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.

ReviewJournal.com has an interesting quote from Sen. Hillary Clinton (Dingbat-NY) that just begs to be explained.

A man shouted through an opening in the wall that his wife was illegal.

“No woman is illegal,” Clinton said, to cheers.

I have to believe that the man was saying that his wife was an illegal alien, so this then makes me ask if Hillary meant what it appears she meant. As I read it, she’s saying that by virtue of their sex, women cannot possibly be illegal aliens.

Huh?

How can this comment be interpreted in any way that doesn’t make Hillary sound like a idiot?

Apparently Elvira Arellano has kept busy after being deported for breaking U.S. laws multiple times. USA Today quotes Arellano:

“For me it is very important that our government take a strong stand to defend all of us who decide to migrate to another country,” she said.

I could agree with this statement 100% if it had one extra word: “who decide to legally migrate to another country.” Omitting that one word makes a critical difference, since a government is to protect the legitimate and legal actions of the people.

But omitting the fact that she broke the law multiple times, Arellano is now trying to excuse her actions by telling people that the United States broke the law first.

“The United States is the one who broke the law first. By letting people cross over without documents. By letting people pay taxes.”

Ah. Let’s examine this logic. So if there isn’t a guard stationed at the back door of a bank, then it’s the bank’s fault, not the robber’s, that he broke through the door and got into the vault. One word summarizes this logic: mierda. While I certainly agree that the U.S. should do much more to lock down our borders, an unguarded border does not grant permission to people to pass over unlawfully.

As for paying taxes, it can certainly feel like a crime at times, but Arellano has it exactly backwards. Not paying taxes is breaking the law. If you work in the U.S., legally or not, the government wants and demands its take from your wages. Paying your taxes does not grant you any legitimacy if you broke the law getting here. And don’t forget that Arellano was arrested for using a Social Security number that was not her own. So how can Arellano say that the U.S. broke the law first, when it was she who stole a Social Security number first?

Frankly, I don’t accept the “they did it first” argument when it comes to breaking the law. Someone else breaking the law doesn’t grant you permission to break the law yourself. In any case, I don’t accept Arellano’s premise that it is the U.S. who broke the law first. But I suspect Arellano will continue with this nonsense claim in her attempt to play the victim card. And yet I find it ironic that Arellano went to the Mexican Senate to plead her case when Mexico’s immigration laws are harsher than ours, and they have their own problems on their southern border.

There is big news in the arena of illegal immigrants. Elvira Arellano, an illegal alien and vocal advocate for illegal immigration, was arrested and deported from the U.S. The article I read bore the title, “Immigration activist deported to Mexico,” but it could have read “Law-breaking illegal alien deported to Mexico” and would have been just as correct and valid. Here is the first part of the article about Arellano:

An illegal immigrant who took refuge in a Chicago church for a year to avoid being separated from her U.S.-born son has been deported to Mexico, the church’s pastor said.

Elvira Arellano became an activist and a national symbol for illegal immigrant parents as she defied her deportation order and spoke out from her religious sanctuary. She held a news conference last week to announce that she would finally leave the church to try to lobby U.S. lawmakers for change.

She had just spoken at a Los Angeles rally when she was arrested Sunday outside Our Lady Queen of Angels church and deported, said the Rev. Walter Coleman, pastor of Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago, where Arellano had been living.

“She has been deported. She is free and in Tijuana,” said Coleman, who said he spoke to her on the phone. “She is in good spirits. She is ready to continue the struggle against the separation of families from the other side of the border.”

Her 8-year-old son, Saul, is now living with Coleman’s family. During a news conference in Los Angeles after Arellano’s arrest, the boy hid behind the pastor’s wife and wiped away tears.

Arellano first entered the U.S. illegally in 1997, and was deported when caught. She returned shortly after that, again illegally. In 2002, she was arrested and convicted of working under a falsified Social Security number. Instead of being deported on the spot, she was part of the “catch and release” idiocy that our immigration officers work under. She was to surrender to the authorities in August 2006, but instead she fled to a church in Chicago and requested sanctuary. She then spent a year living in the church, but was arrested and deported when she left her sanctuary to attend a rally for illegal aliens in Los Angeles. This act has enraged the supporters of illegal aliens:

“We are sad, but at the same time we are angry,” said Javier Rodriguez, a Chicago immigration activist who worked with Arellano. “How dare they arrest this woman?”

