Arizona immigration bill – CS Monitor

 "Mr. Obama, speaking at a White House Rose Garden naturalization ceremony for 24 foreign-born members of the US military, said that continued inaction on federal immigration reform would "open the door to irresponsibility by others." The Arizona bill to which he referred would require police to check the residence status of those they suspect of being in the country illegally, something Obama said "threatened to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans."

In signing the bill Friday afternoon, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) called it "another tool for our state to use as we work to solve a crisis that we did not create, and which the federal government has refused to address," adding that the people of her state had been "more than patient in waiting for the federal government to act" on immigration reform."  CS Monitor


I am on record here with a couple of unlikely but heartfelt ideas about the border/immigration/illegals problems:

1.  De-couple residence and economic activities from citizenship between the US and Mexico.  In other words we/they can live anywhere we want in the two countries, can own anything we want and take our money wherever we want.  You would pay taxes in the country(s) in which you made it or lived.  This would have nothing to do with citizenship.  In this plan if you wanted to become a voting citizen, you would have to go through whatever process the receiving country prescribed.  I suspect that few Mexicans would want US citizenship.  they just want the money.

2.  Merge the two countries; one flag, one constitution, one set of police forces, one set of armed forces, one IRS…  No?  I thought not..  Same thing – the money is what is wanted.

So, what are the objections to the Arizona law?

Federal legal supremacy in immigration policy and border control?  I suspect that the argument on the part of Arizona will be that this is not "immigration law."  It is enforcement of the legal status of individuals within Arizona. 

The advocates of "comprehensive immigration reform" say that they want justice for the poor people in the United States who are not properly "documented."  They become quiet when asked what should be done about stopping the continuing flow of undocumented migrants across the borders.  Congressmen, lawyers, activists and clergymen of this type (I am thinking of Mahoney) should be asked if they think the US has the right to control movement across its borders  Put another way, do Mexicans have an inherent and natural right to move to the US simply because they wish to do so?

"Profiling?"  OK.  Reluctantly  I have come to think that the time has come for national ID cards.   pl

This entry was posted in Policy, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

121 Responses to Arizona immigration bill – CS Monitor

  1. par4 says:

    Repeal NAFTA, secure our borders, rebuild our industrial/manufacturing base,unionize our work force,rescind corporate personhood,reinstate Glass/Steagall,rebuild our infrastructure,return tax rates to Eisenhower levels to pay for it all. That’s just a beginning.

  2. Arun says:

    The characterization of the law as “require police to check the residence status of those they suspect of being in the country illegally” is not what the New York Times reports.
    The NYT puts it this way: “The law would require the police “when practicable” to detain people they reasonably suspected were in the country without authorization. It would also allow the police to charge immigrants with a state crime for not carrying immigration documents. ”
    “Most police agencies or jails here already check the immigration status of people charged with a crime, in consultation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but the new law would expand that power and allows the police to stop people on the suspicion of being in the country without documents. ”
    What that means is that if you’re brown-skinned in Arizona, any cop can stop you anytime and ask you for your papers; if you don’t have them on you, he can arrest you. If you turn out to be a citizen, that probably ends it; if you’re here legally with a visa or green card, you can be charged with a state crime for not having the papers.
    If you’re brown:
    When you go out for your morning jog, you had better carry your immigration papers.
    Anyone in officialdom can make your life hell.

    That is the practical import of the Arizona law as far as I can see.

  3. Farmer Don says:

    The USA spends more on its military than the rest of the world combined, and you can’t keep people from sneaking across the boarder?
    You are one of the most developed countries in the world, and you can’t track who is working in the country illegally?
    What a joke.

  4. R Whitman says:

    By way of preface, let me say that I was raised on the Texas side of the Mexican border many years ago and am bi-lingual. My father had a semi-sucessful business that depended on “mojados” as customers.
    Mexican, legal or illegal, are not Americans or even Mexican-Americans. We ought not to impute thoughts to them without their contributions to this blog.
    Having said that, I think there is a fear among “liberal” parties that the new Arizona law will work and work very well. All residents of Arizona, legal aliens, Mexican Americans and others will not go out without ID’s. Many foreign countries have national ID’s.
    One of the unintended consequences of this law will be a fair amount of monetary inflation in Arizona when people have to pay $15/hr-$20/hr to legal residents for basic labor instead of the current minimum wage or less.

  5. mac nayeri says:

    this is about alot more than immigration….theres something happening with anglo america….2008 election, tea partiers, anti immigration groups, the changing demographics….all point to social upheaval…prognosis: short term, guarded – long term, unknown….
    i practice in front of immigration judges here in arizona on a near daily basis….i’m guessing they are not in support of this.

  6. Pudentilla says:

    National id cards won’t work according to Cato & ACLU (an admittedly interesting moment of agreement):

  7. Patrick Lang says:

    Farmer Don
    I don’t think it is fair for a Canadian to criticize us about the size of our armed forces. You have effectively done away with yours and shelter behind us. You have done so for decades.
    As for out “inability” to track people. that exists because many people in this country do not want to give the government that capability.
    That is ending. pl

  8. Redhand says:

    The advocates of “comprehensive immigration reform” say that they want justice for the poor people in the United States who are not properly “documented.” They become quiet when asked what should be done about stopping the continuing flow of undocumented migrants across the borders.
    As an immigration lawyer myself, I am aware of this mindset. It is easy for some of my colleagues to segway into the “economic oppression/give ’em a chance” justification without focusing on the illegality of crossing the border. One sees this especially when dealing with lawyers who work with charitable and Church organizations.
    I don’t necessarily agree with this mindset, though I do understand it.
    As a day-to-day practitioner dealing with “EWI’s” (entered without inspection) all the time, I do feel qualified to point out some of the evils of this new state law as I see them.
    Before I do I should mention that federal immigration law already imposes significant penalties in EWI’s. Then cannot in most cases acquire legal status here because of the illegal entry, even if they marry Americans. Also, the minute they cross the border, they start accruing “unlawful presence.” Accrue 180 days or more and you cannot return for 3 years if you leave, in the vast majority of cases. Accrue a year or more, and you can’t return for 10 years if you leave, in the vast majority of cases. These legal penalties already introduce significant problems for EWI’s. Ironically, they also create a powerful incentive for EWI’s to stay here to avoid the 3/10 year bars.
    The first major problem I have with the statute is its constitutionality. AZ can’t arrogate to itself immigration enforcement statewide, because immigration regulation is preempted by federal law. What we see here is a yahoo (in the Swiftian sense) Repub. governor running scared and engaging in clearly unconstitutional conduct. This is supposed to foster respect for the law generally? I think not.
    Second, I absolutely believe that state police officials are woefully ignorant of immigration law, which is unimaginably complex as regards alien status. In addition to green card holders, there are millions of aliens who have the right to live and work here for a variety of reasons: valid non-immigrants, asylum claimants, people like Haitians applying for “Temporary Protected Status,” and even individuals with the right to work while under final orders of removal.
    To expect State cops to master these categories and not infringe legitimate alien rights while making their “simple” inquiries is to ignore the risk that those rights will be trampled in the inquiry process. Hell, not even the Feds get this right in many cases.
    Third, but perhaps most importantly, the new law will make illegal aliens more vulnerable to serious crimes against their persons and property. Regardless of immigration status, people living in this country have the right not to be killed, raped or robbed, and the State police have the job of preventing such crimes and apprehending the perps. That function is fatally inconsistent with the immigration policing function they now unlawfully have. Why? Because illegal alien victims will now almost never report crimes against them or other illegals to the police: you can bet the farm on the fact that illegals are now instantly more vulnerable to violent criminals, for whom the risks of apprehension have been drastically lowered overnight. This is wrong, legally and morally.
    The only good thing I see in this despicable new AZ “law” is that it will create much more impetus for the comprehensive reform that this country truly needs. And yes, there should be some form of “amnesty” for deserving classes of “illegal aliens” who have become integral parts of our society through marriage, family and work; it is a necessity. Under current immigration law I have seen far too much human tragedy and severe suffering to both aliens and Americans to believe otherwise.

  9. Lysander says:

    “As for out “inability” to track people. that exists because many people in this country do not want to give the government that capability.
    That is ending. pl ”
    Sadly, it is. I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would want the government to know everything about everyone all the time.
    Given the above, I will almost always side with an individual state when it is in conflict with the federal government. Arizona’s law may or my not be a good one. But it should be up to Arizona to decide.

  10. J says:

    Tracking….tracking by satellites, by cell phone, by RFID, by thermal imaging, by credit/debit transactions, by voice recognition, just to name a few. Tracking? who said ‘tracking’?
    There are ways to successively evade their tracking grid, but that I won’t go into.
    Colonel, you and I already have our National ID Cards. LOL.

  11. Rider says:

    The problem with the law is at the end close-to-the-drillbit, as they say in the oil patch. I have heard law officers tell me they can spot illegals because “they are speaking Spanish and wouldn’t be if they had been born here.” Hello. If you are poor, brown, and are overheard speaking Spanish, get ready.
    I’m for the free flow of labor which Col. Lang envisioned sub “1”. Instant background checks, issue annually renewable work permits with photo ID. Let the laws of supply and demand control the flow. If they have no criminal background, let them go to work. The work ethic of most illegals puts ours to shame. Your daughter could do worse than marrying one of these guys.

  12. JoshM3 says:

    remember how the “radical” social laws put into effect in CA/MA supposedly affected the outcome of the 2004 election? are we due for a repeat (although due to a surge from the “other” side?:)because of AZ?…Hispanics voted over 60% for O(Dem) in 2008, could this push it into the 75-90% and boost turnout this November?:)…

  13. frank durkee says:

    let me support Redhand’s comment concerning undocumented aliens vulnerability to crimes against them. Working as part of the board of community organizing group in north central Arizona in the early 2000s this was one of the most significant dilemnas in our local communities. This was in a much more relaxed political than now. One of the common things was for employers in operatiions from fast food to garden/construction work to simply refuse to pay for work done and threaten to disclose the undocumented to the IS. It routinely worked.
    In addition,so far as I have heard, the bill does nothing to enforce penalities against employers; which is against present federal law. One of the great iroies of all of this is that rigorous pealities both moey ad hard time would probably do more to slow the level of immigration than anything else. Good luck getting that really done. As the Col. points out “.. it’s all about the money “, on both sides of the bargin.

  14. Bobo says:

    To me the Arizona bill is an act born out of frustration with a federal government incapable of enforcing its own laws. Now lawyers have some work to do as Federal Supremacy laws should be upheld or more bill’s of this nature will be coming forth quickly.
    In the long run, though not in my lifetime, the Colonel’s #1 and #2 above will happen.
    As to a National ID Card we already have it in the “Real ID Act of 2005” where to obtain a drivers license you now have to document birthplace in US or legal reason for US residency. Living in Florida is a nightmare if you were born outside the US and claiming citizenship through birth from US citizen parents. I have been to the license bureau a few times helping my children and stepchildren through this process and it is harder on the female’s as their last names have changed at least once or more though a US Passport does resolve these problems. I wonder how other states are handling this problem.

