Congressional Candidate Beth Anne Rankin says news reports from Arizona make her wonder what would happen if the federal government enforced the existing immigration law.
“The news reports say that the days leading up to the Arizona law going into effect have caused a mass exodus of those who have no legal right to be in Arizona,” Rankin said. “The Arizona law basically mimics the federal immigration laws. Illegal immigrants are fleeing Arizona in record numbers because they think the state will enforce laws the federal government isn’t enforcing.”
The Arizona law, which takes effect Thursday, makes being an illegal immigrant a state crime and requires state and local police, during lawful contact, to investigate the status of anyone they reasonably suspect of being an illegal immigrant.
Estimates vary, but most believe there were about 400,000 people in Arizona who had entered this country illegally. Media reports say the number of undocumented people in Arizona has sharply declined as Thursday, the day the law goes on the books, approaches, she said.
“When you see what is happening in Arizona, you can’t help but ask what would happen if we started enforcing the immigration laws the federal government has on the books, but ignores.” Rankin said
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has sued Arizona to stop the Arizona law from being put into effect.
“Arizona’s law is a state copy of the federal law. Arizona passed that law out of frustration that the federal government was not doing its job,” Rankin said. “The best way to stop the Arizona law from being enforced would be to enforce the federal laws. Eric Holder was wrong to file that lawsuit.”
There is a drug war raging in Mexico. The government of Mexico is battling drug cartels similar to what Columbia did in the 1980s, Rankin said.
“There are legitimate concerns that the horrific violence we are seeing in Mexico will spill over the border into the United States because our southern border is so open,” Rankin said. “Our border needs to be a line that drug lords know they don’t dare cross. There needs to be a clear message to the cartels that you don’t bring your drugs, crime and violence into the United States of America without consequences. That message hasn’t been sent.”
Instead, the federal government can’t get its act together enough to place a physical barrier along the border, she said.
“Congress appropriated money to build a fence along the border with Mexico. Years have passed since then and it is still not built,” Rankin said. “This country put a man on the moon and we can’t even build a fence along our border. The only reason that fence hasn’t been built is that people in Washington don’t want it built.”