Because I can always use some help when I put on my polemical hat, the following is excerpted from a facebook discussion that started with a status update by yours truly. Any suggestions to make my points more clear and forceful are appreciated. Most of the entries in the comment thread are 'witty' one-liners, quotes from MLK, etc. The only real argumentation comes from a girl in law school who is a SWPL if I've ever known one, so that's all I'll reproduce here.
I tend to shy away from this sort of thing since several hundred people I know at least fairly well--many of whom I work with or interact with almost daily--will potentially come across it, with a host of possible consequences I'd be better off not having to deal with. Honestly though, ever since I started blogging almost five years ago, I've become increasingly less concerned about reactions to and social consequences of what is empirically defensible and thoughtfully delivered. It's been a slow but steady process. Thus here we are:
AE (status): Article 4, Section 4: "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion..."
Three cheers for Arizonans trying to compensate for the federal government's gross dereliction of duty (one of the few things it is constitutionally mandated to do!).
AE (comments): Israel constructed a security fence that would, at similar cost along the nearly 2,000 mile-long US-Mexico border, set us back $8 billion. That's a week fielding Iraq and Afghanistan. What's our bigger problem--drug smugglers, gang members, and anchor-baby mamas turning the Southwest into an extension of Central America, or subsistence goatherds in the Hindu Kush?
SWPL: Do you care to elaborate on how this is not a violation of the Fourth Amendment or how by the legal standard of a reasonable person such profiling is in any way legal or appropriate? Moreover, are you legitimately citing a Middle Eastern example as model? Because that would certainly seem to be in direct conflict with a number of democratic principles. And, to advocate the use of an area notorious for a lack of peace as a blueprint is quite ludicrous.
Moreover, what proof do you have that indicates a causal relationship between the problems you indicated and the immigrant population? I don't believe 'gross dereliction of duty' can be argued without evidence.
Finally, lest we not forget that much of the world does not geographically differentiate between North and South America, let alone Central. Our problem with the evil 'other' has existed for centuries. His face has been African, Irish, Jewish, German... Yet, we are blind to our own historical ignorance as we make that face Latin.
AE: If there is reasonable suspicion that a person is engaged in illegal activity--in this case, being in the US without the right to be--there are no "unreasonable searches and seizures" taking place. As always, if a law enforcement officer abuses his authority, he can be held liable for it.
Yes, I am citing Israel--far and away the most democratic country in the Middle East--as an example of the effectiveness of a physical barrier in allowing itself to control who comes in and out of it. It has done exactly what it was designed to do, as it would in the US as well. Of course, there is no federal desire for control of the border, as the risible 'virtual fence' that is perpetually behind schedule and has now been put on hold indefinitely demonstrates. Big government needs voters, big labor needs menials, big religion needs believers, big media needs lugubrious sob stories--the Establishment is united in wanting to replace the population.
Directly from the Census Population Survery, 53% of immigrant households with children used at least one welfare program in the calendar year, compared to 36% of native households with children. The MS-13 gang, which the FBI says is more problematic than the Bloods or the Crips, is almost entirely comprised of men of Central American descent. Aliens constitute 30% of all federal prisoners [I've heard this statistic thrown around, though after digging into it a little more, I'm unsure as to whether or not it's accurate], the majority behind bars because of drug smuggling or drug distribution. And then there are the highly publicizied, individual occurences, like the killing of Robert Krentz (and his dog) and the slayings of the Bologna father and sons by Edwin Ramos (an MS-13 member). If US national sovereignty had been asserted, these specific crimes simply do not occur.
Aren't you just the perfect quixotic leftist, lamenting how those of European descent have xenophobia in the very marrow of their bones? The US, along with the other Anglophone countries of Canada, Britain, and Australia, have the most liberal immigration policies in the world, and are by any objective measure the most xenophilic places on earth. Check out what Mexico does to those who come in from its southern border, or how many foreign-born people Japan grants residency to. Shall we see how South Africans have been treating their brothers from Mozambique and Zimbabwe?
And are you really grouping those disparate ethnicities into a single category? Because they certainly, certainly, certainly have not found identical levels of success and prosperity in the US. Not even close. An immigrant isn't just one of the six billion people who were born outside of the US--the specifics matter, which is why the US needs to have control over who gets to come and who gets to stay, just as is the case with every other sovereign country in the world.
