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May Day

May 18, 2010

We tend to form generalizations about groups of people based upon personal experiences with individual members of those groups. That’s called prejudice.

Not all prejudices are negative. For instance, I tend to have favorable opinions about “Bond girls” before I even see them. Personal experience has taught me to expect damn fine looking women in James Bond movies: Ursula Andress, Halle Berry, Jill St. John, Teri Hatcher, Jane Seymour, Pussy Galore… wait, maybe that last one isn’t a real name.

When it comes to Hispanic immigrants, I also have positive prejudices based upon personal experience. My contacts with immigrants from Latin America have been overwhelmingly good. I read about criminal elements and drug lords and gang warfare spilling across the U.S./Mexican border, and I keep expecting to run into some of those bad apples but it never happens.

So my favorable opinion of Hispanic immigrants keeps solidifying—unfair advantages in traffic court notwithstanding.

Then I look at Europe and see them wrestling with an influx of lazy, angry, backward Muslims who arrive en masse with a kaleidoscope of built-in resentments, and a hatred for the values and benefits of Western civilization. They cluster in huge Muslim enclaves within European cities (French policemen don’t dare enter the Muslim sections of Paris except in large numbers) where they apply for social welfare, nurse their hatred, demand concessions to Islamic law and customs, and foment rebellion against their host nations.

Where Europe has its mass influx of Muslim immigrants, we have Hispanics from Latin America and when you make the comparison you realize how lucky we are. Hispanics tend to be family-oriented, Christian, constructive inhabitants of their new country. They tend to be friendly and polite—honest to God, I have better interactions with Hispanics who don’t speak a word of English than I do with my fellow citizens. They share most of our cultural values, maybe more so than previous waves of Asians, Sicilians, Poles, and Russians.

And they come here to work, an attribute this country has always valued. When people complain about the jobs they take from U.S. citizens, the debate is usually about whether those were jobs that legal citizens wanted. People gloss over the awkward fact that employers looking to fill manual labor jobs will often choose the illegal Hispanic immigrant over the other applicants because the Hispanic immigrants’ work ethic is legendary.

John Grisham wrote an autobiographical novel, “A Painted House,” based upon his boyhood on a cotton farm in Arkansas. The plot revolves around the interaction between Mexican, white, and black laborers brought in to pick the cotton. What I remember most about the story is that in a period when almost everybody had a strong work ethic (the early 1950’s), and in a situation where three different ethnic groups worked side by side and didn’t want the other groups to show them up, the Mexicans easily outworked and out-produced the other two groups.

God has blessed the United States of America in so many ways and in this current era of mass emigration around the world the fact that we are receiving so many Hispanics is one of the greatest blessings of all.

That being said, no nation can survive an unlimited invasion of newcomers. It’s common sense.

No matter how corrupt and stultifying the political systems are in Mexico or the rest of Central & South America, the United States cannot afford to accept every single person who wants to escape the mess in his own country and take advantage of the nifty system we have here.

Sorry, amigos, but it’s your mess, you made it, and the relatively unmessed-up USA has no moral obligation to destroy itself trying to save the rest of the world from stupid mistakes and moral squalor. Mind you, we’ll do what we can. No nation on Earth is more generous. Time and again we’ve left our cozy homes and gone to war to save the world from tyrants. Time and again we’ve rushed to rescue people in foreign lands from earthquakes, floods, and famines. Time and again we’ve opened our arms to accept mass influxes of refugees from political strife or religious persecution or natural disaster.

But we can’t take everybody. It’s common sense.

There are seven billion people on the planet. A billion of them live on less than a dollar a day—desperate, starving, hopeless human beings dreaming of the Promised Land called America. Four billion others live on less than ten dollars a day—many of these, too, cast covetous, jealous eyes on the freedom and prosperity of America, where we define poverty as living on less than thirty dollars a day and deploy a web of social programs to help anybody who falls below that threshold.

Five billion people want into a nation of three hundred million who are already complaining about the lack of elbow room. Do the math. The desperados at the door outnumber us sixteen to one.

We can’t take everybody.

Most people know this—it’s not a complicated concept for crying out loud—but nobody appreciates the reality more than people living in border states like Arizona, where homeowners literally have paths worn into their lawns by the constant stream of illegal immigrants sneaking across the border. Where people live in fear for their lives as criminal gangs from Mexico ply their drug and illegal immigrant trade back and forth across the border. Where courtrooms and prisons and hospitals and schools are filled to overflowing with illegal immigrants who never paid a dime in taxes. Where kidnapping rates have soared to Central American levels—levels so high that the FBI in Phoenix finally said, “No más,” and told the local police not to call them anymore except in specific circumstances.

