What’s Fair For Some

Imagine trying to protect your home and family from outsiders who are intent on having what you have, and what is legally yours.  You can’t rely on the police to protect you; their hands are tied with mountains of red tape.  Entry into your home is illegal, but their are no teeth behind the law.  In fact, while trying to protect your home, you must not hurt the intruders or YOU will be prosecuted.  If you have a dog, you must muzzle it so it can not cause harm to these trespassers.  In fact, you better make sure you have a safe strong ladder nearby for them to climb into your windows if they are inclined to do so!

Does this sound ludicrous?  Not to many, including the faux reporters on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” This past Sunday night, this “news” show made no excuses for the people illegally crossing the border into California via California’s All-American Canal.  I share correspondent Scott Pelley’s sorrow at the lives lost and for the desperation of these people that would make them attempt to navigate across a 225 foot wide irrigation canal in the dark.  But certainly the blame can not be placed on the regional authority managing the canal.  In fact, they were chastised quite harshly by Pelley for not having climb-out ladders and safety devices every few feet in this canal that is not meant for swimmers.   The sole purpose of this waterway is for irrigating the fields that provide about two-thirds of the winter fruits and vegetables to our nation.   Pelley himself refers to it as a “lifeline for the nation.”

The state of Arizona is being vilified by many because they finally decided they could no longer wait for the federal government to enforce the existing laws against people entering our country illegally.  We are a welcoming nation, but there is a process and procedure to follow.  The politicans in Washington are too concerned about their political careers and the votes they might lose if they seem “unfair” to a large group of people that elicit sympathy from kind-hearted Americans.  While being “fair” toward one group of people, many of our own citizens are being treated unfairly.  What about fairness toward:

The countless immigrants who also looked to America for a better life and worked hard to legally establish citizenship.

The unemployed Americans who need jobs but can’t afford to live on what the illegals are paid under the table.  Paying taxes takes a big bite out of a paycheck.

The working families paying more and more in taxes to extend health care and education for a rapidly expanding population that does not share in the costs of these services.

As always, when facts confuse them, liberals will pull out the race card.  Even though every single day Americans are asked to show some form of ID (at traffic stops, on acceptance of employment, etc.), the fear-mongers are certain that this law will result in massive racial profiling.  Never mind that Americans are a hugely diverse group of people, which would make it extremely hard to tell an American citizen from an illegal alien just by looks alone.

Image courtesy of ClipartMountain.com.

14 Responses to “What’s Fair For Some”

  1. 1 lynette May 5, 2010 at 8:30 am

    oh, i swore to myself i would not comment! and, les, you must know, i am 100% in agreement with you on the law is the law is the law.

    there are some things though that i think worth mentioning. this has of course been under discussion here in MA as in other states, and ultimately, the discussion and vote has fallen along the lines of whether the taxpayer costs to implement such a program is worth what we would be saving. granted, MA is not next to Mexico, but it is close to Canada, which is an entry point for many immigrants (many of whom are very Caucasian, btw), and we have large specific immigrant populations that attract others from those same countries.

    another thought is that this is a governmental to-do being made to focus our national anxieties and emotions on an issue that is really — if you looked at the actual dollars — not in the scheme of things that big, because there is a whole bunch of other crap that is far worse. in my opinion, sending our jobs offshore to India and China and Taiwan and Pakistan is a lot more harmful to the livelihood of American workers than illegal immigrants taking on menial labor that Americans don’t want anyway. easier to create scapegoats and point fingers at others, then look inward and see where we are going wrong. i am not saying that it is not a big issue, but i do question the motivation of our governmental pols when they start raising the ire of the people — it makes me feel like they are throwing up emotional smokescreens designed to distract and divert while they do something else.

    smokescreens that will cost taxpayers an awful lot of money with little payoff.

    the communists are coming, the russians are coming, the immigrants are coming…. and meanwhile, our inner workings fall apart because of other mistakes that have nothing to do with “outside”.

    i was pulled over once, driving my very feverish preschooler (and her baby brother) to the doctor. i was not working at the time (home full-time with my kids). my hair was dyed some kind of flaming red, was wearing my beloved biker jacket, and my real name is VERY Spanish. it took forever for the cop to let us go — kept saying he was sure he had seen me at the station before. knew my name from somewhere. wanted to bring me in.

    fever of 105 she had for four days. i had to give the name and address of the MD, where my husband worked, give him every form of ID i had. he interrogated my CHILDREN, asked them if i was their mother. they were 4 and 1.

    one snooty town over from where i live (which is a little less snooty but not by much). what a waste of a cop’s salary. i am sure during that half an hour, some other crime was being carried out worthy of his attention, while he harassed an American citizen with 25 years of schooling on her way to the MD being a good parent, whose name is Spanish and whose appearance was a little edgy.

