Has the dialogue on immigration become so corrupted by twisted rhetoric that we will be forced to choose between racial profiling and ethnic entitlement? In less than three weeks Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law comes before the Supreme Court. Last week we caught a glimpse of how the president views our highest judicial body. There are those who think his “unprecedented” remark was a poorly-timed gaffe. Then there are those who know that the president chooses his words carefully, and understand that Mr. Obama’s words usually reflect his actions. In the case of immigration enforcement, we already know what the president is going to do.
The Supreme Court decision on health care is a make or break event for the Obama reelection campaign. The fate of SB 1070 is a close second. Congressional action on immigration is out of the question this year, and state laws are all that stand between taxpayers and backdoor amnesty. The White House has made a public display of selective immigration enforcement by drawing Homeland Security, the Justice Department, the Department of Labor, and even the Department of Education into the mix to ensure our country is a safe haven for illegal immigrants.
The amnesty-minded have been hard at work preparing the PR backdrop for the April 25 court battle. Characterizing the Republican refusal to buy into Democratic-style immigration reform as “cheap partisan political strategies,”¹ Congressman Luis Gutierrez mourned the families torn apart by law enforcement:
We deported or removed more than 46,000 parents of U.S. citizens in six months last year and could put an estimated 15,000 U.S. citizens in foster care because of a deported parent in the next five years. Think of the cost in lives, in tax-dollars, in families torn apart, and in futures derailed.²
With any luck we will solve the problem by one day outlawing birthright citizenship. Why should we feel guilty over those who chose to come to America by violating the law and suffer the consequences? Members of Congress frustrated with the president’s failure to overhaul our immigration system have pushed their rhetoric to extremes to justify their stance, including invoking the name of God and the Bible when courts first intervened to strike down the Arizona law:
“Thank God there is a God. Today’s decision to block the most extreme aspects of Arizona’s SB 1070 upholds the constitution of the United States and helps to ensure respect, dignity, and equal treatment for all people. ”
“The bible tells us to love thy neighbor as thyself. By blocking the most outrageous aspects of Arizona’s law from taking effect, this decision is an important victory over fear and hatred.³
Announcing the filing of a brief signed by 67 House members in preparation for the SB 1070 Supreme Court date, Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva fell back on the racial profiling argument as the reason that only the Federal Government can enforce immigration laws:
We’re being asked to choose between the Constitution and an ineffective, one-sided, intentionally divisive political stunt. Several Arizona law enforcement agencies, and many others around the country, already face credible allegations of wrongful arrests, racial profiling, and discrimination.4
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Charles Gonzalez lambasted Mitt Romney, accusing the Republican candidate of endorsing racial profiling:
Frankly, it reveals a lot about someone’s character when they enthusiastically support a law that legalizes the harassment of all Latinos, regardless of their legal status, and codifies ethnic profiling.5
Those trying to rid the nation of state immigration initiatives have turned the act of producing a driver’s license during a traffic stop into harassment and profiling. In their efforts to garner the support of what Gonzalez calls “our country’s fastest growing population”6 politicians forget that not all illegal immigrants are Latinos. Foes of laws like SB 1070 endorse racial entitlement when they try to make their case against profiling by favoring a single group. Their pleas for a hands-off policy towards Latinos reeks of entitling an enormous support base whose numbers will advance the Democratic cause.
Will a Supreme Court decision supporting SB 1070 make a difference? No matter what the court decides this summer, states do not have the resources to take over ICE’s job. The president has worked too hard on criminals-only enforcement to give up just months before the election, and no matter what the court decides the racial profiling argument has become too entrenched to go away. Uncle Sam is not going to lend a helping hand if Arizona prevails and begins handing over illegal immigrants for deportation.
Relying on federal enforcement when the White House has decided to grant a pass to millions of illegals is a loser for citizens frustrated with a president who acts as if his political goals supersede our laws. During his El Paso immigration speech, Mr. Obama talked about how one goes about becoming an American:
What matters is that you believe in the ideals on which we were founded; that you believe that all of us are created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights. (Applause.) All of us deserve our freedoms and our pursuit of happiness. In embracing America, you can become American. That is what makes this country great. That enriches all of us.7
Actually, the law says that there is more to becoming an American than sneaking across the border because you like the idea of living in the U.S. and are happy that you got away with it. Instead of forcing our laws to become stumbling blocks as legislators try to find ways to entitle illegal immigrants, we might consider enforcing those laws, and removing the problem altogether.