Suspect thy neighbor

Arizona’s new and far-reaching immigration law is bad on a lot of levels, including economic, social and legal , but … Continued

Arizona’s new and far-reaching immigration law is bad on a lot of levels, including economic, social and legal , but it is also profoundly corrosive from a moral standpoint.

“Reasonable suspicion” as the pretext for law enforcement deciding whom to investigate relies on the idea that it is OK for our primary approach to our neighbor to be one based on distrust, before that neighbor has done anything that might be considered wrong. This is a disastrous attitude for a democracy to develop because it will erode the very cement that holds us together as a people.

This new Arizona immigration law is morally corrupting of who we should want to be as an Americans who live in an open society and cherish freedom and democracy. It’s more like the closed and suspicious societies behind the “Iron Curtain” that we decried so much during the Cold War.

I went to a church meeting in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. The organizers of the conference were peace activists I knew through church contacts and through anti-nuclear organizing. Of course I had to carry my passport and other papers indicating I was in East Berlin legally–one would expect that in a foreign country. But the East Germans had to constantly have documentation. This really struck me as so different from the U.S. In addition, men in black raincoats and black hats carrying cameras were constantly about; this is the only conference I can remember where when we went outside the meeting hall to take the conference photograph, our group photographer took one photo, and down the street the men in black raincoats were obviously also taking our pictures.

I engaged some of my East German friends in conversation about this–they were cynical about it, but they also said it was wearying beyond belief never to know who was spying on whom, and whom you could trust. Sometimes the guys in the black raincoats were the least of their problems; distrust ran rife through this society and it was deeply corrupting of a sense of national unity.

The Berlin Wall is gone now, but sections of it remain for visitors. I was in Berlin a while ago, and visited a section of the wall that had been preserved. It seemed so small and crumbly. Yes, the Berlin Wall fell for many reasons, but one reason was that the East German society that was formed out of distrust was crumbly too–it had no real social cement to hold it together.

Loving one’s neighbor as oneself isn’t some abstract ideal that would be nice if we could get it, but really doesn’t work in practice. It is actually quite a practical notion since it’s based on the solid recognition that it’s very likely what you do to others will be done to you, so you’d better try to treat other people decently.

It’s a practical notion because as Rep. Luis Gutierrez has said, building trust with the Latino/a community is critical for law enforcement to be able to get tips on drug deals and terrorists from within the group of those most likely to know who is who, and what is what. “[W]hat is going to happen is–the eyes, the ears, that the police need so much of the community in general, so that they can combat crime, they’re going to–they’re going to cause a division between the people in the population and the police department.”

Suspect your neighbor and soon your neighbor will suspect you. Make suspicion the norm of how we treat one group of people and pretty soon that will extend beyond this one group to our country as a whole. Already we are seeing that deep distrust, and even suspicion is the way some Americans approach other Americans just because they disagree with them on certain policies. Suspicion of the government per se is rising.

This is the crumbling of the social cement we need to actually be a people. One day we could wake up and realize we have become our own worst enemies. We won’t need a Berlin Wall, or a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. The wall will be between some of us and the rest of us. Finally, each of us could end up walled up from everybody else. As folks discovered in Eastern Europe, at some point you are alone behind your own wall because you don’t know whom you can really trust.

  • hared

    The only people who are going to be behind walls not knowing who to trust are illegal aliens and those who support, defend or marry and have children with them. They chose to live that way, so dump the Berlin Wall crap; you have no arguments here.

  • ThomasBaum

    Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite Doesn’t it seem, at times, that those that spout out the most about “freedom” in this country are the very ones that want to throw freedom away in the name of “security”.I suppose that one of these days, this country will have so much “security” that it will just be one great big jail and will anyone notice?Wasn’t the “Berlin wall” constructed to keep people in rather than keeping people out?”Berlin walls” are not just made out of material things.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • YEAL9

    From CNN: “Sue Schwartz says she’s been called a racist so many times she doesn’t mind the label anymore. If wanting immigrants to enter the country legally, like her great-grandparents from Mexico, and obey the laws of the land makes her racist, then so be it, she says firmly.”I’m getting to the point I wear it with pride,” says Schwartz, a lifelong Arizonan who has warily watched the growth of the illegal immigrant population in the state over the course of her life. About 500,000 unauthorized immigrants were believed to live in Arizona in 2008, and 11.9 million nationwide, up from 3.5 million nationwide in 1990, according to a Pew Hispanic Center report published in 2009.This year, the tide is finally turning in her favor, she says, with the passage of SB 1070, aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration.The new law requires immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there is reason to suspect they’re in the United States illegally.”BTW, Susan T should ask for a raise as other “profiteering” religious types are making substantially more than her $200,000/yr. For example, Franklin Graham is pulling down an annual salary of at least $800,000 a year. Of course, he does talk to god 24/7!!! Susan T. might also but apparently she has hit a glass ceiling with the “heavenmeisters”.

