Growing up in 1960s and ’70s always meant going to the movies. And at the movies, the messages I always received was that the “bad guys never win” and that America was a land of “law and order.” Nothing made my heart beat faster or pride grow stronger than to watch a movie where Americans were being the underdog and a plane/calvary/army etc. came in carrying the American flag and began to “kick butt.”
But those types of movies are now passé and John Wayne as the big, fair, American hero-type is no more. Still, I long for those types of movies where the good guy makes a stance and emerges a hero. Isn’t that the formula that brought the majority of fame to now Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger?
So, it’s been very interesting watching this country’s reaction to Arizona’s Immigration Bill SB1070. That is the law which is taking a firm stance against illegal immigration by supporting federal laws already in place regarding aliens (folks that is a legal term) who are unlawfully present in the United States. The law’s main intent is to make attrition through enforcement the public policy of all state and local government agencies in Arizona. It also has another stated goal which is to discourage and deter the unlawful entry and presence of aliens and economic activity of persons unlawfully in the U.S.
Now this law has elicited comments from everyone. From Pookie on the corner to even President Obama, people have chimed in their comments regarding the new law. Now, I don’t expect Pookie to have read the law. He will get his information from the television news shows. But it was very eye opening to learn that two of Obama’s highest ranking cabinet members have jumped on the “Dump on Arizona” bandwagon and then subsequently admitted they haven’t read the bill. Huh? You mean that Attorney General Eric Holder, our chief law enforcement officer and Janet Napolitano, secretary of homeland security, have both acknowledged on film that they haven’t read the bill and yet commented against it? That’s right! For a second I thought we were back in the George W. Bush years. But nope, its Obama’s people answering in an official capacity and then admitting that they didn’t even bother to read the bill.
That is very troubling news. Whether or not I like the law, I respect Arizona for taking a stance, a stance in which the majority of the people who live there are in agreement. And one that a lot of other people all over the country agree with as well. I know that people who are in support of the intent of the law are rarely heard from while the news media only focuses on the side of those in opposition. Many in the news media as well as pro-illegal immigration activists have focused solely on the wording that states “…where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien.” The screams have been loud about how does one tell that someone is an “alien.” Yet few will admit that there are words prior to that part of the law that codify that part of the law. What it does is state that during the course of any lawful contact with the police, they can ask about a person’s citizenship status.
The Arizona law also says that no individual or government body can disregard this rule of law and make itself a “sanctuary” anything. The law makes it illegal for anyone to pick up day laborers standing outside of places like Home Depot. If someone is being transported illegally into this country, it puts the “felony” label on both the coyote and those who are the paying customers.
For those of us not living in Arizona, we haven’t experienced first hand what life is like living in a state that is the main corridor for many who are involved in illegal immigration. We haven’t experienced the frustration of ranchers living with people crossing their land and not knowing if an encounter with them will lead to their death. Very few people will mention rancher Robert Krentz who was murdered on his property. Trackers traced the footprints of the murderer back to the Mexican border.
SB1070 is scheduled to go into effect in July. It is already facing legal challenges. It has again put on the front burner the issue of illegal immigration. And while many elected people talk about “law and order,” the illegal immigration issue has made many of them wimps on that subject. The eventual final resolution to the issue will not make everyone happy. I would suggest that the two top officials in the Obama administration remember that they are supposed to live up to the “change you can believe in” slogan, and not continue the “business as usual” behavior.