AZ legislature “fixes” new immigration law

posted at 10:55 am on April 30, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

After becoming a nine-day wonder on the national political stage, the Arizona legislature has amended its new law on immigration enforcement.  Byron York notes that the conditions for investigating the residency status have gotten less ambiguous and more reflective of the intent of the legislature:

In the past days, some critics of the new Arizona immigration law have said that it will lead to Arizona becoming a police state. Many of the criticisms — some including the words Nazi and fascist — have been based on a general objection to the law and to the enforcement of the country’s immigration laws. But some have been specifically focused on a few key phrases in the law. …

The first concerns the phrase “lawful contact,” which is contained in this controversial portion of the bill: “For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency…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…” Although the drafters of the law said that the intent of “lawful contact” was to specify situations in which police have stopped someone because he or she was suspected of violating some other law — like a traffic stop — critics said it would allow cops to pick anyone out of a crowd and “demand their papers.”

So now, in response to those critics, lawmakers have removed “lawful contact” from the bill and replaced it with “lawful stop, detention or arrest.” In an explanatory note, lawmakers added that the change “stipulates that a lawful stop, detention or arrest must be in the enforcement of any other law or ordinance of a county, city or town or this state.”

“It was the intent of the legislature for ‘lawful contact’ to mean arrests and stops, but people on the left mischaracterized it,” says Kris Kobach, the law professor and former Bush Justice Department official who helped draft the law. “So that term is now defined.”

I agree that this issues of this passage got exaggerated, but it points out some sloppiness on the part of legislators as they passed this into law. Did they somehow think that opponents would not parse the language carefully?  After all, it wasn’t just people on the Left who objected to the vague notion of “lawful contact” in this passage.  Plenty of people on the Right also expressed concern about the potential for police to assume expansive powers to stop and question people with no probable cause other than assumptions about immigration status.  Even some of the police in Arizona objected to it.

The Arizona legislature could have saved everyone the trouble by defining the parameters from the beginning.  Governor Jan Brewer more or less had the same criticism, signing the bill but issuing an executive order to clear up the ambiguity by establishing rules for “lawful contact” simultaneous to the bill signing.  The change now makes plain the intent to have Arizona law enforcement check residency status while enforcing the other laws of the state, a common-sense approach that other states should also adopt — since the federal government stubbornly refuses to enforce their own existing laws.

The new clarifications are welcome indeed, and should defuse the controversy that threatened to distract the GOP from the larger issues of economic crisis and government encroachment.  But just as with the surprises that we keep finding in the ObamaCare bill, the entire problem could have been avoided had the legislature paid more attention to the details before voting it into law.


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They pushed this through haphazardly without thinking just like the dirty socialists do and the doofus governor signed it without thinking in her daft little politically desperate head.

I’m not impressed with these Arizona losers.

happyfeet on April 30, 2010 at 10:59 AM

I, for one, think the original language was perfectly clear and needed no changing.

Note that the language changes do NOT change what the bill covers, unlike the massive NEW LAWS being written to “correct the errors” in the health care bill.

Or, as the enlightened and elite leftists will respond to this, now clarified bill… “THIS FASCIST LAW STILL ALLOWS POLICE TO ASK CITIZENS FOR THEIR PAPERS.”

Skywise on April 30, 2010 at 11:01 AM

They should have been more careful writing the original bill, but I doubt it would have mattered. The reaction would have been the same with opponents misrepresenting the substance of the law.

Mark1971 on April 30, 2010 at 11:02 AM

As illegal immigration is a crime and a serious problem , what’s wrong with lawfully investigate that.

the_nile on April 30, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Like this will stop the left(and some on the right) from misrepresenting the legislation? At least when the right went after Obamacare, it was based on the actual content of the bill. The people going after Arizona are pulling stuff out of their rear-ends.

Doughboy on April 30, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Are you seriouly looking for perfection in every bill written? Minor fixes on three items. At least my reps in Arizona READ the bill.

usarmyretired on April 30, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Many laws have ambiguous language that is later clarified by actual policies of the affected department (as the Gov did with her executive order).

The above comment isn’t that fair. They need to enforce the laws, the feds refuse, the people want it, they did it. Don’t like it? Stop blaming the people who hire illegals and put the blame where it belongs, the crap-hole country to our south and the milquetoast Feds.

Neo on April 30, 2010 at 11:03 AM

I’m not impressed with these Arizona losers.

happyfeet on April 30, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Go live there a while then tell us how unimpressed you are.

darwin on April 30, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Stop blaming the people who hire illegals and put the blame where it belongs, the crap-hole country to our south and the milquetoast Feds.

They ALL bear the blame.

Fletch54 on April 30, 2010 at 11:07 AM

So will this just go away now?

Abby Adams on April 30, 2010 at 11:07 AM

check out how douchey the sponsor of the bill is…

The law’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Russell Pearce, characterized the race and ethnicity changes as clarifications “just to take away the silly arguments and the games, the dishonesty that’s been played.”*

No, loser. These were substantive changes cause you didn’t think and you made a mess and now people have to fick it.

One of the big changes was cause the way you wrote the bill, illegal immigrants who were witnesses to a crime had every incentive not to step forward.

