Leave Arizona Alone

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.

Arizona Utilities Rep Invites LA to Continue Boycott on Arizona & Watch Their Lights Go Out

Posted by Jim Hoft on Tuesday, May 18, 2010, 4:21 PM

Last week the leftists on the Los Angeles City Council voted to boycott Arizona. Today, a representative from the Arizona Corporation Commission responded. Gary Pierce, one of the commissioners chosen in state-wide elections to the utility regulation panel, noted that Los Angeles gets about 25% of its power from Arizona producers.  He sent a letter to Mayor Villaraigosa.

Via HotAir:

Dear Mayor Villaraigosa,

I was dismayed to learn that the Los Angeles City Council voted to boycott Arizona and Arizona-based companies — a vote you strongly supported — to show opposition to SB 1070 (Support our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act).

You explained your support of the boycott as follows: “While we recognize that as neighbors, we share resources and ties with the State of Arizona that may be difficult to sever, our goal is not to hurt the local economy of Los Angeles, but to impact the economy of Arizona.  Our intent is to use our dollars — or the withholding of our dollars — to send a message.” (emphasis added)

I received your message; please receive mine.  As a state-wide elected member of the Arizona Corporation Commission overseeing Arizona’s electric and water utilities, I too am keenly aware of the “resources and ties” we share with the City of Los Angeles. In fact, approximately twenty-five percent of the electricity consumed in Los Angeles is generated by power plants in Arizona.

If an economic boycott is truly what you desire, I will be happy to encourage Arizona utilities to renegotiate your power agreements so Los Angeles no longer receives any power from Arizona-based generation. I am confident that Arizona’s utilities would be happy to take those electrons off your hands. If, however, you find that the City Council lacks the strength of its convictions to turn off the lights in Los Angeles and boycott Arizona power, please reconsider the wisdom of attempting to harm Arizona’s economy.

People of goodwill can disagree over the merits of SB 1070. A state-wide economic boycott of Arizona is not a message sent in goodwill.


Commissioner Gary Pierce

San Francisco’s Unconstitutional Arizona ‘Boycott’

San Francisco’s Unconstitutional Arizona ‘Boycott’

By Bruce Walker

San Francisco and other city governments have jumped on the bandwagon of formally “boycotting” business with Arizona in response to that border state’s new law to assist the enforcement of federal immigration laws. Boycotts are an honorable way to influence governments or citizens. When the Nazis came to power, millions of Americans boycotted German imports. Blacks in Mississippi boycotted the Montgomery Bus System for its discriminatory practices toward blacks five decades ago. American patriots boycotted British goods prior to the Revolutionary War. Conservatives prior to our toppling Saddam Hussein called for boycotts of French goods. 
Boycotts have been used against conservatives like Dr. Laura and against leftists like Rosie O’Donnell. In a world in which we have enough “stuff,” there is a compelling case to be made that all of us should use our votes in the marketplace to support values we treasure instead of just getting the best economic bargain. Many of us do that. I have not watched new television programming for decades. Millions of us boycott Hollywood.
The term “boycott” derives from a British officer, Captain Charles Boycott, who zealously enforced the legal but draconian rights of British landlords against Irish tenants in 1880. The Irish people voluntarily decided to have absolutely nothing to do with Captain Boycott. They neither offered nor threatened violence. They acted as a group, but as a group of private individuals. Within a fairly short period of time, the captain and his family left Ireland and returned to England.
Those cities threatening to “boycott” Arizona, however, are not threatening a boycott at all. Instead, as governments under our Constitution, these leftist city councils are creating an embargo. This is wrong, and it is unconstitutional. Under our federal system, state governments and their political subdivisions may not impose undue burdens on interstate commerce. Moreover, states and cities have no right to punish private citizens in other states for the actions of the state governments. Citizens have the right, within our federal system, to be treated equally and fairly.
Arizona, for example, could not pass a law preventing any business with San Francisco until that city modified its ordinances on sexual relations or gun control. It would not matter if an overwhelming majority of Arizonans thought this embargo was good. Political majorities and politicians backed by those majorities may not discriminate against citizens or states which displease them. 
Likewise, San Francisco could not refuse to carry merchant traffic from its port facilities to Arizona. Likewise, Arizona could not stop interstate commerce traveling from San Francisco through Arizona. If state and city governments begin to exercise an extra-constitutional power to obstruct interstate commerce by imposing political filters, then there is no logical ending point to a feud between politicians from one part of the country and those in another part of the country. State and local governments throughout the nation have duties to each other. Apolitical and open trade is one of those duties.
Who is hurt when the City of San Francisco “boycotts” (i.e., embargoes) trade with the State of Arizona? The injured parties are the citizens of San Francisco and the citizens of Arizona. Commerce between those governments would exist only if that commerce made economic sense. In other words, the only time in which the prohibitions enacted by San Francisco government would go into effect would be when it makes economic sense to do business with Arizona. Ordinary citizens — who have always had the private right to boycott those they dislike — lose. 
Who wins from an embargo when leftist run cities artificially substitute politics for market value in investments? Politicians with an almost insatiable appetite for power and praise win politically — after all, it is not their businesses hurt by an economically irrational embargo against Arizona. Who wins financially? Shrewd investors who buy undervalued assets in places like Arizona! The effect of an utterly political embargo is to reward those who ignore it. 
An unconstitutional embargo could also easily cause economic blowback. What if Arizona passed a retaliatory embargo on commerce with the City of San Francisco? How short a step would that government-to-government embargo be from an Arizona embargo that precluded commerce with any business licensed by the City of San Francisco? Such businesses, after all, must largely conform to San Francisco municipal laws, and those laws would formally discriminate against Arizona. What argument would there be against such a discriminatory embargo by Arizona — particularly when the underlying rationale for a San Francisco government embargo on business with Arizona is explicitly to hurt Arizona businesses? 
The underlying problem reflects a concern which I expressed in a recent article: The gravest problem in America today is not government, per se, but the use of government as a sock puppet for an angry, relentless partisan or interest group movement. When those groups seize governments, then the general welfare, as opposed to the welfare of special groups, melts into limp glop. The welfare of the citizens of the several states, even the welfare of ordinary San Franciscans, is abandoned so that political bosses can kowtow to particular interests.
America has an excellent mechanism for punishing those who follow the law but behave badly. It is called the free market. Nearly all of us make our consumer choices based upon complex factors which include more than pure economics. Just as we give our money to churches and to synagogues and we give our time to charities and to community activities, so we buy goods and services, in part, because we approve of the values of those selling. The danger of substituting brute state force for persuaded consumer opinion is that there is no end to the cycle of action and reaction — and no resolution to any of the underlying problems.
Bruce Walker is the author of two books: Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie, and his recently published book The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.