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Reaganing Arizona

I really started following politics during the Reagan adminstration. I never had the chance to vote for him, due to my age, but I respected him a great deal and think he was one of the best presidents we've ever had.

But I'm not a "Reagan worshipper." I don't look at every situation and ask "What Would Ronald Reagan Do?" However, on the issue of illegal immigration and the Arizona law, I think it's pretty clear what Reagan -- were he still alive and in full possession of his faculties -- would say.

The first would be "there you go again." One of Reagan's bigger mistakes was signing the Immigration Reform And Control Act of 1986. That bill contained amnesty for illegal aliens, and set the stage for demands for more and bigger amnesty programs.

In 1965, Ted Kennedy (yes, I'm still going to kick him around when appropriate, and it fits here) sponsored another immigration bill that passed. During the Senate debate, Teddy said, ""The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission."

Then, in 1986, when he sponsored another immigration bill, Teddy promised "This amnesty will give citizenship to only 1.1 to 1.3 million illegal aliens. We will secure the borders henceforth. We will never again bring forward another amnesty bill like this."

We believed Teddy and the Democrats in 1965. We believed Teddy and the Democrats in 1986. Teddy might be gone, but why in hell should we believe them this time?

Reagan believed in compassion and in the power of the American dream, but he was no blind fool. He knew his history, and he learned from it. "Comprehensive immigration reform" has been tried twice before, and each time it resulted in more and more and more illegal aliens. When the 1965 bill was passed, the US population was about 193 million, and 1 million illegal aliens -- just over 0.5%. In 1986, the numbers were 240 million and 3 million -- up to 1.25% and a threefold increase. For 2008, the most recent numbers I can find, it was 304 million and 11 million -- over 4% and a nearly fourfold increase.

Keep in mind that there was a bit of a "reset button" in 1986, when 2.7 illegal aliens were granted amnesty. So, to be more accurate, the base point for the 1986-2008 jump is about half a million, or a twenty-two-fold increase. In 22 years.

We tried amnesty programs. They didn't work. They made it worse. Reagan would have no truck with that.

The second point that made me think of Reagan was my recent attempt to calmly, politely, and rationally educate the demagoging, blithering, ignorant idiots who are shooting their mouths off without engaging their tiny little brains about the Arizona law, which is exceptionally simple, but apparently too complex for their shriveled little brains. (With all due respect, of course.) In the comments, James H brought up a very good question:

I'm not going to rehash arguments that have been made elsewhere; that woul dtake time, and nobody wants to hear it, either.

But I'd like to explore another tack that occurred to me today. Should we trust the police? Radley Balko recently noted a drug raid involving excessive force. In Washington, DC, an off-duty police officer pulled a gun on some twenty- and thirty-somethings having a snowball fight after his privately owned Hummer got hit with snowballs. In an ongoing series, the Village Voice reveals questionable goings-on in a police precinct through surreptitious tape recording.

Again and again, we see instances of police officers abusing their discretion. The Arizona law may offer further opportunities to do so. Is this really a good thing?

Reagan had an answer for that one, too, James. He said it in the context of arms negotiations with the Soviet Union, but it applies here, too: "Trust, but verify."

Generally, we ought to trust the police. They are our public servants, entrusted with exceptional power and authority and responsibility. They are, ultimately, accountable to us, and they serve a very valuable role in our society. We, quite frankly, need them.

But that trust shouldn't be blind. We shouldn't just automatically accept the word of a police officer (or anyone, for that matter). If their honesty is challenged in a credible manner, then we should fully investigate the matter and determine the truth for ourselves.

In the Arizona example, people (including a bunch of supposedly smart people who really ought to know better) are saying that police officers will seek out or simply make up excuses to stop and detain people who they think might be illegal aliens, harassing innocents who have done nothing to draw attention to themselves (such as, say, taking their children out for ice cream -- thanks for that example, President Obama).

The first thought I had was that was not likely because the law specifically forbids that. The vast majority of cops are concerned with enforcing the law, not breaking it.

