Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Editorial: Benefit denials may help budget

Let's do a little parsing, just for fun. The unnamed Courier editor:

"The federal government's continuing refusal to do anything about illegal immigration ..."
The editor apparently misses how much money and effort our government really does spend on border control and immigration enforcement. It's huge, of course, but the editor calls it "nothing." This indicates a certain cavalier attitude toward the truth.
"The American people are fed up with the problem and are not going to wait forever for the federal government to act,"
... meaning that a small group of people having a nice greasy breakfast with the editor are fed up and will do nothing but complain about it, giving the Republicans an issue to run candidates on. They won't do anything about it because a) they can't, as they showed when they were in power, b) it would interfere with the very large corporate interests that pull the strings on the right, and c) complaining rather than doing what they say they want gives them a continuing campaign issue, where attempting it would immediately prove their incompetence and short-sightedness.
"In 2004 Arizona voters approved an initiative to deny state benefits to illegal immigrants, but Attorney General Terry Goddard interpreted the law narrowly to apply to only a few categories of benefits."
Of course, implies the editor, the state's most senior law-enforcement official could not possibly have made the correct interpretation, as one might infer from the lack of a countervailing court judgment. He's a Democrat, after all. Instead,
"the Arizona Legislature expanded the list of government benefits illegals may not receive,"
rather than demand that Goddard do as they told him to do, because they're really kindly people who wouldn't want to offend.
"The latest legislation also requires that people applying for benefits must provide at least one form of identification, including a birth certificate or passport, and sign an affidavit saying their documents are authentic."
We can be confident that this will be so scary to holders of false IDs that they'll turn themselves in.
"That quickly raised hackles with Democratic legislators who rely heavily on Hispanic voters"
... since the jackboots will only be checking the papers of Hispanics, right? No, the law says the bureaucrats have to check everyone's papers, which might bother legislators who care about such things. Republicans apparently don't.
"... and the Arizona League of Cities and Towns filed an unsuccessful suit challenging the constitutionality of the benefit restrictions."
Everyone knows that the League is just a bunch of namby-pamby immigrant-huggers. Mesa, for example.
"800 people seeking benefits have not been able to prove their lawful presence in the country."
or perhaps just couldn't find or buy their papers. How many people applied for benefits in that time, editor, just to put things in perspective?
"... the state should not be handing out money to non-citizens here illegally."
And it doesn't, since AG Goddard has been enforcing the ban on the narrow class of welfare programs that are the only ones that "hand out money." The editor fails to understand that "public benefit" is a really broad and vague category, and includes many things we take for granted. Municipalities fairly want to know how much hassle and expense they have to put out and how many of their citizens they have to piss off to keep a few people from getting such benefits, even where the evidence is slim to none that there's any significant loss related to illegals.
"The declining economy and the employer sanctions law clearly have pushed illegal immigrants off to other states."
The illegals are moving on because there aren't enough jobs here, and that by far has been the most effective factor in reducing immigration both legal and otherwise -- economic disaster. That should tell us all something very important.

How much of the state's money would the editor spend to support this Republican political theatre? I gotta wonder.

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