Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Report From Flyover Country

I'm giggling at the way the mainstream media are howling over Arizona's new tough anti-Illegal-immigration bill -- and revealing their ignorance in every other sentence. The complaints tend to fall into three categories:

1) This law is unconstitutional because only the federal govt. is allowed to deal with national borders.

2) This law is racist because it would encourage "racial profiling".

3) This law is tyrannical because it would force citizens to carry proof of citizenship around with them, and "show your papers" to any cop who stops them.

*Sigh* You'd think that reporters would do their homework a little better.

First, nothing in the Constitution prevents any state from securing its borders against criminals, even if one of those borders happens to also border on another country. Go on, get a copy of the Constitution and look. If you don't have a copy handy (and most Americans these days don't), then look it up on the Internet.

Second, "Mexican" is not a race; it's a nationality and a culture (and not a very good culture at that). Mexicans are genetically part White (16th-century Spanish and Portuguese) and part Indian (and no, I will *not* use that Politically Correct -- and historically incorrect -- term: "Native American"). Well, guess what? So am I. So are a lot of American citizens. In fact, so are nearly 50% of the population of Arizona -- not to mention all those who are 100% Indian. Now just how are the local police (who include, of course, lots of full-blooded and partly Indian officers) supposed to do "racial profiling" on more than half the state? All the cops can do, really, is catch anyone they see doing something suspicious or illegal and ask to see proof of citizenship along with their other ID. Yes, this will apply to obvious White people as well; there was a scandal here some years ago about Russian agents sneaking into America via the Mexican border, and the cops still remember it. They're also keenly aware of Illegals who have sneaked in from primarily-Black countries and Asian countries. So it won't matter what color you are; when the cops pull you over, you'd better have proof of citizenship (or some other legal paper showing you're in the state legitimately), or at least have the phone number of a lawyer who can keep the cops from escorting you to the border long enough for you to go home and get such papers. There's nothing racist about it.

The media could have learned this, if they'd bothered. Ah, but "racism" is the accusation that the media, and media-influenced apologists, like to throw at anybody they don't like. I recall that a couple years ago I chased away a couple of teen-aged -- and yes, Mexican -- punks who were burglarizing a neighbor's place. I was holding a gun at the time, so even though I was wearing nothing else but my underwear, the kids had the sense to run. After they'd gotten about 20 yards away (fools: I can hit reliably within the 7-ring at 25 yards), one of them turned around and yelled at me: "You're a racist!" Sure. I snarled back: "You're not a race; you're a punk." The kid had enough sense to turn back and keep running.

Third, as for it being tyrannical to demand "your paperz, bitte", we gave up the right to complain about that long ago. 'Way back around World War One various states started demanding that anyone who drove an automobile on the public roads must (for a modest fee) get a driver's license, and allowed that police could demand to see such a license whenever they stopped anyone. Some decades later, they added annual car registration (for a modest fee), and added registration to the papers a cop could demand to see when stopping anyone. About 25 years ago, they added mandatory car insurance to the pile (for a not so modest fee), and now a cop could also demand to see your "proof of insurance" when pulling you over. Frankly, it costs less to get a birth certificate -- and a passport on top of that -- than to get a driver's license or a car registration, let alone car insurance. If all the other ID demands are constitutional, so is this one.

Again, the media quietly overlooked this odd little precedent. Could it be that they didn't know that Arizonans -- like most other Americans -- have to put up with showing a cop their "papers" on demand?

For that matter, damn few of the media have bothered to notice that Arizona has suffered severely from the flood of Illegals. They never mention the 35,000 tons of trash that Illegals on their way to Goody-land have deposited in our state parks and wilderness areas. They rarely if ever mention the cut fences, stolen or slaughtered livestock, stolen vehicles, robbed farms and houses, raped or abducted (and sold) women, drug-dealing, car-theft and extensive Welfare-cheating that the Illegals have caused. They've finally gotten around to admitting that it was "probably" Illegals who murdered rancher Krenz, but they don't mention the previous murders of local police that the Illegals have done.

Now is this plain ignorance, or deliberate slander-by-omission? It could easily be ignorance; the mainstream media don't tend to notice what happens outside of New York, Los Angeles or Washington DC unless it involves a sensational crime. After all, that's where the Important Stuff is happening, you know. The rest of us are just Flyover Country.

Meanwhile, curiously enough, the politicians have taken a different view. The young and brash happily follow the media pundits in denouncing Arizona's new law as unconstitutional, racist and tyrannical, yup, yup. You'll note, though, that the older and more experienced politicians are cautiously waiting to see how the electorate view Arizona's new law.

