Here and elsewhere, the Czar sees a lot of discussion about the recent events in Arizona. Of course, if you are a Democrat, it is the Anti-Immigration Law; if you are a Republican, it is the Anti-Illegal Immigration Law. A minor quibble: but the GOP has to learn that if you want to control the media’s reaction to a bill, you need to give it a strong name that makes opposition to it seem inhuman. See how the Dems make it anti-immigration? As if supporting it makes you against all forms of immigration? Get it? The Arizona legislature should have named it The Anti-Crime Law and watch the Democrats choke on it.
Anyway, where were we? Ah yes. One common thread that the Czar sees is this notion that “Arizona passed this bill because the Federal government has been…” with options being “inffective,” “a failure,” “unwilling to enforce,” and so on.
Uh-uh. In our opinion, the correct phrase should be: “Arizona passed this bill because the Federal government has been complicit in its lack of enforcement.” The Feds should not get a free pass as if they just neglected their job; friends, they have been waving them in.
Here is the thought. There are millions and millions of Hispanics in the US: most are legitimate citizens, and only a small few are not. But the majority are citizens, and they vote. They also vote big, and in near uniform chunks.
It isn’t that the average Mexican American (or frankly, Latin American American) supports breaking the law. But those that vote often have a near or distant relative who is here illegally. If you give these relatives a free pass, and let them live and work in the US and non-taxpaying but de facto citizens, the actual voting citizens vote for you. Not because they support illegal activities: but because you kept a loved one in their family.
The Republicans know this, and many have favored amnesty—even St. Ronald of Reagan leaned considerably far in this direction. The Democrats have flaunted amnesty and even public benefits to the illegal aliens. So why would both national parties openly look away from enforcing the law?
Because every time you talk amnesty, tolerance, or looking the other way, you get votes. The Hispanic-American voting block is potentially massive, and even though the Democrats control a lot of it, Republicans (including President George W. Bush) have benefited enormously from their votes as well.
The point here is that the national politicians—by their magnetic poles the Democrats and Republicans—benefit from the influx of illegal immigrants in this country.
No, let us be fair. They benefit from the influx of Mexican and Latin American immigrants in this country. Indeed, there is a massive problem of illegal immigrants from China, Poland, Việt Nam, Canada (yes, Canada), Jamaica, Haiti, and other countries. But they do not have the voting bloc support—and consequently matter not at all. Arizona’s law actually covers all these countries, and many more—if you are here illegally, wherever you are from, you are under arrest. But we see no protests from these nationalities or their electorally insignificant supporters. They are invisible in this discussion because they do not vote by the millions for one candidate or another.
It would indeed be a gutsy politician, who could somehow survive without the powerful Mexican/Latin/South American vote, who would demand the Feds actually enforce the law. And so there are very few indeed.
Now, this is hardly a potshot at the hard-working men and women of the INS, the US Border Patrol, and Customs: they make numerous arrests, round up all sorts of illegals, and either deport them or send them to jail. No, we are talking about overall illegal immigration policy and its failures, as described by Ghettoputer and GorTechie herein.
These simple approaches are destined to fail at the Federal level because, well, because the parties want the votes. Arizona, and good for them, have realized that this is crushing their state rights, and it is time to exercise them.
This is a bigger, more complex bind than you might at first realize. The Arizona law is actually affecting folks here in the Chicago area. The Царица is a school teacher of the first order in a predominantly Hispanic suburb of Chicago, and the kids in this school district are freaked out about this law; they are all citizens, sure: you have to be a US citizen to be allowed into a public school here.
Yet they are horrified that some of their aunts, uncles, and cousins—who are indeed here illegally—will get poached by Arizona law enforcement because Arizona is such a convenient gateway into and out of Mexico. This scares the piss out of them, much as it would scare you to risk losing family members to arbitrary foreign law enforcement…remembering that their experiences with law enforcement back home typically result in enslavement at best or a bullet in the ear at worst. To them, the Arizona law is not about some academic discussion over states’s rights to enforce Federal law, or whatever, but that law enforcement can now more readily grab a family member of yours and make them disappear. Forever.
Yes, of course, this mythic paranoia could be handled with education and promulgation: look, American friends, you have nothing to be worried about. And your relatives would have nothing to be worried about if they just went and got properly credentialed, which costs very little. Of course, that would mean that they would be on the track to become US citizens, and pay tax, and not be able to pass readily back and forth from Mexico as personal finances warrant. But being a US citizen is a lot better than rotting in a jail, and you would never be hassled again.
But that sort of education would require the US government to take a politcally risky stand on immigration that, quite frankly, they just do not want to take.