How dare they? Well, how dare she break the law at least thrice — twice crossing the border into the U.S. illegally, and using a Social Security number that was not her own illegally? I have no idea how many other laws Arellano may have broken during her illegal stay here in the U.S.

“But Captain, how can you separate a child from his mother?” But I didn’t separate her from her son, Saul — she did. When people choose to commit crimes, they accept the consequences of their lawless actions. If Arellano didn’t want to be separated from her son, she shouldn’t have broken the law. The same separation occurs when people are imprisoned for breaking the law. It was their choice to break the law that separated them from their families. But Arellano doesn’t have to be separated from Saul — he can join her in Mexico whenever she wants.

“But her son was born here! He is a U.S. citizen!” Well, he will remain an American citizen even if he lives in Mexico with his mother. If he chooses to return to the U.S. as an adult, that is certainly his right.

Lest we forget, consider the well-publicized case of Elian Gonzalez, whose mother died trying to bring him to the United States, whose extended family were working to make him a legal resident, and who was forcibly deported to Cuba. Under then-President Clinton, the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government deemed it more important for Elian to live with his father in the hell-hole that is Castro’s Cuba than to stay with relatives in the U.S. In all fairness, Elian was not born in the U.S. and thus did not enjoy the same rights as a native-born American–but then again, Mexico isn’t half the hell-hole that Cuba is.

“Anchor babies” is the term used to describe children like Saul who are born in the U.S. to illegal alien parent(s). These anchor babies are used as an excuse to allow their illegal alien parent(s) to stay in the U.S. But are children of illegal aliens automatically U.S. citizens as soon as Mom gives birth a few feet over the border? What exactly is the law that makes any child born in the U.S. a de facto American?

The 14th Amendment of the Constitution explains what makes a citizen: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

There is a key part of that sentence, and it is “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” This means that the children born of people who legally enter the U.S. and are subject to the jurisdiction of these United States are citizens. As I read it, the children of illegal aliens are not subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. (the whole sneaking in bit) and thus are not born U.S. citizens. Here is what Rep. John A. Bingham, the author of the 14th Amendment, said regarding the first sentence:

“I find no fault with the introductory clause, which is simply declaratory of what is written in the Constitution, that every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen.”

Illegal aliens who sneak across the U.S. border and have babies on U.S. soil still owe allegiance to their native land. (Indeed, if the evidence is to be believed, many illegal aliens consider themselves loyal citizens of the nations they left. This becomes painfully visible during illegal alien rallies, where one is far more likely to see flags of other nations on display than one is to see the American flag in evidence.) They have not petitioned the U.S. for entry, nor have they begun the process of becoming Americans by renouncing their former citizenship. They are therefore not subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S., since they have flouted America’s laws upon entry.

It might be worthwhile for the U.S. immigration officials to give illegal alien parents a choice when they are deported: take your American-born children with you, or leave them in the care of a guardian who is a fully legal American citizen (born or naturalized). Let these parents decide where their true loyalties lie.

(One of the best analyses I’ve read of the 14th Amendment, as it relates to citizenship, can be found at The Federalist Blog. The article clocks in at over two thousand words, but it is well worth the time to read it.)

I believe that a good strong fence between both the U.S./Canada and U.S./Mexico borders would be a good thing. I see this as being the same, but on a grander scale, as putting a fence around your own yard. I don’t hate my neighbors, but I do like my privacy, and I don’t want people wandering around my yard just for the fun of it. I recently noticed that wasps had created some paper nests under the eaves of my roof, so I picked up a can of Wasp-Be-Dead and sprayed them. And since there was plenty left in the can, I wandered over to my neighbor, an elderly lady, and asked if I could check for wasp nests around her home. Yes, I’m just that nice. Besides, I like doing whatever I can to help her, and she has no problem with asking me for help when she needs heavy or tall things moved. But even though I have a good relationship with my neighbor, I would not consider wandering through her yard without asking permission first. That’s just being polite.

But illegal immigrants who cross over our borders are being worse than impolite, and they know it. That is why there are problems on the southern border. As part of a plan to stem the flood of illegal aliens crossing our southern border, Congress has passed a bill calling for 700 miles of fence to be built. This bill is waiting for President Bush to sign it, and I hope he does. But not everyone wants President Bush to sign the bill and start the building of the wall. Specifically, Mexico doesn’t want the wall to be built:

Mexico’s foreign secretary said Monday the country may take a dispute over U.S. plans to build a fence on the Mexican border to the United Nations.

Luis Ernesto Derbez told reporters in Paris, his first stop on a European tour, that a legal investigation was under way to determine whether Mexico has a case.

The Mexican government last week sent a diplomatic note to Washington criticizing the plan for 700 miles of new fencing along the border. President-elect Felipe Calderon also denounced the plan, but said it was a bilateral issue that should not be put before the international community.

A legal investigation to see whether Mexico has a case to stop our fence? The hell?!? This isn’t a matter of someone violating a mutually-signed community homeowners’ covenant banning fences, this is a matter of the United States limiting the illegal entrance of lawbreakers into its own country, and the United Nations be damned.

While I like much of what Warren Meyer of Coyote Blog writes, I have to disagree with his view that there is no difference between the Berlin Wall and a fence on our southern border. There is a difference — the one is designed to keep people in, while the other is to keep people out. The Berlin Wall kept people in East Germany against their will, much as a prison fence does to the inmates inside. But the proposed border fence is designed to keep people out, much like the fence around your property. And other than a difference of scale, is there any other difference between the border fence and the fence around your own home? I can’t think of one.

There is some truth in the political cartoon posted today by Cox and Forkum.

Stars Barred

I like immigrants. But I think there should be a little order in the way they are admitted into the United States. So I propose that we allow immigrants access to the U.S. in the same way students are accepted into universities. Universities cannot, of necessity, admit every student who applies. If they did, they would soon be overwhelmed by mobs of students and would be unable to teach any of them properly. When wants are unbounded but resources are limited, someone has to say, “This is enough, and more is too many.”

Should the U.S. allow into the country everyone who wants to enter? Really? Then what happens when mobs of people try to enter a small area with limited resources? When there are unbounded numbers of people desiring to enter the country, but physical resources like living space and water are limited, then someone has to stand at the border and say, “Sorry, we’ve filled our immigrant quota. Try next year.”

Do we limit the numbers of legal immigrants because we hate them? No more than universities turn away students because they hate them. The reality is that we cannot accommodate everyone, even if we really want to. That means that we have a say in how many people get to come into the country, just as universities do. And just as universities do, we ought to select the very best of the applicants.

The United States is a nation that is open to immigration, as opposed to Mexico. Little Green Footballs points to a news story about the differences between the U.S. and Mexico when it comes to immigration:

The foreign-born make up just 0.5 percent of Mexico’s 105 million people, compared with about 13 percent in the United States, which has a total population of 299 million. Mexico grants citizenship to about 3,000 people a year, compared to the U.S. average of almost a half million.

This article starts off, interestingly enough with a dateline of Mexico City, talking about how Mexico limits its immigrants.

If Arnold Schwarzenegger had migrated to Mexico instead of the United States, he couldn’t be a governor. If Argentina native Sergio Villanueva, firefighter hero of the Sept. 11 attacks, had moved to Tecate instead of New York, he wouldn’t have been allowed on the force.

Even as Mexico presses the United States to grant unrestricted citizenship to millions of undocumented Mexican migrants, its officials at times calling U.S. policies “xenophobic,” Mexico places daunting limitations on anyone born outside its territory.

In the United States, only two posts — the presidency and vice presidency — are reserved for the native born.

In Mexico, non-natives are banned from those and thousands of other jobs, even if they are legal, naturalized citizens.

I’ve written about the problems Mexico has on its own southern border, but I can’t help but dream of a state of reciprocity. In my dream, President Bush gives Presidente Fox a phone call and tells him that the U.S. will get rid of all its repressive laws about immigration and implements here in the U.S. the same sort of laws that Mexico uses for her own immigrants. After all, if these laws work so well in Mexico for the Guatemalans crossing the border, then the same type of laws should be equally good here in the U.S. for the Mexicans crossing our border.

But we won’t because we actually like legal immigrants here in the U.S.