(“Specific circumstances” basically means if you’re a white guy named Smith the FBI is on the case. If your last name is Rodriguez, good luck with your kidnapping.)

On April 23, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed the now-infamous Arizona Senate Bill 1070, and the resulting hubbub has been so irrational and disproportionate it makes me think none of our political leaders or public figures has living brain cells. Or maybe they have living brain cells, but they’re infected with prions.

(Science side note: prions are misfolded proteins which cause malfunction and eventually death at the cellular level, and are most famous for causing bovine spongiform encephalopathy, otherwise known as Mad Cow Disease.)

First, our fearless leader, Barack Obama (and by “fearless” I mean unafraid to say stupid things which have no factual basis):
“You can imagine if you are an Hispanic American in Arizona, your great grandparents may have been there before Arizona was even a state, but now suddenly if you don't have your papers, and you took your kid out to get ice cream, you're gonna be harassed. That's something that could potentially happen. That's not the right way to go.”
You see what I mean about stupid? The legislation specifically and emphatically prohibits that from happening, and you would think the president would have learned his lesson about speaking from ignorance after the Henry Gates incident.

Here’s what the law actually says:
Then, to make sure the cops aren’t unduly picking on Hispanic-looking people, Arizona makes it a point that such profiling—already against the law of the land—is really really against the law, so don’t do it:
That’s pretty clear, isn’t it? Not to President Obama, who had more to say a couple days later:
“What I think is a mistake is when we start having local law enforcement officials given the power to stop people on the suspicion that they may be undocumented workers. That carries a great amount of risk.”
Never mind that the law says they can’t do that. Never mind that they can only inquire about immigration papers for good reason, and only if they’ve stopped somebody for some other crime. Never mind that. It makes you want to scream, “Just read the damn law! Please! Before you make idiotic statements about it, read it!”

The president promised that the Justice Department would look into the constitutionality of Arizona’s law, whereupon Attorney General Eric Holder starting spewing negative opinions about the law and threatening to sue the state.

“Bring it on,” was pretty much the reaction from Arizona.

Holder ended up firmly ensconced on the Stupid Seat himself on May 13, when he was testifying before the House Judiciary Committee and had to admit he hasn’t read the Arizona law he’s been threatening and spouting off about. Oops:
“I’ve just expressed concerns on the basis of what I’ve heard about the law. But I’m not in a position to say at this point, not having read the law, not having had the chance to interact with people doing the review, what my position is.”
Hey, we can tell you what your “position is,” Mr. Holder. Your head is up your ass.

Congressman Ted Poe was every bit as confused about Holder’s position as Holder was. “It’s hard for me to understand how you would have concerns about something being unconstitutional if you haven’t even read the law. Duh.”

(Okay, Mr. Poe didn’t really say “Duh,” but I'll bet he was thinking it.)

Here’s Janet Napolitano, our steadfast Homeland Security Secretary, who never met a topic she couldn’t dignify with something stupid:
“That one is a misguided law. It's not a good law enforcement law. It's not a good law in any number of reasons.”
(That’s word for word what she said. Swear to God I didn’t stupidify it.)

When challenged about what those reasons might be specifically, she elaborated by saying that Arizona’s law might inspire other states to act in a similar fashion and we could end up with a “patchwork” of immigration laws. Then she promised a bunch of Predator Drones would soon be flying along the border, which will solve the whole problem. Reporters were so dumbfounded by the lunacy of that idea that they never got around to asking whether the Predators would be dropping bombs on illegals the way they drop bombs on the Taliban in Pakistan.

Because if the drones won’t be dropping bombs (which I sincerely hope they won’t), what difference will they make? Why wouldn’t the illegals simply wave, say, “Hola, Mr. Predator!” and keep on coming? At some point, you have to do more than photograph waves of illegal immigrants crossing the border. At some point, law enforcement officers have to detain them and escort them back across the border.

Hence the new Arizona law.

So what about Napolitano’s complaint about the “patchwork?” Well, like Obama and Holder, she simply didn’t bother to read the law. The damn thing was written by a constitutional law professor—a real one, not a part-time phony one like Obama was—and of course he knows the federal government is charged with the constitutional authority to write immigration law. This law merely instructs state and local police in Arizona to enforce federal laws. That’s all.

