Arizona State Rep. Russell Pearce Says Immigrants “Have No Constitutional Rights”

PearceUpdate: Pearce’s comments and this post were picked up by reporter/author Dave Neiwert at his blog Orcinus, at which he writes about the racist/fascist element of the Right Wing in America.

Arizona State
Representative Russell Pearce (R-18), Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, and one of the most influential members of the Arizona House told Capital Media that he understood the motives of undocumented workers who come here to work.

He said, “I’d come, too, if you could give me a job and free everything.” He almost seems sympathic, doesn’t he?

About the recent protests here in Arizona on immigration policy, Pearce said, “They’re
illegal and they have no right to be marching down our streets. They
have no constitutional rights
. They don’t have First-, Fourth-, Sixth
amendment rights
. They’re here illegally and they chose to be here

This is a very irresponsible and inflamatory thing for a public official in Pearce’s position to say. If Pearce were to be taken at his word, the result would be that every undocumented immigrant would be legally equivalent to Bush’s terrorist suspects: in a legal black hole where no legal process could touch them, and not even basic human rights are to be afforded them. I have to wonder: is that what Pearce really wants?

Now, Pearce is certainly a political opportunist, or a racist, or both, and he has good cause to hold a personal grudge against illegal aliens, but he also has served as a judge pro-tem in Justice Court and been a deputy sheriff for most of his career, so he really has no excuse to be so frighteningly ignorant of the law. He may wish that illegal aliens had no rights, and he may be working to remove as many of them as he can (Pearce has introduced more anti-alien bills this session than any other lawmaker), but he’s dead wrong that they haven’t got any.

To be charitable, I will assume that Pearce only means what he says: illegal aliens haven’t any rights under Amendments I, IV, and VI. Even so, Pearce is demonstrably wrong according to the Supreme Court, and I’m inclined to take their word over that of a local-yokel jingo like Pearce.

Keeping out the Undesirables

Just so we don’t feel so alone in our xenophobic frenzy as we build the 700 miles of walls along our border with Mexico the Sensenbrenner bill mandates, Saudi Arabia is planning a 560-mile fence along its Iraq border. What could be more American than emulating the Saudis?

Immigration’s Neglected Roots

Politicians too often speak of immigration in terms designed to inflame prejudices or propose policies that only kick the problem down the road for a few years. In 1986, the Reagan amnesty resulted in new citizens, but also the current political crisis. The policy failed to address the causes of immigration, and as the effects … Read more

Open Doors Don’t Invite Criminals

There is a widespread perception that undocumented immigrants increase crime, as demostrated by the poll at the right. This is a significant factor in many people’s feeling that the social order is under threat by undocumented immigration, and is thus a major problem for any Democrat working to advance the cause of reasonable immigration reform. … Read more