Another change replaces the phrase “lawful contact” with “lawful stop, detention or arrest” to apparently clarify that officers don’t need to question a victim or witness about their legal status.

pathetic.

happyfeet on April 30, 2010 at 11:08 AM

The law was clear from the beginning. I can’t imagine they thought they’d have to defend themselves from smears from the President! Good for them for making the change.

Now it reads like LAWS FOR DUMMIES so the left can understand it.

Stephanie on April 30, 2010 at 11:09 AM

There was no problem with the bill before, and this change is window dressing for the twags who hate rule of law. Plain and simple.

Inanemergencydial on April 30, 2010 at 11:10 AM

I only rarely disagree with Ed. I found the original language fine and the amendment inferior. The one place where Arizona police will be prevented from acting is they will no longer under the new language be able to stop a column of people walking north across the southern desert at midnight.

That said, this bill was going to provoke shrieks, no matter how carefully it was drafted. Now that the shrieks have been shrieked, this is a good effort to preempt them and to undercut the litigation.

levi from queens on April 30, 2010 at 11:10 AM

happyfeet on April 30, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Again, go live in Arizona … close to the border, or better yet, in Phoenix.

darwin on April 30, 2010 at 11:10 AM

“THIS FASCIST LAW STILL ALLOWS POLICE TO ASK CITIZENS FOR THEIR PAPERS.”

Skywise on April 30, 2010 at 11:01 AM

But it at least relegates this policing to pre-established standards. Lawful contact includes more than your typical Terry stop. Now, if you didn’t object to Terry stops and the nonsense excuses cops make up to reasonably suspect you of just about anything, then you’re likely to consider the bill improved and acceptable.

Only if the original idea of cops using a broken tail light as an excuse to bring the dogs and run your name through a few databases gets you upset can you justifiably take real issue with this

ernesto on April 30, 2010 at 11:10 AM

But just as with the surprises that we keep finding in the ObamaCare bill, the entire problem could have been avoided had the legislature paid more attention to the details before voting it into law.

Given the speed with which AZ has clarified the law, it is probable that the AZ legislature was naively sloppy. I cannot give the Fascist-Democrats in Congress the same deference, as they’ve had a lot longer & still refuse to clean up any “errors.”

rbj on April 30, 2010 at 11:11 AM

I’m not impressed with these Arizona losers.

happyfeet on April 30, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Are you impressed with the way Arizona got the entire nation talking about this issue; probably until November, when voters can decide to retain or jettison those legislators who wish to extend Obamacare to illegals through amnesty?

Doorgunner on April 30, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Or, as the enlightened and elite leftists will respond to this, now clarified bill… “THIS FASCIST LAW STILL ALLOWS POLICE TO ASK CITIZENS FOR THEIR PAPERS.”

Democrats: It’s only an outrage when immigrants are forced to carry internal passports.

Rae on April 30, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Once you get your card, remember to always have it on your person as it can be demanded by any law enforcement/border agent.

This was said to me in 2004 by an IMMIGRATION officer in Chicago once I received my Green Card. Yeah, that’s right, if you’re a legal immigrant/permanent resident of the United states of America, you are to carry your proof of legal residence with you at all times.

And, yes, I have been required to show it to law enforcement people quite a few times. Does it offend me? Of course not.

This is what Arizona law is essentially saying is required. Only complete morons don’t realize that it’s almost exactly the same as the federal law.

mjk on April 30, 2010 at 11:11 AM

The change in wording of the law won’t change any of the rhetoric from the Left.

mwdiver on April 30, 2010 at 11:12 AM

Yeah, I’m not even sure that this correction was necessarily done in response to critics. It looks like the kind of mundane clarification that legislators who are trying to be careful would make anyway. I’m not seeing a problem here.

Aitch748 on April 30, 2010 at 11:13 AM

Fine, wag fingers and sigh about how they should have been more careful. You’ve said it, it’s been clarified, move on.

Arizona has passed “controversial” leglisation before and met many a court challenge before and will again.

This isn’t their first rodeo.

KittyLowrey on April 30, 2010 at 11:14 AM

The change in wording of the law won’t change any of the rhetoric from the Left.

mwdiver on April 30, 2010 at 11:12 AM

Which tells you?

If the anti-American open borders folks want open borders, then it is time to disband the Federal Government. It serves no purpose anymore. No more revenue to it. Zero.

Inanemergencydial on April 30, 2010 at 11:15 AM

As correct as you are, since when did any legislative body, i.e. the US Congress, not find parsing and surprises in legislation that they’ve passed. For example virtually all your articles………….

Robert17 on April 30, 2010 at 11:15 AM

Funny there is no such ‘clarification’ of Obamacare. Almost every day there is some new provision found which no one either knew was in there or actually was mischaracterized (by the Dems/Left) from the start.

This may in fact clarIfy the laws language – to those who are rational – but the Left will now scream,

“SEE WE TOLD YOU IT WOULD PROFILE PEOPLE OF COLOR! OTHERWISE THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO NEED TO ‘FIX’ THIS!”

catmman on April 30, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Are you impressed with the way Arizona got the entire nation talking about this issue; probably until November, when voters can decide to retain or jettison those legislators who wish to extend Obamacare to illegals through amnesty?

Yes, and I’m also impressed how this has shoved repealing health care to the back burner as well.

ExUrbanKevin on April 30, 2010 at 11:16 AM

…illegal immigrants who were witnesses to a crime had every incentive not to step forward…

happyfeet on April 30, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Are you really this obtuse? They don’t step forward now, before, or in your stunted perception of the future. Are you really this unaware of policing problems in places like Phoenix?

Pathetic.

Doorgunner on April 30, 2010 at 11:16 AM

But it at least relegates this policing to pre-established standards. Lawful contact includes more than your typical Terry stop. Now, if you didn’t object to Terry stops and the nonsense excuses cops make up to reasonably suspect you of just about anything, then you’re likely to consider the bill improved and acceptable.

Only if the original idea of cops using a broken tail light as an excuse to bring the dogs and run your name through a few databases gets you upset can you justifiably take real issue with this

ernesto on April 30, 2010 at 11:10 AM

I disagree… If you’re driving during a Terry stop, they’re going to ask for your driver’s license.

If you DO have a broken tail light and they decide to write you a ticket they’re GOING TO HAVE TO ascertain your identity to verify that you pay your ticket if the court comes after you with a bench warrant.

Skywise on April 30, 2010 at 11:17 AM

They pushed this through haphazardly without thinking just like the dirty socialists do and the doofus governor signed it without thinking in her daft little politically desperate head.

I’m not impressed with these Arizona losers.

happyfeet on April 30, 2010 at 10:59 AM

The law mimics federal law. Until your Obama enforces it, AZ has to do something.

tx2654 on April 30, 2010 at 11:17 AM

I keep seeing this and it needs to be corrected. Police don’t need “probable cause” to stop someone. They only need “reasonable suspicion”. “Probable cause” is only required to arrest and/or charge someone with a crime. Nothing prevents police from approaching someone and talking to them. The citizen always has a right to walk away. The only time they cannot walk away is if there’s reasonable suspicion a crime is being committed.

It is a huge distinction and makes a difference.

hooligan on April 30, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Are you impressed with the way Arizona got the entire nation talking about this issue; probably until November, when voters can decide to retain or jettison those legislators who wish to extend Obamacare to illegals through amnesty?

that’s silly, Mr. Doorgunner, not to be mean… but… whaaa? As if the dirty socialist perversion of our health cares were more better if Paco can’t have him any.

No. The degree to which including illegal immigrants in our little president man’s marxist thug health care scam worsens the whole affair doesn’t even move the dial.

To say that it does is the thinkings of a loser loser nation.

happyfeet on April 30, 2010 at 11:20 AM

ExUrbanKevin on April 30, 2010 at 11:16 AM

I would argue that amnesty/illegal immigration is another reason to repeal and that there is pretty much a complete overlap of pro-amnesty and pro-Obamacare legislators (even if some of the pro-amnesty types aren’t willing to admit their fondness for O-care).

Doorgunner on April 30, 2010 at 11:21 AM

I for one pray that this sloppy legislation comes to Gwinnett County, GA where the drug cartel has its headquarters in the Southeast.

In fact, they can start where I live, which started as a lovely single family neighborhood and is now turned into multiple families in one home and zero enforcement. Don’t even get me started on the increase in crime…

moonsbreath on April 30, 2010 at 11:21 AM

happyfeet on April 30, 2010 at 11:20 AM

Is this thing three years old?

Inanemergencydial on April 30, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Are you really this obtuse? They don’t step forward now, before, or in your stunted perception of the future. Are you really this unaware of policing problems in places like Phoenix?

Pathetic.

Doorgunner on April 30, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Good point I articulated that not goodly. The way the Arizona douchebag wrote the bill people would have been quite justified in calling for the arrest of any illegal who did step forward or was the victim of a crime.

happyfeet on April 30, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Oh, please. It’s like the Brady Bunch episode where Greg gets grounded and insists that everyone “say exactly what they mean.” In the end, after Greg is held most inconveniently to his “exact words,” wise TV dad Mike Brady says “Exact words are pretty hard to live by.” (OK, I’m a child of the ’70s. What can I say?)

Keep at it, dems. We’ll give you your “exact words.” We’ll give you some real nice exact words, and you’ll find them damn hard to live by. Let’s start with illegal alien. That’s a nice, precise word. How about go to jail? That seems pretty exact. Oh, and here’s a good one: American citizen. I think that has some exact meaning. Yes, by all means, let us use the exact words.

Rational Thought on April 30, 2010 at 11:24 AM

This was done on purpose. They correctly predicted the outrage by open borders clowns to establish a narrative. They then “fixed” the law with amendments to nullify the open borders rally cry. Those people in Arizona know how to lead cows to slaughter.

wheelgun on April 30, 2010 at 11:24 AM

Skywise on April 30, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Checkpoint, tail light out, it makes little difference. If you’re ok with the police using their supposedly lawful right to say…search your car for drugs on ‘reasonable suspicion’, no matter what the context of your contact with them…then this Arizona law makes no difference to you.

