Arizona's Un-American Immigration Law

How the state's harsh new law undermines American exceptionalism

If universal health coverage was part of the longstanding liberal agenda to implement a European-style welfare state in America, Arizona's tough new anti-immigrant law represents the conservative agenda to install a European-style surveillance state. Indeed, the very same conservatives who could not find words strong enough to condemn the Europeanization of America under ObamaCare are now greeting the Arizona law—which will require residents to prove their lawful status to authorities on demand—with a cheerful smile and a shrug.

The two efforts together will nix any notion of American exceptionalism—the idea that America has a special relationship with Lady Liberty that no other country enjoys. Therefore some things that are permissible in other countries are simply not kosher here. (Is kosher still a permissible word for the English-only crowd?)

Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, less than two months ago lambasted American liberals for trying to use their unprecedented power after the 2008 elections to "bring the U.S. into line ... with Europe's nationalized health insurance and carbon rationing." But now the Arizona Republican establishment's effort to foist a German-style "your papers, please" immigration policy on its residents perturbs him not one bit. In fact, speculates Lowry, "Hitler would be crestfallen" that he is being compared to Arizona's wimpy approach.

Meanwhile, my dear friend and Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol, who worried endlessly about how ObamaCare would turn America into a high-tax, big welfare-state country, is resolutely blasé about the intrusive scope of the Arizona law because supposedly it just won't apply to too many people. "Will a few people get stopped perhaps because some policeman has reasonable suspicion that a person is illegal? Yes. That is the huge horrible civil rights violation that's going to occur five times or eight times or 13 times in Arizona," he scoffed on Fox News recently. If that's all that the law will do, then what is the point of it, dear Bill, given that there are nearly half a million undocumented workers in Arizona?

What's particularly distressing about Bill's position is that, like Arizona Sen. John McCain, who he has long supported, it represents an about-face from his previous advocacy of sensible immigration reform based not on enforcement but addressing the root cause of the large illegal population: lack of legal avenues for unskilled aliens to enter the U.S. Indeed they both have now moved to the right of Colorado Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo, who has long regarded chasing illegals out of the country as his God-given duty. But even he has expressed qualms about the potential for racial profiling under the Arizona law.

And then, of course, there is the King of Conservative Neo-Know-Nothings, Rush Limbaugh, who never misses an opportunity to inveigh against the creeping Europeanization under Obama. But he actively calls for imitating the Europeans on immigration now:

These are the enlightened souls that we are supposed to be like: The French, the Germans, the Swiss, even the Spanish. But the thing is they have no trouble whatsoever kicking out their illegal aliens. Aren't we constantly told that they are so much more enlightened than us in every way that we need to emulate them in all things, like providing universal health care and so forth? Yet we're not emulating them on immigration.

But what Limbaugh doesn't tell his listeners is that in reality these countries are doing a far more effective job of controlling their citizens than their borders—exactly what will happen in the United States if the Arizona law is replicated or federalized. Indeed, given that the overwhelming majority of undocumented workers are here because some American employer or family member wants them to be, there is no way to clamp down on them without imposing a vast, repressive state on American citizens that criminalizes ever-increasing spheres of life.

Arizona businesses have lived in fear of workplace immigration raids since a state law three years ago banned anyone from "knowingly" hiring illegal immigrants. Now the new law will extend the same intrusive state apparatus to individuals. It will ban Arizonians from knowingly—or even unknowingly—transporting illegal aliens for any reason, an explicit attempt to crack down on homeowners who pick up Mexicans gathered outside places like Home Depot for household projects.

But the most controversial aspect of the law is its provision requiring Arizona police to demand the immigration papers of any individual when "reasonable suspicion" exists that he or she might be illegal. If the police fails to do so, the law empowers bystanders to sue. But since "reasonable suspicion" won't involve presenting actual evidence before a judge to obtain a court order, the police will inevitably have to make snap judgments based on external features. This means that, unless Arizona deploys officers who are blind and deaf, they won't stop blue-eyed blonds who "speak American." Indeed, anyone who claims the law won't lead to racial profiling is in denial or just plain lying.

Even the claim that the bill doesn't apply to citizens is disingenuous. Regardless of what the law says, dark-skinned, naturalized citizens with an accent (like me) will inevitably feel the pressure to carry their papers around at all times. That's because if you can't produce them on demand, under Arizona law, you would have to be detained while the local police verify your status with immigration authorities—which will put you on the road to Kafkaland, where your freedom could be held hostage by a typographical error. The upshot will be a dual class of citizens on American soil: Paper-carrying and non-paper-carrying.

This is very similar to the situation in Italy, where the law does not require citizens to carry their identification papers—but if they don't have them, they have to face the prospect of being detained and hassled while authorities conduct a background check.

The only way of making the Arizona law less discriminatory will be by making it more draconian by implementing a full-blown National Identification system that covers all Americans, as in France and Belgium. In France random ID checks by police, especially in poorer neighborhoods, are quite common. And in Belgium, on the threat of fines, everyone over the age of 15 is required by law to carry an identity card complete with an electronic chip full of personal information.

This danger is hardly far-fetched given that America's leading immigration reform proposal—endorsed by President Obama—actually calls for a National ID program. But while such policies might behoove countries where citizenship is like membership in an ethnic or linguistic club, it is profoundly at odds with America's spirit of openness, which embraces everyone who shares its ideals of liberty. Regrettably, however, Arizona's misguided law might have set into motion the second prong of the bipartisan consensus that is closing, pincer-like, to squeeze out everything unique about America.

Welcome to the United States of Europe.

Shikha Dalmia is a senior analyst at Reason Foundation and a columnist at Forbes. This column originally appeared at Forbes.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Quit whining.

  • ||

    It's unbecoming.

  • ||

    Why in the world would we want any avenues - legal or otherwise - for unskilled laborers to enter the U.S.? Don't we have enough illiterates, who are unable to speak English, graduating from high schools and colleges across the nation? Don't we have enough native-born lazy people who believe that they have a God-given right to have the government tax those who work and pay the lazy to have kids, plus pay for housing, meals, etc for them? No, I guess not. That's why we need to just open the doors and let in whoever wants to come. The reason why unrestricted immigration was, at one time, a source of strength is because we didn't have welfare without limits, we didn't have English As a Second Language classes for kids born here, we didn't make excuses for kids who were unwilling to behave in schools, we didn't have an all-encompassing web of rules, regulations, laws which require certifications, licenses, permission from some pin-headed bureaucrat or petty politician before we could work at a job.

    If having a federal law requiring you to carry your "papers" is too onerous, go home! That's been the law for a long time, way before you applied for a visa. Arizona's new law doesn't change that, only changes the likelihood of being required to show them.

    Less government = freedom. No National ID cards; more of what has made us sick already!

  • Untermensch||

    Ike, I'm guessing you don't see the manifest contradiction between your last sentence and the rest of what you wrote...

  • Zeb||

    You seem a bit confused. I am home. The new law means that they can demand anyone's papers.

  • ||

    Ike,
    First paragraph was spot on - then it kinda went downhill from there....

  • Tim||

    Do you have a door on your house or do you are you fine with just anybody walking in?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Worry about your own fucking door.
    I'll open mine to whomever I choose.

  • Ron||

    Will your door still be open if I come in through the window? See it's always good when you know when and where there coming in isn't it. By the way the last group to allow uncontrolled imigration was the first native American's, how did that work out for them.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Jesus Christ. It's a good thing that knowing English isn't a requirement for citizenship or Ron would be on the next plane out.
    You can't make this stuff up.

  • ||

    Is this a prediction of genocide via brown horde? How odd.

  • ||

    By the way the last group to allow uncontrolled imigration was the first native American's...

    ...and every other American before the 1920's.

    Do you really know so little about immigration?

  • Tim||

    Citizen Nothing
    Where do you live and is there any beer in the fridge?

  • Tim||

    And I don't mean Heineken.

  • Metazoan||

    The analogy fails, since the whole country does not belong to you, Tim.

  • Ron||

    The analogy still works, any system that is overburden fails. weather it be your own home or in this case the United States social system of taking care of it's own. An example, California's closure of multiple hospitals due to overburdening by non-citizens. This is the destruction I eluded to in my earlier comments not a genocide of groups but the financial collapse of a nation by overburdening it. A controlled border allows a nation to absorb immigrants at a workable rate. Much like a spillway gate of a dam controls the flow of water to keep it from being overrun and damaging itself.

  • ben||

    Ron, you should really get someone to edit your comments before you post. Seriously.. you could probably pick up a random Mexican from Home Depot to do it and it would be an improvement.

  • Ron||

    continued attacks on my writing skills but not the subject. interesting

  • Citizen Nothing||

    God damn I hate the fucking xenophobic part-time freedom lovers.

  • ||

    ""God damn I hate the fucking xenophobic part-time freedom lovers""

    Didn't you get the memo? Freedom is about not following the laws which you disagree while demanding others follow the laws you like.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Sorry. My bad. I'll read my e-mail next time.

