Amidst the boycotts of Arizona being organized throughout California, some people are starting to realize maybe it’s not the best idea – turns out they kind of rely on our tourists for a lot of their income!
But what makes this especially good is that my friend Marek dug up this little gem – the California Legal Code already contains a law that is very similar to Arizona’s own SB1070 – except theirs is not nearly as carefully worded!
834b. (a) Every law enforcement agency in California shall fully
cooperate with the United States Immigration and Naturalization
Service regarding any person who is arrested if he or she is
suspected of being present in the United States in violation of
federal immigration laws.
(b) With respect to any such person who is arrested, and suspected
of being present in the United States in violation of federal
immigration laws, every law enforcement agency shall do the
(1) Attempt to verify the legal status of such person as a citizen
of the United States, an alien lawfully admitted as a permanent
resident, an alien lawfully admitted for a temporary period of time
or as an alien who is present in the United States in violation of
immigration laws. The verification process may include, but shall
not be limited to, questioning the person regarding his or her date
and place of birth, and entry into the United States, and demanding
documentation to indicate his or her legal status.
(2) Notify the person of his or her apparent status as an alien
who is present in the United States in violation of federal
immigration laws and inform him or her that, apart from any criminal
justice proceedings, he or she must either obtain legal status or
leave the United States.
(3) Notify the Attorney General of California and the United
States Immigration and Naturalization Service of the apparent illegal
status and provide any additional information that may be requested
by any other public entity.
(c) Any legislative, administrative, or other action by a city,
county, or other legally authorized local governmental entity with
jurisdictional boundaries, or by a law enforcement agency, to prevent
or limit the cooperation required by subdivision (a) is expressly
Notice some of the similarities: Arizona’s law calls for “reasonable suspicion,” California’s calls for “suspicion.” Both laws require LEOs to check with the feds and alert them the person is in custody if they are here illegally. The differences? California’s law requires the LEO to inform them they must obtain legal status to remain in the US; Arizona’s makes it a felony. More poignant to the current debate, however, is that California’s law places no limitations on the suspicion: there’s no “reasonable” qualifier, and there’s no clause forbidding race, color, or national origin as a factor as there is in the Arizona law.
So, hey, California Liberals? Get the plank out of your own eye before you go worrying about us. And if San Diego could go ahead and boycott the rest of the state – you know, to be consistent? – that would be great. And entertaining to watch.