Senator Steinberg Writes Back

I received the following email from a colleague, sent to Senator Darrell Steinberg by a constituent, expressing her dismay with his call to boycott Arizona businesses because of the recent legislation attempting to deal with the state’s illegal immigration problem.

What’s even more interesting is that California Penal Code Section 834b states “Every law enforcement agency in California shall fully cooperate with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service regarding any person who is arrested if he or she is suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws, and attempt to verify the legal residency status of the person arrested.” (full text below)

A friend who is in law enforcement confirmed that this is indeed state law, making California and Arizona’s laws practically identical.

Dear Sen. Steinberg:

Have you read SB 1070?  Federal law dating back to the Roosevelt administration requires all immigrants to carry papers.  States require people driving a car to show a driver’s license.  The law states that police MUST have another police reason for stopping the person other than they look like an immigrant.  So SB 1070 does not create new illegalities, and is not racist or unconstitutional.  To say AZ will use this in a racist fashion is a gross insult to law enforcement.  I noticed that Doris Matsui does not read bills either. What is it with you Democrats?

Sincerely,

XXXX, MD


Senator Darrell Steinberg’s response – notice that he did not use her professional title in his salutation:

Dear Ms. XXXX:

Thank you for your recent communication in support of Arizona’s recently enacted immigration law, SB 1070. This bill aims to identify, prosecute, and deport undocumented immigrants. This bill makes failing to carry immigration papers a crime and gives the police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

As you are probably aware, I recently wrote a letter to the Governor requesting that he inventory all contracts between the states of California and Arizona or any Arizona businesses to determine whether or not any of those contracts have escape clauses.  I have also asked that California not enter into any new contracts with Arizona entities as a way to encourage Arizona to repeal SB 1070.  I find the Arizona law as unconscionable as it is unconstitutional.  It is my firm belief that the state of California should not be using taxpayer dollars to support such a policy.

The regulation of immigration is exclusively the province of the federal government, and the Arizona law threatens to undermine basic civil liberties guaranteed to all Americans – regardless of immigration status. As such, it should be challenged and struck down by the courts or repealed.  I believe that all people have the obligation to stand up and speak out when we witness acts of overt discrimination, especially acts by government to sanction discrimination.  This law, by definition, allows law enforcement to stop people because of the color of their skin.  It is against everything this country stands for.

Although I believe that a vast majority of law enforcement officers would not stop people because of their race, some would, and SB 1070 is their license to do so.

Despite our differences on this issue, I trust that we agree on far more issues than we disagree.  I appreciate hearing from my constituents on issues of concern to them.  Please continue to express your views to me so I may best represent you in the state Senate.

If you need my assistance or have concerns about any other matter, please do not hesitate to call my office at (916) 651-1529, or email me at [email protected].

Sincerely,

DARRELL STEINBERG

President pro Tempore

6th Senate District

DS:ep

What struck me was not only the Senator’s apparent ignorance of the actual Arizona and California laws, but his narcissistic and condescending response. Darrell Steinberg is a lawyer, and I am not, nor is the doctor who penned the letter. Is it ignorance, arrogance, or is he in that deeply with the Democrat and public employee union agenda?

PENAL CODE SECTION 833-851.90

834b a) Every law enforcement agency in California shall fully cooperate with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service regarding any person who is arrested if he or she is suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws.

(b) With respect to any such person who is arrested, and suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws, every law enforcement agency shall do the following:

(1) Attempt to verify the legal status of such person as a citizen of the United States, an alien lawfully admitted as a permanent resident, an alien lawfully admitted for a temporary period of time or as an alien who is present in the United States in violation of

immigration laws. The verification process may include, but shall not be limited to, questioning the person regarding his or her date and place of birth, and entry into the United States, and demanding documentation to indicate his or her legal status.

(2) Notify the person of his or her apparent status as an alien who is present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws and inform him or her that, apart from any criminaljustice proceedings, he or she must either obtain legal status or leave the United States.

(3) Notify the Attorney General of California and the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service of the apparent illegal status and provide any additional information that may be requested by any other public entity.

(c) Any legislative, administrative, or other action by a city, county, or other legally authorized local governmental entity with jurisdictional boundaries, or by a law enforcement agency, to prevent or limit the cooperation required by subdivision (a) is expressly prohibited.

– Katy Grimes


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