Arizona's Immigration Law Shifts Burden of Proof

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

(John Moore/Getty)

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law one of the toughest immigration laws in the United States. The law requires police to question anyone they believe to be an illegal immigrant. Critics say they believe that this law will lead to wide spread racial profiling. The law also seems to shift the burden of proof onto the defense instead of the prosecution in a country where pratcially everyone knows the term, "innocent until proven guilty."

We take a look at whether there are any other laws in this country that shift the burden of proof onto the individual. Paul Butler, a law professor at George Washington University, compares it to a time when freed blacks had to prove they were not slaves, even having to wear patches with the letter "F." Also joining us is Ted Ruthizer, a partner and co-head of the business immigration group at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel. He tells us what strategy he would employ as a defense attorney handling a case under this new law.


Paul Butler and Ted Ruthizer

Produced by:

David J Fazekas

Comments [11]

Aiesha Akaisha from Miami

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Sep. 22 2010 07:02 AM
Carol from California

Do you carry your passport with you at all times? Can you prove you are a citizen? Do you even have a passport....most citizens do not!

May. 01 2010 08:46 PM

This has nothing to do with ethnicity, color or nationality. It is totally about the legal right to live and work in the United States. This is an issue about obeying the law. It is an issue which supports LAWFUL immigration and the complete respect for American law.
It seems the rich Republicans want the cheap labor provided by the "illegals" while the Democrats are wanting more potential voters. Who will solve this flood of crime and drugs? Come to Arizona and experience this struggle first hand.

Apr. 29 2010 11:59 AM
rick from Texas

Listen I am an American citizen, Mexican-American at that, and i do feel that we should control the illegal immigrants! But this law is opening a can of worms, I for one, I am embarrassed this law came to fruition! I live in a border town in Texas and have to indentify myself as an American citizen everytime i pass the checkpoints, without hesitation or discord! But to go to Arizona and have to prove that I am an American citizen is a travesty and would really upset me! Now if this applied to everyone than i would do as told, but it does not! For the Arizonians to be so gullable is to what is really happening is sad! This is empowering the police to become federal enforcers of such a law and is the begining of a larger issue! Good Luck and may God forgive ya'll !!

Apr. 29 2010 07:26 AM

As a law abiding Arizona resident for 50 plus years, I have seen way too many "illegal immigrants" here in the last twenty years... There is a point where you question whether there really is any border between Arizona and Mexico. Every legal USA Citizen should have no problem showing proof of citizenship. The 1070 law has been misrepresented in the media. It allows law enforcement officers to question citizenship when people are stopped for speeding, tail lights out, etc. If all are asked, there should be no discrimination, should there? My ancestors had to become USA Citizens through a prescribed procedure. What's wrong with applying this to EVERYBODY today?

Apr. 28 2010 06:10 PM
KateP from Ossining, NY

The Arizona immigration law is the height of government interference in personal liberty. To be stopped on the street and asked for "identity papers" at the whim of local law enforcement sounds like a police state to me.

Where are the outraged Tea Party members? Isn't this "affront to liberty" important to them? "The Takeaway" should ask.

Apr. 28 2010 05:35 PM
SPO101 from Everywhere, USA

Funny how the news media jumped on this Arizona immigration law story but completely IGNORED the following: John McCain and the Republicans seem to be leading the charge toward a police state:

S.3081 - Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention and Prosecution Act of 2010 proposed by Senators Lieberman and McCain “…removes the right to trial for American Citizens and gives government the AUTHORITY to detain Americans INDEFINITELY for SUSPECTED TERRORIST ACTIVITY…”

The really IMPORTANT thing about this Act is just WHO defines SUSPECTED ACTIVITY? I’m sure the CRIMINALS and CONS who oversaw the recent economic meltdown (or what I like to call greatest looting of a nation’s wealth and resources in the history of mankind) FEEL THREATENED by the ACTIVITY involved with calls for JUSTICE.

Republicans know DEMANDS for ethics, responsibility and accountability are going to come down HARD on them. Especially McCain/Lieberman who’ve been covering up Banking/Financial/Wall St SCANDALS since the 80’s. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what comes next…

Like wealthy Aristocrats have been saying all through history: “We can hire half the POOR PEOPLE to get rid of the rest, especially the boat-rockers”. So LAW ENFORCEMENT will be protecting those who ravaged and expatriated most of our nation’s wealth and resources from punishment for their crimes… It’s like these GOP elitists are telling Americans to “EAT CAKE”.

If Republicans take back Congress there’s definitely going to be some kind of revolution not long after. The Concerned Citizens of America have seen the light… I’m going to make sure future generation know about dolts who vote Republican Party so THEY don‘t make the mistakes.

Republicans/Conservatives have PROVEN THEMSELVES to be the worst kind of human beings. And suckers too, these so-called great Americans allowed themselves to be LIED TO over and over. Paranoia, misinformation, fear mongering, racism, hypocrisy and hysteria on a level not seen since the McCarthy Era.

Conservative wackos are NOT well-informed or smart enough to recognize the CON… these right-wing reactionaries got PLAYED FOR FOOLS, bigtime! Bush/Cheney, NEED I SAY MORE? SO WHY SHOULD ANY AMERICAN CITIZEN TRUST THEM NOW?

“THE Devil knew not what he did when he made man politic…”

Apr. 27 2010 07:06 PM
Tom P from New York City

There are laws and there are foolish or unjust laws. Our national immigration policy is a mess and Arizona just made matters worse. Problem is, we can't have a calm, thoughtful debate about anything serious in this country. Even if we did, we've forgotten how to win and lose, which must be graciously on both counts followed by full cooperation for the good of all. Instead we just shout past each other, which only serves the status quo, the entrenched interests, ossified beliefs, and the powerful, who watch democracy lock its gears with cynical amusement.

Apr. 27 2010 05:48 PM

I won't try to make the argument that the Arizona law is right, and serves a good, and is at a minimum debatable on sound law enforcement grounds and solid immigration policy.

Rich Lowry already did it today, in the National Review Online:

My question to The Takeaway and its producers is why did we not hear both sides of the story?

The Takeaway, by my count, had four or five guest interview subjects on the program today, and they were all more or less opposed to the policy. Did I miss anything in reaching that conclusion?

Apr. 27 2010 01:40 PM
JM from Oklahoma

I don't have a problem showing my proof of citizenship if/when asked regardless of where I might be. An illegal can be from Pakistan, Saudi, Sweden, France, anywhere ... profiling wouldn't "catch" an illegal from Sweden or France. Any other country would detain, imprison and/or deport illegals. Why shouldn't the US?

Apr. 27 2010 11:17 AM
Rob from Denver, CO

Its surprising to the rest of the country that Arizona has enacted this seemingly invasive law, but the rest of the country does not live in Arizona. If we lived there we might understand more context of why they feel this is necessary, and more importantly, as Pres Obama suggested, we might share this problem more responsibly as a nation. For what ever reasons people have, when "illegal immagrants" come here they know they are breaking the law. How does this new label affect they way they live when they get here? Are there some gray laws that don't really matter, and which ones are those laws?

Apr. 27 2010 08:48 AM

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