Illegal Immigration Foe Recalled in Arizona
Last week in Arizona, a leading Republican foe of illegal immigration was recalled, in an election certain to be touted by the left as evidence of the unpopularity of immigration enforcement. Jerry Lewis, who defeated Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce in the recall election, should read Governor Jan Brewer's book, Scorpions for Breakfast. It is a must-read for those who want to understand why illegal immigration should not be permitted.
Pearce's opponents were very smart in masking the true reason behind the recall, and tried to concentrate on smearing Pearce as a corrupt politician with a one-issue focus, illegal immigration. Anita Christy, a conservative Arizona blogger (www.GilbertWatch.com), wants Americans to understand that the left funded the Pearce recall because they wanted his defeat to be seen as a referendum on SB 1070. There was no reason to recall him now, since state senators in Arizona serve only two-year terms, which means that Pearce was only a year away from a regular election. The left looked for and found Jerry Lewis, a candidate who was Mormon, Republican, and without a record to run on.
SB 1070, authored by Senator Pearce, is the authority for those who oppose illegal immigration. Passed and signed in 2010, and the latest in a string of Arizona actions, SB 1070 enforces the law against employing illegals, requires proof of citizenship to register to vote, and limits most state services to legal residents. SB 1070 reaffirms that it is illegal to be in the U.S. without documentation. It allows law enforcement, after stopping someone for a violation of the law, to inquire about a person's residency if law enforcement have reasonable suspicion that the person is here illegally.
American Thinker interviewed Governor Brewer (R), Senator Pearce (R), Arizona Speaker of the House Andy Tobin (R), and Congressman Brian Bilbray (CA-R), as well as Mr. Lewis, a self-proclaimed Republican. It is obvious that Senator-Elect Lewis needs to take note on what these experts said about the illegal immigration issue.
Was Senator Pearce's loss a referendum on SB 1070, since he had won all previous elections handily? Governor Brewer had hoped that he would win because "he has done a good job for the people of Arizona." Speaker Tobin does not think that 1070 was the reason for Pearce's defeat, since there is still a high level of support for it (approximately 70%). He attributes the loss to "an open primary where Democrats were essentially allowed to vote in a Republican primary. I am not sure any candidate, Republican or Democrat, can sustain this type of election. This is not what the recall was designed for at all." Anita Christy wrote in an article that "[t]he Leftists both inside and outside of Arizona are pulling out all the stops to smear and get rid of Russell Pearce. Senator Russell Pearce is Enemy #1 to the Left, which should be reason enough to keep him in office for a very long time." Senator Pearce bluntly stated that his loss was due to "my supporters not showing up, the mass media beating me up every day in the papers by taking cheap shots, moderate Mormons voting against me, and Lewis, who was essentially the Democratic candidate. They voted for him and raised money for him. Moveon.Org spent a ton of money out here." Other reasons given for the loss was that Pearce's supporters were upset over the accusations of his campaign running a sham candidate and the alleged impropriety of accepting Fiesta Bowl tickets. However, after American Thinker reviewed his explanation, it was obvious that Pearce made a good-faith effort to comply with the rules and regulations.
After interviewing him, it became obvious that a Lewis win is Arizona's loss. He criticized SB 1070, wants to work with a federal government that has constantly ignored this issue, and appears to support "illegal businesses."
During the interview, Lewis stated, about SB 1070, "We need to approach it from a balanced perspective, looking at all the impacted issues including legislation that keeps the families together. We need to get serious about solving this problem and not use it as a political sound bite. SB 1070 does not secure our borders. Until the Supreme Court rules, it is unconstitutional and I cannot support a law that is unconstitutional." Has he joined the ranks of Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano, who have criticized the bill without ever having read it?
Governor Brewer, in her book and during the interview, has made it very clear that SB 1070 "was constitutional and protected civil rights. A law enforcement officer needs reasonable suspicion. My book will enable people to have the right information and make the right judgment, that we are a nation of laws."
Lewis continues talking about working with the federal government to arrive at a solution on illegal immigration, overlooking the fact that state bills throughout America, like SB 1070, force the hand of Washington. Congressman Bilbray commented, "States not only have a right, but have a responsibility to enforce federal laws on immigration."
It appears that Lewis either is very naïve or chooses to disregard the fact that the federal government has not responded to this issue. He might want to read the governor's book or sit down with her, where she can tell him, as she told American Thinker, "The bottom line is we have an arrogant, out-of-control federal government that is not enforcing the laws and we are the recipients of being terrorized, robbed, and murdered. It costs the taxpayers in the tune of $1.6 billion a year out of an $8.5-billion budget. The federal government needs to stand up and do its job."
The constituents who now have Jerry Lewis as their state senator should be very alarmed, considering that he told American Thinker, "The majority of these people coming across, taking the criminals out of the equation, want a better life and are willing to risk their lives to provide for their families. Typically they are faith-based, they believe in G-d, are family-valued, and have an incredible work ethic -- doesn't that sound like a Republican to you?" Actually, he left out one important value: most Republicans follow the rule of law.
In further talking with Lewis, it appeared that he supports the "illegal businesses," since he sees illegal immigrants as "a labor force that will do certain work cheaply and efficiently. We need to figure out a way to provide for our economy, let the free market system accomplish what it is capable of doing. We need something that will provide for our economy and keep work wages at a reasonable rate. Americans won't do these jobs -- look at Yuma, Alabama, and Colorado."
Congressman Bilbray sees the issue differently from how Lewis does, since "legal employers have to compete unfairly with the illegal ones. You would be importing poor people and driving down the wages of the average working class person in America. Illegal immigrant workers depress the fair market value of labor. What is needed is to focus on E-verify. The key is to have a very simple system that has everyone playing by the rules."
Speaker Tobin further rebutted Lewis: "Americans want to be able to pay their bills. Students who have just graduated have huge student loans. I am not saying all these jobs are easy. There are unemployed Americans all over the country, and we should make every job available to legal American residents." It seems that Lewis is wrong factually, since Tobin confirmed that Yuma has a very good day worker program.
Again hearing Lewis' comments, he can be seen as the poster child for the left's arguments. Although he does not support open borders, he does support a guest worker program and wants "legislation that keeps the families together. We need to find a way that people can be here, going back and forth freely, instead of regulating every aspect."
Although Congressman Bilbray does support an agricultural guest worker program, he wants to make sure that workers are here only temporarily. Families under his program would not be allowed in this country (just the workers). This separation of families due to work requirements is no different from those American families who have someone serving in the military or even a congressman who is able to see his family only on the weekend.
Senator Pearce told American Thinker, "I am very much leaning toward running again. After being approached by different groups including state senators I am very much considering a run in 2012." Since Mr. Lewis appears to be a Republican in name only, a challenge by Pearce would be good for Arizona and good for America. Mr. Lewis should take note of what Governor Brewer stated: "If we do not continue to pursue the issue of illegal immigration, nothing will be done. We have been on it and will continue to be on it. Doing the right thing always means doing the hard thing." Indeed, that's the theme of her book, Scorpions for Breakfast.