SWPL: AE, 30% of the legal population of Arizona is Hispanic. So, you're saying not one of those legal citizens will be required to provide documentation? Because, if so, that would constitute unreasonable search and seizure on the basis of not even their race, but their Hispanic face. You, as the ever-so-privileged white male, will not be required to carry the same documentation because, while no more an American, you have the genetic fortune of being Caucasian. That's discrimination.
To argue that anyone wrongfully detained or victimized by an enforcement officer on a power trip could seek legal retribution does not restore that human being's lost dignity, let alone any other personal or financial losses. Moreover it requires one have adequate means, including time, to bring such a complaint or case. It clogs our legal system. And, the fear such discriminatory law propagates would likely discourage any complaints or suits, anyway.
The anti-solicitation of workers provision has already been held as unconstitutional under the First Amendment, in Virginia and California [Town of Herndon v. Thomas, MI-2007-644 (Va. Cir. Ct. Aug. 29, 2007) and Comite de Jornaleros de Redondo Beach v. City of Redondo Beach, 475 F. Supp. 2d 952, 962 (C.D. Cal. 2006)].
The Israeli wall you cite is denounced by the United Nations, the Red Cross, and nearly every Human Rights organization as a gross violation of international human rights laws, not to mention it's a violation of the Geneva Convention. This is the example of what we need to do? Citing the immigration policies of Mexico, Japan, and South Africa as a measuring stick is equally preposterous.
Immigrants are poorer than the average American citizen. How is your welfare statistic, then, unreasonable? The poverty level of immigrants as compared to their non-immigrant counterparts would suggest their access of social programs is more legitimate. These are legal immigrants, which technically any of us not Native American are at some point in our genealogy. If your problem is with legal American citizens using available government programs, your problem is with the program. Don't twist that issue into immigration.
Actually, I believe it is 33% of U.S. prison inmates are Latino. Scary, until you consider that 58% are white. Yet, we don't seem to be living in fear of white people or lobbying to kick Caucasians out of the country. So, let's not argue we'd be crime free without a population so clearly not the majority of offenders.
I am very far from "lamenting how those of European descent have xenophobia in the very marrow of their bones." I am of European descent and lack this in my marrow. I don't think it's genetic. That would be inescapable. Far worse, I think it is ignorance. I'm lamenting your xenophobia and those who share it and would follow it in stripping others of their rights and bastardizing the beliefs on which this nation was founded: freedom in all capacities and an opportunity to pursue both life and happiness.
I group those people I did for the purpose of demonstrating how the historic Caucasian fear is the one constant in the ever-changing face of the opressed. But, you knew that, which is why you chose to divert the argument.
For the record, I don't disagree with immigration policies, "who gets to come and who gets to stay" as you said. I disagree with the discriminatory nature of this specific bill, which is not only unreasonable but Constitutionaly unsound on multiple levels. The Constitution, of course, being that import document that has defined our policies and laws for more than two centuries.
Also for the record, if some crazy lawmakers or citizens were passing laws or advocating for your deportation in a fashion that was a violation of your rights, I'd fight for you too. That's just the kind of quixotic leftist I am.
AE: I suggest you read SB 1070 before you presume to understand it. Most of the 16 pages deals with punitions for employers who knowingly employ illegal workers. Good faith, which is as simple as the use of the E-Verify program, is exonerative.
As for the charge that people stopped by law enforcement officers will have to provide valid identification, of course they will, just as is currently the case for anyone stopped for a routine traffic violation. The immigration provision applies only in cases where someone has been stopped for another legal infraction--no one is authorized to stop someone simply because he thinks the person he's stopping is illegally in country. The NYT op/ed board blatantly lied when it wrote that the law "requires police officers to stop and question anyone who looks like an illegal immigrant". To the contrary, only when someone is stopped for a suspected crime or misdemeanor unrelated to immigration law are officers permitted to verify legal residency status. A violation of this subjects law enforcement to wrongful action liability, which can very easily restore a person's "personal or financial losses". Google "wrongful arrest compensation" and you'll get 100,000 returns.
Indeed, the law essentially just parrots federal immigration law, which is where the beef is among serious legal thinkers. Federal law requires the federal government to enforce immigration statuates it refuses to enforce. Do states have the right to respond to this dereliction and take action into their own hands or not? That discussion takes us into preemption, nullification, and the perceived importance of the 9th and 10th amendments, which I suspect you find about as relevant as the 3rd, while I find them at least as relevant as the 1st.