  15. The Twisted Genius says:

    Prince William County in Virginia tried a similar gambit as Arizona. To the best of my knowledge, they authorized local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws. The outcome, besides increased law enforcement costs, was that it became very uncomfortable for illegal aliens to be in Prince William. Houses in the suburbs that were used as dormitories for cheap labor emptied out overnight. Residents in these neighborhoods got what they wanted… no more swarthy foreigners hanging around the county. Of course, all this happened in conjunction with the downturn in the construction industry which resulted in fewer jobs for these foreigners.
    I like PL’s idea to “de-couple residence and economic activities from citizenship between the US and Mexico.” A “Gastarbeiter” system may work in this country. This would provide better protection to the legal guest workers, while still giving us the cheap labor we seem to desperately need. What would move both sides to come to this or some other solution? We should come down extremely hard on those that use illegals for cheap labor to the point that it causes economic disruption. Unless both sides have som skin in the game, I doubt there will be any serious legislation in this area.

  16. eaken says:

    The federal reserve and treasury are already dealing with the immigration problem. Pretty soon they won’t have an incentive to come across the border

  17. john in the boro says:

    Ameican corporations outsourced large swathes of the economy and moved big chunks of manufacturing outside of the United States for obvious business reasons. That still left millions of unskilled and trade jobs that just cannot move outside the country. The meat packing industry, agriculture, construction, service, etc. rely on immigrant labor to maintain a cap on wages and derive an advantage over competitors. Judging by the decline of unions over the last 30 years, the widespead use of immigrant labor has been effective. This is not through chance, U.S. immigration policy has made winners and losers: compare the light hand on the unskilled and trade labor markets to the much more rigorous efforts made to control the inflow of foreign professionals through the H-1B program. This latter case has to deal with powerful and well-healed professional lobbying interests who want to maintain the wages of their members. It is about the money.
    The American economy looks like the Field of Dreams to many of our fellow Americans south of the border. The fine for hiring an illegal immigrant is pocket change. Employer arrests are rare. Therein resides the problem. The resolve to stop illegal immigration is inversely proportional to the business community’s demand for illegal immigrant labor. If, as Pat suggests, the policy changed to allow forreigners to work legally in the United States, then the hiring businesses would no longer be able to cheat, threaten, or otherwise take advantage of the foreigners’ illegal status. Indeed, the hiring businesses would no longer be able to treat foreigners as a separate category of rightless workers. The businesses would have to remit taxes and payroll withholding to the federal and state governments. They would have to furnish unemployment and workmen’s comp. At this point, the demand for foreign labor joins the general demand.
    Is this fair? Moral? The current ad hoc arrangement certainly is not. The focus on illegal immigrants denies the critical role of U.S. business in this mess. If the government cannot adopt a policy such as Pat’s first suggestion, then another alternative is to knuckle down on the hiring businesses. Make the penalties so severe that breaking the law puts the offending business in jeopardy. Maybe some jail time for repeat offenders to include CEOs. The Arizona law results from the pressure of angry U.S. citizens and contains penalties for the employers of illegal immigrants. At least it recognizes the important role of U.S. business in the illegal immigration issue. Indeed, the outrage over the ID checks overshadows the part of the law that targets offending businesses. This suggests businesses are going to bankroll the “grassroots” opposition to the law. The ball is on the federal end of the court. Will the U.S. Congress do anything meaningful? Probably not. Most likely the federal government will figure out a “reform” that will repeal any harsh penalties on business.

  18. At the Virginia Capes says:

    Reference: “…the money is what is wanted.”
    Can we get the money out of the equation? Is it even possible?
    If we tried to take the money out of the equation, how would we do it and where would we start?
    If I remember a selling point about NAFTA correctly, it was supposed to encourage manufacturers to put low skill/low wage jobs in Mexico to keep Mexicans employed, thus an increase in employment south of the border would result in less need for Mexican workers to come across the border illegally to find work. Jobs are still leaving for overseas, not south of the border, and illegal workers are still crossing the border looking for work. Is it time to abrogate the treaty, and start anew?

  19. alnval says:

    Col. Lang:
    Wonderful stuff. If only. . . .
    Letting both sides wander back and forth across a meaningless border like nomadic sheepherders for economic gain without the benefits of citizenship but with all the other responsibilities reminds me of playing baseball without keeping score! Maybe it’s an idea whose time has come. Unfortunately, somebody in government would feel obligated to oversee the process if only to ensure that taxes got paid. Maybe that’s the place for a national ID card.
    At a practical level, I’m not so sure the Arizona law will become as awful as portrayed. The thing still needs to be enforced and short of state and local governments setting up special law enforcement agencies specifically mandated to enforce it, which they won’t because of cost and because the federal government already has, existing police agencies are not likely to do it. There’s not enough crime fighting associated with it. They’re more likely to treat it as they do the vehicle code. Officers are permitted to stop you but they’re not required to give you a ticket. Crime fighters are high status. Vehicle code enforcement is relegated to traffic wardens.

  20. Patrick Lang says:

    I suggested not keeping score in intramural softball at the resident course at the Army War College. My seminar mates were stunned. They had been telling each other how “laid back” they were. Actually, they were anything but that. I am a strong INTP and was the most Type B person in my class at that school. When they learned that my classmates were incredulous because of my well deserved reputation. (sorry) The “wellness” creeps in the faculty assigned me as homework for observation by the pathologically type A. This resulted in ludicrous situations in which these unfortunates would come to observe me and ask strange questions such as why I was wearing a watch. They had been forbidden to wear watches while in therapy. I told them that I wore the watch as a concession to them. Others would see me sitting idly and want to know what I was doing. The answer, “nothing” did not satisfy. These fellows were typically driven by career. I liked what I was doing. This was the highest level of army schooling and very competitive in selection by national board. pl

  21. greg0 says:

    Merging the two countries sounds pretty extreme to me. Too bad for the racists, eh?
    The legal point that may undermine the new AZ law is allowing ‘reasonable doubt’ instead of ‘probable cause’ to stop people. Didn’t the AZ Association of Chiefs of Police come out against it?
    Twisted Genius and others may enjoy this comedic bit from the Randi Rhodes Show last week concerning the Prince William County, Virginia, efforts along the same lines as AZ.

  22. EL says:

    My guess is that we will wind up doing some sort of armed invasion of Mexico when the drug wars seriously leak across the border. The result of such an invasion would be even more unpredictable than a strike on Iran. Another neocon presidency and off we go to Mexico City. Maybe, Gov. Rick Perry can lead the charge as Texas’ revenge for the Alamo.

  23. J says:

    If the Elitist/Corporation Cartels have their way, national identities (U.S., Mexico, Canada) will cease and we will be the NAU (North American Union) complete with the Amero as the currency.

  24. steve says:

    If your NYT cite is correct, I suppose it will only be a matter of time before some irritated Hispanic police officer working traffic control at the mall in Scottsdale begins asking “papers, please” of retired Iowa snowbirds.
    Best way to control immigration IMHO is to have mandatory minimums for employers’ hiring illegals–say 5 years.

  25. graywolf says:

    Amnesty, immigration reform; whatever you call it is just code for creating more Democrat voters.

  26. walrus says:

    Col. Lang an INTP? I would have thought that the “I” should be an “E”.
    Walrus = ESTJ
    Serious question: Has anyone thought of paying illegal immigrants NOT to come to the U.S.?
    Is it possible that some “Nation Building” in Mexico might make staying in Mexico an economically preferable decision for Mexicans?
    Could the money now being spent in Iraq and Afghanistan be better spent closer to home?

  27. magurakurin says:

    It seems to me that this law is putting the cart before the horse. Setting aside the objections to the spirit of the law(and I do have them) I can’t see how this law can be enforced in a practical and constitutional way. Americans quite simply do not have “papers.” There is nothing for us to show the police. In fact, many people in the country illegally probably have fake documents that will fool the police, but the average US citizen most likely won’t be carrying any form of proof of citizenship on a normal basis.
    On a practical level, the only thing I see this law producing is a bonanza of law suits. Maybe America needs a National ID, maybe not. But absent such a system this law is a practical nightmare.

  28. Jake says:

    This bill and now law is not due because of frustration with the Federal Government. Its due to extremism by a very shallow minded group of people who think that the only amendment in the US Constitution is the 2nd Amendment. Its even worse when you have State Legislators like Arizona State State Rep. Russell Pearce leading the pack.
    Politically speaking if the Republicans thought they might win one of the Chambers back this year. The Governor of Arizona just threw them a curve ball.
    Religiously speaking, this USA Today article says it all. Those of you who quote a verse in the Bible like “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” should know better than to take the Bible out of context. But this USA article tells the position very nicely.
    Legally speaking, Judge Andrew Napolitano (who I am normally at odds with) blasted Governor Brewer on Fox News as “bankrupting” the GOP in Arizona the way Pete Wilson did in California by driving socially conservative Hispanics away from the GOP. and ruining her state’s budget because not only will Arizona be paying claims against it but the plaintiffs’ lawyers’ bills as well — although he also said it is so blatantly unconstitutional that he wouldn’t be surprised if a federal court were to throw it out “tomorrow.”
    Blatantly unconstitutional? You bet it is!
    National ID Cards? Sorry I side with the opposition on that one. Just to much abuse going on these days.

  29. Grimgrin says:

    EL’s comment brings up the main worry I have about the situation with illegal migration in the States. Other commentators have pointed out that illegal immigration is a technically simple problem to solve, but that it’s a non starter politically because of the various interests involved.
    We’ve already seen vigilantism on the border from the Minuteman movement. I can see some profound nastiness coming out of the Tea Party movement if someone starts playing up the connection between Hispanic votes and Democratic electoral success. Even if that’s avoided, eventually 10% unemployment is going to create strong political pressure to take action.
    My worry is that at that point, the solution won’t be some technical combination of border enforcement new labor laws and restrictions on transferring money to Mexico, but will look more like Operation Wetback or the repatriation movement, with a third of the population of US citizens of Hispanic descent, it would probably get very ugly.

  30. alnval says:

    Col. Lang:
    Thank you for retelling the story of the origins of “not keeping score.” It’s a wonderful metaphor and worthy of repeating.

  31. Jake says:

    One last note…
    Regarding the question of whether the Catholic Church and/or Cardinal Mahoney believes that States have the right to control their boarders.
    First the Catholic Church does not see any human being as legal or illegal. In this Country or any other as well. They are all God’s Children.
    Secondly the question is really a Federal issue of which the Catholic Church is very much pressing for federal comprehensive immigration reform:.
    What we do not need is 50 States with difference boarder laws.
    Secondly the Cardinal is not opposed to federal comprehensive immigration reform:. Just ridiculous laws like what just passed in Arizona.
    Finally lets take the Cardinal’s statement in its total context. His statement is not illogical.

