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Lynne Doucette

Lynne Doucette

Lt. Lynne D. Doucette is a patrol supervisor and defensive tactics trainer with the Brunswick (Maine) PD. Prior to being the first female promoted at BPD, she worked as an undercover detective assigned to the state narcotics task force.



Patricia Teinert

Patricia Teinert

Patricia A. Teinert has been a Texas peace officer since 1984. She has served as a patrol officer, investigator, and member of a juvenile gang and narcotics task force. She is currently a patrol officer with Katy ISD Police Department.
Women in Law Enforcement

Why I Support Arizona's New Immigration Law

Due process is retained when probable cause, reasonable suspicion, and a legal arrest or detention exist to require a U.S. citizen to identify him or herself.

May 13, 2010  |  by Patricia Teinert - Also by this author

Arizona's new immigration law (SB1070) will have significant impact on Texas, the border state where I live. I've read, viewed, and listened to many news stories, discussions, and opinions about the new law.

After taking it all in I'm left wondering why this law will change how an officer or deputy go about their regular duties. A traffic stop is a traffic stop; a domestic disturbance is a domestic disturbance; a burglary in progress is a burglary in progress; and so on.

Let's take a closer look. The law addresses "any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or agency."

I'm reminded of the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics that doesn't discriminate between federal, state, county, or municipal law.

I'm reminded of the official oath that I took when I was sworn in:

"I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the duties of the office of [position] of the State of Texas, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this state, so help me God."

Here's my favorite section, "...preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this state..."

Is the opposition stating that Arizona law enforcement officers don't hold the same ethics and integrity as in the code or oath?

The federal "Immigration and National Act," Section 103 (8), states:

"In the event the Attorney General determines that an actual or imminent mass influx of aliens arriving off the coast of the United States, or near a land border, presents urgent circumstances requiring an immediate Federal response, the Attorney General may authorize any state or local law enforcement officer, with the consent of the head of the department, agency, or establishment under whose jurisdiction the individual is serving, to perform or exercise any of the powers, privileges, or duties conferred or imposed by this act or regulations issued thereunder upon officers or employees of the service."

Does this mean our federal government doesn't believe there to be a mass influx of aliens?

In reading Arizona's immigration law (SB1070), article 8 is titled "Enforcement of Immigration Laws," and states:

"If an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States is convicted of a violation or convicted of a violation of state of local law, on discharge from imprisonment or assessment of any fine that is imposed, the alien shall be transferred immediately to the custody of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement or the United States Customs and Border Protection."

Federal law states the burden of proof falls on the alien for documents of legal immigration. How can a transfer of custody take place if you aren't allowed to ask for documents?

If the concern is for U.S. citizen rights, we have the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The first section on citizenship rights reads:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The key phrase is "without due process of law." It is not a violation when probable cause, reasonable suspicion, and a legal arrest or detention exist to require a U.S. citizen to identify him or herself.

Would it not be difficult knowing someone had broken a law and you were told to turn a blind eye? This is not to be confused with officer discretion when written warnings are issued, which document probable cause.

Let us know what you think of the new law by adding a comment below.

Tags: Arizona Immigration Law of 2010, Illegal Immigration


Comments (13)

Displaying 1 - 13 of 13

admkaren @ 5/13/2010 6:44 PM

It is unfortunate that States have to pass a law that says LE can enforce the Federal Law. When reading both State and Federal immigration laws, they both require probable cause. The media consistently states pushes the issue of police stops based on suspicion of legal status alone, rather than "while in routine performance of their daily job." So why don't we have the people out there clarifying this? Why aren't LE consultants being brought in to clear this up? Media loves to stir the pot.

JAYIRK @ 5/13/2010 8:04 PM

HOORAY FOR ARIZONA AND MAYBE TEXAS WILL FOLLOW. I'M TIRED AS A BOARS ASS TRYING TO READ LEGAL DOCUMENTS THAT ARE PRINTED IN SPANISH. I DON'T SPEAK SPANISH SO HOW IN THE HELL DO I KNOW WHAT IT SAYS. DO I HAVE TO SUBMIT BLINDLY TO THE PRINTER WHO SAYS THE SPANISH VERSION IS THE SAME AS THE ENGLISH. FORGET IT. STOP BI-LINGUAL ANYTHING, ESPECIALLY BALLOTS. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS LOOK AT FLORIDA AND TELL ME THAT ALL THE BALLOTS SAID THE SAME THING. WHERE IS MY GUARANTEE? WHEN MY FAMILY CAME HERE THEY DID ALL THE THINGS NEEDED TO BECOME A CITIZEN. AND WHEN THEY DID THEY WERE VERY PROUD TO BE A PART OF IT. THEY DIDN'T CRY AND WHIMPER AND SNIVEL AROUND DEMANDING THAT THE REST OF THE PEOPLE PAY FOR THEIR CHILDRENS EDUCATION AND MEDICAL AND CLOTHING, ETC., ETC., ETC. I WAS BORN HERE AND AM A NATIVE AMERICAN. I HAVE WORKED SINCE I WAS 8 YEARS OLD AND NOW THAT I AM READY TO RETIRE, WHERE IS MY SOCIAL SECURITY? THE GOVERNMENT HAS STOLEN SO MUCH TO PAY FOR IMIGRATION AND WIDOWS AND ORPHAN NEEDS THAT THE RETIREES NEEDS ARE SHOVED IN A RAT HOLE. ALL THIS IS ROTTEN AND I WON'T EVEN GO INTO THE THIEVERY BY THE IRS. AS A 30 PEACE OFFICER VETERAN, I SAY "WAY TO GO ARIZONA", EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO CLOSE THE BORDER. SOMEONE, SOMETIME HAS TO SAY THE BUCKET IS FULL, GO HOME. IF YOU DON'T LIKE MEXICO OR ANY OTHER COUNTRY THAT YOU COME FROM, THEN FIX IT.

