Well, There’s No Way THIS Could Go Wrong

Did y’all see SB1141? I got an email from TIRRC about it this morning and I’m embarrassed to say that my very first thought was that they must be mistaken.  But no.  SB1141 says:

When a person is arrested for any offense and is confined, for any period, in the jail of the county or any municipality, a reasonable effort to review documents in the possession of the prisoner shall be made to assess the citizenship status of the person so confined. If the keeper of the jail or other officer cannot determine the lawful status of the prisoner from the documents in the possession of the prisoner or if it is determined that the person is not lawfully present in the United States, pursuant to the federal Immigration and Naturalization Act, compiled in 8 U.S.C. § 1101 et seq., the keeper of the jail or other officer shall notify the United States department of homeland security by facsimile transmission or other appropriate means.

Oh, I know y’all are dying at that last sentence, so let’s just laugh at it and get it out of the way.  Yes, if a police officer cannot tell if a person is here legally or if he determines a person is not here legally, he will then SEND A FAX to the DHS.  Yes, a fax. Because it is apparently 1985.  I can only assume that the Department of Homeland Security will then dispatch the Pony Express to let the local jailer know if he should keep the person detained.

Could you imagine how much that would suck if you couldn’t prove you were a U.S. citizen, you were stuck in jail, and the Department of Homeland Security’s fax got a paper jam?  Would you ever get let go?

And I bet ICE is going to just love this.  “What’s on the roster today chief?  Well, we’ve got another 100 faxes from Tennessee to go through.” “Is someone going to get that state the internet at some point?” “Oh, look, here’s an email they’ve printed out and faxed to us.” “Jesus.”

As the email from TIRCC points out, “Before the Davidson County Sheriff could engage in these immigration enforcement activities, deputies were required to receive 5 weeks of federal training on immigration documents, civil rights, and racial profiling.”  But this will let every police officer in the state become defacto ICE agents.

Didn’t the Republicans just pass a resolution demanding that the Federal Government respect the sovereignty of the State?  And then the Republicans are going to turn right around and pass a law making our law enforcement agents responsible for enforcing Federal immigration statutes?  So, were we just sovereign last week?  This week it doesn’t count?

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

Anyway, the best part–and by best I mean “most disturbing”–is that just like that the Republicans are demanding that we all carry paper on us that establish our U.S. citizenship–with no guidance in the bill about what will be acceptable proof of citizenship.

Gosh, that won’t be abused, I’m sure.

8 thoughts on “Well, There’s No Way THIS Could Go Wrong

  1. Now, B.; I guess I need to remind you what “states’ rights” and “state sovereignty” mean. If a state’s ability to treat brown people like shit is threatened, then it’s a sovereignty issue, and the Feds should just butt out. If a state can’t afford to treat brown people like shit without federal assistance, then it is not a sovereignty issue. If– God forbid– a brown person should ever lead the executive branch of the federal government, then everything he/she says and does should be considered a threat to state sovereignty (until it is no longer politically expedient to do so).

    I hope this little reminder helps.

  2. Snerk. True enough.

    And, I’m sorry to say, Sam, but I think this law requires me to detain you. And probably objectify you a little bit. If you could report to my house, wearing only those cute firefighter pants, that would bring us both into compliance with the law.

    I mean, if the state can start acting like the feds, it’s okay for a private citizen to start acting like the state, right?

  3. I just want to point out that I was at the ballpark a couple of weeks ago, and tried to buy a beer, and it turned out that I didn’t have my driver’s license on me (I wasn’t the one driving, fortunately) but I did have my US passport. And the beer seller wouldn’t take that as valid ID because it wasn’t from the state of TN. Although I had used state-issued ID to get it. Now, on the one hand it serves me right for having gone to get a nice draft Yazoo beer instead of the bottles the vendors were bringing around, because the vendors don’t ask anyone for ID. On the other hand, it sure does suggest ways this bill will lead to, say, complications in the carrying out.

  4. Pingback: ICE, ICE, Baby : Post Politics: Political News and Views in Tennessee

  5. B., just don’t go acting like a fed, especially if you’re objectifying Sam while you do. Then it gets kinda hazt, but I think you’re violating yourself even if Sam’s not a member of a protected class.

    See, even though I was born in this city I don’t know how I’d prove I’m ‘merican if I got stopped (except for my general whiteness, which naturally excuses me from most crimes).

    It hasn’t been that many years ago that I got a drivers license renewed and waited several hours so all of us, natives and not, got our licenses. Have all those licenses expired?

    Wouldn’t I have to go to the bank, dig in the safety deposit box, and find my veterans separation papers or birth certificate to prove I’m who I am? My passport’s expired, so I don’t have nm’s excuse for not being able to buy Yazoo City.

    And what if my wife comes along but doesn’t want to lug her purse around with her? Will I have to visit her in Juarez? I’ll burn up a lot of gas going and coming. Have they done an environmental impact study on this yet?

  6. I am cracking up, because you’re funny.

    But I feel i must also point out that sometimes the whole book of law requires police and law people to transact via facsimilie in order to have a more substantial and inalterable chain of paper evidence.

    I know that in most cases my dad has to transact business with the Federal Court via facsimilie for just that reason. (There are ways to more readily doctor emails on either side.)

  7. Kat, that’s surely true when probative documentation must be transmitted. But when what’s being communicated is the lack of probative documentation?

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