is that all the countries below the border were settled by Europeans too. You know, Germans, Italians, Irish, and Spaniards, even Poles. Mexico is no different, although it has kept a higher degree of Indian lineage, especially in the border states such as Oaxaca and Sonora, than the US or Canada. Do the names Sheen and Carr, even Hayek, ring a bell? Try watching Univision or Telemundo for godsakes (the soaps are a kick). Two of my loves where from south of the border, one obviously a Mexican Moor and the other a real blonde (Argentine). Me, I’m one generation from Native American (wish they had kept the Rez affiliation) and look European as hell if you neglect the flat face, reddish skin, and high, wide cheekbones. I had many a bout with the Border Patrol when younger, longhaired and tanned. How dare they!

    As I’ve written before, I don’t know how you deal with illegal immigration in the border states without racial profiling, and yes it sucks for the brown-skinned, accented Latinos that have been here for as long as the other side of my family has been. I am not for this law simply because of that, as well as where Arpaio will take it. The Feds should do their job, but a Democrat admin is going to pander. Unfortunately, on the Federal level so will Republican. At least they give more lip service to the problem.

    If you want to solve this problem, we need to turn inward to the Americas and help our family here, English speaking, Spanish speaking and Portuguese . These are great and beautiful countries that should get our fair and generous attention, but not the United Fruit Company way of doing business.

  3. SHG

    All those words and no actual point to any of it. To the extent there’s anything in there that says anything, apparently us Easterners have a different Constitution than you Arizonians, so we should invest money to make the Beautiful Countries of the Americas (and maybe the Ukraine) even more beautiful? 

    Dang, I want my time back. I was robbed.

  4. Jdog

    Nah. Not a different Constitution, just different experiences. Everybody knows that New Yorkers don’t have any experience dealing with folks from other countries, as a New York cabbie once said to me. (I think that’s what he said; I don’t actually speak Hindi.)

  5. Larry

    True the Police may, intentionally or not, get involved in or be accused of racial profiling, I guess it is inevitable…What some neglect to acknowledge is that there is a drug war going on near our southern borders.

    The fact that the Feds are NOT enforcing existing laws is the reason for this in the first place. I have no problem with people immigrating to this country, this is a nation of immigrants.

    The problem I have is ILLEGAL immigration…another fact that is somehow swept under the carpet (so to speak) or simply too politically incorrect to udder. I am aware that many if not most come ILLEGALLY in hopes of a better life for them and their family, after all isn’t this is the land of opportunity (if not they would not be crashing our borders, we can only pray that it remains so). However, if we continue to allow and ignore this abuse and disregard for our laws; we run the risk of morphing into a nation where bribes and corruption of our legal system will be no different than Mexico or other similarly corrupt governments.

    It’s sad that some people care more about the rights of those in this country ILLEGALLY than they do for our citizens. If the immigration laws need to be changed to fix this problem then let’s concentrate on that. We may need to know who is in our country, you think?. How many Terrorist, Rapist, Murderers and other habitual criminals do we want to allow into our country? Or is that just ‘too politically incorrect’ an idea to entertain?

    Would it be better to risk another attack like 911 OR inconvenience a few legal CITIZENS because they share the characteristics of the most common of ILLEGAL immigrants? Would you want some of the others like rapist, child molesters, etc. moving into your neighbor hood? I know, we have all of the above living in this country that are legal residents, but just how many more do you want? For me the answer is Zero! Legal or not, Zero, we do need to know who is here…No Amnesty (that will only encourage future problems, including MORE ILLEGAL immigration). Enforce existing Laws and change or fix existing Immigration policy.

    You don’t need a degree from Harvard or be a rocket scientist to solve this problem, a little common sense goes a long way…unfortunately, there seems to be a short supply of that in our Federal legislative branches.

    That is the reason States like Arizona (and probably Texas, Soon) have to step up to the plate and enact laws to do what the Fed is neglecting and refusing to do. Build the fence…I know it will only keep 98% of the illegals out, so don’t throw that in my face! (oops, there I go again..using that “I” word).

    I suspect it is the Politicians’ need for the uninformed new voter that drives their intentional disregard to enforce and strengthen our existing Immigration laws.

    It’s time to stand up America and set the Politicians straight before they turn this country into Venezuela or some other Banana Republic!

  6. SHG

    I always get a kick out of people using all caps to be emphatic when they are borderline psychotic.  Make sure your aluminum foil hat is on tight so the government doesn’t bombard your brain with the gamma rays.

Comments are closed.