As some of you may be aware, New York Times columnist Linda Greenhouse wrote a column a couple of days ago comparing the new Arizona immigration law to Nazi Germany, apartheid era South Africa, and states that “the system of internal passports was one of the more distasteful features of life in the Soviet Union”. (I would love to know what the “tasteful” features of life in the Soviet Union were.) Then, Ms. Greenhouse further states that “breathing while undocumented is now a perilous activity anywhere in Arizona”. Note to Ms. Greenhouse and the rest of the liberal elites—it is supposed to be a crime to be an undocumented immigrant in every state (hence the term “illegal immigrant”). That is why legal immigrants are supposed to carry their green cards with them everywhere at all times.
However, I don’t think that most liberals really grasp this fact, because a few days ago on MSNBC when Contessa Brewer was foaming at the mouth about the possibility of “families turning in families”, the headline on the screen read “Law Makes It A Crime To Be Illegal Immigrant”. (Thank you Captain Obvious.) Not to mention, we’ve all seen liberals and members of the MSM get all lathered up in self-righteous outrage over the new AZ law—Richard Cohen of The Washington Post called it “the Anglos last stand”. And, of course, even Barack Obama weighed in calling the bill a “misguided piece of legislation that threatened to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe. ”
Now, my problem is not with President Obama calling the AZ law “misguided”. My problem is with Obama calling the AZ law “misguided” and then not proposing a solution of his own—or following John McCain’s advice and sending 3000 National Guard troops to seal the border (yeah, yeah, I know that McCain is late to the party—but, better late than never I always say). Someone needs to tell President Obama to take Thomas Paine’s advice and “Lead, follow or get out of the way”. And, since it’s quite obvious by now that Obama’s raison d'etre seems to be preening in front of the cameras and giving speeches rather than governing, I suggest that he get out of the way and let the grown-ups handle this one. Besides, dumping on “Jesusland” just to make your base happy is not leadership.
OK—I must admit that I’m not completely surprised by President Obama’s inaction regarding our border crisis, because, during the 2008 election, he did say that “we should teach our children Spanish”—therefore, Obama’s total indifference to the people of Arizona should have been somewhat predictable. However, I do find it quite annoying, to say the least, that President Obama would send out the SWAT team—in full riot gear—to intercept 30-40 grannies protesting his speech in IL (H/T Moe Lane), and yet he won’t send the National Guard to AZ to secure our border from invasion by the Mexican drug cartel, but I digress.
Now, I definitely would love the pleasure of responding to Ms. Greenhouse, but before I do, I would first like to explain just exactly how bad things are for the good people of AZ in order to establish that their fears are indeed legitimate, and not based on anti-Hispanic sentiment.
I assume that most of you who haven’t been living a rock have heard about Robert Krentz, but for those of you who haven’t, Robert Krentz was the Arizona Rancher who was recently murdered by an illegal immigrant that he was trying to help (his brother thinks that he was bringing him water). (Oh, and for all of you dog lovers like me, the illegal immigrant shot and killed Mr. Krentz’s dog as well.) Now, what makes this story particularly heartbreaking, was that Mr. Krentz was known as a good Samaritan who would bring illegal immigrants water and help injured ones cross the desert in 120 degree heat. Furthermore, Mr. Krentz continued to be a good Samaritan despite the fact that in 1999, his house was broken into (by illegal immigrants) and $700 worth of items were stolen. Not to mention, in 2007, his wife wrote a letter to Congress begging for help because she thought that her family’s lives might be in danger. (See embed below where Megyn Kelly explains how Krentz found 290 pounds of Marijuana on his property the day before he was killed.)
Oh, and here is Glenn Beck explaining how Phoenix, Arizona is now the second largest kidnap capital in the world after Mexico City—try putting that on your travel brochures. (See embed below—watch first two minutes to get the idea.)
And, here is Geraldo Rivera doing a story about how the lawlessness in Mexico (which Geraldo says is “more vicious than anything going on in Afghanistan or Iraq”) has spilled over into our country, and how the Mexican drug cartels have, literally, invaded Phoenix, Arizona. (See embed below—watch 2:20 to get the idea.) Furthermore, here is John McCain telling Bill O’Reilly that illegal immigrant smugglers are intentionally causing car accidents along the AZ state freeways.
