Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Immigration Debate

Ever since Arizona passed its immigration enforcement law, the left has gone crazy trying to stop this. They are terrified that this thing might actually work and will, in the process, expose the lie that immigration reform is such a complex, impossible issue that only an amnesty can work. Sadly for them, they have no idea how to persuade the public. Observe.

The first thing they tried was to tell us that this law was written by angry white extremists who hate Hispanics. But that didn’t fly because polls showed that 70% of the public supported it -- even blacks and many Hispanics. Moreover, the governor’s approval ratings surged 20% after she signed it. So much for the white racists.

So they switched to “this is anti-immigrant.” Polls show that the public supports immigration and we all know that a great many of us are immigrants or children of immigrants, hence, this should upset the public, right? But something went wrong on the way to the victory parade. The public laughed this off. That’s because the left missed the part of the polls that said that while Americans like immigration and love immigrants, they despise rule breakers and illegal aliens.

So the left switched to ridicule, as all sour-grapes types do when they can’t win. Don’t you stupid Arizonans know this is unconstitutional? Well, that’s probably true, at least in part. States can’t conduct their own foreign policy, and deciding who can or cannot be in the country is foreign policy. But, the public says, so what? We like the fact that they’re trying to do something. . . when the Federal government won’t.

So they tried the racial angle again: “This will lead to racial profiling of legal Hispanic residents.” Uh huh, except the public doesn’t see “racial profiling” the way the left does. We find it ridiculous that little old ladies get searched when they board airplanes when the only people who blow up plains are Muslims. We also don’t see any problem with anyone asking you to prove that you live in this country legally. I had to give more information to my cable company than the Arizona cops are going to demand. And how come the left isn’t upset when the IRS pulls out the rubber gloves and flashlights on average taxpayers?

As the left continued to strike out, they switched to another of their favorite tactics: the boycott. But leftist boycotts are a joke. No one cares if places like San Francisco are upset at Arizona, in fact, that’s a badge of honor. Arizona Iced Tea? That stuff’s made in New York idiots, so boycott away! Now they’re going to boycott the Arizona Diamondbacks, as if anyone still watches baseball, and the Arizona Cardinals, who won’t play a game until August -- and who don’t play in the NFL as far as I know.

For obvious reasons, none of this worked. So now it’s time to call out the big guns: the “unintended” consequences. Suddenly we are being treated to articles that tell us how people are no longer willing to hire illegal day laborers in Arizona for fear of arrest and that illegal aliens are leaving Arizona in droves. Take that Arizona!

And if that isn't enough, they're promising massive rallies in liberal cities all across America. . . rallies with lots of Mexican flags and anti-American speeches and posters. . . just the thing to swing the public to their side.

Frankly, the left should have stopped while they were behind. But they didn't. The more they whine, the more this law spreads. Texas will be next. Even people in California are looking at this too. And when California is considering something rational, you know the left has lost.

So keep whining lefties, you're doing fine. . .


LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: I'm convinced that only the limousine liberals and illegal immigrants are the least bit concerned about the law. Normal people and lawful citizens can see the wisdom of Arizona's desperation move.

I've read the legislation, and I'm not entirely convinced that it is preempted by federal law regarding immigration. I'm thinking that the way the statue is written, it may run afoul of disparate impact constitutional restraints. The whole law, or part of it, could be stricken if the "reasonable belief" strictly targets brown folks with Spanish accents. But a state can have law with a primary purpose of catching law-breakers (state prerogative) and only incidentally sweeps up illegal immigrants (federal prerogative).

Constitutional or not, the amnesty and illegal immigrant groups are running scared, and their liberal federal allies are aware of just how popular the concept is of "if the feds won't do it, we'll do it for ourselves." And it's already had an impact on Obama's plans to rush through another devastating bill which would have been "amnesty," no matter what they tried to fool the public with.

StanH said...

You know you’ve hit the mark when the left starts caterwauling in unison. I just pray that the governor of Arizona can keep her nerve. Perhaps if other states join in, real and legal immigration could be at hand, by the force of the will of the American people. But, this is an administration who could care less what the people want, they have an agenda…don’t you know!

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, The law is very cleverly written and I think that parts will survive a court challenge. But, most of it won't. The Supreme Court has repeatedly said that the states simply have no powers when it comes to the immigration issue -- that's a federal issue.

