Conservative Political Commentary

[Under the Radar?] Anti-socialist, anti-communist, anti-globalist, pro-Constitution, and usually with an attempt at historical and economic context (This blog was given its name before I decided it was going to be a political blog.)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Methinks They Do Protest Too Much

A sign at the international boundary between C...Image via Wikipedia
To listen to some of the people who object to Arizona’s new law making illegal immigration a state offense, you’d think the state was setting up some kind of SS organization to arbitrarily round up and harass Hispanic citizens and illegal immigrants. But, to the contrary, the law is only designed to do what federal law already supposedly does.

The openness of the Mexican border has been serious problem for years, and the federal government has refused to take sufficient measures to control it. There are Border Patrol agents who give a valiant effort to a problem that’s too big for them to handle. The White House has all but said let’s welcome everyone who wants to come in, and provide them with health care, education, union membership, and voting rights.

Illegal immigrants are a significant potential Democrat voting bloc, so liberals want to go after them, offering as much as possible in the way of full government benefits.

The Arizona Law Has Been Criticized from the Start
The law itself, considered quite strict, is described by a New York Times article as intended “to identify, prosecute and deport illegal immigrants.” [1]

President Barack Obama criticized the law before Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed it, saying it “threatened ‘to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and our communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe,’” according to the article. [2]

The main objections center on the authority of the police to require immigrants to show immigration papers or else be detained. The concern is that the law would be used to unjustly harass Hispanic citizens and illegals, and would lead to racial profiling. The governor gave assurances that police officers would be trained in proper application of the law and that racial profiling would not be tolerated. There would not be random stops of Hispanics to check for immigration papers.

While concern about abuse is understandable, police already require people to show papers for various things, such as driver’s license and registration at a traffic stop, etc. Most people don’t object to that, even though it could conceivably be misused to harass people. If it were, protests could be filed and corrective action taken.

“…Arizona is the first state to demand that immigrants meet federal requirements to carry identity documents legitimizing their presence on American soil,” the Times article reports. [3] So the law is simply a means of enforcing federal law which the federal government can’t be bothered to enforce.

Americans Largely Approve of the Law
An IBD/TIPP Poll indicated that 60% of Americans approve of the Arizona law [4]. Rasmussen reported that 64% of Arizona voters favor the law, with 30% opposing it. Also, according to Rasmussen, “Like voters across the nation, most Arizona voters (57%) favor an immigration policy that welcomes all immigrants except ‘national security threats, criminals and those who would come here to live off our welfare system.’” Further, 76% believe that securing the border takes priority over legalizing the status of undocumented workers. [5]

According to Rasmussen: In Florida, 62% would like a similar law for their state, with 31% opposing [6], and 55% of people in Colorado would approve a similar law for their own state, with 35% opposing [7].

Given these numbers, Arizona’s law should be good politically in Arizona and nationwide, despite the voices of protest. Americans in general appear to be tired of the lack of effective action by the federal government to control the Mexican border, even to the point that Mexican drug battles sometimes cross over onto U.S. soil. Meanwhile, the Mexican government considers it good policy to export people to the U.S. and demand special rights for them here. Mexico itself provides nothing but legal trouble for people found to be in their country illegally.

The New York Times article mentioned above states that Governor Brewer’s signing of the law represents a strong rebuke to Janet Napolitano, former Arizona governor and now Homeland Security Secretary, since she refused to sign such a law herself. [8]

The law has met strong resistance among liberals, many of whom think that immigration laws need not be enforced and the border should be open to all who wish to come to America to live. They don’t give much consideration to the fact that a nation’s sovereignty requires that it control its borders. Too many are not concerned much with American sovereignty at all

Boycotting Arizona
The left realizes they are in the minority on this issue, so in attempting to make it appear that opposition to this law is a general groundswell, they are making as much noise as possible, and in those areas where liberals bear rule, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, etc., high-powered politicians, entertainers, athletes, etc. are speaking up to denounce the law and encourage boycotts.

