Unless you’ve had your head buried in the the sand, you’ve likely heard about the little law they passed way out West in Arizona. WHAT you’ve heard depends on where you get your news. If you listen to ABC/CBS/NBC/CNBC/MSNBC or read most daily newspapers, you’ve heard that a bunch of bigoted, narrow-minded, provincial, pig-headed, anti-poor, anti-immigrant yahoos passed a law that will force a bunch of jack-booted thugs in police uniforms to racially profile, round up, beat the crap out of and then deport a host of honest, hard-working undocumented aliens, who are guilty only of wanting the same things you and I want. If, on the other hand, you get your news and information from Fox or Talk Radio, you will have heard that Arizona has passed a law that will force the United States to enforce it’s very own Constitution, treating illegal aliens as . . . well . . . illegal. As always, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
Once upon a time, there was an organization called the U.S. Border Patrol. They did what their name implied: they patrolled the border. They kept order. They stopped people from entering the country illegally. They stopped smugglers from bringing in contraband: drugs, liquor and such.
Then, something funny happened. It became politically expedient for politicians (on both sides of the aisle) to allow illegals to come into the country. One side (guess) wanted them as a large voting block. The other side (guess) saw them as cheap labor.
It wasn’t long before those that wanted to live in America found that it was actually pretty easy to sneak in. They availed themselves of the many benefits of living in America; from our higher standard of living, to our social services, medical care and education system.
For a while, nobody got too bent out of shape about this. As these things tend to do, the situation eventually got out of hand.
America began to be overwhelmed with illegal immigrants. As they increased in numbers, they began to enjoy political clout, as a cause celebré. Several administrations tried the appeasement route. Lest we forget, Ronald Reagan tried granting amnesty. Nothing “worked,” in the sense that the flow or illegal immigration from America’s southern neighbors became a torrent.
When terrorist brought down the Twin Towers, crashed a commercial jetliner into the Pentagon and flew another plane into a field, Americans reckoned the country’s borders couldn’t continue to be a political football. They needed to be secure, to keep terrorists from infiltrating our country. Granted, none of the 911 attackers entered America from the south. But the issue went critical.
And then cooled off—for most of the country. The states bordering Mexico continued to face the same problems they’d been facing for more than a decade. And then it got worse.
U.S. border states have not-so-suddenly found themselves on the periphery of a viscous drug war. With 70 percent of America’s illegal drug trade flowing across the border, worth an estimated $40 billion dollars, rival cartels are fighting it out on the streets in Mexico in horrific gun battles. Kidnapping, torture, rape, extortion, random violence and assassination have become a way of life for millions of Mexicans, and, now, increasingly, Americans.
U.S. authorities are reporting a spike in killings, kidnappings and home invasions connected to Mexico’s cartels, and at least 19 Americans were killed in 2008. Also, more than 200 Americans have been killed in Mexico since 2004.
Understandably, Americans on the border have had enough. The March 25 murder of Arizona rancher Robert Krentz was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Never mind Chicago legislators’ spurious, deeply cynical call for National Guard troops to “help” local police combat gang violence. Arizonans have been asking for Army firepower on the border for years. And for good reason.
Arizona has tired of waiting. In a re-energized conservative climate, the state Legislature and the Governor decided to enact legislation that would make it a crime to be here illegally. In other words, if you can’t show that you’re here legally (passport, green card, drivers’ license or the like), you can be arrested, jailed and/or deported.
This is a shot across the bow of the Federal government, who’ve been all too willing to look the other way. And it’s hit a bullseye when it comes to getting the left ticked off. Which, I’d like to point out, is not the point. Arizona is fed up.
The Arizona law is a good place to start tackling the immigration “problem.” Drug cartels aren’t afraid to shoot first and ask questions later – if at all. American citizens need a government that will protect the border and protect them. If they can’t provide that basic service, it follows logically that people living on the border ask the question, “what’s the federal government for”?
This issue is not likely to go away. Like a bunch of spoiled children that have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar, the Presidents of Mexico and the United States are howling about the unfairness of it all. Those who represent illegal aliens are screaming bloody murder (not at the murderers mind you). They know that this battle is for all the marbles. If this law stands, it will create a domino effect that will change the way our country deals – or doesn’t deal – with our borders.
I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to point out that, if we are a nation without a government willing to enforce our laws, it won’t be long before we are called upon to defend ourselves. That situation has already reached a fever pitch along the border. A rancher and his dog were murdered, in cold blood, by a drug smuggler. Do you really think that the American citizens along the border are going to simply continue to hope for the best and depend upon the US Government, and NOT use their weapons to defend themselves, their homes and their properties?
There’s been no “surge” in U.S. gun sales to worried American border dwellers. They’ve been armed to the teeth for quite some time. As are the U.S. Border Patrol. And the drug cartels. And most everyone else in the whole sorry mess. Since no one’s found a way to reduce U.S. appetite for the millions of tons of illegal drugs (methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana) pouring across the U.S. border, the violence is not likely to stop anytime soon.
In fact, Arizona’s new law should be seen as a textbook example of Carl Von Clausewitz’s contention that diplomacy is war by other means. In other words, before Arizona’s residents start shooting, they want to try to enforce the rule of law in their state. What’s wrong with that?
Make no mistake. The Arizona law is not the act of a bunch of power-mad racists and bigots, bent on a course of isolationism. This is the act of people who have come to the end of their collective rope. They’re simply no longer willing to wait for a government that cares more about creating voters – and a class dependent upon government largesse – than they are defending the rights of citizens to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.