Arizona is trying to save itself. On Friday Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona signed the nation’s toughest bill on illegal immigration into law. On the surface it may ring of police state tactics, but is it really? Drastic times call for drastic measures. Arizona is in trouble. Kidnapping, murder and drug running in the American southwest has dramatically escalated since the relaxing of immigration policies through the 80's and 90's.
President Bush's feeble attempts at border security late in his term did little to stem the tide of illegal immigration. Politically correct re-naming of these law breakers as undocumented workers didn't change the fact that an invasion was taking place. The only thing that has had any effect was the tanking of the American economy - jobs have dried up for low wage Mexicans as well. This is most likely temporary, unless a robust economy never returns.
From a New York Times article:
Hispanics, in particular, railed against the law as a recipe for racial and ethnic profiling. “Governor Brewer caved to the radical fringe,” a statement by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund said, predicting that the law would create “a spiral of pervasive fear, community distrust, increased crime and costly litigation, with nationwide repercussions.”
I take exception with the notion of a radical fringe. I think even naturalized Mexican's who went through the trouble of following American laws to become citizens are in favor of tough immigration enforcement. This law is a natural reaction to politically correct mayors and police chiefs across the nation issuing policies not to aide ICE and other Federal agencies in enforcing Federal immigration laws. These proclamations are an open invitation for Latin America to invade American cities. This means of course Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and California being the points of entry are being overrun. With their hands tied by these lax policies local law enforcement is over-matched. This law seems to me to be a leveling of the playing field. It isn't perfect - nothing is.
On Friday a few hundred demonstrators gathered, mostly peacefully, at the Arizona capitol plaza, the governor, speaking at a state building a few miles away, explained that the law “represents another tool for our state to use as we work to solve a crisis we did not create and the federal government has refused to fix.”
Truer words were never spoken. The political will in Washington DC does not exist to address this very real and serious problem. Conventional wisdom says that Republicans gladly give lip service to tougher enforcement, but actually prefer to look the other way while business reaps the benefit of cheap labor. Democrats dress the problem in flowery rhetoric but their ultimate goal of a new and permanent welfare dependent voting bloc is painfully transparent to thinking people. I think it indicates that the border states have a greater exposure to the problems caused by the invasion than those cloistered in Washington do. In Arizona John McCain's reelection bid may even hinge on the degree of urgency to which Arizonans place on this issue. McCain is clearly part of the DC mentality - we'll see how that plays out in Arizona.
The new Arizona law may not withstand challenges, but at least it is a signal to the nation that a breaking point is being reached. It only goes to heighten the urgency some of us feel to stop cold the Obama administration's goals on immigration (see above paragraph).