The Fat Kid is all in a lather today. Apparently his home state of Arizona has passed a radical anti-immigrant bill, which has led many enlightened and proper-thinking people to compare the Canyon State to Nazi Germany, Apartheid, and Jim Crow. When I found out that my beloved home is rolling out the fascism and looking to turn into a modern era Third Reich, well my reaction was the same as yours: This simply cannot be allowed to stand. As a lover of knowledge, I thought I'd research this new law and share its highlights and bring to light all the odious features so that you can arm yourself against all the misinformation that will be thrown your way.
My crack research team here at the Fat Kid Diaries (me, Google, and Wikipedia) got right to work summarizing the law, which provides for the following:
- Makes it a felony to be in the country illegally
- Directs the state to track the nationalities of legal immigrants and mandates that entry be barred to certain people if their presence would upset the demographic balance of the state
- Forbids immigrants from political activities, including public protests
- Makes it a crime punishable by 10 years in prison to re-enter the state illegally once a person has been caught and deported
- Makes it a felony to assist someone in entering the country illegally
- Mandates that immigrants be able to be productive and able to support themselves and their dependents without aid from the state
- Requires that police and other public officials definitively establish that an immigrant is in the country legally before they can offer any assistance, even if the immigrant is the victim of a crime
As you can see, these are draconian to say the least. If I didn't already live here, I would never set foot in this state. Just because someone sneaks over the border doesn't mean they should be imprisoned. What kind of cruel and heartless people enact such laws?
Wait....Hold on a sec....My producers are telling me something....
Wow, am I embarrassed! It turns out that those aren't in the Arizona law at all, but rather are contained within Mexico's current immigration laws. That last provision is called "Article 67" and is deemed by Amnesty International to be a large factor in the widespread human rights abuses suffered by Central American illegals at the hands of gangs and complicit police officers.
OK, so I was wrong about what the Arizona law says. Let me dig a little deeper and see what it is about the law that prompted Colorado Democrat Congressman Jared Polis to declare that Arizona was turning into a "police state" reminiscent of Nazi Germany. It turns out that he objects to the stipulation that legal immigrants have their immigration papers on them at all times and be required to produce them for authorities on demand. That really is a Gestapo-like requirement, isn't it? Visions of jackbooted brownshirts demanding "Papers, please" to legal resident aliens should send chills down everyone's spines, shouldn't it?
Wait...Hold on another second....Getting new information....
Well, color me doubly humiliated for bad reporting. I have just learned that the requirement that legal aliens have their immigration papers on them at all times and be able to produce them when asked is a federal law that has been in place for quite some time.
Well, then what exactly does the Arizona law require? It is called Senate Bill 1070, and it does the following:
- It forbids communities from declaring themselves to be "sanctuary cities" and from refusing to cooperate with existing federal immigration law.
- It directs police officers who have already made legal contact with a person (domestic violence complaint, speeding, public drunkenness, tail light out, loitering, etc) to make a "reasonable attempt" to ascertain resident status if there is reasonable suspicion that the person is an illegal alien
- Makes it a misdemeanor (trespassing) to be in the country illegally.
- Specifically prohibits racial profiling and requires that police may only stop and question people about their immigration status if there is a reasonable cause to do so
- Makes it a felony to smuggle across the border a minor if there is no other adult family member also being smuggled
That last provision is an important one and is largely ignored by race baiting activists who want to make political hay out of this issue. Young women and girls are taken from their homes in Mexico and brought to the United States to work as prostitutes. Separated from their families and speaking no English, they are completely at the mercy of their kidnappers. Phoenix is the kidnapping capital of the United States, and it is almost entirely directly tied to illegal immigration. Gang violence is increasing in this state, fueled by border crossers looking to expand their share of the drug and prostitution trade. In the past few weeks, a southern Arizona rancher was shot to death on his own land by illegals, and a sheriff's deputy was seriously wounded in a shootout with drug smugglers.
When humans first started to band together and form communities, it wasn't to make sure that they all had universal health care or free education. It was to protect themselves. The first function of government - if it does nothing else - is to protect its citizens from invaders and from criminals. The federal government for many years under both political parties has willingly shirked its duty in making sure that only law abiding immigrants are allowed into this country. Cajoled by Republican business interests who care more about cheap labor than they do sound immigration policy and by Democratic political interests who see the millions of undocumented and uninvited visitors from Latin America as a political constituency, the federal government has decided to simply ignore the problem. Now that it has fallen on the states to deal with the multitude of social ills associated with criminals operating across an open border, Arizona has taken the lead in stemming the flow and it is getting a lot of heat (pardon the pun) for it.
What is ironic in the whole 1070 kerfuffle is that Prop 100 is on the ballot for consideration. It would implement a "temporary" one cent sales tax increase to fund education. There is a strong push on television and radio to pass this tax, with politicians and teachers telling us that it's the "right thing to do." Ignored in the debate is the financial burden that undocumented aliens have on our social services systems. A large portion of these workers are employed on a cash basis, meaning they pay no state or federal income taxes, while at the same time they send their kids to school and avail themselves of services and infrastructure provided by the state. It would make sense for the people agitating for higher taxes to hold those illegals who dodge their own tax responsibilities to demand they they pay their fair share. Sadly but predictably, they are silent on this point.
If you poll Americans, including Arizonans, you would find that a sizable majority is in favor of robust and plentiful legal immigration. This country was founded by immigrants and has flourished because of them. But we as a nation have a right to decide which immigrants should be allowed entry and which ones we'd be better off without.
The pro-open borders loudmouths who compare Arizona's decision to address the very real problem of illegal immigration to an establishment of a Nazi state act like petulant, spoiled children. They slander the people who support secure national borders while at the same time trivializing the horrors suffered by the victims of the Holocaust. If people like Al Sharpton were capable of feeling an ounce of shame, they would blush. Unfortunately, they are not, so the misinformation and distortion of the facts will go on.