  • ||

    I think very few people here are xenophobes who hate immigrants man. What I gather is that the general consensus is that if you take away the special treatment and benefits from being an immigrant (even an illegal one) - you make it less attractive for the freeloaders. Sure there are some very hard working immigrants - to those I have no issues. Yet the ones who only survive here because of special treatment and other freebied, are the ones we can do without. I think that immigration is being looked at the way it is today because as the freebies grow, so does the number of immigrants - can we agree on that?

  • The Flame||

    Agreed.

    I also hate fucking retards like you and Shikha Dalmia. Because you and other wouldn't dare to condemn any other country's immigration Llaw.

  • The Flame||

    Oopies! I put two l.

  • Untermensch||

    Funny thing. When I made these same points earlier today on a thread JohnD and "dot" accused me of being a stupid bleeding heart. Bee vee called me a "crybaby" and when I referenced "Ihre Papiere, bitte", "dot" accused me of Godwinning the thread and told me take a time out...

    I'm not complaining at all about it, but just wondering if they'll all show up here en masse to tell Shikha off too.

    My favorite line in this is this:

    Indeed, anyone who claims the law won't lead to racial profiling is in denial or just plain lying.

    That could apply to JohnD and "dot" pretty well...

  • Jen||

    I think comparisons to Nazi Germany are ridiculously hyperbolic and only serve to take credibility away from this law's opponents. Reasonable suspicion has already been defined by the Supreme Court. If Arizona's law results in profiling (which I admit it might), everyone who has been profiled has a legal case against the state. When Arizona gets sick of paying legal fees and damages, the profiling will likely cease or at least decline dramatically, and the "reasonable suspicion" clause will be upheld. I don't actually have a problem with this.

    Don't get me wrong; I think it needs to be easier to get here legally. But that's where Dalmia and I part ways: I think if more laws like Arizona's get passed, it will point out the glaring problems in our immigration system. If enough states do this, it could well result in a shortage of unskilled labor. If our federal government manages to muster up enough competence to put together a bill that makes sense, we might end up opening to doors as much as Dalmia wants. And if I'm wrong, they can always repeal it...

  • AJs||

    Re: According to the court, they ruled that 'reasonable suspicion' can not be caused by refusing to answer questions, refusing a voluntary search as well cannot be based on race or ethnicity. So while 'reasonable suspicion' might be applicable to a stop and frisk - how exactly will it be applied with respect to someone's immigration status? How do you suspect someone is here illegally who has not broken a law? They need to more clearly define this than just simply, 'reasonable suspicion' which in turn allows for detainment.

    As for your second point, so you are hoping for chaos in order to restore liberty and good common sense? Wouldn't it make more sense to fix the immigration problem (i.e. wider gates) before the 'taller fences'? I mean, we will never be able to build fences tall enough without completely (as the article states) controlling CITIZENS.

  • Jen||

    You're not making any sense on reasonable suspicion. Like I said, it's already been defined by the Supreme Court. You're stating your argument as if reasonable suspicion is itself the definition, but it is not. Police will have to have an articulable belief that an individual is here illegally, drawn from reasonable inferences from particular facts. If they do not and someone has been stopped (or more likely, investigated in some other way; opponents of this law focus too much on police randomly stopping people in the street, which I don't think very likely), if the reasonable suspicion is lacking, those that have been harmed will file lawsuits, and they will win.

    And what do you think the odds are that the federal government is going to "fix the immigration problem" on its own, given that it's had decades to do so and has chosen not to? At any rate, this law is not chaos. It simply enforces existing federal law (yet another reason why it's folly to sit on our hands and wait for the feds to do anything).

  • .||

    I had to show my driver's license and provide my SS number for a pre-employment drug test yesterday. I felt so...so violated. It was my own private Kristallnacht.

  • jacob||

    +1

  • ||

    And because you had to do it you want others to have to do it, too? My reaction to having to show papers for an I-9 for a job I ALREADY HAD (because the ownership changed in such a way that all of us working there were considered to be newly employed) was to wish the law were repealed so NOBODY would have to do it, not to hope that someone else would have to suffer the same inconvenience and indignity.

  • Haimerej||

    "Inconvenience and indignity"???

    Could you elaborate on that? I see the "inconvenient" part, but that's hardly a justification. I think it's "inconvenient" that I have to drive an extra block to get a better price at the grocery store than I could at the corner gas station. Oh the HORROR!!

    Please explain this matter of "indignity" to me. This sounds like an elitist who, upon not getting the treatment they "deserve" says, "Do you know who I AM??!!?" Get over yourself.

  • ||

    As I have read about this law, it appears to do nothing more or less than give Arizona law enforcement the same ability to enforce immigration law as federal agents have.

    Federal law requires immigrants to carry their card at all times, and they may be asked for it at any time by any federal agent.

    Federal law allows federal agents to ask any citizen to demonstrate that they are all a legal resident.

    Am I wrong about this? If not, what is objectionable about Arizona doing what the feds do?

  • Untermensch||

    Joe Arpaio and his conviction that it his job to rid the world of illegal scum is what's wrong. For him it doesn't matter if you destroy some lives of people who are here legally in the process.

  • kinnath||

    If not, what is objectionable about Arizona doing what the feds do?

    The police in Arizona.

  • Jen||

    Please explain how any legal resident's life will be destroyed (hint: "destroyed" and "inconvenienced" are not synonymous).

  • kinnath||

    Please explain why the state has authority to "inconvience" any legal resident without probable cause of a crime being committed.

  • Polynikes||

    Is that how the law is written? The police can stop anyone for no reason at all? I don't think it does.

  • kinnath||

    If the officer states in an official report that the subject was acting furtively, then the office can demand proof of residency.

    It doesn't matter what the fucking law actually says, it provides a fig leaf to allow officers to stop anyone at random, so long as the officer can remember a dozen or so key phrases to write in a report.

  • ||

    When one assumes that law enforcement officials are fundamentally corrupt, one can justify opposition to any law. Of course, this leads, assuming one is consistent, to opposition to all laws on the basis that all of them will be abused.

    Now, when one wakes up from that emotional ignorance, assuming one does, one may realize that one has been ignoring the fact that corruption in enforcement and the positive or negative nature of the law are wholly separate issues. Don't believe me? Then try explaining how the "Law A is abused, therefore it should not exist" argument is substantially different than the "guns are abused, therefore people should not have them" one.

  • Sam||

    exactly. thank you.

  • jacob||

    Excellent point Cortillaen. I notice no one has taken a stab at the question you posed

  • ||

    I'll bite (even though I agree with you, I might as well play it out).

    "Then try explaining how the "Law A is abused, therefore it should not exist" argument is substantially different than the "guns are abused, therefore people should not have them" one"

    Law a is not a fundamental right as addressed specifically in the constitution - where as the second amendment is chrystal clear on gun policy.

    A gun is a tool that can be used by an indiviudal for whatever use the individual wants it to be. Target practice, protection, hunting etc. Immigration is a tool exploited by politicians that allows a country to fall into political, ecomonic, and many other issues. Not even guns hold that power.

    Like I said, I am siding with you, but you did ask, and that was what I could come up with.......

  • Federal Dog||

    Take it up with the Supreme Court. Probable cause has not been the requirement for threshold inquiry since 1968.

  • kinnath||

    I believe that -Jen- was implying the detention resulting from not having the correct identification was "inconvienent" not "destructive".

    Threshold inquiry is not equal to detention until proven to be legally within the US borders.

  • Jen||

    Actually, no, kinnath, you're just assuming that investigation is the same thing as detention. It is not.

  • Jen||

    In other words, kinnath, you are unable to answer my question and positively demonstrate how even one single legal resident's life will be destroyed. Thank you.

  • &||

    it his job to rid the world of illegal scum

    You are a caricature of yourself. Wouldn't your "talents" be put to better use on, say, an AOL chat room? Think about it.

  • Untermensch||

    No idea what the hell you're talking about.

  • &||

    Therapy might help you address your inner conflicts and your propensity for hyperbole.

  • ||

    ""If not, what is objectionable about Arizona doing what the feds do?""

    Can a state declare war with another country? There are somethings the Constitution gives to the feds and not the states, No?

  • ||

    I mean creating their own rules about immigration, not asking for their IDs.

  • Tim||

    "Am I wrong about this? If not, what is objectionable about Arizona doing what the feds do?"

    YOU'RE HITLER!

  • ||

    You are correct. No matter how much libertarians and/or liberals try to mischaracterize this law, it's not all that big a deal.

    ...That is the huge horrible civil rights violation that's going to occur five times or eight times or 13 times in Arizona," he scoffed on Fox News recently. If that's all that the law will do, then what is the point of it, dear Bill, given that there are nearly half a million undocumented workers in Arizona?