The second thought I had was that most police aren't that fond of paperwork in general, and enforcing this law will generate more paperwork for them. So they have an additional incentive to not go randomly rounding up suspected illegal aliens.

The third thought I had was that should that start happening, it won't last for long. Especially at the outset of the law's coming into effect, pretty much every single arrest made under it will be under huge, huge amounts of scrutiny. The ACLU has battalions of lawyers lined up at airports, armed with laptops and parachutes, to air-drop on the first arrests to be made. The Obama/Holder Justice Department thought about riding along with the ACLU with their lawyers, but that would have been too economical for this administration. So they've figured out how to get their attorneys to the scenes in the most expensive way possible, with the biggest carbon footprint. The current plan calls for each lawyer to fly on a one-man coal-powered rocket through a Gulf of Mexico oil platfrom on its way to Arizona, landing on a colony of endangered newts.

The law has been passed. It will go into effect in a few weeks. And there will be exceptionally intense scrutiny on how it is enforced, so I have little fear that there will be abuses that will go unnoted.

I only hope the people doing the scrutiny will have bothered to at least read the frigging thing -- something that President Obama, Attorney General Holder, or -- as far as I can tell -- no one else in the current regime has bothered to do before denouncing it.

President Reagan was a great believer in common sense and the fundamental decency of the American people. In that spirit, I'm willing to give the people of Arizona the benefit of the doubt and support their right to try this law and see if it will help them alleviate the tremendous burdens they've been suffering under due to the federal government's staunch refusal to live up to their obligations and enforce feeral laws regarding illegal immigration and border security.

And if it doesn't work, we can repeal the law. It's not much harder than it was to pass it in the first place.


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Comments (28)

Per Drudge Arizona is threa... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Per Drudge Arizona is threatening to pull their electrical supply to LA.

I would love to see this happen.

#1Go ahead and pul... (Below threshold)
914:

#1

Go ahead and pull the plug and make their day... Hahahaha

"And if it doesn't work, we can repeal the law. It's not much harder than it was to pass it in the first place."

Its even easier,. Just stop enforcing it like the feds have the last 30 years.

I think you'll find it's a ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I think you'll find it's a 'big to do over nothing'. Yeah the ACLU and all the other asshats will be thumping their chests and making noises, but that's about it. The law will be found to be valid. Will some dumb-ass cop screw up somewhere, sometime? Do peaches grow on trees?

Hell, I was a cop in Klaifornia for 30 years and lost track of the number of illegals I turned over to the BP. All were lawfully contacted, and during the course of that, it was discovered they were illegal. Matter of fact, several years ago, Kalifornia made it a FELONY to present false identification as proof of US citizenship.

I don't want to hear a damned thing about amnesty from La Raza, ACLU or fucking DC political whores UNTIL THE BORDERS ARE SECURED.

I hope you have your own ge... (Below threshold)
914:

I hope you have your own generator if you live in LA GarandFan.

Jay Tea, what verifies your... (Below threshold)
Leag:

Jay Tea, what verifies your faith that Raygun learned his lesson on immigration reform.

Missy Bliss broached subject of transferance @ MF and methinks, yall may be doing that which is very close to worshipping the weapon banning bastard who signed Kalifornia Molford Act, 1967.

Jay Tea:A colleagu... (Below threshold)
James H:

Jay Tea:

A colleague of mine remarked on something recently that's worth passing on. He said that while he often doesn't agree with the ACLU, he finds it useful that the organization creates tension.

"Again and again, we see... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"Again and again, we see instances of police officers abusing their discretion. The Arizona law may offer further opportunities to do so. Is this really a good thing?"

The situation in Arizona is critical so I would answer that with other questions: Why is it a bad thing to adopt existing federal law when Congress is clearly not interested in securing the border or demanding current law be routinely enforced by the feds? It's not like the public hasn't been making noise about it for years now. What other options are there besides citizens taking action like the Minutemen?

How many times has someone been arrested, without malice, for something they didn't do? Do we then start taking more and more law enforcement out of the hands of the police because someone was later found to be innocent?

