The deceit of audacity defines a new battlefront in the U.S. border security and immigration debate. The Governor of the U.S. state of Arizona, Jan Brewer, had the “audacity” on April 23, 2010 to sign into law Senate Bill (SB) 1070—a bill that declared a person found in the United States illegally would also be considered “illegal” in the state of Arizona.
On April 30, the Arizona legislature passed and Governor Brewer signed House Bill (HB) 2162, which modified SB 1070 to deal with the backlash against the legislation. The amended text clarified that “prosecutors would not investigate complaints based on race, color, or national origin.”
The new text also states that police may only investigate immigration status incidents to a “lawful stop, detention, or arrest.”
As we watch this debate continue to play out in the media, the Biblical perspective is worthy of note. Whenever an argument appears in all ways illogical, we usually find an agenda applicable to end times prophecy lurking behind the scenes.
Defining Illegal Immigration
What does “illegal immigration” mean? Illegal immigration is defined as “the movement of people across national borders in a way that violates the immigration laws of the destination country. Illegal immigrants are also known as illegal aliens to differentiate them from “legal aliens.”
The word “illegal” applies because the action violates existing law.
A series of immigration reports compiled in February 2006 by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) provides a picture of U.S. immigration policies and statistics.
Essentially, immigration has been a subject of legislation for U.S. policy makers since the country’s founding. In 1790, Congress established a process by which foreign-born people could become U.S. citizens. The first federal law limiting immigration qualitatively was enacted in 1875, which prohibited the admission of criminals and prostitutes.
The following year, in response to individual states’ efforts to control immigration, the Supreme Court declared that the regulation of immigration was the exclusive responsibility of the federal government.
To meet the growing responsibility of this endeavor, Congress established the Immigration Service in 1891 to process all immigrants seeking admission to the U.S.
U.S. immigration policies continued to modify through the decades until the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of 1965, which abolished the national-origins quota system and created a categorical preference system. The 1965 amendments continue today with adjustments to immigration ceilings or “caps.”
The Immigration Debate
The concern for the increasing number of people entering the U.S. illegally resulted in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. The Act sought to enhance enforcement of immigration law and to create new pathways to legal immigration.
Enforcement included sanctions against employers who knowingly hired or recruited unauthorized aliens (illegal immigrants). Additionally, two amnesty programs were provided: 1) the Seasonal Agricultural Worker amnesty program, and 2) the Legally Authorized Workers amnesty program.
The Seasonal Agricultural Worker program allowed people who had worked for at least 90 days in certain agricultural jobs to apply for permanent resident status. The Legally Authorized Workers program allowed current unauthorized aliens who had lived in the U.S. since 1982 to legalize their status. Within these two programs, approximately 2.7 million people residing in the U.S. illegally became lawful permanent residents.
This action, however, did not stem the tide of a growing problem. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 addressed border enforcement and the use of social services by immigrants:
• Increased the number of border patrol agents;
• Introduced new border control measures;
• Reduced government benefits available to immigrants;
• Created a pilot program for phone verification of immigrant eligibility for work or social services.
Following the creation in 2002 of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the aftermath of 9/11, nearly all of the functions of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) were transferred to DHS and multiple government bureaus.
Immigration and naturalization services are the responsibility of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. Border enforcement functions are split between the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
At a time when American citizens became especially conscious of border security, the federal government chose to add enough bureaucracy to the functionality of responsibility that nothing is accomplished.
While many in the federal government are pushing for Immigration Reform legislation, citizens are simply asking why we can’t enforce the legislation that is already in place? The refusal of the federal government to enforce existing law is what prompted the state of Arizona to pass a law making “illegal immigration” illegal in the state to allow state officials to apprehend offenders and present them to federal authorities for processing.
Behind the Scenes
One over-arching view as to why the federal government does not enforce sovereign U.S. borders was discussed in the December 2009 Personal Update article, “2010 and Beyond: North America”:
Dr. Pastor further stated in the May 2005 CFR report, “Building a North American Community,” that the Security and Prosperity Partnership signed by President Bush with Mexico and Canada on March 23, 2005 should become by 2010 a “North American economic and security community, the boundaries of which would be defined by a common external tariff and an outer security perimeter.”
The goal of creating a North American Community has taken a direct hit with Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070 and House Bill 2162. In fact, Arizona residents thought the move of then Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano to Washington, D.C. to head up the Department of Homeland Security would fast-track solutions to Arizona’s border issues. It did not.
Who Needs to Read?
The intense and threatening attacks against Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, the state, and the legislation are telling. Every opportunity has been taken to frame the debate in any terms other than “you have broken the law and you cannot do it.”
Federal government officials were caught criticizing the legislation before actually reading it (not uncommon in Washing-ton, D.C. these days). Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Home-land Security, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that she had “deep concerns” regarding the law. Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General, said the federal government was considering several options, including a court challenge based upon possible civil rights violations.
Most shocking, however, was how Michael Posner, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, used the law as an example to illustrate how the U.S. needed to improve in its human rights areas before a Chinese delegation—as if enforcing immigration policy is on par with China’s documented human rights abuses!
