George Will On Arizona’s New Immigration Law

George Will posted an editorial today at the Washington Post commenting on Arizona’s new Immigration law.  Mr. Will points out that being in the country illegally is already a federal offense–Arizona simply made it also a state offense. 

The law states that police
officers are required to try to make “a reasonable attempt” to
determine the status of a person “where reasonable suspicion exists”
that the person is here illegally
.  The implication here is that the person in question has been detained by a policeman for a legitimate reason and that as part of the investigation process of the individual, his status as an American citizen will be confirmed.  I would have thought that would have been understood already.

Mr. Will points out:

“Arizona’s law might give the nation information about whether judicious
enforcement discourages illegality. If so, it is a worthwhile
experiment in federalism.”

After learning some of the problems caused in Arizona due to illegal immigration, I applaud their efforts to enforce the law that being in the country illegally is a crime.  The principle job of a government is to protect its citizens.  Arizona is in danger of becoming the kidnapping capital of the world due to the illegals entering the state.  We need to remember that included in the illegals entering the state are drug smugglers and people who have no interest at all in contributing to the growth and well-being of America.

That being said, I would like to see our immigration process streamlined so that people who want to come here and work do not have to wait years to have their applications approved.  The way things stand right now, we are allowing a group of people to ignore our laws while taking advantage of our medical and social programs.  This is not a good situation.

Meanwhile, let’s take a look at Mexico’s immigration laws:

  • Mexico welcomes only foreigners who will be useful to Mexican society
  • Foreigners are admitted into Mexico “according to their possibilities of contributing to national progress.” (Article 32)
  • Immigration officials must “ensure” that “immigrants will be useful
    elements for the country and that they have the necessary funds for
    sustenance” and for their dependents. (Article 34)
  • Federal, local and municipal police must cooperate with federal
    immigration authorities upon request, i.e., to assist in the arrests of
    immigrants. (Article 73)
  • A National Population Registry keeps track of “every single individual
    who comprises the population of the country,” and verifies each
    individual’s identity. (Articles 85 and 86)
  • Foreigners with fake papers, or who enter the country under false pretenses, may be imprisoned
  • Foreigners who are deported from Mexico and attempt to re-enter the
    country without authorization can be imprisoned for up to 10 years.
  • Foreigners who violate the terms of their visa may be sentenced to up to six years in prison (Articles 119, 120 and 121). Foreigners who
    misrepresent the terms of their visa while in Mexico — such as working with out a permit — can also be imprisoned

It’s time for some basic reciprocity.