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We Are All Mexicans

This commentary reflects the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect those of other authors at Box Turtle Bulletin.

Jim Burroway

April 27th, 2010

I’ve always loved Tucson, but I have to say that Arizona is under a veritable reign of terror now that the tea party has taken over state government. Do you think I’m exaggerating? Maybe a little, but where else can you expect to hear police arbitrarily demanding to “see your papers” but in Apartheid-era South Africa, present-day Burma and the Grand Canyon state? I’m proud to be a Tucsonan — if only Pima County could be its own state! — but Arizona is a mess. A vindictive, angry, spiteful, punitive and broken mess.

This is also the same state that banned same-sex marriage and rescinded domestic partnership benefits among state government employees. First they went for the gays, then the brown-skinned…

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GreenEyedLilo
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Absolutely right. If one group can be treated this way, another is next–I’ve been trying to convince my mother and an aunt of that. They think this is a *great* idea. Lots of things become great ideas when we’re not the ones who have to live with their consequences (immediately), don’t they?

It’s depressing how relevant Public Enemy’s “By the Time I Get to Arizona” (written because the governor at the time, in the early 90s, didn’t recognize Martin Luther King Day) is again.

My wife is an immigrant–came here from Russia in her teens. She feels she has more in common with other immigrants of all races and cultures than she does with American Caucasians, though she looks “white” enough not to attract xenophobes’ attention too much. Her family benefited from late Cold War-era policies that favored emigrants from communist Eastern European countries; she knows that the line between “legal” and “illegal” immigrant isn’t as broad and bright as some activists and politicians would like to pretend.

This morning I read about the domestic partners benefits being rescinded and told her about that. She spat out, “Oh, Arizona? No surprises there.” Sorry we’re developing such a negative impression of your state, but it’s really the governor’s and state Congress’ fault.

Frijondi
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Besides being offensive, stupid, and almost certainly unconstitutional, this new law is one more dangerous distraction from the real conversation the country needs to have about illegal immigration.

I don’t believe the supporters of this law want to reduce the number of illegal immigrants in Arizona or anywhere else. That would involve going after the employers who rely on cheap, expendable labor; it would also involve some serious talks about how to naturalize the people who are already here illegally in a way that’s reasonably fair to those who have jumped through all the flaming hoops you have to jump through to immigrate legally.

Instead, I think the folks who pushed this thing through are interested in drama and emotion. And there will be a lot of that until the law is struck down, at which point Arizona (and the US) will be no closer to a solution than before, and the public will be so burnt out on the issue that no one will be able to propose the kind of boring, practical, compromise measures that might actually result in progress.

I suspect this law’s real purpose is to preserve the status quo for as long as possible, while providing entertainment for some, and misery for others.

Regan DuCasse
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Excuse me?

Being an illegal immigrant is how the illegal immigrant is treating the laws, the legal residents through the unethical action of cheating. And demanding that, no matter to what degree that illegal behavior went and who it hurt, those charged with vetting and enforcement aren’t expected to do their jobs?

In other words, illegal immigrants are demonstrating serious disrespect by their actions.

Being gay, being a minority, and then being treated badly, regardless of how law abiding you are, is the difference here. You are not disrespecting laws, by being another minority, nor does it exponentially mistreat other people.

Being what you are, is not displacing or disregarding laws that everyone has to abide.
Whereas, being an illegal immigrant is already an action showing you don’t want to abide by them.

There is nothing about cheating laws, or making up your own ways you’ll do whatever you want, that will be ethical, especially when there ARE demonstrable and direct affects from what you do.
And EVERYONE has to prove their identity, that they are who they say they are.
Everyone.
Illegal immigrants are not little children that require we look the other way no matter what they do, because they protest in large numbers and demand that cheating be ignored.

There ARE consequences, serious ones, to illegal immigration.

Perhaps those who support it haven’t had several people use their ss#.
Perhaps they haven’t been slammed into, and left injured and to die on our roads because the driver knew they were driving illegally.

Or perhaps they haven’t been assaulted, robbed or murdered by someone illegally here and good luck getting justice when they flee back to their country of origin or can’t be tracked in THIS big country.
Or, maybe you haven’t caught TB or HepA…or had roosters crowing at dawn because farm animals were illegally living in an urban setting, risking another public health problem through bird flu.

Here in Los Angeles, it isn’t just ENTRY and overstay laws that are broken, but thousands of others because those who should be held accountable and don’t want to be, don’t care about staying within other legal constraints, either.

When we don’t know who is here, why, and their condition while they are here, we risk a great deal more than anyone is admitting to.

I could cheat my way into Harvard, and even while there, be a good student and graduate.
But I still cheated, and displaced the rightful entrant.

We’re either going to have laws that are enforced or we’re not.
And because they haven’t been enforced, we have CHAOS.
Too many people have already gotten away with too much, and now the pendulum had to swing far the other way.

And, major crimes have been solved, or could have been prevented altogether with routine checks on immigration status.

If there are certain people that believe they’ll be mistreated or inordinately inconvenienced by this law, then let’s see that happen before the outcry begins.

And if you’ve done something illegal, apparently inconveniencing someone ELSE isn’t what you were too concerned about in the first place.

Oh, and before anyone goes on a tear about how desperate the conditions illegal immigrants are supposedly escaping from: how does anyone know that?
Even so, I am the daughter of Native American and blacks, raised in Jim Crow states. Jim Crow was one of the most brutal and dehumanizing systems exacted on it’s own citizens in recent American history.

And obviously one of the most corrupt against a minority.
Now, bear with me for a minute.

Blacks have always been and still is a MINORITY in this country, and thusly STAYED in America and fought and stood up to the corruption of deep Southern governments.
Blacks didn’t create a huge incursion into Canada, and demand that Canada ignore their activity, change their language and culture and break their own laws to accommodate whatever blacks would demand.
And in the process, NOT assimilate.

That’s not what happened.

So, why would an essentially HOMOGENOUS and YOUNG population not fight for the rights and economic justice their country of origin owes them?
Why leave in droves so that nothing changes for the better, and the country you adopt, degrades into the similar chaos you’re supposedly escaping?

I believe in civil justice, but there is a BETTER process to achieve it, that I’m not seeing that would echo how other minorities in America did it.
Not only a better process, but one that would prove FAR more effective and directly addresses what needs to be addressed.

A process that would reduce the need to illegally be in America in the first place.
Still, you can’t shove people aside who have gone through the legal process, and demand to be treated the same.
It would be demoralizing to those who care about being legal.
And render the process less worthy of appreciation by those who aren’t legal.

----
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

“First they went for the gays, then the brown-skinned…”

We can use that argument in CA next time gay marriage appears on the ballot.

Timothy Kincaid
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

I have little objection to people who bring their family, establish roots, build community, learn the common language, assimilate, appreciate other cultures, respect the values of the nation, treat their new home with respect, and become American. I have many friends from around the world who have done exactly that.

I do, however, very much object to those who come here with no strings attached, treat the nation (and my city) like a cheap motel that doesn’t have your credit card for a deposit, send much needed capital out of the country, have no respect for laws or safety or practices that keep others safe, have no respect for previous residents, have no assumption that they have to work for their living, and who put their race, their culture, their language, and their right to my income above all else and who run home the minute that they think they may get caught for committing crimes.

Los Angeles has lots and lots of both types, and from many different countries. One I appreciate very much, but the other I want to be rid of.

The problem is that without enforcing immigration laws at all, how can we distinguish between those who are an asset to our nation and those who are a financial, cultural, and quality of life burden?

And it appears to me that immigrant cultures absolutely refuse to self-police or help in eliminating the criminals or leeches. They do not and will not help officials get rid of problem immigrants and instead put loyalty to race and national origin ahead of loyalty to their new community or nation. (One exception appears to be those from Muslim nations who do seem to regularly report terrorists or extremists).

Decades of sanctuary status in Los Angeles has not produced immigrant communities who love and trust the police (well, I don’t either). We’ve just spent billions on crime and benefits and still have no idea how to keep good neighbors and be rid of those who have no allegiance to our nation, state, or city.

It would benefit immigrant communities to put their race-based affinities on hold for a while and instead assist in improving the community. Because, as those in Arizona are discovering, when you insist that it’s “all or nothing”, sometimes the answer is “fine, we’d rather not have any of you then have the problems brought by some of you”.

David
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Why is it “illegal” for people who are in need of work (to feed their families) to go where work is?

“I believe in civil justice, ”

Really now?

Is it right that some people endure malnutrition and deprivation? Is it right that 1% of the population has more than they could even need, while others live in extreme poverty?

Seems pretty uncivil to insist that justice end at arbitrarily draw lines on the ground.

Do you think that false comparisons are “rightful and lawfull” – the meaning of justice?

Or are you just trying to sugar coat a racial prejudice that many people do not want to admit is a racial prejudice?

Do you want to know what the evidence is that proves that the “illegal immigration” ranting is about prejudice?

The complete lack of any proposition to alleviate the extreme poverty and joblessness in Mexico and Central America that is the crisis driving unlicensed workers to leave their homes and families, risk their lives, to find work.