  32. Patrick Lang says:

    Mahoney has his opinion and I have mine. pl

  33. Patrick Lang says:

    Glad you like it. pl

  34. Patrick Lang says:

    Yes, an INTP adapted to the task of keeping SJs in line. pl

  35. Patrick Lang says:

    Yes and more cheap laborers for employers. pl

  36. Jake says:

    Colonel Lang,
    You most certainly do have a right to your “protected” opinion.
    Though my favorite quote on “opinions” is….
    ““We have no right to express an opinion until we know all of the answers.” Aristotle
    But remember spooks and Priests are not just two difference callings, they are also two very different theologies.

  37. Patrick Lang says:

    Protected from what? People like you? Mahoney’s opinion is worth no more than that of any other citizen. What? He’s a clergyman? Yes. We have learned a lot about what their judgment is worth. you sound like an Opus Dei type to me. pl

  38. S B Jones says:

    Setting aside the unfortunate ramifications of this bill that will dramatically reduce the effectiveness of law enforcement due to many more man-hours of service diverted from real criminal pursuit and increased alienation and distrust within local communities, think of the comedic value if an enterprising squad of cops exercise their critical suspicion skills and begin stopping white people who they believe might be illegals from Ireland or Russia or Israel or Italy. What a hoot that would be! What terrific fodder for the TV comics. What a festival of ridicule for this law would ensue.
    I also wonder who will be the first major league latino baseball star stopped by AZ police while in the state for a game.

  39. Patrick Lang says:

    SB Jones
    Which laws are you in favor of enforcing. You don’t care about American immgration law, so which are you in favor of? pl

  40. Jake says:

    Colonel Lang,
    I am not Opus Dei but of another Catholic Lay Religious Order and yes I am a Arch-Catholic and defender of the Faith.
    That does not mean that I do not criticize my Church when I believe it is wrong. Like you with DoD, I have been inside the Church. I most certainly do raise issues that I oppose. I have even gone as far as taking a Priest all the way to a Tribunal. To me religion is not a game. I have seen the Catholic Church in all its Glory and I have seen it at its worse. But you know something Colonel Lang. That Church by the Grace of God has survived many dramas throughout the ages and will continue to do so no matter who’s human opinion is spoken.
    I also learned the hard way not to judge others based on the opinions of others, hearsay or rumor that are based without merit or even fact. Especially the facts the MSM reports on. Yes my secular side fights with my religious side everyday. Some days that secular side even wins.
    But Colonel Lang. Just because Priest are human and subject to the same flaws as the rest of us. Does not mean that we should hold “all” of them with the same disregard. The life of a Priest is not easy Colonel Lang and for everyone of them that goes astray there are 20 doing great deeds.
    You may politically disagree with them. But politics and God have always been a tug of war.
    Your opinion Colonel is just as important as the Cardinals. But you both are coming from two very different thought processes.
    I understand and respect where both you and the Cardinal are coming from. But in this case I do side with the Cardinal. I will also tell you while I am always respectful of the Cardinal. I have disagreed with him more times than I have agreed with him on secular issues such as these.
    “tuitio fidei et obsequium pauperum”

  41. S B Jones says:

    I am very much in favor of enforcing immigration laws and of modifying existing laws in such a way as to make them more effective.
    Granting such wide discretionary latitude to individual law enforcement personnel for making judgments as to who to stop based on their own suspicions rather than based on actual indication of specific violation of some sort strikes me as distinctly un-American. The noble tenet “innocent until proven guilty” upon which so much of our democracy hinges is now, in Arizona, with the passage of this law, turned on its head. “If you simply look like you’re from south of the border you may have to prove you’re here legally.” If this is a new mantra for our country we’re in worse shape than I thought.
    I’m not a touchy-feely type with respect to this immigration problem though. I recognize there are serious problems and that the lack of political will combined with a sort of social affliction that makes a lot of us unwilling to be inconvenienced ourselves prevents meaningful progress towards solutions for the broader immigration problems.
    Someone up thread suggested mandatory jail time for employers who hire illegal immigrants. I think that’s an excellent idea. I think deporting illegal immigrants guilty of overt criminal behavior has merit also. But just like the all too common “Driving While Black” phenomenon where law enforcement personnel in many states routinely stopped black drivers even when there was no overt reason other than the fact that they were black to do so, I think we owe it to ourselves as Americans to rise above such shabby behavior, even if doing so means we have to extend the same benefit of the doubt to all people in the country absent demonstrable evidence they are in violation of some law.
    I’ve had plenty of friends in law enforcement over the years and almost all of them have expressed to me at one time or another the idea that if one starts targeting and/or cracking on people because of their race or ethnicity, (a very powerful temptation in many venues), that their own effectiveness as police officers and investigators deteriorates dramatically. I side with them on this.
    I agree with you that money is the primary lure for illegal immigrants coming to the US. But I also believe that money flooding into the coffers of elected officials on the left and the right end of the political spectrum is the primary cause of the deliberate undermining of the sort of political will we need in government to solve these difficult immigration problems. I have my doubts that thwarting either one of these financial incentives without the other would lead to solutions. Both incentives need to be curtailed.

  42. Patrick Lang says:

    you have not looked at my CV. pl

  43. FDRDemocrat says:

    The only solution to the immigration issue is for the USA to partner with Mexico to raise their living standard and improve their economic prospects. Some home truths:
    – the US southern border is a line in the sand like any other drawn during the pre-20th century land grabs by dominant powers; it was not drawn with any cognizance of regional economic and political inter-dependencies; e.g. historically the north of Mexico has had much more in common with the south of the US than it has with Mexico’s central government, much less its Mayan-populated south; once you realize this border was drawn in blood in 1846-1848 it helps understand why the “sacred” nature of a frontier line is not so sacred to those divided by it;
    – hence trying to solve this with a fence and motion sensors, much less meat-headed ideas like deporting millions of people, are doomed to failure;
    – as Colonel Lang cogently notes, this is about money; people come here from Mexico because they can make a better living here than back home; when the dynamic shifts, as it did during the 1930’s when the US depression coupled with Mexico’s oil boom to impel US citizens to head south to work in places like Tampico (see movie Treasure of the Sierra Madre), you will see the same things happening in reverse;
    – Americans of Mexican heritage are not opposed to enforcing border laws; they are, however, familiar with and heavily opposed to scapegoating of undocumented workers; a lot of US citizen Hispanics can tell you stories of being profiled and treated a certain way as the “outsider”; this is especially infuriating when you consider the long and honorable record of Hispanic Americans in US armed forces – a long and honorable record unfortunately not often recognized in popular media (e.g. having a blonde Caucasian actor play dark-skinned IRL Mexican American WW2 hero Guy Gabaldon in “Hell to Eternity” a Hollywood movie of his war exploits);
    – the Arizona law, as the Arizona police chiefs who opposed it foresaw, is going to enmesh police in a lose-lose situation; it will have zero effect on illegal immigration since the immigrants will just burrow deeper; it will rub ethnic relations raw as “Mexican-looking” people get the short end of the stick on stops for suspicion, while your blonde-blue eyed illegal immigrants (yes they exist) saunter on by

  44. Patrick Lang says:

    So. it is Legionnaires of Christ or some such thing. Tell me me you are a tertiary of some real order so that i can respect you.
    IMO if you wish to spiritually survive the present crisis of the church you will have to face up to the fact that it is not just a few priests and bishops who are corrupt members of a caste of bachelor 5013c tax exempt organization managers. It is many.
    The MSM attack the church. They can do so because the church has made itself vulnerable to attack.
    My advice is worth little, but I would advise you to seek solace in the Eucharist and think for yourself. pl

  45. confusedponderer says:

    I think a national ID for the US is a sensible idea.
    I never understood, state rights and grown traditions notwithstanding, why the US still afford themselves anachronisms like having no national ID, or such a diverse set of state rules for national elections. IMO the two issues are related.
    In the presidential elections US citizens elect a president for all of the US. It is their right as citizens to do so. There might be a point to be made that eligibility criteria for the vote in presidential (i.e. federal) elections ought to be identical in all states (for all I know states in the US do handle the matter on a state by state basis). Just a point.
    Registering their inhabitants properly, like modern states do, and issuing a national ID card would not only allow clear identification of each citizen as far as the right to be in the US is concerned. I live close to the Netherlands and Belgium and ever since I travel it has required at least an ID for me to do so. Last I looked, having a national ID card issued hasn’t led to tyranny anywhere in Europe.
    A national ID registry – say, exclusively under one federal set of rules but executed by the states – when linked with the place residence, could be used to create, for once, uncontested voter rolls (federal elections aside, also of benefit for the states in state elections). That said, I don’t get why the US has such a zoo of state and federal criminal law either. It is obviously a consequence of federalism in the US over time, but does it work well, or well enough?
    I likewise have never understood why, for a national election, states can sensibly have individual rules. I think that nobody is served with the doubt that cynical political players have cast on the integrity of US elections. And that is why I talk about elections all the time: Coupling national ID and voter rolls has the potential to handily solve the register to vote conundrum that created so much rancour over ACORN’s vote registration efforts and Republican vote suppression schemes.
    In Germany the state maintained registry is used to determine where you vote, when you’re allowed to vote (at age 18), what your district is and where you can go to vote (you get notified; I haven’t missed an election in my entire life), and last but not least, at which tax office you have to file your tax declaration, and how much state and federal money a city receives based on the number of inhabitants. Besides, in Germany the states are limited by law in sharing that data with the federal government. A last word on elections: Elections in Germany are, when compared to the technical aspects of voting in the US, utterly boring, as I think they should be. The work pretty well.
    Those who fear tyranny and get riled up over the census, or the mark of the beast, ought to better come to their senses and start concerning themselves with reality based if menial problems like the protection of their individual data and putting clear legal limits on state and federal (and private) use of those data – because that is a set of problems that is a far greater threat to their individual freedom than the national ID card per se.
    But then, it’s not my country, so that’s just my 2c …

  46. 1. Context on immigration policy is useful for a coherent analysis and discussion. Usually in a serious analysis of policy and legislation, one examines the “legislative history” and historical context.
    The Simpson-Mazzoli legislation of 1986 was supposed to have fixed things but it did not. Thus, careful examination of it and the reasons for its failure seem warranted today.
    2. The rising birth rate and failure-sabotage of the Mexican economy during the 1970s under Echevarria’s socialism produced the impetus for mass illegal migration across our southern border in the 1980s.
    Tracking border arrest rates of illegal aliens during the decade of the 1980s one would find a dramatic increase after about 1982-ish. Echevarria’s wrecking the Mexican economy combined with rapidly rising birth rates caused the pressure for illegal aliens to come here.
    As a “crisis” was developing, there were demands for Congressional action. Thus Simpson-Mazzoli.
    It has continued apace for over two decades and altered our demographics permanently. We have had a continuing illegal alien issue and a continuing problem with border security.
    3. Congress has failed to effectively address this issue for decades. Congress failed in 1986 owing to a combination of “liberal” lobbies and US business interests seeking cheap labor and has failed since for the same reason since.
    4. We HAD a guest worker program under Ike and it worked. It was called the “Bracero Program” program. This provided for LEGAL temprorary immigration to the US. This concept could be revised and built on. This was discussed during the drafting of and debates about on Simpson-Mazzoli back in the early 1980s.
    5. US certified-approved ID cards for Mexican workers could be issued by the MEXICAN government under cooperation with the US. Sort of like a passport but a credential which would enable the LEGAL worker to identify himself-herself when needed.