  • Martial

    Should we be protect criminals from the consequences of their acts? That’s what AMNESTY is, you know, the pardoning of criminals for crimes. President Carter did it with respect to Vietnam War draft dodgers. President Reagan did with respect to illegal immigrants, one third of whom were Mexican, in 1986. Did such amnesty solve any problems? Send them back. Definitely. As for those who argue that it is some sort of human rights violation to send illegal immigrants back, ask them if they want to free murderers and rapists as well.

  • WmarkW

    Saying that strengthening illegal immigration enforcement is ‘anti-immigrant’ is like saying strengthening rape laws is anti-sex.

  • deepthought1

    “See MEXICO’s Policy’s Agains GRINGO’s”_____ AND also see: “Fuera De Aqui!” (Out Siders here)._____

  • cassie123

    This is a tough issue. I think this new law has some pros and some cons. As other people commenting on this post have pointed out, the reasonable suspecion standard has been around for a long time. However, I can see how the use of the reasonable suspicion standard here can be taken too far…Ultimately, I have to come down on the side of the Arizona law although I do worry about fair application. Arizona had to do something to protect their citizens and economy. As others here have posted, people who come here illegally know the risk they take – that deportation can occur. Also, others have noted that other countries require foreigners to provide documentation showing that they are legal. I think it only fair that one be able to prove they are here legally.What worries me is not so much the moral implication listed here (although it is a very good moral rule), but the intrusiveness of government – the power that is allotted to government. It wil be interesting to see how this law is applied…and how many lawsuits are raised.

  • cassie123

    As for the “love thy neighbor as thyself” – this is a wonderful principle. And, like the author of this article, I agree that it can be practical notion. However, loving someone doesn’t mean you have to allow them to trample on you. Requiring someone to come here legally, as opposed to illegaly, is not cruel and unloving. It is keeping the order of society – enabling our country to operate better. That in turn will help us all to love/help not only people who want to be here but also current citizens.I sympathize with the people who want to be here to escape poverty, fear, corruption, and, in some cases, almost death. Unfortunately, those who want to destroy and hurt also want to come here. For instance, they sell drugs…and we Americans buy them.

  • joysd45

    I believe your argument is erroneous. You compare the situation in AZ with the situation in East Germany before the wall came down. What you decried in East Germany was the spying on its own CITIZENS by the communists in control and the requirement of the CITIZENS to carry documentation which could be demanded at any time. You did not find the requirement for yourself to carry documentation to be out of line. In fact, to quote your article, : “Of course I had to carry my passport and other papers indicating I was in East Berlin legally–one would expect that in a foreign country.”If you had been there illegally, then it would have been the right of the authorities in that country to have you removed from the country.Loving your neighbors is a great personal moral goal. But it is not the mission of government to love unconditionally. Selectivity in allowing passage into the country is actually a necessary safety issue. No, not everyone who comes to or remains in this country illegally is a dangerous criminal or terrorist, but anyone who does come or stay illegally is taking a chance on remaining hidden in order to stay….the term is after all “illegal” alien. I am not sure why they would be shocked to suddenly be sent home. I would expect it if I were in another country illegally….as would you have apparently..ref. East Germany again… no matter how long I had been there, or what good things I had done for myself or my family while there.

  • rgray222

    Where are all the ariticles about what happened in regards to all the demostrations over the weekend. Where are the photo’s of the demonstrators breaking store front windows or being arrested. The pictures of swatika’s pictures of politicians dressed in nazi uniforms. The double standard in our press is out of control and papers and mass media have lost all credibilty. It is a shame because this info is now circulating so fast through the internet and people know the difference between what is real and what is not! Fox news cetainly has a political slant but it is the only place you can get both sides and the truth. They at least report the news unlike the mass media that hides the news. What a shame the media has become the laughing stock and they don’t even have a clue yet!

  • slim2

    Religious people pontificating on political matters should be mindful of Christ’s admonition,”Render unto Caesar those things that are Caesar’s”. Immigration law and its enforcement falls clearly into the category of those things that are Caesar’s.

