The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Wednesday over the hotly debated S.B. 1070, the immigration law enacted in Arizona in 2010. At the center of the controversy is the provision that would allow state law enforcement to ask for documentation of persons they suspect to be in the country illegally.
It does not mean that cops can arrest little Maria and Juanito on the playground, or follow them home and arrest their mother. This is not about racism. As Ilya Shapiro at the CATO Institute points out:
"Note also that racial profiling is not at issue here. S.B. 1070 bends over backwards to make clear that it does not allow (let alone require) any use of race not permitted under federal law — which is why the federal government declined to join the stalled ACLU/La Raza lawsuits."
This law is about doing what the Federal government claims responsibility for but refuses to do: Something about the illegal immigration problem in our country. I’m not talking about the people that come to the country to try to make a living for their families and do their best to follow our laws and keep out of trouble. Our immigration system is messed up, and illegal or not, I totally understand why some people hop the metaphorical fence.
This law is about Robert Krentz, an Arizona rancher that was shot and killed in 2010, in all likelihood by an illegal immigrant. It’s about the border patrol agents being pursued and killed by illegal immigrants. It’s about the wildfires started by Mexican drug smugglers. Heck, it’s about Mexican drug smugglers! Speaking of smuggling, it’s also about child sex slave operations.
S.B. 1070 is about protecting American citizens from the illegal immigrants that come here to do us harm.
A decision on the case is expected in late June, but many predict that the law will be upheld. Justice Anton Scalia asked Solicitor General Virrelli:
"What's wrong about states enforcing federal law … Arizona has no power? What does sovereignty mean if it does not include the ability to defend your borders?"
Maybe once we stem the flow of harmful illegal immigrants into our country, we can work on reforming our laws to allow more good ones in. Once upon a time, immigrants would save for years for the opportunity to come to America and live in the land of the free. Excessive regulation over the past several decades has made it near impossible to obtain American citizenship, leading many to turn a blind eye to the problem of illegal immigration.
It’s a problem that needs addressing, and a good place to start is to crack down on illegal immigrants that break more laws than the one of being here without permission.
Image via Mexicanos Sin Fronteras/Flickr
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