In a week Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070 will go into effect. That’s the bill that’s come to national attention, requiring police officers to ask people they’ve stopped for some other offense to show proof of US citizenship, given, of course, that said officers have sufficient justification for suspecting they might not be citizens. Another Arizona law forbids officers from ever using profiling, so that’s really not the issue here, even though SB 1070 also guards against profiling being used.
(I have my own issues with the whole ban on profiling thing because frankly it doesn’t make sense. If you have a flood of illegal Mexican nationals pouring over the border, why would you stop a car full of blue-eyed, blond-haired Scandinavians? If the overwhelming preponderance of terrorist acts have been committed by those of middle eastern descent, why would you not look first to people of middle eastern descent for your suspects? Why would you deliberately turn aside from those of the same ethnicity, just because you don’t want to “profile”. It’s ludicrous.)
But back to AZ SP 1070, and the ridiculous circus that has erupted around it. Do we need it? I think we do. Everyone I talk to here thinks we do. I have friends who work in the hospitals who can testify to the resources diverted to people who are not here legally (and hence pay no taxes, but do get free services). Emergency rooms are overwhelmed with people who cannot pay for their treatment but must, by law be treated anyway. Physicians, if they wish to use the hospital to treat their paying patients, must donate a particular amount of their time to working basically for free in order to service people who have entered the state illegally. Many of them leave the state, altogether. One group banded together to build a new, private hospital to avoid the forced free service the other hospitals demand. One trauma unit closed because it could not afford to keep operating, drained by the influx of non-paying, illegal alien patients.
My husband has encountered illegals hiding out in the bushes on his hunting trips. He has friends who tell alarming stories of their own encounters in the wilds. One was in his a tree stand, bow hunting in one of Stu’s favorite areas south of Tucson, when a group of drug runners came by, armed with AK-47s. They walked right under his tree, while he held dead still, All too aware that with only his compound bow to protect him against AK-47’s he had the very short end of the stick.
Thankfully the drug runners appeared to ignore him until the guy who followed up the rear stopped right under his tree to look up at him, deliberately making eye contact. He held gaze with the hunter for a bit, then moved on. As soon as they were completely gone, my husband’s friend lit out as fast as he could back to his vehicle. He won’t hunt down there any more. Neither will my husband.
We have friends who have illegals walking through their property on a regular basis. Recently a rancher was killed by illegals down in Douglas. Across the street in our middle class neighborhood, about ten years ago, the man of the house was murdered by Mexican hit men. He was subsequently found to be involved in the drug trade. Our crime rate is pretty high and much of it involves the same drug trade from south of the border.
A couple of years ago, the local news ran a story about the way illegals were coming up through the San Pedro Riparian Conservation area east and south of Tucson, and trashing it up horribly — plastic milk bottles, soiled diapers, feces, etc. Recently an email went around about it, which I didn’t save, and then when I wanted to find it for this post, though I searched the web… I failed to locate it. I did find some photos from another site, not far south of Tucson.
The caption accompanying the photo at left said it is estimated that over 5,000 discarded backpacks are in this wash, as well as countless water containers, food wrappers, clothing, feces, and “thousands” of soiled baby diapers.
I understand the need these people feel to escape their own desperately dysfunctional country. But resorting to illegal entry just isn’t the answer. We don’t have the resources to provide for all of them (schools, buses, medical, welfare in some cases), they take jobs that US citizens would otherwise have, especially in the difficult economic times we are in, they take money but pay no taxes and send much of it back to Mexico, instead of contributing to our economy. Some would argue that others come up from Mexico to shop, but I’m not sure it evens out, and regardless, it’s still illegal.
It’s also not fair to those who have entered this country legally — paid the fees, jumped through all the hoops, waited patiently, learned English, learned about the government… And many of them are no happier about our porous borders than the rest of us.
If you can’t secure your borders, if you let whoever across who wants to come, even aside from issues of allowing criminals and terrorists in unhindered, the fact is that in practice you have no borders. And without borders, you can’t have a nation. Especially if you are a nation that provides a lot of “free” services for people “in need.”
Jesus said “The poor you will have with you always,” and though He performed miracles of healing, and fed thousands of people with free bread and fish… He didn’t do much of anything to alleviate poverty. And however many He healed, there were many more He didn’t heal. He didn’t come to perform physical healings, those where just a metaphor for what He did come to do: die for the sins of the world. The miracles also got people’s attention and testified that He really was from God.
Sometimes, as with the Prodigal Son, people need to suffer lack, to be brought to the end of themselves to “come to their senses” and realize their need for God. That’s not to say we don’t help when we can and when the situation warrants, but the situation doesn’t always warrant and we are simply not responsible for the rest of the world. If you kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, you get no more golden eggs…