is not about people visiting from around the world, living and working here with legal permission, or becoming citizens. America (including Arizona) is very welcoming to legal arrivals from everywhere. As always, when I was in Sinagua country and Bryce, I saw as many people from other countries as probably from here.The photo of Wupatki with a young couple taking a photo is a good example. He was likely (based on accent) from India (actually I had guessed Germany but Farm Boss said India and since he works with many people from there, I defer to his wisdom on this one) and I would guess (although didn't ask either of them) that she was Navajo or Hopi as she was talking about living in this red rock country. Later I asked if they'd like me to use their camera to take a photo of them together (as people often offer us), and they did.
America is not an unfriendly country. It welcomes over one million immigrants a year to become new citizens. The issue being debated is purely about those who come without papers, who decide to make America their home and work here against our laws for which I don't blame them as much as our government.
I would like it if we could discuss this issue without attacks-- especially without attacking the messenger *wink*-- but instead deal with the message and hopefully offer some good ideas on working and immigration in our country but really in any country as it's not just an issue for the United States. Some do believe borders are wrong and people should be able to move anywhere in the world and settle if they wish. If you are one of those, I hope you will make your case.
Even after getting home from Arizona, the talk still swirls about Arizona's attempt to deal with illegal immigration. Boycotts (a favorite tool from the right) are only one of the suggestions. One labor union asked Homeland Security Department to not recognize Arizona as being in the US as a way to block their enforcing their immigration law. The federal government is planning to sue them for daring to apply the Constitution to immigration when it's only the job of the federal government-- never mind it's one they aren't doing to the tune of at least 10 million people living and working here illegally (at a minimum) and that after 1986 allowing 10 million illegally here then to become citizens.
During the last two months, I have had to read lectures from Mexico's president regarding the unfairness of this law which happens to be far less draconian than Mexico's own. Several small nations in the UN lectured us likewise and who knows what their border policies are, but the media covered it as-- United Nations finds fault with Arizona's law. Many cities, who are now profiting from such unauthorized immigration also got into attack mode over it. People like me are called white supremacists or bigots for daring to say it's a problem to have our laws ignored, for thinking that profit should not matter more than legality. And on it goes. So I want to ask--
What would you do about it?
Should any nation have borders that have meaning or should we all let in anybody who wants to come? Totally open borders would be more honest in the United States than what is passing for policy as it stands. Is it fair that Americans who live along the southwestern border must live with fear?
Please read the link above because it is one of many that describe the issue that makes me most angry because of my love of that border country. Then there is this next one that makes it more 'personal' and yes, it's from an anti-illegal immigration paper but read the article for the interview with the Krentz family-- Family Talks about the Life and Death of the Murdered Arizona Rancher
To hear the left wing media talk hey it's just one murder. Well to that family it's not especially since they saw it coming. Or here's another on Krentz's murder-- Rancher Krentz was shot more than once-- which means whoever did it, wanted him dead. Remember he didn't fire his own guns. The person wasn't just trying to escape but to murder and possibly intimidate others from reporting drug smuggling. Until they find the killer, if they ever do, there is no way to know motive, but we can know that people who live where the Krentzes live have long feared this kind of crime.
For years I have been reading stories from those who live along the border as they try to tell others what it's like for them. I have driven the roads, hiked the trails, and seen how it's changed for myself. For some of you this is a brand new issue, but it's not for those who know that country. It wasn't always this way.
You don't likely know those little houses, the patched fences, the windmills, the water tanks, the land that takes a lot of hard work to hold onto, land that weather alone makes challenging for making a ranch profitable, and then along comes something else, something hard work can't fix. Over many years I have imagined myself living in one of those ranches. It's still country where I'd love to live, but...
What would you do at night when you are lying in your bed and hearing whispers and footsteps outside, maybe a hundred feet away, or maybe outside your window. You wouldn't know if they were going to pass right on or if they might decide to invade your home. You don't know how many except there seem to be a lot of steps. They probably have guns. You know some carry AK-47s.
Sometimes in country that far out there is no phone service. Forget cell phones; but even if you could reach Border Patrol, they couldn't get there in anything less than hours. Besides who cares about trespassing? It's another of those laws like car 'borrowing' that has been dumbed down into no big deal.
What would you do if you were a rancher with your fences cut or your water tanks deliberately drained, your cattle dead because they swallowed plastic garbage uncaringly thrown on the ground? What would you do if your husband had been gunned down just because he was out checking his own land? What would you want done then?
The media is telling you, based on statistics, that there is little crime along our American side of the border. Does fear count as a crime? How about petty burglary? We already know trespassing is no big deal. Who cares about fences cut or water tanks deliberately drained, right? Drugs stored on someone's property okay? Is one murder, as a way of intimidating others from reporting or even seeing what is going on, also no big deal? Should there be any concern of the escalating violence just across the border-- a border that can't be protected (and some don't want protected)?