Jay,You got it wro... (Below threshold)
Myronhalo:

Jay,

You got it wrong this time. We can´t repeal Arizona´s law, unless we are Arizona citizens and get to vote there.
It should be none of our business what Arizona does so long as their laws are not immoral, disregard basic human rights, or do damage to people outside the State.
We believe in State´s rights to determine what to do with all the things that the Constitution said that the Federal government wouldn´t do.

Myron, I was using "we" in ... (Below threshold)

Myron, I was using "we" in the figurative, general sense. Of course it's up to Arizona to repeal its law. My apologies for not making it more precise.

J.

I have been on other boards... (Below threshold)
Stan:

I have been on other boards, where there is an international flavor to the postings and one thing that has stuck out like a sore thumb. It is that most of the far-left dilettantes of Europe are unanimous in their view on the Arizona law. That is the law sucks. Does anyone want to know where the most of these commentators are from? If anyone had guessed the UK and France, that person would be correct. It seems that their immigration laws are fine and dandy with them, but should the upstart Colonists pass a law similar to the ones they have, they go ape shit.

I have another question here, how many could give a shit about what goes on in France and the UK? I know I don't, but the Brits and the Frogs think that they know all about the American political scene and put their uninformed 2¢ into something they know nothing about. Personally, I wish they would keep their noses out of our business and fix their own mess that is happening now.

Maybe Arizona should adopt ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Maybe Arizona should adopt Mexico's Immigration Laws.

Let's see Luis Calderon complain then. Or would he find that things are somehow "different".

In his speech this morning, Luis conveniently overlooked the fact that illegals send over $9 BILLION home to Mexico each year.

Our petty, pissy, prancing,... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Our petty, pissy, prancing, preening peacock of a President just told Mexico's President that the AZ law "could be applied in a discriminatory manner" - after his emissary also used the law as an example of the US "falling down" during human rights talks with China.

It's "The Apologize for America Tour: Home Edition" - coming soon to a Gulag Gift Shop near you!

Of course, ANY law "could be applied in a discriminatory manner" so perhaps we just need anarchy? At the rate Calypso Barry is driving us to ruin and collapse, he may get his wish sooner than we think . . .

"In his speech this morn... (Below threshold)
914:

"In his speech this morning, Luis conveniently overlooked the fact that illegals send over $9 BILLION home to Mexico each year."


Dont mention it. UniteUs casually overlooks the sons and daughters this country has sacrificed and the trillions of wealth our families have generated for this country.. Its his way of tellin us he loves himself.

I seriously don't understan... (Below threshold)

I seriously don't understand something here.

You guys know that 99.99999999% of illegal aliens come here to work, right?

And why? Because the illegally low pittance a company will pay him in the US, is still far more than he would get in Mexico.

If a man's family is starving and he sees a chance to feed them by working, even if it's against the law, do you think a fence is going to stop him? Would it stop *you*?

Why, then, aren't you focusing on the people who HIRE them? Because that's the source of the problem.

Seriously.

"And why? Because the il... (Below threshold)
914:

"And why? Because the illegally low pittance a company will pay him in the US, is still far more than he would get in Mexico."

Ok, "illegally low wage"? Yet She/He still had enough sustenance to cross a desert and break laws to find a job.

Why is it illegal to pay an illegal a pittance? They agree to illegal behavior they accept the consequences and pay there of.


"If a man's family is starving and he sees a chance to feed them by working"

Then he would have been doing this before they were starving.. Think things out before you get into a situation where you need the good graces of another friend in life.

People have given to me and I will gratefully give to everyone. Lets just keep law and order in place so everyone can live and prosper.

Thank you, jim x, for demon... (Below threshold)
boqueronman:

Thank you, jim x, for demonstrating the true depths of dimbulbism. The post actually gives you a link to the full text of the law. But, instead of reading the law you comment "Why, then, aren't you focusing on the people who HIRE them? Because that's the source of the problem." This is a joke, right? You can't possibly be that stupid. READ THE LAW. Pages 5 and 7-15, which BTW is nearly half the text, deals with restrictions on the employment of illegal aliens and their enforcement. Good Grief!

