IPFS Brock Lorber

More About: Legislative Mischief

Pearce Anti-Immigrant Amendment Attacks You!

On Tuesday, SB1162, a bill to establish a multi-jurisdictional felony and violent fugitive task force, passed out of the AZ Senate Appropriations Committee.  The only amendment to the bill was introduced by Russell Pearce, creating a state trespassing offense that applies on public and private land, erases local control of law enforcement, and provides a broad avenue for law suits by anyone who feels local immigration enforcement isn't zealous enough.

Theoretically, the amendment turns all local law enforcement into federal immigration officials and eliminates the ability of state, county, and municipal governments to set law enforcement priorities.  It also turns undocumented border crossings, a federal civil offense, into a state misdemeanor (felony for second offense).

Practically, it creates an underclass to be targeted at will and presents another assault on private property and privacy.

An Enforcer Behind Every Curtain
The immigration enforcement and lawsuit provisions of the Pearce amendment are designed to do one thing and one thing only: create conflict in Arizona communities.  As hard as it is for authoritarian sociopaths like Pearce to fathom, people just want to live their lives in harmony with their neighbors.  The Pearce amendment would make that impossible.

Consider that, if this bill were to become law, it would give your neighbor the ability to harass local politicians and bureaucrats into harassing you, regardless of your immigration or citizenship status.  With the mere threat of a law suit, your neighbor could force government types to go to your property and question your immigration status even if they have known you their entire lives.

Now consider that the harasser need not even be your neighbor.  The Pearce amendment would grant any person, anywhere, standing to bring a nuisance lawsuit against any state taxpayer-funded entity that didn't immediately seek a warrant to violate your property and interrogate you on the mere allegation of questionable immigration status.  And, if the judge didn't sign the warrant, the harasser could sue the judge!

Additionally, under this amendment, you may be detained by any Arizona law enforcement officer without even the need for suspicion of questionable immigration status for as long as it takes that officer to question any federal agency he or she wishes about you and receive a reply.  Any attempt by state, county, or local governments (even by the enforcement agency itself) to inject "reasonableness" would be de facto policy that would open the entity to lawsuit.

State Trespass
Under the Pearce amendment, anyone located within the geographical boundaries of the State of Arizona would be required to conclusively prove their immigration or citizenship status or be guilty of trespass, even on private property that person owns.

Unless you have previously and currently ascertained your immigration or citizenship status to the satisfaction of each and every law enforcer in the State of Arizona, you cannot call 911, allow your children to go to school, or even live in your own house or apartment without being under the constant threat of trespassing charges.

While there is reasonable documentation that is accepted as proof of citizenship and immigration status, I submit to you that no one, not even naturalized citizens, can conclusively prove their citizenship or immigration status.  And, even if you could, there can be no policy requiring any law enforcement officer to accept the proof, as noted above.

Arizona Constitution
Article II – Declaration of Rights – of the AZ constitution declares that governments are established to protect and maintain individual rights.  The Pearce amendment seeks to subvert that declaration by creating an unprotected class of persons.  That alone is enough to condemn the amendment as antithetical to any accepted purpose of government. 

But, the Pearce amendment isn't done assaulting the AZ constitution. 

Article II, Section 13 states, "No law shall be enacted granting to any citizen, class of citizens, or corporation other than municipal, privileges or immunities which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens or corporations."  If the Pearce amendment treated undocumented border crossings as an individual crimes, this section would not apply.  However, because the amendment applies to all public and private lands in AZ, it makes the very fact of existence a crime for the underclass. 

Section 25 of Article II states, "No bill of attainder, ex-post-facto law, or law impairing the obligation of a contract, shall ever be enacted."  From an English reading of the Pearce amendment, in conjunction with the federal statute cited, it would seem that the trespass would only apply on property abutting the imaginary line between the US and Mexico and future violations of 8 USC 1325 as they occur.  However, as the amendment is constructed and from Pearce's statement to the Arizona Republic, it is clear that the trespass applies to all public and private land in Arizona, thus immediately making persons currently existing in AZ members of the underclass if the bill is signed into law – as ex-post-facto as it gets.

Now, some may suggest (wrongly) that Article II of the Arizona constitution does not afford protections to persons who crossed US borders without asking permission.  Even if you could make a cogent argument to that affect (you can't) Article II, Section 35 specifically recognizes such persons as persons and establishes concretely the application of Article II to those individuals (one of those niggling unintended consequences of previous xenophobic legislation).

Republican Attack
Keep in mind, Russell Pearce is supposedly a Republican.  You know, that grand old party, unabashed defenders of life, liberty, and property?  That Pearce's zeal to enact his xenophobia into state law is not surprising; what is surprising is that, in such a short amendment, Pearce could level such a full-on attack against all Arizona life, liberty, and property.

