Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Arizona's SB1070

Ronald Reagan once remarked that, "A nation without borders is not a nation". The border between the United States and Mexico is being ill-enforced to the point where the divide simply does not exist--it is not defended by anything more than a simple sign, a dozen cameras with the operators stationed miles away, and a few feet of fence. The current approach being taken by the national government to secure the boundaries of the United States is moot. After years of being ignored by the federal government, Arizona finally decided to act on its behalf. Arizona recently passed Arizona SB1070, or The Supporting our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhood's Act, in order to curtail the problems it has been facing due to illegal immigration. The law remains popular, despite protests and sneers from President Obama.

The Supporting our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act is an example of the state government protecting the rights of its citizens when the federal government fails to intervene properly, evoking the Tenth Amendment. Many would argue that the Supremacy Clause would prevent the state governments from venturing in to the area of citizenship and immigration, but the national government has already made it a crime to be an illegal alien within America. The difference between the federal law and the state law is the fact that the state actually attempts to prosecute those who break the law, unlike the national government. Because the federal government appears to not see the connection between the murders, kidnappings, drug wars, etc. that occur within the border states that are perpetrated by illegal immigrants and the fact that there is an illegal immigration problem, it is within the jurisdiction and the police powers of the state of Arizona to regulate unlawful activity for the well-being of the citizens. In this instance, being an illegal alien as well as the crimes the illegal alien has committed would be grounds for multiple offenses. The Arizona law would not only cut down on the crime within Arizona that is considered malicious on both the state and federal level, but it would enforce the federal law which claims that it is a crime to be an undocumented resident. This law also relates to the Fourteenth Amendment, since the Fourteenth Amendment breaks citizenship in to two spheres: national and state. Being an illegal resident is now not only an offense to federal citizenship, but it is now in violation of state citizenship.

Arizona SB1070 is flawed, however, in what it intends to do once an illegal alien is found on American soil. The law makes it a minor misdemeanor to be an illegal immigrant. After the original Arizona SB1070 was deemed to be too harsh, the Arizona legislature passed another law, House Bill 2162. According to this new law, a first offense of being an undocumented resident carries a mere hundred dollar fine (decrease from five hundred dollars) and a possible twenty-day jail sentence (decreased from sixty days). Similarly to Ben Franklin's belief that, "We should make the poor uncomfortable and kick them out of poverty", the government should make those who are illegal face a harsher penalty than shelter, three meals a day, and various other luxuries that jail includes. The tax-payers of Arizona should not have to support the illegal immigrants thriving within their state when they are imprisoned; the Arizona tax-payers already pay for the benefits that the illegals receive such as welfare. The law should be amended to include provisions that would deport illegal immigrations, rather than let them repeat a cycle of government-sponsored living at the tax-payer's expense.

P.S. Obama siding with Mexico over Arizona is an act of treason.

Photo source:A pole outside of a 'Subway' restaurant in Phoenix, AZ.


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