If you consider stop and frisk or checkpoints and the like, then this law will always reek.

ernesto on April 30, 2010 at 11:24 AM

One of the big changes was cause the way you wrote the bill, illegal immigrants who were witnesses to a crime had every incentive not to step forward.

happyfeet on April 30, 2010 at 11:08 AM

They still have that incentive due to their immigration status. Witnesses to a crime are often suspects.

Esthier on April 30, 2010 at 11:24 AM

We can solve the illegal immigration problems with just two items.

1. Offer a large reward (like $10,000) to anyone, including illegal aliens for turning in those who employ illegal aliens. Every illegal alien knows who they work for and would be motivated to turn in their boss. The employer would pay a $15,000 fine with $10,000 going to the informant. This will sent illegal aliens and their employers at each others throats.
2. Make it illegal to rent housing to illegal aliens. The penalty: You have to refund 100% of the rent.

Do these two things and no employer would risk hiring an illegal alien. No landlord would rent to one either.

Game over.

The Rock on April 30, 2010 at 11:24 AM

But, but . . . I thought Arizona was EEEEvil and rAAAAAcist.

WannabeAnglican on April 30, 2010 at 11:26 AM

Good point I articulated that not goodly. The way the Arizona douchebag wrote the bill people would have been quite justified in calling for the arrest of any illegal who did step forward or was the victim of a crime.

happyfeet on April 30, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Ooooh. Nice sentence structure and verbage, Walt Whitman.

kingsjester on April 30, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Make it illegal to rent housing to illegal aliens.

See this is why it’s clear Team R is no longer a party what values economic freedom or individual liberty.

If the loser feckless weak inept government of our impoverished little country can’t/won’t police the borders, it’s not right to police state up and burden you and me with cleaning up the resulting mess.

happyfeet on April 30, 2010 at 11:32 AM

So the celebs are jumping on the hate AZ bandwagon. Shakira visited Phoenix yesterday and boasted that she didn’t have her driver’s license with her. And then we had this lovely statement from Kevin Johnson. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you (or fed, in his case).

By Kevin Johnson
Mayor of Sacramento

I’ve never said much about this, but there was deep personal sadness when I was traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Phoenix Suns in February 1988.

The trouble had no connection with basketball. I was ashamed of my new state for another reason: A year before the trade, Arizona Gov. Evan Mecham rescinded the holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Suddenly, I was expected to play my heart out for audiences proud to denigrate the civil rights victories won by Dr. King.

Arizona needed five years and the loss of an estimated $300 million in tourism dollars – including the removal of the 1993 Super Bowl – before voters finally gave Dr. King his day.

Today memories of those sorry days have returned.

Arizona is back at it, passing a law that allows police to demand ID from anyone who “looks” like an undocumented immigrant.

Don’t get me wrong. Our country must protect its borders. We are a nation of immigrants, and immigration must be managed with thoughtful, fair and productive protocols.

Government agencies must work diligently to respond to immigration issues. But our response must be appropriate and consistent with the fundamentals of our nation.

The Arizona law contradicts the foundation of American justice on multiple levels. Beyond the law’s discretionary bigotry, it stands as a hypocritical application of presumptive guilt, a violation of our essential Constitutional rights. Ultimately, it requires the most color-blind police officer to judge people based on their skin color.

I spoke with Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon on Wednesday afternoon (April 28). He asked me not to call for economic sanctions and boycotts against Arizona.

As mayors, we share a common understanding of negative economic impacts. Damaging the good work of Mayor Gordon and the many honorable people in his city in retribution for the immigration law can become the equivalent of trying to make two wrongs equal one right.

But I strongly feel we must seek a positive resolution to Arizona’s injustice, hopefully with dialogue. I will go to Arizona and meet with leaders there if that will help. And at Sacramento City Hall, I will begin the process of seeking collaboration on this issue with my colleagues at City Hall.

As a resident of Arizona during the time of the struggle to honor Dr. King, I understand how collective pressures can bring our Southwestern neighbors to their collective senses.

I still have many friends in Arizona, and know the state is not a land filled with hatred. But sometimes Arizonans need a reminder of their foolishness.

If we open a dialogue with Arizonians and remind them of the consequences from the Dr. King holiday embarrassment, maybe they will get it.

http://www.teamkj.org/

GrannySunni on April 30, 2010 at 11:32 AM

One of the big changes was cause the way you wrote the bill, illegal immigrants who were witnesses to a crime had every incentive not to step forward. happyfeet on April 30, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Stop the presses! People committing illegal act might not report people committing illegal act! Who knew?!

Akzed on April 30, 2010 at 11:32 AM

happyfeet on April 30, 2010 at 11:20 AM

Your childish attempt at mockery does not constitute a response. And the mockery doesn’t even rise to moronic Maher quality. If launching the “racist cracker” epithet on a tangental approach of asininely imitated dialect is all you have, you’d best return to Huffpo for a refresh.

Doorgunner on April 30, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Ed, with all due respect, your line:
the entire problem could have been avoided had the legislature paid more attention to the details before voting it into law.” is hopelessly naive.

I actually think this may have been (intentionally or otherwise) the best way to do this.

Let everyone get hysterical over the original Bill…and then clarify it.

