Glass Houses

Via the AZ Republic:

Rep. Jose Serrano is firing a brushback pitch at the state of Arizona for passing a strict new immigration law

Seeking Major League retribution, the Bronx Democrat will ask big-league baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to move the 2011 All-Star Game from Phoenix. Serrano will make his request to the commissioner in a letter to be sent later today.

I have made it pretty plain I don't like AZ's new immigration law, but this is silly.  While overly authoritarian, it is no more so than any number of cash confiscation or stop and search laws on the books in other states.  I am pretty sure Arizona could remain standing in a head-to-head fight between AZ and NY on whose laws are the most authoritarian.  A Representative of a city that bans trans fats, zones to exclude certain fast food restaurants, has proposed a salt ban and initiated a campaign against soft drinks needs to get his own authoritarian house in order.


  1. MJ:

    It's not that he doesn't like regulation, just that he doesn't like this regulation. Gotta love that consistency.

  2. Ron H.:

    As the state of Arizona is, as far as I know, quite a long way outside of Rep. Serrano's district in New York, and therefore outside of his official responsibilities and interests, I can only surmise that he is hoping to make some political hay by grandstanding in this manner, as he begins tuning up his re-election machine.

  3. mesaeconoguy:

    Rep. Jose Serrano is firing a brushback pitch

    Wasn’t that Dennis Haysbert in Major League?

    Jobu no likey....

  4. EVoREV:

    The absolute panic over this law continues to astound me. I truly wonder if the people so opposed to this law have actually read/understand it.

    Yes, it can be viewed as an infringement on our liberties (all of our liberties...not just illegal immigrants) but no more so than a normal traffic stop. If I drive around with no identification or registration I am subject to "harassment" by the authorities too.

  5. boqueronman:

    New you can use. This from the BBC today.

    "Amnesty [International] cited statistics from the Mexican National Human Rights Commission, which showed that nearly 10,000 migrants had been abducted, mainly for ransom, over a period of six months in 2009 [in Mexico].

    It said that almost half of those interviewed said public officials had played a direct role in their kidnap.

    The report also said that an estimated six out of 10 migrant women and girls have experienced sexual violence at the hands of criminals, other migrants or corrupt public officials.

    Amnesty has called on the Mexican authorities to set up a federal task force to protect migrants' rights, and to bring those responsible for abuses to justice."

    Well, hey, let's look on the bright side. It could have been worse. At least these poor people probably didn't have to face the "authoritarian" jackbooted thugs in Arizona law enforcement.

  6. Agammamon:

    Lots of people keep bringing up driver's licenses, as if that's the only time you'll ever have contact with the police.

    What hapens if you're mugged? "Lawful Contact" does not mean only in cases where you're suspected of committing a crime (speeding for example) but also cases in which you are a victim or a witness. I don't make a habit of carrying ID around with me. I have no need to. But now without the right piece of plastic I can be held indefinately simply on suspicicion that I'm not here legally.

    Also, normally I do not have to prove I am in the country legally. The police have to prove I am not. This is another reversal of the traditions of American law.

  7. skh.pcola:

    @Agammamon: "I don’t make a habit of carrying ID around with me. I have no need to."

    What are you, like eight-years old? If you are an adult, you are the first one that I've known of that does this.

  8. Scott:

    From the law as passed:

    B. For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of this state or a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of 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, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation.

    The house worried about victims when they modified the senate bill.

    Also it is already a federal law and has been for decades that legal aliens must carry on their person documentation. Again from the law:

    A. In addition to any violation of federal law, a person is guilty of willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document if the person is in violation of 8 United States Code section 1304(e) or 1306(a).

  9. Mal:

    Have you read this article in the New York Times re: Why Arizona Drew a Line

  10. Not Sure:

    If you are an adult, you are the first one that I’ve known of that does this. - skh.pcola

    I don't make a habit of it (carrying id) either.

    Now you know two. :)

  11. Bonnie:

    Are you kidding me?

    With all due respect, are you seriously comparing this racist law to banning trans fats?

    How, pray tell, is racial profiling equivalent to banning soft drinks?

    (Also, I don't carry ID unless I'm actually driving a car. But then again, I'm a Whitey McWhite female, so I don't expect this bill to affect me much.)

  12. Roy:

    3 with no ID. When on business trips, I often unwind after long work hours by distance running. Sometimes local trails exist. Sometimes the staggered work hours allow running in daylight. Usually I run with the guy with whom I travel and work. Sometimes solo. But in the U.S. I'll run nearly anywhere near where I'm staying or working (some parts of some cities excluded) nearly anytime. I don't carry ID, but sometimes do carry a cell phone.

