The Other McCain

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Arizona: The Fourth Reich?

Posted on | April 24, 2010 | 37 Comments

You might think so if you buy into all the media sturm und drang generated by the state’s new law permitting law enforcement to ascertain legal residency. USA Today made sure to get the word “controversial” in their headline — as did Allahpundit, for some reason — and the New York Times plays up the “discrimination” angle:

PHOENIX — Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona signed the nation’s toughest bill on illegal immigration into law on Friday. Its aim is to identify, prosecute and deport illegal immigrants.
The move unleashed immediate protests and reignited the divisive battle over immigration reform nationally. . . .
The law . . . would make the failure to carry immigration documents a crime and give the police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. Opponents have called it an open invitation for harassment and discrimination against Hispanics regardless of their citizenship status.

Kristallnacht for Hispanics, in other words, the moment it was signed into law and before even one example of “harassment” could take place. Which is to say, the MSM coverage serves to prejudice the reader into accepting the viewpoint of the law’s opponents, that the new measure effectively turns Arizona law-enforcement into a sort of Gestapo to round up brown people.

Three words: Get a grip.

Let’s begin by invoking what I call the Sonny Bono Principle. The California Republican lawmaker (the brainier half of “Sonny and Cher”) was once asked to debate illegal immigration and memorably responded, “What’s to debate? It’s illegal.”

For at least 15 years, the open-borders lobby has striven (a) to blur the distinction between legal and illegal immigrants, and (b) to create the impression that everyone who is concerned about illegal immigration is motivated by anti-Latino prejudice. Goal (a) is obviously necessary to goal (b), because while most Americans disapprove of prejudice, most Americans also disapprove of crime — and it is a crime to enter the United States without lawful permission.

Teddy’s Law and the Brimelow Rule

People who have not studied the history of American immigration (see Peter Brimelow’s 1996 bestseller Alien Nation for an excellent in-depth examination) may be under the impression that U.S. immigration laws are unfairly harsh. In fact, the basic law — the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 — is a liberal measure passed at the height of LBJ’s “Great Society” and personally shepherded through the Senate by Ted Kennedy. And every subsequent revision of the law has been in the direction of greater leniency, with the exception of imposing more severe fines on companies that employ illegal workers (a provision that is even less rigorously enforced than the rest of the immigration laws).

Yet we are constantly told that the anybody who calls for stricter enforcement our Ted Kennedy-sponsored liberal immigration laws is a dangerous right-wing extremist — and probably a racist, to boot. (This phenomenon gave rise to what has become known as The Peter Brimelow Rule, which defines racist as “anyone who is winning an argument with a liberal.”) All of which is nonsense, of course, and utterly ignores the horrifying impact that non-enforcement has on states like Arizona, which has been nearly overwhelmed by a tsunami of illegal immigration.

Just to see how the new law is playing in Arizona, I called our Phoenix friend Barbara Espinosa, who told me she had posted the entire text of the law on her American Freedom blog, and proceeded to given me a detailed lecture about the situation in her state. Just a week ago, for example, federal authorities raided shuttle companies that had been smuggling illegals through Arizona:

An elaborate human-smuggling network that ferried tens of thousands of illegal immigrants into Arizona using shuttle vans was broken up Thursday during a series of raids, federal authorities said.
In what officials called the biggest operation of its kind targeting illegal-immigrant smuggling, 47 people were arrested at five companies in Phoenix, Tucson and Nogales during sweeps involving more than 800 federal agents and local police. . . .
Owners and employees at the shuttle-van companies are accused of bringing illegal immigrants from Mexico into Arizona, where they often were placed in drophouses and later transported to other U.S. cities.
The organization targeted in the raids is accused of illegally transporting more than 80,000 immigrants into the U.S. in the past 10 years. They brought daily van loads of undocumented migrants into the country, using Phoenix as a primary hub.

That’s just the tip of a very large iceberg, folks, and Arizona residents like Barbara have long since grown tired of the criminal violence and other problems resulting from the non-enforcement of immigration laws. Yet when Arizonans try to do something to increase enforcement, they’re denounced for “irresponsibility” and accused of violating “basic notions of fairness” by the President of the United States! Which brings us around to the bipartisan nature of our open-borders problem, as highlighted by John Hinderaker at Power Line:

Whenever President Bush talked about immigration, his approval ratings went down. It was like clockwork: liberals never understood that the fatal decline in Bush’s popularity during his second term had at least as much to do with his advocacy of “comprehensive immigration reform” as with war-weariness.

