12 May 2010

My Thoughts on the Arizona Kerfuffle

[Updated 13May2010/0825: manually numbered points for ease of reference.]

I've been almost completely absent from the blogosphere lately, and for good reason. I'm focusing on my family and my locality. I still engage in real-life discussions and occasional Facebook debates, but the time it takes to narrow my thoughts to a single topic and compose any manner of coherent, complete commentary, let alone engage in further discussion, is something I don't have in any measurable quantity right now. There are far too many topics, and far too little dedicated "thinking time."

That said, I have been thinking about the recent Arizona legislation in regard to handling illegal immigration, (how could one possibly escape it?); and at a friend's request, here - in no particular order of either occurrence or significance - are my current thoughts on it:

1. It's being made into a much bigger deal than it is.

2. It's hard to sort through the propaganda to find the truth.

3. I'm glad I withheld judgment until I'd read it.

4. I'd prefer more narrowly-tailored language than "any lawful contact."

5. It's ridiculous that so many States, organizations, and individuals are condemning Arizona for enforcing laws to which they are subject, as well. Where was this widespread outrage when the Federal law was passed?  And if they're so opposed to it, mightn't it be wise to work on the Federal law instead of "boycotting" a State?

6. We're being propagandized to hate each other based on false classifications, instead of listening to each other or having rational discussions.

7. Re: concerns of racial profiling: isn't some profiling necessary? Hunting down a lawbreaker without any sort of description would be pretty difficult.

8. The race-mongering critics seem concerned that all AZ police will immediately adopt SS practices. I'm not.  Now, revoking Miranda rights, on the other hand... I have a BIG concern about SS practices stemming from that.

9. Much more than race, I've heard from people who actually live or lived in the affected area that there is a noticeable cultural/behavioral distinction between legal immigrants and illegal ones.

10. If it were some racist campaign, they'd be rounding up everyone who might possibly be Hispanic and interrogating them. If it looks like that could happen, I'll fight it by speaking out. In the meantime, I'm vigilant, not overly concerned.  That kind of evil actually has happened in this country before, and it was - oddly enough - during another era of rapid government expansion.

Some notes on immigration in general:

A) I really don't have an inherent problem with people who cross the border illegally to seek a better life for themselves and/or their families.

B) I have a major problem with gangs and crime crossing the border illegally. Also legally.

C) I think we should have a strong, secure border.

D) Perhaps a more effective approach than targeting who-knows-how-many individuals would be to turn off the faucet of employment for them.

E) Employing illegals creates a permanent under-class and is IMMORAL in every way.  Make no mistake: It is modern slavery in the USA.  Illegals are easily exploited and have no legal protections or recourse.  Because of this unprotected status, it is immoral to encourage illegal immigration, whether by employment, benefits, or other means. 

F) Illegal immigration, through that cheaply-paid underclass, has skewed our economy.

G) I believe in the rule of law, intelligently applied.

H) IMO, hard-working, otherwise-honest illegals may rightly be granted a streamlined way to citizenship once the border is secure.

I) It should be much less prohibitive to become a citizen, legally.  Cost- and time-wise, it's a nightmare.  When that is people's only option, it doesn't surprise me that so many seek the "undocumented" route.

    That's it for now... feel free to leave feedback. :)  I've been weighing this for a long time.


    Ann said...

    excellent thoughts...you always seem to have a way of putting what's been churning around in my brain into concise words.

    I especially appreciated what you said about the employment of illegals. It is wrong, for many reasons, and truly has created many many problems for society, and for the immigrants themselves.

    Jennifer said...

    From what I understand, and no, I haven't read the bill which makes me under-quallified to comment, AZ police will not be asking people to verify their citizenship UNTIL they are already apprehending them for criminal activities. My advice to illegal immigrants: Don't break the law, and you'll be just fine!

    Jennifer said...

    I wasn't able to finish my comment above. Anyway...

