Three cheers for Sheriff Enoch GeorgeA group of eleven immigrants from Mexico is suing the Maury County Sheriff's Department alleging that the department is engaging in racial profiling because the Department is working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to help round up those who are in the country illegally.
In other words, the Sheriff of Maury County, Enoch George, is being sued for (of all things) attempting to enforce the law. Perish the thought!
Well, were those who were arrested and interrogated wrongly accused of being illegally in the country? Are they legal residents and citizens who were "profiled" merely because they are Hispanics? One key statement in this story may give us all the information we need about whether that is the case:
The attorney who filed the lawsuit, Elliott Ozment, declined to say whether those arrested were legally in the country, saying it has no relevance to the lawsuit.
“Any person, regardless of their legal status, whether they are U.S. citizens, temporary visa holders or undocumented ... have basic, fundamental, constitutional rights,” Ozment said. “One of those is the right guaranteed in the Fourth Amendment against improper searches and seizures. The other is the right to due process.”
Someone who is in this country illegally has no protection under a Constitution that was intended for those who are in this country legally, living under the law by their legal residence here. If you are not in the United States in a legal capacity, you have no constitutional protection, nor any right to expect any such protection unless or until you take the necessary steps to become a legal resident of the United States. Once you obtain legal status, you then have every right to expect full constitutional protection, but not before. The very fact that Mr. Ozment refused to answer the question of these people's legal status and declared it not to be important leads me to believe that it is an open question and that these 11 people are in fact illegal aliens who are already in violation of the law and not subject to any pretence of protection.
If these folks had just produced legal documentation such as a green card or citizenship papers, none of this would be an issue and the Sheriff really would look like a bigot. It sounds to me, however, like the good Sheriff was enforcing the laws of the United States of America, and if these people really don't like being treated this way they can solve the problem: Go back and come in legally.