Amen and hallelujah, Brother John! I’m so glad someone has boiled down to two sentences what I’ve been saying since 2006. Having Republicans pushing for “comprehensive reform” — the politically correct term for amnesty — not only undermined the GOP in the 2006 and 2008 election cycles, it undermined public confidence in the democratic process.

Soccer Moms and ‘Compassionate’ Nonsense

Every time Americans have gotten a chance at an up-or-down vote on immigration, they’ve supported stricter enforcement, and yet politicians — especially Republican politicians — have gone out of their way to avoid framing the issue of illegal immigration in the kind of clear terms that would allow voters a chance to vote for what the majority really want: Strict enforcement of current law, enhanced border security, and aggressive measures to deport those now here illegally.

Why this avoidance strategy? Beyond mere cowardice, there is a political factor well-known to GOP pollsters and strategists, namely that so-called “swing” voters — especially affluent suburban white women — react negatively to harsh rhetoric about immigration. (In fact, these women, whom political demographers first identified as “soccer moms” in the 1990s, respond negatively to most conservative messages, which is what gave rise to Bush’s “compassionate conservative” style of rhetoric.) This is the answer to a question often expressed by mystified conservatives during the 2006-07 amnesty debate: “Why are Republicans pandering to Hispanics?” In fact, the GOP push for amnesty had less to do with winning Hispanic votes than it did with convincing soccer moms that Republicans aren’t a bunch of racist meanies.

Yet for every soccer mom (or upscale urban metrosexual guy) lured into the Big Tent by this kind of amnesty sweet-talk, the GOP loses ground with the far more numerous blue-collar independent voters (a/k/a “Reagan Democrats”) who are vital to Republican electoral success. And this is where Bush’s war policy and his amnesty policy were so disastrously at odds with each other. Reagan Democrats generally support a  strong defense, but they have a common-sense skepticism that during the Bush era expressed itself in a question I sometimes heard from talk-radio callers: “Why are we sending American boys to die in a foreign country, when we won’t even defend our own borders against a foreign invasion?”

It’s a good question, and when you combine that with the problem of out-of-control deficit spending, you arrive at Steve Sailer’s memorable summary of Bush-era U.S. policy: “Invade the world, invite the world, in hock to the world.”

Arizona über alles?

So now we are being treated to  über the spectacle the media demonizing Arizona as a fascist tyranny merely for putting into law the Sonny Bono Principle that illegal immigration is illegal. And we can expect to see many Republicans running for cover to avoid being asked whether they approve or disapprove of Arizona’s approach to border security. (Expect Jon Stewart at Comedy Center and the Olbermann/Maddow axis at MSNBC to play the Nazi card, complete with German accents as they repeat the phrase, “Where are your papers?“)

Republicans can stop running scared now, however, because Democratic control of the White House and Congress means that fixing our immigration problem is — at least until January 2011 — the job of Democrats. As with so much else during this new era of Hope and Change, there is no need for the GOP to outline any specific policy of their own. All Republicans have to do is to speak the truth: Namely that Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have made an utter botch of border security, and to oppose whatever liberal legislation they might propose to enact.

As opposed to campaign rhetoric — where the media lets Democrats get away with nebulous promises and glittering generalities — the devil is in the details when it comes to actually crafting laws, as the health-care debate showed.

Whatever immigration law Democrats may attempt to ram through Congress is sure to contain some elements that will be opposed by a majority of voters. The GOP strategy will be to focus the debate those elements to which Democrats are firmly committed (as sops to ethnic-grievance interest groups) but which are unpopular with independent “swing” voters.

And if the Democrats decide to punt the issue until after the election? Then the Republicans get to accuse Democrats of doing nothing to address the problem.