And, as a sad coda, it is also surprising that another supposed Republican, Jack Harper, who is no stranger to these pages or the philosophy of liberty, joined Pearce in voting for this abomination.  Will this be another time where Harper claims he assumed stopping it was someone else's job?

5 Comments in Response to

Comment by Frosty Wooldridge
Entered on:

Lorber once again illustrates a man who can write, but cannot think. He is a man with a keyboard, but cannot compose a rational sentence.  He may be able to show bias, but he cannot conger a rational understanding of AZ's great crisis. It's called overshoot, exceeding carrying capacity, overpopulation, climate change, water shortages, etc. But Lorber, like many other emotional writers, would argue for his own suicide or that of his country's.  The citizens of AZ can thank Kathy McKee, Russell Pearce, Rusty Childress, Buck Young and other American patriots for any semblence of order still left in AZ.  Otherwise, you would mirrow CA and that is a nightmare.  Frosty wooldridge

Comment by foundZero
Entered on:

Hey, this is a classic debate here. A really orthodox libertarian will argue that there should be no borders, that they don't in fact exist.

Meanwhile, a mega portion of the movement wants border enforcement ala yesterday.

To honestly balance the arguments, wouldn't we mostly have to say if you see your neighbor doing something incredibly stupid and detrimental, like filling up his swimming pool with gasoline and lighting it one fire, depending on the proximity to kids, cats, dogs, businesses, passing traffic, would a reasonable person assume something beyond respect for their private property rights?

Well, the definition of gasoline and kids and dogs and cats in this case is nearly subjective. To the racher who has a water-sharing agreement with a Mexican rancher, the borders are intrusive. To the bleeding heart who sees the illegals as persons needing a drink of water, well, I think the law is still on the books in Yavapai County. It's illegal to refuse a person a drink of water if you have plenty of water and this law makes no distinction as to the legal status of the thirsty person.

A cold-hearted nation we have become in terms of foreign policy, but I hope never to see the day where it's a crime to give somebody a drink of water. Anybody atall. If I myself found Osama Bin Laden in the desert I'd give him a drink of water while I swift delivered him to what we have for justice. The chances of me finding Osama Bin Laden in the Arizona desert are pretty slim but you know how it goes. Always good to keep an eye out.

But anyways what we got here is mostly a problem with the way the law is implimented, so as to further threaten our rights. Just as we generally want more security.

Well, security always comes at the cost of liberty. So which do you want, movement? Can you figure it out?

Unless I mistake things, Brock is leaning towards the "there is no such thing as a border" end of the spectrum but I could be reading into him too deep.

Comment by Ernest Hancock
Entered on:

The Facsism that we are experiencing and will expand, will be due to enough people begging for it out of fear.

Most of the young are just not afraid (nor am I) of individuals coming here to work. We fear the increasing power of government (in the name of ___Fill in the Blank___) more than individuals.

Only the government complains about more customers (but then uses the problem to get more power to...) And government has a net negative effect on the problem anyway.

You are being manipulated out of your freedoms in the name of problem that is symptom of something far more damaging,... the Welfare/Warfare state.

I have just as much of a problem with Americans stealing my money in the form of government redistribution of my wealth as I do someone from across a government unenforced line.

If you don't focus on the root problem (coercive government) then you are just a puppet with your strings in the hands of those that can make you sing whatever song they desire.

Comment by RShackleford
Entered on:

When you start off saying this is "Anti-Immigrant"...you just blow all your credibility.

We need some tuff laws to completly rid our country of all Illegal aliens (not Immigrants).

I guess you don't mind paying for the welfare and crime these criminals commit...?

Russell Pearce is a man that has the balls to stand up against the illegals and those that sympathize with them (both the Rs and Ds). He wouldn't have to do this if the Feds would do their job. Maybe you would like AZ to become a sanctuary, banckrupt state like CA. The illegals criminals need to be stoped now.

Clearly you have no problem with the illegal lawbreakers, as you lump them in with lawabiding American immigrants that  obeyed the law and contribute to this great land.

Russell Pearce, like many of us, can see a problem with national security as well as the security of our loved ones lives, with an open border. Yep...We are trying to stop the epidemic of crime, welfare etc. that goes along with an unchecked, illegal invation....

...And you sir, like LaRaza, are driving the monkey to the airport!

Comment by Hawkeye
Entered on:

What else could one expect from a state that continues to hire "John McCain"?

Let`s not forget "Napalitano" she`s a real jewell.

It only more Anti American crap from Phoenix and surrounding areas.

Are the people of your state even in the righ mine?What the hell are you putting in their water?