“Immigration Policy” is the new “Choice v. Life”
I had a rather interesting conversation with a friend today about Immigration in America. We both see the issue from different eyes, and ended the conversation with no resolution, and maybe a little frustration on both sides. So, in the interest of trying to clarify what is going on with the current “Immigration Policy” in America today, I thought I’d try to lay out some facts (I promise no Foxnews links).
The reason this whole thing has been brought up again is simple in my estimation. The argument is related to the following two statements, “America was BUILT ON IMMIGRATION!” and “America was built on LEGAL IMMIGRATION!” and then we all yell at each other for being so close-minded / idiotic / stupid / conservative / unpatriotic / etc.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed a bill into law a few weeks ago. The law essentially “represents another tool for our state to use as we work to solve a crisis we did not create and the federal government has refused to fix” said Gov. Brewer.
In the Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 8 explains the role of the federal government. Part of this is to “…provide for the common defence…” This isn’t something the Federal Government has a choice on; the law is clear that the Federal Government has an obligation to provide for common defense of the American public. The struggle with immigration today is that our past few Presidents (yes, both Republicans and Democrats) have largely ignored the problem of illegal immigration. Estimates on illegals living in the country vary across the board; anywhere from 7 to 20+ million.
The law Arizona signed into effect gives its police forces the right to request proof of citizenship or immigration status. This had led to many questions regarding the legality of this question and whether or not racial profiling could take place place under this new law (It is a new law for Arizona, but there is already a federal law in place requiring proof of status). Many of my friends believe profiling will take place, regardless of the intent of the law.
I would submit that, although I am a legal citizen of the United Stated, I am still required to present a government issued ID nearly every time I purchase goods with a credit card, am pulled over by the police, attempt to see a rated R movie, purchase alcohol or tobacco, etc. I don’t find these instances to be ‘profiling’ of any kind.
The more difficult piece of this is that the entire mess could be prevented. As I mentioned earlier, our Federal Government (in my opinion) has an obligation to protect the citizens of this country, including border security. The reason Arizona’s state legislature signed off on the measure is related to border concerns. As the drug war in Mexico draws closer to the Mexican-American border, some reports say Arizona has seen drug-related crimes increase dramatically, while others say that is untrue. This post seems to be the most explanatory, fact-based, unbiased report I have seen.
Either way, something will need to be done. As a Christian, illegal immigration is a concern in regard to the well-being and safety of those crossing the border to find a better life here in America. From a civil perspective, there are obvious reforms needed. My dad likes to say that “America is a nation of laws” and I agree with him. We must respect the laws we have in place as they are unless we choose to change them. But, in my opinion, leaving the door of our southern border wide open is a recipe for problems, especially if the law is clear.