#Government, #Immigration, #Infographics, #Politics

So What About Illegal Immigration?

Since I have no readership to speak of, I suspect this is unlikely to spark the backlash it does elsewhere; and frankly it seems to be a wholly uncontroversial topic unless you’re a liberal and hyper sensitive to arguments against your political positions. With these caveats, written to ease my own mind, I have to ask, why shouldn’t we be looking at those that are breaking the law, and enforce those laws? And by breaking the law, I mean immigrating to the United States illegally–in a manner that is not set forth as a legal pathway to entering this country. Using the same, if not more lenient, set of laws you would see in any other country to boot.

So, what about it? What makes enforcement so controversial? Why is it such a travesty to ask an individual, whom you have first detained because of another unrelated infraction, to produce proof of their status to reside in or visit this nation?

Population of Arizona by Race. ‘Infographic’ by Mike Mattner, data from the U.S. Census Bureau accessed May13, 2010.

The idea that such a proposal is racist is ridiculous to begin with. Let’s use a little reason to determine this assertion. First, in Arizona the immigrant population, by the very nature of geography, is going to be made up almost entirely of Mexicans. It also stands to reason that those entering Arizona illegally would also be from Mexico. And so, law enforcement is likely to single this group out when detaining an individual that has all ready committed some infraction to determine their residency status. And why shouldn’t they? It has nothing to do with race, rather it has to do with deductive reasoning in this case.

What’s the racial break down anyway? As expected the dominant race in Arizona is White at about 58% of the population, followed by Hispanic at about 30%, American Indian at about 5% (which is unsurprising considering the native history of the region), then Black at 4% and Asian at 2%.

So, with such a large Hispanic population that happens to emigrate legally or otherwise from the United States southern neighbor of Mexico, it only seems natural that law enforcement would want to target this group–when individuals have all ready been detained based on having committed an infraction of some kind–as they are the most likely to be here illegally. American Indian, Black, and Asian residents happen to make up a much smaller proportion of the population and are therefore less likely to be a substantial problem in terms of residency. White individuals make up a large portion of the population, but immigration from Europe has not been as robust as immigration from Central and South America, and will likely not recover any time soon, meaning they are less likely to reside in the United States illegally.

Put another way, if you know for a fact that residents from Fakistan are constantly entering the domain of Nationistan illegally, why wouldn’t the government of Nationistan check those of Fakistanni origin when conducting some other lawful search?

On the flip side, none of the points I made about the other racial groups in any way mean those groups are excluded from the law. On the contrary, this is meant to cover everyone, to ensure folks are here legally. This isn’t kristallnacht by any means. The law does not allow for the round up and deportation of any specific groups, or any individuals at all. In fact, it is meant to cover a case where an individual has been detained, and the law enforcement officer in question suspects that the individual is here illegally. In this situation, and this situation only, can the officer demand to see proof of residency, and that can be as simple as showing a state issued ID card.

Maybe someone can explain to me why this is such an issue because I’m grasping in the dark here.

7 Responses to “So What About Illegal Immigration?”

  1. Scott

    May 17, 2010 @ 11:40 pm

    Sweet Christ. I just had three paragraphs written when I clicked on the “night of the broken glass” link. Already knew that one, thanks to Tom Bean. Yet when I hit back, My Shit be gone.

    I lived in Phoenix for a mere six months, yet the racial devide is rediculous. The graphics you display are true, as a state. However, the Hispanic population is slightly higher in Phoenix overall.

    I’m afraid though, Mike, you may be wearing blinders, of sorts. Sure, I don’t encourage these illegals. However, I do discourage the Piss-Poor management of the MCSD in their handling of ANY ordeal, let alone immigration.

