The challenge goes on...
Memorial Day weekend last year was marked by the anti-SB1070 law protest against the law passed by the Arizona State Legislature and signed by Governor Jan Brewer that took a strong stance against illegal immigration from Mexico. What has happened since then?
According to a study by BBVA Bancomer Research published in November 2010 there are 300,000 less Hispanics in Arizona since the law went into effect. Also the amount of money transferred from Arizona to Mexico is substantially reduced. Since then it is very likely many more have left and the flow of money out has also depreciated. Anecdotally in the central Phoenix area where I live there are far fewer people of Mexican descent evident than a year ago and relationships are changed. It is difficult to quantify how communication is different but interactions between Whites, Blacks (who are allied on this issue) and Hispanics are modified now, not necessarily hostile or suspicious but definitely cautious. This is in everyday interactions ranging from personal to work to public places.
This Is Not America | It is now merely the United States..."] Governor Jan Brewer is challenging the 9th Circuit Appeals Court ruling directly to the US Supreme Court, a considerably more conservative body.
Everything has changed but nothing has changed.
On a more practical and realistic level the fact remains that Arizona still has the most porous border of all of the Border States. Although the law caused illegal immigrants from Mexico to become less evident they are still ever present. In actuality the money is now flowing northward in the form of people and drug smuggling and the southern counties have more of a problem than ever. While the counties of Pima and Yuma conveniently choose to ignore the problem, the county directly north of them, Pinal, does not since the situation is now even worse for them.
A recent non-scientific poll by the Arizona Capitol Times asking the question "Should Gov. Jan Brewer use her new authority to call up a volunteer state militia [granted by the State Legislature] to bolster the efforts to stop illegal border crossings" had three choices of answers. The majority response was "Yes. The sooner the better." This is indicative of the overwhelming sense among most White and Black Arizonans that the federal government has done nothing, as promised, to help solve our border problem.
While what I have written may seem that I support SB1070 in totality, let me clarify my position at this juncture. My thought is there is at least one part of the law I specifically do not like and it is the "show me your papers" provision, which smacks right up against the American tradition of our ability to move about freely, which is a constitutional right. There are other provisions I find questionable also. The spirit and intent of the law, to force the federal governments hand out of the states right to defend itself from intrusion, does appeal to my sense of rejecting the unconstitutional encroachment of the federal government. If you question that, study the history of the US since 1913 and the Sixteenth Amendment to discover what is meant by that statement.
Federal Government now is Unconstitutional Centralized Government.
I am satisfied that the entire set of "Birther" laws was quashed by the sensibilities of the new State Legislature, rightly slapping the hand of State Senate President Russell Pierce (author of SB1070) and State Senator Ron Gould. The message of the voters and other legislators to them and their ilk was clear. "It's the economy stupid!" The state had achieved what it needed to do and that was challenge the federal government, particularly this administration, on their overreaching into a centralized government which has been entrenching itself in this country for decades. It is now working it's way through the system via our rule of law. This continues in another form, the Medical Marijuana Act passed by Arizona voters. Now the Obama Administration and Justice Department are threatening to sue state employees who engage in issuing licenses and pursue individuals for lawfully conducting business in what citizens clearly stated they wanted through a legal election process.
What this all really boils down to is that Arizona is an active microcosm of sentiment that is present all across this country. We represent the macrocosm attitudes and views that are growing across this nation that the government and major political parties are out of control. While SB1070 has not yet accomplished solving our illegal border crossing issue, it has set the stage for a showdown against the US Federal Government and the embedded Political Class that reinforces it. The challenge is far from over.