Friday, May 14, 2010


Ever since I first saw the news about Arizona’s immigration law, I knew that it was a bad idea for everyone around. I’ve never claimed to be a Constitutional scholar or anything like that but it just read to me as wrong when I heard the initial news releases. My worries and views were confirmed when the entire bill was available to read online so it seemed kind of self evident that the whole thing would just stall out somewhere in the voting process and then be forgotten after a month or so.

Sadly I have been proven wrong about the whole thing. It wound up getting passed though the Arizona state legislature and then finally signed off by the Governor. There was all manner of strum and drang about the situation with calls for boycotts and lawsuits and the like. It’s been a week or so since the signing and it is still in the news but not quite as much as it was at the start. I kind of felt that maybe this would be the last of these laws and the hate would just be focused through the single point. But, as before I was wrong.

Earlier on in the week, there was a second law signed off by the Governor that adds many of the immigration laws ideas onto the world of ethnic studies classes. Just like the previous bill, it takes what kind of sounds like a good idea at the time where they try and stop classes and curriculum that promotes hate and just screws it all up. I would like to think that some people in the legislature would stop to think that maybe this law might need an extra bit of tweaking to make it form a better law. It looks like I might be one of those people that looks at the brighter side of life but I always hope that some people might clearly think for a moment when it comes to decisions of this magnitude. This just seems to prove me wrong again.

The final edition of this whole law environment idea is currently making it’s way through the same legislature that passed the other two. While the other bills seem to want to look like they’re just designed to be part of the laws of their home state, this last law tips the hat of the true people behind these laws to begin with. Also known as the “Birther Bill”, this little bit of paperwork is written in such a way that it could wind up causing ultimate damage to not just the state of Arizona but the entire country itself.

A byline attached to another bill, this bit of text would require anyone that is on the ballot in the state of Arizona be able to produce a United States birth certificate before they can be allowed to be voted into office. The decision on whether or not the certificate meets the needs of validating their citizenship comes down to the view of the Secretary Of State and the election officials. If they don’t sign off on the candidate, then this person’s name will not appear on the ballot. Just stop and think what this could lead to if the person in control of the situation decides that he just doesn’t trust what he sees in front of him or her for whatever reasons they might have and disallows a Presidential candidate from the state ballot. The fact that the current President ran against a man who has spent a lot of his time supposedly working for the benefit of the very state that is passing the law just might not enter into it but that still leaves the whole question of where this thing might wind up.

Now that we’ve reached the point of the bills passing into law, I’ve kind of felt a little set aback over how and why a state legislature would pass into law these bills that absolutely look and read to be blatantly unconstitutional. To spend all of the time and energy to get these bills passed only to have them guaranteed to be knocked down in the courts just seems counter productive to me. Why bother doing all of this if you just know that it will all get torn down sooner or later?

It was asking that question that gave me the answer that I was looking for. It might seem a slightly insane thing to do but these laws were ostensibly passed to have them knocked down. It is just that simple and I have to admit that it is a very brave thing to do. You wind up putting a whole lot of your eggs into one basket and have to really hope that no one drops the basket.

To break it down to a basic level, these three bills are being pushed and passed as a litmus test for the rest of the world to show where they stand on the whole immigration debate and the ancillary bits of questions. With all of the television shows, newspapers, and blogs to share their feelings on, you wind up with everyone putting their thoughts and feelings on the record. When you want to find out who is on your side in an argument, the easiest way to do it is to give everyone a place to direct their attention to and then let them tell you what they think. Once the law comes under scrutiny and question, then it even more requires everyone to put their views into public record. For all intent and purposes, you have these bills being made so that the people that agree with them know who is on their side of the debate. For someone living in a very red state, this bit of information could definitely nudge your popularity one way or the other depending on how it’s all spun.

While there is the definite need for bills that help with things like illegal immigration and hateful school classes, all three of these laws appear, as written, to be blatant excuses to attack specific ethnic groups and impede their personal rights. The unconstitutionality of them all looks obvious to me though I am kind of amazed at the way that some people seem to choose to ignore this fact. It all comes down to a need for a specific group to be able to see who is on their side and that they can look to if they need help or just a person to lend an ear or a keyboard to help promote their world view. It might sound a little crass on their parts for taking all the time to get the laws passed and any of the stress or heartache that might come from a person that is arrested for something that they weren’t able to prove to the levels that the police officer questioning them required but I guess it might be a thoughtful thing to do in a highly political kind of way. Let’s just hope that no one else thinks that this is something that they want to do because it just rubs me the wrong way and leaves me hoping for some form of actual logical thinking.