Monday, June 25, 2012

Thoughts On Immigration... From Someone Who Has Experienced It Firsthand

Having in my lifetime, experience America's immigration system first hand, I thought I might offer a few comments about yesterday's immigration ruling by the Supreme Court.

I agree with the one provision that they kept requiring local law enforcement officials to verify immigration status of those whom they have caught breaking a law. It is a simple procedure of requiring some sort of identification which all law abiding citizens have and those that are here illegally don't have. I do disagree with Justice Kennedy's assertion that great care must be taken when enforcing this to prevent racial profiling. We must remember that these are criminals in the first place. Can you racially profile a criminal whom as standard police procedure you must identify?

I also agree with the courts decision to turn down the part of the law that would allow law officials to arrest without warrant based on 'probable cause' of being an illegal alien. We are a country founded on the belief that we are innocent until proven guilty and as soon as we start believing people guilty before proof, we are no better than countries ruled by the most ruthless of dictators. I would rather ten guilty people go free than one innocent person wrongly incarcerated. Even O.J. Simpson.

I also agree with the court striking down the part of the law requiring those illegally here to carry registration papers and other government identification. Unless I am required by law to carry those things and in certain instances such as when driving a car, I am, then they shouldn't be forced to carry them either. My wife who is a legal immigrant would be forced to carry her passport around with her at all times simply because she doesn't look American and despite the fact that she speaks better English than most native U.S. citizens. In the case of driving a vehicle and being stopped, in this state we are given a period of time to produce a valid license before being charged. That law should apply to all people.

I disagree with the court on turning down the part of the law forbidding those who are here illegally from soliciting or applying for work. Those working illegally only do one thing, prevent those here legally from getting the same job. The argument of those in favor of allowing illegals to work here is that they do jobs that legal citizens won't do. My argument is that we should allow legalized slavery? No. If legal citizens won't do the work then those that want the work done will have to pay more money until legal citizens are willing to do it. It is simple supply and demand economics. We should not subsidize fruit with the brows of illegal aliens because they are willing to do such work at meager wages.

I also disagree with the court on turning down the criminalization of being illegal in this country. They committed a crime by entering our country without proper documents. They are criminals and should be punished as such which at bare minimum means thrown in jail until they legally complete requirements or deported, which ever we desire. By allowing them to remain here and not be prosecuted, and this applies to Obama's move saying we won't deport children of those who illegally enter our country, we cheapen and toughen immigration for all those who do so legally. We cheapen it because why work five years to earn it legally when all you have to do is sneak through our borders once and you're good. We toughen legal immigration because our immigration quotas will be cranked down to reflect those who illegally entered our country meaning those who legally want to immigrate, a process that can take upwards of 20 years for some people, will not have to wait even longer.

Overall, I agreed with the court on three of the five issues but think the two that they 'missed' were some of the more important ones in solving our immigration problem. I think everyone would admit we do have an immigration problem and it needs to be solved before we become horrible over crowded and impoverished like so many other countries. Obamacare is up this Thursday. I'm sure it will contain a mixed bag of results for me too.


Vince said...

Wasn't the original law put in place as a chess move by Arizona to shift a cost from the States exchequer. And of course to make it easier in what the State thought of themselves as being a front line to fight an 'invasion' once they got behind the border patrols.

Can you racially profile a criminal whom as standard police procedure you must identify?.
It is very shaky ground when you use racial and criminal in the same sentence. And existence within a State cannot confer an automatic criminality regardless how one enters or ones status viz' the paperwork. You have to actually do a measurable wrong to someone.
To put it this way, Arizona entered a very select group with those code of laws. And what was so unbelievable for those of us outside the States was that they couldn't see it. They though circumstances required them to respond is certain ways.

Ed said...

Vince - In the case of Arizona, the criminal action must happen first before police can check identification and thus proving immigration status. I fail to see how in that order, racial profiling can occur.

Arizona is not a 'select' group. 10% of our states already have passed similar laws and 60% have similar legislation in process essentially waiting the outcome from yesterday. I expect there will be lots of rewriting based on yesterdays ruling and we will see lots more passed immigration laws by this time next year.

Even though Arizona is on the front lines, even states such as myself constantly have battles with illegal immigrants. Our state is bisected by two cross country interstate roads that are frequently used to smuggle illegal aliens on. It is almost a weekly occurrence that some van or truck rolls over and there were dozens of illegal immigrants inside. Also, there are many meat packing plants in our state and that is one of those undesirable jobs that doesn't pay much because they can get illegal people who are willing to work as slaves to fill those positions.

Ed said...

My above comment should read 'states such as the one I live in' and not 'states such as myself'. I'm not quite that big or egotistical.

Vince said...

Yes, but by the definitions that were in place looking like one was a native of the southwestern area was sufficient cause to suspect the 'criminal' offense of being foreign in the USA. Yes criminality may lead from. And yes criminality may be involved in trafficking. But by you definitions the girl that is trafficked into Chicago or Racine is equal felon to the scum that carries her to the brothel. Or the scum that uses her in that place.
The fact of immigration be it illegal or other cannot by itself be cause for suspicion. How would you feel if Mexico decided that each and every drunken idiot was a felon since drunkenness is viewed with different eyes in Baja. You would be the first banging the drum for invasion to recover them.

Ed said...

"by the definitions that were in place looking like one was a native of the southwestern area was sufficient cause to suspect the 'criminal' offense of being foreign in the USA"

I absolutely disagree with this statement. The police must FIRST make an lawful stop, detention or arrest on something other than looking like a hispanic. Once stopped for other reasons, THEN they are obligated to confirm legal status if reasonable suspicion occurs. See wiki SB1070 excerpt below:

"...obligates police to make an attempt, when practicable during a "lawful stop, detention or arrest", to determine a person's immigration status if there is reasonable suspicion that the person is an illegal alien."