  • krankyman

    I am so sorry to prick Thistlethwaite’s self-deluded idea of America but every citizen is required to carry some form of government issued identification.Any citizen who cannot prove their identity via a driver’s license, passport, identity card etc. can spend time in jail unitl sufficeint proof is presented.This is no different than requiring a person to prove citizenship.Illegal aliens are destroying the economy of this country. Arizona has to take such measures because a Federal government, that is charged with providing for the common defense, refuses to adequately guard the borders.The message to Obama, Pelosi, Gutierrez, and other socialits is clear: honor your oath of office and enforce the Constitution. Do your jobs before there is no longer a United States of America.

  • Sonny53

    We would not have this problem if the Federal Government took action a long time ago. As usual, our elected officials left it for other generations to deal with! After all, they can’t very well be expected to do anything that might cost them a vote or two!

  • Chaotician

    The primary purpose of religions … for all time … is to create a group of believers/members and exclude the rest! And the primary purpose of having excluded people is to remove them from basic human empathy, consideration, and consideration. All religion and particularly the Abrahamic cults of Judaism, Christianity and Muslim have practiced abominable actions towards their defined “others” that are not a part of their particular flavor of religion… and in most cases even towards different sub cults of the same religion! It is likely, that this is the only reason religion even exists, the rest is just rationalizations to justify the lack of humanity!!

  • Ken16

    “Reasonable Suspicion” is not the same as the sort of general irrational suspiciousness that the poster uses as a jumping off point for using the corrosive effects of a totalitarian state with a Secret Service as an analog. It is a legal term that describes a status short of the probable cause standard for an arrest. Reasonable suspicion means that the officer must be acting according to what a reasonable man would think about the activities of the person in question. For example, an individual carrying heavy objects late at night in an industrial or non-residential area might not be committing any crime, but is worthy of an investigatory stop.The use of racial or ethnic profiling as contributory to creating that reasonable suspicion is explicitly prohibited by the AZ statute.The requirement that aliens carry documentation has been a federal law since FDR in the 40s.

  • atd526

    I did and did not appear

  • atd526

    I did and did not appear.

  • skipsailing28

    The author admitted in another essay that members of her “faith” believed that spreading that faith was wrong. how does anyone take her seriously?Just a couple of points here: the border states have been complaining about the situation for years. The Feds have done little.

  • GVJaneRealEstateAz

    My Catholic Diosese in Tucson probably lost another 500 parishioners yesterday, with the comments from Bishop Kincanas regarding his sanctuary comments….goodbye Church…you are no longer a supporter of this country, but instead view me as bad and illegal immigration to be accepted. You are not a Church of God, but the Church of lawbreakers and I don’t associate or believe you and I could ever reconcile these differences.

  • mfteresa

    No one cares about your faith. A founding factor of our great country is the separation of church and state. In fact, your myths are baseless superstitions that more than likely support the infringement of the rights of others (like Choice and Gay Marriage). I find your ‘thoughts’ extremely juvenile, simplistic, and alarmist. Furthermore, they are based on emotions and not facts. The facts are that illegal immigrants are a serious economic strain on these boarder states. Furthermore, they are a massive source of crime. I support their move to take care of and defend their home since the Federal Gov’t does not seem to care. Lastly, I find it hypocritical that you accept the laws of other countries, but not your own. If you really felt that carrying an ID was fascist, then you would have not carried your papers with you to that East German meeting. But of course, that might have made you a ‘martyr’ should you have been caught.

  • joelwisch

    If only the illegal aliens had loved us.. it would have been so excellent. But they didn’t, and simply sucked the Social Welfare for the State Dry. It was a shame too.. the Federal Government told Arizona to buzz off when it said it couldn’t afford it anymore, and I guess that was the point of the laws huh. The church of course, wouldn’t contribute a dime. Good essay on why AZ passed the law.. from the person who knows.Attorney that helped draft SB 1070 Arizona’s tough new law rebuts the major criticisms• April 29, 2010

  • joesmithdefend

    Don’t throw that liberal crap at me…or at any American who has followed the rules, obeyed the laws, paid the taxes, and believes that our Constitution actually means something.Don’t pervert the message to prop up your politics. This is not about anything else…but the law – our rights – and our money. NONE BELONG TO ILLEGALS.

  • bobmoses

    Gee, does this have something to do with Faith?This blog is nothing but another excuse for partisan liberals to spin their partisan stories. It would be nice if the hacks who run it might acknowledge the truth, but that would require integrity.

  • ypcchiu

    In spite of the many criticism by the left on the Arizona Immigration law, such as ‘racist’, ‘misguided’ , ‘Nazi and Soviet like’ ..etc , the public opinion has not shown favorable support to these criticism against the AZ law. The Gallup poll, dated April 29 shows more than three-quarters of Americans have heard about the state of Arizona’s new immigration law, and of these, 51% say they favor it and 39% oppose it. The Rasmussen poll shows that 67% of Arizona voters support the Arizona Immigration law. Nationally, 60% supports the idea of AZ governor that police can stop and question people to verify their immigration status.