    Not so when I've worked in Mexico. Many places I will not run. I know running only identifies me as a target. Further, tho I speak Spanish well enough to communicate, I also know via experience that I can expect zero protection and assistance from the local law. I do carry a passport.

  13. mesaeconoguy:

    Bonnie: Are you seriously comparing racist triglycerides (highly statistically prevalent in the Hispanic community) to the incidence of silly legislation?



  14. ColoComment:

    No ID? I don't get you people. I'm not a runner, but when I take one of my 10-25 mile bicycle rides, I rubberband together my DL, health insurance card, a credit card & a $5 bill, and slide that very small packet and my cell phone into my biking jersey or shorts pocket. (I suspect that all running clothes offer similar pockets.)

    If I take a header off my bike on an empty trail, am car-door'd in the residential street bike lane, or am found unconscious & bleeding on the bike path or highway, I want my rescuers to know who I am & who to contact (my cell has my ICE number), and any emergency room where I end up to know my health insurance provider.

    Am I being over-responsible? I thought I was just being sensible....

  15. ColoComment:

    Or, more on topic, I liked this excerpt from NRO's Morning Jolt:

    Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants his city to boycott Arizona. Accordingly, the Dodgers will refuse to hit any pitches from Diamondbacks pitchers for the remainder of the year.

  16. ADiff:

    I myself thought this particular law rather pointless and almost certainly destructive. I'm no fan of illegal immigration (I have my own views on what immigration policy should be, but whatever it should be legal and not a violation of the integrity of our national borders), but don't believe this law will make any meaningful contribution to reducing illegal immigration, will result in increased racial division, energize the real racists who are among those who support the bill (although most support it for positive reasons and are not racists at all), and will harm our economy seriously. More than anything else I think the manner in which this legislation was presented, the form of its finalization, and the expressions of many of its supporters was nothing more than a cynical play of the 'race card' by populist politicians here in Arizona pandering to the lowest common denominator for political ends. The most blatant example of this was Sheriff Arpaio's kowtowing to, cavorting with, and encouraging support from, openly known members and associates of 'White Supremacist' and semi-fascistic organizations, but the same ploy applies in less crude ways on the part of many of the bill's supporters in the legislature.

    That said, if there's anything on Earth that could make me actually support what I view as such an ineffective and costly bill, it's all these calls for Boycotts and such from outsiders, appealing to the same instincts and in much the same way, just in the other direction.

    That the Arizona legislature should so abuse stated intentions and honest concerns of millions of our citizens with this exercise in bottom-feeding pandering to xenophobic fear and, yes, out-and-out racism is bad...having outsiders do exactly the same in reaction to 'punish' Arizona for 'offending' their sensibilities (and, more to the point providing them a profitable opportunity to exploit politically and economically for all it's worth) makes me want to tell them we'll do what the hell we want and that they can shove their objections and such where 'the sun don't shine'.

  17. mal:

    Have you read Heather Mac Donalds article Re: Arizona

  18. Not Sure:

    Am I being over-responsible? I thought I was just being sensible…. - ColoComment

    Probably not for yourself, but everbody doesn't have the same level of concern for the various things that might happen in the course of living one's life. People slip and fall in the bathtub and wearing helments would no doubt prevent some injuries, but how many people do you suppose there are who actually think it's a good idea?

    And speaking of helmets, not only do I not take id when I go for a bike ride- I don't wear a helmet, either. Then again, I'm old enough to remember a time when nobody wore them. Since helmets have become popular, I've had numerous conversations with others my age who also grew up not wearing them, and not a single person can recall anybody being hurt because they didn't have a helmet on.

    This doesn't mean that bad things can't or won't happen, of course- it's just that different people see different levels of risk in the exact same activities. Which is (in a libertarian tangent) a perfect example of why it's silly to insist that the government micromanage peoples' lives, as not everybody has the same wants or needs (not that that'll ever stop all the Caring People from trying).

  19. mal:

    "The Arizona law is not about race; it’s not an attack on Latinos or legal immigrants. It’s about one thing and one thing only: making immigration enforcement a reality. It is time for a national debate: Do we or don’t we want to enforce the country’s immigration laws? If the answer is yes, the Arizona law is a necessary and lawful tool for doing so. If the answer is no, we should end the charade of inadequate, half-hearted enforcement, enact an amnesty now, and remove future penalties for immigration violations."