Immigration is now a win-win for Republicans, you see. As for the Arizona law, the GOP message is (a) that the citizens of Arizona have the right to do what they feel is necessary to preserve public safety, (b) that the federal courts will determine if the Arizona law is constitutional, and most of all (c) that the Arizona law wouldn’t be necessary if the Obama administration would get serious about protecting the border.

As for the MSM’s insinuation that Arizona is now a totalitarian dictatorship with genocidal ambitions, there’s this advice from Professor Glenn Reynolds:

Were I representing Arizona, I’d argue that the federal government is in default on its “protection against invasion” responsibility, and that this empowers the state to resort to self-help.

Sieg Heh.

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Comments

  • http://threebeerslater.blogspot.com Progressive White Liberal with

    I don’t want to say that Arizona is the Fourth Reich, but… Texas Baptists are moving there and you know what they say about those people…

  • http://threebeerslater.blogspot.com Progressive White Liberal with a Humanities Degree

    I don’t want to say that Arizona is the Fourth Reich, but… Texas Baptists are moving there and you know what they say about those people…

  • http://my-thoughts-on-freedom.blogspot.com/ Chris W

    How dare Arizona actually enforce federal law.

    Arizona is the first state to demand that immigrants meet federal requirements to carry identity documents legitimizing their presence on American soil.

    Good for us and 70% agree.

    http://my-thoughts-on-freedom.blogspot.com/2010/04/arizona-gets-tough-on-illegal.html

  • http://my-thoughts-on-freedom.blogspot.com/ Chris W

    How dare Arizona actually enforce federal law.

    Arizona is the first state to demand that immigrants meet federal requirements to carry identity documents legitimizing their presence on American soil.

    Good for us and 70% agree.

    http://my-thoughts-on-freedom.blogspot.com/2010/04/arizona-gets-tough-on-illegal.html

  • http://www.truthandcommonsense.com archer52

    Here is my post on the subject. In this area I’m as close to an expert as I can get after spending twenty years on the street.

    http://truthandcommonsense.com/2010/04/24/arizona-takes-one-step-closer-to-your-papers-please-typical-example-of-treating-a-symptom-and-not-the-disease/

    Truth is the police do not want to have citizens carry papers proving their status, it frightens the thinking cops among us. And Arizona once again proves that both businesses and politicians do not have the brass ones to do the one thing that would solve the illegal immigration issue. Dry up the money.

    No one would come here if they couldn’t find work or get free stuff. No motive.

  • http://www.truthandcommonsense.com archer52

    Here is my post on the subject. In this area I’m as close to an expert as I can get after spending twenty years on the street.

    http://truthandcommonsense.com/2010/04/24/arizona-takes-one-step-closer-to-your-papers-please-typical-example-of-treating-a-symptom-and-not-the-disease/

    Truth is the police do not want to have citizens carry papers proving their status, it frightens the thinking cops among us. And Arizona once again proves that both businesses and politicians do not have the brass ones to do the one thing that would solve the illegal immigration issue. Dry up the money.

    No one would come here if they couldn’t find work or get free stuff. No motive.

  • Joe
  • Joe
  • Joe

    You seriously want to end illegal immigration? Fine anyone who hires illegals. $100 to the home owner who hires the Mexican guy who goes door to door to do handiwork. $1000 to the contractor who hires drywall workers. Then have the fines go up for repeat offenders. The fines need not be crazy, just high enough to make hiring illegals not worth it.

  • Joe

    You seriously want to end illegal immigration? Fine anyone who hires illegals. $100 to the home owner who hires the Mexican guy who goes door to door to do handiwork. $1000 to the contractor who hires drywall workers. Then have the fines go up for repeat offenders. The fines need not be crazy, just high enough to make hiring illegals not worth it.

  • http://theothermccain.com Robert Stacy McCain

    You seriously want to end illegal immigration? Fine anyone who hires illegals.

    The law already provides for such fines but, like every other aspect of U.S. immigration law, it’s not rigorously enforced. We have the means to curtail illegal immigration. What we lack is the political will.

  • http://theothermccain.com Robert Stacy McCain

    You seriously want to end illegal immigration? Fine anyone who hires illegals.

    The law already provides for such fines but, like every other aspect of U.S. immigration law, it’s not rigorously enforced. We have the means to curtail illegal immigration. What we lack is the political will.

