Yesterday, Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona signed into law a bill that makes illegal immigration a state crime, and authorizes police to verify the immigration status of anyone suspected to be an illegal alien.
Ms. Brewer, a Republican, said the state action was forced by Washington’s failure to secure the U.S. borders and solve the nation’s thorny illegal immigration problem. “Decades of inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation,” she said.
It is not so much Arizona’s law that caught my eye, rather, it was President Obama’s statement about it.
The president said it was the state [of Arizona] that was “misguided” and that the Arizona measure would “undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans.”
I’m curious, Mr. President. What basic notions of fairness are you talking about? Is it fair that thousands who would like to come to this country have to fill out voluminous forms, and wait years to learn if they will be lucky enough to be admitted, while others avoid the lengthy process and simply stroll across our borders? Is it fair that states like Arizona have to pay millions to provide emergency health care and public education for the families of those who choose to evade our laws? Is it fair that states like Arizona even have to pass such laws to begin with, and only do so because the federal government isn’t doing its job protecting our borders?
Don’t misunderstand me. I believe firmly in immigration. My grandparents on both my father’s side and my mother’s side emmigrated to this country in the late 1800’s. But, they filled out the forms, waited in line, and hoped for the best. Anything short of that is illegal, and such illegal behavior should never be condoned lest we make a mockery of our immigration system.
Bottom line, I guess I cherish different “basic notions of fairness” than does our President.