Marie Matta: A dangerous step

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— I am writing in response to Omar M. Campbell’s letter of May 5, 2010, “Follow Arizona,” in which he applauds Arizona’s new law (SB 1070) for dealing with illegal immigration. I am deeply troubled by the expressions of support that this measure appears to have received. I agree that the issue of illegal immigration has long been urgent, and like many citizens, I am disappointed that the Obama administration has not given immigration a higher priority on the agenda of national reform.

I do believe, however, that this is a matter to be addressed at the federal level, through positive change and after careful consultation and debate, not as a punitive, unilateral measure by a defiant state. Arizona’s approach is a provocative, knee-jerk, “shoot first, ask questions later,” “us-versus-them” approach. SB 1070 opens the door for law enforcement officers to suspect and detain a person on the basis of their appearance, language or other stereotypical judgment of their activities. This is a dangerous step that flouts the Constitution and does not only affect illegal immigrants, but the freedom of movement of the broader community.

Americans preach incessantly about the U.S. being a beacon of hope and freedom in the world, and denounce the evils of autocratic, “big government” regimes that disregard civil liberties and persecute minorities. I fail to see any hope or freedom in Arizona’s law. On the contrary, I see a climate of fear, suspicion, divisiveness, discrimination and the real threat of turning a minority group into scapegoats for the nation’s ills.

Is this really the country you want to live in?

Marie Matta

Steamboat Springs

Comments

Fred Duckels 3 years, 11 months ago

Marie, Isn't Arizona being asked to assimilate folks with much higher birth rates? Should they share in the grief resulting from poor decisions by others?

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 11 months ago

"...shoot first, ask questions later." Yet another hysterical straw man. The AZ law is a mirror image of the federal statute, except that it is marginally more restrictive upon law enforcement. Why is enforcement by the state equivalent to "shoot first, ask questions later", but somehow benign at the federal level?

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obamanation 3 years, 11 months ago

HOW COME THE FUNDAMENTALS OF WHAT THIS COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED ON ARE BEING PUSHED ASIDE? LIKE GOD, WHEN HE WAS IN THE MIX WE WERE POWERFUL FAITHFUL AND UNITED. EGO Edging God Out!!!!!!!! Well he figures if we think we can run this country without him he's going to let bad things happen to it until we once again have to look for help. It seems to me that this little Arizona thing should have been being done fifteen years ago. A lot of the greedy United States money was being sent to Mexico via illegal workers. It is not there fault for wanting a better way of life and greed gave it to Mexico (hiring legal employees would have kept it here). So if your business is failing and you were responsible for hiring illegals you should learn to be law abiding.

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 11 months ago

obamanation:

Wow. All caps. That’s like, really capital, and stuff.

According to a Pew survey published today http://religions.pewforum.org/reports , 78% of Americans consider themselves to be Christian. According to the most recent Mexican census http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2006/71467.htm , 96% of Mexicans consider themselves to be Christian. Seems like you’d welcome all those God fearing folks in to practice the Word.

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arnonep 3 years, 11 months ago

Marie Matta I do not know who said it first, but "It is better to have people think you are a fool rather than open your mouth and prove it" fits your letter to the T. You obviously have no idea what is "really" going on in Arizona and know even less about the new statute.

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 11 months ago

arnonep:

I can't recall as cogent and reasoned an observation since Ronnie Heffler called me a doody head in the 2nd grade.

Impressive.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 11 months ago

amonep, I think your post applies far more to yourself than Marie Matta's letter. Her letter is well written, is well reasoned and makes a coherent argument. You may not agree with it, but it is not stupid and ignorant. Your post on the other hand ...

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Fred Duckels 3 years, 11 months ago

Pew says 73% favor Arizona's position, but the minority here gets 90% of the coverage.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 11 months ago

Fred, How do you figure 90% of the coverage? I see one Omar Campbell letter and one response by Marie Matta.

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Matthew Stoddard 3 years, 11 months ago

Wow, Fred! The Pew Article I just read states:

1) 73% approve of showing documentation regarding legal status 2) 67% approve of police detaining anyone unable to produce such documents 3) 62% approve of allowing police to question anyone they think are illegals 4) 59% approve of the AZ law considering everything

Granted- it's still a majority, but notice the trend as each question is answered? The Approval % goes down. Broken down by party lines, it's pretty much what you'd expect.

