Google Maps Gains “Avoid Arizona” Option

Google Maps With Avoid Arizona Option

Headed cross-country and worried about a new law that might get you stopped by the police in Arizona because you look like an illegal immigrant? Not to fear! Google has now added an “Avoid Arizona” option for those generating directions.

Google’s other options have been super helpful. You can get directions suited for taking public transit, walking, bicycling or by car. Now the Avoid Arizona option gives you directions that route you around that state:

Google Maps With Avoid Arizona Option

Yeah, the option’s a joke I made up, if that’s not obvious. The law, unfortunately, is real.


  1. Major says

    I find it interesting that people who enjoy the de-centralized construct of the internet, and so pedestrian in their thinking when it comes to the usefulness of governments.

  2. JB says

    Danny, maybe you should live in Arizona for a while and understand why the law was passed, and why a reported 60% of the state are for it, before you pass judgment. If the govt would have provided a solution to the issue, then then AZ wouldn’t have had to. I think Peter Roff from USNews says it best…

  3. says

    You know if this bill was built only to get the nation’s attention on the border security problems we have here in Arizona then it has been a huge success.

    Funny thing is that the laws are federal laws… and now the governor actually wants to enforce the federal law.

    Honestly I wish there were a solution in which we could legally accept and document all those that want to join the great US. Something needs to change.

    I know, I’m just a pest control guy. =)

    P.S. Ask Matt Cutts how his carpenter ants are doing for me.

  4. says

    I think the law is definitely getting the federal government’s attention, and I do understand some of the real concerns Arizona has over illegal immigration. It’s unfortunate some Arizona legislators felt like this is the only way to get the federal government to take more action. But I’d prefer a way to get that attention, and find a solution, that also doesn’t make me feel like Arizona is turning into some type of police state where legal citizens may fear they’ll be harassed because they look all “illegal immigrant” like, whatever that might be.

    Enforce at the borders; enforce at the workplaces. Enforce people walking down the street on suspicion of being illegal? I think local police have better things to do.

  5. says

    JB, just found your comment and released it from moderation — the link probably caused it to get held, and thanks for adding that. Like I said to Thos003, I feel for the real concerns that those in Arizona have. I’d read a similar piece to the US News article you linked to. I disagree with “papers please” provision. It just feels too police state, to me.

    I’ve also lived in California for most of my life, Southern California that is two hours from the Mexican border. I’m no stranger to the issues of illegal immigration and the problems it poses for my own state. But I sure hope my state doesn’t follow Arizona’s lead, sorry. In our particular area, many local police departments have long not tried to become immigration enforcement officials because they’ve felt it hinders their primary role of fighting serious crime.

  6. =/ says

    It’s racial profiling and that’s illegal. A lot of Mexican’s are doing jobs the American won’t do. ie..gardeners, dishwashers. There here trying to make a better life for themselves and their families. Yes there are some that give us a bad name but there is that in all races. So for those that say they are taking your jobs, think again. If you wanted that job you could have had it to, but a Mexican beat you to it and now your mad, oh shut up! Build a bridge and get over it. You never wanted the job, you just want to be on tv complaining about it.

  7. says

    This is a real tough one for me. I love living in Arizona. I have lived elsewhere and AZ is the least racist state I have seen. I mean some of the other areas of the country are just awful when it comes to their racism.

    And I just hate reading tweets and posts from people who have never even been to Arizona. Like they have a clue what the real situation is here.

    But I first and foremost support the constitution. I do not want to see racial profiling. But the fact is 70% of all voters are in favor of the Bill. 60% of Hispanic voters are in favor of it. So in some ways the politicians are acting on behalf of their voters — a shocker all by itself.

    As Thomas says above, I hope it gets everyone’s attention and we can finally do something about illegal immigration, but I fear the price we in Arizona are going to pay in order for that to happen.

  8. Tony Spencer says

    As I understand the new law, its nothing like “papers please” or just “walking down the street”. It is written such that the new required action to determine if the suspect is illegal, occurs after they’ve been stopped for some other offense.

  9. Amy says

    Do you assume that this bill will be an improvement, that something had to be done, so it’s worth a try? Have you imagined the down side to this bill?

    Do you believe your police force is currently unoccupied? Or do you like to raise taxes? Do you know that taxes pay for the police? So you want your socialist police to implement your racist and fascist decree that everyone has to have and carry papers? Like the Nazis required.

    What if you find out that you were born in Eastern Europe or Canada, and adopted as a child? And your parents never signed you up to be a citizen. And you never bothered to vote so you didn’t know you were not a citizen. Should you be treated like a criminal? What about the maid at the hotel. She’s got a job cleaning at below minimum wage. Is she a criminal? You want her job?

    If you want to have big hotels for $49 per night, then you must have underpaid labor supporting it. If you want to pay $12 for a nice dinner with dessert, then there is underpaid labor in the kitchen, underpaid labor in the fields, etc. Right? Of course right.

    So are those underpaid people, the ones who enable your cushy life, criminals? Really? Is imprisoning these people at taxpayer expense any kind of solution? No.

    Oh, and not to mention the violation of privacy and freedom to move around. And Libertarians are loving this new law. Ironic.

  10. Tony Spencer says

    Here we go:

    The law only kicks in when a police officer already has made a “lawful contact” with a person, such as stopping him for breaking another law. The most likely contact is during the issuance of a speeding ticket. The law does not require the officer to begin questioning a person about his immigration status or to do anything the officer would not otherwise do.

  11. Ian Kaplan says

    I’ve spoken to a number of lawyers who know a fair bit about this, and they say the following things are pretty clear, if I understand them … See Moreright. This is gonna be a long answer, I’m not good at writing short.

    1) A “lawful contact” is pretty much any time a police officer sees you, as long as he’s not in the act of carrying out an illegal search or something. If, for instance, you have just been stabbed and an officer comes to your aid, that’s a lawful contact.

