Is the Arizona Immigration Law Racist?

Is the Arizona law racist? Not only no, but obviously no. For the simple logical reason that a law cannot be racist, only people can.

For example, suppose our betters in Congress passed a law stating that self-identified whites shall be granted twenty bonus points on each SAT test. So-called race-norming laws, rules, or mandates like this are quite common.

By which is meant, awarding advantages to individuals because their self-reported race matches certain categories are often institutionalized as lawful. Interestingly, it is still, at least here in the States, “self-identified” and not externally measured race.

But it is the people who created the law, and those that follow or implement it, who are racist, if by racist we mean people with a prejudiced belief that one race is superior to others, or a person who discriminates based on race (dictionary definitions).

Those who created the bonus-point law must either have believed that non-whites are, for whatever reason, superior to whites in SAT test scores, or they just felt like discriminating against non-whites for reasons of race, or they shared both attitudes.

Two things are of especial note here. First, you cannot have a positive without a negative, for just the same reason you cannot have a one-sided coin. Our race-norming law positively discriminates for whites, and simultaneously negatively discriminates against non-whites. Thus, whether the law is “good” discrimination or “bad” depends on your perspective.

Second, the people who created this law are racist while the people who create another law which awards points to specific whites who suffer identifiable (or provable) specific acts directed against them are not. That’s confusing, so here’s an example.

A white person, while taking the SAT, is told arbitrarily to leave the examination room early by the proctor. Our second law states that if the proctor’s actions can be proved to be arbitrary, whether or not the proctor made his decision based on the race of the test taker, the test taker should be awarded, say, a re-test.

Suppose the proctor indeed kicked out the white person because he was white. Then the law allows for a re-test. But the law is not awarding a re-test because the test taker was white. It is allowing him this re-test because he specifically was wronged. Thus, those that created this law are not acting as racists.

The Arizona immigration law, SB1070, states that if a person is detained by the police for some normal reason (traffic stop, beheading, breaking and entering, etc.), that the police also determine whether there is “reasonable suspicion” that the detainee is in the States illegally.

The law cannot be racist, but were the authors of this law acting as racists when they created it? Suppose the “worst case” scenario, which is that all illegal aliens in this country are native (and not white) Mexican. That is, each person who broke the law to come here is non-white.

Empirically we know that some of these law-breakers will commit other crimes that warrant their detention by the police, just as there will be citizens who also commit crimes and must be detained. The illegals whose status’ are checked will, of course, be discovered and dealt with, presumably by deportation. Citizens will go to jail.

Each deported person, by our assumption, will be a non-white. But the extreme ratio of non-white deportees cannot be the result of a racist act, just because the ratio could be no other value, regardless of the intentions of the law’s creators. So it cannot be legal deportations which are causing concern.

Some worry that police will indiscriminately target non-whites for immigration checks, even though the law specifically forbids such actions. Thus, critics, such as the Big O, must argue that the law’s creators are racist because these critics feel that Arizona lawmakers know that some police will eventually violate their mandate and indiscriminately check non-whites. Or critics must argue that the lawmakers are not racist, but that police certainly will be. Or they can argue both.

This must be the case, because the law has not gone into effect yet (it does in two days). There is thus no evidence of racist acts except fear that some police might act in a racist fashion.

And so they might, but again they might not. And so they might (or not) in the absence of the law. But since there is no direct evidence—there are only counterfactuals taken as factuals—that racist acts by police will be many in number, it seems a good policy to implement the law and watch what happens.

Incidentally, and although it is irrelevant to the logical points made here, my feeling is that we ought to allow as many Mexicans to become US citizens as possible.


  1. Denver

    “Is the Arizona Immigration Law Racist?”

    Jeez, I dunno. If the AZHP (AZSP?) stop a Swede, who cannot prove she is here legally (no drivers’ license), is that racist?

  2. a

    “For the simple logical reason that a law cannot be racist, only people can. ”

    How about a law that says, “All members of X race must be put in jail.”? I guess I would consider that law racist. Would you not? Or are we making some metaphysical point about what can have intent?

  3. Briggs

    a (Isn’t anonymity grand?),

    I would not. I would say that the authors of that law are racists. As are any that seek to implement it.

    And, yes, we are making a logical (not to say, metaphysical) point. The point is what constitutes as evidence for racism. The evidence, for the Arizona law thus far, is purely imaginary, or as I say, counterfactual. Which is to say, non-existent.