If opponents of “illegal immigration” truly cared about anyone and truly had principles and truly were Christians – they would be working diligently, with all their might, to build a healthy economy in Mexico and Central America, so real human beings would not have to travel enormous distances to find the work that will feed and clothe and shelter their families.

“It would be demoralizing to those who care about being legal.”

The whole “illegal immigrants” tirade is demoralizing to those of us who actually care about other human beings. The lies and exaggerations and
fabrications, like those in your post Regan, used by opponents of “illegal immigration” are demoralizing to the rest of us who honor truth and accuracy.

de·mor·al·ize: to deprive (a person or persons) of spirit, courage, discipline,

In my opinion, if someone’s “spirit, courage and discipline” is contingent of trapping others in poverty and despair, they can go ahead and be demoralized.

Frijondi
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

What do you think about the Senate immigration bill, which, if I remember correctly, got shot down? Some liberals thought it was too harsh, some conservatives considered it amnesty. It made people who were here illegally eligible for naturalization provided they passed a criminal background check, paid a fee and back taxes, and could prove they’d resided here continuously for five years. And provided they went to the back of the line, behind everyone who came here legally.

Personally, I think something like that would go a long way towards restoring order, especially if it were accompanied by ruinous fines for companies that employ illegal immigrants. It may be a compromise, and not completely ethically palatable from any perspective, but the situation is so out of control that I don’t think there’s any way 100% principled way of dealing with it. The question, as I see it, is what principles would be least harmful to compromise?

Frijondi
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

(That should have read, “any 100% principled way of dealing with it.”)

Timothy Kincaid
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Frijondi,

Many ideas espoused in the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 were good and would have addressed exactly my concerns. Unfortunately, it fell victim to the two warring ideological positions:

a) those in the country in violation of immigration law must not be rewarded for their scofflaw behavior. They should never be given amnesty and they should account for their crime of illegal entry before ever being considered eligible for citizenship.

and

b) everyone from my nation of origin is entitled to enter the United States at any time for any reason without limitation whatsoever. Further, upon crossing the border they are entitled to every benefit, privilege, and status as a citizen.

There do not appear to be any advocacy groups or lobbyists or rallies or initiatives to represent a middle or moderate way.

anteros
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

after reading some of the comments above, i became a bit hesitant about posting this, but here goes…

i know what it’s like to have to carry your passport with you everywhere, even to the laundromat across the street, until it’s all worn out and reduced to tatters… and have cops stop you in the street, asking for your “papers” at least once a month… and having to put up with rude and disrespectful (intentional or not) remarks and dehumanizing treatment from some of those cops and other people… just because i looked “different”… and having to modify my dress code and commute my way around certain neighborhoods, just to avoid harassment. i know people who were detained because they didnt have their passports on them when cops asked them for their “papers”.

illegal immigration is very wrong. but racial profiling isn’t right… many illegal immigrants who don’t look “different” will continue to get away with murder while many innocent people will have to put up with harassment as part of their lives just because they look “different”. at least that’s the way i understand it.

this makes it that much easier to link those who look “different” with illegal immigration and all the criminal activity blamed on illegal immigrants. being treated like a criminal or a suspect (suspected illegal immigrant) just because you look “different” is totally messed up.

there’s gotta be a better way.

Désirée
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

This is from the Libertarian Party’s weekly email. I agree 100% with everything said.

The recent legislation in Arizona has put immigration back in the news.

The Libertarian Party has a long history of defending immigration. Our website has an article discussing immigration. I think that if there’s a problem with massive illegal immigration, then one of the best solutions is to make legal immigration easier.

From an economic point of view, immigrants are an asset, not a liability. Business owners usually understand that, but politicians often either don’t understand or don’t care. In an environment of fear, which is where many politicians seem to want to keep us, they use immigrants (both legal and illegal) as scapegoats so they can duck blame for problems caused by too much government. Republican George W. Bush gave us the enormously expensive Medicare prescription entitlement. Republican Senator John McCain famously put his 2008 presidential campaign on hold to rush back to Washington to bail out failed banks and businesses. When times are tough, focusing on immigrants helps distract from these homegrown threats to our economy.

Perhaps I have a soft spot in my heart for immigrants and foreigners. I’ve traveled extensively and lived overseas. I worked for six months in South Africa and was welcomed by blacks and whites into their communities. I’ve spent over six months of my life traveling throughout Mexico. Recently having lived in Texas, I’ve met and worked with a lot of Mexican nationals who were in Texas working hard in the construction industry. I can imagine that if I’d been born in Mexico or Central America, and the American immigration laws were so convoluted, I’d have found my way around them one way or another.

I realize immigration, legal and illegal, is a controversial issue both for Americans in general and for Libertarians. Obviously, some immigrants take advantage of our welfare system. (That’s one more reason to get rid of government welfare.) And some immigrants commit violent crimes. (That’s one more reason to get rid of victimless crime laws that waste police effort and fill up our prisons with people who haven’t hurt anyone.) However, those aren’t good reasons to stop people from coming to America. America was founded by immigrants, many of whom were escaping economic and religious oppression. I think support for immigrants, many of whom are poor and honest, shows our humanitarian side to those who want to characterize Libertarians as uncaring individualists.

I’m also very concerned that the immigration debate will be used as an excuse to impose a National ID card. (Let me see your papers!)

Now is the time to stand up for liberty. We must not let the federal government use immigration restrictions as a sneaky way to crack down on all Americans and take away our freedoms.

See this Cato study on the economic effects of immigration reform.

Sincerely,

Wes Benedict
Executive Director
Libertarian National Committee

Rick Brentlinger
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Regan and Timothy-

Thanks for saying that! I agree with you.

As for things being so bad in Mexico that people are “forced” to come here illegally across an arbitrary line on the ground so they can feed their families, are you aware that scores of thousands of American retirees live legally in Mexico?

There are some border cities where drug violence is rampant and jobs are hard to find. Yet Mexico also has tens of thousands of delightful large towns and small cities where life is safe, pleasant and rich with community spirit.

I welcome legal immigrants because we are a nation of immigrants. Our diversity of backgrounds, cultures and languages makes us better and stronger.

Illegal immigrants ought to go home. If you want to live in America, please come here legally.

Swampfox
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

I strongly disagree with your position. The fact is that we are being simply being invaded and sitting by and doing nothing to stop it. If five million Americans just walked over the border into Mexico, do you think that the Mexican government would be the least bit happy? I am deeply sorry for the people who feel that they need to come to the United States in order to find work and better living conditions. However, the problem is with the horrid conditions in Mexico that make this necessary. Illegals get into car wrecks and don’t have insurance or a drivers license. They overburden the school systems and other public services. Some states allow them to go to college as in state students. I don’t know of any other nation in this world that has a problem with illegal immigration as seriously as ours. It has gotten so out of control it is going to take the wisdom of Solomon to solve it along with a dose of hard realism that it can no longer continue.

John
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

My main concern with this bill rests solely upon the criteria for officers to be able to stop someone and demand to see their papers. This bill seems to mandate racial profiling, which has great potential to violate the civil rights of legal residents and American citizens of mainly Latino descent. If that is satisfactorily resolved, I do not have a problem with what I’ve heard about the rest of it. I sympathize with the folks seeking work to help themselves and their families, but this is not their country. Enter legally, even through a guest worker program, and that’s fine. Enter illegally and you pay the price.

Jim Burroway
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Excuse me???

To those who think this law is a dandy idea, let me ask you this: Suppose I’m pulled over for speeding, and suppose the police decides that he has a “reasonable suspicion” that I might be here illegally.

What proves that I am a US citizen. My driver’s license?

Think again. To prove citizenship, I would need to carry a certified birth certificate (with the raised notary seal, not a photocopy) or a passport wherever I go.

How many of you do that? I don’t.

Of course, it’s ridiculous to think that I would ever be suspected of being here illegally, so I will never have to worry about proving I belong here. After all, I have white skin.

But many Arizona residents — heck, Arizona citizens whose families have been here for more than a century don’t look like me. They also don’t necessarily talk like me either. They either speak Spanich or Dine or any other number of languages and dialects as their first language. They are of Mexican background, or they are Tohondo O’odam or Yaqui or Navaho or Apache or Hopi or any number of other peoples who have called Arizona home for decades and even centuries.

They will get pulled over, not me. And they will be challenged for only one reason.

The real effect of this legislation is to legalize racial profiling, a practice that has been running rampant in Phoenix under Sherrif Joe Arpaio for years. It is now about to go statewide.

Yes, a few illegal immigrants will get caught up in the sweep. And so will many legal citizens. But not all of them. Just the brown ones.

That’s okay, isn’t it?

Jason D
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Regan and Timothy,
I respect both of you, and agree on one point, but there’s something both of you are completely missing.

Profiling.

Regan, I’m surprised you of all people completely missed that angle on this story.

The reality is that the majority of people stopped to verify their identity are going to be latino legal citizens.

When you live abroad, as I have, you get used to carrying around identification.

But do all of us carry identification everywhere we go? Even if you’re going downstairs to the 7/11 across the street?