  • FenelonSpoke

    No, I don’t know what Texas Baptists say; I don’t know any Baptists from Texas, but I wouldn’t tend to make generalizations about an entire denomination-and there are all kinds of Baptists-from a very big state.

  • FenelonSpoke

    No, I don’t know what Texas Baptists say; I don’t know any Baptists from Texas, but I wouldn’t tend to make generalizations about an entire denomination-and there are all kinds of Baptists-from a very big state.

  • Joe

    You want to see those fines recovered? Make those fines recoverable by private citizens who sue in civil court. Like modern day privateers, except instead of taking down fat Spanish galleons, they will be taking down businesses who engage in hiring Spanish (and other foriegn language) speaking illegals.

    What a wedge issue! The trial lawyers’ heads will explode.

  • Joe

    You want to see those fines recovered? Make those fines recoverable by private citizens who sue in civil court. Like modern day privateers, except instead of taking down fat Spanish galleons, they will be taking down businesses who engage in hiring Spanish (and other foriegn language) speaking illegals.

    What a wedge issue! The trial lawyers’ heads will explode.

  • http://pumas4palin.com sharmajee

    I think I am going to move to Arizona, after all. . Even a culture that celebrates out-laws, survives only by honoring its own laws first. Kudos to Jan Brewer for daring to stop the de-Americanizing of America!

  • http://pumas4palin.com sharmajee

    I think I am going to move to Arizona, after all. . Even a culture that celebrates out-laws, survives only by honoring its own laws first. Kudos to Jan Brewer for daring to stop the de-Americanizing of America!

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  • Alex

    why i am on this site i don’t know, but i must disagree. the racial profiling this allowed is amazing.

  • Alex

    why i am on this site i don’t know, but i must disagree. the racial profiling this allowed is amazing.

  • phoenixgirl

    Hi Robert…..check out this shirt! ARIZONA, MORE TEXAS THAN TEXAS!

    i’ve never been more proud of my adopted state…..we are leading the way to taking our country back! right for law abiding citizens to carry a concealed weapon! show us your certificate mr. president! and of course the oh you didn’t come over the border legally? let me help you back home!

    YEEEEEEHAW!

    http://www.cafepress.com/themoojstore.441524423

  • phoenixgirl

    Hi Robert…..check out this shirt! ARIZONA, MORE TEXAS THAN TEXAS!

    i’ve never been more proud of my adopted state…..we are leading the way to taking our country back! right for law abiding citizens to carry a concealed weapon! show us your certificate mr. president! and of course the oh you didn’t come over the border legally? let me help you back home!

    YEEEEEEHAW!

    http://www.cafepress.com/themoojstore.441524423

  • T

    What, do you think there are a lot of Scandinavians trying to cross the Mexico border illegally?

  • T

    What, do you think there are a lot of Scandinavians trying to cross the Mexico border illegally?

  • arizonan

    Archer 52 hit the nail square on the head – How do you get rid of scorpion’s ? ya can’t kill them so the only thing ya can do is eliminate the food source ( not a GREAT ANALOGY but i think you all get the meaning behind it ).

  • arizonan

    Archer 52 hit the nail square on the head – How do you get rid of scorpion’s ? ya can’t kill them so the only thing ya can do is eliminate the food source ( not a GREAT ANALOGY but i think you all get the meaning behind it ).

  • http://pecancorner.blogspot.com/ Tina

    Hello Mr McCain,

    Thanks for a great post on this. I read your blog often but have never commented before. Especially, thanks for pointing out that we already have the laws, we already have the authority in all levels of government to act to remove trespassing aliens.

    I live in Texas, and have always held a relatively moderate view – I think we need to enforce our laws, and help Mexico figure out how to provide work and life for its people.

    I started writing a post about this yesterday, and stumbled on to some things I didn’t know, like the role of Mexico’s government in protests such as those we are hearing right now, and about remittances as part of a global monetary strategy. Maybe I was the only one not aware of these things, but anyway, I wrote about it on my little blog, if you would like to read it: http://pecancorner.blogspot.com/2010/04/illegal-immigration-101-things-i-didnt.html

    Thanks again for great information and good writing.