    If you disagree, then this is your chance to say exactly how those that will enforce, or those who wrote that law—thus far not implemented—have engaged in racist actions.

  4. Ken

    Crying “racist” or “racism” seems to be the tactic du jour for deflecting attention from a real issue & poisoning the emotional content to ensure any reasoned discussion or debate is effectively squelched. Nuff on that…

    However, the Arizona immigration law (SB 1070) does appear to have a fundamental flaw in its design, the gist (and only the gist) I’ll summarize here.

    Under US Federal law the Feds have constitutional authority to enforce immigration matters. That right is not formally delegated to the states. It is on this premise that the Dept of Justice (DOJ) is formally challenging SB1070.

    There’s a statutory accommodation, referred to as “287G” that, in effect, deputizes State authorities to allow them to enforce immigration matters. What Arizona failed to do, it appears, was recognize the Federal & constitutional statutory priority on immigration issues, not just a little, but completely & totally and because of this, from what I can tell DOJ will likely win at having Arizona’s SB 1070 struck down.

    Wiki has a summary of 287G at:

    IF SB1070 is struck down it only means that Arizona will have to go back to the drawing board & draft the law properly — it does NOT mean that Arizona cannot accomplish the intent of the law as its generally perceived.

    BENCHMARK: Prince Willian County, Virginia (USA), for example, did — quite effectively — what Arizona’s law is trying to enable but AFTER getting the 287G program training/certification/whatever-it-is. They started this in Dec 2006 (with a resolution to pursue this course of action) & by late 2008 or 2009 had effectively cleared problematic neighborhoods of undesirables.

    Thus, clearly State, or subordinate law enforcement CAN effectively enforce immigration matters and do so legally. In Prince Willam County’s case “racism” wasn’t a factor of any significance.

    Also, one thing Prince William County (PWC) did was consult the local police that would have to enforce the law for input–something else Arizona didn’t do–prompting many police/sheriffs to support DOJ’s challenge (i.e. Arizona defined by its lawmakers & law enforcement is a “house divided” — and unnecessarily so). PWC also did some outreach…and charges of “racism” weren’t all that apparent (though the public’s perception of police did vary along predictable ethnic, etc. lines).

    In short, Arizona’s intent on immigration control & the “spirit of SB 1070” is something I, and most readers here will likely, support….but….the approach they took appears to be a bit ham-handed & legally flimsy, if not legally unsupportable. If that’s the case, I am inclined to hear what DOJ & the courts have to say & won’t get too exited if they strike it down as unconstitutional.

    Which is to say they can go back & do it right…and we ought not accept anything less, much less be frustrated if this is mandated as an outcome of the DOJ challenge.

    The ends of immigration enforcement do not justify the means of sloppy or legally unsupportable statutory fiat. This is still a nation of law–a core foundation–and we cannot let our emotions & good intentions to circumvent that.

    Of course Arizona’s SB 1070 may survive DOJ’s challenge.

    But win or lose, its not the end of immigration enforcement…just an odd case of nuance legal technicalities.

    REference: The DOJ website has the DOJ challenge to SB 1070 & supporting briefs; anyone perusing these will likely find the real issues a bit more complex and entangled with other issues. Prince William County, Virgina (VA) went about it methodically & succeeded quite well, which is why you probably haven’t heard about it; there’s some info available on-line including Prince William County’s “Illegal Immigration Enforcement Status Report” (a powerpoint presentation in *.pdf format) dated September 9, 2008 that summarizes how they went about it.

  5. DAV

    “The Arizona immigration law, SB1070, states … a person is detained by the police for some normal reason … the police [can/shall/should/must] also determine whether there is ‘reasonable suspicion’ that the detainee is in the States illegally.”

    I can go along with finding or searching for “evidence” but determining if there is “suspicion”? What do they do? Take a poll? Talk about lowering the bar! Is it targeting Mexicans? Who else? How many Latvians will there be in an illegal border crossing on the Mexican border? Is that bad? The answer depends on whether illegal Mexicans should be given a free pass.

    If I emigrated from Mexico had to work for citizenship, it would bug the hell out of me knowing a whole lot of somebodies can skate in and hang around without much fear of being caught. Seems to me the legal ones should be welcoming this.

    Will this law be abused? Sure. There isn’t one that hasn’t been before so why should this be an exception? Listening to the off duty at some of the local hang-outs (not just local cops, we get state, MP’s, FBI, not-so-Secret Service too) it’s hard not to get the impression that “bully” is a primary requirement for a badge. (On the bright side, the renta’s and wannabe’s sound much worse — maybe there really is a filter in place).

