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How Dare Arizonans Try To Protect Themselves?

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Isn't it interesting that the people yelling the loudest about the imminent racial profiling that will occur under the new Arizona law are the very ones who are profiling the tea party protestors as domestic terrorists?

These egghead elitists stereotyping the protestors don't have a clue what makes people tick or, apparently, what infuriates increasing numbers of Americans about a federal government that is at war with their freedoms and their pocketbooks.

Instead of examining their actual bigotry, let's examine their false claims about the alleged bigotry of Arizonans and the state's lawmakers. On this issue, thanks to the administration and its leftist media propaganda machine, too much misinformation is passing as fact on this issue.

Arizonans didn't just gratuitously pass a bill to harass illegal immigrants. They are tired of the hundreds of violent crimes being committed by illegal aliens, with Phoenix being North America's kidnapping capital and primary location of human smuggling. An Arizonan rancher was recently murdered on his own property by an alleged illegal alien, and three Phoenix police officers have been shot by illegal aliens since 1999.

But Arizonans didn't go out and form lynching parties. They consulted with legal experts and crafted a sophisticated, thoughtful piece of legislation designed to crack down on illegal immigration in their state. I know the idea of states' rights is a bit passé today, but some still take it seriously, as they do the right to defend themselves and their properties.

Knowing that political opportunists and race-baiters would attack the law sight unseen and attempt to inflame passions instead of encouraging reasoned debate — just as they've done with legitimate tea party protests — the Arizonans anticipated constitutional challenges and specifically drafted the law to satisfy them.

Let it be stated emphatically that but for the federal political class's failure to enforce current immigration laws and protect our borders, we wouldn't be having this discussion. The federal sermonizers have no more moral standing to be pointing their phony pious fingers at Arizonans than congressional scalawags who encouraged Fannie and Freddie to back uncreditworthy loans have to lecture "fat cat" banks.

The truth is that these lawmakers, mostly Democrats, don't want to enforce the laws, for both ideological and political (getting the Hispanic vote) reasons, and want to put Republicans in a trick bag where if they call for enforcement they'll be branded as racists; they already have.

So when Arizona tries a little self-help to enforce the very laws the feds won't, they're the ones who are demonized.

Our own intermeddling president has poked his nose in the issue in two ways: 1) His attorney general, Eric Holder, said he was considering challenging the law in court, which is highly unusual in these cases before allowing any local challenges to play out, and 2) Obama said the law is "misguided" and threatens "to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans." Wrong, on both counts. Obama misled the public he claims to be protecting in saying the Arizona law will lead to harassment of people who take their kids out to get ice cream if they don't have their papers.

Law professor Kris Kobach, who specializes in immigration law and who helped draft the Arizona law, has addressed the many myths associated with the law. The law cannot be applied against U.S. citizens; only aliens can be found guilty under the law. But even noncitizens aren't going to be harassed at the ice-cream stand, because the law first requires law enforcement to have made a "lawful contact" with a person, such as stopping him for speeding. Next, before asking for someone's papers, an officer must have a "reasonable suspicion" that an immigration law was violated. Third, the cop must then contact the federal authorities to see whether the person is legal or not. Moreover, federal law already requires aliens to carry identification, so this law doesn't impose any additional burden in that respect.

The drafters went to great pains to insulate the law from a federal pre-emption challenge by making sure it was perfectly harmonious with the federal laws. You can only be guilty of the Arizona law if you are guilty of the federal law, and in all cases, the state will defer to the feds.

The law also expressly prohibits racial profiling and will actually make profiling less likely because state authorities will be required to contact the feds to verify their assessment as to a person's legal status. Fourth Amendment protections on this will also attach.

It's time that demagogic politicians quit stoking the flames of racial disharmony every other time American citizens try to protect themselves and their rights. But don't hold your breath; they don't have many other avenues left to turn back the coming conservative electoral tide of 2010.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His book "Bankrupt: The Intellectual and Moral Bankruptcy of Today's Democratic Party" was released recently in paperback. To find out more about David Limbaugh, please visit his Web site at www.DavidLimbaugh.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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