I noticed that none of the commenters on my previous post today commented on the merits of my argument. [Actually, commenter #6, Douglass Holmes, did, but that came in after I started writing this post.] I was disappointed. Instead, most of them pointed out, correctly, that I had misstated the law. I don't think it was a bad misstatement. If you talk to police much, you learn pretty quickly that it's not hard for police to find some reason to stop and question someone. A friend who has a friend on a police force told me recently that his policeman friend said that if he follows someone around for 10 minutes, he is likely to find that the person has done something that gives him an excuse to stop the person, even if it's just weaving slightly within a lane.
Moreover, Kris Kobach, who was involved in drafting the law, got some pretty broad language inserted. Here's how Andrea Nill put it:
As part of the amended bill, a police officer responding to city ordinance violations would also be required to determine the immigration status of an individual they [sic] have reasonable suspicion of being an undocumented immigrant.
She also reproduces, at the above link, the e-mail from Kobach suggesting this change.
One other commenter on my previous post, Carl The EconGuy, writes the following:
By the way, ICE already practices stopping whomever whenever they please, without cause, and forcing US citizens to prove that they have a right to be here. I know, it's happened to me, in New Mexico. So the argument that the new AZ law infringes on the rights of US citizens is bunk -- you already don't have those rights.
I had not known that. I thought ICE [what a great acronym, by the way] could do that only within x miles of the border. It doesn't change my argument, though. You can't show that entity A is not violating rights simply by showing that entity B is already violating them.