Byron York on the Arizona Bill

Posted: April 27, 2010 by datechguy in opinion/news
Tags: , ,

York proves once again why he is the best reporter in the US today, he actually gets to the bottom of the Arizona immigration bill:

Critics have focused on the term “reasonable suspicion” to suggest that the law would give police the power to pick anyone out of a crowd for any reason and force them to prove they are in the U.S. legally. Some foresee mass civil rights violations targeting Hispanics.

What fewer people have noticed is the phrase “lawful contact,” which defines what must be going on before police even think about checking immigration status. “That means the officer is already engaged in some detention of an individual because he’s violated some other law,” says Kris Kobach, a University of Missouri Kansas City Law School professor who helped draft the measure. “The most likely context where this law would come into play is a traffic stop.”

As far as “reasonable suspicion” is concerned, there is a great deal of case law dealing with the idea, but in immigration matters, it means a combination of circumstances that, taken together, cause the officer to suspect lawbreaking. It’s not race — Arizona’s new law specifically says race and ethnicity cannot be the sole factors in determining a reasonable suspicion. emphasis mine

It’s amazing what you actually find out when you read bills or have reporters do so.

Over to you Joe and Mika

Update: Eugene Robinson, Joe & Mika continue to hit the bill although in fairness Robinson concedes that the border need to be protected. Have anyone of them read the bill like Byron York?

  1. Chris Lackey says:

    Pete, what circumstances would give an officer reasonable suspicion that a person was not a legal resident?

  2. […] you know a good tomato from a bad one? By datechguy My arch enemy friend Chris asked a reasonable question in comments on my Bryon York post. To Wit: Pete, what circumstances would give an officer […]

  3. bbbustard says:

    Byron York is totally disingenuous. He writes as if Kobach were this, normal, reasonable guy, but he isn’t. The statement that the law was carefully crafted to be legal is pretty meaningless, when you know that more than half of the other anti-immigrant laws that Kobach has written were overturned. Kobach billed the town of Farmer’s Branch Texas 100,000 for crafting and defending an anti-immigrant ordinance. They have been ruled as unconstitutional – although the town spent over $4 million defending them
    What is legal contact? If there’s a traffic problem, and an officer is called on to direct traffic – his telling a driver to stop is legal contact. Even if the driver has totally followed all instructions.
    It will get interesting when it starts to cost Arizona a whole lot of money.