Pundits and loudmouths from coast to coast, liberal and conservative alike, are having a field day now that Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law legislation giving the state's law enforcement officers greater powers when it comes to fighting illegal immigration.
"Governor Brewer has to be held responsible for signing what is now an international shame on the state of Arizona," said Jennifer Allen, executive-director of Border Action Network, an immigrant rights group in an MSNBC story. My favorite part of the story is in the lede graf: "...opponents used refried beans to smear swastikas on the state Capitol."
Apparently, anyone who has not vowed to fight this law with Adamantium resolve is a racist Nazi (is that redundant?), and those protesting against it are bleeding-heart liberal day laborers out to ruin America. And me? What do I think? Well...
I'd first like to point out the opponents have already violated Godwin's Law so make of that what you will.
I'm in favor of the law. I ask you this: What is so wrong about asking cops to enforce all of the laws? If you're breaking the law, you're breaking the law and you can be arrested. If that law happens to be an immigration law, hey, guess what? You're going back home.
The big argument folks have against this is they say immigration is a federal matter and states aren't allowed to interfere with that prerogative. I call bullshit on that for a couple of reasons. National security is also a federal matter, but do you think local cops are going to stop investigating that strange fellow getting shipments of fertilizer and diesel fuel? Controlling illegal immigration is a national security matter too. How hard do you think it will be for some of those groups around the world who hate America and Americans (it doesn't matter what color you are or whether you're a Republican, Democrat or Tea bagger, they hate you just the same) to send a couple of their disciples across the Mexico-Arizona border? Probably not that hard.
Also, seeing as how we in D.C. live far, far away from that line in the hot, dry desert sand, we probably don't realize there is an actual war going on in northern Mexico that often ends up in Arizona, California, Texas and New Mexico. Mexican cops and soldiers south of the border are getting killed by drug gangs faster than our troops are in Iraq and Afghanistan. This drug war, a real war unlike the one our government has been unsuccessfully waging for decades, is a real shooting war and it's spilling over into the U.S.
Since I'm not going to go into the objections point-by-point, you can read a really good explanation by Kris Kobach, who helped write Arizona's law, on the NYT's op-ed page here. Here's some more good coverage and analysis from the NYT, and the local POV from AZCentral.
Couple more points: The Supremes have ruled in the past that police are not violating the Fourth Amendment by asking you for ID when they suspect you're violating the law. Also, despite the Border Action Network's intent (love the acronym: BAN, think they might want to rethink that?) to sign up voters against the law to vote the governor out in November, 70 percent of likely Arizona voters support the law. Finally, try walking around Mexico or any other country without your passport. See what happens if you get stopped by the police
What do you think? Tell me I'm right or tell me I'm a racist in the comments. But I leave you with this thought: What part of illegal immigration is so difficult to understand?