The net traffic of unauthorized workers from south of the border has dropped to zero. But that has not prevented the discussion among GOP presidential candidates, trying to out-tough each other, from taking a really chilling turn. (Spare me your wrath, nativists, for not using the term illegal immigrants. There is nothing inherently illicit with people wanting to work in this country in order to provide Americans with cheap apples and houses. But there is something inherently illicit with a government of an allegedly free people refusing to give them the papers to do so and then persecuting them—and Americans who want to hire them—for not having the papers.)
Michele Bachmann was on the stump last week condemning unauthorized workers as an economic and security threat. She promised to spend billions of dollars to build not a single but a "secure double fence" on the border, the New York Times reports. Oh, and she'll also eliminate "taxpayer-funded benefits" for them and declare English as the official language.
That's all too wussy for Herman Cain. He has been going around the country promising to build an electrified fence that would kill people who try to cross it on the border with Mexico. What's more, he is even mulling deploying military troops "with real guns and real bullets to stop intruders." Given that entering the country without proper papers is a misdemeanor, Cain is essentially advocating execution—without due process—for a misdemeanor.
Why, then, stop there, Mr. Cain? If you are going to execute paperless workers in the name of the rule-of-law, then won't a consistent enforcement of that same rule-of law require you to execute people engaged in other, even more dangerous, misdemeanors. Here is a list of the most common ones for your consideration:
- driving under the influence (DUI)
- driving without a license
- trespassing, and disorderly conduct. (Watch out Occupy Wall Street protesters)
- vandalism, public fighting, assault, and battery
The NYT reports that Cain responded to anyone who might consider his remarks "insensitive," by noting that the real fault lies with illegal immigrants. "It's insensitive for them to be killing our citizens, killing our border agents," he said.
But El Paso and Arizona that have the highest concentration of unauthorized foreign workers also have the lowest rates of violent and property crimes, as I reported here. Why let facts spoil a good execution, however?
They didn't in Salem.
Question for Cain: You have been worrying about an eye-for-an-eye Sharia law seeping into the government. But a government that wants to take away a life for the lack of a document doesn't bother you one bit?