Arizona Has It Right

Open borders advocates are livid that the State of Arizona has enacted a new law authorizing State law enforcement personnel to arrest illegal aliens. The Reverend Al Sharpton is threatening to march. The mayor of San Francisco has declared Arizona off limits as a travel destination. The national government of Mexico has issued travel warnings. President Barack Obama is contemplating bringing a federal lawsuit against the State. Some are calling for a boycott of the State.

So, why all the fuss?

The State of Arizona is rightly sick and tired of the federal government's refusal to protect our nation (and the State of Arizona specifically) from this foreign invasion that is commonly referred to as "illegal immigration." In other words, the State of Arizona has said, "If the federal government won't enforce the law, we will." I say, good for them! Now, the other border states (Texas, New Mexico, and California) should do the same thing. Arizona has it right, and the vast majority of the American people know it.

As an aside, if you are considering a visit to the American Southwest this summer, why not support the brave legislators and governor of Arizona, and make a point to spend your leisure dollars in Arizona? And when you do, write a letter to the State capitol and tell them. Even more importantly, I suggest that everyone contact their own State representatives, senators, and governors, and urge them to enact a similar law--to the one Arizona passed--in your State.

And since the national news media refuses to set the record straight on the subject of illegal immigration (one could even say that the national news media is deliberately covering up the record), let's do that right here and now.

First, let's talk about numbers. Even though the Census Bureau (CB) estimates 11 million illegal aliens live in America, the real numbers are much higher. Even CB officials admit that many illegal aliens purposely avoid the census count. A more reliable count is provided by Bear Stearns. It puts the number of illegal aliens at around 20 million. Former US Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO), who was Chairman of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, puts the number at over 18 million.

According to Tennesseans for Responsible Immigration Policies (TNRIP), 6,000 immigrants arrive in America EVERY DAY. That equates to more than 2 million EVERY YEAR. In many communities in the Southwest, including Los Angeles, California, and Houston, Texas, Hispanics now comprise a majority of the population. But numbers of illegal aliens are quickly beginning to mount in cities throughout the United States.

For example, TNRIP documents the fact that the Hispanic population grew in three Tennessee counties by more than 70% between 2000 and 2004. In one of those counties (Robertson) it grew over 95% during that time. In seven Tennessee counties, the Hispanic population grew by more than 40%. Now, Tennessee can hardly be considered a "border state." The fact is, what is happening in Tennessee is happening all over the United States. And lest you think this is all harmless, think again.

According to TNRIP, the financial cost of this foreign invasion to U.S. taxpayers is staggering! Here is a breakdown of the annual costs:

  • Education: $22.5 billion

  • Bi-lingual Education: $3.3 billion

  • AFDC: $2.4 billion

  • SSI: $2.9 billion

  • Social Security: $24.8 billion

  • Housing Assistance: $2.6 billion

  • Criminal Justice: $2.6 billion

  • Jobs Lost by Americans: $10.8 billion

  • Other Programs: $51.4 billion

  • Food Stamps: $7 billion

  • Health Care: $1.4 billion

The first study of the net cost of illegal immigration to American taxpayers was conducted in 1997 by Dr. Donald Huddle, Professor Emeritus of Economics at Rice University. This study concluded that from 1970 to 1997, illegal immigration had cost taxpayers over $69 billion. Obviously, the financial numbers have exploded since then.

Furthermore, during 1996 alone, more than 2.3 million American workers were displaced by (mostly) illegal aliens. Harvard Professor George Borjas estimates that today American workers lose $133 billion per year in wage depression and job loss.

Back in 2007 it was reported, "LA County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich announced that a new report shows illegal aliens and their families collected over $35 million in welfare and food stamp allocations in July.

"In the report, illegals are said to have collected nearly $20 million in welfare assistance for July 2007 and an additional $15 million in monthly food stamp allocations for an estimated annual cost of $440 million.

"'Illegal immigration continues to have a devastating impact on Los Angeles County taxpayers,' said Antonovich. 'In addition to $220 million for public safety and $400 million for healthcare, the $440 million in welfare allocations bring the total cost to County taxpayers that exceeds $1 billion a year--this does not include the skyrocketing cost of education.'"