    OTOH, it’s my understanding that CA and VA (of all places) have similar laws and no one has been whining about them. I doubt the police will see this as a license to harrass. The one’s that want to harrass probably already do and the one’s that don’t won’t see it as a new requirement.

  6. Flying under the radar during all this is the federal  Secure Communities program that essentially does the same thing. Except, of course, in those idiotic self-destructive cities labeling themselves as “sanctuaries”.
    Ken makes interesting points, too, but to return to the topic in today’s environment the general rule is anything or anyone may be labeled “racist” by:
    1. Any person of color.
    2. Any member of a third world society.
    3. Any person voluntarily “speaking up” for any person of color or member of a third world society.
    4. Any politician.
    5. Any journolist.
    6. Any individual seeking to make a living without actually doing anything.
    7. Other selected persons or entities as needed.
    This rule is self-proving. Once spoken, it is valid and adjudicated. No appeal is permitted.

    As Matt sez, if the general rule holds then there must also be a corollary rule stating that only certain persons falling in at least one of the following categories may be so labeled:
    1. Caucasians.
    2. Christians.
    3. Conservatives.
    4. Republicans.
    5. Talk Show Hosts
    6. Statisticians to the Stars.
    Once so labeled, accused persons are expected to surrender their worldly goods and minor children to the benefit of the state, don garments of sack-cloth and commence a 20 year vow of silence. Res ipsa loquitur.

  7. DAV

    Ya know, if you think about it, it’s the VA law that smacks of bigotry. On the surface, it sounds about as sensible and necessary as Iowa passing off-shore oil drilling laws. Gotta wonder at the purpose. Do fence jumpers from Mexico have VA as their goal or is it that Virginians just think that? Prince William County to boot! According to the census people, PWC had a 30% growth rate in 2000 down from a 121% upswings in 1960 and1970. Maybe they’re all attracted to the razzle-dazzle of Manassas City?

  8. Ken

    RE “suspicion” & determining if someone is in the country illegally, here’s a couple of quotes from the AZ law–and note that in each case the AZ law qualifies the approach by directly linking it (the approach) to Federal law:



    And it can go on — but having a “suspicion” then acting on verifying if that suspicion of illegality is true is very tightly proscribed. Hardly seems likely that racism will be a factor…more likely a police officer will determine that they’ve got better things to do & will thus lose (or fail to achieve in the first place) a suspicion of illegal residency status.

  9. Ken

    Technicallly, SB 1070 (aka “Arizona’s New Immigration Law”) isn’t a “statute” per se.

    Rather it is an “enactment” by the Legislature that merged new laws with old laws and amended laws, all dealing with immigration.

    That’s per a judge that was hearing a case brought by the ACLU (found after scrounging around on-line during lunch).

    Also, there’s a couple of old (1970’s era) US Supreme Court cases that limit the Fed’s authority on immigration-related laws implemented by states. One is De Canas v. Bica (1976) where the court held 8-0 that a California law prohibiting employers from hiring illegal immigrants was not pre-empted by federal law.

    There’s another, & I lost the cite, allowing state law enforcement to stop & inquire about such matters, though I don’t recall the details.

    Those precedents, and there may be others, may suffice to keeping SB 1070 lawful.

    Also SB 1070 precisely defines who can determine immigration status — and its NOT everybody:


    Also, 287(g) limitations may be de facto accommodated by the above terms — making SB 1070 lawful.

    It’s very hard for me to envision how, given the above constraint, racial profiling could manifest to any substantive degree. Per the terms levied, any such inquiry [if it is to occur at all] is incidental to another reason for stopping a person(s).

    Again, this is a nuanced legal issue–with many of the most relevant legal nuances/references located in precedent cases.

  10. Doug M

    AZ would benefit if they could establish some criteria that define “reasonable suspicion.”

    I don’t understand the Justice department’s challenge based on the supremacy clause. States are alowed to further regulate practices that the Federal Government has already covered, so long as the state law doesn’t contradict federal law. The federal goverment regulates controled substances. The state can have its own system of drug laws.

  11. Matt

    There certainly are (were?) illegal immigrants in PWC, and in VA and in the DC region, though they mainly seem to come from Central America. See, for instance, CASA de Maryland. From past news reports, they seem to be the largest (or at least noisiest) group of Community Organizers about this topic.

    Also from Virginia (in Fairfax County, next to Dulles Airport), I give you the former Herndon Day Labor Center. It made some national headlines at the time.

