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Monday, May 3, 2010

Tenth Amendment vs The Left

In late April the Legislature of the State of Arizona passed SB1070 the "Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act" the following week they passed several amendments to the bill restricting some of the provisions given to law enforcement in the original bill. Arizona governor Jan Brewer signed into law SB1070 and the amendments, all to take effect July 1, 2010.

It took about five minutes for the first protest against the law from the left. In watching the protests and vitriol hurled at Arizona from the left is reminiscent of their behavior throughout the Bush Administration. Ignore the issue before them, ignore the consequences of the behavior and actions legislation is meant to curb and fix, offer no solutions of their own, cast up and label a group of people whom they oppose and their position on the issue.

SB1070 states "No official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state may adopt a policy that limits or restricts the enforcement of Federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law."

United States immigration law requires all non-U.S. citizens to carry with them at all times proof of identification and residency in the United States. This has been federal law for over fifty years.

SB1070 as amended states that law enforcement may only request identification from any person as part of their routine duties as law enforcement. Law enforcement may not walk up to someone not committing a crime or suspected of doing so and ask for proof of residency and identification. If however an individual is pulled over at 3:00 a.m. with no tail lights on their vehicle and police in the process of writing a ticket may ask for legal driver's license and proof of residency for non-U.S. citizens.

In every state in the union individuals are required to obtain a permit from their state of residency to operate a motor vehicle, a driver's license. Every state in the union also provides identification cards for those who do not drive that serve in the stead of driver's licenses for purposes of identification of that individual. Post-9/11 the REAL ID Act was passed to standardize the requirements of state issued identification cards and drivers' licenses. While protecting the rights of the states to provide driver's licenses and requirements to obtain one, the federal government wanted to standardize the requirements regarding non-U.S. citizens since driver's licenses are the most common form of identification in the nation.

Now Arizona wishes to codify its commitment to federal immigration laws. It is forbidding law enforcement personnel and agencies from ignoring the federal laws. SB1070 is not making up any new laws, but rather saying that throughout the State of Arizona the law will be enforced.

And this is a problem with the left.

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

So reads the 10th Amendment to the Constitution establishing states rights and federalism in our republic. Certain powers are delegated to the United States, all others unless prohibited are reserved for the States and/or the people. SB1070 is acknowledging the federal powers of immigration law, and acknowledging it will enforce those laws. As it does federal laws against robbing banks, smuggling drugs, or violating federal gun sale laws.

The left has a problem with the 10th Amendment and States' rights, unless the States are enacting laws the left embraces. As we have seen under the Obama Administration and the current Congress, the purpose of the federal government is to control as much of the power as possible. Centralize banking and control over the financial industries within the Executive Branch. Centralize health care delivery and payment within the federal government and the Executive Branch. Centralize manufacturing and energy rules and policies under the federal government and Executive Branch.

The federal government, to the left, is the end all be all of ruling the country and its individuals; provided those rules fall in line with their perspective of liberalism. After our nation was attacked on 9/11 and President Bush and Congress moved to enact laws to protect our nation and its citizens the left waited the appropriate one year waiting period before attacking the Patriot Act (still in effect and extended by Obama), interrogation techniques (most still in effect and extended by Obama), and efforts, however weak, to secure our borders (the Fence is still being built). Rather than present any solutions to the problems of terrorism entering the United States they just castigated the solutions presented by others. While popular to call the Republicans the "Party of No" they are the party of "Look At This" presenting alternative ideas and legislation ignored by the Democratic majority. The original Party of No was the Democrats under Pelosi during the Bush Administration--I encourage my liberal and Democratic friends to go back through the news articles and statements made by Pelosi and other Democrats throughout the Bush Administration, see how much opposition they presented and how little was offered in exchange. It seemed okay for you then to have a "Party of No" because you did not like Bush or Republicans, now however opposition to your party and leadership is a bad thing.

