Thursday, May 13, 2010

San Francisco Diary--Journal Of An Exile

I am going to do something today that I haven't done before. A friend forwarded an open letter from State Senator Russell Pearce of Arizona regarding the Arizona illegal immigrant bill which he authored. There was little I could add, even to the title of the article, so instead of my normal Diary, today only I am going to post someone else's work in its entirety.

America's Choice: Arizona or San Francisco.

I am State Senator Russell Pearce the author of SB1070 which was signed by Governor Jan Brewer. Fear mongering and mis-information is the tool of the left against this common sense legislation.

Illegal is not a race, it is a crime. SB1070 simply codifies federal law into state law and removes excuses and concerns about states inherent authority to enforce these laws and removes all illegal "sanctuary" policies.

When do we stand up for Americans and the rule of law? if not now, when? We are a nation of laws, a Constitutional Republic.

Arizona did not make illegal, illegal. Illegal was already illegal. It is a crime to enter or remain in the U.S. in violation of federal law. States have had inherent authority to enforce immigration laws and have failed or refused to do so. Sanctuary policies are illegal under federal law (8 USC 1644 & 1373) yet we have them all over the United States.

Paul Kantner of the 1960s rock band Jefferson Airplane once remarked, "San Francisco is 49 square miles surrounded by reality." When I first heard that San Francisco was planning to boycott Arizona over the SB 1070 legislation that I introduced, this description seemed fitting. However, when neighboring Oakland's city council voted 7-0 to boycott Arizona last Tuesday, and President Pro Tem of the California State Senate Derrell Steinberg announced a campaign in the legislature to boycott us, it became clear that San Francisco is merely ahead of the California crazy curve.

Why did I propose SB 1070? I saw the enormous fiscal and social costs that illegal immigration was imposing on my state. I saw Americans out of work, hospitals and schools overflowed, and budgets strained. Most disturbingly, I saw my fellow citizens victimized by illegal alien criminals. The murder of Robert Krentz-whose family had been ranching in Arizona since 1907-by illegal alien drug dealers was the final straw for many Arizonans. But there were dozens and dozens of other citizens of our state who had been murdered by illegal aliens. Currently there are 95 illegal aliens in Maricopa County jail for murder.

Most of the hysterical critics of the bill do not even know what is in it. All SB 1070 does is allow Arizona law enforcement officials to detain illegal aliens under state law. The law does not allow police to stop suspected illegal aliens unless they have already come across them through normal "unlawful conduct" such as a traffic stop, and explicitly prohibits racial profiling.

Aside from the unfounded accusation of racial profiling, the chief complaint about the bill is that it infringes on federal jurisdiction by enforcing laws. However, there is a long legal precedent going back to 1976 that allows states to pass legislation to discourage illegal immigration so long as it does not conflict with federal law. SB 1070 was specifically designed to mirror federal immigration law to avoid such a conflict.

For all their newfound respect for the authority of federal immigration law, the open borders advocates who oppose SB 1070 have no problems with "sanctuary cities" such as San Francisco that explicitly obstruct federal immigration authorities to protect illegal aliens. In 2008, San Francisco began a campaign to encourage illegal aliens to take advantage of the city's public services.

Mayor Gavin Newsom stated, "We have worked with the Board of Supervisors, Department of Public Health, labor and immigrant rights groups to create a city government-wide public awareness campaign so that immigrants know the city won't target them for using city services." The results were tragic. A few months after the campaign, Edwin Ramos, an illegal alien and member of the MS 13 gang, murdered San Francisco resident Tony Bologna and his two sons who he mistook for rival gang members. Ramos had a lengthy criminal record including a felony assault on a pregnant woman. He was arrested on gang and weapons charges and promptly released just three months before the murder. Not once did San Francisco report him to immigration authorities.

One month after the murder of Bologna, illegal alien Alexander Izaguirre stole Amanda Keifer's purse and then intentionally ran her over with an SUV, laughing as she hit the pavement and fractured her skull. Four months earlier, Alexander Izaguirre had been arrested for felony dealing of crack cocaine. Not only did San Francisco refuse to turn him over to immigration authorities, they expunged his record and helped get him a job, which is criminal in and of itself. Keifer asked the obvious question, "If they've committed crimes and they're not citizens, then why are they here? Why haven't they been deported?"

The answer is that politicians like Gavin Newsom put the interests of illegal aliens before the safety of American citizens, not unlike [Phoenix] Mayor Gordon and others.