Consider, too, this recent report by Heritage Foundation's Robert Rector. [The Fiscal Cost of Low-Skill Households to the U.S. Taxpayer]

According to Byron York at National Review,

"Rector found that in 2004, the most recent year for which figures are available, low-skill households received an average of $32,138 per household--the great majority in the form of means-tested aid and direct benefits. (Rector excluded from that figure the cost of public goods and interest; with those included, he says, each low-skill household receives an average of $43,084.) Against that, Rector found that low-skill households paid an average of $9,689 in taxes. (The biggest chunk of that was the Social Security tax--$2,509--followed by state and local taxes, consumption taxes, property taxes, and federal income taxes, but Rector counted everything, including highway levies and lottery purchases.) In the final calculation, he found, the average low-skill household received $22,449 more in benefits than it paid in taxes--the $32,138 in benefits, excluding public goods, minus the $9,689 in taxes.

"Taking that $22,449, and multiplying it by the 17.7 million low-skill households, Rector found that the total deficit for such households was $397 billion in 2004. 'Over the next ten years the total cost of low-skill households to the taxpayer (immediate benefits minus taxes paid) is likely to be at least $3.9 trillion,' Rector writes. 'This number would go up significantly if changes in immigration policy lead to substantial increases in the number of low-skill immigrants entering the country and receiving services.'"

See York's column here.

It has been noted that 75% of people on LA's most-wanted list are illegal aliens. Nearly 25% of all inmates in California detention centers are here illegally, and roughly 30% of inmates in the federal prisons are illegal aliens.

In addition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports half of all gang members in Los Angeles are most likely illegals from south of the border. According to Tancredo, gang membership by illegal aliens in many states is 50%, and in Phoenix, Arizona, illegal aliens constitute 34% of child-molestation and 40% of auto theft cases.

Furthermore, illegal aliens murder (on average) 12 Americans EVERY DAY, according to Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa). Plus, illegals that drive drunk kill another 13 Americans EVERY DAY. That means illegal aliens kill more Americans EVERY YEAR than have been killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars in total.

See the report here.

Of course, Arizonans are still reeling from the recent high profile murder of a fellow citizen on his own property by an illegal.

Law enforcement agencies are very much cognizant of a surge in Latin American "ultra-violent" gangs that have sprung up in more than 40 US states. According to the FBI, one gang called MS-13 has been identified in 42 states. Another group called the 18th Street Gang is in 37 states. According to FBI MS-13 National Gang Task Force director Brian Truchon, "When the gang migrates throughout the U.S., there is always a road back to L.A. From L.A., there is always a road back to Central America."

Retired lawman Jim Kouri wrote, "According to Lt. Steve Rogers, a decorated cop and award-winning writer, there are tens of thousands of murderers, rapists, child predators, robbers and drug dealers who are illegally in the United States. One study shows over 200,000 criminal aliens are preying on U.S. citizens."

What the Arizona law does is authorize its law enforcement personnel to ENFORCE THE LAW. No one in Arizona is talking about racial profiling or violating citizens' constitutional rights. In fact, the new Arizona law actually mirrors already established federal law. But the federal government has hamstrung State and local police agencies in their attempts to arrest illegals for decades. Now, Arizona policemen can arrest illegals for being in the State of Arizona illegally, and have them deported: something they should have been doing (and have every right to do) all along. No wonder the vast majority of the American people (not to mention the citizens of Arizona) supports the Arizona law.

But there is a greater issue here: the right of the State of Arizona to protect, defend, and govern itself. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the State sovereignty movement is growing like a wildfire. Whether it is Arizona, Montana, Idaho, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, Florida, Alaska, or a couple dozen other states, legislators are beginning to awaken to the constitutional and moral responsibility of each State to govern itself. And when the central government in Washington, D.C., abridges or impedes that responsibility, it is the right and duty of states to resist.

This is why I tell people everywhere I speak, What is going on in [Your State] is infinitely more important than anything that goes on in Washington, D.C. Without the approbation of the State, DC's actions and attitudes are irrelevant. This is why we need county sheriffs, State legislators, State judges, State attorneys general, and governors who--along with their State's citizenry--understand the Constitution and are willing to courageously hold the line for freedom and constitutional government in their respective states. And by passing this anti-illegal alien bill, the State of Arizona did just that--the chagrin and consternation of open borders advocates notwithstanding.

Dr. Chuck Baldwin is the pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. He hosts a weekly radio show. His website is here.