2010 August 01 Sunday
Most Americans Prefer State Immigration Enforcement
Most Americans do not see the US federal government as up to the task of immigration law enforcement on their own. So then most Americans have an accurate assessment of the situation.
4* Which is the better approach to dealing with illegal immigration—allowing individual states to act on their own to enforce immigration laws or relying upon the federal government to enforce immigration laws?
- 53% Allowing individual states to act on their own to enforce immigration laws
- 41% Relying on the federal government to enforce immigration laws
- 6% Not sure
As Heather Mac Donald points out, the Obama Administration and a sympathetic federal judge demonstrate by their opposition to Arizona's law on immigration enforcement that the people are right to put greater trust in the states.
Judge Bolton’s ruling regarding S.B. 1070’s provision on the possession of immigration documents verges on bad faith. S.B. 1070 adopts virtually verbatim a federal law requiring lawful aliens to carry their immigration papers with them; the Arizona version merely lessens the federal penalties regarding the amount of the fine and possible jail time for violation of the federal document requirement. As the judge notes, federal registration power is exclusive; Congress’s registration scheme may not be altered by the states. But nothing in S.B. 1070 changes the rules for registration; the Arizona law merely confirms those rules in state law. Judge Bolton alleges that the Arizona provision “alters the penalties” in the federal law, without disclosing that the Arizona law lowers them. She concludes without the slightest trace of argument that the Arizona document provision “stands as an obstacle to the uniform federal registration scheme and is therefore impermissible.”
The only factually plausible objection to S.B. 1070’s document requirement and to the provision authorizing inquiries into an alien’s status is that Arizona may penalize someone for being in the country illegally whom the federal government intends to ignore. It is the effect of the law on illegal aliens, not on legal ones, that has most upset the Obama administration and illegal-alien advocates (the Bush administration would probably have reacted similarly). A large reason why S.B. 1070’s impact on illegal aliens was so carefully kept offstage in the federal government’s brief and the judge’s ruling is that Congress has repeatedly expressed its intention that local governments cooperate with the federal government in the “apprehension, detention or removal or [illegal] aliens,” as a 1996 federal law declares. The very immigration-information clearinghouse that Judge Bolton worries would be overtaxed by S.B. 1070 was created to effectuate Congress’s mandate that the federal and local governments share information regarding illegal aliens. As the Senate declared in 1996 when banning sanctuary laws (a ban whose disregard in Arizona led to S.B. 1070): “illegal aliens do not have a right to remain in the U.S. undetected and apprehended.” If in fact that information clearinghouse becomes burdened with “too many” inquiries from Arizona, it’s for the executive branch to seek greater funding. Congress never said: We want information sharing, but only up to a point. Moreover, many of Arizona’s own law-enforcement officers are capable of using the federal immigration database without needing to go through federal channels.
Gorilla thinks 41% is an impressive number. Res ipsa loquitur Gorilla.
"...that Arizona may penalize someone for being in the country illegally whom the federal government intends to ignore..."
Illegals should be deported back, not penalized like criminals. A lot of people want to refer to illegals -either implicitly or explicitly- as criminals. So there should be an immigration reform, not just a law, and this immigration law is wrong because,
1. It is a racist law, since it profiles racially.
2. It is based on the premise that immigration is the new and latest threat to the U.S., while in fact immigration –legal and illegal- played a key role in making the U.S. great and powerful.
3. It dangerously blurs the definition and implications of the word “criminal”, which even backfires against citizens.
When a poor foreigner enters a country’s territory in search for work and a better life, he/she commits an illegal act; just as illegal is the act of running a red light, jaywalking, peeing a tree in the park or speeding on the freeway. But nobody in their right mind is ready to criminalize a person for that. Those illegalities do not –or should not- belong into the penal, but into the civil areas of law, unless of course the offender is jaywalking to shoot somebody, running a red light to chrash at the intersection, speeding to run over a person or entering the country armed and ready to invade it- But those are whole different issues.
Not every illegality is a crime… So let’s reject any law, anywhere in the world that labels as “criminal” any legitimate-purpose illegal alien, whether mexican in the U.S., spanish in France, guatemalan in Mexico, polish in Germany, peruvian in Chile, or U.S. citizen in Mexico.
Illegals provide a service to the economy and they all pay taxes. Besides, all illegals should be measured with the same rod. But there seems to be a phobia and hatred towards a particular group of illegals. Let's remember that there are also illegal U.S. citizens in Mexico, for example, and although they are not as many as Mexicans in the U.S., they are quite a lot. Of course you probably won’t find many of them riding a tractor or picking avocados in rural areas. Some of those illegals are retired, some are working as sales reps, English teachers, consultants or students with a job on the side. Some have even set up small informal businesses and borrowed spanish names.
Many of these illegal U.S. citizens in Mexico are generally not the typical coarse smelly tourist dressed in shorts, t-shirt and sandals, that you find in any Mexican colonial downtown. No; many wear smart sporty slacks, shirts and shoes they find at the local Sears; they have stopped shouting when they talk, being so bossy, gaining so many pounds, kicking so much ass, and have even absorbed some of the culture inherent to colonial cities and their middle-class suburbs. At least they have gotten rid of the usual stereotypes about Mexico they once had from Hollywood movies and Fox News. They have discovered that mexicans are not the chicanos they are so familiar with; that most mexicans have no desire to go, work and live in the U.S. at all.
There are also chinese, french, spaish and other illegals, but the Mexican government –and the population in general- gives them kind of a break, because they understand that the world has become small, that interactions are unavoidable, that immigration is becoming massive all over the planet; that politicians and governments have fallen behind the global requirements and challenges of the 21st. century, for both citizens and immigrants. The nationalistic jealousy has simply grown obsolete and outdated, however much we dislike it or pretend not to see.