Leap to Racial Profiling
As if on cue, Los Angeles Councilwoman Janice Hahn and Colorado Congressman Jared Polis crafted the ultimate insult. They compared the law’s “requirement to carry papers all the time to the anti-Jewish legislation in prewar Nazi Germany” and feared Arizona was headed toward becoming a “police state.”
In another spurious claim, Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles said, “I can’t imagine Arizonans now reverting to German Nazi or Russian Communist techniques whereby people are required to turn one another in to the authorities on any suspicion of documentation.”
As to documentation, the law states a person is “presumed to not be an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States if he or she presents any of the following four forms of identification:
a) a valid Arizona driver license;
b) a valid Arizona non-operating identification license;
c) a valid tribal enrollment card or other tribal identification; or
d) any valid federal, state, or local government-issued identification, if the issuer requires proof of legal presence in the United States as a condition of issuance.”
These are the documents that are compared to Nazi Ger-many and Communist Russia? Do not all U.S. citizens carry at least one of these documents to engage in normal activities such as driving a vehicle, cashing a check, or boarding an air-line? By invoking these comparisons illegitimately, the opponents to Arizona’s legislation may intentionally or unintentionally be creating an atmosphere in which the prophecies of Matthew 24:7 quickly become a reality.
Other Than Mexican (OTMs)
The one legitimate “racial” concern that hasn’t been voiced in this debate thus far is the concern Arizonans have regarding the number of “other than Mexicans” (OTMs) apprehended crossing the border with Mexico.
In 2005, 1.2 million illegal aliens were apprehended by law enforcement. Of those, 165,000 were from countries other than Mexico. Within that total, approximately 650 were from countries designated by the intelligence community as “countries that could export individuals that could bring harm to our country in the way of terrorism.”
Additional information regarding the problem of terrorists NOT apprehended at the border is documented in a 2006 congressional report, titled A Line in the Sand: Confronting the Threat at the Southwest Border, prepared by the House Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Investigations.
According to the 2005 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report for Congress, titled Border Security: Apprehensions of “Other Than Mexican” Aliens, the problem has decreased in the years following 9/11, but continues to be a problem:
Some might suggest that the declining rate of apprehensions for special interest OTMs is due to the post-9/11 security enhancements in the United States which have discouraged aliens from these countries from attempting to enter the coun-try illegally. Others could point out that regardless of the decline in special interest OTM apprehensions, the threat of terrorist infiltration along the southwest border is quite real and is exacerbated by the number of human smuggling networks operating there. It is unclear how many aliens of any nationality, much less from special interest countries evade capture by the USBP [U.S. Border Patrol] each year and succeed in entering the United States illegally. Nevertheless, the data indicate that each year hundreds of aliens from countries known to harbor terrorists or promote terrorism are apprehended at-tempting to enter the country illegally between POE [points of entry].
The federal government obviously knows there is a problem at the southern border. Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan thought he was helping with the immigration legislation and amnesty programs of 1986. The problem has only worsened through the subsequent administrations to today.
Opinion polls show overwhelming support for the Arizona law.
A Rasmussen Reports poll taken at the time the bill was signed into law indicated that 60 percent of Americans were in favor and 31 percent were opposed. A national Gallup Poll found that 75% of Americans had heard about the law, and of those, 51 percent were in favor and 39 percent were opposed. Other favorable polls included the Angus Reid Public Opinion poll, the nationwide New York Times/CBS News poll, and the national Fox News poll.
Even the polls became “suspect” to those who do not want to listen to the people. Political pundits have cautioned that “polling has difficulty reflecting complex immigration issues and law.” Pollsters argued among themselves that the numbers most likely reflected an “overall frustration with Washington and support for Arizona’s willingness to act, rather than an ‘anti-immigrant’ reaction.”
The American public is not “anti-immigrant.” The message from the polls is that the American public is “anti-illegal immigrant.” And the frustration is truly against the federal government’s agenda to move the borders—which now appears to be an agenda hiding in plain sight.
Stewart Baker, former Homeland Security official in the George W. Bush administration, confirmed, “There’s nothing in the law that requires cities to stop people without cause, or encourages racial or ethnic profiling by itself.”
Nation Against Nation
Thoughts that this move of the people will spread to other states before a federally mandated alternative can occur is be-hind the negative rhetoric on all levels. It is especially difficult because the groundswell stands to become a hot election topic for the 2010 mid-term elections.
One unnerving concern in this debate, however, is how easily the racial rhetoric can culminate in an out-of-control condition known in Matthew 24:7, “For nation shall rise against nation…” In Greek, the word nation is translated from ethnos meaning “a tribe, nation, or people group.”
Accusations that “white supremacist groups” support the law, and that it will result in “human rights violations” and “racial profiling against Hispanic citizens” may cause everyone to forget that the debate is about legal U.S. citizenship.
Those who choose to throw deceit at the audacity of Arizona’s commitment to enforce the federal immigration laws before they are totally dismantled may be setting the U.S. up for something far worse than a North American perimeter.
As some have predicted, the U.S. may crumble from within, split along ethnical boundary lines. Once the determination is made that a boundary is no longer sovereign, where do you choose to stand and fight? The answer to that question re-mains to be seen in the coming months.