I live in Chicago. I take trains and sometimes buses everywhere. My partner has a car, but I have yet to drive it. My driver’s license is about to expire, and I’ve probably driven 3 times since I got it.
My late grandmother never drove a day in her life. She didn’t have a driver’s license or even a state ID. She never needed one. How many elderly, legal, —even naturalized— American citizens of Latin descent are now going to have to alter their lives so they don’t get detained or even accidentally deported?

I remember in the cold war, watching “The Hunt For Red October”. The Russians hoping to sneak into America talk about a dream to go from state to state, seeing the country and they talk about how they’ll be able to do this with NO papers! It’s the most amazing concept to them; freedom to move about.

Like it or not, this law means less freedom for latino Americans. It means they won’t be able to leave the house without some sort of ID. Even if they’re just stepping out to get the mail. The reality is that they’re not going to be stopped when it’s easy or convenient. They’re going to be late to work because a cop decided to pull them over and harass them for 10 minutes over their driver’s license. They’re going to be detained on their way into their own home because they aren’t “American” enough looking.

This is no way to solve the problem, this is a way to attack a minority, to attack our own legal citizens.

Rick Brentlinger
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

“The real effect of this legislation is to legalize racial profiling, a practice that has been running rampant in Phoenix under Sherrif Joe Arpaio for years. It is now about to go statewide. Yes, a few illegal immigrants will get caught up in the sweep.

And so will many legal citizens. But not all of them. Just the brown ones.”

There are 500,000 illegal Hispanic immigrants in Arizona.

As far as we know, Arizona does NOT have a problem with 500,000 illegal immigrants from Somalia or Sweden.

Common sense tells us if we have 500,000 Hispanic illegals in Arizona, law enforcement should be on the lookout for Hispanic illegals.

Swampfox
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

I hear many people saying that this is going to resort to racial profiling. My guess that it is going to resort to some type of profiling, so what! If a tall white man robs a bank are the authorities supposed to stop everyone? The illegal problem has gotten so out of control the good citizens of Arizona can’t endure it anymore. In order to get an American passport I am required to provide the Federal government a copy of my birth certificate. And, I am required to use that passport in order to enter nearly every country in this world. I see no problem with issuing national ID’s to all United States citizens. In fact we already have national ID numbers. They are called Social Security numbers! You can’t even file an income tax return without one. You can’t even claim a child as a dependent on your tax return without them having one.

Swampfox
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

……….may I add, you can’t even get employment without giving your employer your Social Security Number!

Désirée
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

social security cards were never intended to be used as ID cards, and in fact it is illegal for anyone other than the government to require your SS number. God forbid we ever reach the day where we need a national ID card and everyone in American requires “papers” everywhere they go.

I can’t believe someone anti-immigration (usually a conservative position) would actually promote the idea of the government having a way to track you wherever you went (usually a concept roundly rejected by small government conservative types)

Can someone please explain to me a anti-immigration viewpoint that *isn’t* racist in some form? I’ve never heard one.

Jason D
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Rick,
Okay, do you want to be stopped randomly from now on, usually at inconvenient times by people demanding to know your citizen status — some of whom may not be easily convinced, and may want to detain you for hours, perhaps take you to the station to run their own check on your identity?

Does that sound fun?

Swamp, do you carry your SSN everywhere? Even when you step outside to check your mail? Even when you’re mowing your lawn? Even when you walk across the street to say hello to a neighbor? Even if you are awakened in the middle of the night by a noise and go outside to check it out?
Are you prepared to stand outside your home while an officer takes his sweet time verifying your identity. Hey maybe you look funny and he wants to take you down to the station for some questioning, no no, don’t bother putting on shoes. That sounds fun, doesn’t it?

Timothy Kincaid
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Virtually every adult American citizen has either a driver’s license or a DMV issued identification card. And virtually every American carries it with them everywhere they go.

Twenty-three states have “stop-and-identify” laws, including Arizona.

Swampfox
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Correct, Social Security Numbers were never meant to be used in such a manner, but they are. You should not be able to be employed without giving your employer a valid Social Security Number! If I go overseas, in order to gain entry I am required to produce my passport. Sometimes if I get a hotel room I am required to produce my passport. However, in the United States we have millions upon millions of illegal aliens and using the racial profile card from the bottom of the deck, which I find to be the last straw.

anteros
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

please read the section of this paper titled, “The biocultural hypothesis of xenophobia”:

sure, it’s far away from america. and south africa does have a very complicated and dark recent history. but please read it…i think it’s a relevant eye-opener. here’s an excerpt:

Consider, for example, the ‘identificatory’ methods purportedly used by the Internal Tracing Units of the South African Police Service:

In trying to establish whether a suspect is an illegal or not, members of the internal tracing units focus on a number of aspects… hairstyle, type of clothing worn as well as actual physical appearance. In the case of Mozambicans a dead give-away is the vaccination mark on the lower left forearm…

is arizona headed in that direction? will the results delivered by the new law justify regular “unwarranted special treatment” towards u.s. citizens, legal immigrants, tourists and business travelers who just happen to “look like illegal immigrants”?

Swampfox
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

To Jason D………..no, that does not sound like fun. However, how may I ask do suggest the solve the illegal immigration problem in this country? Pretend that it does not exist? As I have said, illegals should not be able to get a job without valid a social security number. Yet, they do. Does any other country in this world tolerate the massive invasion of illegals into their countries that we do? Of course not.

Jim Burroway
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Drivers licenses can be used as proof of identity, but they are not sufficient to prove citizenship. Only a birth certificate or a passport can do that. I have all kinds of identification that I carry with me that proves that I’m Jim Burroway. But I don’t reguarly carry anything that proves that I’m an American. If you don’t believe me, then try presenting your drivers license next time you try to enter the United States from Mexico.

And the same is true for the vast majority of dark-skinned, non-English-speaking-as-a-first-language people in Arizona. They don’t carry birth certificates or passports around either. And they don’t have green cards because they’re Americans. Just like you. And it is your fellow Americans who will be detained by the side of the road trying to figure out how the hell they’re going to prove they are Americans. How would you do it?

I find it extremely disconcerting that a group of Americans with a history of their civil liberties having been infringed upon because they are outsiders and “dangerous criminally-minded others” are quick to say that it’s alright to infringe upon the civil liberties of other fellow Americans because they have the “appearance” of being dangerous, criminally-minded others. Very disconcerting.

And as for crime in Arizona, more American citizens have been killed by vigilante Minuntemen militias than by waves of illegal immigrants.

Swampfox
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Jim, it is estimated that around four million illegals live in Arizona. And, millions more use Arizona as a point entry into this country illegally every year. May I ask, how do you suggest that the problem be solved. Or, do you even consider it a problem? Do you think that there should even be a border between Mexico and the United States?

Jim Burroway
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Four million in Arizona? There are only about 6.5 million people living here. What teabagger gave you that figure? Arizona is a big state, but you can’t hide four million people here. The “problem” is more hysteria than fact.

Burr
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

This doesn’t solve the illegal immigration problem one bit. You are a fool if you believe it does. Cops aren’t going to waste the time checking everyone’s ID. The ONLY result of this legislation is the erosion of EVERYONE’S rights as it’ll be yet another hoop law-abiding citizens have to jump through lest they be jailed arbitrarily.

It’s very sad and hypocritical that the very same people in Arizona who protested the National ID initiative go ahead and impose the very same thing they were supposedly afraid of in requiring EVERYONE to constantly carry proof of citizenship.

BTW Arizona’s crime rate has been dropping faster than most other states in spite of the illegal immigrant population.

I’m all for having a sane, regulated immigration policy and for enforcing legal immigration, but first we have to fix this mess, make it easier for the skilled immigrants we particularly want to welcome and have a more robust guest worker program for the rest.

Because right now this flowchart is a JOKE.

What part of legal immigration don’t you understand?

TonyJazz
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Yes, whether we agree or not that there is an immigration problem, especially in Arizona—is this the solution?

And it is especially disingenious to blame this on Obama, when nothing has changed since the Bush years….

Ah, those older, white teabaggers… so tortured, so mistreated… I guess that’s what happens after having white males in control of our country for over 200 years….

Timothy Kincaid
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

As this discussion illustrates, there are no easy answers. We certainly don’t want Americans to be harassed due to ethnic appearance, but at the same time some of us are concerned about an immigration enforcement policy (and legal immigration path) that has utterly failed and is costing us billions every year.

Unfortunately, this debate tends to diverge into extremes.

Timothy Kincaid
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Arizona has about 500,000 immigrants in the country illegally. California has about 3 million.

Both are about 8% of the population.

Cole
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

We are not all Mexicans. 89% of registered immigrants vote to take gay people’s rights. I don’t support them coming into the country illegal and even more so when they create a worse environment for gay people.

Swampfox
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

“Four million in Arizona? There are only about 6.5 million people living here. What teabagger gave you that figure? Arizona is a big state, but you can’t hide four million people here. The “problem” is more hysteria than fact.” Jim Burroway

I regret that I got my decimal place in the wrong place. I should have said 500,000 or around 9% of their population. I thought you would be above the teabagger slur. But thanks for the correction. And, illegal immigration is a problem.

