Arizona, Latin American and Expats

With the new law in Arizona, we see a situation again presented in news stories that do not always reflect what is really happening behind the scenes.

I’m a follower of lagringasblogicito. She posted a brief picture of wall graffiti with a sarcastic “thanks” for the effect it may have on the treatment of US Americans in Honduras.

Most comments either blame the Arizona lawmakers, some calling them “racist”, or, they blame the people that are in the country illegally, meaning without official permission.

The thing is, USA legislatures (of both parties) have pulled a fast one, and have set up the laws to create the de facto situation that we have, and the executive branch (of both parties) happily go along with the farce. Meaning, it is convenient for somebody to have eleven or twelve million “illegal immigrants”. That number is constantly increased by more border crossings, and decreased by deportations and voluntary exits, such that the numbers stabilize around that figure.

Let’s take it one item at a time.

#1. It is a fact that the federal government has not enforced immigration laws. For one thing, I’m convinced they could have totally shut down crossings over the hundreds of miles of the Mexican border. But this would probably take a major increase in the Border Patrol budget, possibly even doubling or tripling it. I’m guessing here. But that’s not why they don’t fund it. Some small outfits hire people that don’t have documents, others hire people that have “unofficially acquired” documents, and still others just do odd jobs.

Big corporations and friends of Congressmen also benefit, even while they enforce strict legal requirements in their own hiring, because people working without legal cover are a huge downward pressure on wages.

But there is another darker reason for the situation. “Conservatives” who rose up in ire and pushed back during the Clinton administration against the plan for a national ID, are now the ones passing laws in Arizona requiring said papers. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution says “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated”. It’s not security when you have to prove legality. That’s what bothers me most about this law.



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