Thursday, April 29, 2010

immigration - arizona - constitutional rights

     I have purposely avoided writing about Arizona and Immigration in general because it is a tough topic and I have a lot of different thoughts on it.  I think that illegal immigration is a concern for the US security and our interests such as Social Security benefits and Health Care benefits.  As more illegal immigrants arrive onto US land more public services and resources are diverted from taxpaying citizens to those who in reality just come to make money and leave.  Let’s be honest, many people come to America to make some cash and roll on back to wherever they came from.  Very few of them arrive with the mentality to not only make themselves better, but also better the communities where they live. 
     (SIDE NOTE, RANT WARNING: Illegal Immigrants make me sad sometimes - not all are this type, but…they are not respectful of their environment.  I meet of lot of people who have the mentality that because they are not citizens or legal they can treat their cities and neighborhoods like dumpsters.  Illegal Immigrants, do you want to know why there are issues in not wanting widespread reform? …because too many your own actions do not merit it!!  I am a Mexican but dam guys, get with the program.  Help in the community and participate in a positive way.  Help police officers and public officials out.  They want to stop crime, well... help out by reporting crime and not participating in it.  I know that there have been bad situations not caused by you, e.g. Chavez ravine, etc.; but make lemonade out of lemons, or at least add the lemon to a Corona or a shot of tequila, don’t let it spoil.  There are things out of our control, but those things that we can control i.e. ourselves, should be proper.  Work hard and walk with your heads high because of your actions, not because of a misplaced sentiment of entitlement.  Nothing is free; we all have to work at it.  So work hard and teach others to do the same.  Lead by example so instead of being seen as a burden to America we are seen as the Catalyst for great things and greater tomorrows.) : END OF RANT
     However, at the same time it is a fact that illegal immigration has helped America prosper.  For example; cheap labor has benefited both private and public business.  The consumer has benefited because of the reduced costs, cheaper to build or service whatever it is they are purchasing because labor costs are low.  Also there are millions of dollars of unclaimed taxes that the federal government gets to keep.  To work, illegal immigrants use fake ss #; they have taxes taken out, but cannot claim them as they are not legal in this country, and because many of them earn less wages or earn below the poverty line they should receive some of those taxes back, but they don’t…where is the money?  Illegal immigrants also are consumers.  They help businesses grow because of fear.  Let me explain, in general they do not wander far from home because they are afraid of being deported.  So small mom & pop shops are able to flourish in low income neighborhoods.  These in turn pay taxes as businesses and do contribute to society and can cause communities to rally together; see Chicano Park- San Diego.  So there is some good, but the question is at what cost and is that cost worth it. 
     Are the cost, of Medicare, Medicaid, public services, public school, etc., offset by the benefit of a lower cost work force?  I am not God so I don’t know.  There are issues and I would gladly argue either side of this argument.  I believe that there has to be functional immigration reform.  By functional I am not advocating the idiotic idea to send everyone back and have them arrive the “right way”; let’s not be ignorant it is not going to happen.  There are families where parents are illegal but children are citizens yet underage…is the fed going to pony up funds for foster care…is that even feasible or appropriate?  So really we need change that will allow families to stay together, and be reasonable at the same time.  But sometimes I feel that is a dream that not enough people share.  As the Arizona law specifically its impossible o speak specifically of it.  I will not comment on it yet until the issues our more clearly outlined or the appeals are submitted.
… Brief overview of issues (some not all - and these may not even be issues)

Does the law conflict because the state is trying to supersede federal laws already on the books?

Does the law run under the theory of “concurrent enforcement”, i.e. possible to run along with the federal law?
Can Arizona afford the amount of litigation the law will bring?  The law allows suits against unlawful use of the law, i.e. goldmine for lawyers because you can now sue cops…not usually allowed before; so can a nearly bankrupt state afford it?
Constitutional Issues.
Does it violate the 4th amendment that guards against unreasonable search and seizure?  Is it reasonable to racially profile as basis for a search?
Does it violate the 6th amendments right to counsel? If so who will be paying for it? 
Does the law itself violate the 10th Amendment: “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people” = there are Federal Immigration laws already on the books including the border patrol service which is Federally funded.

No comments: