Sunday, May 2, 2010

Grijalva: Wrong Again, With More Lies Than a Pinocchio Cartoon

Here are excerpts and my comments of Raul Grijalva's latest editorial, posted on the Huffington Post about Arizona's new immigration law (it seems mainstream media outlets had trouble with the accuracy of his content)Grijalva's words are in red:

The law violates due process, civil rights, and federal sovereignty over immigration policy.
It does no such thing. It makes federal law the state law. Courts have repeatedly allowed states to enforce federal law. Grijalva only wants federal sovereignty because it benefits his liberal agenda, not because of any desire to defend the Constitution.

While I believe the courts will quickly overturn it, I am concerned that the damage to my home state's credibility has already been done.
If Grijalva was so certain that the courts would overturn the law, then why did he call for a boycott of Arizona businesses? Most of the damage to the state has been done by Grijalva, who has no legal experience, proclaiming that the law is unconstitutional, which it clearly is not. Grijalva's only hope is that the outrage he has created forces Arizona lawmakers to repeal the law. 
Arizona has long been the epicenter of our national immigration debate. Unfortunately, that debate has been driven by extremists like Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is under a federal investigation for civil rights abuses.
Only because liberal extremist groups have requested the investigations from the Obama Justice Department, which was all too happy to oblige. Again, Grijalva is passing judgment based on his own extremist views, not on any legal facts.

...Arpaio, like Gov. Brewer, seems to believe that every immigrant is equally capable of being a violent drug dealer to be dealt with harshly. Although this belief has no basis in fact, it has been the foundation of a fear-based campaign against immigrants and people of Hispanic descent for years.
Amazing how a sitting US Congressman can read the mind of state and local officials and determine their rationale for their actions without ever having spoken or listened to them. Arpaio's actions are not fear-based, they are reality-based. And Grijalva hates the fact that Arpiao is successful in enforcing the law.
Last year, under pressure from Grijalva and other liberals, Immigration and Customs Enforcement changed it's agreements with states, know as 287(g) agreements, limiting Maricopa county sheriffs' authority to arrest illegal immigrants. Why? Because Arpiao's sheriffs office has successfully arrested close to 1,900 unauthorized immigrants under state law and the same number under federal law, with an additional 33,000 immigrants detained and transferred to federal authorities for deportation, one of the most successful programs in the nation.
One of the reasons for the new Arizona law was to restore Arpiao's authority to continue the program, which successfully thwarted drug shipments and kidnappings that threaten to turn Phoenix into a war zone.

Indeed, opportunistic political voices have worked hard to make a connection between crime and immigration where none exists. Forget the rhetoric for a moment and consider the facts. In 2008, the Immigration Policy Center found that on the national level, U.S.-born men aged 18 to 39 are five times more likely to be incarcerated than immigrants. While the number of undocumented immigrants in the country doubled between 1994 and 2005, violent crime declined by nearly 35 percent and property crimes by 26 percent over the same period.
Grijalva loves to manipulate facts for his own benefit. Here are the real facts:

In April 2005, the Government Accountability Office released a report on a study of 55,322 illegal aliens incarcerated in federal, state, and local facilities during 2003. It found the following:
  • The 55,322 illegal aliens studied represented a total of 459,614 arrests – some eight arrests per illegal alien;
  • Their arrests represented a total of about 700,000 criminal offenses – some 13 offenses per illegal alien;
  • 36 percent had been arrested at least five times before. 
Twelve Americans are murdered every day by illegal aliens, according to statistics released by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa. If those numbers are correct, it translates to 4,380 Americans murdered annually by illegal aliens. That's 21,900 since Sept. 11, 2001.

I believe we need comprehensive, nationwide immigration reform, and while we continue to debate what that should look like, I believe the laws of this country should be enforced and respected. Those laws include the principle that the federal government, not state or local authorities, sets immigration policy. States can no more supersede federal immigration law than enter into their own treaties with foreign governments. By inventing a new way for local officials to treat American citizens as potential criminals, Arizona has violated that principle.
The  Arizona law is designed to enforce and respect the law. Having cooperated and coordinated with the federal government in the past, they are now being told via the Obama administration to "mind their own business" and ignore illegals because of interventions by those like Grijalva. There is plenty of legal precedent for a state applying federal law to itself and enforcing it. It is Grijalva and the Obama administration who are inventing immigration law, not Arizona.
On a practical level, local law enforcement agencies do not have the manpower or financial capacity to serve triple duty as street cops, Border Patrol agents and Immigration &; Customs Enforcement officers. Conservatives who worry about government overreach and unfunded mandates should be up in arms about this law. Their silence is disappointing. This is not a left-right issue, it's a question of basic Constitutional process.
 Local law enforcement does not have a choice when drug dealers, rapists and coyotes enter their jurisdiction. Asking them to turn a blind eye creates a moral dilemma. Furthermore, it is not an unfunded mandate to enforce existing laws and the 287(b) guidelines. It is a travesty of justice not to enforce the law of the land.

As far as what that reform should look like, I remain a proud co-sponsor of H.R. 4321, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009. That bill takes a broad-based approach. It would protect our borders by requiring the development and implementation of border security initiatives, including information-sharing, international and federal-state-local coordination, technology exchanges, anti-smuggling initiatives, and other actions to secure the borders. It creates new opportunities for young people who were raised here, worked hard in school, and want to pursue higher education or serve their country in the military to adjust their immigration status. It requires employers to comply with new employee document verification requirements and creates a phased-in electronic employment verification system. It creates a path to legalization by requiring undocumented immigrants to register with the government, submit to a criminal background check, pay any back taxes and speak English.

I wanted to be sure a copied Grijalva's complete summary here because the Gutierrez bill does none of these things. It would curtail border security, end completion of the border fence, end the hugely successful E-Verify program, and grant amnesty for $500 dollars (the fine could be waived for those who cannot afford it). And here's the kicker: Gutierrez would end the 287(g) program so successful in coordinating law enforcement between local law enforcement and BP. It is mockingly referred to in Congress as the "No Illegal Left Behind Bill" in reference to Bush's No Child left Behind initiative. Joe Jenkins of NumbersUSA describes the bill's enforcement aspects:
The bill is also quick to point out that Immigration and Customs Enforcement would still be allowed to do it's job. However, enforcement actions would not be allowed to occur within the vicinity of: a school, a childcare provider, a legal-service provider, an administrative building, a funeral home, a cemetery, a college, university, or community college, a hospital, a health care clinic, a place of worship, a day care center, a head start center, a school bus stop, a recreation center, a mental health facility, or a community center. As the bill is rather vague about the definition of "vicinity," illegal aliens probably only have to fear detention if they are boating on Lake Michigan or surfing in Maui.
In truth, the only cosponsors for the Gutierrez bill are Progressives with extreme views from relatively secure districts like Grijalva's, where it is assumed that Hispanics will vote in lockstep loyalty without regard to the views of a Hispanic candidate.
This is what real reform looks like: focusing on the realities of our immigration system, not the myths and falsehoods that have led us to where we are now in Arizona.
The myth is that Grijalva has any concern for border security. He is willing to degrade his state using false information and manipulate public opinion in order to advance his radical agenda on immigration.


  1. Grijalva has been in DC for too long and is out of touch with reality. It is apparent when you call his office that he has not read the law and doesn't understand the benefits. He has come out for a boycott of the state when we are in serious need of the financial benefits. Anyone with kids that are in public education would understand that he is calling for us to be financially crippled further than we already are.
    I compare this to kicking out the crutches of a person with a broken leg.

    Please take this as a serious call to vote this person out of office. He is not representing Arizona's best interest and needs to go