And finally, here is the AP doing a story on how nine decapitated bodies were found in a Mexican border town just a few miles from San Diego (see embed below), and here is The New York Times doing a story on how people in Mexico City wear bullet-proof clothes.
(See Frugal Cafe for more details of border violence.)
OK—now I know what you all are asking: “How long has the violence on the border been this bad?” Well, at least since 2005. How do I know this? Because in 2005, Janet Napolitano who was then the governor of AZ, but is now Obama’s head of the Department of Homeland Security, issued a state of emergency and stated the following—
Gov. Janet Napolitano on Monday declared a state of emergency along Arizona’s border with Mexico, freeing up $1.5 million in disaster funds to help border counties combat booming illegal immigration and drug smuggling.
Napolitano criticized the federal government for “moving too slow” on border security, evolving into a hot-button, election-year issue in Arizona and across the country.
“This is a federal responsibility, and they’re not meeting it,” Napolitano said. “I’ve just come to the conclusion (that) we’ve got to do what we can at the state level until the federal government picks up the pace.”
However, a couple of days ago when Senator Lindsey Graham asked Ms. Napolitano if our southern border was secure, she issued the following response—
“I believe it is as secure as it ever has been.”
Translation: “Now that I’m not the AZ governor anymore, it’s not really my problem or the Obama Administration’s problem. You hicks in AZ are SOL if you think that we’re going to help you. However, be prepared for us to demagogue on this issue and call you all “RAAAAACISTS!!” if you try to help yourselves.”
By the way, between Janet Napolitano’s botching of the panty bomber and, now, not foreseeing this disaster in AZ (when she is their former governor), how in the world does she still have a job? But, I digress.
Alright, now that I have established how violent our southern border is, and how Arizona’s security is threatened by illegal immigration, I would also like to discuss how much illegal immigration stresses out AZ financially—especially since AZ has almost a 10% unemployment rate. A few days ago, Pat Buchanan wrote an excellent column titled, “Whose Country is This?” where he explains how African Americans and low income Americans are most hurt by illegal immigration. He, then, further illustrated the financial burden that illegal immigration has been on Arizona’s schools, hospitals and public services when he wrote the following—
“Obama has done everything but his duty to enforce the law.
Undeniably, making it a state as well as a federal crime to be in this country illegally, and requiring police to check the immigration status of anyone they have a “reasonable suspicion” is here illegally, is tough and burdensome. But what choice did Arizona have?
The state has a fiscal crisis caused in part by the burden of providing schooling and social welfare for illegals and their families, who consume far more in services than they pay in taxes and who continue to pour in. Even John McCain is now calling for 3,000 troops on the border.
Police officers and a prominent rancher have been murdered. There have been kidnappings believed to be tied to the Mexican drug cartels. There are nightly high-speed chases through the barrios where innocent people are constantly at risk.
If Arizona does not get control of the border and stop the invasion, U.S. citizens will stop coming to Arizona and will begin to depart, as they are already fleeing California.”
However, another great column about how Illegal immigration hurts America’s poor was written in 2006 by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof—it’s titled, “Compassion That Hurts”. (Yeah, I know. I couldn’t believe it either.) Here is a sample of some of Kristof’s column—
“I used to favor a program to allow in guest workers, thinking it would be good for them and also great for America by providing a source of low-cost labor — just as it was good for America to admit our own ancestors. And illegal immigrants overwhelmingly are hard-working people who keep the economy humming, so they deserve respect rather than xenophobic resentment and a marginalized life in the shadows.
But I’ve changed my mind on a guest worker program, because of growing evidence that low-wage immigration hurts America’s own poor.
It’s often said that immigrants take jobs that Americans won’t take. But look at employment statistics, and you see that even among maids and agricultural workers, only four out of 10 people are immigrants.