  • GaryEMasters

    This is so far over the top that I feel that the writer has no respect at all for me.

  • american1

    Mexico is an Naco-terrorist State on our open borders and far more dangerous to the USA than Iraq & Afghanistan combined! Criminals & Illegal Aliens march in our streets all across the land demanding their non-existing rights, demanding we cede this Nation to them, riot, wave their flags and spit on American, its Government, Laws, Constitution, and Citizens, and still our Federal Government does nothing!Our border states are overwhelmed, overmanned ,outgunned, & overran from the invasion by Illegal Aliens & Armed Banditos, killing Citizens and Law enforcement personnel and still our Federal government does nothing. Our neighborhoods are flooded with gangs, graffito & trash, Mexican flags fly in barrios coast to coast , Barrios where none dare go but Hispanic, our ER rooms destroyed, Hospitals closed, Schools overwhelmed, 100,s billions spent on Welfare for the invaders, States bankrupted, Americans Citizens by the 10,of thousands are Robbed, Raped and Slaughtered & still our Federal Government does nothing! Why? The Drug Cartel has bought Mexico! Could it be they have bought American also? The Presidents, past & present and most of the Politicians in Wash, DC plus Mayors in our sanctuary cities from coast to coast should to be arrested and tried for Treason!

  • american1

    Why is it that most poor third world countries have three things in common? They usually have a predominately Catholic or Muslin population, corruption is a way of life, and they breed like rabbits? Of course, the Catholic church realizes, that even as it encourages them to breed and not used birth control in third world countries that many of the children will starve or die from childhood disease, but as long as they are Catholic, that is OK, enough will survive to make more Catholics. After losing members in the USA due to birth control & Scandal the Catholic church is now making a comeback due to the millions of Illegal Aliens pouring across our borders. Its an ideal plan, let the Catholics Latinos pour across our open borders and Breed like Cockroaches while forcing American tax payers to pay an average of 20k annually, per family, to provide education, medical care and welfare for them. That is why the Pope spoke about taking care of Immigrants and wants blanket amnesty for them and why all Catholic Churches are for breaking the law and encourage & protecting Illegal Aliens and open Borders! When Obama gives the 20 to 30 million mostly uneducated Illegal Aliens citizenship alone with chain migration there will be 100,s of millions of new fast breeding, educating hating, criminally inclined , welfare loving Catholic Latino citizens and the Nation will soon join the Third World as they breed us into poverty, like they have Mexico and Latin American. But the Democrat Politicians will have the welfare votes and further their Socialist Agenda, the Republican Politicians an unlimited supply of tax payer subsidizes slave labor for their Pay Masters in the Corporations and Chamber of Commerce and the Church more millions of Catholics to preach their dogma, past the collection plate, and lots of children for the Nuns to abuse & the Priests to play with. The only losers are current American Citizens & their progeny and either Party or the Catholic church gives a damn about them!

  • onthejourney

    We have for too long ignored the issues in need of correction.Are we no longer that beacon of hope for the huddled masses? A better standard of living and our freedoms made that beacon bright. That beacon was not intended to light the way for drug dealers. Now we find that fear has taken over for so many reasons and for so many.The answers are as complex as the questions.But never let the light fade.Wake up and pay attention Washington.

  • american1

    Today, Mexico’s undeclared war on America moves with quickening speed & increasing Violence. They realize American is weak and without the will or desire by our Corrupt/Lawless Politicians to protect this Nation and its Citizens! Mexico,s modern day General Calderon is not content with just retaking the Southwest. He invades all American states by the largest Invasion of any Nation, at any time in History, by any means, anywhere in the world!This invasion is encouraged, abetted and organized by the Mexican state and supported by all citizens in Mexican society. Calderon provides his ‘troops’ with maps, water, provisions and aid to invade America’s border & subvert its Laws & Constitution! Our President & U.S. Congress aids, abets and encourages this invasion by failing to defend our borders, by providing 100.s of billions in benefits to the invaders & by Promising them Amnesty & American Citizenship as a reward for their Invasion & for committing numerous felonies against American Citizens! Any other Nation in the world would consider an Invasion aided, abetted, organize and promoted by a foreign POWER to be an Act of War! Are our Politicians are too Political Correct, Weak, Corrupt and Spineless to protect American Citizens! Or Maybe????????????/Most of the Politicians & Law Enforcement in Mexico are bought off by the Drug Cartel one must wonder, if some, if not most of the racial defenders of this Invasion in the Press & by our Politicians are not like their Mexican counter parts! This refuse by our Politicians, Pass & Present, to abide by our Constitution against Invasion, enforce our Laws & Honor their Oath of Office by defending American Citizens & this Nation from Invasion is Treason. Pure & Simple!