    (in all fairness, i will note i’ve been pulled aside and searched in London and Madrid too — American passport, same outfit, same hair — at times when terrorist attacks were recent in those countries :))

  2. 2 Cyndi May 5, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Welcome back Les! I’m glad you wrote about this even though I don’t totally agree.

    Building safety features in the canal is absolutely absurd. I also don’t want to pay for other people, healthy American citizens who live off the taxpayer, wars that never end and big banks included. But we do. And there is nothing being done about that at all. To me that is a much bigger problem than this one.

    There is no race card in this situation. It is, in fact, racial profiling. If you appear to be of Hispanic ethnicity you can and will be required to prove that you are in the US legally. Not all people of Hispanic ethnicity are here illegally. My husband for example was born and raised here as my children have been. There are many other issues around this ethnic group. If my family was starving, we were living in a mud shack with no running water and had no hope for a better life…would I risk it all to come here? Definitely. If I couldn’t afford the fees for a visa or obtain sponsorship, would I do it illegally? Absolutely. I hope to god I am never that poor or desperate but if I were I would do whatever I could.

    Beyond that, this is in direct contrast to the 4th amendment and a violation of our civil liberties. We are not required to show our papers or otherwise identify ourselves to police without probable cause. This is the point that bothers me more than anything about the new AZ law. I certainly couldn’t prove my citizenship if pulled over on the street because I don’t carry my birth certificate around. I don’t, because it is not required. Once the constitution is stepped on, what’s next for all of us? Will the “freedom” and “democracy” we allegedly go to war over slowly be further eroded piece by piece?

    • 3 les May 5, 2010 at 10:29 am

      Cyndi, much of the law targets the employers who are knowingly taking advantage of the cheap labor these poor people provide. It does NOT encourage officers to go out and hunt down ordinary people going about their own business. However, if someone is stopped for committing an offense, it allows their illegal status to become an issue. Last year there was a group of illegal aliens stopped here in Pennsylvania for a traffic violation, and even though their illegal status was verified, the officer was advised to let it go. It was the middle of the night and no one wanted to be bothered!

      Like you said, many people of Hispanic ethnicity were born and raised here. They are American citizens, and their rights as citizens should be upheld. Many more have arrived here legally, and have the papers to prove it. When I was stopped for “speeding” at 40mph last year in my minivan, I had to provide my driver’s license. To me, it is not unreasonable to carry some kind of ID (drivers license, work visa, Social Security card) that would identify you as a US citizen or someone who is legally in this country. Because we are such a diverse nation, it would be next to impossible to identify an American citizen by looks alone. If this was actually the way they were going about it, they would be wasting a lot of time for sure.

      I agree also that I would want a better life for my family if I was living in poverty. And if there are jobs here for these people, I would be happy to see them improve their situation. But why can’t they apply for them legally? Why don’t we set up a system that allows farm owners to actively seek a certain number of workers, match them with people willing to come here to work legally, who will be paid a legal wage subject to income taxes like most other employees in America. It would be a bigger burden on the employers who find it cheaper and easier to pick up desperate people on the street corners and not have to pay the higher costs associated with paying a legal US minimum wage and employers’ share of payroll taxes and safer working conditions. An added bonus would be that these people would not have to continue risking their lives crossing hot deserts or irrigation canals to sneak in here.

      There are poor people all over the world. As much as we would like to help them, there is no way we can take in every starving person in all the third world countries. Our resources are not unlimited. Perhaps the people in Mexico will band together and rally their leaders to clean things up and improve the conditions in their own country if they don’t have the option of running to America.

