One day after Joseph Robinette Biden was sworn in as President, TFTP predicted that he would continue the most destructive policies of the Trump administration. We predicted that he would not end the program of "kids in cages" and defund ICE and in fact, he is increasing their funding.
As the war on immigrants continues, utterly insane examples continue to surface of abuse and rights violations. In one of the most asinine cases on which TFTP has ever reported, DPS Sergeant Travis Smith pulled over a van of people — who had committed no crime — and claimed they "smelled" illegal. He then used this as reasonable suspicion to detain all the passengers in the van.
According to a report in the Arizona Mirror, the Arizona Department of Public Safety has been forced to issue a statement noting that it is impossible to smell someone's citizenship status.
While Arizona law requires police to try to determine someone’s immigration status, the notable “odor” of people is not an acceptable factor law enforcement can use to establish reasonable suspicion that someone is a noncitizen and living and working in the country without authorization, according to DPS.
“I exited my patrol car and approached the side of the van,” Smith wrote in his incident report. “The passenger window was rolled down and I immediately smelled an odor that was consistent with smuggling of illegal aliens from past experiences. Once I was at the passenger window, I noticed numerous persons in the van and the driver looked scared.”
Smith admitted that he pulled the van over, claiming they were driving 60 in a 65, which is entirely legal. He then said the driver's inability to make eye-contact was also a reason for the stop — another entirely legal choice.
After he pulled them over, Smith noticed 17 men in the multi-passenger van. The driver of the van, a US citizen, told Smith he was transporting the men from Tucson to a farm to work.
The men were then detained, their fingerprints taken (which came back clear), and they were released without incident, forced to walk down the highway to their next destination.
The move by the trooper has civil rights experts furious.
“You can’t smell someone’s immigration status,” said Billy Peard, an immigrant rights advocate and former attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, according to the Mirror.
“That sounds racist to me. I don’t know how somebody smells like an immigrant,” Yvette Borja, a border litigation attorney for the ACLU of Arizona said.
Indeed, when cops claim they can smell the odor of illegal immigrants and they use this as a reason for detaining a group of 17 men, we might need to rethink how the US is dealing with the current immigration issues.
In regard to illegal immigration, the left and the right are at extreme odds when it comes to how to deal with those crossing over into the United States. The left wants to subsidize them using taxpayer funds while the right wants to subsidize the prison industrial complex by locking them up. Meanwhile, however, those of us not blinded by the political divide are looking at why they are crossing over in the first place and proposing solutions to fix it that don't require subsidizing anyone.
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The reality of the situation is that the recent spike in immigrants coming into the United States from the Southern border are fleeing the inevitable results of the bipartisan policy carried out by multiple federal agencies on a global scale. The overwhelming majority of migrants coming from countries like El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala are fleeing violence created by the US federal government's own war on drugs.
But how does American policy create violence in Honduras, you ask? The answer is simple, supply and demand.
Because making something illegal does nothing to curb the demand for it, the war on drugs acts as fuel to the fire of gang violence and crime in these South and Central American countries by creating an incentive for criminals to capitalize on the constant demand.
Gangs and cartels form to meet this constant demand because they are the only ones willing to break the law to fill it. The void in demand created by the war on drugs is filled with society's worst who have no qualms about murdering innocents to protect their supply chain and keep the blood money and illegal drugs flowing.
Because the United States has no legal supply of these drugs, cartels willing to break the law bribe politicians in their own country to grow them and then smuggle their products into ours. As a result, the US is actively incentivizing crime thus fueling a refugee crisis.
To show just how closely related gang violence and the drug war are, we can look at the effects that legalization of marijuana in only a few states has had on gang violence and trafficking throughout the US and Mexico.
A study in 2018 showed that marijuana legalization led to a drastic drop in violent crime in US states that border Mexico.
According to the study, Is Legal Pot Crippling Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations? The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on US Crime, when a state on the Mexican border legalized weed, violent crime fell by 13% on average. According to the study, homicides specifically related to the drug trade fell by an astonishing 41%.
Just seven cartels control the illegal marijuana trade into the US and even with legalization, they still supply most of the weed consumed in America.
But legalizing pot and allowing it to be grown inside the United States is crippling the cartels and putting them out of business, according to the study.
“These laws allow local farmers to grow marijuana that can then be sold to dispensaries where it is sold legally,” said economist Evelina Gavrilova, one of the study’s authors. “These growers are in direct competition with Mexican drug cartels that are smuggling the marijuana into the US. As a result, the cartels get much less business.”
Unfortunately, neither the left nor the right is able to see this and take proper action. Until we overcome this massive hurdle of state and corporate sponsored prohibition, we can expect to see more children being taken from their parents and thrown in cages and more cartels which in-turn will keep increasing illegal immigration—adding to the vicious and inhumane cycle of violence and bureaucracy.
But, by all means, keep voting for a new ruler every 4 years.