    Someone said, and I agree, that the U.S. should have a wide gate and a high fence. Those trying to get here legally go through mountains of work and long waiting periods to do so. And yet, illegal immigrants seem to feel that they have a Constitutional right to hop the border.

    The U.S. could help deter illegal immigrants without even addressing immigration itself by un-doing its progressive tax. At first, I was going to say, "let's give amnesty, and see how these new citizens like paying into the system from which they are taking," but then I realized that they would likely fall into the 50% of those who pay no taxes. The U.S. cannot be both a welfare state and have a free illegal immigration policy. We are insolvent on so many levels already--and this is one policy that undermines both our economy and our security.

    Thanks for your post. I applaud you for taking time for your family. But you are a very good thinker/writer when you get the time!

    Jennifer said...

    Sorry I'm not done--I wanted to comment on your first and second points--I have read a lot of contradicting information on various news sources about the bill. And I don't see how it is possible to present conflicting information when reporting the news objectively. And so you're absolutely right that we are being baited into hating and arguing with each other instead of discussing and listening. The media's handling of this makes me so angry! (I guess I've taken the bait myself...)

    Krista said...

    Thanks, ladies!

    As for when the police can stop someone, the language in the bill says that the police can inquire during "any lawful contact." Hubby, having taken a criminal justice course and knowing considerably more than I do about the specifics of criminal law, says that that means you have to have done something first to have them stop you.

    I'm not sure if I see that limitation in the bill, but according to him, that's what it means. I do wonder whether "Hi!" constitutes "lawful contact," though. However, if you're not breaking any laws at that moment, you can refuse to answer any such inquiries. It's once you break the law that you're vulnerable to questioning.

    And Jennifer, your posts are really well-thought-out, too - I just so seldom have a chance to think enough to respond, LOL!!! Wish I had more dedicated "discussion" time...

    Roy said...


    Well said! In my discussions regarding this issue, EVERYONE who disagrees with AZ's stance on this and makes it about racism and specifically about racism against Hispanics (I guess white people coming over the northern border are less of a threat?). I believe in State's rights and the people of AZ have the right to pass their own laws.

    I totally agree with you on the Federal law issue as well...where was everyone when that was passed (it wasn't an election year I'll bet)?

    I have a problem with amnesty on any level. I have many good friends who are LEGAL immigrants to this country and it is a slap in the face to those people who made the effort, spent the time, etc. to obey the laws to give amnesty to those who don't.

    I do have compassion for those who do come here because they have no hope where they're from...and I don't think they should be deported either, but maybe there could be a "pending" classification given to them and then they'll have to go through the red tape like everyone else...here's another thought which will stoke the fires ;-)...how about an "illegal immigrant tax"? They could stay here, get "pending" status, but then have to pay a special "tax" for the privilege which can be withheld from what ever income sources they have...Same tax could apply to those who employ illegals (maybe at a much higher rate). Of course the down side to this is how to collect/enforce such a tax.

    This issue will never be resolved without first securing our borders. (Insert image of the great wall of China here).

    Funny thing about this issue that I hear from people on the "left" is example after example of the poor, hard working, law abiding {illegal} immigrant just trying to make a better life for him/herself and their family and never about the drug running, kidnapping, murdering thugs plaguing Arizona. It's like back in the 70/80s when smoking came under fire and everyone had a "friend/grandfather/uncle/neighbor who smoked 3 packs a day and lived til he was 92" argument. There will always be extreme examples on both sides. Good policy shouldn't be based on extremes in either direction.

    Lastly, (I know, I'm going way beyond my limit here), America is the BEST place on Earth to live...people literally die to get here because we stand for freedom and opportunity. No where else on Earth can someone with nothing come and with hard work, education, perseverance, and a little luck have the opportunity to create a good living for themselves and their families. All of our ancestors immigrated to this country at one time or another and generations later we enjoy the blessing of their efforts.

    Unfortunately, there is a lot of anger and hatred on both sides of this debate and the scary thing is it will take just one spark to really ignite a lot of violence over this issue. Hopefully smarter people will emerge to find a better solution.