I'll even put the link this time. http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1591/public-support-arizona-immigration-law-poll

So Fred: why did you pick only the 73% amount to quote and then change the wording to match what only 59% actually said? Didn't I just go thru this with seeuski when you jumped in, but decided not to answer when I asked if you stood behind his calculations? I won't even bother to mention the conspiracy theory running thru my mind about numeric calculations and current, local events around the mountain area.

Maybe that 90% getting the coverage has to do with people not changing the research they find to fit their desires.

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seeuski 3 years, 11 months ago

I still see no point to Stoddard's reasoning here. Is he suggesting that the questions should get more personal like, Would you agree with the AZ law if the LaRaza gang new who you were? yes=0% no=100%. You can intimidate people into answering differently especially when the POTUS has made false statements about the AZ law. To have a POTUS insinuate that Latinos can't go with their kids for ice cream without being harassed by the cops, he seems to have a lot of issues with Policemen, is something that MAY lower polling data. What do you think Stoddard? If POTUS said that we should not jump to conclusions about the new AZ law until we see how it is managed, then I think the poll numbers would trend in favor of AZ. But even if we use the lower number of 59% in favor, how does that compare to those opposed? 32% oppose,so why is Stoddard barking up this tree? ???????? Anyone?

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Matthew Stoddard 3 years, 11 months ago

Because it's misinformation set in a way that makes one side look even more skewed over the other. If someone told you that your pay rate was going to be $20.00 base hourly, then paid you only $14.00 base hourly, would you accept your form of rebuttal as the reason why? "Hey, I was just generalizing your pay. Why is this so important to you?' or how about, "Hey, our National Debt is only $2.8 trillion dollars, not almost $13 trillion." Or how about the idiot last month who posted about how Obama took us into Afghanistan, instead of Bush, and had the further intellect loss to try to defend that statement?

It also goes to show that maybe there are more than just 2 Cons shifting numbers in more than just Pilot comments. Maybe, if I were a conspiracy theorist as yourself, I'd say it's a trend that I'm noticing on the Cons side where their numbers are being distorted to suit their own need. So why should I believe anything you say if you are willing to skew things so easily and not question it? It's flat out dishonest and you stand by it. If that is indicative of the Tea Party you belong to, we'll never get out of Debt. I stand by my statement that you are the kind of people that make all Republicans look bad. I guess when the Tea Party is over, you'll jump to the next party and say you were there all along.

And don't worry- I'll be getting to your Utah's Bennett point soon enough. I was waiting with baited breath for that one. Prepare yourself, because I'm going to catch you once again. That one will take more than a minute or 2 to type up.

Now Fred- are you going to answer for yourself or have seeuski speak for you?

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Matthew Stoddard 3 years, 11 months ago

As for the questions themselves on the Pew site, there is nothing intimidating about the questions. In fact, they are pretty easy going and asked in a way to not immediately illicit a specific response.

Here's a proper way to poll: "Do you approve or disapprove of abortion?"

Bad ways: "Do you like it when babies are killed?" or "Do you like having choices being taken away from you?"

Both are relative to abortion and both address 1 sides take on it, but both are worded to incite specific responses relative to that specific side.

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seeuski 3 years, 11 months ago

woo, slow down there pardner. The Tea Party movement is not a Republican thing it is a Conservative movement. We won't get out of debt because of people like YOU, who continually bury their heads in the sand with what the evidence purely shows, that this White House is redistributing wealth and NOT working on our economic health. And what you think you are so ingeniously uncovering as to poll number discrepancies is fascinating. Wow, the initial news reports were what I quoted and then days later other polls showed a slight difference in numbers and you uncovered that. You are definitely the neo Dick Tracy on the job. Great work Stoddard, can't pull the wool over on you. So 59% of Americans are for the AZ law and 32% against. Here is the original poll I quoted from. "A new Rasmussen poll reveals that 70% of likely voters in Arizona support the new illegal immigration bill passed by the State Legislature. Only 23% oppose the bill. If signed into law, the bill would make it a crime to be in the state of Arizona illegally." http://www.numbersusa.com/content/news/april-22-2010/rasmussen-poll-says-70-arizona-residents-support-immigration-enforcement-bill.htm

What I failed to contemplate was that Stoddard would get out the old Rules For Radicals book and claim that those of us supporting AZ was lying and the Tea Party is responsible. Talk about a conspiracy. You are the man Stoddard. So I guess that Bennett in Utah won? Yea, I am waiting with bated breath.

