Frequent readers of this site know that I hold an extreme position on immigration: I advocate free and open immigration of anyone who wants to come. I made the case for open immigration here.
So it is not surprising that I am opposed to recent efforts by our Arizona Governor and state legislature to crack down on undocumented immigrants, an effort by the way that feels more like populist pandering than deeply held belief.
But what really befuddles me about our Governor's efforts is the message she seems to be sending. Take these two positions together:
- Last November, Governor Napolitano opposed the passage of Proposition 200, which was aimed at denying state services to illegal immigrants. And, after its passage in November 2004, she did everything she could to drag her feet on its enforcement
- Today, Governor Napolitano is supporting a state-wide crackdown on hiring of illegal immigrants, with a proposal for substantially increased fines and penalties for businesses that hire an undocumented worker.
Taking these two positions together, our governor's position appears to be that she supports immigrants being able to freeload off of taxpayer-funded services and transfer payments, but opposes immigrants being able to work and be productive. Maybe we can post a big sign down on the border:
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning... for government handouts, but please tell your productive workers to stay home.
Update: The Arizona Republic, though I may bash it from time to time, has been pretty fair to me in publishing my letters to the editor. The post above was published in their print edition on January 21, and online here (though I thought my title was much better!)