  47. Great post with which I largely agree and fascinating comments. The election in Great Britain in May could end up turning on immigration issues. What most don’t understand is that Mexico, the US and Canada are in fact one country just pretending to be three. Hey you can document the differences but apparently no one wants to document the reality. Combined demographics, policies, and economics. Globalization started here long ago. Watching the Arizona law play out in the courts and culture will be incredible to watch with no predictable outcome. The one thing we do learn from this is that the current Secretary DHS who vetoed equivalent legislation several times now sits astride immigration policy and must be considered an “expert”! If this issue plays out as I think and mobilizes Hispanics against Republicans it will prove to have been a pyrrhic victory [sic]!

  48. Jake says:

    Colonel Lang…
    I seek solace in Christ everyday. As I told you I do not drink the Catholic Cool-Aid either but will defend its positions to the max when the Church is right. I will also defend the Clergy when they are right no matter who’s opinion is of what.
    I also do not believe in public floggings of Clergy when they are wrong either. Yes the Church has exposed itself. But that does not mean we Catholic’s have to be part of the public flogging either. It’s a sad day when a Catholic Priest or really any Minister of Christ is charged with a serious crime. That calls for a day of prayer not ridicule.
    But as a Catholic who seeks Christ in the Eucharist. You also know as well as I do that we must seek reconciliation and forgiveness before we receive Christ. That also means to be forgiven of our sins, we must forgive those who sin against us. That includes those Clergy who have violated their covenants with God and with us. Not an easy task either I will add. But God demands this of us. Otherwise we temp the same judgment as we project on others to ourselves.
    Besides that remember John 8:7…
    The advise you give in seeking Christ daily through the Eucharist is also sound advise. I seek it daily and serve as a Eucharist Minister as well.
    But to put your heart at ease Colonel Lang. I belong to The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes, and of Malta.
    I am also currently in formation for the 3rd Order of St. Francis (Secular) and in prayer to enter the Permanent Diaconate before I get to old.
    Currently I do social services and humanitarian work for the Church.
    Oh, One last thing Colonel. I have been a lurker on your site for many years. I found your 31 October 2008 posting and inquiry about the Order rather interesting… I hate to tell you and some of your readers we have no secret squirrel decoder ring.
    You never know Colonel Lang when you might be called. “If you” Isaiah 21:12
    One last thing Colonel. There is really nothing wrong with Opus Dei. Can’t just judge an entire Order by the few…
    Your In Christ Always

  49. Jake says:

    By the way Colonel I forgot to add. I know your with The Order of the Holy Sepulcher and a Brother in the Faith. One of the reasons why I hold you in high regard. Your writings show signs of compassion and your faith.
    We see things just slightly different. But not that far off.
    Yours In Christ

  50. lina says:

    My son, who has brown skin, just scratched Univ. of AZ off his list. My out-of-state tuition money can be spent elsewhere.

  51. Patrick Lang says:

    “I found your 31 October 2008 posting and inquiry about the Order rather interesting… I hate to tell you and some of your readers we have no secret squirrel decoder ring. You never know Colonel Lang when you might be called. “If you” Isaiah 21:12 One last thing Colonel.”
    What on earth (or elsewhere) are you talking about? that post was about the class i teach about the history of the military religious orders. i have no interest in these groups in other than in a historical way in spite of the fact that long ago i was invested in one that is sometimes focussed on my particular interests. if smom and eohs wish to be relevant to spirituality they both need to divest themselves of fancy dress and concentrate on good works as opposed to ritual that feeds the vanity of wealthy members. pl

  52. John says:

    Dear Col Lang:
    Your proposal makes great sense. A main reason for so much illegal immigration is that cheap corn from the midwest devastated the small peasant Mexican farmer. So they come up here to get work.
    When the border was easier to cross, the male workers came, left the wife and children back in the village and enjoyed the exchange rate advantage of spending US earned dollars in Mexico.
    But with difficult border crossing, they decided to bring the wife and children and come here and stay.
    As odd a concept as it might be to many US citizens, not everyone in the world wants to actually live here. Like the US snowbirds that live in Mexico, it is quite nice down there, especially if you have a boost from the dollar/peso exchange rate.
    Open the borders, encourage them to spend their money back home.
    At this point it would also probably mean decriminalizing drugs to crash the US drug market. But that is far too rational too.

  53. Walter says:

    Rich Republicans who own the businesses and farms and apartment complexes all profit from immigration (cheap labor, rent, etc.) The borders are open because these guys want the borders open to make money…but they talk a big game to curry the votes of the poor Republicans. Real Estate in Houston Texas was saved by immigrants in the bust cycles.

  54. ritamary says:

    Grimgrin did you say one third of the US population is Hispanic? If yes, that is totally untrue. The Hispanic population is about 13%-14% of our total population.If not, sorry for not understanding what you are saying.
    Enforcing immigration law by prosecuting employers who hire illegals is the way to go, in my opinion. However, I don’t see that happening in a society that worships wealth and social status. Employers have the capability now to check validity of social security numbers before hiring someone. How many actually do that?
    We in California will have the opportunity soon to vote on legalizing and taxing marijuana. I am hoping this will happen so as to remove the biggest money maker for Mexican drug cartels.

  55. jerseycityjoan says:

    I think the national ID is long overdue. We’ve been using Social Security numbers and drivers licenses as ID substitutes for far too long.
    We need to regain control of our borders and stop focusing on the demands of the special interest lobbies. We’ve given up the immigration issue to the ethnic lobbies and business lobbies to fight over with the politicians, as if the rest of us are unaffected and have no right to an opinion.
    Now with 10% unemployment — which is far higher for the high school dropouts and unskilled workers — and a huge deficit, we can’t ignore what illegal immigration is costing all of us.
    Bottom line: secure the border, issue national IDs, go after the employers and stop granting birthright citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants.
    Our own citizens would do most of the jobs held by illegal immigrants, for a decent wage. How dare we keep our own people jobless when there’s an alternative?

  56. Robert in SB says:

    I drive hwy 101 from Santa Barbara every week or so to LA, through miles of fields of fruit and vegetables. All being picked by mexicans who do back breaking work for terrible pay. Hot out, cold out, 12 hours straight, on hands and kness, picking. No walmartus-americanus would even consider doing this work, and no farm would pay them a fair wage anyway. The illusion of entitlement that most americans see themselves under is such that they would never stoop to picking their own food, or doing manual labor to earn the money for it. The business owners stand to lose too, having made a lot more money by cheating wage rules and not offering any kind of benefits to the employees. The mexicans I worked with at my last company didn’t whine about what was fair or unfair. They were happy to have jobs, and put up with atrocious treatment by the businesss owner to keep them. There are several major agricultural industries that depend on these people for their willingness to acquiesce to abuse that no white guy steeped in HR rules, workplace safety, breaktimes, benefits, “freedoms”, would put up with. We will see how long this lasts in Arizona.

  57. Jake says:

    Colonel Lang..
    What I found interesting besides the class you teach was the posting and commentary.
    Colonel Lang while SMOM has it wealthy members and is rich in history and customs. Its members do more than sit around on their wallets. All Catholic Orders and Social Organizations are double bladed swords.
    Besides Colonel we all get in return, what we put into our endeavors. While judgment is the sole domain of Christ.

  58. optimax says:

    A Catch 22:
    Most of the illegals are Hispanic but we can’t ask for proof of citizenship because that would be racial profiling.
    Oregon is a sanctuary state. The police can’t question a person’s legal residency unless they are arrested for a felony. That law was in part written by La Raza and I’m sure any Federal overhaul will likewise be written in part by the appropiate identity group. After all, the health care bill was in part written by Wellpoint and Israel determines our ME policy.
    William R. Cumming,
    It is one land with three distinct cultures and political systems. We don’t have Canada’s health care and we can’t get out of a speeding ticket by coughing up mordida to the police. For about six months in the mid-eighties, I lived and worked in Nogales, Az., and didn’t worry about the fluidity of the border. But the Hispanics I knew liked the security of living in the U.S., something that is disappearing. Cultural distinctions became more pronounced the farther one got from the border going in both directions.

  59. Patrick Lang says:

    Well said.
    What do you think of the idea of forcing Cardinal Law into retirement and then laicizing him? This would be in the interest of reducing the level of scandal and propaganda against the church for harboring someone like him?
    I suppose you know how many have left the church in Boston because of him.
    If you want to protect people like that, people who have hidden in orders and abused the people of God, tell us why. pl

  60. Robert in SD has good points. I am familiar first hand with Mexican, and Mexican-American, agricultural labor and construction labor here in Virginia.
    These are extremely hard working folks who arrive on time at the job, work hard, take a correct lunch break, work hard some more till COB. They have solid family values.
    There most certainly would be no Virginia wine industry, for example, without specialized Mexican labor who know how to handle-cut properly grapes etc. As a matter of fact, much of the glass wine bottle stock comes up from Mexico as well.
    Some form of official ID/Work Permit/Credential (“cedula”) issued by the Mexican government in cooperation with the US government would give LEGAL status to folks who come here to work. With LEGAL status, guest workers would have legal standing and rights under our legal system.
    Given modern day information tech it would be no problem for both governments to manage such a program. I have no idea what order of magnitude of guest workers we are talking about but several million per year or whatever would be no problem from an IT standpoint.
    Such a permit could be issued for a one year period, renewable; or whatever terms the US and Mexico would work out.
    There are indeed many many unscrupulous employers who would NOT want this system because they want to exploit illegal (“undocumented”) workers. Such employers who employ illegal workers under Simpson-Mazzoli were supposed to have legal sanctions brought against them…ah, but…..
    On the Bracero Program which was a guest worker program see wiki, this is the general idea but obviously would need to be updated and modernized for our times:
    “Anglo” Americans need to understand Latin American history and the various cultures “South of the Border.” Our demographic is changing and the Hispanic dimension is growing.
    To me, it is logical to revive the spirit of FDR’s “Good Neighbor” policy (which actually began under President Hoover). We need to focus on working with Latin American governments to promote economic development and social progress.
    But we are obsessed with the Middle East…

  61. Cold War Zoomie says:

    …and stop granting birthright citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants.
    Then we’ll have to change the Constitution:
    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.
    14th Amendment
    How do we change it to ensure children of illegal immigrants are not granted citizenship?
    This is an intriguing idea that I find repulsive at first since I don’t like the idea of using the Constitution to restrict rights rather than to grant rights. But I cannot find a specific downside of changing that Amendment to restrict citizenship to blood only.
    I’m sure someone will provide an argument against doing this. Bring out the lawyers.
    As for the new Arizona law, I think they are going to regret passing this thing in the not too distant future. And I cannot imagine local police forces bogging themselves down with trying to enforce it. My prediction is that it will be virtually ignored by most police forces that are already overstretched, then the nutjobs will start suing the local governments for not working hard enough to enforce the law, and it will be trashed once the majority sees how unworkable it is.