  • american1

    The Mexican Drug Cartel is in all 50 American States, Illegal gangs in American cities coast to Coast and the Drug revenues are estimated to be 141 Billion per year. Maybe the question American citizens should be asking is how much the billions from the Drug Cartel will buy. Answer:

  • american1

    Obama & the Democrats have an plan to be the controlling Majority party and a lock on power & turn this Nation into a Third World welfare state, a socialist paradise.Unlike Bush Jr. the Stupid, Who did he knew not what, Obama is a smart man with a diabolic plan, he has already said next on the agenda is Immigration reform, which means Amnesty & Citizenship for the 20 to 30 millions invading Criminals & Uneducated Prolific breeding Third World rejects as a reward for invading this Nation and committing numerous felonies, alone with citizenship for all their Mother,s, Dad,s, Sisters and Brothers, Uncles etc. etc. in a never ending chain. This will add 10,s of millions of educating hating, American hating, gang joining Hispanics, breeding at a prodigious rate & producing more dependent Welfare Democrats & assuring enough Democrat Welfare voters to control this Country & to turn us into a Third World Nation! Our future will be a one party Socialist Dictatorship & in a few years a Spanish speaking Third World cesspool of Corruption, Crime,Poverty & Misery modeled on Mexico & nothing short of a civil war will be able to break the yoke and servitude of citizens to Obama & the Democrats!

  • mark0004

    “Criminals & Illegal Aliens march in our streets all across the land demanding their non-existing rights, demanding we cede this Nation to them, riot, wave their flags and spit on American, its Government, Laws, Constitution, and Citizens, and still our Federal Government does nothing!”These latino people have taken advantage of our laws, our kindness, generosity, and symphathy, yet they demand even more from us and breed like rabbits. We need to take this country back from these thirld world leeches….

  • american1

    If the terrorist do attack Wash. DC as threaten by a terrorist leader in Pakistan, it is far better that our Corrupt Politicians pay the price than Innocent American Citizens. The Politicians of both parties have for years governed like they were the rulers and American Citizens were their serfs! Their priorities have been Self first, Lobbyist next, Party next, with unbelievable corruption threw in for good measure, and far down the line somewhere is the welfare of American citizens and the future of this Nation. Most of the Politicians have aided, abide & encouraged the largest invasion of any Nation, at any time, by any means in the history of the world, while ignoring Article IV Section IV of our Constitution against invasion, the rule of Law, and their Oath of office! An invasion that is costing more American lives every year than terrorist have killed in the last 20 years of both Military and Citizens combined! An invasion that is destroying our schools, medical, social welfare net, Culture and costing tax payers 100,s of billions to provide Welfare, Schooling, Medical, Prison cells Etc. for the millions of invading criminals and uneducated peons. We have allowed the largest transfer of poverty in the world to take place from the American hating Nations on our borders to be transferred to this Nations tax payers, where the invading horde continues the same corruption, practices and breeding that created the poverty and misery in their home countries, that they are now fleeing! The future of this Nation is an over populated Third World Cesspool modeled on Mexico! Then it will not be necessary to outsource jobs or bring in more Slave labor for jobs that cannot be outsourced, because citizens will be forced to work long hours for starvation wages and we can compete with China, India, Mexico & other Third World Nations.

  • algasema1

    The anti-Latino hate in most of the comments on this site is not yet quite at the level of anti-Jewish hate among the public in Nazi Germany, but it is moving rapidly in that direction. Will hatred of Hispanics be the wedge that ultimately causes America to give up its freedom in favor of a police state society, just as hatred of the Jews helped cause the Germans to put Hitler in power?

  • american1

    Then there is they are all God,s children argument. John McAmnsety likes this one…Isn’t everyone God,s children? If so, then guess the Liberals & Open borders crowd are saying everyone and anyone has the right to Invade this Nation, waving their flags, demand their rights, while feasting at the trough of public welfare and Kill, Rape and Rob thousands of American citizens each year! Rattlesnakes are God creation also but not many would invite them into our house and provide welfare and medical benefits for them! There are 100,s of millions probably billions from India, China, Africa, etc. that would like to immigrate to the USA. If it ok for Latinos to pour across our borders then unless the open borders crowd are Racist it should be ok for any and all of the world people no matter their Education, Religion, Race, Criminal convictions, Diseases, or Terrorist ties to invade this nation Waving their flags, demanding their rights & be rewarded with American citizenship!

