Immigration reform is simple

The immigration law signed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer a few days ago sent shock waves through a nation divided by the issue of immigration. Now, I must warn you that what you are about to read might shock your conservative sensibilities and cause you to throw things at your screen. Before you label me as a liberal writer of tripe, I urge you to read this to the end and give it some serious consideration.

Go after the businesses who hire illegal workers

By Scott Factor

The immigration law signed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer a few days ago sent shock waves through a nation divided by the issue of immigration. Now, I must warn you that what you are about to read might shock your conservative sensibilities and cause you to throw things at your screen.  Before you label me as a liberal writer of tripe, I urge you to read this to the end and give it some serious consideration.

As most know, entering this country without proper authorization from the federal government via the Department of Immigration and Naturalization is a felony.  People that enter the United States illegally are felons, law breakers, criminals, scofflaws, bad guys, etc. We should throw them all in jail, right?  All of the estimated 12 million of them that are here. The Arizona law is designed to do just that — lock ’em up! Conservatives everywhere are cheering.  Not me.

First, Arizona’s jails can barely hold the violent felons it has. Many of its jails have begun using tent cities in fenced yards to house prisoners. Also, my conservative sensibilities are not in tune with the cost of housing these people in jails. It’s expensive and a massive expansion of government would be required to do it — because jails are run by the government and that means it isn’t cheap.  Expanding government and higher taxes to pay for it are not in the conservative mindset.

Second, the actions by the Arizona Governor are a reaction to the lack of action by the federal government. That’s a lot of action from inaction. The feds refuse to deal with the immigrant problem, so the state enacts a dangerous law to try and deal with it. This law won’t solve the problem; it will relocate the problem as these people, in fear of prosecution, will simply move to another state. Problem solved for Arizona, new problem created for its neighbors while the original problem is still ignored by the feds.

Washington is useless in this area. The Clinton administration ignored the problem. The Bush administration ignored the problem. President Obama, while ignoring the problem, is using the Arizona law as a springboard for winning Hispanic votes in this country.  He speaks of needed immigration reform as do the other partisan clowns in Washington. The voters are being used as pawns in a partisan game of reform chess.  However, I’m not sure what needs to be reformed is what is being discussed in Washington.

Immigrants come to America to find jobs. Remember, they commit a felony when they enter, so we can arrest them and send them back. But here’s a more novel idea. Our laws state that a person (including a business, organization or local government) commits a federal felony when they:

    * assists an alien whom they should reasonably know is illegally in the U.S. or who lacks employment authorization, by transporting, sheltering, or assisting him to obtain employment;

    * encourages that alien to remain in the U.S., by referring him to an employer, by acting as employer or agent for an employer in any way; or,

    * knowingly assists illegal aliens due to personal convictions.

Penalties upon conviction would include criminal fines, imprisonment, and forfeiture of vehicles and real property used to commit the crime. 

So, if the immigrants know they can’t work because the employers won’t hire them if they’re illegal, why would they come here? No jobs, no immigrants.  However, no federal enforcement of existing laws…ignoring all of the above, which is what has been happening for the last 15 years, is the crux of the problem. It’s not the immigrant, it’s those among us that harbor, employ, and assist these people…they are to blame for this problem.  So while we cheer Arizona for enacting its tough laws, we listen to our partisan friends in Washington argue about reform that isn’t really necessary. All we need to do is enforce the laws on the books. But this would require good government, which partisan government is all but about.

So here’s a novel idea.  While the partisan state governments are talking about suing the partisan federal government about the health care bill, maybe they can expend some of that “suing energy” by filing a suit against our federal government for not living up to its Constitutional duties to defend and protect our borders. The federal government under President Obama will ask the courts to throw out the Arizona law on the grounds that it’s a federal issue that the state has no business trying to regulate. Maybe the state should ask that same court to force the federal government to do the job it is staunchly defending.

Why should Arizona use its new law that allows for the unnecessary harassment of legal citizens while searching for illegal citizens, when it can use court challenges to the new law to force the federal government to do what it refuses to do? We don’t need blathering politicians talking about “reform.”  In my mind, a federal government that does what it’s supposed to do is all the “reform” we need.   

A Floridian, Scott Factor is a graduate of Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla. and earned his M.B.A. at St. Leo University. He writes conservative rants focusing on the national political landscape. E-mail him at:

8 thoughts on “Immigration reform is simple”

  1. Yes, the solution is relatively simple; as easy as spending less than you take in, but sadly most of our elected officials lack the restraint to do either.


  2. Sal Grosso from Lee County has a good idea: Change the loyalty oath to read…”Will not actively, publicly, or financially support the election of any candidate other than the Republican Candidate who has signed an oath to support the Republican Values of Smaller Government, Less Spending, Minimum Taxes, A Strong National Defense and Adherence to a Strict Interpretation of The US Constitution.”

    Makes sense to me.


  3. So if a pawn shop knowingly buys stolen goods, they shouldn’t be held accountable because it’s the government’s job to prevent stealing?
    That sounds like an excuse to give business a pass for fostering a crime against our nation. That’s simply unacceptable and socially and legally irresponsible.


  4. There are businesses who knowingly hire illegal aliens and they should be punished. Then there are businesses that comply with the law, collect the necessary information by the potential employer only to find out that the information was falsified. Those businesses or business owners need not face the heavy hand of law.

    As for the Arizona law, all it does was give the authority to local and state officials to enforce already pre-existing federal law on illegal aliens and immigration.

    If the Democrats are going to try and use this as a voting issue, they will once again find themselves on the wrong end of the voters. Most Americans, for the first time, are aware of what is really going on and they want it stopped. Illegal aliens are draining state and local governments’ revenues – a lot more than the supposedly pay in taxes. They have more rights and access to government services than to the people who are citizens of this country! In this economic downturn, We The People who have lost their jobs, don’t get free medical care, or other government services that the illegal aliens do and that is wrong!

    Furthermore, a friend of mine was telling me that two elderly members of his church were killed in an auto accident because a car driven by an illegal who did not have a drivers’ license and made an illegal turn thus causing the elderly couple to drive into a building and killing them.

    The madness must stop! I support legal immigration but it is time to round up the illegal population and send them back home. They cost the taxpayers too much to feed them, educate them, medicate them and in some cases jail them.

    Good for Arizona! Florida and other states need to follow their example.


  5. At a recent Quincy Tea Party rally the swat team was called in to protect the President while he was speaking at the convention center. Those evil Tea Party trouble makers were singing “God Bless America”. And yet he won’t send in a swat team to protect the good people of Arizona from some real trouble makers.


  6. Scott, You make perfect sence to me. I love the “sue the Feds” comment, but can the Federal Govt. be sued? Can’t wait until Nov.


  7. What I’ve noticed in the national debate over the AZ law is the standard responses: Conservatives saying the Feds have failed to protect the border, illegals have come over and crime and drugs have become rampant while liberals cry foul over perceived unfairness and potential civil rights abuses. Blah, blah, blah.

    Conservatives always fail in these battles because the left humanizes their side with examples of supposed abuse while the right talks about the law in an over-arching sense, as a theme or general rule with little exception. Eventually, people in the middle (who favor the law now) will give in to never-ending media stories of the the “real human tragedy” of potential false arrest and will turn against the hard and fast rules of law enforcement that seem abstract, out-of-touch and over-reaching.

    Jan Brewer and others have fallen into this trap. Brewer’s numbers may have gone up in the primary, but she looks like a clown on the national stage and eventually they will be skewering her in the national media and that will cost her at home.

    Instead of just reciting cliches and platitudes about the law and relying just on principles to see them through, maybe Arizona leaders and others should trot out the genuine victims here, the victims of crimes committed by illegals (by name with families, pictures & factual circumstances) and ask one simple question: What about our rights?

    No one can argue with a mother or wife who has lost a son or husband to this epidemic of illegal immigrant crime, which gives reason for necessary action for government to stop it.

    Standing up and fighting to protect our people is the right thing to do. Humanizing this issue is the smart thing to do and is key to shoring-up the base and holding the middle ground of public opinion. My two cents.


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