TonyJazz
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Swampfox, you are concerned about a teabagger slur? Are you under the mistaken impression that teabaggers have any interest in supporting even a minimal amount of gay rights? Are teabaggers not inherently racist to begin with (see Virginia & Mississippi and the confederacy)…? Isn’t this also a racial issue?

Burr
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Hmm, will they be carding all the redheads in Arizona?

Regan DuCasse
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

David, you didn’t read carefully enough.

I never said that it was illegal to work or feed your family.
It is however illegal to do so by robbing a bank, cheating immigration laws, and expecting limited resources to magically expand to accommodate EVERYTHING you demand, regardless at whose expense this occurs.

The time has come where certain populations should demand such economic justice and jobs FROM THEIR COUNTRY of origin. Especially if they have no specific allegiance to THIS country.

I just told you, as a homogenous population, NOT a minority within, the choice to stay and fight for what’s there’s is far more likely to be realized, than if that same population runs away, saturates another country to the point of breaking the infrastructure.

They should demand economic amnesty from their Mexican and Central American presidents, not OURS.
We’ve done MORE than enough and our immigration laws are the most generous in the world.
How many citizens don’t have jobs right now?
And are economically compromised?
I happen to be one of them.

Why does THIS country always have to provide the bread basket in perpetuity?

This is a serious problem. And we’re not getting the right kind of cooperation to solve it.
There is only so much our country has the resources to do.

As I said before, American blacks from Jim Crow states could cite some serious desperation, yet…STAYED IN AMERICA to make things better.
One of my grandmothers was a field worker, and ten of her children died in childhood.
Her story could well be one of an impoverished immigrant too.
If I saw the same movement among illegal immigrants, or any Americans related to them, surge towards justice where they came from, I’d join them in their fight.

Racial profiling isn’t the bad word folks like you make it sound.
If road checkpoints net a disproportionate amount of people driving without a license, that’s the point of doing them.
If another disproportionate demographic HAPPEN to be Hispanic, it’s coincidental to driving illegally as well.

Your attitude is still very condescending. You’d rather that illegal immigrants are treated like children who can’t be held accountable for their actions.
Yet, you don’t seem to care that their actions are not harmless or without serious negative and direct affect.

BTW, let’s see if any legal citizens have been detained and deported just because of what they looked like before anyone gets hysterical.

Until you can show a large group of people so treated by this new law, then it’s premature, likely unnecessary, to kill the bill before any of the conjectured results actually occur.

Timothy Kincaid
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Cole,

Do you have a source for that “statistic”?

Immigrants in the country illegally cannot and do not vote.

I suppose one could argue that Latinos are perhaps more recent immigrants than some others (though that’s a bit of a stretch and quite irrelevant). But exit polls show that Hispanic Californians voted for Prop 8 53% – 47%, the exact same breakdown as the population as a whole.

Swampfox
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

“Swampfox, you are concerned about a teabagger slur? Are you under the mistaken impression that teabaggers have any interest in supporting even a minimal amount of gay rights? Are teabaggers not inherently racist to begin with (see Virginia & Mississippi and the confederacy)…? Isn’t this also a racial issue?” Tony Jazz

No it is not a racial issue. It is an illegal immigration issue. And, if you think that the Tea Party Movement is anti-gay, I have not seen anything to support your premise. It is a loosely formed group of people who are fed up with government spending and expanding government control that correctly blames both Republicans and Democrats.

Rick Brentlinger
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Swampfox wrote:

“If a tall white man robs a bank are the authorities supposed to stop everyone?”

In the spirit of being non-judgmental and avoiding profiling at any cost, may I suggest that:

It is vertical profiling to describe him as tall.

It is racial profiling to describe his as white.

It is gender profiling to describe his as a man.

And it is motive profiling to describe him as a bank robber.

It would be far better to simply tell us that:

“An undocumented teller made a substantial withdrawal”

and let it go at that.

John in the Bay Area
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

If any of you are stopped now, what do you have on your person that definitively PROVES you are a US citizen? For the overwhelming majority of Americans, the answer is nothing (and most Americans would get pretty upset with the question).

I was surprised to find that my pilot’s license (issued by the US government) actually had my nationality on it. I am not sure that an AZ police officer would neccessarily accept that.

This is a poorly written law, poorly thought out, and could not possibly be backed up by proper training of police officers who are expected to enforce it. Immigration officers go through extensive training on visas, what constitutes native born Americans, permanent residents, compact citizens, etc.

How many AZ officers are going to be questioning if someone born in Guam, Puerto Rico or American Samoa is a US citizen? How many AZ officers can name countries that have Compacts of Free Association with the US, allowing their citizens to travel freely to the US, stay here, work here, go to school, without applying for citizenship or permanent residency? How well do they understand dual citizenship?

We need to address illegal immigration, but in order to do so, you have to address the root problem, employment. But we don’t really want to do that, because cheap illegal labor powers parts of economy. So, politicians can say that they are all for stopping illegal immigration, but until they start arresting the largest, wealthiest growers in California, the largest wealthiest meat packers in the Midwest, etc, it all means squat. Unfortunately, this will also hurt the economies in those areas. Everyone knows this and that is why nothing is ever really done about it.

jcrr
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy,

Other polls showed greater support for Prop 8 among Hispanics. Liberal L.A. County voted Yes on 8 — you don’t have to be an expert on statistics to understand the motive behind such a surprising outcome.

Swampfox
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

“We need to address illegal immigration, but in order to do so, you have to address the root problem, employment. But we don’t really want to do that, because cheap illegal labor powers parts of economy. So, politicians can say that they are all for stopping illegal immigration, but until they start arresting the largest, wealthiest growers in California, the largest wealthiest meat packers in the Midwest, etc, it all means squat. Unfortunately, this will also hurt the economies in those areas. Everyone knows this and that is why nothing is ever really done about it.” John in the Bay Area

I agree. I will also state that parts of our economy would certainly collapse if they were forced to leave.

Brian QTD
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

It is absolutely unbelievable that there are people on this board supporting harassment and profiling by police and then saying “w-w-w-well we’ve gotta do sumthin!” to defend it. No, wait, I can believe it. This is America. The country that exterminated Native Americans and had legal segregation until well into my parents’ lifetime and continues to tolerate ungodly racial disparities.

You know, some things are worse than “doing nothing.” One of them would be forcing people, especially because they belong to a certain ethnic group, to carry proof of citizenship, something the vast majority of Americans never do. One thing would be setting up brown-skinned people for humiliating detentions and harassment by police. Timothy, your “two-wrongs-make-a-right” rationalization for this bill makes my stomach turn.

And of course, Rick, a white man, who has never had to deal with the issue of racism personally is the loudest in his support for racial profiling.

@Regan: I follow your posts a lot and you are always insightful, so I am disappointed in your response here. Central and Latin American policies did not happen in a vacuum. I recommend you read up on attempts to change things in Latin America and how those efforts were suppressed both by the local elite and because the US either outright supported the repression or enabled it by not taking action against the dictators/authoritarian leaders. Try a google of “Oscar Romero” for example. You are clearly a smart woman, so I don’t want to assume you don’t know about this, but an understanding of the history of Latin America really didn’t come out in your post.

I’m sorry, Jim, but I think Arizona is going to have to get the Colorado treatment–or have a recap from when it refused to recognize MLK day. A lot of people I know have said good things about AZ, but I’m going to stay out of there until they repeal this racist law. I also think there should be an organized national boycott of the state.

Brian QTD
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Oh and lest we forget, “sodomy” was illegal too. Justice =/ the law.

Swampfox
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

“Oh and lest we forget, “sodomy” was illegal too. Justice =/ the law.” – Brian QTD

Well, heck let’s just take down the border between the United States and Mexico and make all of Mexico’s problems ours. We are two sovereign nations, aren’t we?

John
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

I found the text of this new Arizona law online and took the time to read it for myself. I’m not a lawyer and most folks who are reading about this in the press aren’t either. I have big concerns about illegal immigration and enforcement of our laws, but I also am leery of giving the state too much power where civil liberties are infringed. Where I’m having difficulty is with 2 items in Section 2 of the law: what exactly constitutes “lawful contact” and “reasonable suspicion”? While race, color and national origin are explicitly prohibited to be used as the sole criteria, I’m still wary of potential civil rights violations. That’s what I’d like to see Arizona explain more.

As for the rest of the law these provisions seem good ideas for more states than just Arizona.

Text of law: http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/sb1070h.pdf

John
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

To those who think this law is a dandy idea, let me ask you this: Suppose I’m pulled over for speeding, and suppose the police decides that he has a “reasonable suspicion” that I might be here illegally.

What proves that I am a US citizen. My driver’s license?

From the text of the law itself it appears that a driver’s license is all you need, or any other valid ID:

A PERSON IS PRESUMED TO NOT BE AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES IF THE PERSON PROVIDES TO THE LAW
ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OR AGENCY ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
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. IF THE ENTITY REQUIRES PROOF OF LEGAL PRESENCE IN THE UNITED STATES
BEFORE ISSUANCE, ANY VALID UNITED STATES FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT ISSUED IDENTIFICATION.