    That's a silly question.
    It has deterrent value. For every unfortunate false positive (cop asking to see papers of a LEGAL citizen), there will probably be hundreds of true positives and/or illegals leaving to avoid being a true positive.

  • kinnath||

    False Positive ==> citizen held against his or her will until the state decides to let him or her go.

    Since the number of illegals is a fraction of the population, the number of false positives generated from random checks will exceed the number of true positives unless the authorities impose profiling of some sort.

    There will be many, many fuckups resulting from this new law.

  • ||

    No doubt, as is the case with all laws.
    Choosing to do nothing (which itself is a fuckup) to avoid fuckups is all the new law is putting an end to. They're just enforcing the existing federal law.

  • kinnath||

    No, Az is authorizing all agents of the state to detain and verify the legality of anyone that appears suspicious.

    Az is also allowing state agents to confiscate the property of anyone that appears to be aiding someone illegally. We've seen how well that works when wedded to the War on Drugs.

    The new Az law is a cluster fuck of overreaching.

  • ||

    I would think they could help the feds with enforcing the law, but not doing anything beyond the federal law, nor creating their own laws about immigration. If they arrested someone in violation of federal law, the decision to prosecute or deport would still be up to the feds.

  • kinnath||

    The new AZ law makes being illegally withing the US borders a state crime. It authorizes all agents of the state, not just law enforcment officers, to determine the legality of anyone the agent deems supicious. It authorizes the seizure of vehicle of legal residents that transport illegal residents.

    The Az law is far more that just copying the federal law.

  • ||

    I think they fixed the "all agents" part. Now it only authorizes LEOs to harass people. Marginally less repulsive I suppose.

  • ||

    ""The new AZ law makes being illegally withing the US borders a state crime.""

    That should make it unconstitutional.

  • ||

    If you are illegally within the AZ borders then you are already breaking a state crime - how is that unconstitutional?

  • ||

    Illegally entry into the US is a federal crime. Feds have the jurisdiction over immigration. The state can assist the feds, but they can't write their own immigration laws.

  • ||

    Well, fuck that shit. I'm boycotting the United States, starting right now. How could it pass such laws?

  • ||

    Pro Libertate|5.5.10 @ 3:57PM|#
    Well, fuck that shit. I'm boycotting the United States, starting right now. How could it pass such laws?

    please feel free to leave anytime you wish or not come here at all

  • Zeb||

    I have a problem with agents of the state being able to ask citizens for their papers. There is no requirement that a citizen have any means to prove that they are legal residents or citizens and there should not be.

  • Robin Pejsa||

    Ah, but there is a law that states that all non citizens carry their papers. Kind of interesting don't you think?

  • AJs||

    Based on a 'reasonable suspicion' (whatever the hell that is) the local LEO declares you guilty and you must prove your innocence.

  • Federal Dog||

    You're not familiar with the last half-century of criminal law, are you?

  • AJs||

    Point taken.

  • Federal Dog||

    Look, don't get me wrong: I make a living contesting police overreaching during Terry stops (i.e., warrantless searches predicated on "reasonable suspicion" of crime). The potential for abuse is very real: It's how cops and prosecutors fuel the asset forfeiture machine.

    People, however, have shown no concern about that standard for well over forty years. If the standard is constitutionally objectionable, why the highly selective and extremely recent hysteria limited to immigration crime alone?

  • AJs||

    Speak for yourself about it being highly selective adn extremely recent - I have, and I would imagine a majority of the posters here have had more than concern about these type of loose law enforcement standards for a very long time. And why the backlash against AZ on a more mass scale? Who knows, slow news day when it broke? I don't know, but it's a potentially a very good thing - gets people talking about REAL immigration reform as well LEO absuses. The potentially BAD thing would be this law officially being adopted concurrently with National ID with NO real immigration reform.......

  • ||

    I've been sitting down here in Arizona pondering the opposition to the law. It seems that everyone including the DOJ is objecting on the grounds that this usurps Federal Law.
    Let's say that it does.
    Does this mean that every state that passes laws more restrictive that a Federal law (CAFE,clean water, etc ) now need to get out of an area that the Feds have claimed for themselves?

    Does this work both ways?

  • ||

    Maybe states can no longer have a minimum wage law (for one example).

  • ||

    Except Border Patrol agents only have authority to do it within 100 miles of the Border not in downtown Pheonix.

  • ||

    And then ICE takes over...

  • ||

    As I read the Constitution, ONLY the States have the power to pass or enforce immigration law. The Feds get to say how a foreigner becomes a citizen. But as there is no specific immigration authority in the Constitution, that authority and powers necessary to exercise it devolve to the States. So, as much as I think that Arizona is doing a very unfortunate thing, I think that they are within their Constitutional rights to do it. I only wish they wouldn't couch their assertion of authority in terms of stepping in where the Feds have abdicated. As I see it, the Feds originally USURPED the so-called "authority" that Arizona is trying to shame them into asserting now.

  • ||

    ""The Feds get to say how a foreigner becomes a citizen. But as there is no specific immigration authority in the Constitution, that authority and powers necessary to exercise it devolve to the States. ""

    Are they are streaching the term naturalization? Maybe, but not much if at all. Issues of citizenship are under the umbrella of naturalization. Therefore if you're questioning one's citizenship status, it's a federal question, not a state question. That doesn't prevent states from assisting the feds. It should prevent them from creating their own law with respects to citizenship, or naturalization if you will.

  • ||

    ""As I have read about this law, it appears to do nothing more or less than give Arizona law enforcement the same ability to enforce immigration law as federal agents have.""

    Didn't Arizona make it a state crime?

    It has to be more than just doing what they can already do, they don't need a new law for that.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    Apparently open-borders libertarians are trying to win an award for Most Punchable American Political Animal.

  • Tim||

    You're Hitler too.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    No. Just a tool. No better or worse than the gun-grabbers, the socialists or the chicken hawks. Just another brand of tool.

  • Tim||

    Hand me the shrimp will ya.

  • Tim||

    The jerk store called and they're running out of you...

  • Citizen Nothing||

    You'd be surprised how often I hear that.
    Or maybe not.

  • ||

    Your a tool. No better or worse than the the PC thugs, the affirmative action police, or big central gov't lovers.

    See how well name calling helps the situation?!

    This is a complex issue. Seeing it in black or white is just naive.

  • ||

    Sorry, I think I may have inadvertantly stepped into a parody of some sort.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    You'd be surprised how often I hear that.
    Or maybe not.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Although your false analogy sucks balls, too.

  • ||

    Yeah, I can't stand your guts either.
    Let's just avoid each other in the future.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I thought you fought open-fisted, Slap.

  • Tim||

    Jerk store!

    Ah, I got nothin.

  • ||

    The unspoken turf battle that is now taking place in Arizona is between Sequilla El Norte and assorted American drug dealers. The winner will own the billion dollar Arizona drug trade. The favorite is Sequilla El Norte, their members are able to hit a moving target with a stiletto at 30 feet.

  • Zeb||

    Well, there is exactly one solution to that problem.

  • JSinAZ||

    I think you meant the Arizona corridor for the drug trade. There aren't enough people here to make it really lucrative.

  • Tim||

    Timely I suppose.

    http://www.aintitcool.com/node/44943

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Ok. Let me just say that is a brilliant clip.
    Danny Trejo, Bobby De Niro plus Jessica Alba, Don Johnson, Lindsay Lohan and half the supporting cast of LOST including Cheech Marin, Michelle Rodriguez and Jeff Fahey. How can this be for real?
    We might be looking at the greatest flik of all time.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    And Steven Segal! How could I forget him?

    "They just fucked with the wrong Mexican!"
    Mucho awesomeness.

  • ||

    still laughing - sure the plot is misguided given history, but i suppose as long as it is going to be one-sided, why not pull another Che?
    At least this one has good action it seems

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Arizona's tough new anti-immigrant law represents the conservative agenda to install a European-style surveillance state"

    The Arizona law merely duplicates pre-existing federal law.

    If I recall correctly, the federal law requireing legal aliens to carry their papers at all times was signed by FDR.

    So it isn't the Arizona law that initiates a "surveillance state". The federal laws already did that.

    What has the opponents lathered up is the prospect that these laws actaully might be enforced - unlike the federal ones.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Dear Shikha,

    Congrats on a brilliant post.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Vanneman posts here?

    CANCIL MY SUBSCRIPTION!

  • Tim||

    You can cil your own subscriprtion.

  • ||

    The answer is simple. Immediate amnesty for all illegals after a criminal background check under the condition that they may never become citizens or oblige themselves of entitlements.

    Done. No Police State. No Welfare State.

    If anyone on either side doesn't like that they are lying about their motives.

    Only people pursuing legal immigration may become citizens. It's unfair and a moral hazard to punish them.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    Simpler answer - simply state that anyone in the country illegally isn't protected by American law. Let the citizenry do the rest!