    Heather Mac Donald

  20. John:

    If 99% of the immigration problem is coming from Mexico, and 99% of the people from Mexico fit certain racial characteristics, any well crafted law that actually addressed the problem would appear to only apply to a certain ethnic group (98% of the illegals detained are Latino, clearly the detentions are racist). Oh course, people who would argue that this law is racist, for consistency, need to argue that a prostate screening is sexist.

  21. Ron H.:

    "Oh course, people who would argue that this law is racist, for consistency, need to argue that a prostate screening is sexist."

    Well, I've always held this view myself. I feel that women should be required to undergo a digital prostate exam as part of their physicals. Fair is fair, after all.

    On the other hand, I'm not sure I'm willing to get annual mammograms.

  22. Tim:

    From Heather MacDonald's essay: "Do we or don’t we want to enforce the country’s immigration laws? If the answer is yes, the Arizona law is a necessary and lawful tool for doing so. If the answer is no, we should end the charade..."

    She falls in to the fallacy of bifurcation. For example, an answer to the question that she excludes could just as well be "We want to enforce the country's immigration laws in the context of the constitution and our legal tradition." Or, just as valid "We want to enforce immigration laws; but not the current ones, because they're too infringing on personal liberty. Let's write better ones."

    Oh, by the way, to answer skh.pcola's question; I don't always carry identification with me either.

  23. DMac:

    Regardless of your thoughts on the law, you have to love the kneejerk reactions.....

    "In their zeal to stick it to the state, people are now refusing to buy AriZona Iced Tea. Despite the name, boycotters are overlooking one key fact: the company is actually based in New York. Call it a case of mistaken identity."

  24. caseyboy:

    Arizona did what it felt it needed to do to get some type of handle on a growing problem. If the weenies in Washington DC ever got serious about securing our border this type of independent state action could have been avoided.

    The real issue is that Mexico does not provide an opportunity for its citizens. What is different about Mexico relative to the US? Do we possess greater natural resources? Do we have better weather for growing crops or raising livestock? Are Americans more intelligent? Americans prosper because our form of government empowers the individual to pursue happiness, acquire personal property and reach his or her full potential. The Mexican form of government encourages crony capitalism, stifles human achievement and perpetuates a corrupt system that forces its citizens to seek opportunity elsewhere. The Mexican government uses illegal immigration to the US as a pressure relieving safety value enabling it to postpone reform and maintain the status quo. When the Mexican citizens get restive the government helps and encourages them to cross the border and then chastises Americans like those in Arizona that have had enough.

    Shutting off illegal immigration would force the Mexican citizens to finally address the real problem, their government's malfeasance in the stewardship of the country.

  25. William:

    I am tickled by people who think that Mexico "solving" their problems is the answer to immigration. That may be true but what should we do about it? Imagine if in WWII someone said that Jews wouldn't have to immigrate to the US if Germany would just figure out a way to get along with the Jews. People come here BECAUSE they see better opportunities, or for safety or for any number of reasons. And for the life of me I can't figure out why we wouldn't want their labor. I might also note that for all the criticism of our government we seem to be doing better than a lot of other countries which is why people still want to come here.

    If, as Coyote has noted in several posts there is no evidence of a crime wave from illegal immigration, no evidence that these people are taking jobs that would otherwise go to citizens, why do we care? I'm with Coyote on this one.... the answer is to make them legal. Supply and demand is a great indicator of where the sentiment of the citizens truly lie. The only reason I can think of as to why people don't like illegals is racism. But if everyone confesses to truly not being racist, then I will take them at their word. But I would still like an explanation as to why they are so upset with the presence of Mexican immigrants in the country. I suspect if anyone looked at it closely they would see that despite some downsides (the welfare problem), on balance these laborers are providing an economic good to the good old USA. Supply and demand speaks loud and clear, even when we don't want to hear it.

    Finally, I think the reason that boycotts and other measures are being proposed by those outside of the State is because they see it as a way to put pressure on AZ to change the law, a law that they may view as racist. Maybe it's not a racist law, but people are entitled to their perceptions and they are entitled to apply whatever political and economic pressure they can muster to bring about changes in the law. It may not be fair, but as I see it, choosing to buy or not buy something, and choosing to do business of one kind or another in one place or another, is a way of expressing one's opinion. If it worked for the MLK holiday, perhaps it will work for something else.