Immigration as an electoral weapon

“Arizona’s new immigration law shows what happens when a state on the front lines of a failed immigration policy reaches the bursting point. What you get is a blunt instrument that produces lawsuits, more political polarization (if that’s possible) and the risk of hostility between the local police and the public. The law makes it a state crime to be in the U.S. without proper documents. It allows the police to stop anyone on ‘reasonable suspicion’ that they may be in the country unlawfully and arrest them on the spot if they can’t produce identity papers. The police aren’t required to have a search warrant or even to suspect some illegal action has occurred before questioning a person. Traditionally the federal government has enforced immigration laws, so this is an extraordinary state criminalization of a heretofore federal authority. … The loud voices denouncing ‘Arizona’ should understand that the results of the nation’s failed immigration policies have come down on this state. … Congressional Democrats have no intention of enacting serious immigration reform before November. President Obama is surely playing politics with the situation in Arizona for gain in the fall. He’d like to pick a fight and define Republicans as anti-Hispanic going into the election, without having to propose anything substantive. We’d support a national immigration reform that was realistic about the fact that most of these are economic migrants who will find a way to come here in any case if this is where the jobs are. The most effective way to reduce illegal entries and defuse these tensions is to expand legal channels, including guest worker programs. This would reduce illegal immigration and free up security resources to threats from drug gangs and the like. But so long as Republicans, Democrats and Mr. Obama mainly view immigration as an electoral weapon, the nation can expect more desperate laws like Arizona’s.” —The Wall Street Journal

“President Obama called the Arizona [immigration] law misguided. What’s misguided, Mr. President, is the federal government’s ongoing refusal to enforce the laws that are already on the books. Read the Arizona law. Parts of it are word-for-word the same as the federal statutes which continue to be all but ignored.” –CNN’s Jack Cafferty

“It is passing strange for federal officials, including the president, to accuse Arizona of irresponsibility while the federal government is refusing to fulfill its responsibility to control the nation’s borders. Such control is an essential attribute of national sovereignty. America is the only developed nation that has a 2,000-mile border with a developing nation, and the government’s refusal to control that border is why there are an estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants in Arizona and why the nation, sensibly insisting on first things first, resists ‘comprehensive’ immigration reform.” –columnist George Will

“In terms of resources and in terms of political will, it has become abundantly clear that the federal government refuses to make the right decisions in terms of enforcing the law and making the critical reforms necessary to drive down illegal immigration. Sadly, efforts in Congress have been more about gaining political votes through an unnecessary amnesty than on honest and effective reforms.” –columnist Jena McNeill, Heritage Foundation

“If a state, or nation, has laws it will not enforce for political reasons, it mocks both the law and politics, to say nothing of the cultural order.” –columnist Cal Thomas

“The election we need so desperately is coming. There’s an intermediate need as well: namely, to balk or slow down the administration’s initiatives until the debate — if there ever is a debate — can commence and the people, knowing what they now know, can say how they truly would like things to be. The establishment, if this happens, will prate about ‘obstructionism.’ Fine. We’re traveling about 150 miles an hour right now as we weave down the political superhighway. Flashing red and blue lights behind us would be a sight for sore eyes.” –columnist William Murchison


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