Nearly two-thirds of Americans back Arizona's new anti-illegal immigration law, which makes it a state crime for a person to be in the country illegally. The law also requires local and state law enforcement officials to question people about their immigration status if they suspect they’re in the country illegally.
Sixty-four percent favor this law, while 34 percent oppose it.
13 May 2010
Arizona Immigration Law The Wrong Approach
msnbc: Poll: Nearly two-thirds back AZ law
I have had my say on immigration and my previous posts still represent my views.
Personally, I am against the Arizona law, and not because I don't see illegal immigration as a huge problem. I do. The wanton lack of enforcement of out immigration laws breeds contempt for the concept of law and order, and opens the door to violent criminals, and terrorist attacks, and damages the earning potential of low-income Americans.
But the Arizona law is an infringement of and a danger to the liberty of American citizens. We have already seen a degradation of our rights resulting from the War on Drugs and the War on Terrorism. Now it seems as our rights must further yield to the War on Illegal Aliens.
Never mind that all of these so-called domestic "wars" are the result of government mismanagement and political ineptitude. If I were the paranoid type, I could believe that these crises were allowed to develop in order to facilitate the acquiescence to the depletion of our rights.
Perhaps you are inclined to think that I exaggerate. I wonder what you reaction will be the first time you are stopped, informed by a police officer that they believe you may be here illegally, and that you need to show your papers. No problem, you think, as you hand the officer your -- what? Perhaps a drivers licence?
Now, as I understand it, if the officer is not satisfied that what you produced is adequate (or maybe you left your licence in the pocket of your pants at home) you will be held in custody until immigration authorities can verify that you are here legally. And with the coming budget crunches, don't think they will be putting in the overtime on nights and weekends.
And just like that -- your liberty, citizen of this fair land -- is legally at the mercy of the whims of any police officer, and a faceless bureaucrat. That should make you uncomfortable. Do we not have the right to walk the streets unaccosted? Do we not have the right to not have to carry government-issued identification papers at all times? If liberty does not allow for this, than what does it allow?
The standard for the officer is "reasonable suspicion." If a police officer can't come up with that low standard, he's not earning his pay.
The public support for the Arizona law is due to the two entrenched parties' failure to properly manage immigration.
Historians note that the Romans would repass legislation, or pass more severe and harsher laws on the same subject. Historians conclude that the laws weren't having an effect, and weren't being enforced. So it is with us.
Why don't we try enforcing some of the laws we already have? Let's go after employers of illegal immigrants. They're probably exploiting them anyway, and dodging taxes to boot. Let's try enforcing the border. Let's check the immigration status of people who have already been arrested. Let's stop releasing immigrants on their own recognizance while they await hearings. Let's reform the mess of bureaucracies that are involved in this problem, and adopt a more rational organization. These simple things would satisfy most, and upset few.
Let's try to do those things, before we start putting you in jail for the night because you forgot to carry your papers when you left the house.