  • ||

    Well, it's not as simple as that. What do you do with the illegals who have kids here in the U.S. (kids are legal citizens) and the parents either can't find or don't want work? Only feasible answer: welfare, medicaid, food stamps, etc.

  • ||

    It is as simple. Children of aliens are aliens, but aliens needn't be criminal.

    The law enshrining anchor babies is immoral and repugnant.

  • ||

    Then we have a deal! Next issue.

  • ||

    Welfare, medicaid, food stamps are the very reason many of these people are here. That is the central problem, not low-wage migrant workers displacing American laborers (they're not). Faithkills' solution is a good one, if incomplete. My additions: amnesty is for the worker only, not his family. They go home, and he sends them money if he wants to. No welfare, medicaid, etc., for any of them. And if he can't find work, go home. I have no moral obligation to provide education, food, housing, medical care, etc., for illegals or their children. Change the law so that citizenship by birth is automatic only for someone whose parents who are in the country legally. Others are just as illegal as their parents.

    We can't have both open borders and a welfare state. We're stuck with the latter, so we have to work on the other end of the problem: immigration. Get control of the borders and we can then have a reasonable discussion about how to deal with those already here. (My suggestions are above.) Since the Feds refuse to do that it falls to the states. I don't much like having them ask for "papers" (which is really just a drivers license), but it has been forced on them by Washington's cowardly abdication of its responsibility.

  • MWG||

    "Welfare, medicaid, food stamps are the very reason many of these people are here."

    [citation needed]

  • ||

    citation

    http://www.cis.org/articles/2004/fiscalexec.html

    Among the findings:

    Households headed by illegal aliens imposed more than $26.3 billion in costs on the federal government in 2002 and paid only $16 billion in taxes, creating a net fiscal deficit of almost $10.4 billion, or $2,700 per illegal household.

    Among the largest costs are Medicaid ($2.5 billion); treatment for the uninsured ($2.2 billion); food assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches ($1.9 billion); the federal prison and court systems ($1.6 billion); and federal aid to schools ($1.4 billion).

    With nearly two-thirds of illegal aliens lacking a high school degree, the primary reason they create a fiscal deficit is their low education levels and resulting low incomes and tax payments, not their legal status or heavy use of most social services.

    On average, the costs that illegal households impose on federal coffers are less than half that of other households, but their tax payments are only one-fourth that of other households.

    Many of the costs associated with illegals are due to their American-born children, who are awarded U.S. citizenship at birth. Thus, greater efforts at barring illegals from federal programs will not reduce costs because their citizen children can continue to access them.

    If illegal aliens were given amnesty and began to pay taxes and use services like households headed by legal immigrants with the same education levels, the estimated annual net fiscal deficit would increase from $2,700 per household to nearly $7,700, for a total net cost of $29 billion.

    Costs increase dramatically because unskilled immigrants with legal status -- what most illegal aliens would become -- can access government programs, but still tend to make very modest tax payments.

    Although legalization would increase average tax payments by 77 percent, average costs would rise by 118 percent.

    The fact that legal immigrants with few years of schooling are a large fiscal drain does not mean that legal immigrants overall are a net drain -- many legal immigrants are highly skilled.

    The vast majority of illegals hold jobs. Thus the fiscal deficit they create for the federal government is not the result of an unwillingness to work.

    The results of this study are consistent with a 1997 study by the National Research Council, which also found that immigrants' education level is a key determinant of their fiscal impact.

  • MWG||

    Wow, you can cut and paste. Unfortunately you lack comprehension skill. I asked you for proof that "Welfare, medicaid, food stamps are the very reason many of these people are here." Not whether or not illegal immigrants have access to welfare.

    What you cut and pasted is an argument against the welfare state something all libertarians agree on.

    Just because the government (through both conservatives and liberals) has set up a welfare state, doesn't give big government the right to decide who I can and can't hire to cut my lawn.

  • ||

    Your brain isn't working here. It's irrelevant what % is here for what reason. What's relevant is that the problem is the ones that are for entitlements. That some are, is a valid objection. Just shut out that option and you have no more valid objection to decriminalization of illegals.

    Again, if you reject that then you're lying about your motives. If you're really worried about a police state.. take away the rights only valid objection. Call their bluff.

  • ||

    NAL's "citation" doesn't support the premise (that illegals are here for welfare).

  • JSinAZ||

    "That is the central problem, not low-wage migrant workers displacing American laborers (they're not)."

    I've seen this claim, although usually not made by someone living in south central Arizona. Do you have a pointer to some data about this? Otherwise my anecdote about the language issues I had with the roofers working for me last month beats your unsubstantiated assertion any day of the week!

  • ||

    http://www.cis.org/articles/2004/fiscalexec.html

  • JSinAZ||

    I read the report, which had to do with governmental costs/tax revenues for illegal immigration and what might take place in certain amnesty scenarios.

    The only quote that seemed to relate to the point I was attempting to make was this:

    "The vast majority of illegals hold jobs. Thus the fiscal deficit they create for the federal government is not the result of an unwillingness to work"

    This would seem to belie your claim that illegals do not take jobs that would otherwise be held by legal immigrants or citizens - unless you are contending that those jobs would not exist at all if not for illegal immigration?

    Please be more specific if you can - I would like to understand the basis for your claim.

  • jacob||

    amnesty is for the worker only, not his family. They go home, and he sends them money if he wants to.

    Oh, we just split the families up! It's just that fucking easy! Why hasn't this caught on sooner?

    [saracsm off]

    A nice try, but really a horrible idea. Do you really support marching the non-working spouses and children of illegal immigrants out of this country by gunpoint?

    Let me ask you this: An immigrant couple comes here to work for $3/hr, person working about 40 hrs a week. The wife gets pregnant and has to stop working. The baby is born. The family has no money for a babysitter, and no money for the child's shots. Is your brilliant idea that we kick the mom and kid out? Wouldn't it just be easier to give NO AMNESTY for any of them - if they wanted in, come in legally in the first place.

  • ||

    Here's your problem. You're only valid objection is citizenship and entitlements. If you want to 'protect american jobs' you're fighting a futile and self destructive fight. We've 'protected' away so many jobs overseas that we're a pathetic ghost of our previous industrial powerhouse. We pay for propping up jobs and wages with debt and inflation. There's no other way around it. You're buying into Keynesian economic planning, and in so doing you think 2+2=5. It doesn't and never will.

    Wages are a chimeara. Buying power is what is important. Our wages are high, but how much more can we buy than 10 years ago? (if you're even employed) Inflation is a game rigged against the worker, requiring the worker to regularly go hat in hand to ask for raises, price deflation, which is the natural state without a central bank, reverses the relationship. Worker buying power goes up continually and the status quo favors workers. Employers must go asking for pay reductions.

    Short answer, and I know you will have difficulty believing it but it's economically and historically demonstrable. If they aren't sucking off the nanny states tit, they will only make your life better. Now if we can just get ourselves off the tit we could become shining city on the hill again.

  • Polynikes||

    If I understand the Arizona statute correctly, this article is poorly researched and written. Mr. Dalmia writes:

    "the Arizona law—which will require residents to prove their lawful status to authorities on demand—with a cheerful smile and a shrug."

    Not true, and if I am correct, the article then proceeds from a faulty premise. I do have concerns about the implementation by the authorities, but Jen covered the remedy to that quite nicely.

    And the reference to Nazi Germany is stupid and hurts the author's credibility.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    "...poorly researched and written. Mr. Dalmia writes:..."
    Again, you can't make up comedy like that.

  • Kevin Waterman||

    The revisions Brewer signed off on don't actually do anything of substance to change the law, a point made quite well in Jacob Sullum's article (http://reason.com/archives/2010/05/05/arrest-everybody) earlier today.

    If you want a section by section of the revisions, http://questingforatlantis.com.....revisions/

  • Sheriff Joe Arpaio||

    "Dalmia" sounds awfully suspicious.

    Can you please send us your address.

  • ||

    I'm no fan of the Arizona law. But, could we PLEASE place a voluntary ban on the use of the phrase "un-American." It's difficult to take an article seriously that leads off with a word that only contributes to the politics of hyperbole.

    I'd also recommend a voluntary ban on hyperbolic references to Nazi Germany. Having both in the same article not only hurts the author's credibility, as noted by Polynikes, it destroys it ten times over.

    I lived in Japan as a documented worker and carried "my papers" with me at all times. I was never too worried that Hitler was lurking behind police officers who asked me for them.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    That's cool...

    ...you un-American Nazi.

  • ||

    T thought being un-american was the new black.

  • hlm||

    Under the law if you give an illegal alien a ride your car can be confiscated by the police. I drive with a foreign driver's license but am a US citizen, born here, not naturalized. This law puts me at risk and I have to start carrying a copy of my passport with me as well otherwise a routine traffic stop would mean my arrest until the bureaucrats figure out what end is up. The law also makes it illegal to "encourage" illegal immigration, in violation of the First Amendment.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    If you are a U.S. citizen and were born here why do you have a foreign drivers licence?

    I'm trying to picture the circumstance that would require that.

    Do you live in another country and just drive around here when coming back for visits or something?

  • AJs||

    Don't forget about your passenger - if that person causes 'reasonable suspicion' of the officer and that person cannot on demand provide the proof of thier innocence, you BOTH can be detained. And if it happened to be a traffic stop, they may need to tow your car so that it is not a traffic hazard while they take the hours or maybe even days to verify the persons immigration/citizen status. In the end, if it just happened your passenger WAS a citizen and/or otherwise here legally, you will be allowed back on your way... provided of course you pay the towing/impound expense...

  • creech||

    I've been stopped by ICE at the checkpoint between Del Rio and Sanderson, TX. My state drivers license was o.k. and a glance around the car satisfied the federale. What can or would they currently do in hlm's situation?

  • ||

    Obviously, reason.com or the writter has not read or has no comprehension abilities when reading the Arizona Law. Your attitude is idiotic. Please cancil my subscription to reason.com

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Ah, this again! But with a gooey chocolate center of quasi-illiteracy goodness!

    Cancil my subscription!

  • ||

    Damn, all those revolutions for nothing. I guess ol' America got the stockholm syndrome for Europe, too bad they aren't Amsterdam with their sex laws.

    Ok, that's enough naming cities and countries.

  • ||

    It is not clear Shikha where you are trying to go with this essay. This is a rather labored effort to draw some connection, or distinction, between opposing to socialized medicine and enforcing immigration laws. The fact of the matter is the 0bama healthcare legislation is the culmination of a decades old dream of American socialist/liberal/progressive/democrats to create a government run system to serve some imagined right born of the guilt contained in Roosevelt’s 2nd bill of rights. The Arizona law is one of 50 states (and hopefully more to come) merely carrying out federal law which the federal government will not carry on its own. The 0bama care debacle is a massive spending program which intrudes into the relationship between a doctor and patient which does not require federal intervention by any measure. The Arizona immigration law seeks to stem and reverse the flow of illegal aliens in the U.S. whose presence alone commences a long chain of offenses from tax evasion, myriad motor vehicle violations, fraud of the welfare system and a multitude of other programs I pay for and these illegals do not.
    Since when is enforcing our laws and supporting the Constitution un-American?

  • Zeb||

    Since we started having ill conceived and counterproductive laws, that's when.

  • ||

    The constitution does not grant the federal government the power to create a multi-billion dollar leviathan which employs thousands and thousands of parasites who do not make or produce anything.

    One does not have a right to have "border control" as one does not have a right to have a national sovereign "govern" and "protect" him. In turn, one does not have a right to impose some kind of language requirement on any other person, period. Nor does one have a right to impose his totalitarian impulses upon others, such as a requirement to carry papers.

    OTOH, at the risk of being called a racist, we can not ignore the reality that the prospect of getting free stuff forms part of the motivation for coming to gringoland in the first place, for a significant portion of those who do come.

    Thus, the solution, as always, is to shrink the state. Eliminate warfare and welfare.

  • JSinAZ||

    As much as I agree with you regarding the size of government or it's ability to create large expensive agencies that do squat, I'm not sure where in the constitution this expected behavior is forbidden. Can you point to something specific?

  • ||

    You're question is confused. Look at Article 1 Section 8.

    Is the power listed? (profit!)
    Is the power not listed? (unconstitutional)

  • ||

    You have to carry papers. I'm not sure why illegals do not. You carry a DL.

    But flip this around. If you are stopped you will have your record run for warrants, attachments, and bulletins.

    However if an illegal is stopped they are currently immune from the same checks you are subject to for their crime.

    AZ law merely rectifies that immunity.

    If the law is bad, fine. But the AZ law doesn't make being illegal, illegal. Fed law does that. AZ l;aw just checks for that. Just like you will be checked when you are stopped.

  • ||

    There is a beanie in town whom we call Speedy Gonzales. He spray paints a house for only 150 bucks including the paint. Every house in the area was done by him including the home of a civil judge. According to some unemployed rednecks, the home owners should be arrested, imprisoned and Speedy deported. If that happened the cost of spray painting a house would be 800 bucks, the paint not included. Budget minded homeowners love speedy more than the unemployed rednecks, and hope he will bring in his 5 brothers.

  • ||

    Gay. I get yer point, but damn... gay.

  • JSinAZ||

    I get your point - the costs to the customer go up when the service provider is subject to the raft of costs incurred in the form of regulation or taxation from which the illegal does not suffer.

    Or did you have something else in mind, aside from your attempt at racialist vilification?

  • ||

    How do you feel about managers of the fire department in Oregon losing their jobs because they can't speak spanish?

    I'm not opposed to immigration, obviously, since I'm Polish. However, I do feel a man should be broken in when it comes to the customs of other Nations.

    If I was visiting a foreign nation, out of a sign of respect, I would try to follow their cultural code of conduct... I wouldn't drink piss water beer in front of a native born German, for instance.

    Liberals think that the "melting pot" means to just kiss everybody's ass until the power is in their hands. Don't celebrate Christmas because it upsets Jews and Muslims.

    The melting pot, to me, means that one culture is an embroidery of a plethora of ideas that are international....and that culture becomes the identity and personification that we know as "America".

    It doesn't mean we should abandon our traditions because it offends people that want to move here.

    Every other country in the world is allowed to have its own identity.

  • ||

    An employer has the right to set conditions of employment. If speaking Spanish is one of them then so be it.

    One of the exceptional things about America is that every PERSON is allowed to have his or her own identity. It's that respect for the individual that makes America superior to every other country in the world.

  • ||

    I was just wondering how it made Americans feel that a native citizen lost his job because he couldn't speak spanish.

  • ||

    So it appears that people are popping forehead veins left and right on cnn.com's story about the Phoenix Suns changing their jerseys to read "Los Suns" in protest of the AZ law.

    The level of stupid on general news website comment threads is astounding.

    Anyway, good to see the Suns stick it to assholes like Arpaio.

  • .||

    You really think the Suns are doing this out of principle? You are very naive.

  • JSinAZ||

    Quite right. The Suns are doing this as an attempt to be innoculated against the Anger of the Righteous such that the money will continue to flow. I would not be surprised at some additional proactive racial guilt payouts either.

  • ed||

    I would not be surprised at some additional proactive racial guilt payouts

    Good line. Anyway, why take a serious, scholarly look at collectivism, tribalism and racial guilt when you can just go an NBA game? Everybody wins!

  • ||

    While I'm absolutely certain they want to make money off this episode:

    Robert Sarver, owner of “Los Suns,” said his team will wear the jerseys during Game Two of its playoff matchup with the San Antonio Spurs, which falls on the Mexican holiday, Cinco de Mayo.

    “We are proud that 400 players from 36 countries compete in the NBA, and the league and the Suns have always considered that to be a great strength of the NBA,” he said in a statement.

    The move was designed, in part, to honor Phoenix’s Latino community, Sarver said.
    Added star point guard Steve Nash: “Obviously the passing of the recent bill and what that means to our state, to civil liberties, and the quality and precedent it’s setting, and message it sends to our youngsters in the community, we have a problem with that. It's great that our owner took the initiative and our players are behind him.”
  • VoxPatriota||

    The Suns have worn "Los Suns" jersey's in the past. This year, there just happens to be a drum that can be pounded in doing so.

  • Federal Dog||

    I honestly do not understand the overwrought hysteria about that law.

    Is it the Terry standard?

    Do you object to federal law from which the state law's wording is derived?

    Or do you think American taxpayers should be obliged on pain of legal penalty to offer public benefits to anyone who manages, for whatever reason, to get across the border?

  • ||

    Well, if it means anything, Tucson and Flagstaff city councils have voted nearly unanimously to file suit against the State for enacting the law.

  • Hit & Run Commentariat||

    I honestly do not understand the overwrought hysteria

    You should see us on a Balko thread!

  • ||

    Using the logic offered by liberals on immigration, the same should apply to all countries with the presense of Americans.

    Why did the Anti-globalizationists protest American businesses like McDonalds from being franchized in over 120 cities around the World, then simultaneously denounce the entire federal government for having ANY immigration laws in the U.S?

    It's yet another liberal paradox.

  • ||

    One obvious solution is to allow the immigrants in and deny them free healthcare, or any benefits designed for citizens and legal immigrants. If you don't contribute to the system and follow the rules, you don't get to sit at the table. Before you scream racism, or whatever, I must mention that I am Hispanic. A dual national born in South America and holding a U.S. citizenship.

    One point needed to be made: all the ridiculous and boringly repetitive allusion to Hitler and Nazi Germany, fails to mention that it was a Socialist, Labor Union, populist government. The National Socialist German Worker's Party. Hitler was also a vegetarian, tea-totaller and advocate of Big Daddy Government.

  • ||

    Same as the supporters of the Arizona law. Big, fat, daddy-nanny government.

