• Ich Bin Ein Arizonan

    by Tom McMasters-Stone

    Arizona is on everybody’s minds these days, as they wrestle with the “devastating” impact that illegal immigration has had on their state, and with their new immigration law set to go into effect this week, barring any judicial restraints.

    Sarah Palin, among others, has declared that we are all Arizonans, that we should all support them, and feel their pain.

    Pain? What pain? Any “pain” is almost-completely fabricated, as well as totally self-inflicted.

    We now know that all those “real” horror stories about Arizona’s crime rates involving illegal immigrants, and their raping, pillaging, and plundering, are, mostly, either grossly exaggerated or complete fabrications.

    Think about it. People go there illegally, yes, but to find work, to make a decent living, to support their families, and the last thing they want to do is bring themselves to the attention of the police.

    Here in California, you can easily and often spot the illegal immigrants, not by their looks, and not by their apparel. No, it’s much more elementary than that- they are the only ones driving at, or just below, the speed limit.

    It’s 2010. With modern technology, it is almost impossible to counterfeit an official Driver’s License or ID card- even in Arizona. If somebody presents a police officer or sheriff’s deputy with probable cause, you detain them, ask for their official ID, and if they cannot produce either form, they go to jail.

    How difficult is that? It’s not.

    Why all the fuss, all the posturing? Politics. This is not about crime, not about illegal immigration, it’s about people running for election, or re-election, about playing on people’s fears, and wanting to look tough on “crime”.

    One does have to wonder, though, how all those 500,000 illegal immigrants in Arizona got there in the 19 months that Barack Obama has been in office.

    As Michael Douglas said, in The American President, “…interested in two things and two things only: making you afraid of it and telling you who’s to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections. You gather a group of middle-aged, middle-class, middle-income voters who remember with longing an easier time, and you talk to them about family and American values…”

    Arizona certainly has gathered together a large group of middle-class, middle-income voters- from the North, the Northeast, and the Mid-West. It’s their state now.

    Oh. Did I mention the racism? Despite the repeated denials, there is, of course, a huge racial component to this thing. Less than a month after passing their immigration law, Arizona’s governor signed into law restrictions on ethnic studies in their schools.

    No, this is not about Hispanics in general, or Mexicans specifically, or the Navajos, or the Apaches, or any other minority, even if they were there first. No, honest, really, it’s just about people breaking the law.

    Yeah, right…

    Besides, aren’t those who are most “guilty” of any crime in this cat-and-mouse game those who employ the illegal immigrants? If you really want to solve the immigration problem, hold the employers accountable for their actions. Obviously, they don’t really want to solve it, they just want to look like they do.

    No, this is not about crime, or illegal immigration, it’s just more right-wing political hate and posturing, albeit in an official format.

    Ich Bin Ein Arizonan? I think not…

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