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Matthew Stoddard 3 years, 11 months ago

I see. Updating old stats with current ones and actually putting things into the context the original source materials state is "radical." Coming from you, I'll take it as a compliment. It certainly can't be anything else. Yep! That makes me think so much more of anyone involved in the Tea Party movement.

So the 14 point difference between 59% and 73% is what you would also call a slight difference, eh? Yep- stand by my statement that you fully endorse "fuzzy math." Wish we could see your grades in school on any course falling into the math category. Or do you still spell that with one of the 3 R's? You know- reading, righting, & aromatic- because your math stinks? Actually, your "righting" is atroceous, too. Come to think of it. your reading skills are definitely in question, considering the links you post that have nothing or little to do with backing up your argument. I honestly keep expecting a Muppets YouTube or something to come up.

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Matthew Stoddard 3 years, 11 months ago

Oh yeah- didn't you see the news where 90% of people think the economy is getting better?

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seeuski 3 years, 11 months ago

Losers always revert to personal attacks. And here is a reliable person for Stoddard to look up to, the US AG who has been making statements about the AZ law now says he hasn't read it. "Holder Admits to Not Reading Arizona's Immigration Law Despite Criticizing It" http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/05/13/holder-admits-reading-arizonas-immigration-law-despite-slamming/

Gee. I'd bet a Franklin that POTUS never read it when he made his flawed statements in opposition also. A leaders quality.

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seeuski 3 years, 11 months ago

Warning: Anyone referencing polling data MUST post daily updates to such data so as to avoid the wrath of the forum king, Stoddard. And one must also make sure that all pollsters have passed the rigorous Stoddard Polling Standards Test. This test verifies that referenced pollsters have been approved for the slant that Stoddard desires for his needs in arguing his beliefs and bents. Of course no one knows where he stands on any issues because his sole purpose in life is to make up faults with arguments of others who have a position that makes sense in the real world and not the fantasy land world that the Vegas playa lives in.

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seeuski 3 years, 11 months ago

I'll sleep better tonight knowing our top cop is protecting us and the true identity of the nice people after us.

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Matthew Stoddard 3 years, 11 months ago

Seeuski- again, you didn't read any of my posts you that caused you to retort. I've already stated my position. Sorry if you missed while you were picking cherries.

No, polling numbers don't have to be updated regularly unless you cling to 1 single poll and push it for weeks on end when things have changed since then.

It's probably better than you remain anonymous. I'd feel pretty crappy coming down as hard as I have on someone who is awaiting their 8th grade graduation. Actually, I've had discussions with 8th graders that knew how to get a point across. My bad.

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 11 months ago

The Stoddard-seeuski pissing match has become the most consistently juvenile slapstick on this board.

You guys need to get a room.

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Matthew Stoddard 3 years, 11 months ago

Got one, thanks. Let me ask you, then, Sep. You are a conservative: do you agree with the way numbers were posted by Fred and the way he worded it or do you agree with Pew's site itself?

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JLM 3 years, 11 months ago

This is much ado about nothing. Law enforcement does not have the luxury of deciding to enforce only those laws which it decides it likes.

The Arizona law simply reiterates what the law already is --- when you are stopped by law enforcement they are going to run a wrap sheet to see if there are any outstanding warrants and to see if you are in the country legally.

What's the beef?

Why would any law abiding citizen have a problem with that? It's no different than law enforcement checking to see if your car is registered during a speeding stop.

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 11 months ago

Matthew Stoddard:

I didn't read Fred's post, nor did I look at the Pew poll. I was hoping to be surprised: that this thread might actually deal with the specifics of Ms. Matta's letter.

On those occasions when I cite poll results, I try to use Real Clear Politics as much as possible, which averages the results of multiple surveys. They don't appear to have one on immigration at the moment, so I'll leave it to you and Fred and seeuski to dissect the Pew; and to you and seeuski to continue the insult exchange.

JLM:

The beef is the same as it always is - an opportunity for the left to play its two favorite games: Race Baiting and Class Envy.

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John Fielding 3 years, 11 months ago

.

If you think that law enforcement is not selective you should look again.

Some "enforcers "are instructed to look the other way on certain violations.

When there are too many laws and people can be in violation without there being any offense to the public or thy neighbor it is hard to respect it.

To quote Thomas Jefferson on the subject of what should not be regulated "it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket".

The police want and need respect so most enforce such laws only when ordered to, as when a complaint is filed.

