Mailbag: Our AG versus Arizona

Letter date: 
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Letter publisher: 
The Democrat Herald, Albany OR
Letter author: 
David Olen Cross
Letter body: 

When Oregon Attorney General John Kroger filed an amicus brief in support of the federal government’s lawsuit against the state of Arizona (over the Arizona immigration law), most Oregonians with any common sense would naturally ask: What do the internal affairs of Arizona have to do with Oregon?

Answering the question, Kroger believes Arizona SB 1070 is a civil rights issue.

What should be particularly troubling to Oregonians about the misguided actions of the attorney general against SB 1070 is his inability to differentiate between what is an actual civil rights issue and what is a public safety issue.

An actual reading of the law would inform the attorney general SB 1070 only allows the state of Arizona law enforcement officials to enforce federal immigration law, not create Arizona immigration law.

To protect civil rights SB 1070 has provisos that prohibit any form of profiling of individuals based on their race, ethnicity, religion or country of origin.

Arizona, a border state, passed SB 1070 in 2010 simply to mitigate the collateral damage, the criminal activity, of hundreds of thousands undocumented foreign nationals (illegal aliens) present or entering the state primarily from Mexico.

The Oregon Department of Corrections prison system in February 2012 had 1,176 foreign nationals (criminal aliens); 992 prisoners were from Mexico, or 84 percent.

At the same time, the Arizona Department of Corrections prison system had 5,291 who were criminal aliens; 4,820 prisoners were from Mexico, 91 percent.

Attorney General Kroger should withdraw from any participation in legal action in the nation’s highest court against the state of Arizona over SB 1070 because Arizona’s ability to fully implement SB 1070 will empower the state’s law enforcement officials to more effectively protect the residents of both Arizona and Oregon from the invasion of criminal aliens primarily from Mexico.