By The Time I Get to Arizona

Arizona, that haven for retirees and asthma sufferers, has gone to the forefront of the news with its new, tough stance against illegal immigrants.  Joe Arpaio, the sheriff from Maricopa County who is always on the news for his unorthodox treatment of prisoners, was on the Today show stating that people were going to be happy when they went in jobs and arrested illegal immigrants working in the country illegally.  There, of course, is the rub.

A poll quoted on that same show said that something like 70% of the people agreed with Arizona's tough law.  What it didn't say, and what interviewer Matt Lauer didn't address is: What should be done with the businesses that hire illegal immigrants.  If you think illegal immigrants should be thrown in the slammer or booted out of the country, then surely you'd have to agree that businesses that hire them should be disbanded and employers jailed.  After all, these illegal immigrants can only take jobs away from decent, hardworking Americans if they are offered to them.

That never seems to come up, though.  It seems as if there is a tacit agreement that a business can do whatever it can to raise profits (as they are legally mandated to do), but God forbid an illegal immigrant takes that job (which usually pays them less than it would if they were a "legal" citizen). 

Consistency is important when trying to frame an argument.  You can say illegal immigrants are ruining the country as much as you want.  You can say they are taking jobs away from Americans.  If you aren't targeting the businesses that hire them as well, you are a hypocrite.  At the very least you haven't thought out your position. 

If the majority of Arizona residents want to endorse such a policy (and it seems they do), then hopefully they will demand that these businesses hiring these "criminals" be shut down.  And they should also demand that police demand proof of citizenship for all traffic stops, violations of rules, etc..  After all, not all illegal immigrants have brown skin and an accent.  They could be from Canada, London, Guam, Ireland, Japan, Norway, Bulgaria, the Ivory Coast, Sydney ... the list goes on.  Every citizen of Arizona should be mandated to provide proof of citizenship for every encounter with a police officer.

I imagine the Tea Party parrots will jump on this new law as more unwarranted government interference.  At least I hope they well, as they seem to fear socialism, communism and, one would imagine, a dictatorship.  This new law would seem right in line with the very thing they fear: government curtailing liberty.  You could argue that illegal immigrants don't deserve the liberties enjoyed by American citizens, which is fine, but the only way the police can reasonably determine this is if they demand proof of everyone, and that seems like a violation of that liberty.

I'm sure the Tea Party Parrots are just formulating a platform and planning their protests.  I look forward to seeing them storm the state's capitol demanding that the law be revoked.  I look just as forward to the police questioning everyone and the employers who hire illegal immigrants doing time behind bars as their businesses are auctioned off to the highest bidder who will then (hopefully) hire Americans at a living wage.

Let's hear it for Arizona!


Garnet said...

Scintillating commentary. A pleasure to encounter on my random trip through blog land...

JLo said...

Framing is everything these days. Instead of calling it and "Immigration Problem" or an "Illegal Immigrant Problem" I like to call it and "Illegal Hiring Problem."

John McCain's state is now the "Let's see your Papers" state. And I thought Texas was backassward.

-Doug Brunell "America's Favorite Son" said...

So true. It is a hiring issue, but nobody ever talks about that. It seems like exploiting workers is okay ... unless you're the worker. That is so fucking ridiculous.

And Garnet, hope you return.