  • ||

    Or, any of the sheeple who blindly follow the dictates of popular opinion and the "truths" imparted by our government. The shiftless, thoughtless masses that sit there, impotently, with their hands out and their mouths open, waiting for a government dole. We are into fourth generation welfare families, possibly more. People whose great-great-grandparents left them a legacy of dependent mentality. And, no, I don't just mean minorities. I know plenty of caucassian welfare/SSA chisellers.

  • ||

    Seems the Mexicans are their own police force are part of the problem aslo:

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/22812

  • ||

    Mexico....the land of BS and here is why:

    Calderon is a worm. Below are excerpts from Mexico's immigration policy.........

    * immigration authorities have a record of each foreign visitor;

    * foreign visitors do not violate their visa status;

    * foreign visitors are banned from interfering in the country’s internal politics;

    * foreign visitors who enter under false pretenses are imprisoned or deported;

    * foreign visitors violating the terms of their entry are imprisoned or deported;

    * those who aid in illegal immigration will be sent to prison.

    * Foreigners are admitted into Mexico "according to their possibilities of contributing to national progress." (Article 32)

    * Immigration officials must "ensure" that "immigrants will be useful elements for the country and that they have the necessary funds for their sustenance" and for their dependents. (Article 34)

    * Foreigners may be barred from the country if their presence upsets "the equilibrium of the national demographics," when foreigners are deemed detrimental to "economic or national interests," when they do not behave like good citizens in their own country, when they have broken Mexican laws, and when "they are not found to be physically or mentally healthy." (Article 37)

    * The Secretary of Governance may "suspend or prohibit the admission of foreigners when he determines it to be in the national interest." (Article 38)

  • ||

    So are you saying that we should be more like Mexico? Or that Mexico should lighten up on the immigration restrictions?

  • ||

    Perhaps, they are trying to say we should be thankful we don't live in a repressive, oppressive government like most south of the Rio Grande. So, enjoy it, before it becomes another impoverished, egalitarian Socialist paradise. Remember, after they ran out of aristocrats to behead, the French Revolutionaries started killing their own.

  • knifey spoony||

    I predict a lot of American Indians in AZ will be hassled due to looking like Latinos.

    Also, Hitler was not a vegetarian -- he just liked to pretend he was.

  • ||

    Are you applying today's definition of Vegetarian, or what it meant to be a Vegetarian in the 1930's and 40's? Himmler was a vegetarian as well. Perhaps they weren't as enlightened as today's ultracool herbivores, but the intention was the same. In fact, the prisoners at many a concentration camp were put on a "vegetarian" diet by Himmler, a heinous torture to be sure.

  • Max D.||

    So it's constitutional, but un-American. Gotcha.

  • ||

    This is where I part ideology with the Libertarian folks. If you are here LEGALLY you already agreed to carry your papers with you as a condition of being given the fucking LEGAL status, I have to carry my fucking ID!

    Ho many non englsih speaking uneducated leeches do you want our government to support? Seems to me Libertarians are talking out of their asses when it comes to this. On one hand you are saying we need open borders and love illegals. Yet those same fucking illegals are the ones you bitch about the government paying with entitlements. So you are arguing for an INCREASE in the number of people you bitch about getting free shit to begin with. How in the fuck does that make sense? The government is going to give them free shit for their votes so then where does that leave you? That leaves you with a shitload of people that can't speak english taking up our resources and voting against your ideals of how government should not be a fucking NANNY!

  • ||

    Since when do illegal immigrants get to vote? Not since ACORN was shut down!

  • ||

    Not all liberatrians.

    First, some of us, recognize the slimy, intellectually dishonest name calling and race baiting employed by many, in expressing their opposition to the new law. Of course, we have a profound warfare/welfare problem with this issue. Lots of free stuff is given to immigrants. Any person who invokes racism when confronted with reams of data and personal experiences which support the proposition that immigrants, legal and illegal, get lots of free stuff, is an intellectual loser, a lightweight not to be taken seriously.

    Further, once again, mexican, hispanic and lationo are not races. Latinos can be negroid, caucasoid or a mixture; they are not a race unto themselves.

    But let us not forget about the rest of the welfare at work here. How many parasites do you want to continue to support in the immigration racket? Do we need to continue to confiscate the property of productive folk in order to transfer the same to ICE, DEA, FBI, IRS, state and local pig agencies who get federal slop, immigration courts with their judges, clerks, paperpushers and other deadwood? How many illiterate, poorly educated, public sector "patriots" do you want to continute to support? Its a tremendous drain on the productive capacity of the people who make and produce.

    Look at the opportunity costs. Is it a wise and prudent allocation of resources? Does it make sense to continue to employ hundreds of thousands of uniformed illiterates? What about the health insurance coverage of such losers? Their pensions? Their COLAs?

    How about all of the people who have been, are and will be harassed by some storm trooper demanding papers? The valuable time of people who actually make things will be wasted by one of Caesar's uniformed thugs. Some will be arrested and detained. Some will be the victims of physical abuse and unlawful arrest. What about their lost productivity? How about the inevitable avalanche of money that will be flowing to lawyers, be they criminal defense or civil rights, instead of other more productive pursuits as a direct and proximate result of this nonsense?

    Real libertarians ask the foregoing questions.

  • ||

    Eureka! Finally someone who knows that Hispanics are a culture not a race. Kind of like Americans from the U.S.A. are not the only Americans. And, Hispanics are not the majority of illegal immigrants in this country, only the most popularized/demonized. Somehow, they became the poster child of Illegal Immigration.

  • Untermensch||

    Please show something concrete that says that illegals are welfare parasites. Your argument falls apart if that isn't true, and every analysis of illegals I've seen shows that they pay far more in taxes than the resources they consume, in part because they don't want to deal with social services and so forth that will get them shipped home. So, if they are coming here to work and contribute and aren't adding the welfare roles (which are populated mostly with the native-born, not the foreign-born), what's the complaint?

    You, like most of your ilk, assume all sorts of things about illegals that aren't true in general, and then berate those who have actually looked at reputable studies (and not just assumed that illegals are welfare sponges and crack whores). So put your dander where it belongs and try not to speak out of your butt.

    Plus, what does whether or not they speak English have to do with anything?

  • ||

    According to the most recent figures I could find, the average cost per pupil of public schools was about $9300. So, any one who works a minimum wage job, and has children who attend public schools, is almost certainly using more in public resources than he or she is paying in taxes. That's just one cost; that doesn't account for all the other social services s/he benefits from - including the police and fire departments, infrastructure and utilities, and so on; not just the programs that are commonly classed as "welfare".

  • The Expatriate||

    Ho many non englsih speaking uneducated leeches do you want our government to support?

    Too easy...way too easy.

  • ||

    You've never made a typo? Can you spell hypocrite?

  • ||

    Under the law if you give an illegal alien a ride your car can be confiscated by the police

    This is a feature not a bug.
    Once all those SunTran busses are in impound I won't have to subsidize them.

  • ||

    Kind of like how the government can legally confiscate everything you own if convicted of a drug felony "with intent to distribute". Or, how they (down to your local city governemnt) can appropriate your property and home, under the new interpretation of emminent domain, if they decide they want it.

  • ||

    Lame and so far from apt, i honestly don't know where to begin. i like to make thing s simple so here goes.
    if you can't enter legally, you deserve to see the police. i think europe is a much better example to end immigration for a decade, save for special skills. europe will soon be muslim majority and all the centuries of traditions will die off with them.

  • ||

    What is so damned hard to understand about legal immigration? You apply to enter the country and, if accepted, you are permitted to enter. As my parents did. You obtain a work permit and then study and pass the exam etc., to obtain citizenship. This system has been working well for many years. Their is no need to change. Only to enforce.
    To find a method to allow cheap help to improve somebodies bottom line or to improve somebodies election chance, is an insult to all the legal citizens in this country.

  • ||

    Yes, Stan, you bow down and seek permission from Caesar. Real simple. Real slaver.

  • ||

    You apply to enter the country and, if accepted, you are permitted to enter.

    What do the 99% who weren't accepted do?

  • .||

    Pout? Try to change the culture from which they are escaping? Take just a little responsibility for the failures of their own countries?

  • ||

    Serve as counterexamples to the silly "why don't they get in line" argument against illegal immigration?

  • MikeS||

    Stay home?

  • ||

    Apply again, apply to immigrate to another country, or stay home. I'm of the view that immigration isn't a right and that immigration policy should be oriented towards the needs of the host community rather than the potential immigrant, in cases when the two don't coincide.

  • ||

    "I'm of the view that immigration isn't a right"

    That's because you are a motherfucking scumbag who can't read.

    "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

  • EMp||

    Was just wondering why those unalienable rights were not embraced in the native countries that 'recent arrivals' are fleeing in droves and coming to our Nazi-infested, intolerant cesspool of bigots, eh? Or would that somehow be our fault? Jus-sayin'....