On Friday I engaged in an exchange on a friend's Facebook page regarding Arizona's SB1070. It started with his saying that University of Arizona and Arizona State University students were transferring because of SB1070. Someone else posted that California colleges should take those students. I saw this as typical knee-jerk response from the left, let's enroll more students in our universities and colleges that are not admitting all qualified California residents as a sign of protest and also to show our liberalism. Ignore that California parents paying taxes are seeing their children denied enrollment in the educations systems they support with their taxes, let's instead shove more kids aside because another state chooses to enforce laws ignored within our own state.

Through the exchange I presented my views, that anyone pulled over by the police must show legal identification, why not illegal immigrants? Further why should Arizona not step in when the federal government is refusing to uphold the law and control the flow of illegal immigrants into their state? I also asked what he, the owner of the Facebook page, would do for solutions to 10+ million illegal immigrants in our country impacting our health care, education and penal systems. No response. Later another individual asked someone, "what is your solution?" No response.

On the campaign trail both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama said regarding illegal immigration that they would secure the borders, enforce current laws on the books (which includes maintaining proof of legal residency I presume), and crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants. Even today Obama makes the same statements. Yet when the Arizona people say this they are vilified. The ones who are paying for the immense failure of the federal government to control our southern border for the past decade and more are vilified for saying, "enough, the federal government is ignoring our security, our financial burden and our safety."

The Greater Phoenix area, the Valley of the Sun, has over one reported kidnapping per day related to the Mexican drug trade. Each requires police response and investigation. Arizona has approximately 1,000 illegal immigrants sneaking across the border daily into their state. In the past month a rancher on the Arizona-Mexico border was fatally shot on his land by drug or immigrant smugglers using his land, a deputy was shot over the weekend by a band of illegal immigrants running from his pursuit. Arizona, likes its neighbor to the west, is deeply in debt and spending tremendous resources on law enforcement, hospital and health care costs and education due to illegal immigration.

Instead of protesting Arizona enforcing federal laws why don't the protesters turn their attention south? Where are the protests against a nation with incredible natural resources, and obviously a very industrious native citizenry that is mired in illegal drug production and trafficking, wrought with corrupt and inept government, and failing its citizens with poor education systems, employment opportunities and health care? Why is not the source of illegal immigration being vilified rather than the recipients of illegal immigration?

To follow my own advice rather than just complain about the complainers here are some solutions for illegal immigration:
  • Follow Arizona and detain and deport illegal aliens caught when in violation of U.S. or state laws
  • Stiffen penalties against all employers, contractors, plumbers, golf courses, agriculture growers, who employ illegal aliens
  • Sanction Mexico economically to force Mexican government to cooperate with stopping flow of illegal immigrants into the United States
  • Incentivize and pressure Mexico to allow U.S. to intervene and assist in Mexico's fight against the drug cartels
  • Tax transfer of funds from the U.S. to foreign countries between individuals unless legal proof of residency by the sender is provided
  • Require any institution receiving state or federal funds to require proof of legal residency before providing services

Arizona is not creating any new laws. The left is not presenting any real solutions. Who's right?

DCS 05032010


Leslie A.M. Smith said...

These are the same people defending illegal aliens' rights against profiling who are terribly sympathetic to the plight of the American Indians. Isn't history repeating? The Indians embraced the settlers at first and then things changed. I don't speak Cherokee or Wampanoag or Hopi, do you?

Bob Schilling said...

It seems a little tortured to use the 10th Amendment to support the enforcement of a Federal Law, but what the heck...

I don't think anyone objects to showing their drivers license if they're stopped for a broken tail light or expired registration. I do think they object to being jailed if they leave their license at home. Of course, you and I, being white, will be cited and sent on our way. A person of color will be arrested and tossed in the slammer until a relative or friend -- and let's hope they have one -- comes down with their birth certificate to bail them out. Your License and Citizenship papers -- don't visit Phoenix without them.

I've been poor. I've had friends who were Latino, Mexican, Chicano, and Black. All that hoo ha about fair and equal enforcement is just that -- hoo ha. The Arizona Law might as well be titled "Open Season on Mexxikins." I mean it's not like the local cops have this fine, upstanding reputation.

While we're here, the "Mexican Drug Trade" is in fact the "American Drug Trade." We're the ones smoking, snorting and injecting the stuff. We're the ones who make the drugs both highly sought after and highly illegal.