This seems to be reasonable for identification purposes. Yet it’s the “reasonable suspicion” part I’d like to hear more about.

John
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Apparently it is already against Federal law, and has been for decades now, for aliens to NOT carry their registration paperwork on their persons:

8 USC 1304 e: 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 and shall upon conviction for each offense be fined not to exceed $100 or be imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.
http://law.onecle.com/uscode/8/1304.html

Eddie89
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

John wrote:

From the text of the law itself it appears that a driver’s license is all you need, or any other valid ID:

A PERSON IS PRESUMED TO NOT BE AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES IF THE PERSON PROVIDES TO THE LAW
ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OR AGENCY ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
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. IF THE ENTITY REQUIRES PROOF OF LEGAL PRESENCE IN THE UNITED STATES
BEFORE ISSUANCE, ANY VALID UNITED STATES FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT ISSUED IDENTIFICATION.

Well, what if you have a drivers license from a state OTHER than Arizona!?

Eddie89
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

My proposal to the immigration issue is simple. Allow these people to get work permits. Nothing complicated. Just issue work permits and have their salaries taxed just like everyone else.

At the same time they can apply for legal residence or citizenship and in the meantime they work for a living, legally and lawfully.

An excellent example that comes to my mind is the Bracero Program from the 1950′s

Unfortunately, our conservative, extreme right wing Governor and legislature in Arizona don’t want to do the right thing. They just want to win the next election cycle and this SB 1070 law is just a way to appease and stir up their base.

Giving local police such broad and overreaching powers is not a good idea.

Eddie89
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

You’ve GOT to at least watch Gov. Jan Brewer’s reaction when asked, “What DOES an illegal immigrant look like?”

Video on YouTube:
Rachel Maddow On The Roots Of Arizona’s Racist Immigration Law

Eddie89
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Another thing that annoys me to no end about the anti-immigrant crowd is when they claim that all of these immigrants are taking their jobs!

Really? Which jobs? Specifically, which jobs?

Is there some illegal immigrant somewhere with an MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) making $60K per year at some Fortune 500?

Or is it the job where they pound nails on top of some rooftop, while daytime temps hit 115 degrees, for less than $10 per hour?

Regan DuCasse
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Brian, QTD..yes, I am WELL aware of Latin American history.
Yes, I know exactly about a great deal of different types of influence that came from the US.
Such as in the cases of Sandanistas, the contras…I could go on, but it’s too much to write.

The PRI party in Mexico, and the last Presidential administrations of Fox and currently Calderon, have to answer to their own people.
Who don’t seem the least bit interested in shaming their leaders. Who aren’t embarrassed by so much dysfunction, that their only alternative is to invade this country by the millions?

I know about the suppression of those who rebel against their repressive situations.
The fact remains, all the energy and drive could be put to good use, CONTINUING to address what they need to, with the world watching.
Let’s get real, we’re not seeing it.
We’re not.
So nothing is going to change, and apparently the people this most matters to, don’t want to change it.

A lot of our industry went south of the border, with nothing to replace them.
And a large influx of people was allowed into the US to compete for what’s left.
That was so very wrong, and damaged all kinds of local economies.

Our economy is reflecting the very situations that make other countries such basket cases.

And, btw, we’re NOT supporting harassment. WHAT harassment?

I don’t care what color or gender a person who broke the law is. And charges of harassment, is sounding a lot like hyperbole.
And let’s just see how much harassment a LEGAL citizen or resident really will have to endure because of this law.

Regan DuCasse
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

I am unsympathetic because I see the damage done by illegal aliens and lack of will to control the flow.
There are peace officers and civilians put at serious and unnecessary risk because of paranoia spread regarding harassment.

If a person is here illegally, working illegally and doesn’t have the proper id, then I really don’t think it’s right to assume he’s a model law breaker.
Perhaps you should ride along with your local peace officers and get to know what they have to do first hand.

My concern is for the people hurt by the tide of illegal aliens who don’t care about you or me and aren’t compelled to. And don’t care about exploitation fed by a market they participate in.

I wouldn’t employ someone who couldn’t be vetted, and I haven’t.

Some problems need SEVERAL things to address it. I think jail time for employers who KNOWINGLY employ illegal aliens, ALSO has to be part of this equation.
It’s too bad we have to exact so many disincentives, but the message has to be clear, and apparently it’s not.

And Tim’s right about the extremes this issue invites.

Jason D
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

“BTW, let’s see if any legal citizens have been detained and deported just because of what they looked like before anyone gets hysterical.”

Okay. Let’s start with you, Regan. If this is so important, let’s hire a group of people to follow you nearby. At random moments on random days one of them will stop you and detain you. Odds are, you’re not going to like it after awhile. Odds are it’s going to get rather tiresome.

People don’t like to be accused of crimes, especially not on a daily basis.

It’s quite easy for a bunch of non latino people to sit around and offer up the latino community as punching bags “Let’s see how hard it hurts, first!” The likelyhood of any of us being profiled is rather slim.

Regan it’s rather callous, condescending, and uncharacteristically compassionless for you to even think such things, let alone express them with such righteous indignation. I guess racism knows no bounds. I guess it’s easy to offer people up when it’s not you.

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to read another of your comments without remembering that whatever sympathy you may have for someone, is limited to whatever group they may or may not belong to.

Burr
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Doesn’t sound a whole lot different than the justification many anti-gays have for their legislative views.

“Let’s see if any gay couples really have their powers of attorney ignored before assuming the worst will happen in the hospital! Surely there’s no need to destroy the definition of marriage when there’s already a legal avenue open to them.”

Yes I’ve heard exactly that despite all the proof of injustice I’ve offered them. Whenever I link to the stories we all know, they assume that the gay couple didn’t dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s and thus blame the victim.

Rick Brentlinger
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Perhaps the 500,000 illegals currently living in Arizona should boycott Arizona to show their disapproval.

They could all leave the state and refuse to come back until this unjust law is repealed.

Burr
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Nevermind that this whole concept of asking people to identify themselves without probable cause is just plain unconstitutional, regardless of how effective or important you think it is..

And no, “he looks illegal” isn’t probable cause.

Jason D
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

“To Jason D………..no, that does not sound like fun. However, how may I ask do suggest the solve the illegal immigration problem in this country? Pretend that it does not exist?”

Ah yes, the false dichotomy. Either we destroy everyone’s rights to save the country, and encourage racial profiling — or we just let illegals walk all over us.

I got news for ya Swampfox. I’m not on the side of illegal immigrants. Never have been. I’m sympathetic to a point, but our borders are there for a reason, and our legal immigration policies are there for a reason.

It’s false to suggest that if someone opposes every half-brained policy idea on immigration reform, they totally are on the side of illegal immigrants.

Regan, Timothy — just to stop right there — I assume you both are like Michelle Malkin and totally think the Japanese concentration camps, oh, sorry “INTERNMENT” camps we had in this country were totally okay?

I suppose if a few gay terrorists a la Bash Back start mobilizing, you’d be okay with gay internment camps and gay profiling?

Back to swamp.

-We need to beef up border security.
-Impose harsher fines on businesses that hire illegals. Put them OUT of business if that’s what they’re going to do.
-We know what industries that illegals tend to work in, which, by the way, already have some regulatory orgs/departments — so why not make checking the citizenship status of employees part of that?
-Get the IRS involved —yes, illegal immigrants do pay taxes. I’ve known several.
-How about utility companies? Landlords? Be very difficult to be an illegal immigrant if you can’t get electricity, water, cable, or sign a lease.

There are tons of ways to do this that don’t involve leaving this up to random officers on the street stopping whoever they feel like stopping whenever they feel like it. We do not have to resort to racial profiling in order to deal with this problem. It’s an attempt at a shortcut, it’s someone ignoring the issues involved and going directly for what seems the “simplest” and as Jim, myself, eddie, and others have pointed out — it’s NOT that simple.

When you start a diet to lose weight they remind you it took a long time to gain all that weight, and it will take a long time to lose it. This is the same principle. It took a lot of negligence on our part, multiple failures to get into this mess and we’re not going to get out of it with some sort of quick fix. This will take time.

Désirée
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

I’d laugh at all the comment abouts how illegals are destroying the countries or invading or walking all over us if it weren’t that people seriously believed such nonsense. The *FACTS* are that illegals are doing no such thing and are in fact a benefit to the economy. The *FACT* is that conservative politicians offer up scare stories about illegals to rile up the public same as they do for gays. That anyone on this board would tout the Republic anti-immigration line and in the same breath call them liars for their attitudes about gays just proves to me that cognitive dissonance exists in gays as well as straights. Any gay who actually believes that illegal aliens are ruining the country despite evidence to the country should be ashamed of themselves and hopefully everyone here will call them on it the next time they jump down FOX news throats for conservative reporting on gay issues. You can’t have it both ways. Either the right winger fear mongers are right and illegals and gays are ruining the country or they are lying to generate fear (which translates into votes) and you are falling for it.

Cole
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid, I don’t have a link, the study was done in the last two years. It’s from research done on demographic voting patterns on gay rights. Immigrants were the most anti-gay of the demographics looked at.

