Liberal MSM at Work: Arizona, a rogue state at war |


Let’s take this crap apart, point by point, shall we?


Editor’s note: Ruben Navarrette Jr. is a member of the San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board, a nationally syndicated columnist and a regular contributor to

San Diego, California (CNN) — Don’t be surprised if, any day now, you read that the People’s Republic of Arizona is in the market for nuclear warheads to put an end, once and for all, to illegal immigration on its southern border. After all, it’s the next logical step for the rogue state.

Look in the dictionary under hyperbole and you’ll likely find this guy. Nuclear is the next logical step? Already, he’s proving himself a nutcase.

I should quit. This is going to be too easy.

This week, to advance the narrative that Arizona has no choice but to do its own immigration enforcement because the federal government is asleep at the switch, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer called for air support. Brewer requested helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles from the White House to patrol the border region with Mexico. In a letter to President Obama, Brewer asked that the National Guard reallocate reconnaissance helicopters and robotic surveillance craft to the “border states” to prevent illegal immigration. The governor also requested the deployment of unmanned drones, including possibly the Predator drones used in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, in her letter, Brewer even mentioned those foreign wars as examples of where the drones have been effective.

Good for Gov. Brewer. Nothing like calling the federal government out on what it says it should do.

What’s the matter with Arizona? Isn’t it a little early in the year for the folks in the desert to be suffering from sunstroke?

Rhetorical question: Nothing’s wrong with Arizona. And apparently it wasn’t too early to start drinking when you wrote this article.

I guess this is par for the course. Brewer just signed SB 1070, a disgraceful anti-immigration and pro-racial-profiling law, to give local and state cops throughout the state the chance to suit up and play border patrol agent. Why shouldn’t she get the chance to suit up and play general?

I object to the use of the terminology “racial profiling” in conjunction with SB 1070. If, for example, you saw this young woman at a basketball game, you would not assume she’s an illegal immigrant because she’s Hispanic. No, you’d think, “Hey, she looks like she belongs here. Not likely illegal.”


But if you saw her hanging out with these guys (who have been harassing schoolgirls in Hayward, California), you might think twice.


This isn’t racial profiling. This is situational profiling. Put these guys in ringside seats too and nobody’d give them a second glance.

After all, like the United States, Arizona is currently involved in two wars. There’s the hypocritical war against the very illegal immigrants that the state has spent the past 15 years providing with gainful employment by allowing them to do jobs that Arizonans wouldn’t do. And then there’s the rhetorical war with the Obama administration, which Arizona wants to portray as negligent in stopping illegal immigration, which forced Arizonans to take matters into their own hands.

“…that Arazonans wouldn’t do.” I’m trying to understand why he thinks Arizonans are so dead-set against working. Unemployment is currently 9.4% in Arizona. Think those 9.4% of people are above working in the jobs that the illegal immigrants are doing?

“…the rhetorical war with the Obama administration” is anything but rhetorical. Fact is, the Obama administration, along with the administrations before it, Republican and Democratic alike, have all been negligent in enforcing the laws they passed and are supposed to be enforcing.

The argument that the federal government isn’t actively engaged in border enforcement is both dishonest and reckless.

Cite a source here, Ruben. I’m unable to find anybody on record saying that the federal government isn’t actively engaged in border enforcement. Oh! Wait! There’s a site… no, that’s just your own drivel. Sorry for the false alarm.

Putting words into the mouths of Arizona officials (and others) is dishonest. I don’t know if it’s reckless or not.

It is dishonest because it’s not true. I’ve visited the U.S.-Mexico border a dozen times in the past 10 years: in Texas, Arizona and California. I’ve interviewed countless border patrol agents and supervisors. I’ve also been up in a Border Patrol helicopter flying above the border, which offers a unique perspective on border security.

Precisely! They’re doing something. But it’s not enough.

So I can tell you what the border patrol agents on the ground would tell you: The U.S.-Mexico border has never been more fortified. There are now more than 20,000 border patrol agents on the federal payroll. That’s more agents than any other federal enforcement agency, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Those agents apprehend people and deport them at a feverish clip. In fact, it was recently announced that the Obama administration deported more people last year than the Bush administration during its final year in office.

Again, not enough. And if somebody doesn’t do more, then it will get worse, hence Arizona’s need to take the matter into its own figurative hands.