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Boys, I now see the error of my ways. Given the massive welfare state, we can't afford Mexicans. Of course, we can't afford tax cuts, either. In fact, since it's just a fool's paradise to believe we'll be able to shrink the government any time soon, we'd best raise taxes for now. But that doesn't mean I'm not for limited government all the way, no siree bob!

  • ||

    Ignorance of history is such a lame excuse these days. FDR signed a bill in 1940 that requires everyone to show, upon demand by competent authority, "your papers", as it were. Almost every state has a similar statute with respect to traffic responsibilities and proving the competency of the respondent.

    Did we, meaning I, miss something or is this writer out of her knowledge depth?

  • jacob||

    The latter

  • Brian||

    You missed that this is not the FDR Fan Club...

  • ||

    Skikha -
    I could not agree with you more. If we would just shoot the narco-terrorists in the head as they come across the border, this would be much less of an issue. I also agree that legalizing drugs would probably end this - although then the narco-terrorists would be in line for welfare in the US because we can't ask for their papers...

    BTW - I get asked for my "papers" all the time. Until someone uses the information gained from the papers to inflict some unwarranted crime and/or punishment on the person - then the libertarian stance should be clear - it isn't an issue. There can't be a repercussion until something happens - that's the Libertarian mantra as I understand it(ie: one of the arguments for eliminating drunk driving laws I believe - it's not a crime until it happens)

  • Apostate Jew||

    My grandfather deserted from the Russian Army, illegally entered Austria-Hungary, sailed to Canada, jumped ship and then crossed the border into the United States. He was unskilled, broke, couldn't speak English and one hundred percent illegal.

    America's a big country. Anyone who wants to come is welcome to come as far as I'm concerned.

    (The other grandfather was also Russian, but a banker. The kind of skilled immigrant some people prefer, he entered the country legally. He was unfortunately also a criminal who worked for and was murdered by mobsters. But at least he didn't sneak into the country like a Mexican!)

  • ||

    I call my ancestors who jumped the Canadian border "snowbacks".

  • ||

    It's been a week already!!! Can't we go back to picking on Mississippi?

  • Seattle, Washington||

    Maybe I can lend a hand with ACTUAL racist police brutality. Drudge Report here I come!

  • ||

    This is the worst thing that could happen to Arizona since this law was passed. We don't deserve this!

  • ||

    The Arizona law is exactly what is needed all across the country. If we did not have a welfare state then I would not care about immigration legal or illegal, however we do! So...Libertarianism is great and all, but how is it going to be when the country imports millions of uneducated leftist who care nothing about our constitution or values? How is it going to work out for Libertarians when these people are legalized and vote? Then the mob comes calling! They want what you got! Forget about shrinking government! We are importing millions of government dependents who will vote for their own dependency! Paid for by you of course. Free immigration? Sounds nice...in the real world we would have to repeal thousands of pages of law regarding the redistribution of wealth to make unchecked immigration practical for this country, as well as a constitutional amendment to prevent the welfare state we have now from ever coming back. Because as sure as the sun comes up, these are mostly mexican nationals...how is Mexico these days? Do we want America to become like Mexico? That is what happens when the country is filled with Mexicans, unless we stop the illegals from transforming this country into a ghetto barrio. That is the only way to avoid economic consequences to letting millions of Mexicans stroll across the border and invade our sovereign nation.

  • EMp||

    That is what is happening around the country already, but there are plenty who can go home to their gated communities after working the cheap help OR plant the seeds for future balkanization and take advantage in a political sense that want this to continue...not taking into account the future consequences to the country of current non-enforcement. JMO.

  • ||

    Someone said that "immigrants are not a financial burden". Well I beg the differ. In Texas I had a fling with a girl about a year or so ago who was on food stamps. She did not have a car and so one day I drove her to this government office where they did their little welfare business. After sitting down in this crowded reception area that looked like a DMV waiting tank I noticed something! Her and I were the only white people in the room, among about 50 or 60 people. No I am not kidding. They were all Hispanic with maybe three or four black folks. Well chances are most of those hispanics were from Mexico. Now some might call me a "racist" for saying this. Thats the way it is today, if you speak the truth then you are a racist. Thats all nonsense from liberals who want the truth hidden under a mask of forbidden discussion... So needless to say it did not work out with that chick...Story and point: immigrants and their children overall represent a massive financial burden and future liability for this country.

  • ||

    Yes, but did she swallow?

  • ||

    Thank God for Hitler!

    I mean, who else would the terminally fuckheaded use for an analogy in every debate from immigration to health care?

  • ||

    >>> What do the 99% who weren't
    >>> accepted do?

    Go somewhere else? Fix their own fucked up country?

    What is it with you open border people? Do you even think more than 3 milliseconds past whatever endorphin rush you get from supporting that viewpoint? Do you really think we could absorb the 200 million new unskilled, uneducated new citizens? To support open borders you have to be so disconnected from reality you belong in a mental institution.

  • Untermensch||

    There are a lot of positions between open borders and keep everyone out. To suppose that everyone who opposes this law and thinks we should have more immigration is also in favor of "open borders" “you have to be so disconnected from reality you belong in a mental institution.”

    There is also research, quoted recently in Reason (no, I'm lazy and don't have the link handy), that indicates that making border crossings harder and more dangerous increases the number of illegals in the U.S. because they stay rather than go back home after a while. Laws have consequences, real and unintended, and in immigration law the results very often have not been what are wanted.

  • Haimerej||

    I resent this rhetoric being used by opponents of the bill.

    "Show me your papers"? How about, "Can I see your ID?" Framed that way, it doesn't sound so "fascist" and sounds like when you buy a pack of smokes, alcohol, or go to the bank.

    Also, comparing this to Nazi Germany is flat out dishonest. I didn't know we were going to gas the illegals.

  • ||

    It's up to the feds to decide if they want to give federal aid to illegals regardless of our opinions. But I could see AZ passing a state law that requires a state ID for receiving state aid. For aid that is hybrid state/fed, they would have to work it out with the feds, if AZ doesn't like the result, they should refuse to partisipate in those programs.

  • ||

    The first problem that I see with this article is the ad-hominem attack in the premise with the labeling of the AZ law as 'anti-immigrant'. It is an anti-illegal immigrant law; does the author actually understand the law in question enough to offer a valid opinion? This article is nothing more than yet another cry of racism and bigoted labeling of what one disagrees with.

  • ||

    If you live in rural Southern Arizona you don't view illegal immigration as a problem, you view it as an invasion that threatens your life, your family and your property. We've already passed a law that punishes employers for knowingly hiring illegals and that hasn't stemmed the tide.

    So how do we stop ILLEGAL immigration? Historically, only one method has ever worked and that is to erect physical barriers like walls or fences and man them with guards. Kind of a scary scenario isn't it; having our Southern border look like the Iron Curtain?

    Still, that is the price we'd have to pay for securing our Southern border. And even if we do they'll just come in by boat (more than already do) or develop a sea lane pipeline to Canada and enter from the North.

    My point is, they'll keep coming so long as the USA continues to provide greater opportunities than their home countries. It's human nature.

    I don't believe it's feasible to simply open the doors and make all immigration legal, ala before 1920, since sheer numbers would likely collapse our healthcare, education, and welfare systems (which we need to seriously cut back - but that's another topic). That means the only long term solution is to help them improve conditions in their home countries and since many of them come from virtual police states that won't be easy.

    So, even though it isn't an ideal solution, or even a completely effective one, I'm for building those barriers.

    As for dealing with those illegals already here I'd say this new Arizona law is a good start. But we also need to change the anchor baby law so that only the children born in the USA of legal immigrants become citizens.

    Just a few words in defense of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Maricopa county has the lowest recidivist rate in the USA and the Sheriff is always re-elected by huge majorities. We like what Joe does to uphold the laws we've passed. If you don't like it, don't move here.

  • ||

    Fuck You.

  • ||

    Kudos to OccamzRazr, Jen, TrickyVic, Peaceful_Dissent, LibertyMike, TeamBarstool and others who've made thoughtful comments that helped me focus my thoughts on these issues.

  • Jen||

    Why thank you!

  • ||

    whitebear

    you are nothing but a scumbag - do something useful and shoot yourself.

  • ||

    Please sign the Arizona immigration petition and please pass it on to your friends:

    http://www.janbrewer.com/

  • ||

    Would John Galt have allowed James Taggart and Mr. Thompson to "immigrate" to Galt's Gulch? Or would they have wanted to keep those people out because their sort would have destroyed the society they had created? Think about that in relation to our current immigration problem, look at it like that. Anyone hear about the American high school students who were kicked out of school because they had on American flag T-shirts that might "offend" the mexican kids? Hows that "hope and change" working out for people?

  • ||

    Is John Galt fucking you in the ass?

  • ||

    Can I live where you live? Is there room on your couch for me?

