Leave Arizona Alone
By Jim Price
Exactly when is our wealthy neighbor to the south going to quit meddling in our immigration policy and begin caring for her own people?
As a Southern Arizona Mexican-American, I’m sick of politicians calling for boycotts and intruders demanding that my tax dollars pay for their freebies. It’s all about votes and money — not human compassion, as they would have you believe!
For the record, I am a lifelong Democrat and danged proud of my Mexican heritage. In fact, I served on Governor Janet Napolitano’s first-term Latino Advisory Committee. I was nevertheless raised during World War II, when we apologized to no one for being Americans. At that same time, my mom taught me by example to never apologize for being a Mexican.
My complete ethnic profile reveals a half-Mexican, Roman Catholic grandson of an Orthodox Rabbi. I’m keenly aware of Jewish perceptions that potential Gestapo-like abuses will be a result of SB 1070 here in Arizona. I can’t believe, however, that our law enforcement entities have been dumbed down by passage of this law. Those who already use any excuse to harass a suspected illegal entrant will continue to do so, while those who perform their duties with professional demeanor and common sense will also continue to do so. Sadly, this new law does permit a potential avalanche of frivolous lawsuits. That should be corrected, and those for whom the badge and gun weigh heavy should be retrained or dismissed.
Throughout my tenure as a Charter Member of the Citizens Advisory Board to the U.S. Border Patrol Nogales Station, I’ve heard many of the same accusations, such as racism and racial profiling, emanating from those opposed to enforcement of our immigration laws. This is laughable because so many of the local agents are dark-skinned Hispanics, some with noticeable accents. There are also agents of Afro-Hispanic origin. The last local agent to die in the line of duty was a swarthy Russian Jew who had gained citizenship shortly before being ruthlessly slain by an illegal entrant.
As a nation of immigrants, we are pro-immigrant, but anti-illegal immigration. We have as much right as any other land to control our own borders and to expel anyone who comes here in a less than legal manner. If you want in, get in line with the rest of the law-abiding people, pay your fees, and don’t come here demanding what your own homeland won’t provide for you. Those fees, by the way, are usually less than you’d pay one of the coyotes who prey on those willing to risk life and limb to reach the United States.
In 2004, it was with the support of legally immigrated and naturalized citizens that Arizona voters passed Proposition 200, which requires proof of eligibility in order to receive benefits paid for with our tax dollars. Unfortunately, the quest for a better life is no more than a glittering generality. While some do come here for “the dream,” others come to do harm.
In his 1945 dystopian allegory Animal Farm, George Orwell wrote that “all animals are equal, only pigs are more equal.” A similar observation in Mexico is that “it’s okay to be a pig, but not a hog.” Both philosophies are being tested in today’s United States, but it’s largely a smokescreen masking the real goal: another amnesty and potential votes for the incumbents.
While “protesters” ranging from elected officials to rabble-rousers call for boycotting Arizona over a basically innocuous law, immigration reform is being used as the code phrase for another amnesty. How can Arizona’s new immigration law be anything but innocuous? It simply empowers law enforcement to do what they’ve already been doing. Meanwhile, “racial profiling” and “racism” are conscience-tweaking cover-up catchphrases.
With a 2010 estimated nominal GDP of $10,211 per capita, Mexico ranks 46th in the world. Mexico’s estimated GDP is clouded, however, because a select few Mexicans control most of the wealth. World Bank data estimate Mexico’s GDP in 2010 at $1.085 trillion, but millions of Mexicans choose to live in the United States, where they may lead a better life.
Consequently, by sending the poorest of its inhabitants north, Mexico keeps her money in the hands of the wealthiest while relieving the national economy of having to support the masses. Health care, schooling, and basic infrastructure are kept at a minimum when a nation of an estimated 112,000,000 has from 15%-20% of her citizens living as wards of United States. Those expatriates also send home billions of dollars per year.
Couple all this with the billions of illicit drug dollars our home “patriots” send south, and you have an excellent picture of why Mexico’s government, along with some of our more gutless elected officials, is cheering for “immigration reform.” No rational person can honestly believe that only peons are coming here in quest of comfort. Criminals also trespass for the same reason. What better way to launder illicit funds than by investing in our economy for a short while? Who else would let you break into their homes and take the loot back to yours?
These are my reasons for resenting those fellow travelers from Arizona to Washington, D.C. who scheme to deprive us of our birthright of security in our own homeland. Believe me: The bars on my windows aren’t there for decoration. Nor do I need to profile anyone to know who the bad guys are — and I’m not even a cop!
Jim Price’s novel, Of People, Poppies and God, is available through abrazobooks.com or from Eloquent Books, New York, New York.