Eddie89, yes illegal immigrants are taking Americans’ jobs. The cleaning crew where I work was replaced by illegal immigrants. My mother has had a hard time finding work because of illegal immigrants taking the jobs. If you are an American you has only a high school education or worse, you are being pushed out of the work force.

Desiree, I live far from the US/Mexico border but the violence/criminal activity has increased so much in the last 15 years that the federal government had to step in a couple years ago. It’s all due to illegal immigrants. This area used to be very peaceful and clean.

andrew
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

I want to see illegal immigration curbed, and don’t want to see those who flouted the rules rewarded, but not at the cost of American civil liberties.

Désirée
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

sorry Cole, I don’t buy it. Blaming illegals is easy and untrue. You could replace illegals in your post with gays or blacks or jews and it would make just as much sense, be just as bigoted and just as much BS as it is with “illegals”

Emily K
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

I am opposed to harboring illegals but I also am opposed to a law that would justify profiling with little recourse for a victim who is a US citizen, not an illegal, but is harassed anyway.

Desiree, I live far from the US/Mexico border but the violence/criminal activity has increased so much in the last 15 years that the federal government had to step in a couple years ago. It’s all due to illegal immigrants.

Prove it.

I am unsympathetic because I see the damage done by illegal aliens and lack of will to control the flow.

Even “unsympathetic” to the legals that will be harassed under this law? really? You’re right regan, let’s just “see what happens” and use certain types of brown-skinned people as part of a grander social experiment. Shoot ‘em all and let God sort ‘em out.

John
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Well, what if you have a drivers license from a state OTHER than Arizona!?

I’m not a lawyer so the beginning language is bit confusing to me in #4, but it seems like licenses from other states, along with valid Federal IDs, are allowed as well. If not, Arizona has opened itself to a legitimate lawsuit for violating the Full Faith & Credit Clause of the US Constitution.

John
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Unfortunately, our conservative, extreme right wing Governor and legislature in Arizona don’t want to do the right thing. They just want to win the next election cycle and this SB 1070 law is just a way to appease and stir up their base.

While political considerations are undoubtedly in play with this issue, the bulk of your criticism here is misdirected. Arizona lacks the competency to establish a guest worker program. That’s the purview of the US Congress which under BOTH parties has failed miserably when it comes to immigration and leaves the states, especially those along the border like Arizona, to foot the bill and deal with problems on their own. What is Arizona supposed to do when the Feds are abrogating their responsibilities?

John
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Or is it the job where they pound nails on top of some rooftop, while daytime temps hit 115 degrees, for less than $10 per hour?

The unemployment rate in Arizona is 9.4% right now. How many citizens or legal residents still out-of-work could benefit from even a $10/hr job to help their families?

John
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Nevermind that this whole concept of asking people to identify themselves without probable cause is just plain unconstitutional, regardless of how effective or important you think it is.

Since police officers are only able to ask for ID during a “lawful contact” under the law and about their status when “reasonable suspicion” exists, it seems like probable cause is part and parcel of this. My concerns rest upon what constitutes “reasonable suspicion”.

John
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

We need to beef up border security.

We’ve said this for years and the Feds have done virtually nothing about the problem, save for some temporary PR campaigns. Why should Arizona and the other states keep paying the price for the Feds’ refusal to do their jobs?

Impose harsher fines on businesses that hire illegals. Put them OUT of business if that’s what they’re going to do.

The Arizona law includes harsh penalties for businesses that hire illegals.

Get the IRS involved —yes, illegal immigrants do pay taxes. I’ve known several.

Get the IRS involved how, exactly?

How about utility companies? Landlords? Be very difficult to be an illegal immigrant if you can’t get electricity, water, cable, or sign a lease.

So essentially turn utility company employees and landlords into ICE agents similiar to what was proposed with teachers in California’s Proposition 187? Not a good idea.

There are tons of ways to do this that don’t involve leaving this up to random officers on the street stopping whoever they feel like stopping whenever they feel like it.

That is permitted by the Arizona law, which specifically says that it must be a “lawful contact” and “reasonable suspicion” exists. How those are defined is what concerns me but your comment here is beyond what the law actually permits.

We do not have to resort to racial profiling in order to deal with this problem.

This is explicitly prohibited in the new law, with substantial penalties when it happens. Now how they determine “reasonable suspicion” without racial profiling is beyond me.

toujoursdan
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Think again. To prove citizenship, I would need to carry a certified birth certificate (with the raised notary seal, not a photocopy) or a passport wherever I go.

How many of you do that? I don’t.

Birth certificates don’t prove legal status. I was born in Canada and have a birth certificate issued from the province of Québec, yet I am a dual citizen because my mother is from Chicago, and I live in the U.S. legally. There are also people born in the U.S. who have renounced their citizenship after moving to another country. See: New York Times: More American Expatriates Give Up Citizenship

Driver’s licences/State ID cards also do not prove legal status. States not part of the RealID initiative may not require proof of legal status.

There are two documents available to the general public that reliably prove legal status – a passport or an alien registration card. Only 25% of Americans even own a passport.

toujoursdan
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

I’m not a lawyer so the beginning language is bit confusing to me in #4, but it seems like licenses from other states, along with valid Federal IDs, are allowed as well. If not, Arizona has opened itself to a legitimate lawsuit for violating the Full Faith & Credit Clause of the US Constitution.

This isn’t true. When I moved from Texas to New York in 2006 my Texas ID wasn’t accepted as a form of ID. I wasn’t allowed to just trade my Texas ID for a New York one.

I had to provide a slew of documents: birth certificate, passport, Social Security Card, paycheque stubs, etc. in order to receive a New York ID. New York State has a point system whereby they assign points to your documentation and you must receive a certain number of points to be eligible for an ID. My Texas ID wasn’t counted.

State Driver’s licence/ID cards are just that. They are issued by the states. Businesses and police departments choose to accept them because they are reliable forms of ID, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that another state entity must do so. They aren’t federal documents.

TonyJazz
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

I guess Swampfox doesn’t realize that the whole teabagger thing is a Republican-funded front, and there is NOTHING to indicate any support for gay rights. In fact, gay marriage is one of their targets.

It is loosely-formed on purpose, and clearly promoted by the Fox network.

C’mon, guy, get REAL!!!!

Back to the immigration mess now…

Regan DuCasse
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Let’s start with YOU, Jason D.
Too cheap and easy a shot. And off the mark.

How is it racist to be unsympathetic with lawbreakers?

How is it being without compassion, to have sympathy for the citizen whose ss# was stolen and used by 30 people?
Where’s YOUR compassion for THEM?

There was a massacre in my neighborhood last month, and all the players were Armenian. Turned out the restaurant it occurred in, was a sham business.
There is active Russian mafia in WeHo, and Latinos and Armenian gangs clash in ways you have NO idea the level of violence, and white collar crime they are capable of.
Inevitably it’s usually someone who is illegally here.
They prey on illegal aliens and citizens alike.
This does not make me racist, nor should you even think about using that term with me again.
I grew up in a family, VERY sensitive and cognizant about being judged for our color, and gender. It was important to my grandparents and parents that scrutiny would be different for me. Therefore I was taught, be correct, be exceptionally mannered, be law abiding, be clean and well dressed.
Most of all, because if the justice system could be stacked against me, take no risks with it. And it’s extremely difficult to be prosecuted when you come fully correct.

I have been pulled over twice in the last year. Once because the new car I was driving from a car rental service, didn’t have it’s plates yet.
And another time I’d forgotten to affix my new registration tags on my car. But the tags were with me.

I had everything with me in the car, all legal and in order. I have been a guest worker in foreign countries, and had my passport with me, and proof of legally working in that country.

If a legal resident from another country has a green card to carry as proof of their status.
I have a lot of immigrant friends, most of them became citizens eventually, but it was a matter of interest and PRIDE to show me those cards.

YOU of all people, should know better than to accuse me of being anything but understanding of what legal and illegal is, and how we, as a nation have looked the other way no matter WHAT kinds of felonies an illegal immigrant has committed exponentially, as if no one has been hurt by it.

And many people ARE hurt by it. This is not a victimless issue.

I don’t like seeing legal residents and citizens hurt by those who have no respect for the legal process of immigration to this country.

I don’t like desperate illegal immigrants exploited and hurt either.
But getting in bed with doing something illegal is the risk you run. It’s the choice of the individual to take that risk.

I don’t see why I should have compassion and look the other way when people commit crimes.

What we consider minor infractions, like sidewalk vending, traffic violations, or any other act that gets the attention of the police or witnesses, is when a law like this gives the police the power to at least CHECK, as they SHOULD. And let ICE take care of the rest, AS THEY SHOULD.

Employers, illegal immigrants and others keeping this all on the DL, as if it can STAY there, is insanity.
And it’s also not racist to expect our language and culture to be respected. Accommodating a SINGLE language other than English has fragmented our culture, built resentment, and created problems.
Illiteracy in English keeps needs for EXPENSIVE interpreters in perpetuity.
Which is also something no one should be obligated to accommodate, nor can we afford it. Not just monetarily, but culturally.

