The State of Arizona has thrown down the gauntlet. Fed up with crimes committed by illegal immigrants, Republican Governor Jan Brewer signed into law last Friday that would force immigrants to carry documents proving they are in the country legally. In addition, the police would have the power to question and detain anyone they suspected of entering the country illegally.
Immediately, critics of the new law asserted that legal immigrants and native born citizens would be “harassed” and “intimidated’ by the police because they may fit the ethnic or racial “profile” of an illegal immigrant. Governor Brewer claimed that racial profiling by the police “would not be tolerated.”
President Obama weighed in on the Arizona law stating that it is “misguided” and that immigration issues should be handled by the federal government. According to some political analysts, the president and Democratic consultants probably believe Arizona’s law will rile up the party’s base and help prevent a rout in the November midterm elections. We shall see.
In the meantime, there are about 11 million illegal immigrants concentrated in several southwestern states, Florida and New Jersey. In New Jersey, there are at least 400,000 illegal immigrants, who cost taxpayers more than $1 billion, because of the pressures they place on public schools and hospital emergency rooms.
Illegal immigration has costs—financial, social, and economic—that can not be ignored by the political elites and their supporters. Moreover, the perception that America has been “invaded’ by 11 million individuals should not be dismissed by the political establishment, editorial writers and talking heads on television.
Coming to America is a privilege, not a “right.” We have clearly defined rules for becoming a legal immigrant that should be followed by our fellow human beings from other nations. We Americans do not have the right to go to other countries and lay claim to citizenship or “rights” in other nations. If there is one principle that should be respected throughout the world, it is national sovereignty.
What then should we do to halt illegal immigration and deal with the 11 million illegal immigrants already in America? Here are several suggestions:
- End birth right citizenship. Being born in America of an illegal immigrant woman does not entitle a newborn to U.S. citizenship.
- Deport immediately an illegal immigrant convicted of any crime against person and property.
- Our State Department should work with foreign governments to halt illegal immigration.
- Phase out the welfare state ASAP so it would not be a magnet for illegal immigrants.
- Illegal immigrants cannot become citizens of the United States unless they first return to their home country and “get in line.” There should be some flexibility in this proposal for immigrants who have been in America, say 10 or 20 years, and have built businesses or have been productive professionals or blue collar workers.
- End the war on drugs so the violent drug cartels are eliminated once-and-for-all, creating peace along the U.S.-Mexican border. Illegal immigrations should crawl to a trickle as Mexicans would be able to live in relatively peace in their homeland.
- Beef up border patrols by bringing home tens of thousands troops from around the world so they can fulfill their role as protectors of our borders, not of countries in remote regions of the planet.
These suggestions eventually will save American taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars per year. Phasing out the welfare state is a major step toward ending illegal immigration. We need to create a culture of financial independence and we need to strengthen the nonprofit sector so it could deliver all the social services Americans need.
The passionate opponents of illegal immigration must not clamor for more “federal” solutions. Obama would checkmate the foes of illegal immigration and could support a national ID card as an excuse to monitor all Americans in the name of national security. He would then use this opportunity to pave the way for fast tracking 11 million illegal immigrants to citizenship, who would most likely become Democratic voters for life.
In short, illegal immigration could be the spark that creates a police state in America.
The last thing we should want to hear in America from the police or any government official is, “Your papers, please.”