It is reckless because—when this law is hauled before a federal judge, as it will be—opponents will argue that the measure violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution by usurping federal authority to enforce immigration law. And that’s the very thing that proponents seem to be admitting in their bravado. In fact, it might not be a bad idea for Arizona officials to pipe down and stop bragging about how they’re doing the job of the federal government in terms of immigration enforcement, since that’s a no-no under the Constitution.

Interesting: First, you’re going to use your crystal ball and tell us where this yet-to-be-filed case will end up. If you’re so good, get into the stock market and out of journalism. Second, the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution is N/A here. Now, I’m just as much an attorney as you are (that is to say, we’re not attorneys), but I doubt that laws which do not contradict or conflict with federal law, as the Arizona statute appears not to (Have you read it? Give it a read!), will ever make it that high.

George Will is in agreement with Gov. Brewer, and he’s mostly correct when he says:

What the Arizona law does is make a state crime out of something that already is a crime, a federal crime.

Back to Ruben:

If the federal government does take border enforcement seriously, critics might ask: Why are there still people trying to enter the United States illegally? Simple. We can dig a moat, deploy an army, build walls or call in an airstrike, but desperate people will always find a way to go around, under or over any impediment in their path to a better life.

Ever heard of Berlin? It had a wall at one point which was remarkably effective. Not a whole lot of people found ways to go around, under or over it. It was pretty damned effective. Bullets were involved.

This isn’t to condone illegal immigration. My views—in support of deportations, workplace raids, giving more resources to the Border Patrol etc.—are well known. I’m just telling you what Border Patrol agents tell me: that it doesn’t make any sense to focus all our attention at the border while turning a blind eye to employers in the interior. That’s like trying to fill a bucket with teaspoons of water without first plugging the hole at the bottom.

Well, at least we agree on one thing: illegal immigration is illegal. But what Ruben’s telling us is that if we make it unattractive for the illegals to find employment in Arizona that they’ll stop entering the US? They’ll just stay home because there’s nothing to do in the US? Oh, Ruben…


We give them damned near everything they could want already. They have tax-free jobs. They have racial profiling to hide behind if they get caught. They have free education if they need it. They can come back if they are deported. And if the Obama administration has its way, they can obtain legal immigrant status and pay taxes on their income if they just happen to get caught and want to avoid a trip back and forth. (Whoopee!) So those people who are hiring the illegal immigrants will continue to hire them as well as their documented counterparts which will just continue to take the jobs from Americans.

They won’t stay home. They’ll turn out in droves.

Now Obama has fallen into that same trap. He is reportedly ready to announce that he is sending 1,200 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to help control illegal immigration and quell some of the violence. That’s a far cry from the 6,000 troops that Arizona Sen. John McCain had requested, and congressional Republicans seem miffed that Obama stole their thunder.

It’s not a trap: 1,200 is a good start. Maybe Obama is listening for a change and not trying to drive his liberal agenda down the throats of Americans and through the hearts of their values.

Still, as long as the troops follow the protocol laid out in 2006 when George W. Bush launched Operation Jumpstart—that they’re unarmed and act only in a support capacity to the Border Patrol by fixing vehicles, monitoring surveillance equipment, repairing fences—I think sending the National Guard is a fine idea. It’s just not the magic bullet that the most enthusiastic proponents of the idea would have us believe. There’s only one of those. It involves fining, arresting and prosecuting the employers of illegal immigrants, including people who are, this election year, streaming into fundraisers for McCain, Brewer and other tough-talking Republicans vowing to solve a problem that many of their backers helped create.

National defense, as viewed from Ruben’s perspective, involves standing around and monitoring the bullets being shot at you, perhaps ducking. The Berlin wall would have been a lot less effective if the German guards had simply yelled, “Halten Sie!” No, Obama’s troops need to take an active role in stemming the tide of illegal immigration, a tide that leaves behind a trail of garbage that looks like this:

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There are about 5,000 backpacks alone in this one wash in the Sonoran Desert—that’s Arizona, people, which is being trashed as part of the superhighway which funnels immigrants north.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Ruben Navarrette Jr.

Thank God for that, though I’m afraid there are those who agree with him.

Now, let’s hear from the other side of this argument…

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