You, boqueronman, are a sti... (Below threshold)
jim x:

You, boqueronman, are a stinky peepee-pants poopyhead. Let that conclude the juvenile portion of our discussion.

Let me instead compliment you by stating that you do a magnificent job of avoiding my entire point.

The focus of this bill is to give police new authority to demand papers from those they think may be illegal aliens. It does NOT give police any new authority to go to any CEO's, and demand they prove all their workers are legal.

So it can put new restrictions in place all it wants. Without new enforcement of those restrictions, why would anything change?

Just to be scrupulously fair, I went and read through the bill. It lists the various things that employers are supposed to do to prove their employees are legal - however, it detailed NO NEW POWERS FOR POLICE TO INVESTIGATE EMPLOYERS.

Therefore, this bill is **obviously** focused on prosecution of **illegal aliens** themselves, rather than the people who actually cause the aliens to be here, by HIRING them.

And to the extent that this law does not deal with the source of the problem, is exactly how much it is a bunch of purely symbolic crapola.

However, I admittedly read through the law quickly. Perhaps I missed the enforcement-on-CEO's section.

If so, please show me the part of the bill where it gives police officers new rights to demand employee paperwork from any EMPLOYERS that they meet under "lawful contact". With no further definition of what "lawful contact" actually means.

Good grief indeed.

Ok, "illegally low wage"... (Below threshold)
jim x:

Ok, "illegally low wage"? Yet She/He still had enough sustenance to cross a desert and break laws to find a job.

Yes, that's right. In the US, a worker picking fruit can make $2/hr - which is well under minimum wage law. Which is why a US company would hire him. In Mexico that same worker could make $2/day - which is why comes to the US.

You wouldn't save up a bunch of food and cross the border, to make 7 times the money? When your family otherwise could starve?

I'm not telling you this to give you sympathy for the illegal immigrant. I'm telling you this so you can get a picture of what you're dealing with here - and so you can see why this Arizona law goes nowhere near the root of the problem.

Why is it illegal to pay an illegal a pittance?

Because we have visas and labor laws that make it illegal. That's why.

Then he would have been doing this before they were starving.. Think things out before you get into a situation where you need the good graces of another friend in life.

You mean, think things out before you decide to be born in a third world country?

How else are you going to be able to "think things out" of being paid poverty wages when you're born into poverty? Besides doing the one thing they're doing - **going somewhere that pays more for their skills**.

People have given to me and I will gratefully give to everyone. Lets just keep law and order in place so everyone can live and prosper.

I have no problem with that at all. I'm just saying that this law will do nothing to solve this problem.

Jim x:OK, its meta... (Below threshold)
epador:

Jim x:

OK, its metaphor time. Here's two for you to make it easy:

Laws do not need to go to the root of the problem to affect it any more than you need to psychoanalyze someone to get them to change aberrant behavior. You can't treat lung cancer by stopping smoking.

The Arizona law is trying to deal with the cancer that is killing their State by treating the cancer with an FDA approved drug that the Feds won't use themselves.

The Arizona law is trying to enforce behavioral standards irrespective of the underlying cause.

What is so illegitimate OR ineffective about that? Once folks realize that being illegal in AZ has a significant risk that outweighs the benefits, they'll leave.

"You mean, think things out... (Below threshold)
914:

"You mean, think things out before you decide to be born in a third world country?"

No. Think things out if and when you ARE born in a 3rd world country.

I wish I could take care of you all but I have a hard enough time covering my own ass.


Definitely, AZ should punis... (Below threshold)
mandeep:

Definitely, AZ should punish those who are bullying just for getting publicity, CA doesn't know her financial situation, and I think this is also due to illegal immigrants. All illegal immigrants should be deported. I don't know why the world and especially the other American states are making hue and cry on the a valid law. Simple question I am asking all the Americans " IF someone enters your home or Apartment without permission?

Will you let him stay in your home and say use my utensils, eat and sleep here and whenever you get a chance steal and kill me.
No fellows we'll kick him out from our home. Not only humans kick out from there home to those who enter without permission, even the animals do the same. it is just a simple thing.