Our law is already working. One can just scan the newspapers and see dozens of headlines like "Illegal Immigrants Leaving Arizona Over New Law: Tough, Controversial New Legislation Scares Many in Underground Workforce Out of State." In contrast, American citizens are leaving California. For the last four years, more Americans have left the state than have moved in.

In criticizing SB 1070, Barack Obama said, "Our failure to act responsibly at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others." There is nothing irresponsible about enforcing our law, but President Obama is right in that this is only necessary because the federal government does not do its job.

But the solution is not "comprehensive immigration reform," a euphemism for amnesty. This will only encourage more illegal immigration. And making illegal aliens legal does nothing to change the social and fiscal costs they impose on Arizona or the nation as a whole. In fact the Heritage Foundation's research puts the cost of Amnesty at over $2.5 Trillion dollars.

The federal government simply needs to enforce its immigration laws by cracking down on employers of illegal aliens, securing our borders, and deporting illegal alien criminals. Attrition by enforcement.

If states understand states rights and our Constitutional duty and responsibility to our citizens this legislation in Arizona will be a model for states across the nation and the federal government, it will end illegal immigration to America, but President Obama is looking towards San Francisco instead.

Hat tip to John Bryant and to Common Sense

(NOTE: In the interest of fairness, I should point out that after the Ramos murder of the Bolognas, Mayor Newsom defied the Board of Supervisors, and continues to do so. Contrary to the Board's aggressive sanctuary policy, the mayor has ordered the police simply to ignore the Board's rulings and to report illegal immigrants arrested for serious crimes to the federal authorities)


StanH said...

A wonderful retort to the insanity that is “illegal” immigration. Thanks for posting this Lawhawk, that was encouraging to read, that some of our politicians actually understand their responsibilities.

AndrewPrice said...

Very nice, and well outlined. The level of misinformation about Arizona is staggering. . . or at least, should be staggering except that I've long ago realized that the left does not care about truth.

patti said...

this is fantastic. thanks for posting. fav line that so many have repeated: Illegal is not a race, it is a crime.

refute that, lefties!

Anonymous said...

StanH: It only seemed appropriate that Arizona be allowed to respond to the latest craziness from San Francisco.

Anonymous said...

Andrew: It is staggering. Every thirty seconds I hear "racism" and "racial profiling," completely ignoring what the statute actually says. And then, the constant repetition of the idiotic Obama speech about "taking your kids out for ice cream" and getting sent off to a concentration camp because you "don't have your papers."

Anonymous said...

Patti: It is a great line. And ya know, the last time I looked, "Hispanic" wasn't a race either. They're not going to arrest people for being Hispanic, or brown, or dark, or anything other than breaking the law. And then, only after reasonable suspicion of a crime unrelated to race, creed, color, or prior condition of servitude.

Writer X said...


Thanks for posting this letter. Not surprisingly, Russell Pearce is always portrayed as some kind of Neanderthal by our local newspaper, which loses readers by the day.

In addition to San Francisco, I heard this morning that Los Angeles is now boycotting Arizona. Big whoop. Ditto for San Diego. L.A. forgets, however, where it gets its water and power. That should make for some interesting discussion.

Also interesting, more people are deciding to vacation in Arizona than ever before, even during the brutal summer months. On May 29, some local leaders are holding a "Buycott Arizona." As an aside, I've cancelled my usual San Diego trip this summer and have opted to go elsewhere. I would encourage any of the Commentarama readers to support Arizona as much as they can. We predict that for every cancellation, there will be two more to take its place. Time will tell.

I'm usually not one for boycotts, especially since they rarely work, but this one got my attention. Big time.

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, I read about the Los Angels thing last night -- they are talking about all of $7 million worth of contracts. Big deal! Arizona could probably find that much in spare change in the various couches spread around state offices.

Talk about an ineffective boycott!

Writer X said...

Andrew, what's interesting is that California forgets that most of Arizona empties out in the next few months to vacation there. I got a feeling a lot of people are doing what I'm doing: Cancelling reservations.

And, yeah, that stupid L.A. supervisor is already backing down from her remarks. The $ impact gets smaller every time she opens her mouth. Someone reminded her that they get their water from the Colorado River. It is so stupid.

Anonymous said...

San Francisco's descent into total insanity accelerates daily. Recently, the bankrupt Muni transportation agency decided to do something about people who don't pay fares, a major source of Muni financial losses. So they sent in the inspectors, badges and all, to catch the fare-skippers. Very successful. No less than 3300 citations were issued and fines imposed.

