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What I Think About … the Arizona Immigration Law

I can’t get over how the Arizona Immigration law has churned up EVERYONE on all sides of this issue.

The law itself is relatively innocuous.  Law enforcement is directed to inquire about immigration status when they have legit reason to stop or contact a person and suspect they are here illegally, to detain and verify immigration status of those unable to prove their right to be here,  and to enforce the existing (since 1952) Federal law requiring aliens to have proof of their immigration status with them. The law is less restrictive and severe than the federal law that it enforces, and specifically prohibits racial profiling and stops simply to check immigration status.

On the liberal side, the willingness to lie, to toss about accusations of racism, and to refuse to ignore the huge destructive impact of illegal immigration in Arizona and California are distressing. It was disappointing (and typical) that the President, Attorney General and Homeland Security Secretary all condemned the law without bothering to read it. The various boycotts are just silly. This law is not a human rights problem, and we do not need to apologize for it.  And the recent groveling by the Democrats (including Obama) to the Mexican President is ridiculous, particularly in light of Mexico’s own immigration laws and their history of nastiness along their southern border.

I think Victor Davis Hanson got it right … the real fear of the liberals and La Raza is that this law might actually work.

On the other hand, I am distressed with the willingness of many conservatives to be self-righteous and cruel.  Those idea that every illegal should be sent back regardless of how long they have been here and the impact on their families is cruel and not in keeping with the history and philosophy of our great nation. The “mass deportation” mentality is tiresome, because it is heartless and it is simply not practical.

I don’t have much patience with the “Rule of Law” argument. Yes, illegal immigrants are breaking the law. My family was immigrants .. my grandfather came in 1941 and my grandfather, father and aunt had to wait 6 years until the paperwork came through. But realistically, the immigration laws have not been consistently enforced for generations, and the border has never been secured. Squatter’s Rights have been a part of common law for hundreds of years. It isn’t moral or rational to ignore these people for years, allow them to build lives here, and then decide to throw them out.  Essentially, IMHO our complicity in illegal immigration is justifies some sort of pathway to legality for long term illegal residents.

My plan for immigration is straight-forward.  Secure the border. Straighten out the immigration process and laws. Deport (after punishment) illegals convicted of felonies. Implement draconian punishment for employers who violate the immigration employment laws.  Require other illegals to get legal (say within a year) or be deported. Restrict entitlements (welfare, education, food stamps) to citizens and legal permanent residents.

Update: This essay by Walter Williams tracks pretty well with my views,  although he gives more credence to the “Rule of Law” than I do.

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