Here’s a question I’d like to see answered: when you leave your home, do you lock your door?

I can’t answer for you, but I do. The phrase, “a man’s home is his castle” certainly applies to me, and I rule here as a benevolent monarch, just as long as my wife allows me. I don’t lock up my house because I hate people, but because I want to know who is in my home. People have no right to enter my home without permission to do so.

“You’re just one of those weird types who hates people!” Ah, no, I just said I don’t. I just simply believe in boundaries, and no one should enter my home without being invited in first. Just like vampires. But if you’re invited, then you’re more than welcome in my home. Several years ago, I received a request from a friend passing through town. She wanted to know if she could crash for the night. I happily told her that she should consider herself at home, but she’d have to let herself in since we were out of the state at the time. I trusted her to be a good guest in our home and to make sure it was properly locked up once she left. She didn’t disappoint.

So you need to be invited to enter my home. I don’t care whether you come in to steal my stuff or just to clean things up, like Sue Warren.

Police in Westlake say Sue Warren of Elyria broke into a home last week and began tidying up, but she didn’t take anything. They say she then wrote out a bill for $75 on a napkin and included her name and address.

One officer says Warren told him she does it all the time. Only now, she’s in jail on a burglary charge.

Wow. Imagine being arrested for burglary, just for doing jobs that people don’t want to do. OK, that’s a little snarky, but I think you can see where I’m going. Just as my home is my castle, and I reserve the right to admit only the people I choose, this same principle extends to the borders of the United States. We have rules in place to determine who may enter and who may stay. We may choose to amend these rules, but if we simply ignore them and turn a blind eye to those who break them, it sends a clear message to scofflaws and squatters that they can trespass with impunity. If this goes on, eventually certain parts of our nation may become too dangerous for law-abiding citizens to inhabit.

Let me be clear about this: I don’t care where you came from. American citizens came from all over the world. We’re proud mutts, and most of us can trace our ancestry to half a dozen nations or more. Since America has always selected its citizens for excellence, the result has been astounding diversity, and we’re better and stronger for it. But would-be citizens have always had to go through the process of naturalization. We want more Americans, but we want them to be here legally. We welcome visitors from other nations, but they must maintain valid visas to stay here.

Bob Gorrell - Your house is our house

This Thursday will be our second Soup Night of the year. The last time we made three soups and had about ten people to gobble them up. So far we’re on track to entertain many more this time. We supply the soup at these gatherings, but people are responsible for bringing their own bowls and spoons, and maybe some bread, too. Since it was well received last time, we’ll probably continue Soup Night every month or two just because it’s fun. My wife reminds me it’s also delicious. But if we ever reach a point where total strangers start walking into my house, picking up bowls and scarfing down food like Goldilocks, we’ll stop having Soup Night.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I love guests, whether in my home or in my nation. But people who break in, regardless of their motive, get my dander up. It’s nice that some of them are cleaning up and doing chores around the place, but that doesn’t change the fact that they broke the law to get in. Such “guests” need to be shown the door. And if we lock our door at home, it makes sense to lock the nation’s door as well.

Cross-posted at Rotten Chestnuts.

Here is the third of my posts inspired by an editorial cartoon this week. Today’s was drawn by Michael Ramirez back in May, and it’s more applicable today.

Mexico's illegal alien hypocrisy

One of the complaints about the Arizona bill, as expressed by President Obama, was the terrifying scenario of some peace-loving Hispanic family going out to get some ice cream some evening and getting detained by the Arizona police for the crime of Driving While Hispanic.

Baloney.

The Arizona law specifically states that a person cannot be stopped merely because he looks like he’s not an American. That person must first be doing something that warrants police attention like shoplifting, speeding, violence, etc. And then only if the officer has a reason to suspect that the person in question was here illegally could he then ask about his citizenship. In Mexico, the police have the authority to detain and question anyone they like and ask about their citizenship, but I’ve already written about the problems with illegals crossing the southern border.

I said that this cartoon is more applicable today because U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton struck down parts of the Arizona law:

The provisions blocked by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton included one requiring a police officer to determine the immigration status of a person detained or arrested if the officer believed the person was not in the country legally.

Bolton also halted provisions requiring immigrants to carry their papers at all times and making it illegal for people without proper documents to tout for work in public places.

Opponents of the Arizona law are applauding this ruling of Judge Bolton. One of their arguments against the law was based on it creating a patchwork of laws in the U.S. instead of one coherent law, but the Arizona law is merely enforcing the federal laws already on the books. How is that creating a patchwork of laws? On the other hand, there are plenty of sanctuary cities in the U.S., cities that have declared themselves friendly to illegal aliens and provide them sanctuary from federal laws. That is where the true patchwork of laws is in effect, but the federal government doesn’t say “boo” about them because the federal officials agree with them, regardless of what the law actually says.

Law professor William A. Jacobson wrote about this ruling today:

The Judge’s reasoning, particularly that the status check provision violated the 4th Amendment even as to persons already under arrest, applies just as easily to [outstanding warrants, child support orders, and non-immigration identity checks].

With a federal government which refuses to take action at the border until there is a deal on “comprehensive” immigration reform, meaning rewarding lawbreakers with a path to citizenship, this decision will insure a sense of anarchy. The law breakers have been emboldened today, for sure.

As it stands this afternoon, it is perfectly rational for someone faced with the choice of obeying the immigration laws or not, to choose not to do so. The choice of lawlessness makes a lot more sense than spending years winding through the byzantine legal immigration system, because the end result will be the same but lawlessness gets you here more quickly.

When the law and the federal government reward lawlessness, something is very wrong.

And finally, Rush Limbaugh put it pretty succinctly — “It is no longer illegal to be illegal, but it is illegal to ask someone about their immigration status.”

Since today is Cinco de Mayo, our attention turns to Mexico in about the same way as we think of Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day, i.e., not much. As I see it, both of these days are just excuses to party. But I am neither Irish nor Mexican.

Your papers, please

But since our attention has turned to Mexico today, the topic of Arizona’s recent law making being in the state illegally a state crime will surely come up. And one common refrain from the left is the shock and horror of some cop demanding, “Your papers, please.” How like Nazi Germany! A quick search for the phrase and Arizona brings up many thousands of hits across the web as people hyperventilate over Arizona’s new law.

Evil, nasty Nazis! The new Arizona law must be evil incarnate, right? How could the government of Arizona pass such a terrible law?!? Even President Obama is speaking out against the cruel and unfair nature of this new law:

Indeed, our failure to act responsibly, at the federal level, will only open the door to irresponsibility by others. That includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.

In fact I’ve instructed members in my administration to closely monitor the situation and examine the civil rights and other implications of this legislation. But if we continue to fail to act at a federal level we will continue to see misguided efforts opening up around the country. As a nation, as a people, we can choose a different future. A future that keeps faith with our history, with our heritage, and with the hope that America has always inspired the hearts of people all over the world.

And here goes our President again, obsessed with fairness.

But here’s the kicker: the law Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed closely mirrors the existing laws against illegal aliens that we already have, but aren’t enforcing, at the federal level. If Arizona’s new law is irresponsible and unfair, then so are the federal laws. The dirty little secret is that the federal laws are both responsible and fair. But the federal government doesn’t want to enforce it, as President Obama admits, and so Arizona decided to act.

“But how dare Arizona law-makers force people to carry documentation that they are in the state legally! That’s Nazi fascism!” Well, no. It’s just common sense. When I was recently in London, I carried with me my passport to prove I was both an American citizen and legally in the country. Mark Steyn recently wrote about the need to have documentation here in the States:

As I write, I have my papers on me — and not just because I’m in Arizona. I’m an immigrant, and it is a condition of my admission to this great land that I carry documentary proof of my residency status with me at all times and be prepared to produce it to law-enforcement officials, whether on a business trip to Tucson or taking a 20-minute stroll in the woods back at my pad in New Hampshire.

Who would impose such an outrageous Nazi fascist discriminatory law?

Er, well, that would be Franklin Roosevelt.

The Arizona law merely enforces the 70-year-old federal requirement. And no, the police will not be stopping people who are “too brown” and asking for “Ihre Papiere, bitte” in their best German accents. Only those people who have already be stopped by police for some reason may be asked to produce residency documentation. I guess it’s similar to seat belt laws in many states. These laws say you must have seat belts on when you drive, but the cops can’t stop you just because you aren’t wearing them. They have to stop you for some other reason first.

So on this Cinco de Mayo, drink your Corona cerveza and enjoy yourself. If you are in this country legally, you are most welcome, but please have your documentation with you as the federal law has required for many decades, and as the new Arizona law will soon require.

And if you are here illegally, don’t protest, march, or complain about how unfair the laws of this nation are. Just return to your mother country and reenter the United States legally this time. It’s that simple.

The Drudge Report linked to a Reuters news report about the response to the recent Arizona law against illegal aliens.

Protest organizers said on Wednesday outrage over the Arizona law — which seeks to drive illegal immigrants out of the state bordering Mexico — has galvanized Latinos and would translate into a higher turnout for May Day rallies in more than 70 U.S. cities.

“The marches and demonstrations are going to be far more massive than they otherwise would have been,” said Juan Jose Gutierrez, a Los Angeles rally organizer who runs an immigration assistance company.

First, May Day, among other things, is a celebration of socialism. And socialism isn’t anything that makes this red-blooded American feel like celebrating. I’m old enough to remember the May Day demonstrations of Soviet military might parading through Red Square. And I’m certain I’ll see plenty of socialist / communist flags and demonstrators mixed in with the other demonstrators in favor of illegal aliens.

Confused Protestors

Yes, even illegal aliens have rights. They have the right to live in their own country. They have the right to legally visit and even work in the United States. But they do not have the right to illegally enter this nation, just like we don’t have the right to illegally enter another nation.