  12. DAV

    Ken, interesting.

    The use of the word “there” in your quoted section. Ambiguous: does it mean “in those likely places” or does it mean “when”? Also interesting is the word “shall”. Meaning: the officer MUST do so unless there is no “reasonable suspicion”. IOW: the existence of “suspicion” determines the requirement (along with “WHEN PRACTICAL”)? That doesn’t sound very prohibitive.

    AZ law qualifies the approach by directly linking it (the approach) to Federal law
    Oh?? Here’s the text of 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c).

    (c) Obligation to respond to inquiries
    The Immigration and Naturalization Service shall respond to an inquiry by a Federal, State, or local government agency, seeking to verify or ascertain the citizenship or immigration status of any individual within the jurisdiction of the agency for any purpose authorized by law, by providing the requested verification or status information.

  13. DAV

    Matt, not saying there aren’t any — just wondering why PWC thought it necessary to have a law. With a 30% poulation increase according to the 2000 census (actually part of a steady state rise — the 121% increase in 1970 was of the same magnitude), how many of them are illegal immigrants?

    I also wonder how someone goes about counting those who very much would not want to be counted (for one reason or another). Where are those stats coming from?

  14. Ken

    Regarding stopping someone who is suspicious and appears to be of Mexican or hispanic descent: that’s been determined by the US Supreme Court to be legal when it occurs at or near the US border: U.S. vs. Brignoni-Ponce, 1975 (this is the other relevant Supreme Court case I eluded to above).

    Presumably that since the above has not yet been a problem vis-a-vis racial profiling/racism, etc., and, Arizona’s SB 1070 doesn’t add anything more than is already permissible — and in particular it aligns with the 35 year old Brignon-Ponce case, it seems highly likely that additional racial profiling, etc. is not any more likely following adoption of SB 1070 than before.

    Here’s a summary from Wiki followed by links to the case:

    “United States v. Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U.S. 873 (1975), was a decision by the United States Supreme Court, which held that the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution does allow a roving patrol of the United States Border Patrol to stop a vehicle near the United States–Mexico border and question its occupants about their citizenship and immigration status, when suspicion that the occupants appear to be of Mexican ancestry, combined with other articulable facts. Except at the border and its functional equivalents, patrolling officers may stop vehicles only if they are aware of specific articulable facts, together with rational inferences therefrom, reasonably warranting suspicion that the vehicles contain aliens who may be illegally in the country.”

    Also, from:
    Those who think the racial profiling encouraged in Arizona’s new immigration law is unconstitutional should think again, two law professors say.

    “A 1975 U.S. Supreme Court decision, United States v. Brignoni-Ponce, approved the kind of racial profiling contemplated by Arizona’s new immigration law, according to law professors Gabriel Chin and Kevin Johnson. That doesn’t mean they like the decision; writing at the Washington Post they say it has been “out of the constitutional mainstream” since it was decided.

    “Chin is a professor at the University of Arizona Rogers College of Law and Johnson a professor at the University of California Davis School of Law. The Arizona law requires police to seek proof of a person’s immigration status if they have a reasonable suspicion the person is in the country illegally.

    “At issue in Brignoni-Ponce was whether the Border Patrol had the power to stop vehicles near the Mexican border and question the occupants about their immigration status. The court ruled that the “likelihood that any given person of Mexican ancestry is an alien is high enough to make Mexican appearance a relevant factor.”

    “Arizona lawmakers apparently took note of the Supreme Court case, the law professors say, when they wrote the law to say police may not consider race, color or national origin in implementing the law, except to the extent permitted by the U.S. or Arizona constitution.

    “The federal government’s challenge to the law focuses on a different argument: that the state’s law is pre-empted by federal immigration law. The professors say that claim is likely to prevail.

    “Another expert, Temple law professor Peter Spero, isn’t so sure. He told the Wall Street Journal Law Blog that the challenge is “not a slam dunk for the federal government.”

    “Asked what section of the Constitution governs immigration, he said there is no express mention. “It’s interesting; nothing in the Constitution says anything about immigration,” Spero told the Law Blog. “But it goes back to the late 19th century, in which the power became vested in the general foreign affairs power. Part of the theory is that if you have a state offending a foreign country, it could lead to serious diplomatic disputes.””

