Well petals, the Arizona immigration law (SB 1070) has gone into effect and the round up of wayward Canadians can now begin.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, darlings: “But Ruby, this law is just about the Mexicans.” But I beg to differ, and here’s why.
Arizona’s law enforcement agencies are stuck between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, they have to implement 1070 which, despite protestations, was obviously designed to target Latinos (seriously, how many Norwegian Day Laborers are clogging the streets of Phoenix, thereby necessitating a massive rewrite of traffic ordinances?). But on the other hand, every media outlet, the Federal Government, immigration activists from both sides of the issue, and scores of civil liberties organizations will be watching every police action and police policy under a microscope, looking for grounds for litigation. That’s not a place any police chief or officers would voluntarily want to be in, and my empathetic heart goes out to them.
But as a result of this hyper scrutiny, there is going to be inordinate political pressure to make the implementation of this law look color-blind. And so, I am guestimating that a white Canadian illegal immigrant will have a street arrest value of about 200 Mexican illegal immigrants. It’s only a matter of time before handcuffed and shackled Canadians are paraded in front of the media for an obligatory slow-motion perp walk of shame.
And knowing media whore and showboat Sheriff Joe Arpiao’s taste for the theatrical, he will probably have Maple Leafs monogrammed onto their pink prison-issued underwear (seriously, he makes all of his prisoners wear pink underwear and prison uniforms to A) humiliate them, and B) show the taxpaying voters of Maricopa County how tough he is.) Petals, I am no fan of prison offenders and I’m a firm believer in the correctional system, but this guy is just a populist douchebag. No surprise either, but 1070’s author and main political proponent is white uber-Mormon Senator Russell Pearce, another law enforcement show-boater who worked for Arpaio. Rumor has it that he’s also jockeying for Arpaio’s job.
Now, we could do an entire series of Mountain Meadow’s Mascara columns discussing the differences between elected vs. appointed sheriffs, or why so many Mormon law enforcement types go off the ideological deep end (Cleon Skousen, Russell Pearce, Carl Wimmer). But I want to talk to all of those disingenuous “get in line and immigrate the right way and we won’t have a problem with you” blowhards out there. They are stepping on my last nerve.
For them and for all of those Tea Party commentators on the message boards of KSL and The Salt Lake Tribune who only see the world in brown and white, I dare you to do this. Before you make any blanket statement about legal immigration and how everyone should go through the legal channels, just walk one applicant through the immigration and naturalization process. Just one, that’s all I’m asking. I’ll even make it easy for you and let you pick one from an English-speaking country that can comprehend the byzantine forms. Walk them through the mind-numbingly exhaustive and expensive 10-year process. Wait with them while their paperwork gets lost three times, or returned five times for arbitrary technical problems and see how it feels. For those of you who have never had any interaction with the agency, ICE is about as user-friendly as a DMV staffed by capricious IRS agents.
Our church congregation sponsored a refugee family through the immigration process. After that fiasco our plans for a refugee program were promptly dropped. No one had any idea how Kafkaesque and completely illogical the process was. For every flag-waving, newly naturalized immigrant thrust in front of KSL at the Provo Freedom Parade, there are thousands upon thousands who never make it through the bureaucratic nightmare and red tape that is “legal” immigration.
Even if federal immigration laws change (don’t hold your breath in an election year, kittens), it won’t mean anything unless the federal immigration bureaucracy is given a major overhaul, a clear mandate to increase their capacity and decrease their processing times, and an exponential increase in their budget. Until then, states like Arizona (and maybe Utah) will create immigration policy with the nuance of a bulldozer (which is probably operated by a Mexican).
In the meantime, God help anyone in Arizona wearing an Edmonton Oilers jersey. Ciao, babies!
You can see Ruby Ridge and the Matrons of Mayhem in all of their polyester glory at Third Friday Bingo (every Third Friday of the month at 7 p.m.) at First Baptist Church, 777 S. 1300 East.