With one bold action, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer staked a claim for states’ rights last Friday. By signing SB 1070, the landmark legislation authorizing Arizona’s law enforcement to actually enforce federal immigration laws, Governor Brewer took a long-overdue stand against the federal government’s unwillingness to enforce its own laws, and preventing states from protecting themselves against the tide of illegal immigration sapping states’ strained resources.
The main responsibility of an effective government is to protect its citizens from invasion; to keep them and their way of life safe. That’s exactly what Arizona has decided to do—protect its people. The state has witnessed an appalling level of crime resulting from the scourge of immigration violations, endangering the lives of Arizonans. Shockingly, Phoenix is now the number two kidnapping capital of the world, right behind Mexico.
State lawmakers finally recognized that those who break the first law of illegally entering the country aren’t going to abide by other important laws like driving with a license, paying taxes, or any of the other laws that foster social order. The battle over illegal immigration is fundamentally a war on civilization and social order. Southern border states in particular have suffered under the burden of illegal immigration and its consequent crime.
Texas Governor Rick Perry was the first governor to reopen the discussion on asserting the Constitution’s 10th Amendment right of states to regain federally-usurped powers. As the economy sags and Congress continually flouts the will of the people, plunging the nation into unconscionable debt, states are finally taking back their sovereignty. Arizona’s immigration law is simply the first modern test of this Constitutional principle.
The problems have gotten so bad in Arizona and neighboring states that it can only be likened to a foreign army crossing the border and invading the state—sanctioned by a mute, effete federal government. Polls show that over 70% of Arizona voters support the crackdown on illegal immigration. Since the federal government is unwilling to listen to the people, state government will.