Monday, December 28, 2009

New Arizona law rekindles immigrant benefit debate

Here's yet another example of how people get to hyperventilating over an issue and consequently can't think straight when certain words come up. Today's words are "illegal immigration."

Senator Russell Pearce used his impressive grasp of the holes in the legislative process to get some language passed through on a budget bill that really shouldn't have been there. This happens a lot, and you don't have to be a partisan of the specific issue to understand that the way the Legislature does this sort of thing is just wrong.

The League of Cities and Towns hear about it and discover that they're suddenly on the hook for a whole lot of new personnel and material costs to enforce Mr Pearce's vague language. They pipe up and say "Hold on, what's the deal here?"

Mr Pearce calls them "open-border anarchists who refuse to protect the taxpayer," which illustrates what intellectual level he's working on.

The commenters on the story weigh in with their views about how simple the world is if only everyone would listen to them.

The people freaking out about illegals are utterly blind to the inevitably complex consequences of what they propose. To them it's all perfectly simple, but where the rubber meets the road, our municipalities have to figure out in irritating detail what to enforce, how to enforce it, how to pay for that enforcement and what to do with the people they stop.

Legislators always understand what they mean to write into law, but rarely do they have the communication and systems-thinking skills to understand the real effects of what they write. Would you rather have your representatives calling people names and fighting lawsuits, or asking them about their concerns and working to craft a better legal solution to the problem? I know how I vote on that.

No comments: