Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sandstrom -- Tries to Sweeten, But Then Throws Excrement on His AZ Style Law

In a DesNews article that is tracking the developments behind Sandstrom's (R-Orem) Arizona style law recently noted three changes to his bill that are of interest. One in particular is fairly positive, and the other is fluff, and the other proposal stinks to high heaven.

First, Sandstorm is now collaborating with Hispanic state senator Luz Robles on providing an incentive for legal migration with streamlined permission for worker visas. Although it is another example of states attempting to usurp Federal jurisdiction, it is a step in a better direction from the "pin a yellow star on them" Nazi-esque policy that Sandstrom was originally pursuing and that Arizona already tried to mandate. It will be interesting to see how, and if, the state of Utah can make guest worker programs a reality without the cooperation and mandate of the Federal government.

The second change is language that specifically outlaws racial profiling:
Second, Sandstrom, R-Orem, said he is trying to take extra measures to ensure that his bill will not allow racial profiling. "It specifically prohibits racial profiling. It's the first time in state law we've actually specifically prohibited racial profiling," he said.
The only problem is in enforcement. I have known more than one Utah police officer that has admitted that they can find cause to pull any motorist over in five minutes. Except for in the most blatant and (quite frankly) ludicrous circumstances, there is no way to enforce racial profiling laws against police officers. The nature of this law requires racial profiling. If a police officer has the urge, that officer will have no problem finding cause to pull over a brown skinned motorist. Although I appreciate the attempt to sweeten the bills overpowering stench, like a pubescent boy, Rep Sandstrom needs to be reminded that Brut Aftershave over BO generally makes for stinkier-musky BO.

The final change is the addition of language introduced by Sen. Dennis Stowell (R-Parowan) that allows state workers to rat out suspected illegal immigrants. Glen Warchol's recent blog post quoted the duo as follows:
Stowell:"We need to set up a process where the employees can go and feel safe. That they're not going to violate any laws."
Sandstrom explained the paranoid-snitch section of his law to ABC 4 News: "If [state workers] suspect that somebody is fraudulently attempting to gain benefits here in our state, they have to turn over those names to law enforcement."
This addition to Sandstrom's bill smells to high heaven. When I first heard of the Stowell proposal, I joked that Sandstrom and Stowell should combine proposed bills and throw in the re-opening of Topaz Internment Camp as a jobs measure. Unfortunately, I can see now that such proposals aren't that far-fetched. Given Herbert's lack of a spine and his pre-session promise to sign the immigration bill that the Lege puts on his desk, Sandstrom and Stowell's proposal may very likely be signed into law this year.

Therefore I recant my last post's jocular position. Don't re-open Topaz Internment Camp!

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