Anti-soliciation is going to get another go via Oyster Bay, NY. I hope one of these cases makes its way to the SCOTUS.
Hah, of course the Israeli security barrier is denounced by the UN. But the UN and the ICJ logic is tortured. In a nutshell, Israel is perceived to have invalidated its right of necessity because, in its perpetual conflict with the Palestinians, it has contributed to that defensive necessity. In other words, even the UN cannot deny that a barrier for national defense is legitimate, but if the need for national defense is in part the defending country's fault, then that national defense is deemed illegal! "You may defend yourself from your enemies, unless you have done something to make them your enemies, in which case you must defer to international law (and an international body that is hostile to your existential question) in settling your dispute"--absurd! Because a large chunk of the UN deems Israel's very existence to be illegal, there is no way it will accept Israel's right to self-defense, ever. That doesn't change the fact that the barrier has been a tremendous success in protecting Israeli citizens. So I don't find that argument convincing.
Are you familiar with the acronym "SWPL" (pronounced "swip-uhl")? That you would deem comparisons with Mexico, South Africa, or Japan prepestorous suggests that for purposes of moral posturing, only the actions of other European-descended countries matter. Our spat, which has little to do with the illegal migrants you've rarely seen, is a microcosm of the same.
The CPS surveys both legal and illegal immigrants. It asks only about national origin, not the legality of residency status. Milton Friedman famously claimed that open borders and a welfare state are incompatible. But immigration and a welfare state are not--stop illegal immigration, severely limit H-2A and similar visas, and increase EB-5 visas. Under such an immigration 'overhaul', the welfare state could potentially be expanded, if that is what is seen as desirable.
That said, under current immigration patterns, the usage rate for illegal immigrants is almost certainly higher than that of legal immigrants, as is most thoroughly understood by way of Robert Rector's report entitled "The Fiscal Cost of Low-Skill Households to the American Taxpayer".
While I am generally not supportive of involuntary wealth transfers, I see them as picayune in comparison to issues concerning demography. Sweden is a nice place to live, and, like the rest of Scandanavia, has one of the most generous suite of per-capita welfare benefits in the world.
Fifty-six percent of those incarcerated in the US are white, but not non-Hispanic white. Only 35% of those behind bars are non-Hispanic white (while constituting 66% of the US population). The FBI, for political reasons, plays some absurd games in how it publicizes its racial statistics. For example, while non-Hispanic whites and Hispanics are broken out separately in reports of victimizations rates for hate crimes, they are grouped together as perpetrators of those same crimes. So Hispanics are only able to be the victims of hate crimes--whenever they are the perps, they are reported to be "white"! Parenthetically, despite this, blacks are still 2.2 times more likely to be convicted of hate crimes than whites (plus Hispanics) are.
Feel free to lament my perceived xenophobia (which is societal, not personal, as I've come into contact with more foreign-born folks than most Americans will in their entire lives and yet have never feared any of them, or anyone else for that matter, as fear is an emotion I can scarcely recall ever experiencing). I, in turn, will lament your xenophilia. And our lives will go on.
The rhetoric about bastardizing the foundations of the US is risible. In each of the last 18 years, the US has granted legal residency to more immigrants than the rest of the world combined. Those of European descent, and specifically Anglophone whites, are the most ecumenical, least tribalistic people on the planet. To take something with high visibility, for example, the "institution of slavery" was started by Africans in Africa millenia ago and only finally had its death knell sounded by the British in the early 19th century (excepting pockets in Asia and Africa where it continues to exist and is actually growing today). I will gladly go tit-for-tat with you all day long over the "ever-changing face of the oppressed"; who they've been, who has helped them, and who their oppressors have been. I promise you'll lose the battle, but it's one I'm happy to have, just for sport.
If this country is not, more than anything else, one that is based on the primacy of law, I don't know what other place in the world is. That we collectively refuse (though the public will is certainly there) to do anything in response to the fact that there are somewhere between 10-20 million people residing in the US in open defiance of our laws is a national disgrace and makes a mockery of our constitutional self-conception.
I'm glad you're willing to fight for my rights. Personally, I'm fine at the moment, so if you'd be so kind, let support for Ward Connerly's state initiatives proxy for the support you want to give to me. Much appreciated!