Illegal immigrants flee Arizona

Nicaraguan mother Lorena Aguilar hawks a television set and a few clothes on the baking sidewalk outside her west Phoenix apartment block.

A few paces up the street, her undocumented Mexican neighbor Wendi Villasenor touts a kitchen table, some chairs and a few dishes as her family scrambles to get out of Arizona ahead of a looming crackdown on illegal immigrants.

I’m sorry, am I supposed to be sympathetic, or something?

The two women are among scores of illegal immigrant families across Phoenix hauling the contents of their homes into the yard this weekend as they rush to sell up and get out before the state law takes effect on Thursday.

Well, that is the idea. While I have concerns about the way the Arizona law is worded, we need to keep in mind the key word here: illegal. As in, they’re not supposed to be here. As in, if the feds were doing their job, they’d be shipped back to whatever country they came from. As in, they are breaking the law by being here.

There is a process for immigrating to this country, and a process for becoming a citizen. While I am strongly in favor of making both processes easier and faster, I can’t muster a lot of sympathy for those who have completely ignored these processes or violating the rules when so many others have struggled to do it the right way.

What really gets me is the section subtitled “Legal Residents Flee.” Notice the examples they came up with.

While the law targets undocumented migrants, legal residents and their U.S.-born children are getting caught up in the rush to leave Arizona.

Mexican housewife Gabriela Jaquez, 37, said she is selling up and leaving for New Mexico with her husband, who is a legal resident, and two children born in Phoenix.


Lunaly Bustillos, a legal resident from Mexico, hoped to sell some clothes, dumbbells and an ornamental statue on Sunday before her family heads for Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Monday.

So the two examples they’re able to find are a man who (presumably knowingly) married an illegal immigrant, and a Mexican who is a legal resident. The second one is the only one I have any sympathy for, and the AZ law doesn’t require anything more than federal law already does: that he carry his “green card” (or whatever documents apply to his specific situation) with him at all times. While I think some concern is legitimate, I think he’s overreacting (again, I’m not entirely satisfied that the way the law in question is worded will preclude abuse, but I think the potential is being overstated).

The article seems to be trying to make us not notice something.

The law, the toughest imposed by any U.S. state to curb illegal immigration, seeks to drive more than 400,000 undocumented day laborers, landscapers, house cleaners, chambermaids and other workers out of Arizona, which borders Mexico.

Every “undocumented day laborer” they’re trying to make us sympathize with is here illegally. They are violating the law by their very presence in this country. They are, by definition, criminals.

Let’s not forget the main point here: Illegal is illegal. If the feds won’t enforce the immigration laws and control the border, the states will have to step up and do it for them. That is what is happening here.

[Source: Reuters article by Tim Gaynor Tim Gaynor   – Sun Jul 25 – found at]

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