Still, the practical effects of the law have been (and will be) much stronger than the legal effects. It's forced the issue back into the limelight when the Democrats have been trying to hide it, it's going to cause illegal aliens to shift to more "friendly" states, and it's going to spawn a cascade of imitation legislation.

All of that will change this policy debate for decades to come.

Writer X said...

Stan, I don't believe Gov. Brewer will lose her nerve on this legislation. This is the first substantive thing she's done that's gotten the voters' attention since the door hit Napolitano on her way out. 70% of Arizona is behind her on this.

And this idea from the press being generated that people are being stopped on the streets and being asked for "papers" is simply laughable. The stuff I've been reading on blogs and Facebook the last few days is beyond hysterical, mostly from people who don't know what the hell they're talking about.

Great post, Andrew!

Who's next? My money is on Texas to step up.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, I think she's hang tough, there's no reason for her not to. I also think that "the people" are now making such a noise about this that something will happen with immigration reform, and it won't be what the Democrats want.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks X! The left has really lost their minds some time ago and now they live in a fantasy world where they see fascists under their beds. . . while they should be seeing them in their mirrors.

I think Texas will strike next and I think others will follow. This is the sort of thing that will spread either by legislation or by voter initiatives. People are fed up with the federal government devaluing what it means to be a citizen.

StanH said...

WriterX & Andrew: I hope you guys are right. I’ve seen many a politician lose their nerve.

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: I agree. They did indeed write the law very cleverly, but made themselves a target by including stopping someone solely because the police officer had "a reasonable belief that the person was in the United States illegally." That clearly interferes with a pure federal prerogative. A stop for suspicion of any of a wide number of crimes (even a car with a broken taillight or smoking exhaust) which results in the discovery of an illegal immigrant would be likely to be found a valid state exercise (unless nearly everyone stopped happened to be Hispanic). But stopping someone because the police officer merely believed he might be an illegal immigrant is strictly verboten.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, They tend to lose their nerve when it's a close call, this one isn't close. But your point is well taken.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, Exactly right. I also think they don't have the power to make it a state crime to be in the country illegally, which it looks like this legislation does. But I wonder if it is acceptable to allow state officers to arrest people and turn them over to the Feds if they are in violation of a Federal law? Interesting lines will be drawn here. And if there is any opening that this type of legislation can be driven through, then it's going to sweep across the Southwest.

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: I think they'd be well-advised to steer clear of any suspected crime that is strictly a violation of federal statute. I'm sure they'll get plenty of training on what to avoid. The lawyers are going to be very busy on this one.

LL said...

This law should be challenged and taken to the Supreme Court so the Justices (that include a wise Latina) can suggest (and they may) what they'd accept in the way of State action in the face of Federal malaise.

Irrespective of how the High Court views it, the law will morph into SOMETHING that allows the state to control the problem more effectively, and that's all they really want in Arizona.

And it's going to be difficult for barack hussein obama to whisk control of the border (rather than wholesale amnesty) under the carpet. The Federal Administration may want to make the US a sanctuary country for potential Democratic voters, but it doesn't play in Peoria.

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew - the left forgot to mention the ever non-popular "they do the manual labor jobs non-hispanics won't.)

Syndicated liberal columnist Froma Harrup trotted out the old say "after 8 years of passivity from the Bush Administration." She goes onto say "though they shouldn't be here, the majority are hard working people supporting there families." I guess I didn't realize sending them back to their own country was quite so inhumane?

Froma goes on to say the way to stop the flow is to crack down on employers who hire illegals by creating a fake-proof photo i.d. I'm not opposed to cracking down on employers, but see no reason to create an easy path to citizenship for existing illegals just so they can vote Democrat either.

AndrewPrice said...

LL, I think that's right. Once the Supreme Court starts laying down limits, the states will begin walking right up to those limits. That will be the beginning of a truly effective enforcement.

It's going to be interesting to see how Congress ultimately responds. The Democratic leadership clearly wants to make the border disappear so that they can bring in new voters. But I wonder if they are going to continue to risk the vengeance of the American people?

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I agree. I think that the only way to solve this will be to crack down on employers because that's the only way to end the incentive for people to come here illegally. And there's no reason to include an amnesty in that.

wahsatchmo said...

Two important things have developed here in the Grand Canyon State (as I bustled on the I-8 from Yuma back to Phoenix, with the standard stop by the Border Patrol in between Casa Grande and Dateland.