  62. jerseycityjoan says:

    “The mexicans I worked with at my last company didn’t whine about what was fair or unfair. They were happy to have jobs, and put up with atrocious treatment by the businesss owner to keep them. There are several major agricultural industries that depend on these people for their willingness to acquiesce to abuse that no white guy steeped in HR rules, workplace safety, breaktimes, benefits, “freedoms”, would put up with. We will see how long this lasts in Arizona.”
    Robert in SB: What you bring up here scares me to death, frankly, because our side of the two tier labor system is shrinking and we’re doing nothing to stop is. The two tier labor system, as I see it, is average American workers/exploited foreign workers (immigrants here and foreign workers abroad in their own country, where work that Americans used to do has been outsourced).
    I see more and more Americans accepting the job losses of Americans as natural and inevitable and the exploitation of foreign workers as financially and morally acceptable. They seem blind to the fact that if things continue as they are, in a few generations America won’t be a First World country anymore. The rich will still be rich of course but the rest of us will be more like the poor Mexicans of today.
    This may seem impossible but think about it, if we say it’s OK to pay others $7 an hour instead of paying us Americans $15 or $20 or $30 an hour, eventually employers will only offer Americans the same $7 they’re offering everyone else. Americans will be grateful to have a job, any job, just like the Mexicans where you worked.
    This is the world we are creating. We need to wake up and fight for our way of life soon or it will be gone.

  63. Jackie says:

    In the early 60’s my Catholic grade school took us on a little tour of the camps for migrant workers (Mexicans) who picked the truck farms. Their accomodations were “out of service” city buses. That was the beginning and the end of any problem I have ever had with with illegals from South of the border. I’m pretty sympathetic to anyone who had to live that way. There are three Hispanic families in my neighborhood and I don’t care if they are here legally or not. They are good people.

  64. frank durkee says:

    Part of the context in the AZ legislation is that it is the fruit of at least a decade long, to my knowledge, effort to force out moderate or even less than radical right Republicans from the state legislature. it has been an intentional directed effort by a relativel small group of wealthy ‘kingmakers’ in the state. It was happening in the late ’90’s and has continued to the present. This legislation comes out of that mind set facilitated by the death of a border rancher and the conservative political climate. It is not an accident or the result of a chance configuration but is an end worked for over time.

  65. The Twisted Genius says:

    Jerseycityjoan has brought up a great point. Our way of life may soon be gone. In our free market entreprenurial economy, workers are a commodity. As several others has pointed out, these foreign, largely Hispanic, workers are certainly cheaper and very often better than American workers. The economic pressure for businesses to use the cheaper, better worker will be immense. This will put pressure on us fat and happy Anglos to become cheaper, better workers. In a free market system, the average American worker’s current way of life is destined to disappear.
    On the other hand, American workers are also consumers… the lifeblood of our economy. The rising class of foreign cheaper, better workers will not be the consuming powerhouse that most American business is dependent on. So, American business’s current way of life is also destined to disappear.
    Economics is obviously not my area of expertise… especially since I spent my formative years in the “socialist” society of the U.S. Army. 😉 I would welcome some of the more enlightened SST members to point out the flaws in my thinking. And I humbly apologize for carrying on like a crazed Marxist.
    Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь!

  66. isl says:

    You are bemoaning 30 years of wage stagnation with the loss of wealth hidden by shifting manufacturing to China and underpaid illegal labor. Norwegian salaries are very livable for all, but a restaurant costs $100 per meal, minimum per person. They have a different system and societal priorities – their choice.
    Here, unless those who have share with the rest (and why would they?), decent wages are untenable. Immigrant laws are not going to change a thing, our economic structure has developed over a long time and is not going to change fast. Just watch Greece to see the rapid undoing of what I think you are proposing because it is economically unsustainable.

  67. Stormcrow says:

    OK. Reluctantly I have come to think that the time has come for national ID cards.

    The cure is worse than the disease.
    My reasons for thinking so are neither the usual ones you’ll hear from civil libertarians, nor the ones you’ll hear from the more anarchic of the right-wingers.
    Basically, it’s security snake-oil.
    A national ID card will carry the illusion of being authoritative, without the substance. It’ll be forged just as easily as DLs are today, but people won’t be as disposed to question it as they might a DL.
    Spend some quality time reading Bruce Schneier’s objections. He puts the argument better than I might do.

  68. Medicine Man says:

    Without knowing the communities involved (in Arizona) it is hard to say what the effect of the new immigration bill will be. Clearly it will give AZ law enforcement new tools to combat illegal immigration. It also seems likely that these new tools will come at a cost to legitimate Hispanic residents of AZ.
    What isn’t clear in the slightest is whether this bill will lead to crushing burdens on AZ law enforcement or a creeping institution of police law.
    How the AZ police use the powers given to them by this bill is the question. My guess would be that they will use whatever is practical and sustainable.
    It is up to Americans, those in AZ in particular, to decide if this is acceptable.

  69. Patrick Lang says:


  70. Nancy K says:

    I agree with all who advocate going after the businesses who hire illegals, not the illegals. Large agricultural Farms, meat packing industry, and companies and people who need day workers, housekeepers and nannys would probably go out of business if not for illegal workers.
    Politicians may bemoan illegals to their constituents but it is all a game. Big business likes their cheap, hard working labor. Americans in blaming the illegals, are blaming the victims not the perps. Granted, people coming into our country illegally are breaking a law, but they would not be coming if not enticed and in many cases invited.

  71. R Whitman says:

    Interesting post and interesting comments. Not one Mexican or Mexican-American heard from.
    A check of the Mexican press yesterday. They are calling for some type of retaliation against Arizona. If Arizona has a major export to Mexico, it will be cut off soon.
    Pretty soon the intelectual crowd in DF will revive talk of “Reconquista”

  72. Jane says:

    Mexico | population growth
    Not only is there the pull of jobs there is the push of need. Parents who lack the means to feed all of their offspring will seek work under whatever conditions they can find it.

  73. Adam L Silverman says:

    Ritamary: The Hispanic population of Arizona is approximately 30% of the total state population. I think that is where the confusion came from.

  74. Allen Thomson says:

    Somewhat along these lines, note that the government of Puerto Rico is invalidating all its current birth certificates.
    Fascinating possibilities here. Not nice, but fascinating.

  75. Ian says:

    “I don’t think it is fair for a Canadian to criticize us about the size of our armed forces. You have effectively done away with yours and shelter behind us. You have done so for decades.”
    Colonel Lang, three points,
    First, you’re quite right that the Canadian Forces are underfunded. For example, despite recent efforts the Canadian government is not doing nearly enough to protect arctic sovereignty. We don’t spend enough on the navy to protect our waters, nor do we have enough coast guard icebreakers to police the fast thawing northwest passage. This is a problem not least because Canadian and American interests in the north do not always coincide.
    One way to increase spending on the navy would be to redirect the money we’re currently spending on the war in Afghanistan. It has never been in the interest of Canada to have our troops there, except in that our ally was attacked. We considered an attack on the United States to be an attack on Canada, so we went — that’s the point of NATO. Reciprocally, we know that the US navy would help defend us if Canada was threatened. I submit that this deal is working out rather well for the US, since we have been paying a much higher price to defend you than you have been paying to defend us.
    Third, Canada could get out from under the US nuclear umbrella, if you like. We could have got the bomb in the late 1940’s (we had the first nuclear reactor outside the US), and our nuclear program currently is quite a bit more advanced than that of Iran, say. Do you really want a rogue nuclear state on your northern border?

  76. Optimax! It is not just geography. The cultures are more similiar than most would care to admit. E.G. What is the largest religious block in each country?

  77. Patrick Lang says:

    Thanks for your symbolic sacrifice in Afghanistan. IMO you should go home since you feel put upon.
    So, you are defending your maritime and fishing interests in the north against the US? I don’t think we knew that… I thought it was baby Harp seals that you were worried about.
    Do you really want us to be concerned about a “rogue nuclear state” on our northern border? Tiny armed forces and a nearly completely disarmed citizenry. You look like easy meat to me. Canadian guerrilla resistance to US occupation, that would be interesting.
    That was a joke, sort of. pl

  78. DanM says:

    Ian — I read on the CBC website that total Canadian spending on Afghanistan will be around $18 billion by the end of 2011. Spend that money on your navy to “defend” the Northwest passage? $18 billion is about 2% of our annual defense budget. I think you’re stuck with diplomacy in the arctic. That will work out better for everybody.
    As for you’re “paying a higher price.” Well, perhaps in blood. Thanks (though i think the afghan venture at this point is a waste of blood and money for everyone).
    But an economic analysis indicates that just maybe it’s been a good deal for you. You’ve averaged, what, under 2% of GDP on defense for the past 40+ years? You’re welcome.

  79. Ian says:

    “That was a joke, sort of. pl”
    “I thought it was baby Harp seals that you were worried about.”
    No, that’s what Europeans worry about. It’s important to Canada. Newfies wouldn’t be the friendliest people in Canada (perhaps the world) if they couldn’t exhaust their inner rage in an annual frenzy of bludgeoning small mammals.
    “You look like easy meat to me.”
    See, this is why we need a nuclear deterrent. Our most heavily armed citizens are in Alberta, and that province would go quisling in a heartbeat.
    “defending your maritime and fishing interests in the north against the US?”
    Taking a more serious tone, but there is at least one significant dispute. As I recall, the US has been arguing that if/when the northwest passage becomes navigable it should be considered international waters (this was proposed under the Bush administration, if I recall correctly). To keep sovereignty, Canada is going to need to demonstrate sovereignty. In my mind that’s a job for the coast guard — placing navigational buoys, escort ships with icebreakers, etc. Why this matters is that if Canada owns those waters then we can enforce Canadian law on passing ships (notably, environmental laws).
    So yes, there is a real territorial dispute with the US in the north, but it’s absurd to think it would be resolved militarily.

