Arizona Backdraft (v1)
A week has now passed since the passage and signing of the most stringent anti-illegal immigration law in the country, Arizona SB1070. With outcries of racial profiling and unconstitutional, Republicans and Democrats alike are lining up in this Congressional election year to deal with this lightening rod issue. As expected, those who have not responded to the need to defend our border from the swarm of "undocumented" workers across the Southern Border, are now clamoring to position themselves in opposition. But do they really understand what it is that they oppose?
For the moment, put aside the question of the Constitutionality of the new Arizona law and quell the fears over racial profiling (just for the moment). When in recent memory has the question of illegal immigrants been so top-of-mind on the airwaves and on the front pages of American newspapers.
There are terrible truths. Cheap labor is driving businesses to hire the cheap labor of illegal immigrants. The dangers of crossing the border illegally are recounted often enough to know that people lie of starvation and dehydration. At the same time, the porous border is open to people who are "other than Mexicans." We know of many stories of people from Middle Eastern countries being able to cross into this country without proper procedure.
It is easier to politicize this issue by claiming that it is unconstitutional or that is promotes racial profiling. However, what about the facts of the situation?
This is a lightening rod issue that it will probably eventually be heard in the SCOTUS. Governor Brewer said in this article
"Border-related violence and crime due to illegal immigration are critically important issues to the people of our state," she said on Friday after signing the immigration bill. "We cannot sacrifice our safety to the murderous greed of drug cartels. We cannot stand idly by as drop houses, kidnappings and violence compromise our quality of life." The absolute fact is that people are screaming that it isn't Constitutional. While I am not a lawyer or expert in any way in the Constitution, as far as I know, the "exercise of concurrent power" has never been applied to immigration. One of the questions is whether the Constitution allows for a state to reform immigration on its own under the same premise as levying taxes. Some estimates peg the illegal population at 9% of all people living in Arizona.
Those who are shouting "racial profiling" are the ones who fear being profiled. Actually, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." All of that does not enable illegal activity.
All it takes is a drivers' license or a verifiably valid social security card.
Until this Arizona bill was passed, the policy in many municipalities was to look the other way when it came to an illegal immigrant UNTIL that individual committed another crime. It actually appears that those most outspoken about the Arizona immigration law are what are known as "sanctuary cities.
There is a lot more to be written about Arizona SB1070, including the fact that a number of other states including Utah, Colorado, Texas, Ohio are considering similar actions. In the coming weeks we will also see how the Administration deals with the Arizona legislation that it characterizes as a shortcut that will merely inflame the immigration debate "instead of solving the problem.''
Perhaps what is being missed here is that Arizona and other border states may be acting in the best interests of their citizens. That the federal government is uncomfortable in this exercise of power to govern locally is interesting in itself. That Mexico is telling its citizens to not travel to the US is among the wonderful ironies of national policy and world politics.
At the bottom line, it is essential to understand that in reality the "Arizona Problem" is a result of more than a decade of inaction regarding US border security. Policy setting for immigration was never "PC." What we're watching now is the exercise of states rights & concurrent exercise of power to push the federal government to action. The question then is, "what action will the federal government take?" Will it lean toward stronger security of the border or "forgiveness" and "amnesty" for those already here illegally?