For no matter what the original Bill looked like, it was going to be decried as “RACISM!!!”.

Justrand on April 30, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Jeez. Shakira is flat-out just good people.

happyfeet on April 30, 2010 at 11:33 AM

Why is the Federal government failing in its primary duty to defend the nation, beginning at its borders, as all who serve have sworn an oath to do?

What is their intention, other than to swamp and dissolve and destroy AmeriKKKa through this naked encouragement of national lawlessness?

Beyond grabbing short-term power (because it will unravel when the country implodes and balkanizes into chaos) what is their aim?

Why are they trying to end our nation?

profitsbeard on April 30, 2010 at 11:34 AM

They still have that incentive due to their immigration status. Witnesses to a crime are often suspects.

Esthier on April 30, 2010 at 11:24 AM

Not only that, but also police need to follow up when they do an investigation. That means recording the name & address of eye witnesses, as well as a way to contact them. Further, they may be called as a witness during a trial, necessitating a way for the DA to get in contact with them during trial preparation and for the trial (also giving defense counsel contact information). Anyone in the country illegally runs a real risk of being discovered if they step forward. The AZ does nothing to change that.

rbj on April 30, 2010 at 11:34 AM

One of the big changes was cause the way you wrote the bill, illegal immigrants who were witnesses to a crime had every incentive not to step forward.

pathetic.

happyfeet on April 30, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Well B!tchyfeet…errr happyfeet. I seriously doubt they’d risk their ILLEGAL entry into this country, and their ILLEGAL presence in this country, by “stepping forward” as a witness to a crime. They came here ILLEGALLY, so why would they respect any of the other laws we have, or help the police with a crime?

What part of ILLEGAL do you not understand?

And as for the wording….that’s just plain old nit picking, because they can…when they know they don’t have a legal leg to stand on. Are you nit picking this health care crap for being everything we were told it was not?

Also…the name calling. “Losers, douchebags” etc… My advice, even though you didn’t ask for it. If you can do better, than by all means, do so. If not, the name calling only demeans you, not those you intend to demean by using it.

capejasmine on April 30, 2010 at 11:46 AM

happyfeet on April 30, 2010 at 11:08 AM
Again, go live in Arizona … close to the border, or better yet, in Phoenix.

darwin on April 30, 2010 at 11:10 AM

He can’t. He has to have papers. Mexico doesn’t allow their borders to be perforated with illegals. No living there without those pesky papers.

BetseyRoss on April 30, 2010 at 11:46 AM

This is a serious blunder on the part of the legislature. This is eliminating non-custodial contact as a method by which police officers may use to develop reasonable suspicion.

federale86 on April 30, 2010 at 11:47 AM

Jeez. Shakira is flat-out just good people.

happyfeet on April 30, 2010 at 11:33 AM

Abusing a child, murder, theft, rape, shoplifting, assault, fraud, are all illegal crimes. How is it good, to ignore the laws?

capejasmine on April 30, 2010 at 11:48 AM

hooligan on April 30, 2010 at 11:18 AM

I would disagree with part of your statement.

The cops cannot stop you for ‘reasonable suspicion’. A cop cannot ‘reasonably suspect’ you have a broken tail-light (to use everyone’s example). You either do or you don’t. In most day-to-day dealings with cops, they use PC. A cop may ‘reasonably suspect’ you of DUI, but he can’t stop you until you demonstrate some type of ‘probable cause’ – swerving, whatever. If a cop goes to court and is cross examined, asked why he stopped so-and-so and says, “A hunch” the case will get tossed. Yeah, it’s a technicality, the guy really was drunk, but “A hunch” isn’t enough to stop someone.

RS is more a legaleese term, used in certain circumstances where emergency may exist or in which the courts grant warrants, that type of stuff.

There is a difference in the terms as you state, but I think you may be confusing them.

catmman on April 30, 2010 at 11:49 AM

“It was the intent of the legislature for ‘lawful contact’ to mean arrests and stops, but people on the left mischaracterized it,” says Kris Kobach, the law professor and former Bush Justice Department official who helped draft the law. “So that term is now defined.”

That’s right, it’s “The Left’s” fault that you wrote a terrible bill and got busted. It’s never your fault, Professor Kobach. People on “the left” were being so unfair, reading the law the way you clearly intended it!

And the funny thing is? We’re right back where we started. Is a “lawful stop” more restrictive than a “lawful contact”? Because if it’s not, the law is as unconstitutional as ever. And if it’s just the reasonable suspicion standard, then that provision is totally meaningless, since you’re already allowed to request ID during a Terry stop.

No wonder UMKC is a TTT, with professors like this clown.

Proud Rino on April 30, 2010 at 11:49 AM

ok capejasmine why do you think the loser legislators of broke-ass Arizona had to humiliatingly amend that particular provision of their masterwork before the ink was even dry?

happyfeet on April 30, 2010 at 11:49 AM

This is probably a necessary fix to the Arizona law. The words “stop”, “detention”, and “arrest” have very precise meanings concerning behavior of police toward the public, whereas “lawful contact” COULD be misconstrued as a policeman picking a Hispanic-looking person out of an otherwise law-abiding group of passersby and asking for identification.