I can’t write about this issue without thinking of Elmer, a neighbor when I was growing up. He’s a high school dropout now in his 50’s, but when I met him in 1971, he was earning $26 an hour in a union job. He’s very hard-working, but for the last decade he’s been reduced to janitorial jobs paying not much over minimum wage. People like Elmer haven’t been heard from in the immigration debate, but they have the most at stake.”
Oh, and speaking of compassion, I don’t know what’s compassionate about allowing immigrants to die in the desert, which is what frequently happens when they are smuggled through the AZ desert. And, I don’t know what’s compassionate about paying them slave wages either (H/T Jaded).
[On a side note, this discussion about compassion has reminded me of a recent argument that my husband got into with another blogger. This blogger posted on a website that he loved illegal immigration, because he loved having someone who would clean his huge house for forty dollars. When my husband responded to him and explained to him that illegal immigration hurts the poorest Americans (and African Americans), the man responded by calling my husband a “RAAAAACIST!!”. Man, these people are so predictable, but I digress.]
Anyway, now that I have established how violent our southern border is, and how taxing illegal immigration is on Arizona’s services and job market, I would like to take a look at the infamous AZ law, before responding to Linda Greenhouse. A few days ago, Byron York wrote an excellent column where he clearly explained how all of this talk about about the AZ police “asking brown people for their papers” was literally crazy talk. In his column, York explained that the new AZ law specifically forbids racial profiling, that the AZ police have to already have pulled you over for another infraction of the law before they can ask for proof that you are in the country legally, and that if the person in question has a driver’s license, then that is considered to be sufficient proof of legal status. I have pasted some excepts of Byron York’s column below.
“The chattering class is aghast at Arizona’s new immigration law. “Harkens back to apartheid,” says the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Cynthia Tucker. “Shameful,” says the Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne. “Terrible…an invitation to abuse,” says the New York Times’ David Brooks.
Has anyone actually read the law? Contrary to the talk, it is a reasonable, limited, carefully-crafted measure designed to help law enforcement deal with a serious problem in Arizona. Its authors anticipated criticism and went to great lengths to make sure it is constitutional and will hold up in court. It is the criticism of the law that is over the top, not the law itself.
Critics have focused on the term “reasonable suspicion” to suggest that the law would give police the power to pick anyone out of a crowd for any reason and force them to prove they are in the U.S. legally. Some foresee mass civil rights violations targeting Hispanics.
What fewer people have noticed is the phrase “lawful contact,” which defines what must be going on before police even think about checking immigration status. “That means the officer is already engaged in some detention of an individual because he’s violated some other law,” says Kris Kobach, a University of Missouri Kansas City Law School professor who helped draft the measure. “The most likely context where this law would come into play is a traffic stop.”
For example: “Arizona already has a state law on human smuggling,” says Kobach. “An officer stops a group of people in a car that is speeding. The car is overloaded. Nobody had identification. The driver acts evasively. They are on a known smuggling corridor.” That is a not uncommon occurrence in Arizona, and any officer would reasonably suspect that the people in the car were illegal. Under the new law, the officer would get in touch with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to check on their status.
But what if the driver of the car had shown the officer his driver’s license? The law clearly says that if someone produces a valid Arizona driver’s license, or other state-issued identification, they are presumed to be here legally. There’s no reasonable suspicion.
Is having to produce a driver’s license too burdensome? These days, natural-born U.S. citizens, and everybody else, too, are required to show a driver’s license to get on an airplane, to check into a hotel, even to purchase some over-the-counter allergy medicines. If it’s a burden, it’s a burden on everyone.”
OK—since I have not only successfully established that AZ is indeed in a state of crisis with regard to illegal immigration, but also established that the law does not turn AZ into a police state, I would like to, now, take this opportunity to respond to Linda Greenhouse.
Dear Ms. Greenhouse,
It has not escaped my attention that you and your liberal friends in the MSM have been huffing and puffing over the recent AZ law that—you know—does what the federal law is supposed to do, but refuses to do—i.e., shut down the border. In fact, just today, The New York Times wrote another scathing op-ed condemning the state of AZ. However, I can’t help but notice that you people seem to be high on over the top rhetoric, but low on actual solutions to a real problem.
