Arizona's immigration law is necessary
State Sen. Sylvia Allen
April 30, 2010

I'm an Arizona state senator. I want to explain SB1070, Arizona's immigration bill, which I voted for and which was just signed by Gov. Jan Brewer.

Rancher Rob Krentz was shot to death on his ranch over a month ago and the shooter fled into Mexico. His family suspects a drug smuggler is responsible. I participated in a state Senate hearing two weeks ago on the border violence that is, and has been, sweeping our border communities for years. From those hearings, we learned that:

The people who live within 60 to 80 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border have been terrorized by the Mexican drug cartels and human smugglers. One rancher testified that 300 to 1,200 people cross his ranch every day, vandalizing his property, stealing his vehicles, cutting down his fences and leaving trash. He testified that in the last two years, he has found 17 bodies and, alarmingly, several copies of the Quran.

Another rancher testified that drugs are brought across his ranch in a military-style operation, with guards armed to the teeth. A point man with a machine gun goes in front, a half-mile behind are the fully armed guards, a half-mile behind them are the drugs, and behind the drugs are more guards. This was not the only rancher we heard who talked about the drug trains.

One man told of two border crossers who came on his property, one of them shot in the back and the other in the arm by drug runners who forced them to carry drugs and then shot them. They frequently hear gunfire at night and are afraid to leave their ranch for fear of what the smugglers will do to it.

The Border Patrol is not on the border. It has set up 60 miles away with check points that do nothing to stop the invasion. The officers are not allowed to use force in stopping anyone who is entering.

The national media do not report on these stories because it conflicts with their perception of the illegal immigration issue, which is based on an assumption that all illegal immigrants are law-abiding landscapers, maids and day laborers. While this is true in many cases, it is also true that our federal and state prisons and county jails are full of a disproportionate number of illegal immigrants who are committing a disproportionate number of crimes.

The federal government has failed to do anything substantive to help border states like Arizona. We have been overrun by immigrants and, once they are here, the state has the burden of funding services that they use. With a $3.5 billion state budget deficit, we have many difficult decisions to make, and one of those decisions is that we don't have the money to care for people who are not here legally.

This has to stop. The border can be secured. We have the technology, we have the ability to stop this invasion. We must know who is coming into the country, and they must come in an organized manner legally, so that we can assimilate them into our population and protect the sovereignty of our country.

The national media has distorted, disfigured, and dismembered Senate Bill 1070 to the point that its reputation no longer bears any resemblance to what the bill actually does. Those who claim it is racist, or will foster a Nazi-state are themselves fostering unwarranted and irrational hysteria.

The fact is that Senate Bill 1070 merely makes it a state crime to be in the United States illegally. It also explicitly prohibits law enforcement officials from solely considering race, color, or national origin in determining immigration status.

Many lawmakers who supported SB1070, including me, also support amnesty, but not until we secure the border. Failing to secure the border only moves us closer to some form of a North American Union with no borders and no national sovereignty. Many of those protesting SB1070 have called for just that.

Maybe it is too late to save America. Maybe we are not worthy of freedom anymore. But as an elected official, I must try to do what I can to protect our Constitutional Republic.

Living in America is not a right simply because you walk across the border. Being an American is a responsibility. Freedom is not free.


They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. —Isaiah 40:31