(Chuck Muth) – One of the few enumerated powers of Congress as established by our nation’s Founders is immigration control. I mean, it’s right there in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4 of the United States Constitution: “The Congress shall have power…to establish a uniform rule of naturalization.”
But like most everything else Congress touches, control of the nation’s borders has devolved into one giant mess. Indeed, a mess so big that the people of Arizona felt compelled to take the federal immigration law into their own hands. Literally.
SIDE NOTE: Why is it the federal government, not to mention the various state governments, are trying to slough off immigration enforcement to private employers – the same folks who they don’t believe are capable to establishing their own wages, benefits, working conditions, health insurance, family leave and even smoking policies? But I digress.
The Grand Canyon State recently passed a new law that makes it a state crime to be an illegal alien caught in Arizona. Bear in mind it’s already a federal crime to be an illegal alien caught in Arizona. But the feds have been woefully inadequate in enforcing the law, and Arizona, a state, is prohibited from enforcing a federal law.
So the state simply did to the feds what the feds have been doing to the states almost before the ink was dry on the Bill of Rights. Just as Congress has passed all manner of federal laws in areas of state jurisdiction, Arizona has now passed a state law in what has been/should be a federal matter.
And it’s as American as our Declaration of Independence.
I mean, this truth is self-evident: Arizonans should have an inalienable right not to pay for the pursuit of happiness – let alone the education, health care and welfare – of illegal aliens. Or as Arizona Gov. Brewer put it:
“We have over a thousand illegal immigrants coming across the border a day. And of those apprehended, 87 percent of them have criminal records. So they’re using up our school dollars. They’re using up our hospital dollars. They’re using up our court dollars. And they’re using up our incarceration dollars.”
So, to secure the rights of its legal citizens, the government of Arizona – deriving its just powers from the reported consent of 70 percent of the people (black, white and brown) – has simply instituted a new law to secure the safety, well-being and happiness of its people. In other words, today’s desperate times called for this desperate measure.
Only, it’s nowhere near as “desperate” as opponents are hysterically making it out to be. The most relevant point is that all Arizona has done is make illegal that which is….already illegal. Duh.
In doing so, the government hasn’t created a “papers, please” Nazi-like “racial profiling” police state. The law clearly establishes that only people already being stopped, detained or arrested may be asked about their immigration status, and only if the law enforcement officer has “reasonable suspicion” that the individual is an illegal alien.
And even the term “reasonable suspicion” is reasonable. The reasonable suspicion standard used in the bill is based on a Supreme Court decision which allows Border Patrol agents to stop a vehicle if they are aware of “specific articulable facts, together with rational inferences from those facts, that reasonably warrant suspicion that the vehicles contain aliens who may be illegally in the country.”
Oh, and as for the new law making it a crime not to carry immigration papers, it’s already a federal crime for foreign nationals not to carry with them, at all times, their immigration papers. So once again, all Arizona has done is make illegal that which is….already illegal. Big whoop.
The bottom line: If the feds would just get out of education, where they don’t belong, and into immigration, where they do, we could probably kill two birds with one stone. In Arizona….and Nevada. So let it be written; so let it be done.