When Arizona Governor Jan Brewer recently signed the now infamous immigration law S.B. 1070, liberals and race baiters sprang to their feet in feigned outrage. SNL, Jon Stewart, CNN and every liberal politician to the man, decried the “Nazi-like” aspects of the new law, which they claimed would lead to racial profiling and Third Reich-style requirements for ethnic minorities to carry their papers and produce them on demand. News outlets and dilettantes on the left all began to ask the tongue in cheek question: What’s the matter with Arizona?
Ivory tower leftists across the country immediately joined in unison to decry the bigoted law, celebrities sciolistically spoke out in opposition against the knuckle-draggers in the Copper State, San Francisco and other moonbattish municipalities threatened to boycott Arizona, the Phoenix Suns issued solidarity uniforms in support of illegal Latinos and Major League Baseball’s Bud Selig began considering canceling the 2010 All-Star game, which is to be held in Phoenix. But the real reason for the political reaction to the new law? The sagging poll numbers of Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats, of course. Cue pragmatic scheming and populist demagoguery from the usual characters–Al Sharpton, Barack Obama, Keith Olbermann, and CNN/MSNBC, ABC, etc.
If current trends continue as they have for liberals in Congress, the 2010 mid-term elections stand to be a historic drubbing for Democrats, and November will see Democrats lose not just one, but both houses of Congress. What is really at stake, is a demoralized and disengaged liberal base and an invigorated grassroots movement of tea-drinkers which is raising money for conservative candidates and has designs on storming the polls in six short months. If Democrats can manage to muster a populist backlash against a non-issue that is perceived as rampant discrimination and bigotry, they can apply a tourniquet of sorts to their bloody stumps in the Senate and House. It’s what we in the political business call a “wedge-issue.”
And make no mistake, S.B. 1070 is a non-issue at worst, and a solid, necessary piece of legislation at best. Faced with a Federal government which has failed for over twenty years to enforce its own immigration laws at the expense of states like Arizona and California, where billions of dollars annually hemorrhage from local budgets and an ever expanding drug war threatens to engulf border states, who can blame Arizona? All the while, the over twelve million illegal immigrants flooding over the border into the U.S. and refusing to assimilate has increasingly balkanized the Southwest.
As just a small proof, just this week students were punished at their school in Live Oak, California for wearing t-shirts emblazoned with American flags, which offended the heavily Mexican student body, one of which was quoted as saying “they can be a patriot on some other day. Not [on Cinco de Mayo].” Also on Cinco de Mayo, a veteran named Jim Brossert (who may be charged) in Reno Nevada marched to a Hispanic-owned store and cut down a Mexican flag, which was being flown illegally positioned above an American flag. Not that the liberal immigration ‘reform’ crowd cares so much about legalities on Cinco de Mayo (which, interestingly, is pretty much an American-only holiday, virtually ignored by Mexicans in Mexico and promoted here in the U.S. by, no surprise, American corporations trying to hauck Coronas). Then of course, there are the riots and rallies by groups like La Raza, which openly advocate turning portions of America over to Mexico.
The Arizona law is nothing more than a reinforcement (if you can call it that) of existing Federal laws enacted by F.D.R. (that weren’t being enforced, oddly enough). An extension of the Federal law to the state, really. The Federal law, passed in 1940, states in 8 USC 1304(e) that:
“Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. Any alien who fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”
The idea that the Arizona Immigration law is in any way draconian or cruel and unusual, therefore, is preposterous. Aliens were already required, as is the case in all other foreign countries, to carry their documentation. The Federal government was simply not doing its job, and Arizona decided to take matters into its own hands.
Of course, the main problem sprinkles have with the S.B. 1070 is that the bill empowers local law enforcement to ask for proof of citizenship—“SHOW ME YO’ PAPAHS!”… And, encourages racial profiling. They are way off base, as usual, as the law’s opponents fail to—Well, I’ll just let the law speak for itself:
B. FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT 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 WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO 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.