A “stop”, “detention”, or “arrest” can be made only if the police have either observed someone commit an unlawful act, or received information from an eyewitness giving them “probable cause” to believe that someone either has committed or may be about to commit an unlawful act.

I was once a juror in a civil case where a black man was suing (white) police officers for “false arrest”, when police came out with guns drawn, and applied handcuffs, while the man was stopped at a red light. However, another man had previously accused the plaintiff of trying to shoot him, and beating him with the gun when it failed to fire, and had previously told police that the plaintiff would be driving to a certain location with a gun, threatening to shoot others.

The police had handcuffed the plaintiff, and sat him in the back of a police car, while his vehicle was searched for guns. No guns were found, and the plaintiff was then released. The jury ruled that police did have “probable cause” to “stop” the plaintiff, based on the threats to the eyewitness, and this did not constitute an “arrest” but a “stop” and “detention”, because the man was not taken to a police station.

A police “stop” means police asking a person to stay with the policeman (or stopping his vehicle) without application of handcuffs. This is typical of motor-vehicle violations where the driver is presumed not to be violent or a flight risk.

A police “detention” means that the person is handcuffed and forcibly prevented from fleeing, but not taken to a police station.

An “arrest” means that the person is handcuffed and taken to a police station for booking.

The fact that the re-worded Arizona law covers all three cases means that a person could be asked to prove citizenship (or legal residency) in Arizona IF someone reported them to the police as suspected of violating some law, but that police could NOT randomly stop Hispanic-looking people without “probable cause”.

Steve Z on April 30, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Now that the bill is ‘fixed’, maybe the dem mayors and sheriffs will do their duty and enforce the laws of their state.

Kissmygrits on April 30, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Why are they trying to end our nation?

profitsbeard on April 30, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Endgame? Permanent power.

Inanemergencydial on April 30, 2010 at 11:49 AM

I personally think this is another example of the danger of putting state laws under a national microscope.

I don’t think the legislature ever intended to wave a green flat to racial profiling. I think, from everything I read, they are looking at behavior clues and empowering the state police to be able to deport.

That’s the big issue in CA. They can’t deport. They can call in the INS, which is slow and fails to address the issue on a federal level. They will deport murderers, and then, there’s no extradition rights.

It’s a true state versus federal issue. AZ is tweaking the bill simply to counteract Obama’s irresponsible remarks that racial profiling was the goal.

I think that is awful leadership on his part.

AnninCA on April 30, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Msm will still misquote the law

cmsinaz on April 30, 2010 at 11:50 AM

This is eliminating non-custodial contact as a method by which police officers may use to develop reasonable suspicion.

federale86 on April 30, 2010 at 11:47 AM

Can you elaborate? By non-custodial contact, do you mean stop-and-frisk style street contact?

ernesto on April 30, 2010 at 11:51 AM

ok capejasmine why do you think the loser legislators of broke-ass Arizona had to humiliatingly amend that particular provision of their masterwork before the ink was even dry?

happyfeet on April 30, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Because of nit pickers like you, who will find fault in anything, and everything, if it doesn’t fit into your narrow scope of what you think the world SHOULD be, and not what it is? ;)

capejasmine on April 30, 2010 at 11:51 AM

I remain opposed to racial profiling, yet supportive of AZ.

I don’t think my own perspective is out of line, since Gallup suggests I’m in the majority.

I think voters “get” this.

If AZ police turn into “driving while poor and brown,” then..shame on them.

I would not jump to that assumption without reason, however.

AnninCA on April 30, 2010 at 11:51 AM

oh. I thought it was cause they had screwed up and passed something what said stuff they really didn’t want it to say once they had more time to think about it.

happyfeet on April 30, 2010 at 11:53 AM

I think we need to give law enforcement a chance to up their own standards.

They do so on a regular basis, and I personally have been impressed by that.

Let’s give AZ a chance to implement a behavioral standard.

It could benefit us tremendously.

AnninCA on April 30, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Because of nit pickers like you, who will find fault in anything, and everything, if it doesn’t fit into your narrow scope of what you think the world SHOULD be, and not what it is? ;)

capejasmine on April 30, 2010 at 11:51 AM

I love how “oh stop being so nitpicky” is an argument now. Like, what if someone’s rights are trampled upon? OH QUIT BEING SO NITPICKY! Funny how no one cares when you personally don’t have to worry about losing your rights.

Proud Rino on April 30, 2010 at 11:53 AM

And the funny thing is? We’re right back where we started. Is a “lawful stop” more restrictive than a “lawful contact”? Because if it’s not, the law is as unconstitutional as ever. And if it’s just the reasonable suspicion standard, then that provision is totally meaningless, since you’re already allowed to request ID during a Terry stop.

No wonder UMKC is a TTT, with professors like this clown.

Proud Rino on April 30, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Why don’t you just admit that it doesn’t matter what the law says you’re going to criticize it because you don’t want immigration laws enforced?

darwin on April 30, 2010 at 11:53 AM

happyfeet, and its ilk, went out of their way to FIND a way to PERHAPS see a scenario where the Law could be misinterpreted…so the Legislation made it clearer.

Had the LSM (and happyfeet) LIKED the Law, they would have found a way to gloss over any ways to misinterpret it.