But to me this issue isn't just about fear or even whether there is crime. This is a question of American law, property rights, and national borders. The reasonable solutions regarding immigration have not happened. So I'd like to hear ideas about how to deal with it, ideas that might help when name calling does not. Last year (and every year) over one million people legally, from many nations, became American citizens-- the largest percentage from Mexico. How many should that have been?
In its beginning, this country did let everybody come; those who stayed could apply for citizenship. At one time we also had a Homestead Act which granted land to anybody who settled on it and proved it up. Life and needs change. Haven't you noticed that?
Immigration rules in the United States were altered in 1875.
Immigration laws were/are wrong? Totally open borders are the way to go? If someone really believes in an open border, they should work to change the rules, as encouraging millions of people to break one of our laws isn't a good way to get them to pay attention to any of them. Either we mean it or we don't and when we don't what else don't we mean? When I wrote about this in my May politics blog, I said Americans love under the table and this is sure a case of that.
What irks me the most about it is not the idea of letting in a lot more immigrants (if we did it legally and above the table), but it's hearing the left encouraging breaking the laws for some higher purpose (immigration) and knowing the right says the same thing for a different higher purpose (terrorism). Is it any wonder people look askance at believing we take any of our laws seriously?
And then there is this practical question, the one I am not supposed to ask. When those new people come, from all around the world, the poor, the sick, the ones the poem in the Statue of Liberty talks about, how do we pay for benefits for them all (and they are already getting them now in sanctuary cities; so they will want them)? A 70% tax rate is okay because it will be on someone else? It might take that much. You know, I believe in the need for higher taxes to take care of our own poor, our own social services, but now some tell me that's not enough and it should be anybody from anywhere in the world... Frankly, that's nuts!
People are so busy being mad at Arizona for doing something about all of this that many haven't come up with their own plan for dealing with unlawful immigration. Are you one of those or have you figured out a solution. If you have, I'd like to hear it. Keep in mind amnesty won't solve the problem as that was tried in 1986, where all who were already here, could apply for citizenship. [It not only wasn't the end of others coming across, it might have encouraged them].
The following article suggests that amnesty will work without explaining how other than after amnesty there will be a big crackdown on those here illegally. Isn't that what is being suggested now with so much vitriol from the left? Will a Border Crackdown Work? If people don't want ID checked now, what will change about that then?
The problem with amnesty is that as soon as the people here illegally are made citizens, they will be replaced by new workers without documentation. You know it's true. The article suggests we make them citizens first and then solve the border problem. I suggest we do it the other way around.
Yeah, I am angry at this situation. I have written about my ideas which were pretty much what Reagan's amnesty program promised would happen (and I doubted it would happen then-- it didn't). We either control the border, enforce work regulations, or it's all just a shell game.
And this made me even angrier when I learned what the Obama administration planned to do about it. In 2007, Arizona passed a law restricting people from hiring illegals and having penalties for doing it. The Obama administration is now going to sue them over that too as they claim it damages an already working program. What already working program?
I listened to a left winger, Robert Kennedy Jr. saying that the number of illegal workers grew when the unions lost power. Before that, unions enforced working rights and workers had to join a union but those here illegally could not; so it kept down illegal employment (and it is illegal employment as it stands). The thing is to a leftie, I guess if the union checks on citizenship, it was okay but not if the state does it?
As it stands, there is no real hope for control with the viewpoint I hear from the left, but a lot on the right want no enforcement either. There's too much profit in it as there is. I listened to Olbermann smirk over how much money Arizona would lose over cracking down on immigration. So it is really all about money?
Little did I realize besides Sanctuary Cities, our own federal government not only does but wants to ignore its own laws. I do understand that some people who want immigration controlled might be bigots [and the latest proposal from the Arizona legislator to make any child born here but with one parent being an illegal, then not qualifying for citizenship definitely seemed to come under that category. You can make a case-- whether you should or not-- for having to have at least one parent be an American citizen for the baby to be automatically a citizen but what he is suggesting seems cruel and very unfair]; but generally speaking, I get tired of the distraction used by the left and the right of attacking the messenger for any message. How about looking at the message for awhile.
The issue here is what should be done about immigrants who come in and stay without a legal right, without documentation? What should be done regarding those who hire them to avoid paying benefits or taxes and can pay them less than our minimum wage? If someone really wants to let in everybody, change the laws! Do it honestly. I am sick of people who say one thing while they do another. It's not serving us well in any arena.
It takes tough regulations to make immigration and border control work and too many Americans have no stomach for anything tough in any area of life. They are easily milked for emotions, they expect someone else to pay for what they want, and they don't think ahead for the actual costs of anything. We aren't like our pioneer ancestors. We have gone soft and that won't help us in a world where a lot of other people are not soft.
So what do you think we should do now? Doing nothing is fine? I doubt that it's okay with Rob Krentz's widow or his children. I know it's not from those people who live on the land that is regularly being crossed.
Photo of me is also at Honanki in northern Arizona. Basically it is apropos for this debate because the Sinagua were a culture that also existed and then didn't. At one time a woman likely could have stood where I am standing and thought it would always be as it had been. It wouldn't.