The United States, from the nation’s founding, has had specific immigration standards in place, in order to process and review immigrants wishing to become American citizens.  There are federal laws in place  that prohibit illegal immigration and there are specific guidelines for the deportation of illegal immigrants .  It is not a matter of not offering a road to citizenship, but rather having a specific guideline that is to be followed for the good of the country, as well as the good of those seeking American citizenship.

There are four specific immigration policy goals that are used to determine who gets to enter the United States and become a citizen.   The first is a concern that families be reunited if there are family members already living in the United States.  Second, the admittance of immigrants who have specific skills and fill positions in occupations that have experienced labor shortages is considered.  This skill related aspect can be either high technical skills or lower manual labor skills, with the over all goal  being a strong, stable work force facilitated through the legal immigration process. Third, the United States desires to be a refuge for those who risk persecution in their country of origin, be it political, racial or religious. Lastly, there is a goal to ensure diversity by providing admittance to people from countries who historically have lower rates of immigration to the United States.

The Founders recognized their own immigrant status and sought to create a cohesive way to admit new citizens to the new nation.  America is a nation of immigrants, but it is also a nation of law and it is this fact that has led to the struggle we see taking place in Arizona: law versus law breakers.

According to the CBO report on “Immigration Policy in the United States”  there are federal laws in place that require illigal immigrants to be deported.  It is the law of the land.

The grounds for aliens’ inadmissibility or removal include health concerns, criminal history, being identified as a security and terrorist risk, the likelihood of their becoming a public charge, their seeking work in the United States without proper labor certification and qualifications, prior illegal entry or immigration law violations, lack of proper documentation, ineligibility for citizenship, and previous removal from the country. The grounds for removal also include falsely claiming U.S. citizenship to obtain employment or receive a government benefit and conviction for a crime related to domestic violence, stalking,or child abuse.

As one can see from the list above, there are not many alibis that can excuse the Federal Government from not enforcing its own law.  In case one wonders what defines an Unauthorized Alien, I will include the following list, also taken from the CBO report:

Unauthorized aliens include those who enter the United States without documentation or with forged documentation; lawfully admitted immigrants who remain in the United States after violating immigration law; and aliens who have entered the United States on a temporary visa and remained past the time limit of the visa.

America is a place where people flock because she is the land where opportunity exists for all who enter.  She is compassionate as seen in the four points for granting citizenship.  She is a good steward, as she desires men and women who can add to her greatness through skill and diversity.  She is a lover of freedom and opens her doors to the persecuted.  She is a great country, but her shores have been breached and citizens from every states are angry at the illegal invasion.

Ultimately, the anger being displayed in Arizona began when her citizens, the citizens of the United States of America, were not getting the Federal help they needed to implement the law of the land.  The citizens were angry at the broken promises and angrier still that one of their citizen ranchers was murdered by an illegal crossing the Mexican boarder. This is where the legitimate anger lies, all else is rebellious anarchy, stirred by those who more than likely have or are related to someone who is living in Arizona illegally.  One side is angered because justice has been ignored, the other side is angered because they have been caught and consequences, in the form of Arizona’s new law are staring them in the eyes.  This is not about hate, but rather a love for law and the country that welcomes those who come across her boarders legally.

Arizona has a duty as a government to protect her citizens.  Because that duty has been betrayed by a Federal government unwilling to do the dirty work, Arizona has had to play hard ball and make her own people safe.  It is her state right to protect her citizens.  It is her mandate to protect her citizens.  It is her constitutional duty to obey the law of the land and by whatever means enforce it.

As an authority figure, one can only tell a child to stop doing whatever he or she is doing a few times before that authority figure loses legitimacy.  A child knows how to work the system when the consequences never follow the warning.  Arizona is legitimizing her authority and is ready and willing to follow through with consequences.  We as a nation have been too lax, caving to social and compassionate politics, and handcuffing those who should be putting law breakers in cuffs.  This nation is built on law. Arizona was established on law.  One can not turn his eye on a lawbreaker “who isn’t hurting anyone” because it erodes the entire system of law and order.

It has taken decades of blinders made of tolerance to create the illegal immigration mess that we are battling today, so it will not be fixed overnight.  Arizona, however should be applauded for her courageous stand, in the face of angry mobs, to enforce the law of the land.  If we can’t trust the law of the land to be enforced, then we are living in a country of decay, where eventually, law won’t be able to be enforced without the use of force.

Arizona, I for one, applaud you.

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