In his most recent post on this topic, Victor Reppert tells us that his "main concern is with the 'reasonable suspicion' clause. That strikes me as horribly vague." Here is the relevant SB 1070 passage as amended by HB 2162 which contains the clause in question:
For any lawful contact stop, detention or arrest made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of this state or a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state in the enforcement of any other law or ordinance of a county, city or town or this state where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who and is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation.
In our state, most illegals are Hispanics, but most Hispanics are not illegals. If you define your conception of what it takes to have reasonable suspicion, and on my blog I made an un-remarked-upon recommendation that we have reasonable suspicion just in case we have objective criteria leading to the conclusion that it is more likely than not that the person is illegal, then you could at least eliminate the worst of the profiling problems. You can't just stop a Hispanic and make an immigration status inquiry, because being Hispanic is not sufficient for it to be more than 50% likely that the person is here illegally. (Emphasis added)
I believe Reppert is missing the point here. I agree with the last quoted sentence. But the 1070 law does not mandate that Hispanics be stopped at random to have their status checked. The law clearly states the conditions under which an immigration inquiry may proceed:
1. There must be a lawful stop, detention, or arrest.
2. The stop, detention, or arrest must be made in the enforcement of a law other than 1070.
3. There must be reasonable suspicion that the person is an illegal alien.
4. The immigration inquiry must be practicable.
5. The immigration inquiry must not hinder or obstruct an investigation.
I should think that Reppert's 50% rule is satisfied if all the conditions are observed. For example, during a lawful traffic stop, the cop has the right to ask for a driver's license. If the Hispanic driver has no license, no proof of insurance, no registration, has a campesino sticker on his bumper, is driving a junker, etc. then the the chance that he is illegal is way over 50%.
There is a distinction I made earlier which is very important and which Reppert may be ignoring, the distinction between a law and its enforcement. If a law is reasonable and just, it is these things whether or not some cowboy of a cop oversteps his legitimate authority in its enforcement. It would be absurd to argue that a particular law should be repealed because there may be abuses in its enforcement. For any such argument would 'prove too much': it would prove that every law ought to be repealed. For every law is such that an abuse can occur in its enforcement.