I see that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is under fire again, and I can understand why. It is possible that “the majority of illegal trespassers” entering Arizona “are bringing drugs in,” but I am skeptical about her comment. Certainly the majority of illegal immigrants (at least those from Mexico) enter the United States out of desperation–and this can be an incentive for drug smuggling. However, from what I’ve seen and experienced (and there are numerous Mexicans here in Pensacola, Florida–some of whom may be here illegally), most of them come to work. And they’re very hard workers–which is something I cannot say, at all, about alot of natural-born American citizens here.
More to the point, however, I have actually examined the controversial Arizona law (Senate Bill 1070). And I’ve concluded that it is (at least in part) in opposition to the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which reads:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
There is certainly a problem with illegal immigration in this country–and desperate measures may need to be taken. But I believe the new Arizona law is too desperate. It is what I would call a gateway-law, opening a gate for law-enforcement officers to search and seize any persons in Arizona (regardless of ethnicity or race)–based entirely upon preconceived ideas. In other words, if this law were enacted in Florida, and I were walking along my street, a law-enforcement officer could stop me (simply because I didn’t look right, to him/her), search me–and arrest me, if I didn’t happen to be carrying my ID.
Therefore, unless I misinterpret it, this Arizona law allows for unreasonable searches and seizures, which is in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment–and is thus unconstitutional.