  80. Grimgrin says:

    Pat Lang: It’s always been my opinion that if it came down to it the only possible way to deter a US invasion of Canada would be to develop nuclear weapons as fast as possible. I’ve actually advocated for this in various conversations, suggesting we call it the “de Gaulle” project. (One of the people I suggested this to vehemently objected, saying that de Gaulle’s visit to Quebec had helped inspire the separatist movement and nearly broken up the country. You’re right about us and irony.)
    I doubt it will ever get to that point for a variety of reasons, most of which make me sound like one of those hopelessly optimistic Europeans talking about how war was impossible in 1910 or so.

  81. Patrick Lang says:

    grimgrin and ian
    we would probably welcome a canadian nuc capability. we know you too well to fear it.
    as danM points out. you and the brits are too cheap to spend serious money on the military so maybe we could help you in developing it. pl

  82. jerseycityjoan says:

    Don’t you think the day may come when the US is “too cheap to spend serious money on the military” as well?
    Look at the rising cost of healthcare. Look at the deficit. Will normal unemployment go back to 4-5% or will it plateau at 6% or more as squeezing more work out of current workers become the new normal? Our immigration-fueled population growth is barreling ahead, even if our resources to take care of all the extra people are staying the same.
    Considering all the adverse circumstances, it seems we almost have no choice but to greatly reduce the defense budget in the years ahead.
    Sometimes I think that would be the best thing that could ever happen: for us and rest of the world to all cut defense spending by a mammoth amount, but I have my doubts. Still if we become more like our other first world peers in some ways (like healthcare), it seems natural that we’ll change in other ways too and that our spending priorities will reflect that change.

  83. Tyler says:

    Ugh, I get banned from one forum because apparently I am a “racist” and then I come over here and find out I’ve missed the party.

  84. Patrick Lang says:

    I was just trifling with the Canadians. Our Defense budget is far too large, but to cut back we will have to abandon a lot of overseas commitments. pl

  85. WILL says:

    bit of irony, Santa Anna, who failed to post guards at San Jacinto, was surprised and defeated by an inferior force. He took off his general’s uniform & tried to blend in but had the ignominy of being discovered by his penchant for silken underwear. he learned the harm of uncontrolled immigration & failure to secure borders.
    while practicing law, i learned about the confusion of spanish names. the defendant’s prior dwi’s were not showing up in the system record checks. that’s because they did not have the traditional english system of given, middle, & surname. they had multiple parts of their name. also their surname was based on their mother’s. moreover they gave a different name everytime they got stopped. this had serious consequences for the justice system b/c in drunk driving cases, the defendant is punished on his prior record experience.
    Spanish_naming_custom from Wikipedia
    Case in point, the Mexican-Lebanese billionaire is sometimes called Carlos Slim, sometimes Carlos Helu.

  86. Allen Thomson says:

    A bit of a random observation, but I’ve lived in the borderlands for some while and note that a lot of the law enforcement officers of various types here are themselves Hispanic. One might hope that the ones in AZ will help to bring some nuance to the inevitable profiling process.

  87. Adam L Silverman says:

    The AZ state legislator that pushed this legislation has a long history of dallying with neo-Nazi’s. David Neiwert, and independent journalist who tracks domestic US extremist movements, has the information. The link to the original posting site and the text of Neiwert’s reporting is below. There is embedded video and pictures of Mr. Pearce and the neo-Nazis at the original site – I can’t paste them here in comments. Finally, it appears that an extremist attorney from Kansas, who is running for state office there and does the legal work for FAIR, which is considered to be a White Supremacist/Nativist organization (its founder has a long history of being entwined with a variety of White Supremacist and nativist organizations), will be doing some of the training for AZ law enforcement
    Profiling Arizona legislator Russell Pearce: Author of immigration law is pals with noted neo-Nazi
    By David Neiwert Tuesday Apr 27, 2010 12:30pm
    (unpasteable video went here)
    There are some things about state Sen. Russell Pearce, the author of Arizona’s new police-state immigration law, that Greta Van Susteren and all the other Fox anchors who’ve had him on this past week aren’t telling you.
    Indeed, they let him just come on and spew misleading nonsense, as he did last night on On the Record, telling Van Susteren that the law only “takes the handcuffs off” for law enforcement officers and “allows” them to arrest suspected illegal immigrants. Actually, itrequires them to.
    Well, we mentioned previously that Pearce has a colorful background involving the white-supremacist far right, including dalliances — like his close pal Sheriff Joe Arpaio — with neo-Nazis.
    Rachel Maddow discussed some of this in her segment last night, but it’s worth discussing some more so that people can fully appreciate the nature of the police state just signed into law in Arizona. Byron York has proclaimed it “a very carefully crafted law” — and he is quite correct about that. Crafted to what end, however, is quite another story.
    Y’see, back in 2006, Pearce caught a lot of people’s attention by forwarding to a bunch of his friends and associates an article on immigration from a neo-Nazi news source — namely, the National Alliance, the folks who brought you The Turner Diaries. The article was about Jewish control of the media and how it supposedly creates a bias against whites and favors minorities and Israel. Pearce apologized, but never could explain why he was reading material from the National Alliance in the first place.
    But then he was seen working arm in arm with this fellow:
    (unpasteable picture went here)
    That’s a guy named J.T. Ready, who also happens to be one of Arizona’s leading neo-Nazis. Here’s J.T. at a neo-Nazi rally in Nebraska:
    (unpasteable picture here)
    Stephen Lemons at the Phoenix New Times reported:
    Ready’s tight with state Representative Russell Pearce, who’s bashed Mexicans ever since a Latino teen shot off his finger when he was a county sheriff’s deputy. Pearce is a racist law machine, pumping out statute after statute targeting the brown segment of AZ’s population. At a June anti-illegal demonstration at the state Capitol, Ready and Pearce worked the crowd arm-in-arm.
    Remember when Pearce forwarded a neo-Nazi e-mail to supporters in ’06? Pearce claimed a “friend” sent him the e-mail. Could that “friend” have a last name that rhymes with “Freddy”?
    The blanket isn’t big enough these days for all the bigoted bedfellows who want in on the nativist lovefest. In any other state, Pearce’s ties to a white nationalist like Ready would make him a pariah, especially after the outrage over that neo-Nazi e-mail.
    Instead, both Sheriff Joe Arpaio and County Attorney Candy Thomas recently honored Pearce at a “gala reception” and dinner to raise moolah for Pearce’s committee exploring a primary challenge to Congressman Jeff Flake, a moderate Republican who’s championed comprehensive immigration reform. It was $100 a plate for the dinner, $200 if you wanted a pic of yourself with Thomas, Arpaio, or radio wingnut Bruce Jacobs. Minuteman leader Chris Simcox was on the fundraiser’s planning committee.
    Pearce’s political career has been built on an obsessive effort to demonize, scapegoat, and attack Latino immigrants. One of his more noteworthy previous efforts was an effort toeliminate Hispanic outreach programs in Arizona schools, predicated on the phony “MEChA is racist” meme. He’s also proclaimed that illegal immigrants have no rights under the Constitution.
    Just as noteworthy, perhaps, is this bit from his Wikipedia bio:
    In 1995, Pearce became the Director of the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division. Pearce was fired from that position in 1999 by then Arizona Department of Transportation Director Mary Peters after an investigation revealed that Pearce and two underlings had tampered with a Tucson woman’s driving record.
    This is someone who obviously has no problem with handing police officers totalitarian powers — and no problem with a little procedural abuse along the way.
    And now his vision of law enforcement is Arizona law. Lovely.

  88. WILL says:

    from the wiki to bring home the point of who was here first
    ” Linda Ronstadt’s great grandfather, engineer Friedrich August Ronstadt (who went by the name Federico Augusto Ronstadt) immigrated to the West (then a part of Mexico) in the 1840s from Hanover, Germany, and married a Mexican citizen, and eventually settled in Tucson.”
    her brother Peter was a longterm police chief of Tuscon.
    those teabaggers have made a serious mistake w/ this law. immigration is a federal issue. it is a slap in the face to the heritage of the state. at the same time, the national guard should be guarding the border not deployed in Irak.

  89. optimax says:

    Adam, I just lost everything I wrote and have to go. Here’s mecha website:
    I don’t believe 70% of the people of az are neo-nazis but are sick of the crime, which has exploded there. It’s a poorly written law and won’t stand up in the courts. Because I used to live in Nogales, Az, I follow what has been happening to Nogales. It reminds me of “No Country for Old Men.” It was a good place to live in the day. Someone once said here that the gangs are nothing to worry about because they only kill each other. Mostly true but the collateral damage to innocent bystanders and communities terrorized don’t affect people who have their heads stuck in gated communities. Big deal they’re poor and probably of color. To me that thinking is racist and/or classist.

  90. J says:

    Dr. Silverman,
    You seem to forget the bottom line of ‘what’ is behind the Immigration Reform/Border Protection Movements — lack of/inadequate Federal action to protect U.S. Borders. Instead your argument focuses on labels on individuals (Neo-Nazi, etc.) instead of the meat of the issue which is lack of Federal action.
    One would surmise you have never lived near the U.S./Mexican border area (I have), and have seen the frustration of the locals (everyday civilians and law enforcement).
    IMO, your examinations of the Iraq situation is pretty much dead-on, but your analysis of this particular Arizona/Border States domestic Immigration Reform appears lacking.

