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Today a federal judge struck down the operative portions of Arizona’s controversial illegal immigration law. While it is probably not the end of this law (as it will almost certainly end up in the Supreme Court), this has many people worried, and not just Brad Kozak or Arizonans.

In El Paso, you can see the stark difference in economic status between the two countries. To the North of the Rio Grande, you see well-to-do homes, while to the south you see what can only be described as shacks. It is not unheard of to see a family wading northwards across the river. One local Dallas man went to visit his parents on a farm out of El Paso.

He discovered that in El Paso, you do not go unarmed. His mother told him, “We don’t go out in the field unless we have to, and we definitely don’t go out there without a gun”. He asked her why. Rather than telling him, she took him to the back porch, pulling a handgun out of her purse as she went. She fired a single shot over her fields, and Hispanics of every description fled like birds startled by the sound of a falling tree in a forest.

It isn’t just the fields, either. Vacated homes on the border don’t stay that way very long. If their legal occupants aren’t around, the pragmatic illegal takes advantage and moves right on in.

People aren’t happy. Some particularly angry citizens formed the “Minutemen” to patrol the borders themselves, but a rabble of vigilantes with assault rifles is a mere drop in the bucket with a problem on this scale. Arizona’s law, which is effective even though it hasn’t even been enforced yet, has been neutered (for the time being).

Obama himself made a token offering of 1,200 troops as “gap-fillers”. However, the American-Mexican border is 2,000 miles long. That isn’t even 1 man per mile. Another drop in the bucket. Additionally, they are handicapped by policies similar to the UN troops: they can’t shoot unless they are attacked.

The Constitution tells us that the government is supposed to “provide for the common defence” and “secure the Blessings of Liberty for us and our Posterity”. But, while the government is busy nosing into places it doesn’t belong, people in El Paso don’t have the liberty to walk into their own fields without fear of being attacked by someone from a foreign country.

Is it just me, or is there something wrong with that?

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  1. I am glad that we have a more peaceful arrangement as Canadians on the other border to you guys.

  2. OTOH, in, "Specter of Arizona immigration law slowly drains economy" CNN paints a picture whereby the absence of Hispanics is also a problem:

    … anecdotal evidence from business owners, real estate agents and community leaders indicates the mere specter of the bill has created a culture of fear among Hispanics in Arizona that's slowly paralyzing sectors of the economy. Hispanics make up 30 percent of the state's population.

    It seems to me that James is talking about the drug-running immigrants while CNN is talking about the average Joses that just want to hold down a job.

    • At the same time, this law is working for what its intended for. Even with the operative clauses of the law on hold for the time being, illegal immigrants are saying "Adios, Arizona". A law accomplishing its intended purpose is a rare thing these days, even though this one does have unintended consequences.

      Additionally, it would be great if we could harness the "average Jose", i.e., get him to pay taxes, and get him to have his family move here (and not be sending his earnings back to Belize, Honduras and Mexico).

      Far be it from me to advocate complete amnesty, but I think that we as Americans really need to take a serious look at the current immigration system. We, as a nation, have always depended on immigrants to do the jobs that the rest of us don't want to, as CNN points out. But when the immigrants were European, we had Ellis Island. When they were Asian, we had Angel Island. We need to make the process of obtaining citizenship clear and simple, not to be confused with easy and short (although that doesn't mean that we have to keep them out of the country while they work towards citizenship). Citizenship needs to mean something.

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