      Why is it only racist when the US tries to enforce its immigration laws? Unlike us, the Japanese don’t automatically confer citizenship on anyone born in their country. To keep it ethnically homogeneous, citizenship is granted based on bloodlines. Ironically, in Mexico itself, it is a felony to be there illegally, and if you are not deported, you will be promptly sent to jail. Even if you are there legally, you will be kicked out if you are not able to provide for your own needs or are not “physically or mentally healthy.” Talk about profiling!

  3. 4 Consuella Banana Hammock May 5, 2010 at 9:27 am

    and she is back! good on you les for not shying away from this topic.

    i live in texas and obviously this topic is one that comes up often around the dinner table or at parties. i won’t pretend to have all the answers, probably not even one.

    i have lived in a country where an officer at anytime can ask you for your identity card. yep, in france they do that. you can be pulled over without cause. you can be stopped on the sidewalk without cause. officially you are not to go anywhere without your papers. that being said, in 11 years i haven’t been asked to show my papers once. why? cause i’m white and female. if i were north african and male, it would probably happen weekly. reality is that most illegals are from that area of the world. not many americans are sneaking into france to live.

    i’m not saying anything yet, i know. one way france has helped to ebb the tide of illegals is by not giving citizenship to children born in france. i have lived there for a decade. my kids were born there and they still don’t qualify for dual citizenship. they have to attend 5 consecutive years of french school before that can happen. why? because by putting kids in french schools, they learn french and become “more french.” not a bad idea in my book.

    let’s face it. we want illegals to come in and do our dirty work but we don’t want to pay for their health care and other needs. we want them to remain helpful but not be a drain on us financially. we have to make up our mind which is more important and then be consistent. let them come and set up a fair system or stop them from coming and pick oranges ourselves.

  4. 6 Cyndi May 5, 2010 at 10:58 am

    I did not speak about any other country’s immigration laws or if they profile or anything else for that matter as I know nothing about them. I don’t want to live anywhere else, in part because of the civil liberties I enjoy under our constitution. I do know that profiling is illegal here, and for good reason.

    Enforcing laws is very different from targeting a specific ethnic group and the police in AZ will have the authority to stop anyone they want (not just people in the commission of a crime or traffic stop) and detain them until they can prove they are here legally. A driver’s license does not prove that we are here legally. ID is always required when busted for a traffic violation. I have no problem with that. Just because someone of Hispanic ethnicity is speeding does not mean they are here illegally and speeding does not equal probable cause to investigate citizenship.

    Our country was founded on the idea of, ‘give us your tired, your poor, etc.’. I don’t have the answers to the problem, although I do agree that enforcing employment laws is an excellent start. I just think that states blatantly ignoring our constitutional rights sets a scary precedent for more to come for all of us.

  5. 7 Tammy May 5, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Great post!

    This blurb has been circulating facebook…it seemed appropriate.


    • 8 les May 5, 2010 at 5:27 pm

      Thanks, Tammy. This is true. And it’s not racist to want foreigners to enter the country legally. The only reason why we’re picking on the Mexicans is because Mexico and Canada are the only countries that share borders with us–and the Canadians don’t seem to be flocking to the States illegally. If they were, and the situations were the same, I’m sure we would see the same reactions from our northern states. It has nothing to do with ETHNICITY!!

  6. 9 robinaltman May 6, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    The law is the law. People need to go through proper channels, just like in any country. We can be so goofy sometimes.

  7. 10 paula May 9, 2010 at 12:22 am

    My children are Mexican on their fathers side. I started to comment about 3 times and apparently I’m not 100 per cent fully on one side or the other. I see valid points of both arguments. The law is the law and should be upheld when its constitutional. If you want to change the law lobby and and get it on the next ballot. This is still a democracy. Until it becomes something else we can change things that need to be changed. I do see the potential for this to quickly get out of hand and turn into something we don’t want. I’m not sure if I want to give anyone. Police or otherwise the right to question me or someone I love for vague reasons and I have met several cops who would love to have that kind of power. I see whats happining in Europe especially London and it scares me the ramifications this could bring. Here in Chicago the situation is different. I am not there in Az to make a blanket statement regarding how the people there feel Illigal or citizen. I think that America is lax in who is able to come here and I know that it must be very hard to remain in a country that has so little. I just wish we could work within the law to change this not come in illigally and degrade our already aling system.

