A reader wrote me and asked why, given my dislike for Sheriff Joe Arpaio, I had not blogged on the request by a number of members of the US Congress to investigate Arpaio, particularly regarding his crime sweeps of neighborhoods that seem to result in the arrest of mainly those of Mexican ethnicity. Heck, he has pulled more Hispanics out of some tony suburbs than I thought could even exist in the area, much less have probable cause for arrest.
I guess I haven't blogged on it because I am busy, and besides I am not sure a political stunt by some Congressmen will really amount to much of an investigation.
But I do have a reaction to the blog post that the reader sent me. The blog is called MaxRedline and comments thus on the investigation:
This is interesting; it's unclear exactly where in the Founding documents of our nation that illegal aliens are granted civil rights.
This is a mistake I think many conservatives make. Because, in fact, immigrants, no matter what licenses and permissions they have or don't have from the US government, have the same rights as everyone else. Because rights don't flow from the government, they flow from the fact of being human. Government is not the source of rights, it is their protector. I can bring the founding fathers into the matter as well:
Like the founders of this country, I believe that our individual rights exist by the very fact of our existence as thinking human beings, and that these rights are not the gift of kings or congressmen. Rights do not flow to us from government, but in fact governments are formed by men as an artificial construct to help us protect those rights, and well-constructed governments, like ours, are carefully limited in their powers to avoid stifling the rights we have inherently as human beings.
Do you see where this is going? The individual rights we hold dear are our rights as human beings, NOT as citizens. They flow from our very existence, not from our government. As human beings, we have the right to assemble with whomever we want and to speak our minds. We have the right to live free of force or physical coercion from other men. We have the right to make mutually beneficial arrangements with other men, arrangements that might involve exchanging goods, purchasing shelter, or paying another man an agreed upon rate for his work. We have these rights and more in nature, and have therefore chosen to form governments not to be the source of these rights (for they already existed in advance of governments) but to provide protection of these rights against other men who might try to violate these rights through force or fraud....
These rights of speech and assembly and commerce and property shouldn't, therefore, be contingent on "citizenship".
For the same reasons, we owe the same due process to the civilian we snatched off the streets of Kabul and dumped into Guantanamo as to the housewife from Peoria. The exception to this is things like voting and running for office, but these are just process issues associated with the artificial construct called government. And welfare and the New Deal screws a lot of this up, but that is discussed at my post linked above.
Interestingly, most Conservatives would say that they agree with this proposition, that rights flow from our humanity and not from the government. They would also generally oppose government licensing of all sorts of activities. But here we have a case where conservatives are arguing that not only some limited commerce rights, but the full package of civil rights, are lost without a certain piece of paper from the government.
Many more immigration posts here.