And as I have pointed out before, Mexico treats their illegal aliens harshly. In fact, an AP report shows that the Mexico law is far harsher today in Mexico than the new Arizona law even thinks of being:

Central American migrants are frequently pulled off trains, kidnapped en masse, held at gang hideouts and forced to call relatives in the U.S. to pay off the kidnappers. Such kidnappings affect thousands of migrants each year in Mexico, the report says.

Many are beaten, raped or killed in the process.

At present, Article 67 of Mexico’s Population Law says, “Authorities, whether federal, state or municipal … are required to demand that foreigners prove their legal presence in the country, before attending to any issues.”

Here in the U.S., and even after the Arizona law goes into effect, people of any origin, legal or not, will still be able to attend school, go to the emergency room, and call the police. Under the new Arizona law a police officer may question the legal status of people if they suspect that they are here illegally. Under the current Mexican law, all authorities must ascertain the status of the person before doing anything else. I recall recently reading the parable of the mote and the beam that applies to the Mexican complaints of the new Arizona law.

Besides, what is it about illegal immigration that these demonstrators just don’t understand?

The Arizona legislature has passed a bill and sent it to the state governor for signing or veto. If this bill becomes law, it will be a crime in Arizona to enter the country illegally. It would also make the police question a person’s immigration status if they suspect he may be illegal. Of course, Mexican officials are in a tizzy over the bill.

The Mexican government criticized Wednesday a tough immigration law approved this week by Arizona legislators, saying it could result in rights violations and racial profiling and affect cross-border relations.

“Rights violations”? I didn’t realize that entering a country illegally is a right. And when the majority of illegals crossing into Arizona are Mexicans, focusing on Hispanics isn’t racial profiling as much as operating on a description of the perpetrator.

Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department said in a statement relayed through Mexico’s U.S. embassy that it viewed the measure with great concern and said it “could have potentially serious effects on the civil rights” of Mexican nationals.

Again, nobody has the civil right to invade another country illegally. I find Mexico’s attitude on illegally crossing their northern border into the U.S. isn’t the same way they feel about people illegally crossing their southern border into Mexico.

Holding others to a standard while exempting yourself is the very definition of hypocrisy.

UPDATE (4/23/2010 3:18:09 PM): Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed the bill into law. It will take effect in 90 days.

There is good and bad news about the upcoming election. The good news is that there are only a few more days until the election, which means the campaign ads will go away soon. The bad news is that we only have a few days before the election, and we’ll have to live with the results for the next two years. I’m more than ready for the constant polling calls to stop:

Annoying pollster: “If the election were held today, would you vote for the Democrat or Republican candidate for governor?”
Annoyed me: “Neither, because I’d be unaware that the election had been changed from Nov. 7th.” *click*

[As the person fielding most of these calls, I'm getting reeeeeeally tired of 'em. My response to a recent call:
Clueless shill: "Hi, I'm (name) from (annoying organization) and I know you've been getting a lot of political calls, but--"
Me: "You're right, I have. Goodbye." *click* --TPK]

Speaking of things annoying, Oregonians mail in their ballots. There is no going to your local precinct to vote for the people you want to represent you. Instead, we vote by mail for our candidates of choice, hoping that our votes are not overshadowed by those of illegal voters. And it’s trivially simple for someone to register illegally here in Oregon. Here are the options you can use to identify yourself as an Oregon voter if you don’t have a valid Oregon driver’s license, ID, or Social Security number:

If you do not have a current, valid Oregon DMV Driver’s License/ID or a Social Security number, you must affirm this on the voter registration card, and if you are registering by mail, you must provide a copy of one of the following:

  • valid photo identification
  • a paycheck stub
  • a utility bill
  • a bank statement
  • a government document
  • proof of eligibility under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) or the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act (VAEH)

And all these documents prove U.S. citizenship and Oregon residence? Hardly! But these are the “new laws” that require people to identify themselves with one of the above by mail. Previous laws were even less stringent, if I can use that word to describe this lax law. Saying there is voter fraud in Oregon is like saying there are hemp products at Burning Man. It’s not a question of “if,” but a question of “how much.”

But not all the voting news is bad. The Supreme Court has allowed an Arizona law requiring photo ID at the voting booth to take effect for the 2006 election day. Proposition 200 was passed in Arizona in 2004, but the 9th Circus Circuit Court of Appeals put the kibosh on voter ID for two years. Requiring a photo ID is too much of a hardship for the poor and/or elderly, don’t you know. But is it really? Here’s the final paragraph from the news article summing up the Supreme Court’s action:

In order to cast a ballot at the polls, voters must show a photo ID with current street address or two forms of identification, such as a utility bill or car registration, with name and street address.

So if you don’t have a photo ID with current street address, such as a driver’s license, then two forms of identification are good enough. Pray tell, where is the hardship in providing a utility bill? I guess it’s a difficult thing if you are an illegal alien, but it’s not that much of a hardship for a legal resident.

And legal voting should be something we encourage.