  • american1

    Then there is they are all God,s children argument. John McAmnsety likes this one…Isn’t everyone God,s children? If so, then guess the Liberals & Open borders crowd are saying everyone and anyone has the right to Invade this Nation, waving their flags, demand their rights, while feasting at the trough of public welfare and Kill, Rape and Rob thousands of American citizens each year! Rattlesnakes are God creation also but not many would invite them into our house and provide welfare and medical benefits for them! There are 100,s of millions probably billions from India, China, Africa, etc. that would like to immigrate to the USA. If it ok for Latinos to pour across our borders then unless the open borders crowd are Racist it should be ok for any and all of the world people no matter their Education, Religion, Race, Criminal convictions, Diseases, or Terrorist ties to invade this nation Waving their flags, demanding their rights & be rewarded with American citizenship!

  • american1

    There’s the “the U.S. stole the southwest” argument. Well, the land in dispute was “owned” by Spain for a couple of centuries. Then by Mexico for about 25 years. During these periods, there weren’t more than a few thousand Spaniards or Mexicans in the entire territory. It’s been owned by the U.S. for about 160 years now, much longer than Mexico’s reign. And the U.S. has actually done something with the land, made it habitable for tens of millions. The difference between American and Mexican “twin cities” straddling the border is like night and day, yet the land is obviously the same. It’s not the dirt that’s important, it’s the people. Put another way, if culture didn’t matter, Mexico and Central America would be paradise and there would be no need to invade this Nation and steal what others have built!

  • 27anon72

    all these articles about moral issues profiling unfairness to nice people anything but focuswing on the obvious are

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    Hello, summer, and a good place for shopping,Fashion, sexy, personality, maturity. What isWait and see, from here to start!

  • american1

    There’s the “lettuce” argument ……John McAmnsety likes this one also…We’ll be paying $50/head if we don’t have illegal aliens working in the fields. As Phil Martin, ag economist at UC Davis shows, the field labor cost in a $1 head of lettuce is about 6 cents. Triple those wages and Americans will do the jobs. (They’re not career positions. They’re seasonal jobs for young people, starting in the world of work. I have did similarly menial jobs.) And you’ll be paying 10% more for lettuce and other produce. Do you spend $1,000/year on produce? OK, you’ll pay $100 more. The lettuce argument also parallels that for the retention of slavery.

  • american1

    We have an demoralized and decimated military, plundered treasury , trashed world standing, trampled rule of Law and Constitution. This nation is sinking under debt & millions of Americans unemployed and losing the American dream. While our Politicians engage in back room deals and corruption so open and blatant the take us for complete fools. Meantime, an tidal wave of Uneducated Illegal Aliens are waving the Mexican flag, demanding their rights, while sucking at the trough of Public Welfare, as they Kill, Rob, and Rape thousands of American Citizens each year at a rate terrorist can dream about. But POTUS & the Democrats are pandering for the Latino vote by promising Amnesty for the 20 to 30 million of the invading criminals, plus with chain immigration to all their relatives & their relatives in an never ending chain! We as a nation can survive fools in our White House. What we CANNOT survive is fools both in our Congress and white house. promising a new American, rebuilding the middle class and taking care of the poor while advocating policies that will turn this Nation into an Third World Spanish speaking Nation!

  • american1

    We have an demoralized and decimated military, plundered treasury , trashed world standing, trampled rule of Law and Constitution. This nation is sinking under debt & millions of Americans unemployed and losing the American dream. While our Politicians engage in back room deals and corruption so open and blatant the take us for complete fools. Meantime, an tidal wave of Uneducated Illegal Aliens are waving the Mexican flag, demanding their rights, while sucking at the trough of Public Welfare, as they Kill, Rob, and Rape thousands of American Citizens each year at a rate terrorist can dream about. But POTUS & the Democrats are pandering for the Latino vote by promising Amnesty for the 20 to 30 million of the invading criminals, plus with chain immigration to all their relatives & their relatives in an never ending chain! We as a nation can survive fools in our White House. What we CANNOT survive is fools both in our Congress and white house. promising a new American, rebuilding the middle class and taking care of the poor while advocating policies that will turn this Nation into an Third World Spanish speaking Nation!