    • 11 les May 9, 2010 at 1:17 am

      Thanks for your thoughtful reply, Paula. I don’t think people begrudge these poor farm workers at all, but our country is already unable to take care of so many of our own citizens who are desperately poor. We just can’t take care of everybody–and there has to be a fair way to allocate our limited resources. My favorite way would be to get rid of the overpaid bureaucrats in Washington! Those politicians’ salaries and perks could go a long way…

  8. 12 Steph May 10, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    “Main Entry: racial profiling
    Part of Speech: n
    Definition: the consideration of race when developing a profile of suspected criminals; by extension, a form of racism involving police focus on people of certain racial groups when seeking suspected criminals” – Dictionary.com

    The crime in question: citizenship.

    Which like you’ve said many times, can not be confirmed at a glance given the diversity of this country and specifically AZ. The result is the unconstitutional harassment of legal US citizens and possibly temporary detention until adequate papers can be provided to the officer’s liking? For what? *Looking* Mexican?

    (I really wish I could underline the word unconstitutional and perhaps a bold font.) (I’m talking about the fourth ammendment.)

    I also want to ask, what is the argument for this law, when citing the inhumane acts of such horrible countries as N. Korea? It could be worse? No kidding. Thank God we live in a country where people aren’t presumed guilty by the color of their skin or the language they speak or the clothes they wear.

    (Les….I tried really hard not to comment but ultimately couldn’t help myself!) 🙂

    • 13 les May 10, 2010 at 9:56 pm

      Steph, feel free to comment anytime. The main stream media is either too stupid (or more likely, intentionally) ignoring the fact that this law does not allow for random checks. The law specifies that only if a person is stopped in the commission of a crime or a traffic violation can they be asked for their citizenship papers. This is way more liberal than most countries that CAN stop someone at any time and require them to have papers.

      The crime is NOT citizenship. It is the illegal entry into a country by a non-citizen. A country that can no longer afford to provide free medical care and education for anyone who cares to enter while our own citizens are suffering. A “Mexican-looking” person will not be deported if he/she is a legal citizen. A blue-eyed Caucasian could be if they are here illegally. This is the law–and hopefully, it will be enforced fairly. If it isn’t, then that is another problem entirely that should be dealt with immediately.

      Even here in Pennsylvania, I recently read that our citizens are paying an extra $150/yr in tax dollars to support illegal aliens in our state–and we are nowhere near being a favorite landing spot. I can’t even imagine how much it is costing states like Arizona and California. I would rather spend this $150 on higher produce costs at the grocery store, which might be the result of farmers paying a living wage and payroll taxes on the wages of legal farm workers. The workers themselves would be able to enjoy all the freedom and benefits of living here instead of having to risk their lives crossing the border, and hiding in fear that their illegal status will be discovered.

      I really don’t think it’s too much to ask to carry a card around. I wouldn’t dream of getting behind the wheel of my car without carrying my driver’s license. If you live in a state that is plagued by border violence and kidnappings, and is in grave fiscal danger due to more tax consumers than taxpayers, it shouldn’t be such a big thing. If I lived in a border state, I would carry around necessary ID even though I’m a citizen.

      The biggest law that needs to change is the ridiculous notion that any child born here is automatically a citizen even though neither parent has any ties to this country. This is causing many women to risk their lives crossing the border illegally to ensure that their child has free health care and education. Who else does this? You are basically rewarding a crime.

    • 14 Steph May 10, 2010 at 10:27 pm

      Yes, I just read that in the last week AZ did change the law so that papers can’t be demanded without criminal cause. That’s a definite step in a smarter direction. But the original law did allow for random checks.

      The problem is not the Mexicans (or any other illegals) the problem is the system that gives out the free health care/education. That’s what needs more policing or follow through. OT: I also wish they would drug test recipients of food stamps or welfare.

      Also, I know pleanty of illegals working for ligitimate employers paying taxes and social security with aliases (did I pluralize that right?) into a system they won’t be able to collect on….where is that money going? (I don’t know, just am curious.)

      I never said a legal citizen would be deported, but it’s a very likely scenario that a mouthy pissed off citizen with no birth certificate on hand would push a racist cop to a few hours of “holding”…..that is the big fear here with the racial profiling, and not unlikely.

      It might not be too much to ask for citizens to carry extra ID, but that doesn’t matter because it is simply unconstitutional. (Fourth Amendment.)

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May 2010

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