Thursday, May 13, 2010
What to do about Arizona
I am writing about an article in the Tucson Citizen in which State Senator Sylvia Allen explains why she voted for SB1070. I intended to insert a ling here to the article, but the link didn't work. You can find the article by going to Google and typing "Sylvia Allen: Arizona state senator." One of the items displayed is the article in the newspaper.
As you can see, she conflates two distinct phenomena: (1) Illegal immigration from Mexico; and (2) Illegal smuggling of drugs from Mexico. If you read her explanation it is clear that the big problem is the drug smuggling. The impetus for enacting the law was the murder of a rancher. It seems very likely that the rancher was murdered by a member of a smuggling gang. No matter; his death is blamed on an illegal immigrant, so let's go after all the illegal immigrants. In that way the Arizona Legislature (and the governor) were able to appease two separate factions: (1) those who have a visceral hatred of Mexican immigrants, especially the illegal ones; (2) those who are angry at the murder of the rancher.
It would appear to me from Senator Allen's letter that the big problem is the smuggling operation that goes on. A more logical and fruitful approach, in my opinion, would have been to mount a police action against the smugglers. Involve the FBI, the Drug and Firearms Agency, the State National Guard, and other organizations designed to deal with dangerous criminals in stopping the smugglers and putting them in prison. No additional law is necessary to mount such an operation. All it takes is some extra money to recruit more members to the National Guard, FBI, etc. Money is hard to find. It's easier to pass a law that appeals to the group that hates Mexicans.