It’s purely selective outrage. But the Law is not clearer…though people looking for “RACISM!!” will still find it if they close one eye and read every third word…backwards.

Justrand on April 30, 2010 at 11:54 AM

If AZ police turn into “driving while poor and brown,”

AnninCA on April 30, 2010 at 11:51 AM

As if police haven’t already been using poor and brown as ‘reasonable suspicion’ of drug involvement.

ernesto on April 30, 2010 at 11:54 AM

It’s appalling that so many are more concerned about people illegally here than they are about their fellow, law-abiding Citizens.

I have an idea: why don’t all these bleeding heart liberals sponsor an illegal and his/her family, and make them ‘legal’. That way, the lib is responsible in some real way, rather than being ‘compassionate’ just by being whiny.

Liam on April 30, 2010 at 11:54 AM

If AZ police turn into “driving while poor and brown,” then..shame on them.

I would not jump to that assumption without reason, however.

AnninCA on April 30, 2010 at 11:51 AM

I agree, but would it be any less racial, if a black cop pulled over a white, hispanic, or asian, and asked for proper identification, insurance, and registration? Nope! And the people of Arizona know this. Anyone screaming racism over this, has ulterior motives to their opposition. Getting pulled over before this law, was not an issue. Why make it one now?

capejasmine on April 30, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Checkpoint, tail light out, it makes little difference. If you’re ok with the police using their supposedly lawful right to say…search your car for drugs on ‘reasonable suspicion’, no matter what the context of your contact with them…then this Arizona law makes no difference to you.

If you consider stop and frisk or checkpoints and the like, then this law will always reek.

ernesto on April 30, 2010 at 11:24 AM

I’m all for restricting the right of police to stop or question citizens for frivolous actions. But so long as they have the right to do that to actual citizens, I don’t see why potential illegal immigrants should get MORE police protection than me.

Skywise on April 30, 2010 at 11:59 AM

You guys really should stop feeding the TROLL. It’s starting to look a lot like the silly season around here.

stvnscott on April 30, 2010 at 11:59 AM

I love how “oh stop being so nitpicky” is an argument now. Like, what if someone’s rights are trampled upon? OH QUIT BEING SO NITPICKY! Funny how no one cares when you personally don’t have to worry about losing your rights.

Proud Rino on April 30, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Illegal immigration isn’t a right.

the_nile on April 30, 2010 at 12:01 PM

Wow, the opportunity to support criminals is almost as good troll bait as a Palin thread! Who’d of thunk it?

Master Shake on April 30, 2010 at 12:02 PM

As if police haven’t already been using poor and brown as ‘reasonable suspicion’ of drug involvement.

ernesto on April 30, 2010 at 11:54 AM

Buffoonish ^^^

darwin on April 30, 2010 at 12:03 PM

As if police haven’t already been using poor and brown as ‘reasonable suspicion’ of drug involvement.

ernesto on April 30, 2010 at 11:54 AM

Nope. Reasonable suspicion is an articulable standard. They have to see you doing something or behaving in a particular way that makes them think you might be up to some specific no good.

I’m not saying they don’t rely on their own prejudices to subject people to heightened scrutiny, but the reasonable suspicion standard itself is constitutional.

I just love how the “fix” didn’t fix anything, and the best case scenario for supporters of this law is that it’s totally meaningless. Nice going, Professor TTT.

Proud Rino on April 30, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Illegal immigration isn’t a right.

the_nile on April 30, 2010 at 12:01 PM

I wasn’t talking about illegal immigrants, reading comprehension star.

Proud Rino on April 30, 2010 at 12:04 PM

This still ties the hands of law enforcement. If violating immigration law is illegal, then why do they get a free pass and must be stopped for another possible infraction before that particular legal violation is dealt with or even allowed to be dealt with?

I thought the Constitution demanded equal protection for all? These laws give illegal aliens special protections. You’re not allowed to investigate their particular law breaking unless you catch them doing something else first.

So, as a white male, I want to demand my own special protection. Police can’t investigate me for breaking and entering unless I happen to be committing a rape at the same time. If I commit a rape, only then can you even think about determining whether I illegally entered that woman’s home to begin with.

It’s absurd. All in order to kowtow to a bunch of idiot backers who seem to think, ‘gosh, they’re originally from the nation my people came from, therefore I must support their flaunting of the law!’

TheBlueSite on April 30, 2010 at 12:07 PM

If anyone deserves criticism for their actions and needs to fix anything, it’s the illegals themselves. People from countries far poorer and much farther away from the U.S. than central and south american ones come here legally and play by the rules.

Christien on April 30, 2010 at 12:07 PM

I wasn’t talking about illegal immigrants, reading comprehension star.

Proud Rino on April 30, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Unfortunately, you and others of your ilk insist on making Arizona and police the bad guys. There are only two people to blame, illegals and the federal government. You’re bitching because an American who’s of hispanic descent just might be asked for some ID. If the American of hispanic descent becomes upset then he or she should blame the federal government and illegals … not the cops, and not Arizona.

