Bill Montgomery's Ghost of Christmas Present: Injustice

monty1.jpg
Montgomery supports the local S.A.N.E. initiative on immigration, though his policies belie that stance

If there were a law against keeping parents from their children for no good reason on Christmas, or any other day, then Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, and many of his functionaries, would be guilty as charged.

Currently, neither the county attorney's office nor the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office can tell me how many moms, dads, sons and daughters are being held non-bondable this Christmas under Prop 100, the state constitutional amendment passed overwhelmingly by Arizona voters in 2006.

See also:
-S.A.N.E. Immigration Initiative Undercut by Bill Montgomery's Nativist Panderings
-A Woman Was Held in Jail Because Authorities Thought She Was Illegal
-A Glendale Mom Was Falsely Imprisoned; Now the State Wants to Cancel Her U.S. Birth Certificate

That law, primarily pimped at the time by now-recalled ex-state Senate President Russell Pearce, denies bail to those believed to be in the country illegally and presumed guilty of a "serious felony."

A "serious felony" is defined by statute as a class 4 felony or above, which means someone accused of using a false ID or Social Security Number to obtain employment can be held for months prior to trial, all for the heinous offense of, um, working.

Yeah, you read that right. Working.

This stupidity puts otherwise law-abiding residents of this state -- many with significant ties to the community -- in the same category as murderers, serial rapists, child molesters, and the like, all of whom can be denied bail under Arizona law.

So if you've committed manslaughter, grand theft auto, armed robbery, aggravated assault, or any number of violations of criminal law, a judge will set a bail amount.

And if you can pay the bondsman, you're free until proven guilty by jury of your peers and sentenced accordingly.

But if you're undocumented, and you stand accused of obtaining employment with a fake ID and/or Social Security Number, you'll have to kibbutz with the killers till your trial date, or until you make a Hobson's choice offered by the county attorney: plead to a class 6 felony, and risk deportation, or rot in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's gulags for the time being.

The policy is a gross violation of both the Arizona and U.S. Constitutions, as well as state and federal court rulings dictating that bail should be denied only in rare circumstances and that denial of bail should not be used as a form of punishment. This, according to a team of Phoenix lawyers now battling the MCAO on behalf of their undocumented clients.

These four immigration attorneys -- Delia Salvatierra, Dori Zavala, Johnny Sinodis, and Ray Ybarra -- argue that the county attorney's application of Prop 100 runs contrary to the U.S. Supreme Court's June decision on Senate Bill 1070 in United States v. Arizona.

Among the sections of SB 1070 struck down by the high court was a section penalizing aliens for seeking unauthorized employment, section 5(c).

Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy found that section 5(c) was preempted by the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act, a comprehensive scheme for "combating the employment of illegal aliens."

There may be legal consequences under IRCA for aliens "seeking or engaging authorized work," or for obtaining "employment through fraudulent means," but the onus of the law falls mostly on employers.


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17 comments
Castanedatony
Castanedatony

First I want to say that I miss my brother I miss going to work With him The hardest thing for me is that when I get home I don't have nobody to play video games And is very hard for me because I see My parents Crying all the time And it's hard for me because I don't Have Anything to say so they can feel better But I have to stay strong for them , And it's also hard for me because every time Anthony and Kevin sees me Day ask me tio Where's my dad How come he doesn't come home with you anymore Then I say because he has to work somewhere else but He will be back pretty soon I don't think it's fair That my brother Has to be in jail Because he's not a criminal he just Wants to work so he can provide for his family I hope he comes home pretty soon because my whole family needs him I want to say thank you to our lawyer Dory zavala For all your support And everybody that's helping her on my brothers case . I'm Octavio's Little brother

mandymountain
mandymountain

I remember back when a felony meant a really serious crime: violence, robbery, mayhem! Now we get pot smokers and undocumented immigrants putting down random SS numbers. This is the dumbing down of criminal justice in action.