Reasonable suspicion? Why, that sounds a lot like the grounds necessary for law enforcement officials to search cars or persons for drugs, open containers, missing persons, or any variety of other illegal property.
The law goes on to dictate exactly just what can be used to determine the citizenship status of the person(s) in question:
THE PERSON’S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c). A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL…OF THIS STATE MAY NOT SOLELY CONSIDER RACE, COLOR OR NATIONAL ORIGIN IN IMPLEMENTING THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SUBSECTION EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY THE UNITED STATES OR ARIZONA CONSTITUTION.
Interestingly, that sounds a lot like the law is strictly prohibiting racial profiling (never mind whether the tactic is effective)! The law allows for the following proofs of citizenship or legal residency:
1. A VALID ARIZONA DRIVER LICENSE.
2. A VALID ARIZONA NONOPERATING IDENTIFICATION LICENSE.
3. A VALID TRIBAL ENROLLMENT CARD OR OTHER FORM OF TRIBAL IDENTIFICATION.
4. ….ANY VALID UNITED STATES FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT ISSUED IDENTIFICATION.
A driver’s license? The horrors! That is just like Germany circa 1939. How dare any government agent demand documents from someone stopped during lawful contact—like… when you are asked to provide a driver’s license, proof of insurance, or a title when you are stopped for speeding, visit the D.M.V., get into an accident, get a job, get married, or apply for a library card… All regardless of your race!
In December my car was rear-ended while parked outside of my home by a car speeding at 40-50 mph in a 30 mph zone, during what amounts to a blizzard in East Tennessee. I rushed outside to see if anyone might be injured given the speed of the crash, only to find the offending vehicle’s airbag deployed, still in drive, embedded in the rear of my brand new car—and the driver was nowhere to be found. Bewildered, I called the police. Thirty minutes later, Angelo Ortiz returned to the scene, with translators, since he didn’t know any English. Ortiz had no valid driver’s license, insurance, or an address that he could recall. His title, which I had examined while he was AWOL, was registered to a guy named Brandon, who I am sure was fictitious or a front. Angelo was clearly an illegal, and under Arizona law, police would be empowered given this reasonable cause to determine Angelo’s immigration status and to enforce Federal immigration laws—instead Angelo didn’t have to pay a dime, and got to continue driving recklessly in his undocumented state.
The feigned outrage over the new immigration bill is less about civil rights and more about misrepresenting the bill in order to fire up the populist base and perhaps even designed to fuel a national amnesty bill for the twelve million lawless potential voters for Democrats. The populist base gets all wee wee’d up when they see ‘outrageous’ headlines like CNN’s: “AZ Immigration law makes it illegal to be in the country illegally.” Really? It is illegal to be an illegal alien? Sadly, many on the left hold just this view. Mike Bloomberg is a great example of this nonsense, as he and other liberals are in favor of “normalizing the status of otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants.” Law-abiding illegals? Isn’t that like calling someone a law-abiding drunk driver or a monogamous adulterer?
Immigration is a glorious thing and is the cornerstone of the American success story. America has taken not the best of every country around the world, but the tired, huddled masses, yearning to breathe free. Not the upper class, but the very lowest of the oppressed people of the world have come to America—and then proceeded to use their new freedom build the wealthiest nation in the history of earth. All other great empires have been built on that backs of slavery, conquest and colonialism. America’s success story starts with all of those things, but it was America’s freedoms that made it the great nation that it is. I love talking to immigrants who come to the U.S. and have embraced what America is about, and love their new country. After all, immigration is what America is all about—but America is also all about the Rule of Law—and people who come here to break those laws, or come here by breaking them, can go right back to where they came from.
The question with the new Arizona Immigration law is not “what is wrong with Arizona?” The real question is what the heck is wrong with the rest of you liberals?
David Teesdale, absolutely loves demolishing liberal shibboleths. Look it up, it works. If you would care to comment, encourage, or point out where I’ve gone astray, feel free.