The joker in the deck came to Arizona last week to play the race card.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, looking sporting in an orange Steve Nash #13 Los Sons jersey, led a small crowd of marchers to the Capitol building in Phoenix, upset that the majority of Arizonans support the state’s illegal immigration enforcement law.
Sharpton continues to deliberately misconstrue the intent of the law—which empowers the state’s law enforcement agencies to enforce the federal immigration statutes against any illegal alien found in the state. White Europeans, Asians, Middle Easterners or Hispanics who cannot prove they are in the United States legally can be jailed, then deported.
Since the majority of illegal aliens in Arizona and the U.S. are Mexican, they will make up the majority of deportees. According to Sharpton, that means Arizonans who want the law enforced are misguided racist bigots and Arizona’s peace officers are uniformed thugs who will be sweeping all Hispanics off the streets using racial profiling.
When Sharpton compares the intent of Arizona’s new law with the Jim Crow laws that the courageous Freedom Marchers of the Civil Rights movement marched against, his shameless hucksterism demeans real American heroes. Sharpton charges racism, but the real struggle here is about millions of new voters and shoring up liberal political power.
On his way through Phoenix, actor Danny Glover, the pro-union SEIU shill, correctly pointed out that Sharpton’s boycott directly hurts the people it is aimed at helping—the 275,000 people working at the state’s tourism attractions and destinations. Here’s the dirty little secret about many of the estimated 30% of Arizona workers who are in the country illegally. They get those jobs by presenting false identification and Social Security numbers. Fakes that are good enough to pass the E-Verify system employers must use to comply with state law.
The owner of a landscaping business tells about a long-time company employee, Roberto. He was clearly of Hispanic descent and spoke English passably, was a hard worker and quickly became the crew foreman. When Arizona required employers to E-Verify all employees as legal to work in the U.S., the company told workers to bring in the required documents. A few never came back. The ones who did brought papers, green cards, driver’s licenses, etc. E-Verify certified them as eligible to work.
One day, Roberto failed to show for work. With a little prodding, workers revealed that Roberto had been arrested and deported. “He’ll be back soon,” they said, and sure enough, Monday morning he was—with a new driver’s license. Roberto was now Miguel and E-Verify approved Miguel’s ID.
The owner, a friend of mine, would prefer the INS not raid his company. He can’t afford it. He suspects some of the IDs his employees present are fakes. He complies with the law, performs the E-Verify checks and does not knowingly employ illegal aliens. Roberto/Miguel is gone, fired. For employers it’s “don’t ask” about immigration status. For employees, it’s “don’t tell”—just go see the man who will sell you whatever documents you need.
It’s a lucrative cottage industry making and selling fake IDs. I’m told that for a “gringo” like me a new Social Security number, driver’s license and an American passport can be had for $5,000—less if you know the right people. Those same people will also supply marijuana, meth, cocaine, heroin, hookers and guns.
The boycott is already hurting state revenues. A couple of dozen major conventions have already been canceled and more are expected. Several states and a number of cities are threatening to cancel all business with the state.
Arizonans wonder how Californians will feel when they discover their state’s boycott of Arizona includes electricity bought from the Palo Verde Nuclear Plant. A plant engineer suggested it might be time to pull a couple reactors off line for maintenance since surrounding states don’t want to be buying power for their air conditioners from a bunch of misguided racist bigots. He hopes they’ll enjoy a return of those rolling brown-outs on toasty-warm summer afternoons.
A rancher told me he isn’t too concerned about New York City, California, or Washington’s opinion of our sun-baked state.
“New York elected a mayor who blamed the Times Square bomb on the Tea Party,” he said. “Our President refuses to acknowledge that we are at war with Islamic terrorists. They are wrong, we are right, and Arizona just tossed them the hornet’s nest called illegal immigration. Let’s see them try to keep ignoring it now.”
Arizona has been through boycotts before. State and local officials were ready to approve a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, but refused to make it another paid holiday for government employees. Democrats and unions demanded another paid day off. Gov. Evan Mecham, a political embarrassment to Arizona for numerous reasons, vetoed the bill. Arizona lost a Superbowl, conventions and business, but refused to give in. The world did not come to an end.
Eventually, MLK Day did become a state holiday, but employees must choose between MLK Day or one of the other paid holidays to take off. They did not get an additional day off with pay. The Superbowl came back, both sides claimed victory.
The majority of Arizonans who support the new law includes blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Middle Easterners and Europeans who immigrated here legally and obtained residency or citizenship according to the rules.
When the citizens of the United States agreed to be governed under the rule of law there was no exception granted for one ethnic group to be allowed to pick and choose which laws to follow. Sharpton would you have you believe otherwise, but he has proven that the truth means little to him.