JAYIRK @ 5/13/2010 8:08 PM

MY COMMENTS WILL BE PRINTED AFTER IT HAS BEEN THROUGH A APPROVAL PROCESS? ISN'T THAT SENSORSHIP? IF YOU DON'T WANT MY COMMENTS, WHY ASK FOR THEM? TO ME YOU ARE SAYING YOU WILL ONLY PRINT WHAT YOU WANT TOO AND NOT NECESSARILY THE TRUTH.

searcher5 @ 5/14/2010 12:37 AM

Out of the four cars I pulled over for traffic violations the other night, three drivers only had Mexican dl's. One driver had a Texas dl. Didn't even issue a citation to the drivers with Mexican dl's as they wouldn't pay the fines or even show up for court. They let them roll over into warrants. 36 municipal warrants is the most I've seen a driver with. 16 was the most before. Exasperating. I think Arizona has it right.

ROB ROY @ 5/14/2010 1:13 AM

I do not get what the whole hoopla is all about. these people break our laws as thier first act coming into our country. They use our schools, hospitals and all of OUR government services and pay no taxes to support them. And how they get welfare, food stamps, medicaid and so on I would really like to know without any proof of citizenship. WAKE UP YOU LIBERAL IDIOTS THEY ARE HERE ILLEGALLY!!!. If and When we finally send them back accross the border where they belong maybe we can finally balance our governments budget. Then go thru the legal process to come back and you will be more tham welcome then. We want you to be productive Americans not criminals.

Morning Eagle @ 5/14/2010 2:59 AM

Excellent! So refreshing to see a piece written on this subject that is straight forward and lays out the facts devoid of any of the emotional twisting and outright lies being broadcast by opponents of the law recently passed by Arizona. The reactions to its passage were instantaneous from the liberal media on up to the very highest levels of the federal government by people who had not even bothered to read the actual legislation before throwing out wild accusations of legislated racism and discrimination that seem obviously designed to inflame emotions and keep people from thinking rationally. Of course the politically correct crowd, including most regretfully many in law enforcement at comand levels, seem to have lost the ability to use reason and common sense if there is a chance they might be accused of racial profiling in allowing their officers to actually do their jobs. There is nothing complex or tricky about this AZ law. What is so hard to understand about the fact that coming into the U.S. without proper process is in itself a criminal violation and that just managing to get in does NOT confer the rights of citizenship regardless of the tear jerking reasons for trying to come here. The drug cartels are exporting their brand of violence and crime across our border and we ignore it at our dire peril. I am encouraging my state legislators and governor to pass similar legislation ASAP. If we do not take action to secure our borders, we will be toast and since the feds obviously will not, the states must. I intend nothing demeaning to the Border Patrol agents and others who put their lives on the line every day and night. But thanks to the politicians, courts, and America's insatiable appetite for drugs, etc., they are fighting a losing battle.

cdswanson @ 5/14/2010 5:19 AM

The negative reaction is because people do not realize that the Arizona law does not allow law enforcement officers to just walk up to someone and ask of that person's citizenship. There must be some probable cause for the contact; traffic stop, Terry stop, field interview, etc. Then, during that contact, if the officer has reasonable suspicion, the officer can then ask about the person's immigration status. The law does not require officers to ask about status just because there is contact, the officer has to have some articulable reason to pursue that line of questioning. The law gives officers another tool, that if yielded responsibly, will help make our communities safer.

lawman53 @ 5/14/2010 8:08 AM

The AZ legislature blew it on this one.

This law is a result of frustration with the federal government for failure to secure the border. However, frustration is not an excuse to institute a law aimed at racial profiling. Yes, I understand the mere mention of "racial profiling" generates an emotional response from police officers, and please don't ask me if I read the law. I am in AZ, been following it from day one.

"We don't profile!" is the war cry from most of us when accused. The honest ones among us will admit it racial stops happen, and they happen a lot. Now, Arizona police have been given a pretextual excuse to stop those pesky people who do not "look like us" and harrass them. Arresting taco vendors and gardeners is not going to make the US any safer, but it sure will give us reason to book a few UDA's and get out of the heat for a while. BTW, where are we going to put all those illegals? Ask any sheriff in AZ how much "extra" jail space and staff do they have.

You can wave copies of the ethics code, 14th Amendment, and even the Constitution and say they will prevent racial harrassment; that is rather naive. None of it is going to stop cops who are pre-disposed to harrass minorities. This law just made it easier.

We need to secure the border, with troops and fences, that is the real border security.

rlatham733 @ 5/14/2010 9:05 AM

I’m also in support of this new law in Arizona. Why would any State or City be against it? I personally hate how some of this country is reacting to this. Boycotting Arizona for this is unbelievable. Arizona Police Officers filling suit to stop it. If they don’t like the job, leave. I for one also believe in the oath, I took. This is a great article.

pteinert @ 5/15/2010 10:42 AM

@ lawman53 your kidden me right?

On one hand you state "We don't profile!" is the war cry from most of us when accused. Then you state "The honest ones among us will admit it racial stops happen, and they happen a lot. Now, Arizona police have been given a pretextual excuse to stop those pesky people who do not "look like us" and harrass them. ... "None of it is going to stop cops who are pre-disposed to harrass minorities"

If you KNOW that to be the case, Why aren't you HONEST ones doing what it takes to rid your departments of the Officer/Deputy that you KNOW are QUILTY of profiling?

Seems to me allowing cops who are pre-disposed is in part YOUR fault and just maybe if you had the courage and integrity to stand up for those you are sworn to protect it would be a step in the right direction. If there is negative repercussions and fallout why would you want to stay at such a department?

As far as where are you going to put all of them your suppose to follow the LAW. You said you have read the State and Federal Law and you know what the LAWS state.

AND YOU CAN BET I'M WAIVING THE CONSTITUTION, 14th AMENDMENT, and ETHICS CODE and if you think that's niave maybe your in the wrong line of work.

Swiper559 @ 5/17/2010 11:58 AM

As a law enforcement supervisor working for a medium sized (240,00 residents) municipality in Arizona, I strongly disagree with the passing of this bill. The immigration laws in our country are undoubtedly broken and something needs to be done. This needs to occur at the federal level however and not with the burden being placed on local law enforcement. The policing philosophy for the past 35 years has been through community based/problem-solving policing. If you disagree with this then look at the web pages of your own agency and see what they claim with regards to this philosophy. Our goal in law enforcement is nothing more than to protect the public through crime reduction. CBP suggests that we do this through community partnerships and proactive enforcement measures. There are already enough barriers that exist between the police and many communities to have to now include the fear of deportation of family members of crime victims and/or witnesses to crime. Now lets here the argument, "Illegal means illegal." O.K., then lets start enforcing all laws under that argument; adultery, cohabitating out of wedlock, lewd sexual activity (anything other than missionary position in some states). This does not mean that officers should look the other way with regards to immigration enforcement. We should have the tools available to us to incapacitate and deter criminal activity as much as possible. The burden of immigration enforcement however should be put back where it belongs...with the federal government.

pteinert @ 5/18/2010 1:38 PM

It has been reported, without argument that I have heard or seen, that 20% of AZ jail population is illegal aliens. They were not initially arrested and jailed for being an illegal alien. They are in jail for crimes against person(s) and/or property. The fact that they are illegal aliens was determined after their arrest and/or detention for a crime. The idea that local officers will be out looking for and working illegal immigration cases is not what this law is about. Although Swiper559 states he disagrees with the law; The law is EXACTLY what Swiper559 wrote ... another tool available to us to incapacitate and deter criminal activity as much as possible.

Sam551974D @ 5/18/2010 8:40 PM

Let’s focus on what happens well before and prior to entry also and why the flow needs to stop is a national security issue - talk to Border Patrol, ICE; Law Enforcement agencies along the border they deal with these horrors each day (believe me, nobody comes through without paying some price to shot callers both sides of the border). Yes there are many who just seek and want a better life for themselves and families. I do understand and have much empathy for that aspect when done legally. The demographics have changed from 30-40 years ago when this was more the norm. There is no doubt in my mind the journey to USA or even while in the USA is often a deadly one, with many never completing some of their goals for a better life, or they lose their life or life savings trying. This is a role of every nation at play here – Human trafficking is closely connected with money laundering, document forgery, and human smuggling, rape, murder, drug activity, cartels, gangs, with nothing but victims all the way around. Where organized crime flourishes, governments and the rule of law are undermined and weakened. This is not quoted from AZ law but our own “State Department - Federal level. See:”http://www.state.gov/g/tip/ Leadership on this matter is a very serious issue, or at lest the lack thereof. I strongly believe that some people today find it too difficult to try to do the right thing for the right reasons. It is often easier to “Fit-In” and sell-out no matter the cost. The Shame of it is, the agencies suffer and most importantly, the citizens and people suffer. People always suffer from a lack of leadership!

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