You’re just hysterical.

darwin on April 30, 2010 at 12:10 PM

I love how “oh stop being so nitpicky” is an argument now. Like, what if someone’s rights are trampled upon? OH QUIT BEING SO NITPICKY! Funny how no one cares when you personally don’t have to worry about losing your rights.

Proud Rino on April 30, 2010 at 11:53 AM

LOL! Illegals have rights that supersede citizen’s rights? OK.

Inanemergencydial on April 30, 2010 at 12:10 PM

They did it exactly as they should have.
They can’t anticipate every option that the people at ACLU will sue on.
Now they do know and can fix the law in a way that assures the law holds up in court.
If you’re illegal , start packing now and beat the rush in 90 days.

LeeSeneca on April 30, 2010 at 12:11 PM

This still ties the hands of law enforcement. If violating immigration law is illegal, then why do they get a free pass and must be stopped for another possible infraction before that particular legal violation is dealt with or even allowed to be dealt with?

I thought the Constitution demanded equal protection for all? These laws give illegal aliens special protections. You’re not allowed to investigate their particular law breaking unless you catch them doing something else first.

TheBlueSite on April 30, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Very true.

darwin on April 30, 2010 at 12:11 PM

If anyone deserves criticism for their actions and needs to fix anything, it’s the illegals themselves. People from countries far poorer and much farther away from the U.S. than central and south american ones come here legally and play by the rules.

Christien on April 30, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Well, this has nothing to do with race, remember? Why are you talking about Central and South America? Plus most of the illegal immigrants are from Mexico, which is in North America anyway.

Proud Rino on April 30, 2010 at 12:11 PM

Did they somehow think that opponents would not parse the language carefully?

You can’t always anticipate every lie and smear they’ll make up about you. And anticipating those lies and smears wasn’t even the purpose of the original law.

This response seems practical.

Kohath on April 30, 2010 at 12:12 PM

In border states, why should it be wrong to look more closely at someone who is clearly of hispanic descent who is acting funny or doing things they shouldn’t be doing?

Racial profiling is like any other type of profiling. In retail stores, you’re going to watch younger people more closely than grandmothers, as grandmothers probably aren’t the one stealing a lot of stuff. In bars, you’re probably better to be more weary or angry looking bikers with a hundred tattoos than the vacationing family having dinner in the dining room in khakis and hawaiian shirts. I could go on, but you get the point…we make judgements all the time based on how people look, the way they dress, their skin color, their behavior, their age, their sex, etc.

It’s called human nature.

TheBlueSite on April 30, 2010 at 12:12 PM

They did it exactly as they should have.
They can’t anticipate every option that the people at ACLU will sue on.

LeeSeneca on April 30, 2010 at 12:11 PM

Sure you can. Don’t write stupid laws, people won’t get into an uproar. Easy-peasy.

Proud Rino on April 30, 2010 at 12:12 PM

You can’t always anticipate every lie and smear they’ll make up about you. And anticipating those lies and smears wasn’t even the purpose of the original law.

This response seems practical.

Kohath on April 30, 2010 at 12:12 PM

How were the critiques of the unclear “lawful contact” phrase ‘lies?’

Proud Rino on April 30, 2010 at 12:13 PM

As if police haven’t already been using poor and brown as ‘reasonable suspicion’ of drug involvement.

ernesto on April 30, 2010 at 11:54 AM

hmmm, the multiple times I have been pulled over for being white in a predominately poor black area were a violation of my rights?

Shizzle folks I need to sue someone! Hey PR or crr6, you want to be my legal counsel?

Inanemergencydial on April 30, 2010 at 12:13 PM

pathetic.

happyfeet on April 30, 2010 at 11:08 AM

He’s can’t hear you.

unclesmrgol on April 30, 2010 at 12:14 PM

I, for one, think the original language was perfectly clear and needed no changing.

Note that the language changes do NOT change what the bill covers -Skywise on April 30, 2010 at 11:01 AM

No, it was broader before. It’s INTENT was the same, but the language did, indeed, allow for the example given in the article, where a cop could have a “lawful contact” with someone for some domestic issue like lawn maintenance. These changes improve the bill.

Here’s what’s funny… there actually is a provision in the bill that is an encroachment on everyone’s freedom and which will CERTAINLY be selectively enforced, but none of the whiners actually read the bill so they aren’t complaining about it… it makes it illegal to stop your car and offer someone a job. So, it’s illegal to stop and offer work to the guy with the “will work for food” sign, or to the two kids pushing the lawn-mower up the street… oh and to day laborers. Guess which ones will be enforced?

DaveS on April 30, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Sure you can. Don’t write stupid laws, people won’t get into an uproar. Easy-peasy.

Proud Rino on April 30, 2010 at 12:12 PM

Just admit there is no law that will satisfy you because you don’t want immigration laws enforced.

darwin on April 30, 2010 at 12:15 PM

happyfeet on April 30, 2010 at 11:20 AM

Red herring argument. Leaks like a sieve.

unclesmrgol on April 30, 2010 at 12:16 PM

Sure you can. Don’t write stupid laws, people won’t get into an uproar. Easy-peasy.

Proud Rino on April 30, 2010 at 12:12 PM

Like Health care reform right? You were all over that!

Inanemergencydial on April 30, 2010 at 12:16 PM

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