Sniff of the car by the drug dog;
AGENT: "Citizen of the U.S.?"
ME: "You betcha."
AGENT: "Have a nice day."
ME: "You too.", though I'm CERTAIN that my civil rights were just violated.):

1) Shakira visited and met with the honorable Phil Gordon, Mayor of Phoenix. She's not happy with 1070, although not a single thing she complained about had anything to do with the actual written law. Perhaps she should instead confine herself to those activities involving shaking it until she is breaking it.

2) AZ legislators are contemplating some changes to the law, clarifying that skin color or race alone does not constitute reasonable suspicion, among other things.

What amazes me about this whole ordeal is that very few pontiffs understand that this was not a proposition of the public, but was instead a bill drafted directly by the state legislature. Arizona voters didn't actually get a say in this, although I think I personally would have supported the measure.

Jan Brewer won't flip, either. Frankly, she needs this in her run for governorship, although this certainly wasn't her proposal. Jan's been a pretty good Secretary of State for many years, but she has yet to define herself politically as Governor. She made a little bit of a ruckus in insisting that sales taxes be raised in order to correct our state deficit, but I think she's much more honest (and palatable) than Napolitano.

Though I'm still not voting in favor of Prop 100 to raise sales taxes. We're at over 8% already, state and local. There's more room to cut, even if it takes some propositions to repeal some of the "permanent" spending.

But I plan to boycott the Diamondbacks. Because they currently suck. Unless, of course, I get free tickets.

AndrewPrice said...

wahsatchmo, It sounds like you definitely were roughed up there. I'm surprised you survived! ;-)

In terms of the people v. the legislature, I don't think the left cares. This bill represents a danger to them on the issue of immigration and they are going to spin this as much as they think is necessary -- facts be damned.

Good move on boycotting the Diamondbacks.

By the way, Colorado taxes have gotten really high too. They claim the state sales tax is something like 2.5%, but when you add all the local/county taxes, etc., it goes up to 7.4%. Ridiculous.

Monica said...

My favorite comment left on one of the news stories about this was: "My assault rifle isn't illegal, it's just undocumented!"

AndrewPrice said...

Monica, That is funny, but you should know that you can't use logic or consistency against the left. Their "arguments" apply only to the specific issue/person they want them to apply to. To demand consistency or to use analogies just aren't fair!! And don't even try to use their own arguments against them. That's just downright evil! ;-)

Individualist said...

While I agree with what Brewer is doing I think that we are approaching this issue from the wrong side. I have said it before and I'll reiterate it again that we need to have a policy that segregates a Mexican citizen residing in this country to work from other immigration. These individuals do not get welfare, they do not get amnesty. They do however have the right to a work visa which allows them to legally work in the US but they must e employed under the same laws that a US citizen does. If an employer pays them less than minimum wage they'd have a lawsuit as a US Citizen would.

This would eliminate what I feel is the problem, companies hiring illegals at less than market. I worked for a food producer. The way they get around the immigration laws is to hire migrant workers as contracters from an agency. The agency takes the responsibility for the employee. The agency is also usually fly by night.

In my IB class we learned that California is now having problems competing with Australian Wineries because they never automated. The Australians did not have a workforce that worked for nothing and so was forced to automate early on. At this point the failure to automate has given Cali Wineries a competitive disadvantage.

If we could do this we could ensure that the only people sneaking over the border are terrorists and drug dealers and will be better prepared to deal with them. I aslo think that immigration with MExico would be reduced to more normalized levels as employers will have no reason to hire an illegal over a US worker. Mexican immigrants would also be more likely to learn English as this would make getting a job more competive. It would alos force the MExican government to deal with their own societal issues as they will not have the US to handle it for them. But this cannot work if there is a culture of amnesty.

Just my thoughts....

AndrewPrice said...

Individualist, I agree with you. I see the problem as a total abdication by the federal government of its obligation to regulate who may and who may not be in this country. Rather than control the borders and to let willing workers in under work permits (without the promise of citizenship), they simply ignore the problem and ignore businesses that are exploiting these people.

This is bad for America, bad for workers, bad for immigrants (legal or illegal), and ultimately, bad for business.

The problem is that the government (supported by the left and Big Business) has allowed this problem to continue to exist because it suits them, and now they keep trying to use the problem they created to justify an amnesty.

People aren't willing to fall for that anymore. We know there are better answers. We don't want an amnesty. We resent being called racists just because we want our borders controlled. And we don't trust the government to solve this anymore because it's the one that created the problem and it's the one that's been milking the problem to push it's own agenda.

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