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Blog Posted in avatar   Otto Shelmet's Blog

Arizona - Drawing a Line in the Sand

By Otto Shelmet
Posted May 19, 2010 in Politics
Arizona passed SB 1070 and raised a real national ruckus. The media describes it as a "National Firestorm" and are making big dollars selling ad time by keeping it as a top story every night. True, there are many who feel the law is wrong, discriminatory, and opens a door to racial profiling. There are many who believe Arizona cops will be playing like the Gestapo, taking unsuspecting Latinos off the street to an uncertain future. When you read the law you discover that police must have a reason to ask for ID, they cannot just "profile" someone and take them into custody. To date, the President nor our Fearless Leader of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, have read the bill. Here, read the bill for yourself:
70% of Arizonans believe strongly in this law. Over 50% of Americans support the law. Over the past 8 years, drug related crime has increased in Arizona. Phoenix has become the kidnap capital of the North America. Mexican druglords run raids to kill rivals and other associates as far north as Phoenix. Ranchers on the border live in fear for the lives of their families as drug cartel couriers armed with assault rifles cross their lands constantly. In April in Pinal County, directly south of Phoenix, there were 64 high speed car chases. 100% of the perpetrators were illegal immigrants.
Here is how Sheriff Babeu of Pinal County described it:
"Last month (April) alone, just in one patrol region, we had sixty-four pursuits. That means people who were driving a vehicle, failed to yield, took off like a bat out of hell, running red lights, creating traffic wrecks, numerous people were killed in these wrecks over the last several months, and who are these people? Not one of them was a U.S. citizen."
How did we get here?
Democrats didn’t want to do anything with immigration as many in their party like the open borders concept. Here is Marcella Aviles, the Executive Director of San Jose's Mexican Heritage Plaza’s take on open borders.: Some Democrats believe it is criminal not to let Latinos into our country. They are so downtrodden in Mexico and Guatemala et al they crave the many freedoms that America has to offer. They have rights as a human being to decide where they wish to live and they wish to live here. America needs to accept the fact that our population growth will come from the south and our nation will become more Hispanic. There are still others who believe that California, Arizona, and Nevada still belong to Mexico and these people crossing the border are only moving into another state of their own country. The Democrats see power coming from across the border. If these folks can be made into citizens, they will become union members, community activists, and serve to grow the democratic voting block.
The Republicans have had no appetite to do anything about the border until now. For many years, illegal labor helped build the homes and downtowns of San Diego, LA, Phoenix, Tucson, the Bay Area. Big business and the Republicans looked the other way. Big Business, more specifically-real estate developers, have spent a lot of time preventing any immigration legislation. You can’t build brick homes in Texas and pay a union wage! You can’t build a 500 home subdivision and pay prevailing wage to all workers. That is not economically feasible. Homes would be way too expensive. The way to make it work is to have a big chunk of your workforce working below prevailing wages. Thus, the defacto rules were to allow illegals into the country with a nod and a wink to border enforcement.
The growth of illegal immigration has been pretty steady since 1986 when Reagan allowed a “path to citizenship.” Crime has increased dramatically as a result. My best friend is a defense attorney in San Mateo County. Most of his business on the public defender side is illegal immigrants. Thus we pay Public Defenders something like $400 per hour to defend people who should not be here. Their crimes cost us more in insurance payments. Heck, California has the highest uninsured drivers’ premiums in the country. We pay more in taxes to pay for the additional corrections personnel and jail improvements and expansions. That’s not to mention the billions in subsidies spent nationwide on welfare, food, housing, and medical treatments for those living here illegally. Annually, there is legislation in the Cal Assembly to officially make our state bilingual. Is everyone ready to force your kids to learn Spanish in school? Well, teachers love it. That’s at least one more teacher per school for which we can all pay.
Legislation I’d like to see: Place the National Guard on the borders. They take all illegal immigrants crossing the border to a concentration station on the border where they can be fingerprinted, photographed and shipped by bus back across the border. If they are caught again, jail time, then back across the border. Caught smuggling people or drugs? You go to immigrant jail. Not a normal federal jail. It’s more like a Mexican jail, but nastier.
No path to citizenship for anyone with a past criminal record either here or in Mexico or in the miserable country they hail from. Back across the border they go and into our criminal database.
Those wishing to become citizens shall pay a substantial fine for living illegally in our country. Hey, they skated on paying taxes for years, they ought to pay up a bit before we welcome them with open arms. After they pay their fine and complete the other legalities of immigration, they get a green card. Now they must take English and civics classes and have a passing grade of 75% or better to be considered for their citizenship tests. I will not stand to have a bunch of radicals here as Reagan allowed in his 1986 Cart Blanche Amnesty. I don’t want a bunch of Sandinistas and other central American radicals given sanctuary here. They don’t like democracy in their country and they don’t like it here.
What I am getting to is, the Democrats and Republicans are equally guilty of allowing this flow of illegal immigrants into this country for different reasons. If our government fails to provide a safe living environment for those living in our border states, then it is up to those states to protect their citizens. The Federal gov has failed us if states are enacting laws like SB 1070. Arizona is standing up for the rights of its citizens to live in a secure environment. The Republicans have grabbed hold of this issue and have a real tiger by the tail. They have captured the imagination of much of the nation. I hope they do something constructive with it.