It’s not racist to not be able to have bottomless resources for people with bottomless needs, and less accountability.
Check that racist line. You don’t know me.
I don’t see illegal immigrants as little kids who need coddling, no matter what. What THEY do is unfair, unethical and creates chaotic situations for everyone. It’s not a matter of compassion to let that proliferate, but the need for order.
You don’t shove people in line because you’re too impatient to get what you want. We’re a popular destination. A lot of places are, still doesn’t make it right to treat OTHER people that way because you want to or you don’t want to try another way.

Considering who I work for, you should understand I might know more about the damage done by illegal immigration than you do.

TonyJazz
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Regan, your response is overly long-winded. Keep in mind that the issue discussed here is not so much immigration reform as it is the Arizona law.

The Arizona law won’t fix the problems that concern you, but it certainly will make many problems worse.

The law is intended to intimidate non-whites (just like the AZ attitude towards Martin Luther King Day).

The good news is that someday the Repuglican party in AZ will pay for their racism, just like it did in California…

Regan DuCasse
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

How about this?

You, Joe Citizen, to avoid taxes, takes on another ss#, stolen from a living person. Uses two other alias to avoid detection.

IRS flags where you are now working, as having mismatched ss# of you and several other employees.
You are one of 237, out of 1,356 employees at a food processing plant in CA.

You, however, are the only legal citizen out of the 237 people. Some of whom worked at this plant longer than you. For many years, in fact.

So, after a month’s grace, the employer cannot account for the stolen ss#, and must fire everyone.

Using someone else’s name and ss# is a felony. YOU are the only citizen however.
Not only are you fired, YOU go to prison for a minimum of five years.

However, the illegal immigrants are only fired, not jailed or deported, as they could be under federal law.
Advocates for illegal immigrants protest and cry foul because the illegal immigrants were fired in bad economic times.

You, however, American citizen that you are, are on your way to jail. Even though YOUR crime took place over a period of two years, whereas the illegal alien’s was for over ten. Which should have garnered them over 8 years jail time, with deportation to follow.

They have freedom, and you don’t. And they committed MORE felonies attached to their status and for longer.

Now why this outcome? Because it would have been RACIST to compel the illegal aliens to go to jail for false identity?
The employer who couldn’t tell false papers from legit ones?

You’re fucked and THEY go free.
And you think our laws are being unfair to illegal immigrants?
Yeah, I’m so sure they appreciate you going to jail in their place.

This is a true story and it happened in Southgate last year.

BTW, all those illegal immigrants were ALL replaced with legal workers within a month.

Regan DuCasse
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Hi Tonyjazz,
Point taken. We’ll see, won’t we?
It’s worth seeing exactly if things get worse and for whom.

90 days it goes into affect. Hopefully, we’ll see.

TonyJazz
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Regan, nice civil response… Good for you! (You do seem obsessed with this thing, though…)

Timothy Kincaid
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

jcrr

I live in “Liberal L.A. County”. Yes the County voted 50.1% for Prop 8 (of the 3.2 million LA County voters, it passed by 2,385 votes). I hardly think that suggests that Hispanic voters heavily supported Proposition 8 or are anti-gay.

Timothy Kincaid
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

As I stated above, this debate does run to the extremes.

If you are concerned about our country having no idea what foreign nationals are here illegally, then you are a racist. If you have sympathy for people just trying to feed their family, then you want no borders.

Our problem is that we have an ‘all or nothing’ approach. Our politicians (and our commenters here) seem incapable of distinguishing between those who are Americans-in-the-making and those who have no interest in our country other than what they can get from it.

If the Federal government would do its job and set immigration policies that reflect our need and then enforce them, laws like this one would not occur. Even if they winked and looked the other way to working immigrants but got rid of the immigrant criminals and leeches and gangs (in LA this is from a very diverse racial demographic including Mexican, Vietnamese, Russian, Armenian gangs and others), then laws like this one would not occur.

But if the citizens of Arizona (or California or most other border states) do not see the Feds doing anything at all, and when they see their jails overfull with foreign criminals, and when they cant fund the social programs for those born in the state, then something is going to happen. Good or bad, right or wrong, something is going to happen.

I don’t wish to argue the merits of this exact bill. I hear conflicting reports of what it would do and I know from experience that “well I heard” is not the best way to measure a bill.

But I completely understand how and why it passed and how and why two thirds of Arizonans support it – and, no, that reason is not based in racism.

Timothy Kincaid
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Jason D

Regan, Timothy — just to stop right there — I assume you both are like Michelle Malkin and totally think the Japanese concentration camps, oh, sorry “INTERNMENT” camps we had in this country were totally okay?

No, Jason, you stop right there.

My mother had a friend and classmate sent to an internment camp. I do not believe, and never have believed, that this was “totally okay”.

There seems to be an assumption that those who are concerned about unfettered immigration are so concerned because of the race of those immigrating. This is a false assumption that blinds you from having a rational discussion.

If the problem surrounding having immigrants in the country who are here illegally and about whom we know nothing was limited solely to Europeans, I’d have the same concerns. I’m no more fond of Russian criminals or Eastern European criminals in Los Angeles or, for that matter, any other brand of criminals that are here. My views are consistent.

Are yours?

Cole
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Desiree, it’s not for you to believe. It’s reality. No, you can’t replace illegal immigrant with gay because gay people have never committed crime or pushed out a group from work like illegal immigrant have.

John
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

This isn’t true. When I moved from Texas to New York in 2006 my Texas ID wasn’t accepted as a form of ID. I wasn’t allowed to just trade my Texas ID for a New York one.

That might be true when you are applying for licenses or benefits in another state, as well as proving you are a citizen, but I seriously doubt that applies in other cases. For example, if I’m driving my vehicle with Virginia tags and a Virginia license and am pulled over in New York, there is no way that they can reject my license because their state supposedly doesn’t view it as being valid. I’m not buying that argument because I have been stopped in other states before. Besides, it appears that other state licenses are allowed under the Arizona law though a lawyer would have to decipher some of the language.

toujoursdan
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Our problem is that we have an ‘all or nothing’ approach. Our politicians (and our commenters here) seem incapable of distinguishing between those who are Americans-in-the-making and those who have no interest in our country other than what they can get from it.

Wait a minute. Explain this to me. Don’t many Americans go abroad and work managing factories in China or in the oil fields of Saudi Arabia and Angola? Don’t many Americans do summers abroad in Europe or teach at foreign universities in the UK, Canada, New Zealand or Australia? Don’t many American retirees move to Mexico and Belize (or the Bahamas or the Caymans if they’re rich) solely to take advantage of the cost of living or climate, not because they want to become Mexican or Belizean?

Do Americans heap scorn on them because they are just getting what they can from these countries yet have no desire to become British, Canadian, Australian, Mexican, Belizean; convert to Wahabi Islam and assimilate into Saudi Arabia or embrace Mao’s Red Book? Isn’t going to another country and getting what you can out of it as old as the concept of the nation state itself? Why the double standard?

Undocumented workers pay (at the very least sales) taxes, are a relatively small drain on the safety net and they provide cheap labour, doing jobs Americans generally don’t want to do. Whether immigrants want to become Americans or are doing this to feed their family at home seems irrelevant to me. Americans do exactly the same thing in other countries.

Timothy Kincaid
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

toujoursdan,

Wait a minute. Explain this to me.

OK, sure.

Americans who go abroad to work or live do so with the full recognition and welcome of the other country. Quite often they bring their families.

They know that they must respect the other country, its laws and its culture, or they will be asked to leave. That is how nations other than the US keep in the folks that contribute and kick out those who are detrimental.

Regan DuCasse
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Well, TonyJazz, I might be a little.
Working for the LAPD, I get the up close version of the damage done by illegal immigration.
Serious damage to public trust, national security, and infrastructure.

When all around us we see dereliction by those whose job it is to deal with this, it’s hard NOT to be overly concerned.
Because no one else seems to be.

Regan DuCasse
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

“What does an illegal immigrant look like?”

I’ll answer that.

They look like whoever can’t produce legal documents that identify them as the legal carrier of said documentation.
They look like whoever can’t prove they are who they say they are.

That’s what they look like.

jcrr
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy,

Actually, there’s NOT enough White Republicans in the area to tip the balance significantly in favor of anti-gay marriage initiatives. Exit polls showed 48% of whites statewide voted for McCain/Palin and 49% voted Yes on 8 — almost identical percentages. What that means is that Republican-leaning whites and socially conservative Latinos were directly responsible for its passage.

Does that have anything to do with the issue of illegal immigration? Not at all. Should the gay community shed tears because they’re not the only target of unjust laws and ballot initiatives? I don’t think so…

Timothy Kincaid
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

jcrr,

Social conservatives of all races and ethnicities were responsible for its passage. There is nothing to indicate that these voters were disproportionately Hispanic.

From what we know, whites and Asians (many who are also from more recently immigrated families) were slightly less likely to support Prop 8. Blacks (few of whom are recent immigrants) voted heavily for the proposition, and Hispanics voted slightly more for the proposition.