Why won’t anybody read the law?

Can states enforce federal immigration law? You bet they can. This is an issue that has been adjudicated time and time again, and the courts have ruled time and time again that states do have that authority. People have suggested there must be a state statute giving law enforcement the go-ahead, which is one reason Arizona may have decided to pass this law, but the courts have held that no such legislation is required. There are two types of immigration law violations, criminal and civil, and people have argued that states only have the authority to enforce criminal violations, but the courts have ruled repeatedly that states can enforce both criminal violations and civil violations.

It’s obvious that Obama, Holder, and Napolitano have no clue. There is case law dating back decades that affirms the authority of states to enforce federal immigration laws, whether there is a state law specifically addressing the issue or not.

But don’t tell that to Congressman Luis Gutierrez, from Illinois:
“The police do not have an inherent right to carry out immigration enforcement.”
Uh, yes they do, Mr. Gutierrez, and doesn’t it just fill me with confidence that you are in Washington, D.C., writing and voting on legislation that affects my country, considering how flat-out ignorant you are. By the way, here is a report that explains how and why states have the authority to enforce immigration law, written by your own congressional research staff. You probably have a copy on your desk somewhere. Maybe it’s buried under all the comic books.

Here’s Al Sharpton:
“We will bring freedom walkers to Arizona just like Freedom Riders went to the Deep South 50 years ago.”
Who do you represent, Mr. Sharpton? If anybody is hurt by the unemployment caused by illegal immigrants flooding the job market it’s African Americans, whose unemployment rates are 80% higher than everybody else’s. Think about it.

Felipe Calderon said Mexican citizens were angered and saddened by the Arizona law because it requires documentation:
“The Arizona law doesn’t adequately guarantee respect for people’s fundamental rights.”
Meanwhile, a U.S. citizen who drives 1,000 miles into Mexico will be stopped about 20 times during that 1,000 miles and asked for his papers. They don’t need another reason to stop you; they just stop you and ask for documentation. If you don’t have your papers, the Mexican police will arrest you on the spot for a felony punishable by two years in prison. If you’re caught a second time without proper documentation, it’s ten years in prison. They can also deport anybody they decide is detrimental to Mexico’s economic interests, isn’t physically or mentally healthy, or can’t support themselves. (Oh, and by the way, you can’t buy a house in Mexico—foreigners are only allowed to rent.)

Catholic Cardinal Roger Mahony also has trouble with the idea that immigrants are required to have “papers”:
“I can’t imagine Arizonians now reverting to German Nazi and Russian Communist techniques.”
Huh? The Arizona law doesn’t require papers. Read the damn thing, numbnut! The Arizona law simply enforces federal law, which has required aliens to carry documentation for more than half a century—same thing every other country on Planet Earth requires.

See what I mean about Mad Cow Disease? How could so many important people be this stupid?

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer:
“I think that the law that was passed was a law that is very inconsistent with our past practices in America where we don’t go around asking people for I.D. cards.”
Gee, I guess congressmen never buy beer, or vote, or have to renew their license plates, or cash checks, or collect social security, or get stopped for speeding, or buy guns, or fly on commercial airlines. If they did, he wouldn’t say something so dramatically insane.

Some Republicans jumped on the Stupid Bandwagon, too. Here’s Jeb Bush:
“I think it creates unintended consequences. It's difficult for me to imagine how you're going to enforce this law.”
Let me give you a scenario, Jeb. Let’s say an Arizona cop stops a northbound car for speeding, and it turns out there are four people in the front seat plus six people in the back seat plus four semi-asphyxiated people in the trunk, none of whom speak English, and the driver has no license, and nobody has ID. Would you consider that “reasonable suspicion” that they might be illegal immigrants, and agree the cop is justified in calling the federal government to check their status?

Because that’s the Arizona law in a nutshell.

The stupidity about this seems endless. On May 1, May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day, labor unions marched in big U.S. cities side by side with illegal immigrants, many of them wearing Che Guevara T-shirts and carrying Mexican flags, all of them pissing and moaning about the new Arizona law. They might as well wear T-shirts that say, “I’m uneducated and ignorant,” because Che Guevara was a mass-murdering communist thug who executed thousands of rebellious union workers in Cuba as Fidel Castro’s “Minister of Industries,” and once referred to Mexicans as “a rabble of illiterate Indians.”

I’m guessing you guys in the T-shirts don’t know much history, but hey, if you think “Che” T-shirts help you deal with Arizona’s law, feel free. Feeling free is our specialty here in the U.S.

