Arizona`s Prop. 200 Could Signal Shift In Political Winds

While George Bush and John Kerry,
Dick Cheney and John Edwards, debate democracy in Iraq

, democracy may be taking a bit of a
small lurch forward inside the United States—much to the
dissatisfaction of the above-named global democrats.

In Arizona, citizens fed up with
massive illegal immigration and the indifference of

own government
to the

are trying to do something themselves.

The something is

Proposition 200
, a ballot measure directly descended
from California`s Proposition 187, passed by an
overwhelming margin in 1994 but struck down by the

Prop 200 will also face the courts
if it passes, as it seems about to do, but it`s
important that Arizonans and all other Americans get
behind it anyway.

Like Prop 187, Prop 200 requires
that applicants for public benefits—meaning
welfare—prove their eligibility for them in the form of
verifiable identity or immigration documents. Unlike
Prop 187, it requires proof of U.S. citizenship as a
requirement for registering to

, and one section requires voters to show a

valid photo ID
at the polling place.

Those are the measure`s main
provisions. The truth is that they are largely

Prop 200 does nothing (and could do
nothing) to reduce illegal immigration into Arizona or
the United States, nor does it deny welfare to anyone
who already has a legal right to receive it.

But the importance of the ballot
measure is not so much that it effectively reduces or
controls either

illegal immigration

but that it

mobilizes citizens
on these issues.

Arizona in fact is already
mobilized—by the presence of some 500,000 illegal
aliens, estimated to

the state more than $1 billion a year in
welfare; and by the fact that some 40 percent of the
illegal aliens who enter this country come over the

borders with Mexico;
and by the absolute refusal of
either the

or the

federal government
to do anything whatsoever to
control illegal immigration.

In the case of Prop 200,

of the state`s two Republican senators, John
McCain and John Kyl, supports it. Neither do either of
the two presidential nominees of the Republican and
Democratic Parties or their running mates. Neither does

Democratic governor
. Nor does the state`s Chamber of
Commerce. Nor the government of Mexico, which

has vowed to join court challenges to the
measure if it passes. As with

Prop 187,
for which some 60 percent of Californians
voted a

decade ago
, the only support for Prop 200 comes from
the people of Arizona themselves.

The most recent poll conducted by

Arizona Republic
shows 57 percent of the state`s
voters saying they will vote for it.

Critics of Prop 200 often argue
that the costs of enforcing it would be prohibitive, but
that`s not the real reason they`re against it. They know
they have to stop Prop 200 and any similar measure
because they know perfectly well what its victory would
mean. Neo-conservative foes of Prop 200 like

Tamar Jacoby
, writing last month in the

Wall Street Journal

of the Open Borders lobby, made their

real reasons clear.
, September 14, 2004]

Immigration restrictionists, she
wrote, would wave a Prop 200 victory

like a

bloody shirt
arguing "the outcome
vindicated their claim that the

American public
doesn`t like immigrants and

immigration reform
: i.e.
opposes amnesty

“Copycat ballot initiatives would follow in a half a
dozen other states—indeed a similar measure is already
circulating in California. And other elected officials,
in both the White House and Congress, would start to
find even more reasons than they already cite for
avoiding all discussion of immigration issues."

Miss Jacoby knows very well what
happened in the wake of

Prop 187`s
victory in California.

the year, the Clinton administration had launched a
historic, all-out effort to


southern frontier
…. Anti-immigrant Republicans in
Congress went into high gear, slashing federal benefits
for newcomers,



Like the far left, Miss Jacoby
confuses being against immigration (even the

kind) with being "anti-immigrant,"
but except for her loaded language, she`s right. Once
politicians sniff the wind, they always sail in its

In the wake of the

Prop 187 victory

, which significantly helped the
Republican Party win a congressional majority in 1994,
the courts and the

Open Borders crowd
managed to strangle an
overwhelmingly popular immigration control measure in
its cradle.

If the child of Prop 187 passes in
Arizona this year, as it now seems certain to do, the
same crowd will try the same tactic again.

The real importance of Arizona`s
Prop 200 is that its victory will show both the people
and the politicians which way the political winds are
beginning to blow on the long-muzzled immigration issue.



Sam Francis [email
him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection
of his columns,

America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The
Disintegration Of American Culture
, is now available

Americans For Immigration Control.

Click here
for Sam Francis` website. Click

to order his monograph
Ethnopolitics: Immigration, Race, and the American
Political Future.