    Your italics are the most damning. Truth betold, those with prior infractions aren’t the ones being incarcerated. “Yeah, we’re looking for a Hispanic male, between 5’6” and 5“11, facial hair, blue shirt, tan pants. May be packing Heat.” Give me a fucking break! This describes about 20% of the city, and you bet your ass the Dept takes liberties! GREAT, crack down on the immigration. All the while, Maricopa County boasts some of the highest rates of unsolved cases in kidnapping, rape, and murder.

    I would sure feel much safer on the streets of Phoenix, what, with those illegals out of there. The food would taste much worse, and the threat of losing my life would be much higher.

    It’s late. Sorry this reply isn’t better.


  2. Mike

    May 18, 2010 @ 8:47 am

    Hell of a reply to my post, and the longest I’ve ever had to date.

    I certainly get your point of view, but I think you’re misinterpreting my italics a bit.

    It’s not about having a prior infraction on record. In order for an officer to legally ask you about your residency status you have to first have committed some other infraction that you have been stopped or detained for. And frankly, the only proof you have to produce is a state issued ID card for that particular charge to go away.

    I’m definitely not saying that some officers won’t abuse the law. This is bound to happen, but as written there is nothing new here that isn’t all ready a federal statute. The only problem is that our border states are having a difficult time controlling the influx of immigrants and the federal government has done nothing to help control the situation by enforcing their own laws.

    So Arizona lawmakers, and somewhere on the order of 73% of Arizona’s residents (which would have to include some minorities by the numbers), felt it was necessary to pass a law that allowed them to take control of their own affairs.

    You’re pointing to the rape, murder, and kidnapping as crimes that go unsolved and are a major deal in MC. I heard somewhere that Phoenix was second in kidnapping only to Mexico City. This is a major deal, and I think part of why they want to solve this so badly. My implication is that in some of these cases, folks who are here illegally are responsible for some of this. And so, if they arrest any individuals in connection with these crimes, they can then lawfully determine residency status.

    The whole point here is, what’s wrong with asking for an individual to prove their residency if they’ve all ready been stopped or detained for something?

    What’s the best way to describe this? It’s not a primary infraction that they can pull you over for, like not wearing a seat belt, but if they’ve pulled you over for that, then they can lawfully ask you about your status. And they may even need to detain you for something more serious before they can ask.

    I guess what I’m saying is, they can’t just crack down on illegal immigration on its own, they have to crack down on crime in general first and foremost.

    This issue has taken on so many meanings apart from what Arizona was trying to accomplish, especially when you consider that the law was put in place to enforce existing laws, that it’s hard to have a discussion with some folks because they just plain ignore you.

    I don’t know if I’ve explained what I was saying any better here.

    Good challenge man.


  3. Scott

    May 18, 2010 @ 7:40 pm

    I guess it’s moreso the MCSD that frustrates me, not the law itself. In my limited dealings with, and through several other accounts from friends and coworkers, they’re a shoddy bunch of bastards that have an agenda. Not a real big fan of Joe, to say the absolute very least.

    With that being said, sure as hell wouldn’t mind moving back there some day.


  4. Mike

    May 18, 2010 @ 7:46 pm

    What does SD stand for?

    I’ve really always wanted to go west and explore for a while. Do some hiking, or hunting even. Just see it all.

    Probably too old for that, but not old enough to really have the means.


  5. Scott

    May 18, 2010 @ 8:38 pm

    That would be the Sheriff’s Dept.

    Yeah, Arizona is definately worth the visit. Flagstaff has a similar climate as MI, with pines, elk. Sedona has the rocks, Phoenix has a little of everything, and Tucson… Not much to say about Tucson.…
    Don’t forget, a short way north to the Grand Canyon and Vegas, and Laughlin is on the way. In addition, Albuquerque is pretty cool a ways east.

    And west Texas. Holy smokes man.


  6. Mike

    May 18, 2010 @ 8:42 pm

    I knew the SD was going to stand for something that made me feel stupid…

    Arizona sounds fantastic. Frankly, that’s an area I regret never having seen. I think the only downside over the long haul would be the water issues.


Leave a Reply