    AGAIN, ANY REVIEW OF THE ABOVE, ARIZONA’S SB 1070 (NOT COUNTING BLATHER & MISINFORMATION FROM SUPERFICIAL, AND WORSE NEWS REPORTS), and, THE DEPT OF JUSTICE (DOJ) CHALLENGE SHOWS THAT THIS CASE IS HARDLY STRAIGHTFORWARD AND THE OUTCOME IS ANYTHING BUT CLEAR. The relevant references are scattered. One thing that is clear is that most of what is discussed is very superficial and usually very misleading.

  15. When did “Mexican” become a race???? For that matter, when did “Hispanic” become a race???

    The entire concept of “race” is highly questionable. The Race card, so frequently played these days, is based on a twisted and a-scientific view of our species.

    Re Arizona — if an illegal border jumpers carrying a submachine guns and packing hard drugs shoot and kill American citizens, would it be okay to arrest them, given that they all come from Mexico? Or would that be (ominous sound of a kettle drum) “racist”?

    The problem here is that people are so frightened of their own government that they are afraid to speak TRUTH TO POWER.

    God forbid you should be branded a racist for defending your own life against some violent sociopath who happens to be a member of some ethnic minority (which is always the case, because all ethnicities are minorities).

    The solution is not more laws, but the arming of Americans with bigger and better weaponry. The law be damned.

  16. Matt

    This 3 year old story sounds about right to what I remember from local news at the time:

    “As an eight year resident of Prince William county in Virginia I have witnessed the huge influx of Hispanic residents, estimated to have increased from 9.7% of the population in 2000 to 18% in 2005 – it has to be higher this year (WTOP News, July 2007).

    This influx of Latino people, mainly from Central American countries, has created a sort of hysteria amongst Prince William’s largely conservative voting base. The ‘migrant workers’ gathered at 7-11 convenience stores (waiting for work), the boom of Hispanic shopping centers (food & ‘back-home’ goods), and not to mention the neighbors next door – since Hispanic homeownership has risen 2.2% from 2000 to 2005 in the United States.”

    As a follow up from February 2008 (7 months after passage):

    “Nearly 400 illegal immigrants booked at the Prince William Manassas Regional Adult Detention Center have been held for federal immigration violations since a new program started in July.”

    Since the initial uproar, I haven’t heard much about it (though I haven’t actively followed it, either). Another local factor in this sort of thing was the rise of Salvadoran gangs, which got a lot of play a few years back. I recall stuff like machete murders and hands chopped off. I don’t think the guys looking for work as day laborers generally were involved in this sort of thing, though supposedly the gangs were involved in human trafficking and brining in new immigrants. And those sorts of stories surely contributed to the hysteria mentioned in the above linked article.

  17. DAV

    Matt, I think that was my point. The hysteria is over the influx of Hispanics and not about illegals at all. A whopping 400 is about what it woud take to fill a crowded bar. The 30% population rise in 2000 was about 65000/10 years or 6500/year. If all 400 showed up in the same year that would be less than 7% of the annual increase. The PWC law seems an overreaction.

  18. Ray

    I wasn’t aware that there was such a thing as “Arizona immigration law”.

    One of my friends recently retired to Phoenix, Arizona and he didn’t mention any legal requirements to immigrate to Arizona.

  19. Matt


    Not sure I agree with you. The 400 illegals identified were people who were first arrested, then later found to be illegal immigrants. I’d suppose that the majority of illegal immigrants never got arrested, and so were not part of that 400. In fact, TFA states, “Originally expected to be capped at no more than 40 inmates a month, the program has averaged 73 inmates per month since September.” So they caught more people than they thought they would.

    There were a lot of demographic changes in PWC over the last decade, much of it due to people being driven further and further from DC to avoid the high cost of living at the expense of killer commutes. So while it’s true that most of the influx wasn’t from illegal immigrants, that’s not to say that the population of illegal immigrants didn’t go up.

  20. DAV

    Matt, perhaps but how/where were those 400 arrested? I find it hard to believe the rest scattered like roaches to breed in little hidey holes. 73/mo doesn’t sound very impressive.
    Sure it’s nearly double the expectation but it’s still around 2/day. That doesn’t sound like a huge problem — particularly in an area with how many people? 400K? And the 18% Hispanic population is what? 72K? Faced with this the good people of PWC see 400 illegals a major issue? Gimme a break.

    I still would like to know how people estimate the illegal population.

  21. Matt

    The prison saw 400 illegals in that time frame. These were people arrested for “normal” crimes, then later determined to also be in the country illegally:

    “…of the first 22 inmates referred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement included those accused of crimes as serious as murder and rape and as minor as trespassing or misdemeanor assault.”

