Phoenix Police to Check Arrestees’ Immigrant Status – New York Times

Phoenix Police to Check Arrestees’ Immigrant Status – New York Times
By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD
Published: February 16, 2008

A decision to ask all people arrested whether they are in the country legally will set Phoenix apart from most other big cities with large immigrant populations.

I believe we need to work towards allowing those migrants that are currently here to have citizenship. I believe in the positive contribution of all recent immigrants and feel that we should recognize that. However, I cannot sympathize with anyone who chooses to break the law in ways such as driving drunk, assault and battery, or any other crime more heinous than these. I don’t differentiate between a citizen and a non-citizen here. This is a tough areas for me, but if it’s appropriate, as part of their punishment, to have them prove their citizenship status then I tend to agree with that. Unfortunately I don’t know how one is proven to be an undocumented migrant and I certainly cannot condone a system that allows for mistakes to be made and lives ruined. I do believe that those of us supporting migrants want to make more headway with those that do not we have to concede in this area. It is difficult to argue that those committing crimes which require them to be arrested should not have their immigration status checked. However, I will never concede to the idea that people should simply be stopped and asked to prove they are citizens as Mayor Cresitello proposed in Morristown.

What I believe firmly is that the only “wrong” committed by the vast majority of migrants is that they came here without permission. That is not something I feel should be punished. Any type of targeting of people based on a belief that they “fit the description” involving arrest now and ask questions later is simply wrong. I don’t care if a person is here without permission this is still the United States and people here have rights. We are to be an example to the world on how people should be treated. We’ve done a decent job thus far, though we have some really bad moments, and we need to continue promoting human rights and the proper treatment of others.

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