Their caution is commendable. A poll over the last few days showed that 70% of the voters in Arizona -- and 68% in the rest of the country -- were in favor of the law, media outrage or no media outrage. Perhaps some of them have begun to notice that the media are as out of touch with the citizens as most politicians are.



Mark Horning said...

Yeah, it's solidly constitutional under the principle of concurrence.

We copied the existing federal statute word for word. That makes it constitutional.

Just like the AZ statute on counterfeiting is constitutional, even though making the funny money paper is clearly a Federal issue.

I guess it's the subject of the day, as I blogged about it as well:

Gary McGath said...

Sigh ... There was a time you were vaguely libertarian.

To take just one point: "All the cops can do, really, is catch anyone they see doing something suspicious or illegal and ask to see proof of citizenship along with their other ID." In fact, that is not what the law says; they merely have to have "lawful contact" with people in order to justify demanding their papers.

Of course, no one's going to engage in racial profiling:

"[Joe] Arpaio began sponsoring 'crime suppression sweeps' earlier this year, bringing hundreds of deputies and volunteer posse members to heavily Hispanic areas. Residents were pulled over for minor traffic offenses and questioned about their immigration status."

Do you remember a song you once wrote: "And so they hollered for the law, as liberals always do." I never thought that would come to apply to you.

Aya Katz said...

I think the demand that we have a driver's license is unconstitutional. Don't you?

Can we all switch to passports? At least the passport doesn't tell the cops where you live.

Ori Pomerantz said...

Gary raises an interesting point, Leslie. An anarchy like you used to espouse wouldn't have immigration laws, there would be no central authority to decide who is a citizen, who a legal resident, and who is in a territory illegally. I can see several possible reasons for the apparent contradiction between your historic opinions and this blog post - can you tell me which is true?

1. You weren't supporting the law, you were criticizing the mass media for being lazy or dishonest. It is logically consistent to agree with a conclusion, but disagree with the an argument for it.

2. There are some features of the current system that make the immigration law necessary, but in an anarchy it wouldn't be. For example, in an anarchy there would be no crime of welfare fraud, as there would be no taxes to fund said welfare. If that is the case, what are the features of the current system that require immigration restrictions?

3. You changed your mind, and decided anarchy wouldn't work (or wouldn't work in our society). This means you hold reality in greater esteem than cherished beliefs, no dishonor in that.

4. Ori is an idiot and missed the really obvious answer, which is....

Antongarou said...

I must understand never understood the problem people in the USA have with carrying identification. Over here(Israel) it has been a long time practice, and identification is easy and cheap to come by(an hour waiting in line and maybe 4-5$ for the cheapest).

As to driver's license: isn't this a matter of safety?you don't want people who never sat behind the wheel steering a on of metal at high speed(and 20-30 MPH are high speed) without supervision. Just from collateral damage standpoint.

Mark Horning said...

Gary, you are either being intnetionally obtuse, or need to re-read the statute. (or benifit of the doubt, you are relying on the Reason analysis which is deliberately obtuse)

It says "lawful contact where there is reasonable suspicion that the person is present illegaly.

That's the deffinition of a "Terry Stop". I agree that reasonable suspicion is a pretty fast and loose concept, but that's what the Supreme Court gave us in Terry v. Ohio.

Senator Pierce introduced an amending bill in the Senate today that would change the wording from "lawful contact" to "Lawful arrest or detention".

I don't think from a legal standpoint that it makes a difference, but apparently it makes a bunch of folks feel better.

Anonymous said...

Anarchist immigration law is anyone we don't know gets shot. Anyone we don't know gets their ID checked sounds like a more polite version of the same thing. I fail to see how Leslie is straying from her old views. What do you think the people from the town in the song “Rhododendron Honey” would do to someone sneaking into their town?

She's not 'crying for the law', but anarchy is not a suicide pact.

Leslie Fish said...

Wheee! I've started a fight already!

Okay, to answer the questions: though I'm sympathetic to the Libertarians -- as being politically closer to me than any other mainstream political group -- I'm really an Anarchist. Yes, in an Anarchist society, anybody who came stealing into our land -- dumping trash, cutting fences, killing livestock, robbing farms, raping and abducting women, and killing the people there as they came -- would be shot in short order. End of problem.

But I'm also a realist. We don't have an Anarchist society (yet!), and we have to put up with the existing govt. and laws right now. Being stuck with that, Arizonians would do better with having the local cops keep busy catching and deporting Illegals than waiting for the feds to do it -- since the feds have proved by their actions, or lack thereof, that they won't stop the flood of Illegals and don't give a ratsass about the people here in Flyover Country. This should also keep the local cops too busy to hassle the local folks about little things like cracked tail-light reflectors and other petty sh!t.