    2) For the officer – while many will no doubt try to enforce this nonsense “reasonably” – it is unlikely that almost any grounds for suspicion would be tossed out by most courts as ‘unreasonable’. (Barring, of course, a correct court ruling that the whole thing is unconstitutional.) They can, after all, offer up most any reason as an explanation after the fact. Race, of course, is explicitly INCLUDED as a valid reason (as long as it’s not race alone.)

    3) The real kicker in this bill is the right of any citizen of AZ to sue if they think it’s not being enforced right. So if Joe Passer-by thinks the officer should have been suspicious about legal status, Joe has standing to sue the police department. That’s a very, very strange idea in the context of western law. Now, how those lawsuits will be decided is anyone’s guess, but the mere threat of constant lawsuits is going to force departments to use this law very aggressively.

    4) It is an absolutely undeniable fact that – while AZ is full of good cops, and they’re opposed to this bill – there are plenty of law enforcement officers out there who will badly want to use this thing whenever possible. One of them is running for governor. Even if that results in a lot of detentions found unlawful and a lot of police departments getting sued – the best-case scenario! – that’s still completely unacceptable for my state.

  12. Jason says

    I’m curious as to where in any law “racial profiling” is deemed illegal.

    I also find it curious that people would be more concerned with hurting people’s feelings than enforcing the law on ILLEGAL aliens, whose mere presence is in fact a violation of the law.

    Also, last I checked the Constitution only applies to citizens of this country, but hey I could be wrong on all counts.

  13. Tony Spencer says

    “If, for instance, you have just been stabbed and an officer comes to your aid, that’s a lawful contact.”

    So they make a phone call to find out if you are in the country legally. Big deal.

  14. says

    Jason, good question on who the Constitution applies to. One piece I found says it applies to what the US Government cannot do:

    Another covers how the Supreme Court ruled recently that yes, it does apply to non-citizens, in terms of restricting what the US Government cannot do:

    I’m pretty sure there are laws against profiling.

    If you find it odd to understand why people would be more concerned about “hurting feelings” that enforcing laws, then I’m pretty sure you probably look like a white male and unlikely to get stopped for profiling.

    Try this. Why don’t you become a Latino man who’s a US citizen? Go out for a walk with your two kids and see if you get stopped by some police officer who decides they need to check your papers. Then have that happen repeatedly to you.

    It becomes more than hurt feelings. It becomes embarrassment, disrespect and harassment. It’s also discriminatory against American citizens who will get profiles because they don’t look “normal,” with normal probably meaning Latino — and irony given that there are plenty of places where being in the US, normal — if you’re talking the majority — means being of Latino or Hispanic descent.

    People are upset not because of hurt feelings but because the law causes a large class of American citizens to live under permanent suspicion. That’s not what America is supposed to be about, to me. You’re not suppose to be walking around in fear — and these types of laws do generate that fear.

    Again, I get Arizona’s concerns. I get that Arizona feels the US government hasn’t done enough to stem illegal immigration. Arizona is hardly the only state impacted by this. I also understand that there are many in Arizona who disagree with the law, plus there are some who agree with it mainly from a “what else can we do attitude.” But generating more fear in response to fear is unfortunate. I’d rather see another way be found.

  15. says

    Yes, Tony, and California law doesn’t allow the police to fingerprint me when I’ve stopped for a traffic violation and have presented a valid driver’s license. And yet, that’s exactly what happened:

    Suffice to say, there are going to be some police officers who will concoct a “lawful contact” reason to start demanding papers. Not all of them. Perhaps not the majority. But just as you have bad people, you have bad cops.

  16. Tony Spencer says

    I knew that was coming. 😉

    I read your story before and its appalling the way they behaved. Point is: bad cops are a different issue and this law does nothing to encourage bad behavior. It simply allows them to make a phone call to ICE if they are suspicious. IMHO its a reasonable and limited power.

  17. Amy says

    Tony, you’re a white guy, right? Your wife/girlfriend also is white. And the vast majority of your friends and family also, white, right?

    Ever heard of “driving while black”? Or do you assume that most of those people were also committing crimes so they deserved to be stopped?

  18. says

    Point taken, Tony. If cops behave in the way the law is supposedly written, all’s should be good. But going back to the same “myths” article you quoted, let’s think about this more.

    The police can only act on this law if they’ve stopped some person for another crime. You suggest that will be traffic stops. OK…

    Someone gets stopped for a ticket. They don’t have license with them. The cop might decide to check on their immigration status, and I could go along with that if the cop each-and-every-time checks on the status of anyone without ID. If you don’t check everyone under those circumstances, then you’re discriminating.

    Someone gets stopped for a ticket. They do have a valid license with them. Despite this, cop decides they’re suspicious for some reason they might not be in the country legally and does check. What reason are those? Cop, by law, is prevented from considering race, color or national origin in becoming suspicious. So how does the cop during this traffic stop make any assumptions?

    That’s the concern. There’s no easy way to make those assumptions without discriminating. Are you going to base it off accents? Then 3/4 of my family better avoid Arizona — they’ve all got British accents despite being American citizens.

    We’ll see how this all plays out, of course. But the wording of the law doesn’t make me feel any more reassured.

  19. Tony Spencer says

    I can appreciate all your concerns about discrimination. But if the language of this law is so wrong, if its racist, if it is misguided as Obama has said, well we’re going to have to rewrite our federal law and perhaps layoff all federal border security agents for their identical methods of enforcement.

    Here we have a state enforcing federal law in the same manner federal agents are enforcing it.

  20. says

    Tony, federal border agents don’t stop people for violating traffic laws.

    Ideally, border agents encounter people where you ought to be checking for the right to be in the US, at our actual borders.

    If I’m driving across from Mexico into California, I’m going to get asked for some type of proof I can enter the country. And that’s not discriminatory in any way. EVERYONE is being asked for it, and it’s appropriate, as you’re at a border.

    If I’m applying for a job, I’m going to be asked for proof that I can work in the US — which makes sense. It’s the right context for that.

