Con: Best way to persuade Congress to plug a wide-open border
In San Francisco and in the nation’s capital, politicians are preparing economic boycotts against Arizona because it had the guts to crack down on the illegal aliens who violate federal laws with sneering impunity.
The District of Columbia Council has the audacity to demand that Arizona ignore the drug-runners, human traffickers and murderers who have wreaked havoc in the Grand Canyon State for much of the past decade.
Such chutzpah from a city whose license plates whine about alleged “Taxation Without Representation,” when, if they reflected reality, would complain of “Taxation Without Services.” Arizona, it should be noted, covers 114,000 square miles, has a nearly 6.6 million population and has been a sought-after haven by conventioneers, tourists and retirees.
San Francisco, one of the nation’s first sanctuary cities and a bastion of left-wing lunacy since the mid-’60s, already has barred city employees from official travel to Arizona. Its board of supervisors is moving to boycott all Arizona businesses.
All of this because Arizona’s Legislature—after years waiting for the federal government to secure the state’s 370-mile long border with Mexico—voted to make it a state crime to be in the state in violation of federal law. Polls show 70 percent of Arizonans support the new law, as do nearly 60 percent of Americans.
The new law directs Arizona law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of people with whom they come into contact in the course of some other law enforcement activity if the officers have a “reasonable suspicion”—a term well-defined in law—that the person is violating federal immigration laws. The law explicitly forbids checking a person’s immigration status if a person’s “race, color or national origin” is the only basis for suspicion.
The Department of Homeland Security estimates 460,000 illegal aliens are in Arizona.
So why all this handwringing by people whose hearts apparently bleed copiously for those who break our laws, but not for the Americans who often end up as their victims? Isn’t a sovereign state responsible for defending its borders, its economy, its social safety net and its people? Not according to Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney, who urged Washington Nationals fans to boycott the Arizona Diamondbacks when they play. He also suggested that Major League Baseball move the 2011 All-Star Game from Phoenix and relocate the spring training Cactus League.
I have a better idea. Let’s encourage the 60 percent or so of Americans who, according to numerous polls, distrust the Obama administration and Congress, to shun both Washington and San Francisco this summer and travel to scenic Arizona instead.
After all, both cities are ridiculously expensive and often downright disdainful of people they consider to be yokels—that’s the haughty urban code for “average Americans”—who swarm in from the Midwest, the South and the Rockies each summer to clog their streets and ogle their famous sites.
The vast majority of Americans, by the way, are not anti-immigration, but they are pro-sovereignty. They’ll lay out a warm welcome mat and a hearty handshake for the immigrants who come here legally pursuing the dream of a better life—and that includes guest workers who respond to help alleviate labor shortages when there’s not enough Americans on hand to fill specific jobs.
But with more than 6.5 million Americans having been unemployed now for six months or longer, now is no time for public officials to suggest that illegal immigrants only take jobs that “most Americans don’t want.” In fact, it’s time our federal officials and lawmakers followed the lead of Arizona and took a common-sense approach to stopping the juggernaut of illegal immigration.
David A. Ridenour is vice president of the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank in Washington. Readers may write to him at: NCPPR, 501 Capitol Court NE, Washington, D.C. 20002; Web site: www.nationalcenter.org. For information about NCPPR’s funding, please go to http://www.nationalcenter.org/NCPPRHist.html (see “Funding” at end).