President Obama spoke today on immigration reform.
Representative Mark Parkinson (r): “Show us your papers, please.” (April 29, 2010):
….What he [Representative Mark Parkinson] wants to do, he wants to substitute that bill and create one that matches Arizona’s new law. Of course that law gives police the ability to ask for documentation if they suspect somebody is here illegally….
….like I say, I think that, that Arizona took a political solution in which they tried to be the toughest in the world that I think crossed a line that’s not a line we should cross in America. I think basic civil rights, basic individual freedom is extremely important and, and, and just because it’s, it’s after one group today doesn’t mean that it’s, it’s not gonna be after another group tomorrow….
Jesse Lee of the the White House New Media Office hosted an on-line roundtable this afternoon:
July 01, 2010 1:00 PM EDT
Open for Questions Roundtable: Immigration
Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Cecilia Muñoz takes your questions on comprehensive immigration reform.
There was an interesting discussion on Arizona’s SB 1070:
….Jesse Lee: …The President touched on the fact that the law in Arizona has kind of brought this issue back to the fore recently. Uh, Jay’s first question, I think, was from Arizona. Uh, so just to take a couple on that….asks about the sentiment, uh, people who say, support the Arizona law because the feds can’t and won’t do their jobs. Another question we got earlier on Facebook, even before this started, was, um, the idea that, uh, they…had heard that, uh, basically all that law does is kind of repeat the federal laws on the book and folks then say we shouldn’t enforce it, so what’s wrong with that? So, maybe you can spell that out a little bit.
Cecilia Muñoz, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs: Yeah, the Arizona law doesn’t just repeat federal law. What it does is it is empowers local officials to be, um, to, in the course of doing their duties if they suspect someone to be unlawfully present in the United States it requires them to, to ask those folks for their papers and then to take action. What we’ve heard from law enforcement officials, and there were a number of them in the audience today, uh, uh, with the President, is that they believe that that, uh, undermines their ability to effectively enforce the law in their communities. Uh, we’ve heard from police chiefs who say that every time, if you’re required to do that, and you do a, say a traffic stop, and you ask somebody [inaudible] for their immigration papers, I’m not sure if anybody around this table actually carries papers in their wallet that prove that they’re U.S. citizens. Um, and so processing somebody like that can take hours and those are hours that that police officer is not gonna spend going after a burglar or, or somebody worse than that. And so we have law enforcement officials across the country saying to us, don’t undermine our ability to establish our own priorities on where we ought to be using our enforcement resources. We want to go after the biggest dangers to the community. If you require us to spend all our time chasing down immigrants, we’re not gonna be able to do our jobs effectively or well. So in the end, having a policy in Arizona and another one in a town in Nebraska and another one in towns in other parts of the country isn’t going to solve our immigration problem. It’s gonna create these other kinds of problems, especially for law enforcement. And it takes Congress off the hook….
Yes, that would be a really good question to ask anyone spouting off in support of Arizona’s SB 1070: “Your papers, please.” If they were asked that question by local law enforcement do you think they’d be screaming about it as loudly as they did about health care reform? Just asking.