  • rohitcuny

    Many years ago, I was trying to go to France with an Indian passport and a US green card and plenty of evidence that I was employed and solvent. The French consular official asked me where my air ticket was. I said that I was going to France by train from Italy. “Then where is your ticket to Italy?” He would not give me a visa and I had to make a second trip – with my ticket to Italy.I have had a similar experience with Germany and UK. In the UK they gave me trouble about entering the country even though I had a valid visa.American citizens (I too am one now) are spoiled. They can travel all over Europe and many other countries without a visa and are not aware that strict conditions are imposed on citizens of most other countries. Most countries, NOT just East Germany, keep tabs on visitors, especially visitors from countries which are not rich. I have seen a Russian citizen being made to jump through the hoops by the authorities in Copenhagen.Both Brazil and China have strict conditions which they impose on US citizens travelling there. The idea that the whole earth is one and anyone can travel anywhere they want to, is not any kind of reality. Rather it is something which privileged Americans have enjoyed for many years, without even being aware that they are enjoying a privilege!Susan, grow up and take note of reality. Reading your article has made me lose respect for liberals. I always thought that liberals were unrealistic and sentimental, but I had never before realized how out of touch they are with reality. Any attempt to enforce laws makes them think of Nazism. And that is because they have never come across the fact that even in civilized society, you do have to obey the law and it is NOT Nazism!

  • cmarshdtihqcom

    Chris Marsh

  • mike85

    Profoundly corrosive? Approximately 460,000 of the residents in Arizona are illegal aliens – people who invaded this country, are are stealing our money, goods, services, jobs, and are clogging our hospitals and schools. That is what is profoundly corrosive!Had these illegal aliens simply invaded private homes, brutalized the residents, and took their money and goods, people would be screaming for their capture and prosecution. But because these criminals came in droves and have refused to leave, the Democrats want to make them citizens so that they will pad the numbers of the Democratic voters. That is a travesty.

  • mandrake

    joysd45 you miss the point. This law doesn’t just require documentation for foreigners and tourists to have documentation. It requires you and me (assuming you are a US citizen) to carry documentation at all times in our own country. In that way, it is like East Germany or more oppressive governments. The answer to this problem is economic, not law enforcement related.

  • battleground51

    The Arizona way is acceptable to a clear majority of American citizens. Multiple, respected polls have shown that. It is clear that America demands that its laws be respected and enforced.This is all about ILLEGAL invaders of America. It is not about (legal) immigration. Illegal immigrants are outlaws by definition. Illegals are chronic lawbreakers and have no respect for American institutions.America has very good and generous immigration laws. We welcome immigrants of all nations. We cannot welcome gate crashers and freeloaders whose only interest in America is to grab as much as they can and run. Such people have no morals, only greedy self interest.

  • drzimmern1

    Its worrying—the thinking behind this article. Its “Morally corrosive” to prevent illegal aliens from smuggling drugs acrossthe border? “Morally corosive” to prevent Phoenix residents from kidnapping (Phoenix has the highest rate of kidnapping in the entire world). Arizona is defending itself, reacting to the lack of enforcement by federal authorities. Go Arizona! By the way, I just read that the richest man in the entire world lives in Mexico, along with several other barons of wealth.Interesting.

  • ThishowIseeit

    Susan, sound like you’re taking The Sermon of The Mount “literally” and you want everybody to lives accordingly. But: science has proven that the Book of Genesis should not to be take literally, so the entire Hebrew Bible should not be taken literally. Because the foundations of the NT are in the Hebew Bible ( prophets etc.) so the NT should not be taken literally. The Sermon of The Mount can ONLY be take in a symbolic way.

  • lexiesmaid

    Dear Susan,

  • cmarshdtihqcom

    Battleground51 saidAmerica has very good and generous immigration laws. We welcome immigrants of all nations. We cannot welcome gate crashers and freeloaders whose only interest in America is to grab as much as they can and run. Such people have no morals, only greedy self interest.So did Ireland, and it ended birthright citizenship. Lessons anyone?

  • jfv123

    Does the authorLeave the doors to her house unlocked?Does the author not trust her neighbors?Would the author not report to the police If she would report these crimes, is the author a police state informer?

  • bobbo2

    I would like to see every columnist in the Washington Post print the entire Arizona law concerning immigrants at the begining of their column. Then print whatever they want to say concerning the law. I think that would curtail the bomb throwing, false statements, name calling, etc. that many of the columnists have been employing. Print the facts first. The material written by many of the Post columnists concerning this matter has been very inaccurate.

