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Papers Please

April 27, 2010

As the naive outsider the French Cowboy is, I couldn’t see what is in the new Arizona immigration law that’s so controversial. As I understand it, the law says that if there’s reason to suspect a person to be an illegal immigrant, police should check whether that’s actually the case. Boy, you have to wonder what they’ve been doing until now if they haven’t been doing that. I doubt that legal immigrants have a problem with that. After all, they don’t gain anything from illegal immigrants’ reputation – let alone the real problems they cause – spilling over to them.

Of course it could happen that suspicions fall on a person who is not an illegal immigrant. That person would probably be indignant about having to prove their legal status. The French Cowboy sure wouldn’t like to be in such a situation. But to say that this is insufferable is like complaining that you have to show your ticket to the conductor when you’re riding the train.

In the other case, when police finds reason to ask someone for their papers who doesn’t have any because he or she is in the country illegally – well, tough luck. Are critics of the law really going to complain that it risks that police actually find illegal immigrants? You almost have the impression that this is the case.

The law explicitly states that people cannot be asked for their papers simply on the basis of “race, color or national origin”. So when the French Cowboy orders an A.1.® Steakhouse XT™ Burger menu at a Phoenix Burger King and some law-enforcement official notices my French accent, she can’t just pull me over and ask me to prove that I’m in the country legally and haven’t snucked in over the Canadian border, taped under a lobster transporting truck. And if necessary, I will remind her of that.

Here’s my theory why some Dems are so worked up about this law: illegal immigrants are the easiest way for businesses to circumvent minimum wage laws. Officially, Democrats are in favour of minimum wages, but they know that businesses suffer from it (as does everybody else, but that’s for another post). Hence, in recompense for the minimum-wage burden, Democrats tacitly allow businesses to hire illegals (whom they can pay subsistence wages) so that those businesses keep on donating money to the Dems.

Busting illegal immigrants means fewer “actually minimum wage” workers to hire. Furthermore, when an illegal is found to work for a specific company, that business is in trouble, too. If the Democrats got serious about immigration law enforcement, businesses who exploit illegal immigrants would no longer see their interests protected by the party of the Left and would stop backing them.

I also hear that the DoJ is trying to find arguments saying that the law is unconstitutional. The administration that had no problem signing into law that every American has to buy a costly health insurance, and has to be covered from the moment of birth till the last breath taken, smells unconstitutionality in a law that requires verification of the immigration status of persons reasonably considered suspicious. And Obama wants us to shed our cynicism? Meanwhile, the only people to escape Obama’s health care regime are illegal immigrants. Lucky baskets.

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