Arizona’s new immigration law has been divisive, to say the least (and to say the most, quasi-unconstitutional). It’s united Karl Rove and Shakira (sorry for that visual) and it’s brought the overwrought call for a boycott of everything Arizona-related. And it didn’t have to happen.
First, a look back on what effective policing looks like. Let’s go to the source.
- The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.
- The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon the public approval of police actions.
- Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observation of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.
- The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.
- Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.
- Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient.
- Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
- Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions, and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.
- The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.
This new law fails #2, #3, #4 and #7 (and until recently, #8) of these timeless principles. This law, and any law like it, is doomed to failure because it treats the people affected the most (the legal Hispanic residents of Arizona) as part of the problem and not part of the solution. Hispanics of all political stripes are speaking out against this law, and Arizona’s lawmakers (and the Republican Party) would be wise to listen to what they have to say.
We need to stop illegal immigration, but how can we reconcile the need to crack down on this crime
wave tsunami and yet still have the trust of the people? Yes, I know, the majority of Arizona residents like these new laws, but I’d be willing to bet a poll of the residents of Guadalupe or downtown Mesa might yield different results.
We can end illegal immigration and improve relationships with the Hispanic community in Arizona by applying what has worked in the past to Arizona’s current predicament. We need a surge.
(* Pauses, waits for the hysterical lefties to finish screaming “Ah-ha! I KNEW you were a fascist! Keith Olbermann is right, you conservatives are all Nazis! *)
Done now? Ok, moving on.
The Surge worked (and yes, it did work) because it applied the age-old principles of counter-insurgency to the battle in Iraq, and if thousands of people streaming over the border and a dramatically increased crime rate in Arizona isn’t an insurgency, what is? The three pillars of a successful counterinsurgency are:
How could this apply to Arizona’s problem with illegal immigration?
- Close the border. At the very least, send National Guard troops there on a regular rotation because it’s good practice for what their jobs will be in Afghanistan and Iraq. If the feds won’t build a fence, build one ourselves a few miles in-country from the border.
- Get the Hispanic community onboard with the fact that illegal immigration hurts them more than anyone else in Arizona. This is just basic common sense. Russell Pearce would be shocked (just like Walt Kowalski before him) as to how much in common he has with the people of west Phoenix. Unite the communities of Arizona to fight a common enemy: Don’t cordon off neighborhoods and stop every car you see.
- Low-cost illegal workers keep wages down for legal immigrants. It’s blindingly obvious, but make even more obvious. If the resident Hispanic population of Arizona can see that illegal immigration hurts their prospects and ruins their lives, the coyotes and other enablers of human smuggling will find no safe harbor in our state.
Insurgencies prosper when the people around them see their goals as more attractive than the government’s goals. To fight an insurgency, you need to isolate the insurgency from the people and turn the people against the guerrillas, and right now, that ain’t happening in Arizona, not with “Cuidado: Arpaio vienne” signs on the city limits of Guadalupe. If the politicians and policemen of Arizona can turn the Hispanic community against illegal immigration, they’ll find their job is much easier and much safer. But it will mean scrapping the current heavy-handed approach and embracing Arizona’s Hispanic past, and not hiding it like an embarrassing drunken uncle at a family reunion.
E Pluribus Unum. It’s not just a good idea, it should be the law.
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April 30th, 2010 by admindude