    But driving my car down the street? No, I don’t need a local police department deciding they should check my immigration status because they think I talk funny, when they stop me for a traffic violation. It’s too open to abuse.

    As I’ve said before, it a number of police departments have also found it breeds crime. If you do have illegal immigrants, if they fear the local police, then they don’t go to them for help with violent crimes — which can spill over and impact the lives of “legal” people, as well.

  21. Tony Spencer says

    Well you are right. They don’t stop you for speeding. They also don’t just operate right on the border. In fact they stop people purely on suspicion well across the border.

  22. Leslei says

    JB, but reported by whom? stats that show most Arizonans in favor of the law are fabricated. I think CNN put it best last Friday:
    20 protesters are here at the capitol today in favor of the bill and 4,000 have show up against it

  23. Tony Spencer says

    @Leslei And how many people continued to show up on Capitol Hill to protest in favor of Obama’s health care bill after it was signed into law? :)

    Rasmussen has historically been very accurate.

  24. says

    Yes they do, Tony — but to my knowledge, there’s usually some context to those stops. They might investigate a workplace or place where illegal immigrants are known to often convene, say a place where legal citizens drive by to pick up some illegal workers to do day jobs.

    Alternatively, they set up a checkpoint between San Diego and Orange County to scan all the cars going through, to see if any are riding low because of people hidden in trunks or other area. And it irritates me every damn time, because I wish they’d done the job right at the border in the first place — and because such checkpoints just scream out as unamerican to me.

    Arizona is not the only state with illegal immigration issues. It is not the only state to feel like it isn’t getting support from the federal government. It is not the only state to feel like things are at a crisis point. California and other states feel these things, as well. I just hope we don’t pass a law similar to what Arizona has done and can find another way to deal with these problems without causing a large class of legal Americans to feel like they’ve just become targets. That’s a shameful way for an immigrant country to behave.

  25. Eric Klos says

    Amy – ever hear of “driving while white”? I used to get routinely pulled over when I was going through certain sections of Detroit for work, because I was a white guy driving a nice car, and according to the police, the only reason a white guy would be in that neighborhood was to score drugs or hookers. I wasn’t getting pulled over because they had a reasonable suspicion that I had bought or attempted to buy drugs or sexual favors, but merely because I was a clean cut looking white guy driving an expensive car. This would happen at least 50% of the time. Even had the same cops pull me over again and again, telling me that while I keep getting past them now, eventually they’re going to “catch me”.

    It was racial profiling, plain and simple. Hell, they even admitted they were doing it. There’s no law on the books authorizing it (but I know for a fact that it’s unofficial departmental policy to do it), but it happens.

    Removing a law based on how someone might abuse it is completely the wrong way to approach things. That’s like telling a rape victim that had she not been wearing a skimpy dress, she wouldn’t have had a problem.

  26. Tony Spencer says

    I’ve always felt that the easiest way to put a stop to the illegal immigration is to eliminate the motivation: money.

    Provide employer’s with an electronic method for submitting the W4 which gives an immediate response to the question “Does the info provided match the info found for this SSN?”. If the answer is No, you can’t be hired.

    That needs to be coupled with a massive increase in the number of legal applicants allowed each year. And the government process needs to be easier to work with.

    Working in silicon valley for a number years allowed me the pleasure of befriending a lot of legal immigrants from China, India, Pakistan, Ukraine, Croatia, Russia, Georgia, Brazil and so on. Every one of those people were struggling to work with a sometimes cruel immigration office because they wanted to become citizens. One friend from China even had to leave her husband and 2 year old child to go live in Canada while the NIS fumbled around with her papers.

    We need more immigrants like those.

  27. says

    Eric, kind of! One night, I got pulled over twice in Irvine as a single white male. I was driving late at night to and from where I worked, to get something I’d forgotten, with my window open because it was late, and I wanted to stay awake. The Irvine cops both found that suspicious.

    It’s a difficult line the police have to walk, to decide if someone might be suspicious of a crime or not. I guess that’s another reason why the Arizona law makes me uncomfortable. I’d expect the police to be trained in identifying a potential crime situation — and in your case, they may not get that right. Deputizing them to suddenly be immigration police? That’s not their expertise. There are going to be mistakes. There’s going to be mistrust. And none of this seems likely to solve the problems that Arizonan hope the law will solve. At least to me. Again, I guess we’ll see.

  28. Amy says

    Erik, So are you suggesting that racial profiling is a good way to implement laws? Or not? I can’t really tell. And then you end with accusing me of blaming a rape victim for attracting that sort of attention because of her skimpy dress? Have we slipped down the rabbit hole here? How did you get there from my comment? Or even from your own comment? Even from the first part of that paragraph? You’re suggesting that it would be a bad idea to remove rape laws since skimpy dresses cause rape anyway? Please explain.

  29. Jorge Zambrano says

    I have had the ilusion of going to a NFL game for a while. Got my tickets for Christmas day Cardinalas-Cowboys. Sadly now I am not going. Any racist out there who wants them, real cheap!

  30. Mathieson says

    @Tony – the information you quoted was incorrect, read the actual bill.

    The previous law already had the ability for law enforcement to check immigration after lawful contact. This new law actually lets police question anyone with “reasonable suspicion” that they are an illegal immigrant, and actually forces them to by lawsuit.

  31. says

    I think the law is deeply wrong, but I don’t want to get into a debate about that.

    I just want to point out that Google Maps does have the feature of letting you drag points on your route and reroute alternate routes. It is slightly harder than ‘avoid arizona’ but it is a powerful tool to explore altenate routes.


  32. Kam says

    That editorial states

    “As for U.S. citizens, the law does not require them to carry any identification whatsoever. Indeed, the law cannot possibly be applied against U.S. citizens; only an alien can be found guilty under the Arizona statute. ”

    Ok but then:

    “Only after a stop is made, and subsequently the officer develops reasonable suspicion on his own that an immigration law has been violated, is any obligation imposed. At that point, the officer is required to call ICE to confirm whether the person is an illegal alien.”

    If an American citizen is not required to carry identifying documents then how are the police going to verify if he or she is a citizen or not? How long will it take them to call ICE? Are they going to do it on the spot? Will you have to be detained? Will you be let go?

    Only Arizona driver’s licenses are acceptable unless you come from a state which requires you to prove you’re a citizen when you get your license. What about people from states that don’t?

    If you are stopped once and are a citizen but don’t have the proper documents and you are verified as a citizen through ICE, will you have to go to the process if you are stopped again or will that knowledge stay on the books so to speak?

    These are the concerns that American CITIZENS who are brown like me have and are not being addressed. Instead people are lobbing insults.

    It essentially means that you have to carry your documents all the time, though that’s not required of any citizen.

  33. Tony Spencer says

    I carry my drivers license and passport everyday. I’m not brown but I do cross our borders often and I’ve been heavily interrogated at times to the point that I was asked to show proof that I do the work that I do by opening my laptop and displaying some code.

    So you have to carry a drivers license. I don’t find that so insulting.

  34. Tony Spencer says

    Folks, the situation is far worse than we first thought. This afternoon I was driving on the inner belt line in Raleigh and was stopped by the police. They asked for my papers. Then they made me sit there for what seemed like an eternity while they verified the validity of those papers. It was humiliating. I guess 100 cars must have passed by and stared at me while I sat there waiting for the officer to return. I must admit I was speeding but I can’t help but deduce that the black officer stopped me because I’m a white male.

    Be warned. This gestapo attitude seems to have already spread to NC.

  35. says

    Congratulations, your proposed app proves that Arizona’s law that enforces a Federal Immigration Law that the Federal Government is refusing to enforce works – it makes undesirables avoid the state!

  36. RatFink says

    ” “Go out for a walk with your two kids and see if you get stopped by some police officer who decides they need to check your papers.”

    Once more, this new law does not allow for this behavior. Myth #3:

    You might want to read that again. It only says the police are not REQUIRED to stop people and question their immigration status. What it doesn’t say that police are prevented from questioning immigration status unless there is even reasonable suspicion that a crime have been committed. Stopping someone for ‘suspicious behavior’ is lawful contact. Lending aid to someone who is injured is lawful contact. Taking a statement from a bystander is lawful contact.

    What is worse, it gives a free ride for anyone including the most bigoted racists the right to harass the police force with lawsuits if they feel that enforcement is not held up to their standards but no recourse for those feeling enforcement is too harsh.

  37. Chris says

    Andrew McCarthy, who prosecuted the blind sheik after the 1993 WTC attacks, has an interesting post here describing for civilians what “reasonable suspicion” means to a police officer.

  38. RatFink says


    While his laying out of reasonable suspicion is pretty accurate. However I think he makes some fatal mistakes when he attempts to make the claim lawful contact cannot take place without probable cause. For one thing lawful contact is not defined as anything other then the legal contact an officer would have with people during the course of his work, which can include everything from arresting suspects to taking statements of witnesses to lending aid to an injured person.

    Plenty of different opinions here:

  39. says

    The constitution applies to ALL citizen or legal alien in the US. There are many Hispanic Americans or legal aliens in this country right now. If we are going to require people show proof of citizenship, than the police must ask EVERYONE they “lawfully encounter”, including that van load of blonde cheerleaders, for conclusive proof of citizenship (AZ Driver Licence is not proof of citizenship), and if ANYONE can not provide that proof, they go to jail.

    It’s completely disingenuous to say that race won’t be the primary determining factor when the police decide who they will ask for their “papers”. Regardless of the language of the law, which is designed to forestall a court challenge, it doesn’t change the spirit of this law which is clearly, “Brown people, you’d better have your passport or certified birth certificate and Driver’s license or risk going to jail, even if you were born and raised here”.

    Another tedious element in this whole conversation is the suggestion that all illegal aliens are violent criminals, ready to rape you daughters, take your job and destroy America, which is so ludicrous, you can only questioning the cognitive abilities and character of those putting forth such a specious argument. Most of them have white sheets hanging in there closets I would wager.

    There is however, another type of illegal alien. An example is Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa. Here’s a link to his story:

    Personally, I find it wearisome in the extreme to be subjected to the imbecilic whining of witless hordes who contribute so much less to society, raging about people, who are mostly destitute, taking the crumbs off their heavy laden tables. This debate has certainly brought them out in droves.

    Immigration is broken, no question. This, however, is not the way to solve the problem. It’s poorly thought out, in part demented, and in the end will only raid the Arizona taxpayer to pay the millions of dollars they will use to defend this law in court, instead of providing services to their communities and lose millions for the tourist trade, who will probably be, in the end, the ones who will suffer the most.

  40. Dean says

    Why don’t you look up Mexico’s laws for illegal aliens? Wow! and they are enforced!

  41. says

    Gosh, Dean, now why would I look up Mexico’s laws the weight a new Arizona law against all illegal immigrants. Are they only from Mexico? Is that it? Will that be the criteria used — hmm, you look all Mexican, let’s see your papers.

    Actually, I read somewhere that Mexico’s laws on immigration aren’t that good. I don’t think that means the US should seek to emulate bad laws, do you?

    It’s not about enforcing immigration laws, anyway. That is, I think we’d all agree that the US should enforce immigration laws. And we have an actual policing agency charged with doing that, the INS. When we ask our local police to do it, we ask for problems — especially for legal citizens who fear they might be harassed for the crime of looking Mexican.

  42. Tony Spencer says

    I think Arizona’s point is they’ve been asking the fed’s to do their job for years and grew tired of waiting for it to happen.

    How is it asking for problems by letting local police handle it? Are local police somehow morally inferior to federal agents?

