Reason number 1,614,246 why I don’t live in California: the California Senate just approved the California Trust Act which prohibits the police from turning a detainee over to immigration officials for deportation unless the detainee has been convicted of a serious or violent felony. In short: While many states have been cracking down on illegal immigration, California has put out the welcome mat.
In what supporters are calling the “Anti-Arizona bill”, illegals are granted free passage as police will no longer refer offenders for deportation. Meanwhile, Arizona has aimed to crack down on illegal immigration by creating an unwelcoming atmosphere for illegals by retaining the right to check immigration statuses of those detained.
The state of California has a whopping $16 billion deficit. While Governor Jerry Brown has placated concerned Californians by claiming that he is committed to spending cuts, the state government has done precious little to rein in spending for a state that seems culturally and fiscally committed to liberalism.
I often view the issue of illegal immigration as an application of “lifeboat ethics”, a concept first discussed by Garrett Hardin. In this model, we can see the rational dilemma of sitting in a nearly-full lifeboat, wishing we could bring others on board. However, the concept of “the more the merrier” does not hold true for a society of finite resources. Bringing everyone on board who wishes to get in will capsize the lifeboat. Therefore, there must be some order maintained to decide who gets to be in the lifeboat and who doesn’t. And that is where legal immigration comes in. When California, a state with an enormously inefficient government with a longstanding history of massive social services and entitlement spending, declares to all illegals that it will provide sanctuary for all so long as they can get across the border, they are forcing the boat to capsize. With the boat already taking on water- i.e.: the $16 billion deficit- California has committed itself to further financial ruin.
California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a Democrat who sponsored the measure, noted,
“Today’s vote signals to the nation that California cannot afford to be another Arizona.”
Considering the state of California’s finances, I would submit that California cannot afford to not adopt substantive immigration reform like Arizona. Ammiano also stated,
“The bill also limits unjust and onerous detentions for deportation in local jails of community members who do not pose a threat to public safety.”
What Ammiano and the bulk of Democrats don’t seem to understand is that while many illegals may very well be good, hard working people, they simply are not “owed” a place here in America. At the heart of this debate is the fundamental false belief shared by liberals that everyone has a right to live in America. While many do not cause crimes or “pose a threat to public safety”, that is, really, not the point. Likewise, if I trespass into someone’s home, kick up my heels and watch TV, causing no other disturbance, I am still not entitled to stay there and my sneaking in is, in and of itself, illegal.
Since I believe in states’ rights, California is free to screw up their finances and their own state as much as they like. However, even I will admit to the need for a federal government, and maintaining porous security on the border, varying by states, is not good enough. The truly ironic thing is that despite the multitude of oversteps and usurpations of states’ rights by the federal government, one of the few things we, as citizens, ought to expect from them is to secure our borders, and that seems to be the one thing they are unwilling to do. In fact, they prefer to do exactly the opposite, as the Obama administration has recently circumvented Congress to declare that it is halting the deportations of illegals nearly altogether.
We have a process for immigration to America. In fact, many would suggest that that process needs review and that we should consider making the process easier. Fine. That’s a discussion worth having. But how can anyone, sworn to uphold the laws of their state or nation, believe that it is acceptable to arbitrarily enforce only the laws with which they agree? To circumvent common sense immigration practices in favor of cherry-picking what a state will and will not enforce is to delegitimize the entire judicial process. We must enforce our laws or amend them legislatively to fit our principles and vision of government.