I don’t think that the original contention that “89% of registered immigrants vote to take gay people’s rights” appears to have been substantiated in any way.

It is these sorts of claims that add nothing to the discussion and instead drive everyone to the extremes.

Regan DuCasse
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Toujourdans, Timothy explained it, but I’ll reiterate.
I’ve worked in foreign countries temporarily myself. With no intention of becoming a citizen of them.
I went with each legal obligation so that their respective governments knew who I was, why I was there, and posed no burden on the social programs therein.

I had unique skills, much in demand in the country I worked in. I didn’t displace anyone who needed the job.
And I speak a few other languages with enough facility for my needs (and theirs) in those countries.

However, if I was planning on PERMANENT residency, I’d still adhere to whatever requirements necessary.

I think you are seriously misinformed about the uncompensated drain that illegal immigration is on border states in particular.
If working illegally, they are not paying federal or state taxes, and are less of the population that owns a home or commercial property that such taxes are also derived from.
Other income is sent away to support family that isn’t in this country.

Some states don’t have sales taxes, and it’s VERY inadequate when it comes to the OTHER expenses offset by taxpayers and not the businesses who employ them.

Los Angeles and many other border states are SATURATED with too many people and not enough jobs so that wages and benefits ARE depressed. Even union trades.

I’d read about a small city outside of Seattle, WA that was inundated with Latin immigrants. No one could really say how many were legal or not.
This city averaged a population of about 2,500, suddenly swelled by over 100% in a little over a year. Seriously undercutting wages, and diminishing available housing and other facilities.
The cash crop was cherries, apples and pears, and each year, teens and college students ( who aren’t making babies they can’t feed) would work picking the crops for summer and fall wages. All displaced by the new influx, and unable to compete.

Some of the new immigrants sued for BI LINGUAL signs, and other accommodations. Further depleting resources for other use.

Even legal immigrants can pose a serious economic disaster to some localities not big enough to assimilate to many of them coming in a short time.

And, human smugglers are sending illegal immigrants to places all over the country way outside the border states.

Tim is right, nobody is doing anything or enough to stem the problem. And legal residents needed to see SOME action taken, for better or worse.
It can be a matter of numbers and not anti immigrant sentiment.
Too many people is too many people.
We don’t have unlimited resources, jobs or infrastructure.

Regan DuCasse
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Cheap shot, Emily K.
Beneath you to go there.

jcrr
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy, you are basing your arguments on a CNN exit poll that is inconsistent with other polling data. here’s an example: http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/issues/egan_sherrill_prop8_1_6_09.pdf

Swampfox
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

“I guess Swampfox doesn’t realize that the whole teabagger thing is a Republican-funded front, and there is NOTHING to indicate any support for gay rights. In fact, gay marriage is one of their targets.

It is loosely-formed on purpose, and clearly promoted by the Fox network.

C’mon, guy, get REAL!!!!

Back to the immigration mess now…” – TonyJazz

And, you my friend are living in la la land. Why don’t we just call them a bunch of faggots? Somehow it doesn’t surprise me that the left has labeled them teabaggers, a gay slur. I guess that you are happy with it.

Swampfox
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

TonyJazz, if you don’t believe what I have to say about the Tea Party Movement, perhaps you will believe what the New York Times has to say about them, here is a link: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/13/us/politics/13tea.html

BrianQTD
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

The animus behind this bill is racism and resentment towards “those people” (indigenous looking Latinos). I know, I know, it can’t possibly be so because the law’s supporters say it isn’t–just like antigay folks say they don’t “hate” gay people, they just want to “protect marriage” when the very definition they have of “marriage” is exclusionary and bigoted. Who does and does not get to be “legal” should be based, first and foremost, on principles of human rights and justice, which are prioritized over expediency.

This argument about resources is interesting. Basically you all seem resentful because the undocumented are taking “stuff” you perceive to be yours like jobs. But I don’t think it was never “yours”. It was all an illusion. You have no control over labor or capital, and you let it get that way because you let big business have the upper hand. In fact, you rewarded their cost-cutting, race-to-the-bottom measures by electing politicians who would cut their taxes even more and pursue even more “business friendly” models.

Who is responsible for this drive for cheap labor in the first place? The undocumented? You cannot be serious. This race to the bottom wasn’t caused by the undocumented, but the influx of undocumented workers is a consequence of it. Along with the historical factors I mentioned earlier.

What business wants, business usually gets–observe health care reform. Even if there is immigration reform, the very things Regan is concerned with will not go away because cheap labor is profitable. That’s the way the world works and until you are willing to deal with that, you are just heaping scorn on people with the least amount of power and you will further marginalize undocumented workers (and, by extension, all dark-skinned Latinos–which nobody seems to care about).

And Regan–you talk about the mistrust undocumented workers cause. Can you, having worked with the LAPD, tell us anything about the damage racial conflicts between minority groups and police due to racial profiling and heavy handed tactics? Do you even acknowledge that illegitimate, illegal (there’s that word!) racial profiling takes place in America? If so, how can you not be concerned about racial profiling here?

Timothy Kincaid
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

jcrr,

the Task Force report was not based on exit polling but was instead based on after-the-fact polling and was written primarily to argue against the exit polling on black voters.

But even assuming that it is accurate, it does not support the assertion that immigrants are significantly more anti-gay than non-immigrants. Even if we tell ourselves the preposterous idea that all Hispanic Californians are “immigrants” (ignoring that some Hispanic families have been here for hundreds of years) we are talking about a 6% higher rate of voting on Prop 8 than the state-wide average.

There are reasons to be concerned about immigration policies but I don’t think “Latinos are anti-gay” is one of them.

BrianQTD
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

“But I don’t think it was never ‘yours’” should be “…I don’t think it was ever ‘yours’”

Burr
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Teabagger is not a gay slur. Straight guys can teabag just as much as gay ones, and you can teabag a female. It’s just immature and not a helpful term to use.

How Immigration Crackdowns Backfire

The state has an estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants. But contrary to myth, they have not brought an epidemic of murder and mayhem with them. Surprise of surprises, the state has gotten safer.

Over the last decade, the violent crime rate has dropped by 19 percent, while property crime is down by 20 percent. Crime has also declined in the rest of the country, but not as fast as in Arizona.

BTW Regan, here’s some evidence of immigration enforcement affecting even us innocent legal citizens.

Immigration officials detaining, deporting American citizens

Burr
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Tim is correct in his assessment of the debate. Too much attention is being drawn to the extremes.

It’s obvious that this won’t be solved without enforcement, but enforcement will not make sense until policy is pragmatic and deals with reality. Deporting all illegals is not practical, and neither is letting them all in. Maintaining the status quo as far as what people we allow in legally is also ridiculous to continue to support. Far fewer people would cheat the system if it was more fair and actually satisfied the demand on both sides of the border. Part of the reason so many illegals come here and STAY (causing trouble in the process) is because they don’t want to suffer the border crossing again. If they had more freedom of movement there would be fewer issues.

Jim Burroway
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

By the way, the term “teabagger” in reference to the political movement was coined by the teabaggers themselves.

R
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

There are better ways of attacking the rate of undocumented immigration other than profiling for Spanish speakers.

1.) Harsher penalties for companies who recruit or hire undocumented immigrants. Make it so undocumented workers are too expensive to hire under the table to be profitable. If there’s no better job in the US, why go through all the danger of coming here?

2.) Encourage more companies to develop Mexico. It’s more efficient economically for Mexicans to work in Mexico to feed their families than to come to the US to work. I’d wager most would rather not be separated from their wives and children for long periods of time.

Having an environment that encourages undocumented immigration is harmful. Undocumented workers do not have the rights we take for granted every day. If I were paid under minimum wage, I can report it. If I were made to work in an unsafe environment, I can report it. If my boss rapes me, I can report it. Undocumented workers do not have the same access or knowledge of the legal system that I have. The worst employer abuses happen in situations where the workers are undocumented.

Arizona has 9% immigrants? From what I was able to Google, 11-12% of the nation is foreign born. At the dawn of the 20th century 15% of the US was foreign born (I heard 20% from some other source, but I can’t find it). I fail to see how this is some new danger to the US way of life. It’s not like the Irish left their saints and whiskey in Ireland, or Norwegians studied English and spoke it exclusively after they arrived.

Richard Rush
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Is anyone wondering what benefits NAFTA produced regarding all the job creation expected inside Mexico, and the resulting impact on immigration and jobs in the US?

—————————–

I’m learning a lot from this discussion about the illegal immigration issue, particularly as it impacts the border states. I live in the heart of the Northeast megalopolis, and while we are aware of increasing numbers of immigrants that we generally perceive as Mexican, immigration is not such a big issue in this region. I base that observation on what I do or don’t see in our big-city newspaper that I read every day. For example, when I think about who is responsible for the bulk of the crime in our region, I certainly don’t think about the Mexicans. If anyone else in this region sees it differently, let us know.

I believe our federal government has an obligation to its citizens to control the movement of people across the borders. While Arizona’s new law is fraught with problems, I can understand the frustration of citizens that produced it. So, even if the law is found to be unconstitutional, it will have served the purpose of spotlighting the issue for the rest of us.

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