  43. JM says

    First off, it’s worth noting that the law was changed in response to concerns:

    The phrase “lawful contact” would be changed to “lawful stop, detention or arrest” to clarify that an officer would not need to question a crime victim or witness about their legal status.

    The word “solely” would be eliminated from the sentence “A law enforcement official or agency … may not solely consider race, color or national origin” in establishing reasonable suspicion that someone is in the country illegally.

    Hasn’t been fully approved yet, but will be.

    Here’s the deal: The vast majority of illegal immigrants have not tried to get into this country legally even once (I base this on rejected unique apps vs. projected number of aliens…if you want to quibble, feel free to do so with some actual cause). And many, though by no means the majority, cause damage on their way up north. And ultimately, they’re spitting in the face of our laws. You know how much sympathy I have for them? None. None at all. There IS a difference between stealing a loaf of bread to feed your starving family because you’ve tried every legal alternative, and stealing a loaf of bread to feed your starving family because you haven’t bothered looking and hey, it’s easy to steal. The illegals who get caught in the meat grinder of our immigration laws I DO have sympathy for. But that’s not your average border crosser.

    As I understand it, confirming through ICE is likely more of a questioning thing than a ‘papers please’ thing, and to those up in arms about it it’s worth noting that if you drive, you’re already REQUIRED BY LAW to carry your ‘papers’, your driver’s license. So I DO feel bad for out-of-state brown people, whose licenses did not require birth certificates. You are falling victim to your birth, considering unfortunately your race IS the VAST and OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of illegals, and your state, which apparently doesn’t care enough to make their licenses worthwhile. Perhaps you should campaign in your state to change its requirements before you complain about Arizona.
    And I feel bad for those who might be stopped in circumstances where they are NOT required to be carrying ID who might get caught.
    There was nothing wrong with the bill as originally written…I say this as a person who ABHORS the idea of having to show papers, but who ALSO recognizes that you ARE required to show proof of identity on request by an officer, and CAN be detained already if he thinks you’re lying, especially in connection to a crime.

    It’s worth bearing in mind that ultimately, this law is only intended to give teeth to officers to arrest illegals, and maybe prod them to do it (the lawsuits) if they’re reluctant. Can you blame the state? Border states have to bear pretty much ALL the costs of illegal immigration (property damage, crime, etc), while any supposed benefits are shared by border and non-border states. They’re sick of it.

    Should we let more in the country legally? YES. But at the same time, we shouldn’t ignore the problem of a people that thumb their nose at the law…it breeds a sense of entitlement. (Think of the people who illegally download music…many of them have a very self-righteous attitude about it)

    And I don’t like racial profiling, either. However, it WORKS. For every brown person inconvenienced, they’ll likely ALSO catch a person who is illegal. Versus if they irrationally ignore race. White dudes and arabic dudes are the most likely to be terrorists, so get the airport hassle, and hispanic people are most likely to be illegal immigrants. Son cosa la vida, you can’t blame the cops for factoring it in. But it shouldn’t be the ONLY thing they factor, and it ISN’T. And as noted, they’re even changing it so that that’s technically not allowed either.

    And on a side note, for those folks who don’t realize it, Border Patrol already does essentially this, except rather than at traffic stops etc it’s ANYWHERE WITHIN 100 MILES OF THE BORDER FOR ANY REASON (Though they usually use checkpoints and check ALL PEOPLE)….and if they have a suspicion and they don’t have proof from you, you’re going in the van. I don’t like that, honestly, but for people to be up in arms about Arizona’s bill seems…foolish.

  44. says

    Tony, fair to say California has dealt with an illegal immigration problem that’s been bigger and far longer than Arizona. Many of our local police departments have found that if they are perceived as likely to call in the INS when investigating crimes, it makes it harder for them to deal with the core crime issues they’re charged with. But hey, maybe Arizina will find a completely different experience.

  45. says

    JM, I didn’t realize Arizona had drivers licenses that also included proof of citizenship on them. Or do they? If not, then those legal brown skinned folks, some of whom are from families that have have been legal citizens far longer than some white folks in Arizona, are going to be hassled when stopped for some other reason. You know, because they’re brown.

    But hey, maybe Hawaii will decide most of its illegal immigrants are white and decide white folks need to carry their birth certificates.

    Oh, I guess those Asian looking people are safe in Arizona? It’s only the brown people were worried about? I mean, apparently they’re the bulk of the problem, so let’s profile them. It works!

    Those Canadians sound safe, too, as do East Europeans. And soon Arizona sounds like it’ll be a great draw for African illegals. You’ll miss them, since it’s only brown people you suspect.

    Gosh, do you have any drug problems in Arizona? You know, maybe you should allow your police to enter the homes of white people at will, since I think it’s mostly white people who do drugs. It’s a big issue, and we spend so much of our federal dollars on the drug war. Let’s stop it in homes, use a little profiling, and we’ll have more money to stop those illegals.

    Who hires them in Arizona, anyway? I mean they work. Do they just work for other illegals or are their upstanding Arizona businesses who are hiring them? Maybe if you want to do profiling, you could profile every workplace. Seems that might be more efficient.

    People aren’t foolish in being up in arms over Arizona’s law. They’re appalled that a huge class of legal citizens now fall under suspicion by your law enforcement agencies. They’re upset that Constitutional protections against discrimination are likely being violated. That the right for any American to travel into any other state is trampled on when one class of Americans suddenly has to feel fearful.

  46. JM says

    “JM, I didn’t realize Arizona had drivers licenses that also included proof of citizenship on them. Or do they? If not, then those legal brown skinned folks, some of whom are from families that have have been legal citizens far longer than some white folks in Arizona, are going to be hassled when stopped for some other reason. You know, because they’re brown.”

    Actually they do. They require proof of citizenship to get a license, so therefore the license is proof of citizenship. So you’re an idiot who can’t use the internet for three seconds to check things. I liked that little point you put in about having been citizens ‘far longer’…a citizen is a citizen, i don’t care how long they’ve been such. Nice attempt there. And the brown people AREN’T STOPPED FOR BEING BROWN. They weren’t in the original law, and they aren’t in the modified one that doesn’t even technically allow them to use race at all.

    ” But hey, maybe Hawaii will decide most of its illegal immigrants are white and decide white folks need to carry their birth certificates.”
    Is that the case? ARE the majority of illegal immigrants in Hawaii white? Or are you trying to say that racial profiling is arbitrary? Because that’s retarded, as you should know…racial profiling is the result of simple odds-playing. If a statistically significant number of a certain race are likely to do a certain thing, then they will be more likely to be stopped for it. I’m sorry that that bothers you…but to expect police to completely ignore statistical facts is just absurd. It will always factor in at least a tiiiiiiiiiiny bit, and the question is HOW MUCH will we allow it to factor in.

    ” Oh, I guess those Asian looking people are safe in Arizona? It’s only the brown people were worried about? I mean, apparently they’re the bulk of the problem, so let’s profile them. It works!”

    You’re trying to sound condescending. But it falls flat because you have yet to make an actual point…it is likely that hispanic people will be hassled. Does anyone actually think that other races will be disproportionately hassled? the laws applies to all equally, and all should be stopped if suspicious, but considering the sheer volume of hispanic illegal immigrants, how can you blame the police for having a slightly lower threshhold of suspicion?

    ” Those Canadians sound safe, too, as do East Europeans. And soon Arizona sounds like it’ll be a great draw for African illegals. You’ll miss them, since it’s only brown people you suspect.” Are you an idiot? It is not AT ALL only brown people. Only that hispanic people are statistically more likely to be investigated, due to the sheer overwhelming volume of illegal immigrants who are hispanic. If you find me numbers that show that canadians or asians or africans are anywhere CLOSE to as high as the mexican/south americans, PLEASE let me know…it would certainly change a lot of my opinions.

    ” Gosh, do you have any drug problems in Arizona? You know, maybe you should allow your police to enter the homes of white people at will, since I think it’s mostly white people who do drugs. It’s a big issue, and we spend so much of our federal dollars on the drug war. Let’s stop it in homes, use a little profiling, and we’ll have more money to stop those illegals.”
    First off, if we used profiling, it would be black people’s homes that were entered, as they are statistically more likely to be using drugs than whites. Or Native Hawaiians, who are more likelier still. The difference between whites and hispanics is small, but asians are the absolute least likely to be using. I know this because I’ve looked at the stats. Your comment, however, was a poor attempt to make a racist comment in a bad attempt to make a faulty point. However, for you to equate the need to verify identity (which, news flash, is the same as verifying citizenship, since we can verify from a proven identity) to home invasion is ridiculous. We would all agree that the absolute most efficient way to avoid crime is to drug all citizens and put them in camps where they have no possessions and live in cells that house exactly their bodies. Obviously, that’s RIDICULOUS. Our society must trade a certain amount of privacy in exchange for safety. I actually don’t like it…I don’t like that we have to provide our identity to cops when asked, I feel its intrusive. But I recognize that society disagrees with me, and that this new law is not really any MORE intrusive. You and I both know that in 99 percent of cases, the person will be asked for ID and waved on, just like at border patrol checkpoints today.

    ” Who hires them in Arizona, anyway? I mean they work. Do they just work for other illegals or are their upstanding Arizona businesses who are hiring them? Maybe if you want to do profiling, you could profile every workplace. Seems that might be more efficient.” Actually, in theory all employers are required to verify citizenship.
    The problem is under-the-table employment. The same kind of odd jobs that people take and don’t pay taxes on. It’s not profiling there; EVERYONE is supposed to be verified as part of the employment/tax process. Which I agree with, and which is a case where checking everyone makes sense.

    ” People aren’t foolish in being up in arms over Arizona’s law. They’re appalled that a huge class of legal citizens now fall under suspicion by your law enforcement agencies. They’re upset that Constitutional protections against discrimination are likely being violated. That the right for any American to travel into any other state is trampled on when one class of Americans suddenly has to feel fearful.”

    Are ‘likely’ being violated. That is the most telling part of your whole response. You don’t know. I doubt you’ve read the law, and you certainly don’t know the facts and figures. So you’re talking about something that makes you uncomfortable for reasons you aren’t sure of, and having made up your mind already, are making up arguments as you go along. I notice you seize upon my profiling point, ignoring the fact that, in response to the points that have been brought up as regards to ease of abuse, the law was changed to remove race as a justification. So your whole complaint is worthless. I would posit that despite the enw law language, race will inevitably factor in at least a little, since the odds are stacked so overwhelmingly.

    For your reference, the Border Patrol already maintains the right to check people’s citizenship and detain at will on ‘reasonable suspicion’ grounds. I don’t really like that, just like ultimately i’m not the biggest fan of this law. However, to act as though THIS one is ridiculous, but ignore the fact it’s been that way for YEARS federally is foolishness. The point of the arizona law is that the legislators think the feds are doing a bad job of enforcement, and are tired of having to deal with the consequences of that poor enforcement.

  47. says

    No, I’m an idiot who asked you a question, who was also on a device where I couldn’t look up the requirements for an Arizona drivers license. You can be an idiot back and bring this entire discussion down — you can simply respond.

    So showing a driver’s license when stopped is all someone needs to ensure the Arizona police won’t decide to do any further checks? Because that’s not the impression I’ve gotten. The impression is you might get stopped for a ticket, show your license and yet still find the police decide they want to do some further checking.

    Oh, California licenses do require proof of legal presence to be issued.

    As for brown people being stopped, that’s what you said. That’s explicitly what you said. Hey, sorry brown folks, but there are so many of you that are illegal that profiling is just the way it’s going to be. Regardless of what the law actually suggests should be the case.

    Or you tell me. You’ve stopped someone for speeding. They give you a license. They done? Or what exactly else might cause suspicion of being in the country without papers.

