AZ’s Immigration Law – Exactly what both sides asked for…
The hits just keep on coming don’t they? First, we get a lousy health care insurance bill crammed down our throats and turned into law against the wishes of almost 60% of the American people.
While that firestorm is still raging, another fight has taken hold as well. This time, however, the Republicans have thrown the Democrats a little taste of their own medicine. Arizona passed an immigration law. They put teeth in the new law by stating anyone here illegally is considered to be trespassing and as a result will be dealt with as criminals. Ooooooooooooh are the lefties having a fit with this one!!!
Yet, in some ways, those of us on the right should be throwing a fit as well. Racial profiling goes against one of the very cornerstones that those of us on the right beat our chests about – individual liberty. None of my friends, on the right, left or middle believe there is anything positive about racial profiling. In fact, it turns my stomach. I’ll never forget the day in 2002 as my family and I were returning to Arizona from Maine via Boston’s Logan Airport. We had been away from almost two weeks, and it had been a solid 10 days since I had shaved. I suppose it was simply being naïve on my part but, even with my Lebanese heritage and the lack of shaving, I never imagined I – the average White guy – would be profiled. It was shocking to me, and a very valuable lesson learned. Going through security, which was still extremely tight at that time, was unlike anything I had ever experienced. Normally clean shaven and well dressed for travel, I was quickly pushed through the security process. On this day, however, I was looked at glaringly; my bag was gone through…and then gone through again. I’ll never say that was exactly being racially profiled, but it certainly gave me a much better understanding of what someone who has been pulled over by police for being Black in a White neighborhood, or now in AZ for being Hispanic, must feel like.
But I absolutely understand, and personally agree with, the need for immigration reform in America. In fact, I am not so sure immigration reform is even close to the right terminology. I’d say immigration enforcement is what is needed…..and has been needed for decades. Had politicians in America over the last 25+ years acted like leaders, we would not be stuck in this position in which, no matter which side you take, you can not win. The right can not win by supporting racial profiling. The left can not win by supporting amnesty. And through it all, none of those elected to make the tough decisions and be leaders, have the courage or strength to do what is right. Instead, they choose political expediency and vote chasing over real, thoughtful, leadership based solutions.
The simple fact is that we can not sustain our country if we do not move swiftly and decisively in the direction of immigration enforcement. We can not allow people to violate the laws of our land, no matter how good their intentions may be. We can not force legal United States citizens to shoulder the financial burden for people here illegally, be it via education, health care, or other welfare entitlement programs. Yet, this great nation was built on the backs of immigrants.
In my very ordinary opinion however, the immigrants who built America, came here to become American. I am not sure those who are here illegally hold that same attitude. The immigrants who came here and built America brought their families and assimilated into America by learning the language, while still keeping the heritage of their homeland as important aspects of their lives. They did not come here to send money “home”. They came here to make America “home”. Simply, they came to make America better by making the life for them and their families better.
I am not sure where, or why, or who or how, but we have lost our way. I think it is time we start acting American again. Putting on our thinking caps and coming up with the kind of real, innovative, purpose driven solutions that have been a hallmark of our great nation. This issue of illegal immigration and how we ultimately resolve it, in my opinion is likely the single most important issue that will determine the future of America and our ability to sustain real economic growth and maintain our position as the leader of the world.
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