Consider the word itself "en-force".

How about we use "ad-minister-aters" instead.

.

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John Fielding 3 years, 11 months ago

.

aronrep

I think it was Mark Twain who published and popularized what Abraham Lincoln had said in a speech: "'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt".

But the origin is much older; "Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue." (Proverbs 17:28)

Based on that, few are likely to think me wise.

.

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JLM 3 years, 11 months ago

@ John ---

To suggest that because some law enforcement officers are not equal handed in their enforcement of some laws is somehow germane to the Arizona issue is nonsense.

All Americans are entitled to equal treatment under the law in conformance w/ the Equal Protection provisions of the Constitution. Interestingly enough, that goes both ways.

Whether law enforcement routinely enforces the law is simply not the issue with THIS law.

The Arizona law is at worst a restatement of the existing law at Federal and State levels. When cities start unilaterally declaring themselves "sanctuary cities" you have to ask yourself --- "sanctuary against what?"

Law enforcement?

Let's just enforce the laws --- all laws --- uniformly and let the chips fall where they may. Arizona has done nothing arbitrary or revolutionary by mandating enforcement of existing law.

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Cooke 3 years, 11 months ago

Jimmmmm

Thanks so much. I really needed that! Classic.

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John Fielding 3 years, 11 months ago

.

JLM

I do not suggest that this is particularly pertinent to the AZ law.

I personally think the AZ law is fairly well founded, that the question of whether a person is in this country legally should be asked and proven in all identification checks. There should be a box on the drivers license or something. And the ID should be high tech enough to make counterfeiting very difficult.

But the larger issue is that enforcement of many laws is not anything like uniform and equal. Perhaps that is as it should be, as it is the natural result of the proliferation of ordinances and statutes designed to regulate us in almost every human interaction.

If a serious effort was made to strictly enforce every law on the books it could have the unintended benefit of causing the repeal of a great number of laws. But at the present time it is impossible to even realistically contemplate such a level of scrutiny of the activity of the citizenry. Every other person would need to be a cop and they would have to know all the laws. And every other cop would be in violation of something themselves.

I am a supporter of the Rule of Law, it is one of the pillars of civilization without which we must fall. That is why I am distressed at the abuses of it that cause it to earn disrespect and warrant disregard.

What would Tom Paine think of our present condition?

.

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Matthew Stoddard 3 years, 11 months ago

I always love watching a vein burst in text. Thugs carry "No Taxes" signs? Are you calling The Tea Party "thugs?" I've seen a lot of those types of pics before. Posts like this make me wonder if any of the Mexican drug mules can bring Ritalin instead.

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Ken Reed 3 years, 11 months ago

Thank goodness for people like Gov. Jan Brewer who have the guts to do something about illegal immigrants. America welcomes anyone who wants to be a legal citizen and takes the steps to be an american. If you're here illegally, AZ now has the right to send you home. God bless her.

http://www.breitbart.tv/arizona-governor-has-serious-video-message-for-president-obama/

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stillinsteamboat 3 years, 11 months ago

I consider myself a moderate-liberal however on the illegal controversy I think I swing to the right. Especially when I hear the sponser of the bill in AZ. tell CBS news that his state spends 3Billion dollars annually to "Educate, Medicate, and Incarcerate" those that live in his state illegally, multiply that by 50. They are breaking the back of our nation. I also agree with yampavalleyboy "learn the language".
It makes me angry when I think of what my family spends on medical care and theirs is free. We limited the size of our family on purpose. Who needs 5,10,12 children with no visible means of support and federal/state funded medical care. It's got to stop.

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sledneck 3 years, 11 months ago

You know things have swung to the left too far when people start every thought with words like..."I consider myself a moderate-liberal, however...." or "I voted for Obama but..." Funny!

Seriously Marie, you could'nt be more wrong.

This "selective" enforcement of our laws needs to stop.

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seeuski 3 years, 11 months ago

stillinsteamboat, You've just made the perfect assessment of the main reason the Government just shoved the takeover of the Healthcare system down our throats, and in doing so you found the cure for the rising costs along with many other economic problems the US faces. Close the borders and document the 20 some million that are here illegally, get the penalty money that has been proposed, set up a work visa program complete with our income taxes for those who have no criminal record other than jumping the border, and for those that have committed crimes while here, deport back to their Country of origin free of charge. The borders did not cross them no matter what LaRaza yells through their bullhorns.

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