    If these assholes were so efficient and hardworking, then why don't they establish their own communities and introduce prosperity in their native land?

    You've got to recognize the problems caused by immigration and have a way to defend the citizens against it. What about mass migration and gang activity? People who want to exploit the system? People who take everything they can from the taxpayers, then take even more through theft and violence? Unfortunately these things actually occur in reality.

    We are in tight economic times, so the solution is to allow more people to come into the U.S and mooch off the welfare state? Why not round up all of Sally Struthers' starving kids in Africa and bring them all here too, since we have so much money and space for them?

    Even better idea is, force liberals to house homeless immigrants until they become CEO's.

    I think if you are prepared to come to the U.S to flourish, have stake money to get setup, bring a noticeable skill to the table, and cooperate with our laws you should be welcomed. Otherwise, go starve somewhere else. *shrugs*

    Not EVERY kid with an empty belly can live here.. eventually you're going to logically have to say, "Some of you may live here in peace, and the rest of you have to die alone in your own country". Unless we build a completely state-funded "Cabrini-Green House" for all the hungry people in the world next to every gated off white community in every suburb in America? I think maybe the buildings might get a little tall, and God hates that (just as a warning), but at least all those comfortable, privileged white devils would get what they deserve!

    Or maybe it would just be more fair to let the poor immigrants deal with their own lot in life where they were born.. suffer with some dignity and pride, then they won't have to encounter the horribly racist, un-american brutality of being annoyed by cops that ask them to see their ID.

  • ||

    let me guess you would not control immigration at all and invite the whole world to come on in. tell me do you know what Mexicos immigration laws are? or India's?, Russia? France? pick a country and write an article comdemning them for their treatment of illegals. until then dont tell me what is unfair about Arizona attempting to do what the Fedral gov't can't or won't do.

  • ||

    since there is nothing specific in the constitution abouit controllin immigration i refer you to the 10th amendment
    Rights of the States under Constitution

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

  • ||

    Yes. To the people. And the people who want open borders should get open borders. So you are fucked up, you retarded scumbag.

  • TruthOffering||

    Not sure if I already posted this on here...too many posts, too many articles! :D

    But check out this article from TruthOffering.com about why illegal immigration is a product that's been created by our transformation into a welfare state:

    http://www.truthoffering.com/p.....blame.html

  • Andrew||

    OMG people! This AZ state law is written nearly word for word after the EXISTING Federal law. There were no cries of racism or nazism before, so why the childish name calling now? And, yes you're expected to have ID on you at all times if you're an immigrant here on a visa, and that too is existing Federal law. Why do all opponents to the new AZ law choose to overlook these facts????? There is no racism, only national security.

  • Thorbie||

    I think reason is coming at this from the wrong angle. They're attacking Arizona like the rest of the left, calling the law racist and "conservative." How is the Arizona law different from the federal law on the books? How do the feds already catch illegal immigrants?

    What makes me mad is that Obama and those in Congress can act professorial and wag their fingers at Arizona as if Arizona committed a huge faux pas by attempting to enforce the federal law that's already on the books.

    The feds are having their cake and eating it too. They get to keep their law against immigration and also not have to enforce it, while singling out Arizona as a villain. Reason should take this opportunity to expose that hypocrisy. A debate over Arizona's law isn't a good use of Reason's time. The law will not survive a court ruling. Borders fall under the federal jurisdiction, not a state's. This is a clear supremacy clause issue, giving the power to the Federal government. The fact is, at the end of the day, the federal law will still exist. What Reason should be asking is why hasn't Obama put forward coherent immigration reform?

    Reason has always fought for drug legalization and legalization of gay marriage, not simply for governments to ignore drug laws and pretend they don't exist. They are for either the legalization of certain activities or for the eradication of an unjust law, never for the dicking around approach of half in half out and hope nobody's paying attention to what is and isn't being enforced.

    Reason's never been scared to say their ideal public policy. They should just come out and cast a poke on both their houses (state and federal). They do that all the time with the GOP and the Democrats. Why not on something as common sense as this?

  • ||

    "I think reason is coming at this from the wrong angle. They're attacking Arizona like the rest of the left, calling the law racist and conservative." "

    And you know why is that? Because the 'legal' scumbags who live in Arizona are indeed racist nazis.

  • EMp||

    Don't you have a history class out in L.A. you need to get back to indoctrinating? Oops - think I just fed the troll....

  • BTG||

    This article falls far below the standards of Reason. Ad hominem attacks and illogical arguments abound. Put Dalmia on probation.

  • ||

    So, in short this article is saying that the current Immigration and Naturalization Act of the U.S. Code which states it's illegal to:
    - Be in the US undocumented after 30 days.
    - Knowingly hire or assist an illegal to get a job.
    - Transport an undocumented alien into the country.
    - Assist an undocumented alien while in the country.
    - Not alert authorities if you know an illegal alien is the country
    - Crossing the border at a none authorized entry point.
    - etc.
    That those are just horrible laws? All Arizona is trying to do is to enforce the law. It is illegal to be...well...illegal.

    Being an immigrant does not grant you the right to break the law. Period. Nor does it give you the right to my property. And my tax dollars paying for services are my property.

    Freedom does not mean freedom to cross borders, steal and damage property, use goods and services of which you have not paid for, and to break the law.

    I do believe there are too many "Libertarians" who are actually anarchist. Shame.

    cl

  • ||

    I do believe you are a fucking idiot who doesn't know what he's talking about.

  • Brian||

    Shikha Dalmia is exactly right. I'm glad to see Reason standing up for liberty on this issue.

    Suppose you have two people A and B living next to each other.

    Person A owns an apple orchard. Person B is a farmworker.

    Person A wants someone to pick apples. Person B wants a job. Person A and Person B negotiate a mutually-agreeable price.

    Person B picks the apples; Person A pays the agreed-upon price; and Person B returns to his home.

    This is the fundamental definition of free enterprise.

    But now the State defines an imaginary line between the property of A and B and declares it illegal to cross this line without the State's permission.

    Person B asks for the State's permission. The State rejects his request because there are too many people of his color within the national domain of the State.

    If Person B still goes over to work for Person A, the State will lock up both A and B.

    How can anyone possibly justify this under libertarian principles?

  • ||

    There's something I don't get. Some of the nazis who love to whine about mexicans who are allegedly freeloaders never mention the millions of parasites who are 'legal' subjects of the US gov't.

    Why is it that the mexicans are a threat (assuming they are net tax consumers which they probably aren't anyway) while the local scumbags who work for the gov't, or for the banking mafia, or for the military-industrial complex, etc, seem to never be a problem?

    What sort of double standard is that? I know, I know, it's a racist standard - just the thing for AmeriKKKa.

  • ||

    I'm not sure if Gen. Holder's admission of not reading the bill and then making comments similar to your own is what you've done also. Until the fed. govt. can get its feces together, is Az. supposed continue being the perfect victim? If you were to consider it, i'm of the opinion you would also find fault with grade school student's American flag drawing with "God Bless America". You are obviously well written; however, I've rapidly lost interest in your prose.

  • Megan||

    You are completly ignorant for boycotting Arizona. Do your brains comprehend the word ILLEGAL correctly? If we were to go run across the border to mexico, we would most likely be shot. In mexico, if you look American, you will be asked to show your papers and then probably pay 200 dollars to the officer. In any other country, if you illegaly go into their country, they pop you in jail. Look at the two American reporters in North Korea. Look at the hikers in Iran. Sure, those living in Mexico think coming to America will give them a better life. but if we keep allowing thousands and thousands to pour into the country without punishment, we will end up just like Mexico. I have no problem with mexicans coming over here to work, as long as they do it legally. If every american has to obey the rules, why on earth do illegal aliens get a free pass? If i was walking down the street, shooting up herion, I would be sitting in jail. Howcome if someone is running across the border, they get health benifits, food stamps, and education for their children for free? Is it really good to award people for breaking the law? A prime example about breaking the law, and getting stuff for free, is that Kennesaw State University student in Kennesaw GA. Her parents brought her over here ILLEGALLY when she was 11, and went through georgia schools. Georgia taxpayers paid for that girl to go through middle school, and high school. She ended up with a 3.0(or higher) and got HOPE, which basically her college was free. She is now a senior, and all over the news. A year ago, she was arrested for driving without a liscence(hmmm wonder how many illegals do that and kill people everyday) and the cops found out she was here illegally. They sent her to the deportation bullshit, which they let her go. Why? Because she only had one year left of draining other georgia students of their scholorship money. I thought that was the right, and nice thing to do. A few months go by and she is arrested again, for giving false information. that is a felony. so now the cobb county police are trying to get that girl out. If you or I were to lie to the cops about where we live, we’d be in jail, and have to pay some pretty hefty fines. Why should this illegal immigrant be able to stay in the country and finish college. She is being awarded for lying. THAT IS WRONG.

  • Scarpe Nike||

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  • Athletic Shoes||

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