Today’s essay is brought to you by California Penal Code, Section 834b.
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.
What this paragraph means is that California police (all of them, at every level) are required (that’s the “shall” part) to comply with Federal immigration laws and authorities in the event that they suspect someone they have arrested is in the country illegally. How they are to ascertain someone’s status? Is California racially profiling? Where is the paragraph that specifically makes it illegal to racially profile, as is contained in Arizona’s S.B. 1070? Very naughty, California.
(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 following:
“Suspected” on what basis? That they are a different color? That they speak with an accent? That they don’t understand English? It sounds to me like racial profiling could easily creep in here.
(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.
“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” means that the arresting agency has to tell the illegal alien that they are, indeed, an illegal alien.
(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.
The arresting agency also has to report the arrest to state and federal officials.
(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 prohibited.
By law, no other California state authority or law enforcement agency can stop another agency from carrying out this law [waves at San Francisco].
The rest of the section goes on to explain the process of notifying the appropriate authorities from the country of origin for said alien. Feel free to read it if you like, but it isn’t really germane to this conversation.
So. Sacramento, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, and West Hollywood are boycotting Arizona, with other cities considering it. Perhaps the leaders of these communities should make sure their own ships are watertight before lobbing cannon balls across the border.
Something I’ve noticed is that, while these cities don’t want California money going to Arizona, they sure don’t seem to have a problem with Arizona money going to California. But perhaps that is beginning to change. According to Sign On San Diego, “The San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau and several hotels report receiving e-mails and letters from Arizona visitors saying they intend to change their plans to travel [to San Diego]” because of the boycotts. The number of reports is relatively small so far (probably fewer than 30), but for every person who goes out of their way to make their position known, how many are there who choose to remain silent about their decision?
Another thing that I found particularly telling lies in one the comments on the Sign On San Diego article:
“I hope you succeed; there are plenty of places in the country that would like economic growth instead of stagnation, bankruptcy, and unemployment… I hope they get your business, and you get your way. Everybody wins, right? Other places get your business, and you go bankrupt… who could ask for more?”
This commenter has actually devolved to fighting perceived hatred with actual hatred and the desire for an entire state and her population to wither and die. Good choice. One thing I’ve learned from the “California” mindset (with apologies to my many sane California friends) is that it’s OK to hate, as long as you hate the correct people or things.
Whether you agree with these laws or not, all I ask is that you do your due diligence and educate yourself thoroughly before the pot goes calling the kettle racist. Emotions alone do not cut it. This goes for both sides.