    The total arrests were about 12K, out of a population of roughly 390K, so if we assume that illegals were arrested at the same rate as the rest of the population, I’d expect something like 13K illegal aliens, or 3-4% or so of the population. But, of course, who knows?

    I found the PWC 2008 Crime statistics (pdf) report. I couldn’t find anything in there estimating the total illegal alien population. Page 14 includes the following (there’s more, including more detailed breakdowns):

    “Total persons vs. illegal alien data

    * Of all persons arrested or summonsed
    in Prince William County, 1.7% were
    determined to lack legal status.

    * 7.8% of all persons who were physically
    arrested were determined to be illegal

    Illegal alien data
    * 86.9% of those suspected to be illegal
    aliens were arrested on misdemeanor or
    traffic charges.

    * 9% were arrested on felony charges.”

  22. Harrywr2

    DAV says:
    27 July 2010 at 11:27 am

    “If I emigrated from Mexico had to work for citizenship, it would bug the hell out of me knowing a whole lot of somebodies can skate in and hang around without much fear of being caught. Seems to me the legal ones should be welcoming this.”

    You should read up on US immigration procedures and quota’s. For all intent and purposes, there is no such thing as ‘legal’ immigration from Mexico to the US.

    Legal ways to immigrate to the US.
    1) Family
    2) Have a professional degree and be offered a job by a US corporation after US corporation certifies no suitable American is available to do the work.
    3) Have a doctorate.
    4) Invest at least $1,000,000 in a US business(buy a flea bag motel or 7-eleven)
    4) Apply for one of the limited number of semi-skilled visa’s which have a 2% nationality quota.
    5) Green Card Lottery

    In reality illegal immigration serves the purpose it is supposed to serve, provide a work force that has the choice of doing menial labor or going home. Undocumented ‘workers’ don’t compete for high paying blue collar jobs, as high paying blue collar jobs are at companies that check ‘documents’.

    If we allowed ‘legal immigration’ the documented workers would be competing against US Born workers for high paying blue collar jobs. Obviously, the unions are against this concept.

    So we have a ‘hybrid system’, we have virtually unlimited illegal immigration with no enforcement and extremely limited legal immigration.

    Is is racist?

  23. DAV

    Harrywr2, my mistake. It is true that illegals end up with jobs nobody else wants. Since there is “no such thing as ‘legal’ immigration from Mexico to the US” is it reasonable then to assume Mexicans in Arizona (most anyway) are illegals and SB1070 is a “Get out of Dodge” order? Strange, eh? Who do they think is going to fill those nasty jobs?

    FWIW: I think SB1070 is specifically targeting Mexicans but mainly because they make up the majority of illegals. I don’t think it was meant to eliminate ALL Mexicans from the state or justify harassing them. Not knowing otherwise, I think it safe to assume the numbers of illegals in Mexican border states is higher than elsewhere and something like SB1070 is needed.Note that the DOJ action isn’t about the wording or intent of the law per se.

  24. gcb

    Something that occurs to me – SB1070 seems to be aimed squarely at illegal immigrants caught in the commission of other crimes, or suspected as such. Thus, the unspoken message is that “illegals” are welcome, so long as they obey the law in other respects…

  25. DAV

    Matt, think hard when tossing percentages around. What are they really saying about the magnitude of the issue? Think about this: if there were only one “suspected” illegal alien who was arrested for reason X they could then legitimately say 100% of the suspected illegal aliens were arrested on charges of X.

    * “Of all persons arrested or summonsed in Prince William County, 1.7% were
    determined to lack legal status” == HOW MANY? Let’s call it ‘A’.

    * misdemeanor/traffic: “86.9% of those suspected to be illegal aliens” == A * 0.869, yes?
    That’s N * 0.017 * 0.869 == ??

    * “9% were arrested on felony charges.” = N * 0.017 * 0.09 == ??

    I wonder why the missing 4.1% were arrested if it wasn’t for felonies or misdemeanors or traffic.

    If anything, these numbers point out that illegal aliens in PWC don’t cause many problems outside of speeding, etc. Why again did PWC think it necessary to clutter the legal world with yet another paranoid action? Just to rid themselves of those despicable traffic scofflaws?

  26. DAV

    I solved the problem of the missing 4.1%. They weren’t arrested; merely suspected. So, if the PWC law requires prior police interaction (arrest, traffic stop, courtesy calls “pardon me, sir, but does that head rolling behind your car belong to your passenger?”, whatever) then 4.1% will be missed! OMG!

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