Sunday, May 16, 2010

SB 1070: What Do I Think About It?

This has got to be the hot button topic of the day. Virtually everybody has an opinion on it, some informed and some not so informed. And there are some who are completely misinformed and are running on pure emotion or political posturing. I'm asked about this law a lot, so I am going to try and explain my views here.

As you may or may not know, I am a "third generation" American of Mexican extraction. I put that in quotes because my family was settled in California before it was the United States. I love my heritage and am proud to be what I am. My wife is Filipino and, like most of those who come here from foreign shores, her family worked hard and sacrificed to play by all the rules to come to this country. I was born and raised in California, but have lived happily in Arizona for the last fifteen years. I was in the military, so I've seen some of the world, and I'm now a fire code enforcement official, so I see a fairly wide spectrum of the community--the good, bad and the ugly.

Having said that, let me say this: Those who are against this law and do not live in Arizona need to step back and look at reality.

First of all, this law is NOT about racial profiling-- in fact, language within the law prohibits it. It simply is an enforcement of existing law. If I thought it was going to profile people with brown skin (including me) I would be against it.

Secondly, this law does not-- repeat does NOT-- give police the legal right to stop people whenever they feel like it just to ask their legal status. It does give them the right to ask about their legal status if the person is being lawfully detained for the commission of a crime AND does not possess common ID, like a drivers license. So if you don't commit crimes or get arrested and you have ID, no problem.

So let's stop with the mischaracterizing the law. Instead, lets look at some facts.

Fact: Illegal immigration (note the word 'illegal') is draining Arizona. The emergency room system here is collapsing, the state social welfare system that are meant for American citizens in need are over-burdened and are on the verge of being cut. The public school system is hemorrhaging red ink. Cops and regular citizens along the border are being threatened and killed by violent gangs. The law enforcement system is going broke because of both non-violent and violent crime committed by non-citizens.

Answer me this: Who's going to deal with this and pay for all this? People on the liberal coasts? Who is now paying the price in treasure and blood while the rest of the country wrings their hands and the POTUS makes jokes? What would you have Arizona do--allow itself to be drained of resources? Other than open the borders or grant blanket amnesty, what would you do? I have asked this question many times in many venues and have never received an answer-- only silence.

What about all the American kids in Arizona who can't get jobs because the entry-level jobs that traditionally go to young folks are going to cheap illegal immigrants? Who is dealing with this? Arizona and Arizonans, that's who! We are the Gondor of the US taking the brunt while everyone else sits safely in their ivory towers. If the Feds or no one else will help us, we will do it ourselves. If you have a better plan that you're willing to help pay for, let's hear it.

Finally, let's be clear on this: those self-anointed Latino 'leaders,' activists and celebrities that are now screaming "RACISM" over this law do NOT speak for me. They only speak for themselves and for those who are similarly misinformed, paranoid and politically motivated. I can speak for myself.


  1. What are your views on:
    -completion of a physical fence along our southern borders
    -should English be the official language of the U.S.
    -amnesty for illegal aliens?

  2. 1. If we had a reasonable and comprehensive legal immigration law which included both workable legal work visa/residency laws and strict enforcement, I don't think we we would need a wall. I'd rather not see one, but if nothing else is done policy/enforcement-wise, I'm not against it in principle if that's what it would take.

    2. That would depend what one means by English being the official language. In a de facto manner it already is; as a symbolic measure I don't think it would accomplish anything. You can't force people in everyday interaction to speak or advertise in only English. I have a big problem with the way ESL is taught in this country and with having ballots and such in other languages (if they can't speak the language, how can they be informed enough to vote?-- although we do have a lot of woefully uninformed native English speakers). I don't think making English our offical language would solve any of this, only the return of common sense to educational and other government institutions-- which is a tall order to be sure.

    3. The last is is hard to answer unless you define what you mean by amnesty. If you mean blanket amnesty (immediately giving full citizenship rights to everyone who is here illegally today) I don't think that's a sane position for a sovereign nation to take. This is probably the most complex piece of this whole issue and one which the Federal goverment needs to stop ignoring. Until they stop frittering around and avoiding the issue, can-do people like those here in Arizona are going to step up. If the rest of the country doesn't like it, that's tough. We live here, they don't.

    Now, what do YOU think about it??