Punish CA, AZ we are with You. God Bless America.. Definitely, AZ should punish those who are bullying just for getting publicity, CA doesn't know her financial situation, and I think this is also due to illegal immigrants. All illegal immigrants should be deported. I don't know why the world and especially the other American states are making hue and cry on the a valid law. Simple question I am asking all the Americans " IF someone enters your home or Apartment without permission?

Will you let him stay in your home and say use my utensils, eat and sleep here and whenever you get a chance steal and kill me.
No fellows we'll kick him out from our home. Not only humans kick out from there home to those who enter without permission, even the animals do the same. it is just a simple thing.

Punish CA, AZ we are with You. God Bless America..

Or my name ain't Nathan Ari... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

Or my name ain't Nathan Arizona!

"I'm just saying that this ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"I'm just saying that this law will do nothing to solve this problem."

Is that anything like the federal government saying 'We can't deport them because we can't find them!'

Well, FIRST YOU HAVE TO START LOOKING!

OK, its metaphor time. H... (Below threshold)
Jim x:

OK, its metaphor time. Here's two for you to make it easy:

OK. I'll give you answers to clarify it for you.

Laws do not need to go to the root of the problem to affect it any more than you need to psychoanalyze someone to get them to change aberrant behavior. You can't treat lung cancer by stopping smoking.

There's a few problems with this metaphor. One is that they *definitely* ask patients with lung cancer to stop smoking. But let's take this metaphor as it is.

The Arizona law is trying to deal with the cancer that is killing their State by treating the cancer with an FDA approved drug that the Feds won't use themselves.

But the Arizona law fails utterly because it is only targeting, in your metaphor, ONE PART of the cancer. The cancer here exists in the PEOPLE HIRING, as well as the people hired.

That would be like trying to cure someone's cancer by targeting the left lung, but leaving the right lung alone, and hoping somehow that the cancer won't spread.

The people who hire illegal immigrants are **at least** as guilty as the illegal aliens they knowingly hire.

The Arizona law is trying to enforce behavioral standards irrespective of the underlying cause.

But it is only enforcing those standards on one side of the equation. Don't you see that?

It is exactly like trying to stop drugs, by only locking up drug users but letting drug sellers go free.

Once folks realize that being illegal in AZ has a significant risk that outweighs the benefits, they'll leave.

Right - and another ten desperately poor illegal aliens will be trying to make it in after them. Because even if they get eventually deported, they will still have made *some* money.

Why don't you want the people who hire these immigrants to face law enforcement too?

No. Think things out if ... (Below threshold)
jim x:

No. Think things out if and when you ARE born in a 3rd world country.

Well 914, one of the ways they think things out is to go work somewhere they *won't* be poor.

If you want to stop that, then you have to do more than just deport them. I'm just saying.

That's like being in a leaky boat and bailing faster, rather than bailing **and** finding and fixing the hole.

I wish I could take care of you all but I have a hard enough time covering my own ass.

Well then, you should support actual law enforcement that goes after those who hire these immigrants.

Is that anything like th... (Below threshold)
jim x:

Is that anything like the federal government saying 'We can't deport them because we can't find them!'

No. It's more like saying "We can deport them, but until we go after the people *hiring* them it's like shovelling sand against the tide."

jim x, you're using the per... (Below threshold)

jim x, you're using the perfection fallacy. No, it isn't the cure-all for the problem, but it does address specific problems.

Further, it just might trigger actual "comprehensive immigration reform," and not just more talk about it or half-assed amnesty programs. We've tried those, and they failed. Miserably.

J.

Well, I disagree that I'm a... (Below threshold)
jim x:

Well, I disagree that I'm asking for perfection when I'm saying that laws should be enforced in a way that:

a) is even roughly equal
b) will actually solve the problem.

Amnesty programs won't solve the problem either, for the same reason - they don't even touch the source of the problem: the employers who hire the immigrants to undercut wages.

Besides the many other problems with amnesty programs, including that **even if they worked** they would create a semi-permanent working underclass that would lower wages for existing US citizens as well.




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