Friday, May 14, 2010

Clueless L.A. Councilman Distorts the Arizona Law

[Heather Mac Donald]
May 13, 2010

Byron York usefully compiled the “Top 10 dumbest things said about the Arizona immigration law” two weeks ago. The list has undoubtedly grown significantly since then. Los Angeles city councilman Ed Reyes deserves top billing on any updated compendium of idiocy for the following statement, made in anticipation of the Los Angeles City Council’s resolution to boycott Arizona:

As an American, I cannot go to Arizona today without a passport. If I come across an officer who's having a bad day and feels that the picture on my ID is not me, I can be . . . deported, no questions asked. That is not American.

Such increasingly desperate lies reveal the truth about the Arizona law. The illegal-alien lobby won’t take on the law as written, because the lobby knows that the overwhelmingly majority of Americans would support the law as written. Even with media coverage that has been unrelentingly biased and inaccurate, 59 percent of adults surveyed by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press say they support the Arizona law, SB 1070. A greater number of adults approve specific provisions of the law, such as having to produce documents verifying one’s legal status if police ask for them (73 percent), even though the Pew survey presented those provisions without mentioning the narrow prerequisites for police action that are carefully written into the statute.

It should not be necessary to rebut Councilman Reyes’s hysterical fabrications, but for his fellow members of the L.A. City Council, who compared Arizona’s law to Nazi Germany and to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, and for all those other grandstanding politicians who are busily denouncing Arizonans’ racism, a primer is apparently needed.

If Mr. Reyes was planning to fly to Arizona from L.A. (pre-boycott, of course), he would need either his driver’s license or his passport to get on a plane. So we had better add the TSA to the list of Holocaust-in-waiting perpetrators. The only way he could be “deported” is if he is in fact an illegal alien, and before that happens, there will be plenty of “questions asked” and other legal wrangling, thanks to decades of work from the immigration-law industry. The only way the police would have a chance to discover that he is an illegal alien is if he has given them lawful grounds to stop him, such as running a red light, driving drunk, or acting suspiciously enough to suggest imminent law-breaking — and then has given them further ground to suspect that he is in the country illegally, such as possessing no valid identification.

If, on the other hand, Mr. Reyes presents any form of valid government ID during the course of a lawful police stop, he will be presumed to be in the country legally, and there will be no inquiry into his immigration status. So if, after getting through the brownshirts at LAX, Mr. Reyes continued to carry his California driver’s license, he would have nothing to worry about in Arizona.

Since Mr. Reyes and all the other boycotters are so convinced that the Arizona police are itching to abuse their rights under SB 1070, they would make a much better case against the law by actually traveling to Arizona and demonstrating to the world their mistreatment at the hands of the police. Until then, their unhinged denunciations of the law reveal only one thing: They are terrified that it will work.

05/13 09:54 PM

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