Arizona is already feeling the impact of its new law making it a misdemeanor to not provide proof of U.S. residence when asked — although to hear many critics the law is all about ‘proof of citizenship‘.
As someone that routinely travels the world I know that my presence is tracked in other countries. When entering a country it is often common protocol to declare a street address or hotel where I will be staying.
But this is the U.S.A. where many argue that we should fight any attempt to have a basic national ID card. On the face of it, this law contradicts what most Americans consider to be the norm: you only ask for identification when a law is broken, or suspicion exists.
Surely native born Americans do not walk around with their birth certificates. And we reject any attempt to issue any formal identification card … there are even those that think that America is a great land just because we can almost just disappear if we wish — although that is wishful thinking of a time long past.
Yet, Arizona has real challenges. People are dying and being kidnapped and murdered in the desert, and in the towns and even in Arizona’s major cities.
Drug and contraband smugglers are running rampant and illegal immigrants are being abandoned once they cross the U.S. border into Arizona.
If the U.S. federal government fails to live up to its constitutional authority to protect our borders and to protect our citizens then Arizona is well within its rights to take action within its own borders.
Many Americans forget that we have ‘states‘ not ‘provinces‘. The difference between the two are not just semantics. We are a nation of states, each with constitutionally protected powers. The people of Arizona have a right and the authority to take action in their own defense.
There are those that want to make Arizona’s situation about being a roundup or harassment of illegal immigrants — I don’t think so. Illegal immigrants live among us because our society needs them. Yes, I believe that. Our economy strongly needs these undocumented guest workers. Although it would be nice if we could find a way to make guest workers and their families legal — although we tried that and it was Arizona’s senior senator who took enormous amounts of flaming arrows for trying to find a solution: John McCain.
Reality however is that Arizona has real issues on its border with Mexico, and its proximity to major border crossing areas in California and New Mexico.
Here is a short list of the violence and crime on its borders and that is spilling across its borders – you can find an amazingly long list of border violence incidents since the mid-2000s by googling: Arizona Border Violence:
- Mexican criminals routinely cross the border and commit burglaries, kidnappings, assaults and home invasions. (1)
- There were 366 kidnappings just in the Phoenix, Arizona area during 2009. (3)
- Armed gunmen attacked the U.S. Nogales City police department (Nov 14, 2008).
- Bajadores smugglers attack each other with semiautomatic assault rifles to steal the other’s human cargo for its value; current Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano (D), and former Arizona governor, actually declared a state of emergency in 2005 when things got out of control in the same area.
- Federal agents discover 65 stash houses just in the Phoenix, Arizona area (2005-2006). (2)
And did I mention that U.S. federal authorities estimate that the death toll just over Arizona’s border has reached almost 10,000 killed in cartel violence just since 2006? (4)
My prayers and well wishes are with Arizonans AND with those immigrants that have chosen to come to the land of opportunity and to start a new life — legally or illegally.
I don’t believe that the new Arizona law is aimed at immigrants in general. The border is a mess and the federal government under both Presidents Bush and Obama have utterly failed to carry out their oath of office to protect Americans against all enemies, both foreign and domestic — at least when it comes to the Arizonan-Mexican border.
This blog item by Bill Golden, aka Bill4DogCatcher.com — an independent observer of economics, politics and American life. For what it is worth as regards this story: Bill is married to an wonderful immigrant wife and has two children born overseas with dual citizenship. He coaches a soccer team made up just of Latino players that he has adopted from throughout his neighborhood over the last 10 years.