    Tina

  • http://pecancorner.blogspot.com/ Tina

    Hello Mr McCain,

    Thanks for a great post on this. I read your blog often but have never commented before. Especially, thanks for pointing out that we already have the laws, we already have the authority in all levels of government to act to remove trespassing aliens.

    I live in Texas, and have always held a relatively moderate view – I think we need to enforce our laws, and help Mexico figure out how to provide work and life for its people.

    I started writing a post about this yesterday, and stumbled on to some things I didn’t know, like the role of Mexico’s government in protests such as those we are hearing right now, and about remittances as part of a global monetary strategy. Maybe I was the only one not aware of these things, but anyway, I wrote about it on my little blog, if you would like to read it: http://pecancorner.blogspot.com/2010/04/illegal-immigration-101-things-i-didnt.html

    Thanks again for great information and good writing.

    Tina

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  • http://www.haemet.blogivists.com Roxeanne de Luca

    Soccer moms give educated, suburban women a bad name.

    The problem with them, IMHO, is that they’ve been trained to think emotionally and they are incredibly sheltered. The worst thing that they could imagine happening to them is getting a B on an English paper at Vassar, and the worst thing they could imagine being is unpopular. They cannot comprehend the idea that illegal aliens – even hard-working, honest ones – will bring drugs, gangs, lawlessness, and poverty across the border and into their lives.

    Reality will not kick in with these chicks until one of their cute blonde daughters gets killed in the crossfire of a drug deal gone wrong between the landscaper and the painter.

    I think we need to enforce our laws, and help Mexico figure out how to provide work and life for its people.

    Tina,

    Mexico is a sovereign nation. We are not imperialists, nor do we have the resources (considering that we are fighting two wars and are broke) to help a country. The best way that we can help Mexico is by returning their best assets: their people. Over 10% of the citizens of Mexico are residing here illegally; I’m not sure how taking away the young and strong workers will do anything but damage a pre-industrialised economy. Humans are capital; Mexico needs them back in order to prosper.

  • http://www.haemet.blogivists.com Roxeanne de Luca

    Soccer moms give educated, suburban women a bad name.

    The problem with them, IMHO, is that they’ve been trained to think emotionally and they are incredibly sheltered. The worst thing that they could imagine happening to them is getting a B on an English paper at Vassar, and the worst thing they could imagine being is unpopular. They cannot comprehend the idea that illegal aliens – even hard-working, honest ones – will bring drugs, gangs, lawlessness, and poverty across the border and into their lives.

    Reality will not kick in with these chicks until one of their cute blonde daughters gets killed in the crossfire of a drug deal gone wrong between the landscaper and the painter.

    I think we need to enforce our laws, and help Mexico figure out how to provide work and life for its people.

    Tina,

    Mexico is a sovereign nation. We are not imperialists, nor do we have the resources (considering that we are fighting two wars and are broke) to help a country. The best way that we can help Mexico is by returning their best assets: their people. Over 10% of the citizens of Mexico are residing here illegally; I’m not sure how taking away the young and strong workers will do anything but damage a pre-industrialised economy. Humans are capital; Mexico needs them back in order to prosper.

  • http://reaganiterepublicanresistance.blogspot.com Reaganite Republican

    Great post, Stacy

    I might add that pandering to swing-voting soccer moms like you mention may be less beneficial to the GOP than ever- most of them voted-for and got Hopenchange… and according to Rasmussen, now they don’t like it much.

    And a lot of those well-intended ladies are surfacing at the TEA Party events now, it seems… like Ronald Reagan, Stacy McCain, and myself as well, the soccer moms will keep their ideals… but they just discovered that the Dems’ way just doesn’t work over the long run.

  • http://reaganiterepublicanresistance.blogspot.com Reaganite Republican

    Great post, Stacy

    I might add that pandering to swing-voting soccer moms like you mention may be less beneficial to the GOP than ever- most of them voted-for and got Hopenchange… and according to Rasmussen, now they don’t like it much.

    And a lot of those well-intended ladies are surfacing at the TEA Party events now, it seems… like Ronald Reagan, Stacy McCain, and myself as well, the soccer moms will keep their ideals… but they just discovered that the Dems’ way just doesn’t work over the long run.

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