Reprinted with permission from The Cave FM located in Southeastern Arizona. Thanks to Gaineville resident for sending me up with the editorial and to Paul for giving me permission to use it. We aren’t hearing as much about old SB 1070 as we were. Perhaps because like its cousin, the PWC Anti Immigration Resolution, it because a neutered house cat. And after all, its all about winning an election.
Editorial for Oct 23-25, 2010
I’m CAVE MANager Paul Lotsof. Many years ago I was living in California and had some dirty clothes to wash. I put them in a basket and walked into a laundromat in Rialto. I found a washing machine and put my clothes in it, poured in some detergent and inserted some quarters. Not wanting to read the religious literature that is found in all laundromats, I just sat and stared at the washing machine while it did its thing.
A few minutes later, two police officers walked into the laundromat and headed to the rear of the building where they had a brief conversation with someone. Then the officers walked up to me and started asking questions: “What are you doing here?”
“I’m washing my clothes. What does it look like I’m doing?”
“How long have you been here? Where do you live? How long have you lived there? Where do you work?” The questions went on and on. Finally when I was able to get a word in edgewise, I asked the officers why they had singled me out for questioning. Their answer was that someone had complained that I appeared to be suspicious and they had to respond to the complaint. Eventually the officers decided that it was perfectly legal to wash clothes and they left.
After this incident I began to wonder what would have happened if the officers had checked their computer and found that I was wanted for not paying a speeding ticket? Would they have had grounds to arrest me? And if they had arrested me, could I have gotten off because they had no reasonable grounds to detain me? I think that I would have had a good case in arguing that the officers lacked reasonable cause.
In this country, the police don’t have the right to stop you just because they don’t like the look on your face or because they think your hair is too long. Similarly, they can’t stop you because of the color of your skin or because you’re speaking Spanish. And there lies a major flaw in SB-1070 which is the recently passed Arizona law that supposedly is going to force vast numbers of illegal aliens to return to Mexico. SB-1070 requires police officers to demand evidence of citizenship if they have reasonable cause to believe that someone is in this country illegally.
But what would be considered reasonable cause? Being caught selling tamales? I don’t think so. Even if someone had dark skin and was smoking a joint that wouldn’t constitute reasonable cause for suspecting that the person is in this country illegally.
SB 1070 has been the law for three months and I haven’t heard of vast numbers of Mexicans being arrested because of it. Of course, a federal judge has barred enforcement of much of 1070 because it is of doubtful constitutionality but even if the questionable provisions are upheld, it is highly unlikely that 1070 will have much impact. Why? Because the state government is nearly broke and it lacks the resources to kick tens of thousands of people out of the state.
1070 has a nice emotional appeal because we’re saying that if the Federal Government won’t do its job the State will step in and do it. But the truth is that 1070 is much less than it is cracked up to be. 1070 is all smoke and no fire to speak of. SB 1070 is a farce and its purpose is to get poorly informed people to vote for Republicans. That’s what its supporters are trying to accomplish and getting Republicans elected is all it will accomplish .
I’m CAVE MANager Paul Lotsof and the opinions you’ve just heard are mine and not necessarily anyone else’s. If you’d like a copy of this editorial or you’d like to express your opinions, go to the CAVE web site at www.cavefm.com That’s cavefm.com.