I mean, just yesterday, I heard Megyn Kelly explain that AZ has roughly the same crime rate as NY, even though New York has SIX TIMES the population of AZ. Furthermore, a lot of these people who are currently committing crimes in AZ, are the exact same people who were kidnapping people, cutting off fingers, and killing kids when they previously lived in Mexico (and some of them are the Mexican police). (See embed below.)
But hey, I can understand why you and your ilk don’t want to seal the border. I mean, who cares if a few illegal immigrants might die crossing the desert, be taken advantage of and have to work for slave wages in the US, or possibly get kidnapped in Phoenix and get their fingers cut off or get killed—you guys might get some new voters who will vote “Democrat” if you make these guys citizens in, say, ten years. And in the meantime, you all get someone to clean your house and mow your lawn for real cheap (I know, good, cheap help is hard to find). Man, you guys really had a good thing going until those “bitter clingers” from AZ had to come in with their whole “law and order” nonsense. You would have to be a redneck and a Nazi to care if your state had been invaded by the Mexican drug cartel, right? And really, who cares about low income Americans, like Nicholas Kristof’s friend Elmer, who are worried about their jobs. We all know that they are just a bunch of ignorant bigots anyway.
So, since you didn’t offer any solutions to the problems that the good people of AZ (and the rest of the nation) face, I thought that I could offer some suggestions that you might agree with.
My first suggestion is called “Operation Canadian Buddy System”. I say that we come up with a buddy system with Canada where we send about 12-20 million low skilled workers, criminal gang members, drug smugglers, and hard-working individuals who have lost their jobs to Canada (this program is very similar to what the Mexican government has done to us). Now, of course, we don’t consult the Canadians about “Operation Canadian Buddy System”—that would be silly—we just do it. Hey, it would certainly solve a lot of our unemployment and crime problems. Now, when we send our citizens up there, we would give them maps (just like the Mexican government does to their citizens) and parkas (instead of jugs of water). And, if the Canadian government complains about all of the illegal immigrants that we are sending their way, we will simply just call them “RAAAAACISTS!!” and inform them that they are not “illegal aliens”—they are “undocumented workers”.
Wait—what’s that you say Ms. Greenhouse? You don’t think the Canadian government will fall for that for one second? You think that the Canadian government will deport all of those people the first chance that they get? Well, you are probably right. I mean, it’s common knowledge that both the Canadians and the Europeans have much stricter immigration laws than we have, and much stronger border security (and we know that liberals think that everything that the Europeans and Canadians do is superior to everything that Americans do). In fact, as George Will pointed out last week on “This Week”, we are the only developed nation (that shares a border with a narco state) that doesn’t secure its borders. Furthermore, the Mexican government (which has been quite vociferous in denouncing the AZ law), is notorious in how badly it treats its illegal immigrants, and has been cited several times by The Red Cross for human rights abuses (H/T Erick Brockway). So, Ms. Greenhouse, if the Europeans, Canadians and Mexicans would never put up with the chaos on our southern border, then, tell me, why are we?
OK—my second suggestion is called “Operation Let’s Send All of the Illegal Alien Criminals to Linda Greenhouse’s Neighborhood”. Well first of all, Ms. Greenhouse, it’s pretty obvious that most of the people that will be caught by this new law will be criminals, since there is no racial profiling and only way that a police officer will come into “lawful contact” with an otherwise law abiding person is through a traffic stop (and the law says that a driver’s license is sufficient documentation, and illegals without licenses will probably take the bus). Now, since you seem to not be bothered by open borders and think this whole sovereignty thing is silly, I say that we dump all of the drug smugglers, gang members, kidnappers and criminals, that are caught by this new law, in your neighborhood (don’t worry, we’ll send you a bullet proof blouse). Granted, some of your neighbors might protest a bit about having to pay higher taxes in order to support these people, having their hospitals over-run, having an increase of traffic accidents and kidnappings, and about not feeling safe when they go outside after dark. However, I say just respond by calling them “RAAAAACISTS!!”. (I’m telling you, the race card works on liberals every time.)
