Friday, June 11, 2010

Why Sen. Pearce's latest anti-immigrant bill infuriates even me...

Sen. Russell Pearce and the Arizona Republicans have clearly succumbed to heatstroke.

I’ve been in support of them recently - for their SB 1070 legislation that makes carrying legal identification mandatory, and gives police the power to demand the papers of anybody they reasonably suspect of being an illegal immigrant.

[I support it because that’s how things roll over in Europe. What liberals claim is akin to ‘fascism’ is actually an accepted part of living in so-called ‘progressive’ European countries.]

Some liberal-minded idiots have claimed it’s ‘racial profiling’ but that’s only because the profile of illegal immigrants in Arizona is almost universally Hispanic. If exactly the same law was enacted in New York, suspects would include teeming hordes of Irishmen, Israelis and Russians as well – so it wouldn’t be profiling at all. The law is colorblind – the criminals aren’t.

Yet while I support Arizona’s SB 1070, a new bill being forwarded has really disappointed me.

This new bill would take the clampdown on illegals one step further – by preventing the state from issuing birth certificates to children born in Arizona if their parents are illegal immigrants. The right-wing claim these ‘anchor babies’ – who are American citizens by right of being born in this country – are 'tool' illegals cynically use to establish legal ties to America that prevent their deportation.

Pearce may have a point – and like with the bill that required citizens to carry paperwork, it’s not exactly groundbreaking. Just about every western country has already changed their laws so that kids of foreign parents don’t automatically become citizens purely on the virtue of being born there.

But America stands apart – because the decision to award citizenship to every child born on American soil is enshrined in our most sacred document: The Constitution.

The 14th Amendment states that:
"all persons, born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States."
In short, Arizona doesn’t have the right to deny citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants. Sen. Pearce is proposing a law that’s so blatantly unconstitutional I have to wonder exactly what he was smoking when he imagined – even for a second – that he could get away with it!

Of course, he might get away with it. That’s the inevitable situation with State vs. Federal law. It will take a supreme court decision to establish that the law legally can’t be enforced – a process that could take years.

That’s presumably why Sen. Pearce proposed this bill – since I can’t imagine for a second that he was unaware just how unconstitutional it is. He’s playing the system and I don’t like it one goddamn bit. It’s unscrupulous and cheap.

I can’t stand hypocrisy, you see – and when it comes to screwing around with the Constitution, that’s exactly what the Arizona Republicans are guilty of.

These are the guys who claim to vehemently defend the Constitution – or, at least, the right not just to own guns, but to swagger around the state with them strapped to their thighs. Yet when it comes to getting their own way, they’re just as eager to toss aside the sacred document as the Democrats always seem to be.

[A similar example of this Constitutional hypocrisy is Sarah Palin, who claims the Constitution is a sacred document, but nevertheless wants to add a specific clause banning same-sex marriage to it.]

Seriously, you can either stand by the belief that the Constitution is a ‘living document’ that you can edit and alter (in which case, Democrats are good to go on repealing the Second Amendment and whatever else they want to toss in) or you can stick with the belief that the Constitution is good enough as it is – which is what I personally believe (and the Republicans ‘claim’ to.)

[After all, the US Constitution has lasted essentially unchanged for longer than the constitution of every other country in the world – combined.]

The fact that Sen. Pearce is one of those same right-wing windbags who ‘defend’ the Constitution every time they rail against the Obama administration, it’s absolutely unconscionable for him to propose a law that actually violates it.


One Salient Oversight said...

This is one of those states vs federal issues.

Addressing illegal immigration has no place at all in state legislatures. Since illegal immigrants can cross state borders, the only proper authority to deal with it and legislate is Congress.

The border between, say, Texas and Mexico is not a state border, it is a national border. Illegal crossings of a national border should be dealt with nationally and that means Washington and Congress.

And what I want to know is: How come the Republicans (who had congressional power between 1994 and 2006 and who had executive power between 2001 and 2008) did virtually nothing about illegal immigration while in power but now think it is a central issue now that they are out of power?

CK said...

OSO,not a fair criticism. They did a lot for immigration when they were in charge... but it was focused on terrorism. You have to pick your battles and the timing has to be right. Now the time is right, just as it was near the end of GWB's term... but by then Congress was controlled by Democrats.

If the federal government fails to do its job, then it is the states job to protect itself. NOBODY can defend the work of the federal government in this area... ever. It has sucked for 20+ years.

In regards to the topic of this post... I have to agree. Though I understand WHY he is doing it. The same reason liberals have done the same with marriage laws and other 'equality' legislation. Sometimes you make a bogus law to bring attention to the issue and force the federal government to react.

This is a part where I disagree with the constitution... but really, you can't! It is what it is and it gives illegals born here... citizenship. However I think the answer is a law to deport parents regardless... they can take their child with them if they insist.

Susanne said...

Good post. I hate that part of the constitution now that I see how problematic it can be, however, as you said it's there and we should respect it.

Andy said...

Of course the States have the right to make immigration policy. States can pass any law on any matter, as long as it does not violate The Constitution, or various Acts of Congress.

And such a law as this would clearly be overturned by the SCOTUS. 9-0

This is a stunt. The illegals are "on the run" from Arizona. This guy clearly knows that "eventually" the law would be overturned. But in the meantime, he wants to make sure that illegals go elsewhere to drop their anchor babies. The two or three years that it would take to work its' way through the courts (added to the enforcement of SB1070) might permanently (or at least for decades) change the migration patterns of illegals.

As much as I dislike illegal immigration, I do believe that The Framers were correct in granting citizenship to all born within our borders. It does set us apart in many ways from most of the world.

I have a friend who is a labor/delivery nurse at a large hospital in Laredo, TX. She knows first hand how illegals slip up at the hospital...deliver, and the tremendous financial cost it is to the State.

This guy is trying to make sure that they do that in Texas, NM, CA, and not in AZ (at least for a while).

Certainly a birth certificate should be issued, regardless of the parents' immigration status. Once's a stunt. "Keep 'em on the run." I'm not saying I agree with it, but I do see what's happening.

One Salient Oversight said...

however, as you said it's there and we should respect it.

Or change it via an amendment.

Changing the constitution via amendment is part of the constitution itself.