Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Rep. John Kline Signs On To Trading Our 'Essential Liberty' for 'Temporary Safety'

Going into the Labor Day Weekend, Rep. John Kline (R-MN-02) along with Rep. Michele Bachmann were among 66 other Congressional Republicans members who signed an amicus brief in support of Arizona's controversial immigration Law (SB 1070). Currently Judge Susan Bolton of Federal District Court has issued a preliminary injunction against sections of the law that called for police officers to check a person’s immigration status.

In many ways I'm not surprised by Rep. John Kline's position. He's always been willing to trade our Constitutional Rights for more political posturing on imaginary security/safety concerns. Kline has always favored protecting us with bigger- better- badder- boarder corporation, business, or military rights by trading away our basic civil rights. But John Kline would do well to remember the wise advise of one of our founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin:

 "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

While Kline may be willing to give up our essential liberties, Americans are not so willing to just yet throw away the Constitution. The Arizona immigration law's premise is that in giving up our constitutional right, we will be more secure. The law essentially legalizes racial profiling...
  • The law puts communities of color in the cross hairs by requiring state and local government workers to determine if a person is illegally in the United States based on a “reasonable suspicion.”=
  • Legal experts maintain that the law will result in racial profiling in a very diverse state with multiple generations of U.S. citizens. Three out of every 10 Arizonans are Hispanic, 1 out of 10 is American Indian, and 13 percent are foreign born.

The law undercuts our American Constitution and imbues local police with federal authority...another area that Rep. John Kline seems to think is okay...To Kline, it's okay under this law to not require search warrents or even suspect that some illegal action has occurred! It even makes solicitation of work criminal even though it is protected speech under the First Amendment.

 As Judge Susan Bolton cites:

“There is a substantial likelihood that officers will wrongfully arrest legal resident aliens by enforcing this statute, Arizona would impose, a distinct, unusual and extraordinary’ burden on legal resident aliens that only the federal government has the authority to impose.”
“Requiring Arizona law enforcement officials and agencies to determine the immigration status of every person who is arrested burdens lawfully present aliens because their liberty will be restricted while their status is checked,” 
It's nice and neat to think that if we trade away just a few civil rights that we'll be protected and safe. But the question we need to ask, who will protect us once we have no more liberty? Reps Kline and Bachmann may feel it's okay to trade our Constitutional rights for so-called boarder safety/security problems but most Americans don't.

I find it ironic that these modern day Tea Party members conveniently forget Patrick Henry's speech 'Give me Liberty or Give me Death'  following the Boston Tea Party in 1773. Our forefathers and nation founders understood and risked their lives for the US Constitution that John Kline and Michele Bachmann are so lightly trading with  for their political gamesmanship in the name of safety/security. How disturbing is that?

The law will harm the state and local economies

Arizona already spends over a billion dollars annually on immigration related expenses, almost sending the state running for cash advances...can it realistically afford the massive cost of this law? Kline often uses the term fiscally conservative to define himself but there is nothing conservative about this unconstitutional law according to AmericaProgressive:

■The National Employment Law Project pointed out that smaller-scale anti-immigrant ordinances have cost individual localities millions of dollars. The Texas-based Perryman Group calculated that if all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Arizona, the state would lose $26.4 billion in economic activity, $11.7 billion in gross state product, and approximately 140,324 jobs.

■The Immigration Policy Center noted that, “with Arizona facing a budget deficit of more than $3 billion,” the new law will “further imperil the state’s economic future.”

The law will be expensive and take cops away from community policing

■The Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police firmly opposes the law for fiscal and public safety reasons, noting that fear of government officials will diminish the public’s willingness to cooperate with police in criminal investigations and will “negatively affect the ability of law enforcement agencies across the state to fulfill their many responsibilities in a timely manner.”

■Local taxpayers will bear the heavy costs of lengthy court litigation.

■The costs to arrest, detain, process, and transport undocumented immigrants out of Arizona will drain local government treasuries. There were an estimated 460,000 undocumented immigrants in Arizona as of January 2009, making up 4 percent of the state’s population. If the federal government were to handle the entire undocumented population, the cost would be approximately $23,148 per person, based on a recent study by the Center for American Progress.


No comments: