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Had to laugh at this one. "Arizona Law Makes it a Crime to be an Illegal Immigrant," blasts the Associated Press, a headline then regurgitated by numerous news conglomerates.
No, my friends, I'm afraid not. Arizona SB 1070 does not criminalize the act of coming into this country illegally. For that you can thank Chapter 8 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, specifically Section 275, a federal law which imposes fines, imprisonment, and/or deportation on any alien entering the country in a manner contrary to those prescribed. The federal law is very clear about the need to obtain visas and submit to inspection, as well as the procedure for naturalization. Those who enter and live in the U.S. without following the federal law are therefore illegal immigrants, Arizona's new law notwithstanding.
Ergot, the headline is stupid.
Critics of the Arizona law say it will lead to human rights violations, racial profiling, and require Arizona residents to carry immigration paperwork or proof of citizenship at all times. But I ask where's the intrusion? Under the new law, police aren't allowed to stop people suspected of a violation and may ask for documentation of legal status only in connection with a separate primary offense. Granted, this requires anyone in Arizona to carry a copy of their birth certificates or immigration papers, but so what? Nobody seemed to mind jumping through hoops when airport security became a major pain in the neck. Protecting our borders is the next logical step in making the U.S. a safer nation. Besides, most of us already carry around drivers licenses, medical emergency cards, check cashing cards, etc. What's the big deal?
Illegal immigration is a huge problem. People who should not be living and/or working in this country reap substantial benefit from taxpayer money and rarely pay into the system. They also take away jobs from the unemployed and teenagers who wouldn't mind a little extra income. When illegal immigrants are involved in traffic accidents, they seldom carry insurance to pay for personal injury or vehicle damage. And let's face it, they and/or their offspring have been known to be linked to dangerous gang activity. If the feds aren't going to take action to enforce its own laws, why shouldn't Arizona step up to the plate?
I'm all for immigration, the American melting pot, and all that kind of hooey, but for gawd's sake, do it legally! My grandparents immigrated to this country from England and Russia and they had to go through all sorts of poking and prodding to gain American citizenship. If foreigners want to live in this country so badly, let them do the same. And if they don't and are already here illegally ... oh well. Better get packing.
If it was good enough for my grandparents, it's good enough for the illegals.
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