The cities of San Francisco (a “sanctuary city”) and Los Angeles, among others, have restricted official travel to Arizona.

The Los Angeles Times reported as follows:

Calls for boycotts spread throughout California this week after the bill was signed by Brewer on Friday. The law is scheduled to take effect 90 days after the legislative session ends this week.

On Tuesday, seven members of the Los Angeles City Council signed a proposal for a boycott, calling for the city to “refrain from conducting business” or participating in conventions in Arizona. Councilman Ed Reyes, who coauthored the proposal with Councilwoman Janice Hahn, said he wants city officials to spend the next 90 days assessing the financial relationships that exist between various city departments and businesses based in Arizona.

“If Arizona companies are taking our money, I want to sever that,” he said. [9]

Of course, people have every right to speak and demonstrate, as do those who favor the law and oppose a boycott – their important message includes showing that this opposition is far from universal, and that the Arizona law makes a lot of sense. I don't know how effective the boycotts may be, but they seem completely unjustified, but may, as one blogger pointed out, have the benefit of keeping liberals out of Arizona.

The White House is considering a legal challenge to the law, which makes little sense to me. Arizona is a sovereign state, not a unit of the federal government. If the law turns out to be arbitrarily enforced, offensively and shabbily dealt with, courts will rule on the abuses and perhaps the law itself. But the basic idea of simply making illegal in Arizona what is supposed to be already illegal in the United States shouldn’t offend anyone.

Another aspect of the protests is that they may bring out some of the more radical leftists who see this opposition as a vehicle for promoting revolution. So look for a few “revolutionaries” to start promoting Marxism more loudly.

In Arizona, state leaders understand that illegal immigration is a problem the federal government refuses to adequately confront, particularly, controlling the border. As Governor Brewer pointed out, it’s a problem that Arizona didn’t create, but must deal with.

The Heritage Foundation’s The Foundry blog states, “Governor Brewer should be applauded for preserving rule of law and taking the power out of Washington to direct the debate on immigration reform. The federal government should listen clearly: state and local governments don’t like what the feds are offering.” [10]

George F. Will points out the inconsistency of liberals about profiling: “Although liberals are appalled by racial profiling, some seem to think vocational profiling (police officers are insensitive incompetents) is merely intellectual efficiency, as is state profiling (Arizonans are xenophobic).” [11]

The legislature and governor of Arizona have shown considerable wisdom and courage in passing a law that should be a model for other border states to consider, and states can be expected to assert their sovereign responsibilities, especially in view of the lack of help from the federal government. The Obama Administration seems to want everything to await “comprehensive immigration reform,” i.e. amnesty, probably coupled with a come-one-come-all policy, any form of which rightly figures to be a tough sell.

[1] Randal C. Archibold, “Arizona Enacts Stringent Law on Immigration,” 04/23/2010. The New York Times.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid. Emphasis added.

[4] Sean Higgins, Investor’s Business Daily, “IBD/TIPP Poll: 60% Favor New Arizona Immigration Law,” 05/04/2010,

[5] Rasmussen Reports, “Arizona Voters Favor Welcoming Immigration Policy, 64% Support New Immigration Law,” 04/28/2010.

[6] Rasmussen Reports, “62% in Florida Favor Arizona-style Law on Illegal Immigration,” 05/05/2010.

[7] Rasmussen Reports, “55% of Colorado Voters Favor Immigration Law Like Arizona’s,” 05/08/2010.

[8] Archibold, see [1].

[9] Anna Gorman and Nicholas Riccardi, “Calls to boycott Arizona grow over new immigration law,” 04/28/2010, Los Angeles Times.

[10] The Foundry, “New Arizona Immigration Law Makes Sense,” 04/23/2010, The Heritage Foundation.

[11] George F. Will, “A law Arizona can live with,” 04/28/2010, The Washington Post.

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