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I beg to differ, Gutman

Posted: July 21, 2010 8:32 p.m.
Updated: July 22, 2010 4:55 a.m.

In his column today, W.E. Gutman (“Arizona, patriotism and democracy,” May 9) took the position that Arizona’s new anti-illegal-immigrant law goes to “unconstitutional extremes.”

I beg to differ.

Does Arizona have a right to enforce its new law against illegal immigrants? Does a chicken cluck?

The idea of illegal immigration being solely a federal preserve with no state authority is completely false.

There’s absolutely nothing that precludes a state from having its own laws regarding criminal activity that duplicate federal law.

The first example that comes to mind is bank robbery. That’s a federal crime, but it’s also illegal in every state in the Union.

Have you ever heard anyone say investigating bank robberies should only be done by the FBI, and the local cops should butt out?

Of course not. The very idea’s absurd.

Same thing with kidnapping, racketeering, money laundering and a host of other crimes. The feds can assert authority and take over an investigation if they so choose, but the local cops are invariably the first ones to deal with it, and the only ones if the feds don’t assert their jurisdictional supremacy.

As a matter of fact, in the case of kidnapping, the feds don’t get involved (barring transport of the victim across state lines) unless the locals ask them to.

As to the idea that this law is somehow racist or will lead to profiling: First of all, it seems to me that those in the amnesty crowd are the ones who are doing the profiling, as they’re evidently assuming that all the illegal immigrants are Hispanic.

There’s certainly nothing in the law itself that mentions anyone’s race or ethnicity.

Of course, the reality is that the vast majority of illegal immigrants probably are, in fact, from over south of the border. In which case, if the law is applied disproportionately against Hispanics, its only because they’re the largest group of illegal immigrants in the country.

It’s the same reason why, when asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton replied, because that’s where the money is.


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