SO--GUESS WHAT ! After a high success rate, Muni has completely suspended the program as of last Tuesday. And why, you ask? IT'S RACIST ! "Some people" complained at a recent Muni Board meeting that the stops were "racist and classist," The Chronicle reports. Too many fare-jumping riders were fearful because they thought the inspectors were La Migra (the immigration authorities), which I guess made their stolen bus and train trips unpleasant.

Before the fare-collection program can be considered for reactivation, all inspectors and fare collectors must go through intensive racial and ethnic sensitivity programs.

NO, I'm not making this up, and it isn't a joke.

Now follow the logic of the sudden change in policy. If a fare-jumper can't prove he actually paid the fare, then he must produce ID so a citation can be issued. If no ID can be shown, and the fare-jumper can't speak English, the next logical step would be to ask "where do you live?" Which could lead to asking questions that might lead to finding out the fare-jumper is in the United States illegally. And that sounds too much like Arizona for the sensitive San Franciscans.

Anonymous said...

WriterX: Hysteria is apparently a contagious disease. All the California cities with large illegal immigrant populations are fearful of losing the support of their favorite non-citizens. I'm guessing as soon as the publicity-hounds have had their fifteen minutes of fame, the financial losses California will suffer from the boycotts will outweigh political-correctness and race-baiting, and things will go back to normal.

BevfromNYC said...

LawHawk: Thanks for this letter. It helps when trying to explain the new law in Arizona. And as for San Fran. The Muni thing is unbelievable. Why do they bother having laws in San Fran?

Writer X: I need a vacation and Arizona need tourist dollars. Sounds like a win-win! Hey, we should have a Commentarama Convention in Arizona! Maybe in August when Al Sharpton & Co. show up to protest.

Anonymous said...

Andrew: I love it--"they could find that much change in their couches." LOL

I'm beginning to think there may be a Constitutional issue looming in the background. Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego are all "charter cities," which means they are creations of the State of California, not mere municipal corporations. And now the state itself is considering a boycott of Arizona business. Those businesses could include all kinds of commerce, including California-based federally-insured banks such as Wells-Fargo.

Arizona has merely empowered its police to enforce federal law without altering, amending, or preempting federal immigration law in any way, shape or form.

But California and its chartered cities are directly declaring economic war on commerce with Arizona. The last time I looked, regulation of interstate commerce was an exclusive prerogative of the federal government. The interstate commerce clause was put in the Constitution specifically for the purpose of preventing exactly this kind of interstate economic warfare. Shouldn't the Democrats, liberals and "progressives" be highly-indignant about a state interfering with the prerogatives of the central government and filing lawsuits all over the Ninth Circuit and at the Supreme Court?

Writer X said...

Bev, great idea! Party in Arizona!

Rev. Al is going to need two bottles of hair gel to keep his locks in place in August. The photos should be amusing.

Anonymous said...

Bev: It's all just completely insane. The law in San Francisco is like the law in Alice in Wonderland. "Words mean what I want them to mean." The City is horrified at offending the sensitivities of any special pleader or illegal, but couldn't care less about its tax-paying, legal citizens.

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, Good for you!! :-)

Lawhawk, I will defer to your legal judgment on California law. In any event, that sounds very interesting. How funny would it be it this all blew up on those cities and they ended up losing political power because of their stupid boycott?

Anonymous said...

Andrew: I was really just tossing out an idea, but when I have those revelations in the middle of the night, they're usually right. LOL

I just received a list from a friend of all the businesses which have left California in the past five or six years. It's horrendous. Many are firms that were founded in California, and have been here for decades. Many are moving to Arizona, which is poetic justice. And Silicon Valley hasn't been spared.

Tennessee Jed said...

Thanks for posting this one, Hawk. It is interesting to me. For the first week or so, lib commenters didn't realize the law had been revised so they were constantly making incorrect statements about what the law actually says. Now, they have caught onto their original errors and now try and spin it as if only pressure from the left caused the revision to take place to begin with. Of course there are still the unendingingly boring complaints about "driving while brown" and "your papers pleez!"

Senator Pearce gets it.

Anonymous said...

Tennessee: There just seems to be no end to the MSM arrogance. God forbid they should just say "we missed that revision, but we still oppose the law." Instead, they feel compelled to take credit for the revision. They should all be arrested for driving while idiotic.

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