Saturday, April 24, 2010

The New Arizona Immigration Law: My Modest Proposal

With the new migrant law on the books in Arizona it may take a while, if it survives constitutional scrutiny, to sort out the rules of engagement between police and citizens. But, hey, if the US Army can work out rules of engagement between themselves and Iraqi citizens in order to minimize the wholesale loss of life in collateral damage there, then so can Joe Arpaio, the Sheriff of Maricopa County. He seems like a reasonable, even-handed guy, right?

The law does, however, clearly mark a shift in practice away from the concept of equal treatment under the law. And there is a clear danger it will serve as a gateway drug for law enforcement agents to assume far more authority than they now have over citizens. Greater authority of government, we have learned from a slew of Republican Thinkers, inevitably leads to a loss of Liberty, which is a bad thing. In fact this law looks suspiciously to me like one of those (probably Liberal) infringements on the concept of Limited Government (LG) which our founding fathers fought so hard to preserve. So as a card-carrying Conservative, I think this is a bad law, and for Arizona Republicans to pass it suggests they haven't been studying enough of their own doctrines of LG, or else drinking the cool aid of some wicked imposter dressed in Gingrich clothing. Barry Goldwater must be turning over in his grave with sadness.

There is absolutely no reason for this law to be on the books, anyway, since the most efficient way of stopping illegal migration is to go after the small gang of criminals who have caused the phenomenon to get out of hand: the employers. Every time an illegal alien gets a job, at least two people have broken the law: the employer and the alien. So far the government's entire approach to immigration enforcement has been to go after the migrant, not the employer. But there are millions of migrants, and only a few thousand employers. So once again, Big Government has been doing the least efficient thing going after the migrant and creating a huge, bloated, expensive bureaucracy to boot, which never seems capable of even stemming the tide of illegal migration, much less reducing it significantly. Sound just like the war of drugs to you? In both cases the result is in the Liberal tax and spend direction of creating huge high paying law enforcement armies at taxpayer expense where the uniforms are pretty but the drugs and migrants keep coming in but you can't mention this if your doing your job in Congress because the Liberal-biased media will accuse you of being Un-American and in favor of drugs and Mexicans.

My solution is to criminalize the hiring of aliens and enforce the rules rigorously.

Since migration enforcement is a national security issue, those who hire unauthorized migrants are, essentially, traitors. They have no respect for the laws of the federal government, or the possibility a terrorist might sneak in. They deserve to be treated as serious criminals, not winked at like johns while the girls of the night go to jail. So Congress should enact a law charging those who hire illegal migrants with high treason (which is worse than low treason), sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in jail for the first offense, with no chance of parole. After the first five or six employers are shown on Fox News, shackled in chains and being hustled by guards into the Maricopa County jail, to be fitted out with the pink underwear Joe Arapio makes them wear, and then shown doing jumping jacks in pink panties at 3:30 in the morning before facing a pile of rocks to break down all day, the flow of illegal migrants will slow down to nothing: Where there is no demand, there is no supply, according to the best Conservative economic theory. And even if you don't like theory, illegal migrants aren't stupid, and they tend to go only to places where the jobs are plentiful and when they see their employers in jail with pink underwear washing dishes and picking up litter in chain gangs for the next 20 years they won't even bother to jump the fence.

The first employers that get caught, of course, will whine about not knowing they were hiring illegals. This is nonsense. They know damn well who they are hiring, and, wink, wink, in the interests of national security, we might word the law so that the burden of proof is on the employer to prove he didn't know, a much higher standard; or maybe even send them to Gitmo for the water boarding thing before the pink panties, being as how we're talking national security here. The courts might let this sneak through for a while like a lot of other stuff on the basis of national security. And along with the new criminalization laws we can create a foolproof ID card so that after the criminal employers send their lobbyists to Congress to forgive them we can say, AHA, from now on you can't use the excuse of ignorance anymore.

If all this were to come to pass we would stop illegal migration in its tracks in a matter of weeks, punish the traitors among us who have rewarded illegals with jobs, and then maybe we could begin a sane discussion about what kind of people we want to invite to the U.S. as immigrants, and what kinds of policies we might imagine that are fair to all concerned and make us proud of ourselves as a nation of immigrants once more.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great story! Is there anything to the story that Gov Richardson will stop any travel to AZ and other contact with AZ because of this bill? If he is really unset he needs to make a BOLD stand not just a news brief.

Jose Z. Garcia said...

I doubt the Governor will raise his profile very much on this issue.

Anonymous said...

Jose, Are you condoning the idea of 'guilty till proven innocent'?
and
Supporting a "Foolproof" National ID?
and
Condoning torture?

You call yourself a conservative, you sound like a neo-con. Your bio says your a democrat.

Jose Z. Garcia said...

Oh, no, I don't have a single neo-con bone in my brain, I mean body. And of course I don't condone the idea of guilty until proven innocent. That's communistic, which has proven to be bone-headed, no pun intended. But a good Democrat, Sen. Chuck Schumer, has called for the use of a biometric social security card which can contain an electronic fingerprint or eyeball print to compare with the one who claims to own it. He won't get it passed because the criminals who hire illegals always pretend to care so much about civil liberties of minority groups and they will trot out the do-gooder lilly-livered liberals who really do care and they will cry out and influence the soft-hearted bleeding heart Democrats who pretend to care but actually are taking in money from the companies that want to hire illegals for cheap labor so they will say no. And no, of course I don't condone torture, but if Vice President Cheney says water boarding isn't torture when applied to people suspected but not convicted of terrorism, then its not torture for people who hire illegals: you believe in equality under the law, don't you? But I might be going a little too far with the Gitmo thing, I gotta admit.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the notion of going after those who illegally employ illegal aliens, but come on, all the Arizona law is, is pure racism. Just like the teabaggers, the birthers, the gun-toters, etc.; they are all resurfacing the civil war mentality of racism. And all this is urged on by the likes of Limbaugh, Beck and O'Reilly. Now, two-faced McCain backs the AZ law just for political gain. What a hypocrite!

Jose Z. Garcia said...

If it quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, and acts like a duck, but says it is not, then who do you believe? While my piece focused on the economic factors underlying winners and losers in the migration struggle, a fascinating part of this issue has to do with the way in which, very skillfully, racial and chauvinistic prejudice has been manipulated to demonize the migrant, rather than the employer. At first glance this would seem to originate with people opposed to migration and in some cases it is so, but on second glance, if the real objective here is a well controlled guest worker program which would institutionalize permanent low wages for workers, citizens and not, who might compete in these enabled sectors, then a period of tension between chauvinists and racists on the one hand, and civil libertarians and sympathizers of unauthorized migrants on the other, is functional: the political system can "compromise" and keep the peace between the warring groups brokering a deal to allow workers in while at the same time guaranteeing humane treatment from law enforcement (presumably against the wishes of the chauvinists, but not allow them to become citizens, which puts them into a permanent, but transient, underclass--a bone to the chauvinists. Meanwhile the employers keep getting cheap wages and the overall wage rates in those and other non-skilled jobs stay low. Once again the winners are the politicians who bravely stand up to the chauvinists in favor of civil rights, and the employers, who get the federal government essentially to become the contractors for low-wage, dependable workers, without the hassle of worrying about the legal status of the workers

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Anonymous said...

NM Governor Richardson needs to cut off any business with Arizona.

Anonymous said...

Great interview on ABC 7 !