dennis20
dennis20 topcommenter

The fist time I heard the words "the Mongomery Plan" on immigration from Bob Worlsey, and repeated by Brahm Resnik I threw up a little in my mouth.  This is the same County Attorney who campaigned with Pearce and Arpaio on the border home of the same man who housed racist murderer Shawna Forde. These people are disgusting. Montgomery is as dirty as the rest. 

comrade
comrade

These corrupt politicians need to start prosecuting the Employers that probably " KNOWINGLY" hire the undocumented workers, that would make such a big difference; once one of the eployers is prosecuted, the others will think twice. For them to say that it's hard to know who is legally working, is such a poor excuse......-heck, how they could kill the golden eggs goose, they are not going to give up the profit from the cheap labor-, only to be fomented by the Old Fart Arpayaso by backing them up saying the same shit, and bringing his circus once on a while and arresting some of the undocumented when is time to recycle, time for the employers to get more "illegals" so the old fart profits too, by incarcerating them, all it comes to money. And since nobody dares to conduct an audit on him, where is all that money

comrade
comrade

All this revolves around the same all group of Old Corrupt Farts: Pearce. Brewsky, and the most of them all the Ring Leader Shurf Arpayaso. All this comes to money, if these "illegals" are bondable is a one time deal, if they are kept incarcerated, is money comming every day, do the math, and this "chicken butthole face" montgomery, has to please his masters.

1duffer
1duffer

@stephenlemons Well, aren't you the saintly one? if people are undocumented, what does that say about their propensity to flee prosecution?

Tommy_Collins
Tommy_Collins

It occurs to me that perhaps Mr. Montgomery is playing this issue as both S.A.N.E. and safe. The S.A.N.E. side is to come out in public and support the initiative, thus enabling him to say, "I think we need to work on a viable solution, and this seems to be a start".

The safe side, of course, is to continue to 'prosecute', if you will, those who have commited the criminal act of using some sort of false identity to secure meaningful employment. The safe side of things just means more votes from the adoring public who don't take the time to educate themselves on the immigration issue, or they simply don't want those born on the wrong side of the border given the chance at a better life.

I will imagine that Mr. Montgomery is fully aware of the likelihood of constitutional violations because of this state law, but he has nothing to lose and everything to gain by playing safe and S.A.N.E.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

okay, i understand the no bail on the false identity and yes it does make sense. if you have a false identity, you are a flight risk, but why wouldn't that also apply to a kid with a false I.D.? (yes, i know his identity has been established,but he can also skip and get a new one too). the immigrant with the false identity is guilty of a crime, but he is paying an extreme amount of taxes the whole time he is doing it, whereas the fake I.D. kid is using it to go commit the crime of underage drinking or to gain access to things he is not old enough to do normally (I.E: driving, tobacco, strip clubs) for all we know he could also be using said I.D. to establish credit lines, cash checks etc, etc.   he is still guilty of misrepresenting himself the same as the immigrant, so he also should not be bail eligible. its laws like this that are singling out one group out of two who are committing the same crime. this is one reason why we are getting hit with "racial profiling " lawsuits all the time. there would be no reason to deny bail to one group and not deny it from the other. 

arizonaeagletarian
arizonaeagletarian

Presumed guilty? I thought people were presumed innocent, according to law, until convicted in a trial.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@PissOnArpaio actually yes there is. but its called a "miscarriage" of justice.

MotherJones
MotherJones

@danzigsdaddy I disagree. They are not a flight risk on a class 4 forgery charge, and I'll tell u why: If they flee the country, they'll never be able to come back. Their families and their lives are here in the U.S. They have every motivation to stay and fight the charge.

Also, whether or not someone is a flight risk is up to the judge to decide. Or should be. Why is an illegal immigrant charged with class 4 forgery any more likely to skip town than a citizen charged with manslaughter or robbery? The answer is, they aren't.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@MotherJones i am not agreeing with the court on the flight risk, just saying what they are probably claiming.  but it does look like you are kind of agreeing with me on it being preferential on who gets bail. if Joe wants to claim he is following the law, he should be upset that people who arent brown are getting bond while others are not. they both are breaking the law and establishing false identities. 

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