Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. Any alien who fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall upon conviction for each offense be fined not to exceed $100 or be imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.The Governor of the State of Arizona, which has been besieged by illegal border crossers, has signed a bill that requires
For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or agency of this state . . . where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person.In other words, the Arizona bill simply specifies how the federal law is to be enforced but perhaps more accurately, specifies that it is to be enforced. Naturally, the usual suspects, from the President and the Reverend [sic] Al Sharpton on down, are up in arms about it, claiming somehow that enforcement of long-established federal law violates the "rights" of illegal aliens and, of course, is "racist" because it singles out Hispanics (well, duh! Arizona borders Mexico, not England or Germany).
Protest from that quarter is little cause for concern; it is to be expected and may be safely ignored (although if Democrats think championing the "rights" of illegal immigrants when there is a ten-percent unemployment rate is a winning strategy, one really must question their cranial capacity). When protest comes from a Cardinal of the Holy Catholic Church, however, even when he is the faculties-impaired Roger Mahony, attention, regretfully, must be paid. Cardinal Mahony thus complains:
The Arizona legislature just passed the country's most retrogressive, mean-spirited, and useless anti-immigrant law....The tragedy of the law is its totally flawed reasoning: that immigrants come to our country to rob, plunder, and consume public resources. That is not only false, the premise is nonsense.Nonsense? Really? That should come as news to administrators of public schools and hospitals in Arizona overwhelmed and bankrupted by hordes of non-paying customers, not to mention to chiefs of police and crime victims in towns along the Arizona-Mexico border. The Cardinal's concern for the rights of those in this country illegally (and no Christian would deny they should be treated with respect, even when apprehended) ought also to extend to those here legally, especially immigrants who have survived the admittedly arcane (and woefully needful of reform) procedures to become United States citizens. It is they, after all, who must pay for the vast array of social services Cardinal Mahony and other liberals also insist are a right and to be lavished upon those here illegally, at no charge.