June 20, 2011

On May 13th, Georgia’s governor signed a bill that essentially made it illegal for illegal aliens to be illegal. As hatefully punitive as that sounds, the bill’s most explosive passage—hold onto your seat, because it’s shocking—permits police who are conducting criminal investigations, including traffic stops, to inquire into a suspect’s immigration status in cases where the suspect fails to provide personal identification.

At the risk of sprinkling too much shredded cheese on my taco, isn’t that sorta the way it works all around the world? I suspect that if I were nabbed doing 110KPH in a 40KPH zone deep in Quintana Roo and couldn’t cough up my passport, the best possible scenario would involve being arrested and deported. Even here in Georgia, I believe the common etiquette is to produce identification during traffic stops, but what do I know—I live in Georgia!

The bill would also make it illegal for illegal aliens to receive public benefits. Again, I’m pretty sure that’s how it works down in Mexico, too, assuming there’s much in the way of beneficios públicos to be had. Either way, I’d consider it ill-mannered if I were to barge into an emergency room somewhere in the Free and Sovereign State of Chihuahua and demand that they yank out my gall bladder for free.

Georgia’s bill also specifies that when making such inquiries, police “shall not consider race, color, or national origin,” which seems rather gallant given the fact that four out of every five illegal immigrants in America is from south of the border.

Scheduled to go into effect July 1, the new law came on the scorched heels of Arizona’s similar and oft-maligned SB 1070. It will potentially affect more people, because Georgia has more illegal immigrants than Arizona.

“Yes, we’re a ‘nation of immigrants,’ but I don’t recall anyone swimming around Ellis Island to get here.”

As predictable as the massive humidity curtain that drops down on the Peach State every summer, along came the racial grievance-mongers to cry foul. The usual suspects filed suit early in June to block the new law. The suit claimed that Georgia’s new law “will significantly harm Georgians, particularly Georgians of color” without specifying exactly how it would impinge upon their well-being beyond the mild nuisance of being asked to provide ID when suspected of a crime. In typical rive gauche fashion, they accused their opponents of trying to foment fear, panic, and hysteria while in actuality being the only side to spew forth fearful, panicked, and hysterical verbiage.

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s mannish rotunda Mary Bauer waddled up to a podium outside Georgia’s State Capitol to claim the law perpetuated “the hate rhetoric that has become commonplace among many elected officials” while failing to produce even a snippet of this allegedly rampant hate rhetoric that I’d honestly like to hear, if only for amusement. As if it were fact rather than fantasy, Bauer stated that the law “threatens the rights of citizens and non-citizens alike by encouraging racial profiling.” I’m guessing she either missed or ignored the part of the law that forbids racial profiling. Maybe explicitly forbidding racial profiling constitutes “coded speech” for openly encouraging racial profiling, and only chosen members of the Leaderless Resistance will be able to decipher such a cryptic message.

Chara Jackson of Georgia’s ACLU chapter screeched that “This law essentially turns Georgia into a police state.” Karen Tumlin of the National Immigration Law Center caterwauled that the bill “gives Georgians a reason to fear that they may be stripped of their constitutional rights simply because of the way they look or sound.”

No, Sugar Muffin, they have to be suspected of a crime first, and then they must fail to produce identification. The “way they look or sound” appears to be your hangup rather than the law’s.

Like the maladjusted power-worshiping schoolmarms that they are, the bill’s opponents remonstrate us that this is a federal, and not a state, issue. Yeah, but due to trifles such as education and medical care, it’s the states and not the feds who are forced to shell out about three-quarters of illegal immigration’s costs.

Last week, at a single strategic pixel in the space-time continuum when the situation already seemed sufficiently ridiculous to satisfy even my appetite for ridiculousness, in whooshed Mexico and 10 other Central and South American countries to file more legal papers against Georgia and spill a whole cuppa melted queso all over the bowl o’ nachos.

In their legal brief, the entire country of Mexico, as well as every last inhabitant of nearly every other maize-kneading nation south of Texas, complained that those meddlesome busybodies in Georgia who write Georgia’s laws had enacted legislation that “substantially and inappropriately burdens the consistent country to country relations between Mexico and the United States of America…interfering with the strategic diplomatic interests of the two countries and encouraging an imminent threat of state-sanctioned bias or discrimination.”


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