Anybody hoping the stupidity will eventually end is headed for disappointment. A whole month after the Arizona legislation was passed, Los Angeles Councilman Ed Reyes still hasn’t read it:
“I cannot go to Arizona today without a passport. If I come across an officer who’s had a bad day and feels the picture on my ID is not me, I could be summarily deported—no questions asked. That is not American.”
It’s not American, but it is silly, factually incorrect, and mammothly stupid, Mr. Reyes, and you should be ashamed that such misinformation was used to justify ending Los Angeles contracts with Arizona. I hope they sue the crap out of you for those contracts and win.

Maybe the folks at MSNBC, prions at full throttle, said it best (as in stupidest) on the Monday after Governor Brewer signed the law, when they ran this on-screen scrolling headline:
“Arizona Law Makes it a Crime to be Illegal Immigrant.”
Good grief. What can you say after that?

From Reno, Nevada, USA


May 18, 2010

This is the fastest followup in history. Yesterday, while I was writing and posting today's column, Napolitano was making headlines by admitting to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that in spite of all her public criticism of the Arizona law over the last month, she, like Eric Holder, hasn't actually read it. You can read about her admission here. And you can watch video of this frighteningly incompetent woman stuttering, stammering, and mumbling her testimony here.

April 23, 2015 - Firstly I want to thank you for compiling so much great information and links on your website. I found it very useful and helpful for my research purposes. However, I just stumbled across couple of broken links labeled here, Media Research Center etc. If you are still updating the site I wanted to suggest a additional resource. The site is American Immigration Center. Hope your future visitors benefit out of it as much as I did. Thank you for your time and take care. - Tina Ruskin, India
J.P. replies: Number one, creating a website that pretends to be an official U.S. government site is at least dishonest if not illegal. Number two, the gist of my column was not that we need to help more immigrants enter the U.S. And number three, next time find someone who knows English—here is the very first sentence at your linked web page: "Not only are many foreigners are interested in working in the U.S., the U.S. also welcomes skilled foreign workers." Huh? Good grief.

June 22, 2013 - The post I read on your website was very informative and helpful. However, I noticed a broken link labeled "constitutional law professor." I would like to suggest an additional resource which you could make use of. The site is: It has great info and your future visitors could also benefit from it like I did. Thanks for your time. - Mace M., India
J.P. replies: Thanks for the link, Mace, and I fixed the broken link (along with another broken one).

May 22, 2010 - Right on Jim and THANK you! Way too many have not read the law and are acting out of emotions. - Rayanne L., Arizona

May 21, 2010 - I don't really care whether Hispanics are hard-working or not. If they are here illegally then they are criminals, and why would our nation want to stuff itself full of people who are proven criminals? It's insane. And self-destructive. People who follow the rules and fill out all the necessary papers, proving that they're law-abiding and decent, are regularly denied visas and citizenship, but bums who come illegally should be given amnesty and all the rights of citizenship? THAT'S CRAZY. - Pete, Reno

May 18, 2010 - They should still be legal if they are in the U.S. - Beverly H., Virginia

May 18, 2010 - Your example is a good one. Lets try another a much more likely one. The guy who painted my house who was born in San Antonio (like my mom) but, unlike my mom, didn't learn to speak English until he was 25 and came to Chicago. So this dude goes to to Tuscon instead, moves in with his father in law and is still driving on his Texas license. OK he's stupid. So he is stopped, with his wife, his brother, his three kids, none of whom speak english, on an expired license, no other id, and guess what? I can imagine a couple of events.. none of them nice. I can imagine, at the least, everyone spending a night in the lockup... and I can imagine a lot worse... what can you imagine... for a case of terminal stupidty. YOU ARE A STUPID MOTHER FUCKING RACIST SON OF A BITCH WHO CAN'T IMAGINE AN ALTERNAITVE... excuse me, as a native born white american I start to stutter... when I encounter assholes like u... - Godofredus, Chicago
J.P. replies: Let me get this straight. Your example is a 25-year-old native-born American who doesn't speak English? That isn't just unlikely, it's impossible. How did he get through school? How did he get a drivers license? But never mind all that, the Arizona law says if the policeman is suspicious about immigration status he should call federal authorities and check. Since your hypothetical moron is a U.S. citizen, that would be the end of the story as far as immigration status. Understand? Thank you for providing yet another example of how stupid people sound when they criticise the Arizona legislation without reading it.

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