There has been a great deal of debate in this country regarding the Arizona law and illegal immigration. I was astonished to discover that Supreme Court legislation is actually harsher on search and seizure laws than the Arizona law is.
The Arizona law requires that a police officer have probable cause before asking for papers, and the law dictates that an officer of the law in the state may not consider race color or national origin when asking for papers. The Supreme Court law is a lot harsher as dictated in the 2005 Muehler v. Mena case.
Andy McCarthy column 4/3/2010 http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NGZmOTU1NjdkZjJhNWVkNGExYmQ2YmQ2YTRjYWYwN2M=
In the Muehler v. Mena (2005), the Supreme Court – in a unanimous opinion written by Chief Justice Rehnquist, a rather conservative justice – reaffirmed that “mere police questioning does not constitute a seizure,” and consequently that Fourth Amendment detention standards are not implicated by such questioning. Rehnquist elaborated (quoting Florida v. Bostick (1991)) that “even when officers have no basis for suspecting an individual, they may generally ask questions of that individual; ask to examine the individual’s identification; and request consent to search his or her luggage.” Drawing on these principles, the Court sharply rejected the claim that the Fourth Amendment provided any protection against merely being questioned: “[T]he officers did not need reasonable suspicion to ask Mena for her name, date and place of birth, or immigration status.”
A question beyond that is if the federal law is harsher than Arizona’s law, why did Arizona feel compelled to pass such a law. Well, the answer is obvious: the feds did not enforce their law.
Why did secretary of homeland security Janet Napolitano beg George W. Bush for troops when she was governor of Arizona? If everything was hunky dory in Arizona, do you honestly think they would pass this law? Do you think the reason they passed this law is hatred for Hispanics? If that were the case, why would 70% of the state’s population, a population largely composed of Hispanics, approve the illegal immigrant legislation the current govenor Jan Brewer signed?