Michigan — May 11, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Arizona “Papers, please” law comes to Michigan


As predicted, the odious “Papers, please” law recently passed in Arizona is spreading like cancer throughout the country. In a couple of weeks, it hits Michigan.

A Michigan lawmaker said she believes the state’s law enforcement officers need the authority to arrest illegal immigrants and is drafting legislation similar to Arizona’s new immigration law.

Rep. Kim Meltzer, R-Clinton Township, said her bill would allow police to request proof of citizenship from people who are stopped and questioned on another offense, such as a traffic violation or selling fraudulent identity documents. Officers would have the authority to arrest people who can’t prove their legal status.

“We have borders in place for a reason,” Meltzer said. “Everyone should play by the rules.”

Meltzer, a candidate for state Senate in the August primary election, said racial profiling — a key fear among opponents of Arizona’s law — would not be tolerated. She said a driver’s license would be reasonable proof that a person was living in the U.S. legally…

Meltzer’s proposal is being drafted into bill form and is expected to be introduced in the coming weeks.

With Michigan a mostly-Democratic state, I doubt this bill will go anywhere, particularly in an election year. But that’s not stopping the GOP from making hay with it.

Republican State Rep. Bill Rogers is all for it, for example.

Rogers said he doesn’t think the state proposal would open the door to racial profiling by law enforcement. He said profiling based on race alone isn’t an issue in Michigan to begin with.

“I don’t see where folks are being profiled now because of race or anything else. They’re profiled predicated on the situation they’re in,” he said.
“All I’m asking for is for people to follow the law,” Rogers added.

Which, of course, begs the question of why we need a new law in the first place. Especially if a drivers license is all you need to prove your legality.

When the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus asked Republican State Senator Valde Garcia what he thought of it, he clucked like a chicken and refused to answer.

In an e-mail, state Sen. Valde Garcia, R-Marion Township, said he refused to comment on the proposal because it isn’t in bill form yet and he doesn’t have background on the Arizona law.

Garcia, who leaves office this year due to term limits, was elected as the first Hispanic state senator in Michigan’s history, according to his Web site.

Profiles in courage there, Senator. Way to go.

One of the GOPosaurs running for governor is all for it, too.

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, a Republican candidate for Michigan governor, on Monday backed planned immigration legislation that would allow law enforcement officers in the state to request proof of citizenship from people who are questioned for another offense and arrest those who fail to do so…

“All the people that are trying to blow this in a false or emotional direction — saying, ‘show me your papers’ — this has nothing to do with that.”

Sure, Mike. We’re all just making stuff up, eh?

The Michigan ACLU and other groups are vowing to fight it tooth and nail. Godspeed to them.

Shelli Weisberg, legislative director for American Civil Liberties Union in Michigan, said the group would fight Meltzer’s bill in the Legislature, and in court, if necessary.

“We don’t want an Arizona-style bill. It encourages racial profiling,” Weisberg said.

Meanwhile, in Macomb County, they are so strapped for cash these days, they are practically begging undocumented residents to fill out and return their census forms. No, seriously. I’m not making this up:

Macomb County officials want undocumented workers to fill out their census forms.

At stake, officials told the Macomb Daily, is $1,000 per person per year in federal funding. The census, conducted every 10 years, is a Constitutional requirement. The resulting numbers are then used for everything from federal funding formulas to representation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In short, the more people a state can verify living within its borders, the more federal cash and representation it will have.

I feel certain that Rep. Meltzer’s new bill will really help with that effort. [Dramatic eyeroll…]

I’m just sayin’..