Anyone who doesn't think the Illegals are a threat to us hasn't been following the local news for the past 8 years. Mexico has made the US their Welfare system and prison-dump. During Fox's regime, Mexico emptied out its prisons, put the inmates in army trucks, and had its troops drive the ex-prisoners across our border and dump them within walking distance of the nearest Arizona city (but too far from the border for them to walk back to Mexico. For the past 8 years, 2/3rds of the violent crime, drug-dealing, car theft and Welfare frauds have been committed by the Illegals. And then there's the aforementioned harm that the Illegals do while crossing our border. And there's the wee problem that the Mexican human-smugglers have brought in more than just Mexicans; there's plenty of evidence that Arab terrorists have been coming into the country by that route too. That's beside the fact that we've been hit with nearly *half a million* Illegals running our border for the past 8 years. No, we can't put up with it any longer. So yes, I approve of the new law.

Put it this way. If you and your enemy are fighting to the death on the edge of a pit of crocodiles, and he keeps trying to throw you to the crocodiles, you're perfectly justified in flipping him over your hip and throwing him to the crocodiles instead. Well, the law is just one more pit of crocodiles...

Just for giggles, did you notice that a bunch of Latinos held a protest rally against the Arizona law... in *New York City*? Does anybody else catch the irony here?

--Leslie <;)))>< )O(

Ori Pomerantz said...

Thank you for your answer. If we are ever in an Anarchist society, and I get anywhere near you, I'll make sure to appear as somebody who isn't a member of a dangerous group to the extent possible. Although antitrades is right, I would probably be better served to just stay at home where people know I'm not a risk.

Ori Pomerantz said...

For what it's worth, I'm all for the Arizona law. The careful, competent illegals will move to other states, such as Texas, contributing to our economy. Hopefully the criminal ones(1) will stay away because of our reputation for giving criminals permanent subterran residence.

(1) Those who commit common law felonies, such as murder or rape.

Leslie Fish said...

Good point, Ori. In fact, the "careful, competent Illegals" will have the sense to run to the nearest recruiting station the moment they're over the border, and sign up in our military. From time out of mind, that's been the guaranteed fast-track to citizenship anywhere.

Of course, to join the US army these days, you have to: 1) have the equivalent of an American high school diploma or GED certificate; 2) be capable of speaking and understanding English sufficiently to understand and obey orders; 3) have no felony record -- in the US. Any foreigner, Mexican or otherwise, who can meet these criteria can join the US military and gain full citizenship in a matter of weeks. This is pretty much common knowledge.

So, how many illegal immigrants do you see doing it?

--Leslie <;)))>< )O(

Ori Pomerantz said...

These days, US military service requires either a green card or specialized skills. So military service is no longer a path to legalization for most illegals.

Anonymous said...

And speaking of military service and citizenship - anyone who ever listened to "Native America Calling" on either Memorial Day or Veteran's Day would come away with a feeling of immense respect for the people who answered all the stuff dumped on their heads since 1492 with -- proudly serving in our armed forces.

Aya Katz said...

Leslie, you have my blessing to shoot criminals in the act of committing crimes on sight, no questions asked, including illegal aliens. I am all for shooting them as they make illegal border crossings. But I don't want to be stopped by a cop and asked to show an ID. Can you think of how many innocent people who happen to be doing something illegal (but not immoral) will fall into that net, once the search is on?

This is not that different from the civil liberties we lost after 9/11 because people were afraid of terrorists.

The real problem with illegal aliens is that they take jobs that should have gone to citizens. Do away with the minimum wage, and that problem will disappear!

Mark Horning said...


A legal alien who joins the military is fast tracked towards citizenship if he desires. It puts the wait time at 1 year instead of 5. (not weeks)


Ori Pomerantz said...

Mark, yes - but you need to get a green card first.

Tucci said...

This subject is also being discussed in exchanges on L. Neil Smith's blog, at

Among the considerations being discussed are the many unfunded mandates imposed upon state and local governments by the "progressive" central authority in Mordor-on-the-Potomac, among which are "entitlements" of various kinds to which informal immigrants and their dependents make access once they have gained entry via our extremely porous southern border.

A state government which cannot preserve its citizens' lives, liberties, and property from alien aggressors (OR from the federal government, in fact), and which permits that federal government to write endless checks upon that state's treasury in order to curry favor with these aliens and voting blocks which identify with these informal immigrants is going to be replaced by the state's angry citizenry.

Inasmuch as the real objective of every "public servant" is to keep "serving" (all the while sucking at the public teat), the officers of Arizona's civil government took a measure which I predict will be replicated by at least one or more of the border states before this year sees its end.

