Now that Arizona has “acted stupidly” and decided that it’s going to enforce illegal alien laws after the federal government has utterly failed to do so, there’s a big argument over the rightness of this action.
The anti-Arizona law side says that enforcing immigration law and border security is strictly the bailiwick of the federal government. The several states have no business acting in this matter; it is purely a matter of federalism.
The pro-Arizona law side says that the state has an obligation to protect its citizenry, and the federal government simply isn’t doing its job adequately.
It should come as no surprise that I come down in favor of the Arizona law. And I think I have a unique argument to back it up.
Last year, Phoenix, Arizona won the dubious honor of being named the “kidnapping capitol” of the US, and the majority of those abductions were related to the Mexican drug cartel wars.
And just a few weeks ago, an Arizonan rancher (who had a history of helping out illegal aliens crossing the border, many of whom trashed his property in the process) was shot and killed on his own property by a gunman who fled across the border to Mexico.
Now, since we’re in an era of viewing the Constitution as a “living document” that evolves independently of that pesky, challenging “Amendment” procedure, let’s take a look at that document — especially the 10th Amendment.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
The United States, as embodied by the federal government, has the power to enforce the borders. As such, it is forbidden for the states to exercise powers in that field.
But the federal government has failed miserably to exercise its rights in that area. So, it can be argued that they have abandoned that right.
Just because the federal government has chosen to not enforce our border security, that doesn’t mean that the problem just goes away. It still has to be dealt with. So why shouldn’t the several states step up and fill the gap?
A right not exercised doesn’t go away. But an obligation not fulfilled can be considered an obligation abandoned.
The message being sent to Washington from Arizona is a simple one: “if you won’t do your job, then we’ll do it.”
So far Washington’s response sems to be “just because we aren’t doing it, doesn’t mean you can.” Instead of being shamed at being caught out, they’re instead fighting for their right to… well, do nothing.
It’ll be fascinating to see how this plays out.