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Law will waste tax dollars

by Ken Staley
| April 30, 2010 9:00 PM

I was pleased to note, when moving to Idaho, that the state was in the hands of fiscal conservatives, responsible people who took their duties as conservators of the public taxes to heart, exercising sound judgment as well as thrift in their approach to expenses.

Imagine my surprise when the state decided to waste millions of taxpayer dollars, not to mention depriving citizens of hours of critical work from its attorney general staff, in pursuit of a lawsuit that has no chance of standing up in any federal court.

Now I read in The Press (4/24) that Sen. Mike Jorgenson is interested in copying the blatantly unconstitutional actions of the Arizona Legislature. I'm assuming he has decided it's time Idaho put an end to those thousands and thousands of pesky Canadians invading from the north to take "American" jobs, get welfare and sit back in the lap of luxury.

The problem with Sen. Jorgenson - and it seems the entire Arizona Legislature - is that they fail to realize that the state does not have the power to arrest or deport illegal aliens. There are specific reasons our Founding Fathers did not leave the ability to chase "undesirables" from one state to the next. Someone, someplace, had to draw the line ... and they drew that line with the Constitution.

The Arizona legislation is a poison pill waiting to be swallowed. Such legislation ties the hands of local law enforcement officers who often have a difficult enough time obtaining crucial information from a tight, closed community that is already suspicious of everyone in uniform. Now that community, illegal or otherwise, will see itself under an even greater threat. Resources of an already overly-stressed work force will now be wasted on stopping suspected illegal citizens. This action alone will set back almost every attempt at community policing for decades if allowed to stand.

While there are some who dismiss the racial profiling aspect of this case, those who issue such denials, from all I've seen and read, are not Hispanic. Such legislation is a slap in the face to every Latino citizen in this country.

So I recommend to those in Boise who think that Sen. Jorgenson might be on the right path to carefully read the Constitution. Passing such frivolous and mean-spirited legislation - legislation that will open the doors to many lawsuits and waste valuable local resources, not to mention millions of tax dollars in courts - is a bad idea.

I wonder, if such legislation were passed for all people, could Sen. Jorgenson instantly and immediately produce all the necessary papers that proved he had a right to live and work in this country? Does he carry those documents in his car? In his wallet?

Ken Staley is a Coeur d'Alene resident.

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