Anarchy is certainly the better option ("Not the law. It's just a good idea"), but what we have here is really a case of governments in conflict.

In such a case, I tend to side with the smaller, less malevolent, and less injurious state government, particularly as - incidentally - its actions here tend to accrue to the benefit of individual rights and good civil order.

Has anybody here yet given attention to the fact that this "stop-'em-for-their-papers" law has come AFTER the same state government enacted "Vermont carry"?

Not only must the law enforcement officers of Arizona ask for documentary evidence of the individual's lawful presence within the state, but he had - by the great God! - better do it politely, as he must presume that each and every human being so accosted is exercising his state-recognized right to carry instruments of deadly force upon his person.

"An armed society," as Heinlein put it, "is a polite society."

Let's see how this works out, okay?

Leslie Fish said...

Hmmm, another question: you're required to *show* a police officer your driver's license, etc. -- but are you required to *hand* said papers to him? If stopped in your car, can you get away with just holding the papers up against the glass and obliging him to write down the info instead of taking it to his cop-car?

I ask because I know people who've been approached by crooked cops and imitation cops, who then take the ID and won't give it back. This is a neat scam for ID theft, as you can imagine.

--Leslie <;)))>< )O(

Aya Katz said...

In my experience, when they stop you, they take both your driver's license and proof of insurance to their police car, so they can run them through a computer.

Anonymous said...

Dana Blankenhorn gives us another reason - and an even better one - to close the border. You DO want to end slavery (well, exploitation) of the worker in this country, don't you?

Tucci said...

idiotgrrl writes:

"You DO want to end slavery (well, exploitation) of the worker in this country, don't you?"

What I'd like most to end in this country is government goons interfering with economic activities among consenting adults. Wouldn't you like that, too?

The "informal immigrant," lacking proof of his or her permission from said government goons to be standing upon soil within the jurisdiction of these United States. is in status a criminal, and this puts him at a helluva disadvantage.

Some people seeking to exploit the labor and other property of that "informal immigrant" desire of the wetback a discount in economic intercourse, and not uncommonly get it.

Because such economic engagement with a person who is in criminal violation of the law puts the legal resident of these United States into violation of the law as well, the whole damned business is risky, and must be kept clandestine. Risky business is never undertaken except when the need is great, or the prospect for profit is pretty damned good.

So the informal immigrant must sell his labor for less than he could get if he were not a criminal. That's not "slavery."

That's your government at work, making economic activity between consenting adults criminal and punishing it.

What's the solution? I suggest that these wetbacks are not welcome by the governments of towns, counties, and states in this country largely because political "progressive" policies and laws require these government bodies to provide "social services" to anybody who can claim membership in species Homo sapiens, and the federal government in Mordor-on-the-Potomac holds a figurative blunderbuss to the spine of each employee of these lesser governments to force upon them this very expensive classically unfunded mandate.

If any person who managed to sneak inside your house were, in law, "entitled" to eat your food, sleep in your bed, and take over your TV remote, all without paying you a dime, wouldn't you try with all your might to keep that person to hellangone out of your house, and to eject him if he got in?

So get rid of the "progressive" laws, cut government at all levels back to the "night watchman state" which is the proper role government should play in our lives, and let the borders open.

Failing that, is it not proper to expect that the "Malevolent Jobholder" should at least do his goddam job and keep the wetbacks out?

Technomad said...

One problem is that 'way too many people conflate this current wave of illegal immigration with the people who came in during the 19th century. The differences are many: first, we don't have a huge, people-absorbing frontier; second, we've erected a welfare state and made access to its services ridiculously easy even for non-citizens; third, the difficulty of immigration in the old days did serve as a filtering system; fourth, we do not need one more group-with-grievances howling for Uncle Sugar to pat them on the po-po and give them goodies.

Tucci said...

Oppen observes:

"...we do not need one more group-with-grievances howling for Uncle Sugar to pat them on the po-po and give them goodies."

Whaddaya mean "we"?

Our governing class - the big, bipartisan, permanently incumbent Boot-On-Your-Neck Party - surely has need of the Hispanic Horde to fix a bloc of "reliable" voters on their plantation, don't they?

Right now, resentment among the productive class - as manifest in the "Tea Party" movement - is inducing in the BOYN Party apparatchiki that sensation between the collarbones and the belly-button which has historically preceded shooting to death by musketry following the offer of tobacco products and blindfolds.

They need la Raza en fuerza to keep (pace Governor Le Petomane) their fuddy-duddy jobs.

Unknown said...

I think its funny that Kalifornia has a similar law (Calif. Penal Code Sec. 834b) that the media isn't mentioning.