Wait--what’s that you say? You think that severed heads and multiple kilos of drugs in the hallway might ruin the whole feng shui of your building? Yeah, I tend to agree with you that those things would indeed drive down the value of a Manhattan flat—plus I heard that co-op boards can be a pain about such things. Well then, on to my next suggestion.
Finally, my third and final suggestion for dealing with the immigration crisis is called “Operation Give Your Job at The New York Times to an Illegal Immigrant”. OK—let’s be honest here Ms. Greenhouse. Since you don’t seem to be troubled by illegal immigrants taking jobs from poorer American citizens and driving down their wages, I thought that maybe you wouldn’t mind if The New York Times hired some illegal Mexican, Canadian or, say, Indian journalists who would work for half the price, and without any benefits.
Wait—what’s that you say? You like your job and don’t want to give it up and don’t think that your co-workers do either? And, you don’t think that your co-workers would want illegal immigrants coming in and driving down their wages? Well, I’ll be darned!
Well Ms. Greenhouse, you just exhausted all of my suggestions. The only other one that I have is the obvious one—for President Obama to send 3000 National Guard troops to secure our southern border. However, we both know that he’s not going to do that because it would upset the liberal members of his base too much (like you) and it would take away valuable time from his whole “Celebrity-in-Chief” act. Furthermore, the Senate Majority Leader seems to think that climate change is more important to pass this year than immigration. (Seriously?!) So, since neither you nor your president seem to have any solution to the crisis in AZ, I would suggest following Thomas Paine’s advice and just getting out of the way of the Arizonans and letting them do what they think is best—hey, at the very least you can withhold judgment and refrain from implying that they are Nazis or in favor of apartheid (especially since their new law seems to be working).
Oh, and one more thing. The fact that, as previously stated, Arizona has almost a ten percent unemployment rate, has roughly the same crime rate as New York, has the largest rate of kidnappings in America, and has had several policemen and a rancher recently murdered tells me that things are seriously out of control for Arizonans, and I wouldn’t wish their situation on my worst enemy. And, the fact that seventy percent of Arizonans support this law (and fifty-one percent of AZ Democrats do as well), and that the majority of Hispanics in Arizona support this law, tells me that these people are not “RAAAAACIST!!”—they’re desperate.
By the way, you know what’s so sad about this whole situation in AZ? If you guys in New York were in a similar situation where you were being invaded by drug cartels from a country “with more violence than Iraq and Afghanistan” (to quote Geraldo Rivera who is actually very pro-illegal immigrant and once sparred with Bill O’Reilly over the subject), we in the red states would not be judging you and implying that you were Nazis if you went all Giuliani on them—we would have your back and be demanding that the president and Congress do something to help you. I guess the difference between liberals and conservatives is that we believe in the whole “There are no red states or blue states—there is only the United States” thing all of the time—you guys only seem to believe it during an election year.
Have a nice weekend! :-)
PS—Ms. Greenhouse, the only part of your column that I liked was when you wrote that you were going to personally boycott AZ. I think that’s best for all parties involved. However, I don’t think that you will be missed. I mean, I can’t picture the people of AZ saying, “Omigod, our state’s on fire and we are the kidnap capital of America! It sure would improve things if we had a snooty liberal from NY down here to judge us.”
PPS—On a personal note, when my husband and I moved recently from GA to SC, I was following him in my car when a SC policeman pulled me over. The first thing that he did was ask for my driver’s license. (Were my civil rights violated?) The officer who pulled me over was African American. I make this point only to say that when he asked for my license, I didn’t accuse him of just pulling me over because I was white, or tell him “Your mama has my driver’s license”. I just gave the man my license, apologized for my crappy driving (he said that I was weaving—I probably was), explained that I was tired from moving all day, and then he let me go without giving me a ticket and even gave me directions. Now, if I had accused him of racism and and made the “your mama” quip to him, do any of you think that I would have gotten a beer summit with the president? Nah, I probably would have spent the night in the clink for being an @&shole—and I would have deserved it too.
This diary was originally posted on The Minority Report.