  • sunbird1

    As a non-Hispanic resident of Arizona, I feel I must respond to some of these comments, especially those of commenters who do not live in Arizona. Dr. Thistlewaite is absolutely correct. The vast majority of the residents of Hispanic heritage in AZ are U.S. citizens. Many, such as Linda Ronstadt, come from families who have been in this area since it belonged to Mexico. Folks have been going back and forth across the border for work for hundreds of years here. When the new law goes into effect, all of us, but especially those who have brown skin, will have to carry proof of citizenship (birth certificate, passport or legal resident papers) at all times. The climate the law creates is one of fear among all residents. I volunteer with brown-skinned Iraqi refugee children and drive them places. If they do not have their immigration papers with them when I am driving them (one is 5 years old), I can be arrested and have my car impounded.I believe that it is significant that the Sheriff of Pima County (Tucson) has said he and his deputies will not enforce the law. A Tucson policeman with the backing of many other policemen has filed a law suit challenging the law. These folks say the law will make it more difficult to control true crimes because people will be afraid to report crimes or give evidence in criminal cases. Many church officials and rabbis have condemned this law as well. Dr. Thistlewaite is correct in that the law pits people against each other, people who have lived in peace with each other for centuries.In closing I would like to refer readers to the piece in this newspaper entitled “Five Myths about Immigration,” an excellent source.

  • dougw3

    When I lived in Texas back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, no one was very concerned about illegal immigration. Why all the fuss now? What has so drastically changed now that was not in place then? Drugs were still brought across the border (Despite what everyone thinks, a fence or one law will not stop that). People still come across the border to work. Nothing wrong with that. Don’t attempt to use that tired old story about taking American jobs from Americans. That lie is not worth proving. Texans didn’t seem much to care about Mexicans in the State. They, as well as I, worked side by side with them. This whole illegal immigrant crap is worthless. Like I have said before, Illegal immigration is like the waves of the sea, man attempts to corral the waves at the ocean front, and the waves keep coming. Same with immigration, illegal or not.

  • RichardHode

    I wish people would be as concerned about businesses that outsource Americans’ jobs, well-paying jobs, and throwing our people into unemployment. Instead, the “patriots” worry and fret about the lettuce pickers, gardeners, and amateur car mechanics who snuck across from Mexico. The outsourcing traitor businesses do far more damage to the nation than Juan and Juanita and their kids. But then again, bullies go after the vulnerable and cower before the rich and powerful, as always.

  • pv2bdrco

    Experienced the same issue when I first traveled to West Germany in the 70’s as a recently, very naive, high school graduate. Their reasonable suspicion was very evident even in this susposedly democratic state. Americans are just so arrogant, fearful, resentful and closed-minded in many respects. Living in a police-state is not one where liberties and freedoms are protected. It is one where freedoms eventually erode to a point beyond where society starts to severely restrict them against others not like themselves. Mark my words, these same resentful, bigoted and fearful people will be the first to complain once they can’t leave their homes without ID, must keep their heads down, gaze not on others in higher status, know “NOT” their neighbors or continue to conduct themselves in their present arrogant manner.

  • dummypants

    what in the world is this person talking about? ‘reasonable suspicion’ is the standards applied to nearly EVERY situation, regardless of what particular crime is occuring. the reasonable suspicion standard has been around for decades without becoming a police state. liberals, once again, prove that they fear monger better than anyone.so it really comes down to this: either we enforce our immigration laws that say you need permission from the US gov’ment to be in this country, or we change our longstanding immigration laws to reflect the trendy idea that anybody can come here for any reason at any time and stay as long as they want. in other words, we should no longer be the masters of our own immigtation policy.

  • dummypants

    illegal immigrants arent really helping their cause by engaging in angry riots coast-to-coast (in some cases fully equipped with torches).this is probably the reason why CONGRESS decided that they shouldnt come into the country in the first place. congress decides what level of legal immigration is best for the country and apparently we have exceeded that over the past couple decades by 15 million. expect more angry law-breaking riots to continue until we make clear that the US has every right to control its flow of immigration just as every other does, and intends to do just that. we DO need federal action – on enforcement, not amnesty.

  • economy48

    Rep. Luis Gutierrez is just another hispanic racist. He wants to keep inplace the system of slavery for illegal immigrants to keep himself employed.

  • primegrop

    If the Federal Gov’t enforced the existing laws, none of this would have ocurred.The law abiding citizens of Arizona suffer because of this. They believe the inordinate crime rate is heavily correlated with illegal immigrants.A lot has been made about how they shouldn’t do anything about the situation, because it is immoral to ask legal citizens to carry ID and maybe some hispanic citizens would suffer.Gee, um, I guess the legal citizens should just shut up and do nothing, eh? I don’t think so. They have a right to try and restore order.