Facts, not feelings, should be driving force behind legislation

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Tuesday’s subcommittee on a bill filed by Senator Jim Carlin that would require law enforcement to do data collection on nonresident aliens who commit a public offense deteriorated quickly.

This is a bill that I covered in both subcommittee and committee in 2019. So the allegations of racism didn’t floor me, but the lack of any sort of interest in what the bill actually said or actually would do did.

First of all, the bill may need some work in terms of amendments or language clarifications. Almost every bill does. That’s why each bill goes through a subcommittee, committee and full floor vote in each chamber before becoming law. A bill has at least six opportunities to be improved before it ever becomes law.

According to figures from the Iowa Department of Public Safety, from 2017-19 there were 166,140 grams seized of meth in Iowa. Numbers show 99 percent of the meth comes from Mexico. It’s a big problem.

Now, as it pertains to Tuesday’s discussion, as I said, it left the tracks as soon as it started.

The first speaker told a story about being pulled over by a cop for having a brake light out. The first question the cop asked, she said, was regarding her legal status. Eventually, she was let go with a verbal warning, but she claimed she was racially profiled.

If that’s the case, then the obvious question is who did she report the officer’s actions to?

Just about every speaker after that launched into tirades against racial profiling, which nobody in that room supported, to my knowledge.

I’ve always thought it is interesting though, how when one side of the political aisle talks about illegal immigrants, they seem to only ever discuss those who are — in their words — brown. Isn’t that racist in and of itself?

The idea that an illegal immigrant is illegal because of their skin color rather than the fact that they’re simply here illegally. As far as I know, white people can be just as illegal as any other person can be. Canadians can be illegal. Chinese can be illegal.

Legal status has nothing to do with skin color. The Left’s constant claims that it does attempt to reveal racism within the GOP, but it actually reveals a bit of racism within the Democrat Party.

I was shocked at how many comments really were not germane to the bill at all. I’m not convinced most of the people who commented at the subcommittee read the entire bill.

For one side of the debate, facts were few. Emotions were plenty.

That isn’t how good legislation is crafted. Lawmakers cannot create good policy if the basis for the policy is how it impacts someone’s feelings.

I am actually kind of surprised that people who are arrested for a public offense don’t automatically have their legal status in America verified. I fail to see the harm in that practice.

Iowans deserve to know how many crimes in the Hawkeye State are committed by illegal immigrants.

If you’re curious some of the “racist” data this bill was attempting to compile were answers to these questions:

*Was a citation issued or an arrest made? (this is likely part of the bill that will need to be reworked in terms of citations)

*What was the type of citation issued or the basis for the arrest?

*Was it a misdemeanor or a felony?

*Was it committed against another person?

*Were there injuries sustained by another person or a law enforcement officer?

*Was property seized pursuant to the arrest?

I have talked with Sen. Carlin on numerous occasions. Never once have I ever had any reason to think it might be even remotely possible for him to be a racist.

In fact, I know Sen. Carlin to have a deep desire to help everyone, especially those who are vulnerable.

He is searching for facts to help improve the safety of Iowans.

For that, he deserves credit, not condemnation.

Author: Jacob Hall