  91. Adam L Silverman says:

    Optimax: I’m not suggesting that all, a majority, or most of Arizonians are racists, neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, or Nativists. All I was trying to do was provide background and context on the Arizona state senator that wrote the Law.
    J: I’m very familiar with the Southwest. My late father was from CO, I’ve lived in Denver, and until 2007 when I went to work for the Army HTS program, I spent anywhere from one to four months a year in NM, where we my dad had had built a retirement home. Finally, I’ve spent a lot of time living in FL and seeing how different parts of the state, and the people in them, deal with different types of immigrants both in terms of where they from (ie Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, etc) and how they are identified (Political immigrants: Cubans, economic immigrants: everyone else).
    Optimax and J: Again – I am not in any way, shape, or form suggesting that Arizonians are all, a majority, mostly racists, neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, and/or Nativists. Moreover, I do recognize the need for border security in and of itself as well as part of broader immigration reform. What I think is going on here is three different and overlapping things: 1) the real, identifiable problems that exist regarding US immigration policy and its effect on both the border states and the broader economy. This includes the economic race to the bottom by the promotion of cheap American corn, through subsidies combined with NAFTA, which have wiped out the traditional agricultural sector in most parts of Mexico. As a result the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th order effects are that large number of Mexicans flee either directly to the US in search of work or first to larger Mexican cities and then to the US, in order to send remittances home, coupled with the explosion in narco production and trafficking that always occurs when a legal and legitimate agricultural market and system collapse. This increase in the narco-market, of course, comes complete with its own increase in violence in order to protect that market and those involved with it. 2) America’s repeated inability to deal with economic immigration. One of our national myths (and that doesn’t necessarily make it untrue) is that if one comes to the US, works hard, follows the law (more or less), than one can make good. As such we treat almost everyone as economic immigrants, even those, like most Haitians, who were really fleeing violence and upheaval. Very few, the Cubans, are treated like political immigrants – those fleeing political despotism, etc. As such, and despite part of our national mythos, immigrants are seen as immediate economic competitors. And because American business and industry is addicted to cheap labor, since it can really no longer get free labor (with the exception of unpaid internships, which often lead to sinecures for the well to do and well connected who can afford to work for a bit without pay), immigrants to the US are actually put in direct competition with all Americans to keep prices low. I don’t know if any of you have ever seen what the conditions are like for the migrant farm workers in FL that pick your strawberries and your tomatoes, but I can tell you from observation that I’ve seen refugees and migrant workers in Iraq that live in better conditions! So until we get our corporate head’s screwed on straight about proper valuation of work and labor, there will remain a market for cheap, immigrant, and often undocumented/illegal immigrant, labor .
    3) The issues that I’ve sketched out in items 1 and 2 lead directly to issue 3: exploitation of these issues for political gain. The first two points I’ve laid out really push people’s buttons. I remember when I moved to Miami – I didn’t speak very much Spanish and people looked at me like I was the foreigner. In fact I had one woman once ask me if, when I was done studying in Miami, I was going back to my own country? I’m pretty sure that was her own translation error as her English was not much better than my Spanish. When stuff like that happens, and its so explicit, it is easy to get angry and start lumping everyone together, like the poor girl at the Taco Bell across the street from the university I was doing my MA in religion in. She was holding down a job, not dependent on the safety net, but her English was poor as she was a recent immigrant. One day she had trouble making change for me, The long line of folks starting complaining about the wait, snickering (at me mostly because my Spanish was poor), I finally, and loudly (cause I’m shy like a howitzer!) exclaimed: “Why don’t one of you bilingually, fluent assholes come up here and help the poor girl if you’re in such a G-d Damn hurry instead of acting like assholes!” It shut them up in a hurry and the manager actually thanked me for caring enough to get mad. The point of these examples is that its easy, almost too easy, to get angry about this stuff. Wages racing to the bottom, not knowing who is and isn’t here, markets in drugs and people being established leading to violence. And because its easy, and understandable to get angry about this stuff its also way too easy for demagogues, fools, and the extremists to manipulate the issue for their own benefit.
    Do I understand that the people of Arizona are upset and why? Yes I do. Do I understand that Arizona State Senator Pearce is a vindictive, Nativist, demagogue that really could care less about making things better or fixing the issue and is doing what he’s doing for his own personal, political, and likely financial gain? Yes I do. And that’s ultimately the point, whether its the border security issue or terrorism or aviation security or financial reform: we have serious problems that make people angry and the people that stand to profit off of those problems will go to any lengths to make sure whatever fixes get put into place don’t make things better, they just make us madder and willing to be led around by the nose to our own detriment. Arizonans aren’t the problem, the immigrants from Mexico aren’t even really the problem; the problem is an integrated trade regime that proceeded before anyone thought about border and immigration effects coupled with an agribusiness system that drives American farmers, let alone Mexican ones, right to the bottom. I can tell you though that State Senator Pearce, and whatever he’s proposing, are not the solution to the problem!

  92. Patrick Lang says:

    If the Obamanauts are so offended by this law, let them sue Arizona over its constitutionality. If they do not do that soon, then similar laws wil lbe put forward in other state legislatures.
    I, personally, do not think that the apocalyptic view of this measure is justified. pl

  93. optimax says:

    I’m not angry at anybody but might have a different perspective if I was an AZ rancher on the border or born in the U.S. to illegals in L.A. In az I’ve helped illegals by not kicking a young Guatemalan couple off an engine (we don’t care if people ride the train as long as they’re not on one of the engines–pressing the wrong button causes problems), giving them water and my lunch; telling a couple of guys the boxcar they were in was going back to Mexico and pointing them to one going north. We also kicked five Mexicans off a train in the middle of the desert because they were fighting ontop of the train(just like the movies). I’ve met illegals in my neighborhood who I would like to see given a chance to stay and gangbangers I wish the police could arrest on sight and send home.
    If we can come up with a policy that seperates the wheat from the chaff, I’d be happy. I do that when I read or meet people. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, had some dispicable ideas and later earned the respect of MLK and in 1957 won Humanist of the Year award. I know some here think PP is dispicable itself but the point is people are complicated beings doing some good and some bad. I follow ideas and not people.

  94. Adam L Silverman says:

    Optimax: I wasn’t trying to imply that your or J, or anyone else who has commented on this here is themselves angry; I apologize for not being clear and specific. I also agree that people change as the ideas they hold change. My issue in highlighting who Mr. Pearce is affiliated with is that they ideas that he’s putting forward and theirs seem to be coming from the same place. We now know that the AZ bill was actually written by an attorney for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, which is the legal office for FAIR. The INLI folks are also advising and/or writing legislation similar to AZ’s in a number of other states – many of which are no where near the SW border, and in the case of KY – any border! These same attorneys will be the ones billing as outside counsel when AZ or any other state has to defend this law in court. So they make money coming and going and in the mean time they demagogue the issue and take legitimate concerns like you’ve, and many others have expressed, and move the framing of them way over into the extreme. For a rundown on which states are considering following AZ, please go to the following link at the Wonkroom:

  95. optimax says:

    It’s like divorce lawyers backing gay marriage.
    My point is I can read the propaganda from FAIR and SPLC, pick out the information I think is relevant and throw away the rest as garbage without turning into a zombie follower. They both have agendas I don’t believe in.
    The Col. is right, it’s not the Apocalypse, not now at least.

  96. jerseycityjoan says:

    I wish people were half as upset about our horrible unemployment — and willing to take action about it — as they are about this.
    And I say this as a person who thinks that fixing immigration is of vital importance to our future.
    This is a time when millions of us should be out in the streets about long-term unemployment, the lack of jobs and extending unemployment beyond 99 weeks.
    Instead during this economic crisis, we’re focusing our primary attention and energy on others and not ourselves.
    When was the last year in which the American public was not obsessed with fiddling while Rome burns? I don’t understand our lack of focus and fight about what’s really important. It really makes me wonder about where we’re headed.
    P.S. In the midst of my worrying and fretting, I am deriving what pleasure I can from the statements and demands of indignant Mexican officials. Just about everything they say we shouldn’t do to illegals here, they do to illegals in Mexico — and worse.
    I might be tempted to go down there and protest this hypocrisy in person, except of course I can’t: I’d be breaking Mexican law and I’d get arrested as a foreigner taking part in a political demonstration.

  97. J says:

    And just think the ‘Propaganda Mills’ of the SPLC and the ADL are providing ‘training’ to various Federal/State/Local Law Enforcement & Police Departments. Imagine what their ‘ foreign political agenda’ is. Like a skunk given full access to the hen house.

  98. optimax says:

    jerseycityjoan, Fox said he was going to solve this problem years ago.
    I didn’t know that, makes me feel secure.

  99. confusedponderer says:

    I read the law in this context: While the problem of illegal immigrants is a reality, the politicking about the issue is a reality as well.
    The law was written by Kris Kobach, who did write immigration laws that have been judged to be unconstitutional before. Kobach was hired by Sheriff Arpaio to train his deputy force in immigration law, after the DHS stripped them of their authority to enforce federal immigration laws.
    Along comes SB 1070, written by Kobach, that discovers ‘inherent authority’ of local cops to enforce (apparently all) federal laws, with the addition of some additional Arizona laws attempting to duplicate federal immigration laws as a fall-back option. How fortuitous.
    And both Arpaio and Kobach happen to run for office [Arpaio (Governor of Arizona) and Kobach (Secretary of State for Kansas)]. How fortuitous!
    ~ * ~
    That aside, I think Kobach is a sleaze ball. This ‘inherent authority’ claim smells like risqué lawyering to my. So local cops to have inherent authority to enforce federal laws?
    Then it is really easy, isn’t it? Just enforce immigration laws locally, because all local cops have inherent authority to enforce federal law! Eventually, the magic bullet! The quick and easy fix! Why didn’t they do that earlier? Because it is unconstitutional? If it sounds too good to be true it probably isn’t.
    Coming to think: If Arpaio’s sheriff department can be stripped of enforcement authority by the DHS, that suggests that the power to enforce and to delegate enforcement lies with the Feds. When they have been stripped it also means they previously had to be empowered – which flies in the face of Kobach’s claim that they have inherent authority anyway. If they have had it all the time anyway, with or without DHS empowerment, what would be the point of empowering them, or stripping them of enforcement authority? To make it short, Kobachs’s argument stinks.
    My hunch is this, and it is just a hunch, that Kobach is providing risqué legal advice to communities trying to come to grips with immigration related problems, writing them real tough legislation, which will then predictably and inevitably end up in court.
    These predictable and inevitable lawsuits create legal costs, that end up in his pocket when he is representing or counselling. Whoever loses, pays, be it the Feds or the city pressing the case through the instances. And all that legally!
    It’s win-win-win for Kobach, he profits in terms of real money, and in terms of his reputation as a guy who is real tough on immigration, who just happens to be running for office, and given enough shots he might just catch the precedent he’s fishing for.

  100. Patrick Lang says:

    As you know I am not a lawyer, but I do not understand why it is not an “inherent” function of local police to enforce federal law.
    If the Virginia state police or the Alexandria police department saw someone walking down the street carrying what may be a fully automatic weapon in possible violation of federal firearms law for lack of a permit from ATF would it not be within their power and indeed their duty to halt the person involved and seek a resolution?
    Is your sympathy for illegal immigrants influencing your argument? pl

  101. No, it’s about principle.
    I don’t have much sympathy for illegal immigrants; they are guests who take advantage of their host country without having the courtesy of announcing themselves or to even pay taxes. That is not the point.
    I am aware that Arizona has a problem with illegal immigrants and that there is a need for action. My beef is with the law itself, and the apparent intentions of the actors.
    As for your example: In my understanding, when a policeman sees someone with an automatic weapon on the street, which would be a violation of federal law, he of course cannot ignore that and can apprehend the person and they would have to inform the ATF because they are the responsible agency. He can’t look away if he encounters such a thing en passant, but he is not specifically tasked by state law to focus on enforcing federal gun laws.
    Imagine the state of Virginia enacting a law explicitly obliging the local police to specifically enforce federal firearms laws.
    That is what we see in Arizona. The Arizona law obliges local cops to enforce those federal laws. Those state provisions on immigrants are just a fall-back. Checking for violations is enforcement even when they then transfer apprehended individuals to the responsible authorities.
    Because there is, as far as I understand it, a clear allocation of authority over immigration matters to the federal government, the Arizona’s SB 1070 is an arrogation of power.
    What really bugs me is Kobach’s ‘inherent authority’ concept. It is really hideous. If it would apply to immigration law, then it applies to federal law in general. Want your sheriff deputy enforcing federal tax laws? It opens the door for boundless overreach. It is an open invitation for the arrogation of unconstitutional power, and that is a threat to the rule of law. To me it is really that fundamental.

