Not literally...I know what the rest of the country thinks about the state I live in, but we are not all gun-toting crazies no matter what you've been told. I don't even know how to fire a gun, much less aim it and shoot it at someone.
Though...it would make Senate meetings much more interesting if the State Senators could challenge each other to a duel. You hear that Jan Brewer, I said nice things about you in an article in a soon to be published magazine. You owe me, see what you can do about bringing back dueling. I'd even pay to see Senators shoot at each other.
I think we found the solution to the Arizona economic crisis!
*ahem* back to the topic at hand. Senate President Russell Pearce wrote or backed each of the five bills that were voted down recently. These were apparently the bills (I say apparently, because I've been ill and not keeping up with local politics) that were designed to get rid of anchor babies, a practice that I'm not in favor of. The situation is not as black and white as Pearce would like it to be, you can't just say "You are not a citizen, even though you were born here" but you also can't say "Oh, you had a baby here. Sure we'll let you become citizens because you have the ability to sneak across a border and reproduce here." Neither way of dealing with the situation is good. My personal opinion is that the baby has citizenship, the parents do not. If they are deported they can leave the baby with family who are here legally or they can take the baby with them and when the child is 18 she or he decides which country they want to live in. Dual-citizenship is not that difficult people, I have friends who have it and not just between here and Mexico or other South American countries. I have a friend who has dual-citizenship in New Zealand...it's freakin' cool.
Anyway, those weren't the only things voted down. One of the main reasons being that the issue of illegal immigration has, in the words of Senator John McComish (Republian-Phoenix), become a distraction from more important issues including the budget, crime and health care. I'm inclined to disagree, as I often am, and here's why. I'm going to list the other measures that were voted down and tell you exactly why they are not simply distractions from more important issues, they are intrinsically tied together.
• Require hospitals to make an effort to determine if the people they are treating are in this country legally
- what's the deal here? We are worried about health care, about the cost of our health care programs. What do you think is inflating the amount of money (ooh, double whammy, this covers part of the budget issue as well) being pumped into health and social care. It's not me and I'm the working poor, I'm paying for every single one of my medical procedures out of pocket...well my parents are at least. We don't have insurance, I don't use state provided health care. Someone is using and if we weren't allowing them to anymore, how long would they stay then.
• Restrict the registration of vehicles to only legal residents
-Still not seeing the issue. Visitors to our country can A.) bring their own car. B.) rent a car. C.) Borrow a friends car or D.) Walk everywhere or use the bus, I do and it hasn't killed me yet.
• Make it a state crime for an illegal immigrant to drive in Arizona
-Once again, they are already breaking the law. This isn't going to restrict the rights of anyone with an international drivers license who is here legally, citizen or not. Fewer car accidents caused by people who don't know how to drive as per American law and it might make drug trafficking more difficult. I'm all for it.
• Bar admission into state universities and community colleges of anyone who cannot prove citizenship or legal residency
-Considering I couldn't get a scholarship to save my own life and financially aid seems to be going to everyone EXCEPT for me...I'm good with this. Unless they are under a student visa, they should not recieve financial aid. They.are.breaking.the.law. How hard is that to understand? I don't care what their reasons for it are, they broke the law. Instituting this would help many people go to school who are legal citizens by removing a drain from financial aid, which also helps the budget.
• Mandate that cities evict all residents of a public housing unit if even one occupant is an illegal immigrant
I'm not as okay with this one, unless they knew the other person was an illegal immigrant...in that case they were aiding and abetting and that's illegal as well. It's a tough call. However, if I was doing something illegal in my apartment you can bet I would be thrown out and if I had a roommate, they probably would be as well. So this isn't so crazy.
Here's another measure turned down, a law that would require parents to provide proof of citizenship or other legal presence for a any child being enrolled in school. First this would not prevent them from being enrolled even if they could not produce the documents. The U.S. Supreme Court forbids public schools from imposing citizenship or legal residence requirements on public schools. (Not sure why, it's not like the parents are paying the taxes that pay for the schools in the first place.)
Senator Steve Gallardo (Democrat-Phoenix) said "The only thing this bill does is it would put fear in the families of those that may have someone in their family who's undocumented. It has nothing to do with the kids."
Well duh, you figured that out on your own did you Steve? And why shouldn't they be scared? I can't point out enough times that they broke the law by coming here ILLEGALLY! Do you want to know how terrified I was the last time I did something illegal? I was really frakkin'* terrified! That's the point of being scared, even if you aren't punished. That fear should be enough to keep you from actually doing it again. Fear is a GOOD and NORMAL response. I was nearly pushed off the platform while waiting for the train yesterday. I nearly had a heart-attack, from fear, next time I won't stand so close to the edge. The problem with illegal immigrants is they don't respond the right way to fear. They don't say "Gosh, I guess I'm doing something wrong. Maybe I shouldn't break the law and then I won't be fucking terrified every time I see a cop." No, their response is to throw a fit and scream "But I don't WANNA BE SCARED! I know I broke the law, but I want you to forget about it and give me everything I want and pretend I'm a citizen too and if you don't then you are racist and this isn't fair!"
Maybe I'm being a little to cruel, but I hate hearing this "fair treatment" bullshit from politicians. We don't let people break the law just because they "wanted a better life". If that were the case then we would have to let every crook, burglar and bank robber go. I mean, they were just trying to have a better life after all. We can't fault them for that.
I hate to quote a Batman villain, but "Criminals thrive on the indulgence of society's understanding" and the more ground you give them the more ground they will want. It's like some demented form of "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" only we are playing it with our budget, our health care, our safety, our economy and our country. How can people NOT see how wrong that is?
*yes, yes I just used the term "frakkin'" BSG fans may rejoice.