    My point, by the way, in talking about Asians or Africans is that yes, plenty of people believe that Hispanics will be disproportionally.

    But you’re right, my tone was condescending. It’s in part because I couldn’t believe that one the one hand you’d say profiling is just the way things work and on the other you’d say but no, this isn’t going to target people unfairly. I apologize for that. Even if I couldn’t believe what you wrote, I should have responded more even-handedly.

  48. Rebecca Olivas says

    Wow, that would of been a nice option. I think Arizona deserves to be avoided since that law sound to me so unconstutional. Arizona shouldn’t even be having this kind of laws since most Mexican are the ones living and working our fields. Its rare to see a white person working for such a low amount of money.

  49. JM says

    Danny, I will accept your apology, although it seemed a bit backhanded. I don’t KNOW for sure that the cops won’t continue to hassle someone who has shown them legitimate proof of citizenship…just like I can’t KNOW they won’t unconstitutionally search a vehicle. But there are protections in place and it is up to all of us to make sure that those protections STAY in place. You say it’s not the ‘impression’ you get that that will be sufficient…I guess I’ll return to my earlier point about you making up your mind in advance, and ask HOW you developed that impression? What, specifically, makes you think that? It says proof, license is proof…so please tell me what makes you think that? Perhaps there’s something I haven’t heard about.

    And in response to “As for brown people being stopped, that’s what you said. That’s explicitly what you said. Hey, sorry brown folks, but there are so many of you that are illegal that profiling is just the way it’s going to be. Regardless of what the law actually suggests should be the case.”
    Yes, that is what I said. Because it’s a fact of life. The numbers are staggering, and you’ve yet to disagree with that. It’s human nature to think that the more likely scenario is more likely. Can you give me a reason against it except ‘discrimination’? Because here there’s a reason for the discrimination… and I’m not even saying that it’s AWESOME that they’re going to discriminate, I’m just saying that whatever the law says, there WILL be a certain amount of profiling. There is no law now against a white guy driving in a lower-income black neighborhood, but a poster above said he got pulled over all the time for it. Because the cops found it significantly more likely than not that he was doing something shady.

    “Or you tell me. You’ve stopped someone for speeding. They give you a license. They done? Or what exactly else might cause suspicion of being in the country without papers.” Well, since they’ve GIVEN YOU PROOF that they’re legal (assuming its a license that does that), if you continue to have suspicion and detain them, it would be my opinion that you’re acting illegally. Of course that’s my opinion, perhaps that’s not the case. It’s the way the law is written, but perhaps it will be interpreted differently.

    I again say that you need to come up with ACTUAL facts or reasons, rather than “impressions”, before you find fault. Because, as I already said, it very much sounds like you and the other posters made up your mind as soon as you heard about the law, because you don’t like the idea of illegal immigrants being arrested. Maybe I’m wrong, I’m willing to allow for that…are you willing to do the same?

    And Rebecca, whether they work the fields or not, if a person is here illegally, they are breaking the law. Should we just let people ignore all laws they don’t like? ‘Cause there’s a lot of laws I’d love to just go ahead and ignore with impunity. And to your statement that it’s rare to see a white person working for such a low amount…that’s immaterial. Illegal immigrants are already outside the law, so they are also more likely to work for illegal pay (lower than minimum wage, etc.). Your argument holds no water.

  50. says

    JM, this is the core of my problem with the law, when you say:

    “I’m just saying that whatever the law says, there WILL be a certain amount of profiling.”

    Exactly. That makes a mockery of anyone who says “Oh, the law doesn’t permit profiling” or “Oh, the law was just amended, so this won’t happen.”

    I agree. Regardless of how a law is written, the police may not follow it as intended. Profile does and will happen. Hence my concern — the law seems to place a huge number of legal citizens under suspicion.

    Hey, if showing a drivers license when stopped is enough for an officer to think, “Right, they’ve got a license, they’re clear,” fair enough. But since I’ve personally experience a police officer deciding that my license wasn’t good enough just to ID me, just because she wanted to hassle me further, I’m dubious. I guess we’ll see how it goes.

    I’m not against illegal immigrants being arrested. If they’re here illegally, they should be deported, when found. But I am against a wide class of citizens being placed under suspicion simply because their skin is brown. That’s just not what America stands for, to me, and I’d hope there was a better way to enforce the laws.

    And sure, I’m happy to admit, I’ve not read the law in detail. I have pulled it up, but like many laws, it’s pretty hard to actually understand, especially if you’re not a lawyer. I’ve read both pro and con analyses of it. I guess that because there’s so much con, I get the impression the law isn’t as clear cut as it might seem.

  51. Molly says

    I was just on Google Maps looking for a route from Dallas, TX to Bakersfield, CA…. No “Avoid Arizona” option…

  52. Amy says

    I didn’t write this, I copied it from a similar discussion.

    There is one reason and one reason only why there is ‘illegal immigration’ to Arizona. That reason is the fact that more than half of Arizona businesses employ undocumented immigrants. 98% of undocumented immigrants come across the border in DIRECT response to job availability from employers who don’t want to pay citizens a fair market value for their work. Instead, they want to pay less than minimum wage without offering any benefits. These employers don’t want to follow state and local labor laws either, and hiring undocumented immigrants gives them an obvious club with which to hammer their undocumented work force into compliance, in a system closely resembling serfdom or indentured servitude.

    The ONLY way to get ‘illegal immigration’ under control (which, btw, wasn’t illegal until 1929 when Congress wanted to stop immigration from Italy) is to impose a fine of about $250,000 per illegal immigrant employee plus 3 or 4 times the amount of that employee’s salary, in addition to a 10 year prison term for each offense. ‘Illegal immigration’ would immediately stop! And it wouldn’t cost $30-50 billion to fence the border or $100-200 billion per year to patrol the border effectively without actually dealing with the real problem.

    The reality is that we do not have an ‘illegal immigrant’ problem. We have an illegal employer problem.

  53. JM says

    “I agree. Regardless of how a law is written, the police may not follow it as intended. Profile does and will happen. Hence my concern — the law seems to place a huge number of legal citizens under suspicion.”

    Not to be mean, but you’re contradicting yourself. You say that it might be abused regardless of how it’s written, then say ‘the law’ puts a huge number of legal citizens under suspicion. It’s not the law doing that, it’s the people enforcing it improperly, which needs to be stopped. Unless you’re saying that it puts legal citizens in general under suspicion, which if you are, as it stands now, they already are from Federal sources (Border Patrol). They claim the rights to a 100 mile zone completely encircling every border (which means pretty much all of Florida, I think, and certainly all of Hawaii, as well as huge chunks of most states) as being an area they can do whatever they want in the name of protecting the border, and a zone farther than that that they’re willing to restrict themselves a little bit. The Az legislature just thinks they’re doing a crappy job, and wants to give local cops the authority to do something that would otherwise be out of their jurisdiction. Remember: illegal immigrants have up till now been violating only federal law. I don’t like the checkpoints, at all, that are on east west roads north of the border. I think they violate our rights in the same way you feel this law does…but since society accepts the one, it seems very odd to me not to accept the other.

    I would like to say that overall, I’m not technically in favor of the law, in that I don’t like it, but there’s lots of similar laws, and it seems weird to single this one out. Therfore, from a practical standpoint, if we accept the other ones as ok, then this one is as well by extension. And it’s to solve a problem that the Az legislature is seeing…if someone comes up with a truly better one, they might listen.

    And Amy, I partially agree with your point, but have a few problems. First off, (and I know you didn’t write it, but the pedantic in me wants to be corrective), the law was passed in 1921 first as the Immigration Restriction Act of 1921, and then as the Emergency Quota Act in 21, followed in 24 by the Immigration Act of 1924. And it wasn’t just to keep out the Italians…there were all sorts of supposedly undesireable races they didn’t like. Asians were completely blocked! Non-whites weren’t eligible for naturalization, and so therefore were completely barred by the act, which set quotas in an attempt to keep the various ratios of the races intact. (and which, of course, DID drastically affect the Italians, don’t get me wrong.)

    Anyway, I believe your stat that “over half” of Az employers employ illegal immigrants is inflated, and although the 98 percent figure is likely correct, they are coming north not with jobs already lined up, but with the idea that it MUST be better up here. They therefore would be likely to continue coming up unless we successfully managed to COMPLETELY eradicate jobs, and even then for awhile after until it sunk in, and I doubt that’s going to be possible, as there will be successfully shady people even with the tough laws you suggest. There’s also the fact that whether they have a reason or not, the immigrants are still breaking the law. They aren’t above it just because they want to be.

  54. Greg Ragland says

    While not at all intending to sound as if I am “looking down my nose” at some of the responses here, I find myself amazed at the lack of common sense and basic knowledge being displayed on BOTH sides of this discussion.

    Let’s start with “Unconstitutional”. If this were so, then the current Federal version also suffers from that flaw. Problem is however, the Constitution lays out what are “Federal areas” of Law, and what are ‘States Area.” The Federal Government does NOT have jurisdiction to override State law. Certainly it can be challenged in Court, and move to the US Supreme Court – the Fed can even start that case. But for Mr Obama to make ANY comment on State Laws is wrong minded, and against the Constitution as it’s laid out. It’s even more silly when it mirrors the Federal Law to begin with.

    Next, let’s look at ‘Do the Jobs you won’t do.” This is plain, unadulterated BS that’s been propagated by Employers who wish to pay LESS to operate. They are forced to pay a Citizen a “Fair Wage”, which impacts their profits – is it any wonder they want to exploit people who will willingly take less? So the (Please excuse the terminology) bleeding hearts out there buy into this fallacy, and it becomes ‘fact’ – when the real truth is that people WOULD do the jobs – if they had the opportunity, that is.

    How about “Brown People”? Considering that the “Brown” have become the largest “Minority” in the US primarily BECAUSE of Illegal Immigration (And yes, it IS *Illegal*, not ‘Undocumented’), it becomes a very gray area when you talk about Racial Profiling. The truth is that no, you cannot tell if someone is Illegal from the color of their skin – but there is no other litmus test out there aside from REALLY asking for “papers”, something people don’t want to happen. So please folks, tell us – how would YOU handle it? Turn a blind eye? Come on, what’s your solution?

    MINE is to change things so that it is no longer profitable (And yes, that IS the correct term) to cross the border illegally. Hit employers with steep fines for bypassing the law to hire Illegals. STOP issuing US (States in most cases) IDs and Driver’s Licenses in favor of a Federally mandated version for use by LEGAL Immigrants and those with Work Visas – dated to coincide with the length of the Visa in question, NOT for a set amount of years. STOP giving health care to anyone and everyone – it sounds harsh, but in these days of “Health Care Reform”, consider how much money goes to feed, shelter and yes, doctor Illegals. Above all, re-examine the “Anchor law” that makes anyone born here an instant citizen.

    No, I am NOT saying we turn away those who NEED immediate, life saving care. I’m saying that the Food Stamps, free clinics and medications, housing assistance & any number of other programs given for FREE, that CITIZENS cannot use, need to be looked at with a critical eye.

    If people truly WANT to be here, let them do so legally. Push for Immigration reform, ease the restrictions to allow more to do so easier. Something needs to be done – the AZ law isn’t the right answer, but at LEAST it’s making the point nation-wide that the problem is larger than reported.

    “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    That means you are welcome to come here, to start a new life as a Citizen of this country – NOT to cross a border, take US dollars and send them home with no intention of becoming a Citizen.

  55. RWD says

    The majority of people in the USA support the Arizona immigration law. All states should pass their version of it, if only as a slap in the face of the federal government.

  56. Dino Weiss says

    Google!!!! are you for REAL, Are you in politics now??????
    What do you know about Drug traffic.
    I will delete Google from my computer………