  102. Patrick Lang says:

    What I see in Alexandria is a reluctance on the part of local police and government to enforce federal law regarding immigration. I can easily imagine a state law designed to overcome that reluctance. pl

  103. Trent says:

    CP, many pay taxes. Their employers pay payroll taxes on them; and they themselves pay income taxes. Day laborers and the like working under the table don’t of course, but neither do US citizens working under the table. But lots of illegals contribute taxes.

  104. An solution I can see for Arizona is for example a cooperation agreement between local and federal agencies, or the state and the Feds to be precise.
    Example from Germany would be Bavaria’s border police. Bavaria was unique among the states in that they had a state border police. They made an agreement with the federal level (a Staatsvertrag i.e. federal-state treaty) that obliged Bavaria to adequately man the force and task it with protecting the border and take care of immigration related matters.
    Now something like that could be a solution for Arizona. Or Texas for that matter.
    Such a consensual approach would have the advantage of constitutionality and prevent the invitation to arbitrariness inherent in the idea of ‘inherent authority’ and prevent turf poaching and the like.

  105. Patrick Lang says:

    I am not sure that German and American states have the same relationship to their respective federal governments. pl

  106. In both our countries the authority for legislation and enforcement of immigration laws is at the federal level, and at least in my country exclusively so, and I think in the US as well.
    If states insist to enforce federal law they need an authorisation to do so. An agreement between the states and the federal government can just provide that.

  107. Trent says:

    CP, surely you can’t expect Arizona to find compelling a German model for state-federal relations. You do get how unappealing that would be for most Arizonans?

  108. At least that is the only way I see to go without throwing over board constitutional allocations of authority and laws of congress enacted based on that allocation.

  109. Patrick Lang says:

    I don’t think it is true that states here need any additional authority to enforce federal law. pl

  110. The Twisted Genius says:

    PL and CP
    Looks like Prince William County did enter into agreements with the Federal Government (ICE) to implement their immigration policy. Specifically, the PWC Police Department signed a Memorandum of Agreement with ICE to acquire federal immigration enforcement authority.
    The site has an August 2009 interim report on their immigration enforcement experience since its implementation in April 2007. I recomment all at least read the executive summary. It’s enlightening.

  111. Patrick Lang says:

    I think the agreement with PW County had to do with funding of the sheriff’s operations rather than a needed grant of authority. pl

  112. optimax says:

    Most states don’t have laws against illegal immigration but section 13-1509 of the AZ law makes it class 1 misdemeaner and a felony under certain circumstances: caught with drugs, a gun, etc.
    Also state, city and county laws can prohibit the local enforcement of Federal laws: Cal and OR medical marijuana, and sanctuary laws. Sure the federal agents can still enforce U.S. law in each state, over riding the state.
    This law trumps all lower jurisdictions but I don’t see where this state law trumps federal law by enforcing fed law and turning suspects over to the proper authorities.
    This law also recognizes fed and other state IDs.
    You wonder if states can pass laws making it incumbent when practicable on police to enforce federal law. I don’t see that as trumping fed law. The relevant question imho is can states pass their own trespass laws based on national compliance? I’m not a lawyer but it will be interesting to see what the courts say.

  113. Cold War Zoomie says:

    Thx for that info.
    Here’s a link to the site for everyone:
    PRC Police
    I see nothing wrong in PWC’s policy since it is a “post-arrest” model. That is a short-term solution, however. One problem mentioned in the report is that the Feds do not have enough resources to accept a steady stream of detainees from the county, so they may just let those with minor offenses off the hook.
    What exactly happens if AZ actually starts shipping 1000s of detainees to the Feds for deportation? Does AZ have the power to deport aliens? Do they have the cash to house them if the Feds don’t have space? How much money is allocated for local police forces to detain aliens? Prince William County shipped over 600 detainees to ICE in the first two years. Multiply that out across an entire state with huge immigrant populations.
    This is not a long-term solution.

  114. J says:

    Have ICE [ and DHS ] overstepped their bounds?

    Immigration and Customs Enforcement Memo Leaked, Groups Say ICE Exposed in Use of Spin and Deception in Response to Lawsuit and National Campaign on Secretive Program

  115. J says:

    ICE (and DHS) have had at least 100 immigrant deaths while in ICE (DHS) custody. Also it appears that ICE (DHS) has what appears at least 186 unlisted detention centers that they call ‘sub-field offices’. Those ‘sub-field offices’ have NO beds or showers. Those ICE (DHS) ‘sub-field offices’ are not subject to ICE Detention Standards and most are located — in suburban office parks or commercial spaces revealing no information about their ICE tenants –.

    Listing of the 186 facilities

    Now the 64 dollar question — Will DOJ step up to the table and criminally prosecute ICE (AND DHS) officials who are responsible for the detentions and deaths? Or will we see more ‘non-accountability’ like what we have seen since 911 where instead of punishing those responsible who failed to do their duties, instead boondoggles (i.e. DHS, etc.) were substituted in place of accountability/responsibility.

  116. The Twisted Genius says:

    CWZ — Thanks for posting the link. I Control C’d the URL, but forgot to Control V it.
    I found some info on the ICE site concerning the section 287(g) MOA that the PWC site mentioned.
    “The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 added Section 287(g), performance of immigration officer functions by state officers and employees, to the Immigration and Nationality Act. This authorizes the secretary of DHS to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies, permitting designated officers to perform immigration law enforcement functions, provided that the local law enforcement officers receive appropriate training and function under the supervision of ICE officers.”
    “The MOA defines the scope and limitations of the authority to be designated. It also establishes the supervisory structure for the officers working under the cross-designation and prescribes the agreed upon complaint process governing officer conduct during the life of the MOA. Under the statute, ICE will supervise all cross-designated officers when they exercise their immigration authorities. The agreement must be signed by the ICE Assistant Secretary, and the governor, a senior political entity, or the head of the local agency before trained local officers are authorized to enforce immigration law.”
    Before doing this research, I always assumed that a county sheriff or state police officer had the authority to enforce U.S. Code laws. I agreed with Colonel Lang that “states needed no additional authority to enforce federal law.” Whether they did so or not was more a function of limited resources and local priorities. Now I’m not so sure. However, I will not be putting this to the test in front of a Stafford County deputy sheriff any time soon.
    As far as the core issue here is concerned, being in the U.S. illegally is just flat illegal. No question about it. If one does something illegal, one takes the risk of getting caught and facing the consequences. In this case, it’s deportation. However, I have lots of sympathy for those who risk coming here to work and provide for their families. If I personally knew of such a case, I wouldn’t turn them in. As others have testified, many illegal workers suffer under terrible living and working conditions. This has to be addressed just as much as border control. It won’t be easy and it won’t be cheap.

  117. Mr. Lang,
    I am not that familiar with US law, but I find my view persuasive 🙂 If there is an explicit allocation of enforcement authority, that is to be followed.
    The idea of in inherent authority of local cops to enforce federal law is really something … it would enable a cop to decide in the morning that he feels like enforcing federal immigration law, federal customs laws, federal anti espionage laws, or EPA regulations (perhaps to do something about the fluoridation of the water) etc. The New York police department could see it called for to enforce … federal banking laws.
    One undesirable effect will be that people will enforce their pet laws and not what their department was originally set up to enforce. A nativist nut will enforce federal immigration law. Another one of my hunches: That’s the case with Arpaio.
    Then there is the matter of designated authority: One wouldn’t take parking tickets from the tax office either. With the local cops acting outside their legal authority all these enforcement acts will be null and void because of that, making the city subject to litigation.
    in my understanding, hand in hand with the exclusive federal domain of enforcement goes the exclusive federal domain to legislate on the matter of immigration. Arizona would overstep their constitutional authority with any law involving the matter of immigration.
    IMO the US have fallen behind. They could do worse than have a look at the solutions others have found. When for instance the Eastern European countries chose their legal systems after the fall of the Warsaw Pact, none of them chose what Americans like to regard as the best in the world. There may be a deeper point in that.
    But if course you are right, after all the US system is the best in the world. But there may be a way out in not telling them that the idea is from Germany, but that it was conceived by … George Washington! One could forge a letter to that end … Photo shop anyone?

  118. Ok, I have thought about it a little.
    I concede that the State may have just ceased exercising it’s authority over immigration matters since they became part of the Union, but that doesn’t mean this authority has vanished, but that it was only overridden by the constitution and federal law.
    Hmm. Doesn’t that mean that in order to regain that authority, Arizona would have to secede?
    Claiming ‘inherent authority’ sure sounds like a half-measure then.

  119. Patrick Lang says:

    I doubt that we are going to start imitatig eastern Europe.
    Yes, local governments and cops decide what federal laws they like and are enthusiastic about supporting. That is called federalism as most of us understand it.
    I realize that it does not appeal to folks with more orderly minds. pl

  120. Patrick Lang says:

    The specific arrangements between between DHS and local law enforcement amount to a deputization by DHS on this specific issue. That does not mean that local law enforcement did not always enforce federal immigration law as it saw fit to do so. I listened to the sheriff of Pima County, AZ (Tucson)say on the Newshour last night that this law is not needed becasue his department had always arrested more illegals and turned them over to th feds than enyone else in AZ. He did not like this law becasue he thinks he will notw have to keep them in his jail for a while.
    This is a bit like the situation in regard to the National Guard. they are the federally assisted and recognized (in termsof funding and equipment.” That arrangement does not abridge n any way the residual authority of the states over the Guard. pl

  121. Trent says:

    CP, I like your idea. We could pass off universal health care as conceived by Patrick Henry and gun control as originally suggested by Jefferson.
    I’m not a student of international legal systems so I don’t have the reference you have. My point wasn’t that our system is best, or that AZ’s new system will be best. I was only pointing out that Bavarian-Berlin relations will not resonate with Arizonans. Nor will eastern Europeans opting for another model cause Americans to reconsider our own. Your points, although interesting and presumably well-informed, aren’t germane. And at worst they cloud the issue as does the factually incorrect statement that “illegals don’t pay taxes.” They do.
    As a side note, I understand the discomfort America’s sense of superiority brings to many Europeans. As a hedge, please see Team America, by this blog’s favorite cartoonists Stone and Parker.

Comments are closed.