A bill empowering police to arrest illegal immigrants and charge them with trespassing for simply being in the state of Arizona, is likely just weeks away from becoming the toughest law of its kind anywhere in the country.A few weeks ago my daughter, who lives just outside of Sierra Vista, AZ, told me that one of her neighbors had gotten a knock on the door late at night. It was a group of illegals looking for a ride in to town. I would say that is a pretty good indication that A) there is a problem and B) the feds aren’t dealing with it.
Already passed by the state's Senate and currently being reconciled with a similar version in the House, the bill would essentially criminalize the presence of the 460,000 illegal immigrants living in the state.
The measure allows police to detain people on the suspicion that they are illegal immigrants, outlaws citizens from employing day laborers, and makes it illegal for anyone to transport an illegal immigrant, even a family member, anywhere in the state.
The bill's supporters say a local crackdown has become a necessity because the federal government has failed to adequately seal the borders or actively enforce its laws. They blame Arizona's spiraling crime and unemployment rates on its large population of illegal immigrants.
Americans are pretty fair minded people. As Marco Rubio stated during his debate with Charlie Crist yesterday on Fox, we are “pro legal immigration.” We recognize the tremendous contributions that immigrants make to this country. However, many of us have a problem with immigrants who break the law by entering illegally or enter legally and then overstay their visas.
In either case, the federal government has done a poor job of dealing with the situation so maybe it is time to give the states a shot.
As with anything there are extremes in the immigration debate. There are those who would seal the borders and not let anyone in under any circumstances. We could do that but our country would be much poorer for it. Others would throw open the borders and let everyone in from everywhere for every reason. There are very practical arguments against that not the least of which might be that some foreign nationals would like to see us all dead. I prefer a more middling approach that would set up a lottery type system to allow immigrants in based on our needs. Yes, I do know that “needs” can be very subjective but we have to start somewhere and I have to believe that if we try really hard we are still capable of common sense.
Cross Posted at Potluck