“Chaos” born of the rule of law?
The view from Stone Mountain of Georgia
To hear the wailing of “Big Agriculture” on the shortage of peach-picking hands in the Peach State, all was peachy in Georgia before Governor Nathan Deal signed its Arizona-style, illegal immigration-enforcement law last month.
Political Insider wailing from the state’s newspaper of record suggest that heretofore cautiously conservative Republicans lost their traditional fear of “chaos” and “disregard[ed]… the economic effects of the law” they passed last April on a mostly party-line vote.
Meanwhile, lawsuits have been filed challenging the constitutionality of asking suspects, for whom probable cause already exists that they have already committed a non-immigration criminal offense, to verify their immigration status; several Hispanic-advocacy organizations have called for an economic boycott of Georgia; and many undocumented parents, fearing that their undocumented status will be discovered due to enforcement of the federal law they have long violated, prepare to move back to their home country lest they be separated from their bona fide U.S. citizen anchor babies.
Finally, the unjustified wailing of some business owners that they could be charged with “aiding and abetting” illegal immigration by innocently transporting day laborers from their gathering points to job sites has caused undue anxiety among many churches that merely seek to minister to the human needs of their neighbors.
Enough with the incomplete reporting of the issues out of context.
Unjustified fear mongering vs. The Facts
First, let us aid and abet the dissemination of the “news” about the new law’s provisions relating to the crime of aiding and abetting illegal immigration. Article 5 of the new law only allows prosecution for transporting, harboring, or otherwise aiding and abetting illegal immigration if they commit “another criminal offense” while “knowingly and intentionally” providing transport, harbor or other aid to an illegal alien, “with the intent of furthering the illegal presence” of the alien in the United States.
There can be no accidental violation of the new state law, and one cannot be prosecuted for violating the new state law unless one is also in violation of “another criminal offense”. The main “other” offenses the state legislature had in mind are the federal laws that require non-citizens to carry green cards.
Churches’ fears that they could possibly be charged with a crime for performing their regular ministries to clothe the naked and feed the hungry should be allayed unless they are intentionally participating in the import of illegals, knowingly hiring illegals or participating in activities designed to perpetrate a fraud on behalf of a known illegal. Moreover, Georgia’s new law exempts violations that would otherwise be illegal so long as one is “providing services to infants, children, or victims of crime”, among other broad exceptions.
Big Business joins the fear-mongers that loved pre-Georgia immigration law chaos?
Did a veritable non-chaotic Garden of Eden exist above and below The Gnat Line before the deal that Nathan wrought supposedly caused an 11,080 (not 11K+ mind you, but exactly 11,080) agriculture employee labor shortage only because the Party of Lincoln refused to consider the economic consequences of enforcing laws the federal government too often refuses to enforce?
Only if Paradise is characterized by overrun Towers of Babel in schools, prisons and public schools. Only if rising energy and food prices and great recessions are the equivalent of nirvana. Georgia, the ninth largest state in terms of population, has the seventh largestillegal immigrant population.
Will Heaven-on-Earth obtain after all those on probation accept Nathan’s “deal” to pick fruits and vegetables? Would Big Ag be willing to pick up non-convicted and underpaid op-ed writers at designated pick-up points, so that next year they can’t wail that “all the crop was missed“?
Will banks follow President Obama’s advice and ban ATMs to get unemployment down to a re-electable level?
Great Recessions, Exodus and the invisible fence
Fact: The Great Recession is bigger than anything the Georgia Legislature has done or could do. State Legislators from Tucker to Tifton can’t tame the economic turbulence of federal government-spawned tornadoes.
Before Deal replaced Perdue, one of the biggest consequences of the jobs recession that began in 2008 and continues to this day has been the self deportation of over a millionillegal immigrants due to the lack of job opportunities.
As we sit here, not one nuclear family has been separated due to the new Georgia law which is not scheduled to go into effect until July 1. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama boasts of record deportations since he took over INS from the Bush Administration.
Yet, no demonstrations against the federal government? No editorials about Obama and the Democrats failure to consider the economic effects of their stimulus, debt, health care and immigration policies?
Tsk, tsk you say, since, after all, President Hope and Change wants “comprehensive” immigration reform. Yes, and people in jail want out. President George W. Bush and Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) wanted the same in 2007, but were told by bi-partisan majorities that We the People demand border security first.
Bush reluctantly began building the fence, albeit at a snail’s pace. One of Obama’s first acts as president was to squash the fence snail. Yet, just a few weeks ago, our consensus-seeking Chief Executive traveled to El Paso, declared the fence “completed” and taunted Republicans as upping the ante for alligator-filled moats.
The Rule of Law, life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness
In non-Georgia from the Tigris and Euphrates to Georgia’s Chattahoochee, its all been damage control since Eve bit the apple. The closest approximation Earth has seen since Adam’s clan moved east of Eden, is these United States, hence the two decades-long emigration of over 10% of the population of our Southern neighbor to the Lower Forty-Eight.
As long as the Reagan Recovery and Clinton extension churned on, most Americans collectively yawned and winked at cheap labor. Only after September 11, 2001 did the most of us finally hear the wails of those suffering from low wages and communities lost to too-large influxes of non-English speakers, not to mention the kind of mayhem that has been foisted upon the Arizonas of the world.
Most Americans don’t blame those that came here to seek a better life, but we are learning that the whole world can’t move to America and America remain a place all want to move to. Good fences make good neighbors (there is a fence around the White House) and common sense, history and Holy Scripture testify as to the justness of laws enforcing a nation’s borders.
The chaos of the failure of the Rule of the Law
Moreover, the recession has revealed the dangers, and “chaos” if you will, of turning a blind eye to the rule of law that makes wealth creation and happiness pursuits possible, liberty ordered and life worth living.
Most conservatives would consider amnesty after we see the fence Obama imagines and are assured that the next 20 million immigrants come at We the People’s choosing and that those that play by the rules to obtain full voting and other citizenship rights are not usurped by those that don’t abide the rule of law.
Yes, some “chaos” has resulted from the passage of the Georgia law. Greater chaos inspired its passage. Fear-mongering has too often characterized a debate that assumes that Georgia, rather than the federal government, is responsible for the slander of “illegal aliens” or that only illegals, and only after Georgia’s law is passed, could ever be asked to “show their papers”.
Poppycock! I had to show my driver’s license to drink a Sweetwater beer at The Ted. The Astros won, but I digress…
Legal aliens are required by federal law to carry their green cards and to present them upon demand of a law enforcement officer. Stop and frisk law since Terry v Ohio allows inquiries as to identity upon mere “reasonable suspicion.” The federal law invites states to cooperate in the enforcement of federal immigration laws, especially including requiring businesses of 10 or more employees to use E-Verify.
One of the most predictable effects of the debate over the law has been to confirm the arguments of those that have demonized Big Business as being conspirators in maintaining the status quo chaos for low-wage-fueled profit. The demonizers were right.
But, was it predictable that so many of those that favored E-verify so as to make skin-color discrimination less likely (Since a Business exonerates itself from risk merely by clearing all job applicants via the E-verify system, rather than possible avoiding the risk by only hiring those with hues of the more pale or black variety?) are now part of the same fear-mongering mob?
Choose your chaos.
Legal Editor – The Minority Report
Atlanta Law & Politics columnist for Examiner.com
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson
More DeVine Gamecock rooster crowings at Modern Conservative, Hillbilly Politics, Unified Patriots, Political Daily and Conservative Outlooks. All Charlotte Observer and Atlanta Journal-Constitution op-eds archived at Townhall.com.