Define Legal Interaction

15 07 2010

I’ve spent about two weeks now working on teaching my children the entirety of the Civil War, from one hundred years prior through the end and trying to help them fully grasp everything that was at stake in the war.  As we discussed states’ rights and federal will, I started looking more in depth at the issue brewing with Arizona, and I wonder if they will once again secede from the Nation.

It is a heated issue, one that impacts people of every race and I find myself leaning to the conservative fence line in this matter.  While I agree wholeheartedly that illegal is illegal no matter how you try to redefine it, I also find it just as illegal for a member of law enforcement to be permitted to utilize Gestapo tactics to demand papers from individuals who may well be citizens, simply because they may appear to not be legal citizens.  If a person is arrested for criminal activity, then allow it to be determined during their processing whether or not they are a citizen.  It is not something that should be permitted to be assessed during any legal interaction with law enforcement as the definition of legal interaction is too broad to be clearly defined.  Our citizens have the right as citizens to walk down public streets and enter businesses and drive on public roads and live as free citizens without the concern of if they remembered to bring proper paperworks with them to show that they have those rights.  That is a crucial element of being a free citizen.

In 1935, the country established a law that had many parts to define a citizen.  A citizen had to have descended from four individuals who were likewise born in said country.  It was a clarification on an existing law and defined a citizen to a greater specificity.  Individuals who were not descended as such were classified into specific categories, labeling what degree of citizenship and thereby what degree of rights within the country they were afforded.  The law went on to specify that it would not be legal for those who did not have the proper ancestral history to marry a person who did, preventing people from gaining greater rights through marriage. The law also defined the right to work of these residents who were not citizens under the law, prohibiting their employment excepting in specific circumstances.  This too applied to education, cemeteries, library membership, land ownership and much more.  Individuals, both citizens and those who were merely residents in the country, had to be able at any time demanded, to prove their ancestry and their right to claim citizenship.  This law became known as the Nuremberg Law and justified the acts of the Nazi party against the individuals they deemed to not be citizens – those of Jewish ancestry.

Many public libraries require state documents that prove legal residency in order to obtain membership (Source: Los Angeles Public Library); illegals cannot be legally employed nor legally marry within our county;  most who die within our borders are shipped home for burial if the home country can be determined (Source: Mortuary Transport Services).  And now some wish to take these restrictions a step further and demand that those who look the look and talk the talk must present proof during any legal interaction with law enforcement that they have a right to be here?  We fought against this, deciding it was not right to decree what individuals had rights as citizens and which did not.  We fought against the government for their punishment and extradition of residents they deemed not worthy of citizenship.  And yet, here we sit, not even 100 years later and we have government powers that have drawn up similar laws to prevent residents of our country from being free citizens.

The damage this does to individuals who are within our borders legally is acute.  I personally do not care what damage it does in regards to demoralizing illegal aliens or putting them through greater suffering, I 100% support the idea that illegal aliens should be sent back home when discovered.  But I am not discussing illegal aliens.  I am talking about Hispanics who were born in the US or have explored the proper channels to gain their citizenship.  How is it right to them that simply because of the colour of their skin or the accent with which they speak they could be confused for being an illegal immigrant and forced to go through a greater level of investigation than that of a Caucasian red head with a Bostonian accent?  How is it right that we could think to justify this law under the premise that it may catch some illegal aliens?

And I’ve read the commentary that states if they obey the law then they’ve nothing to fear, yet that isn’t how the law reads.  It did, at one time.  At one time it required that only after arrest could such demands be made.  And yet now it defines the right of law enforcement to demand said citizenry proof during any legal interaction with law enforcement.  Legal interaction means that if you are sitting in front of the 7-11 trying to get all five bars on your cell phone, it can be decided that you are loitering.  Legal interaction means you could be trying to enter your home and searching for your keys in the bottom of your purse and the officer believes you may be breaking and entering.  Legal interaction means you could be off balance and take a tumble and they step forward to assist you and they have now interacted with you.  Clarify legal interaction or return once more to the requirement of arrest for criminal activity, but don’t permit this Nazi-esque authority to become enforced as is within our country!



2 responses

9 09 2010


17 09 2010

Thank you

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