Published on: April 27, 2010
We’ve been featuring a lot of discussion of the new Arizona immigration law, which allows police to stop people they suspect of being illegal aliens and demand their citizenship papers. The story has an industry connection; it was just last week that six Pro’s Ranch Market stores in the Phoenix area had to let go some 300 employees this week after they were found by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to be working illegally in the US.
It seems to me that the federal government did exactly what it is supposed to do in the Pro’s Ranch case...but here’s what I wrote about the Arizona law:I’m not sure that anyone would argue that the federal government has done a good job of dealing with immigration issues. But I’m also reasonable sure that the Arizona response does not make sense - just as any local response to a national issue is bound to create problems. With any luck, the federal government will be prompted by the Arizona bill to act on immigration reform...though the problem is that the responses by the two parties will no doubt be calibrated to appeal to their different political constituencies rather than craft a reasoned, reasonable solution.
I remain troubled by the idea that individual police officers in Arizona are now empowered to stop people and ask for proof of citizenship. Last time I was in Arizona, I didn’t carry any with me. I know someone who has a swarthy complexion who is going there this week...and I’m betting that he won’t have proof of citizenship with him.
“Do you have your papers?” is a question that they asked in a different time, in a different place. Today it is an effort in Arizona to identify Mexicans who have illegally crossed the border, but I am a firm believer in the slippery slope. I fear we’re on one now.
One MNB user responded:That slippery slope you’re referring to is the flood water of illegal’s entering this country. People who look the other way in the name of money are just as culpable as the illegals. They need to be forewarned, prosecuted, fined, jailed, or a combination thereof.
Whatever happened to states rights in this country? Arizona has every right to combat this ever-growing problem. If the federal government won’t shore up our borders, the states are forced into dealing with the problem. Tying the hands of law enforcement by not allowing them to even ask the question, like they do in California, won’t work. Arizona should also be looking at going after anyone who houses illegals, primarily landlords. If they can’t find work, or find shelter they’ll go home or another state.
Furthermore, I’m tired of people opposed to our current immigration situation being accused of racism. I frankly admire the culture, and work ethic of our southern neighbors but allowing illegals to enter as freely as they do is a disservice to all those who have come here legally. Plus there are the Terrorism, Economic, Gang, Health Care and Drug Enforcement benefits to a tighter border. Its too bad it took an economic meltdown for this issue to get some traction.
MNB user Louie Yan wrote:I think the federal gov't was on a slippery slope to negating our immigration laws when they stopped enforcing them to their full extent. So to call Arizona on a slippery slope is a fallacy -- it's trying to correct what the federal gov't isn't doing. I am a LEGAL immigrant, and resent that so many are allowed to strain our health and welfare systems without contributing to them like I do. Let's call a spade, a spade: they're not illegal immigrants, since the word "immigrant" connotes and denotes legitimacy; they are ILLEGAL ALIENS. They have every right to be treated humanely and with respect, but they likewise need to respect American laws. The rights of immigrants and citizens should not be compromised in the process.
Another MNB user wrote:When you leave your house, do you lock the front door? Do you have a fence around your yard?
Or do you allow a random family to walk in and make themselves at home, eat you food, use your phone, sleep in your guest room? Will you educate and clothe them ? Would it be Ok if they mowed your law and cleaned your house? I mean after all, they are working and contributing to your homestead. That makes it OK, right?
If you do not have borders, you have no country. Illegal means illegal
Another MNB user wrote:I'm on the "Enforce the federal immigration laws" side of the argument. I do understand the slippery slope argument of profiling and stopping someone purely on suspicion but I've been stopped and asked for an ID here in Massachusetts just because someone called the police to report that I looked suspicious. Nothing that a license and an explanation as to what I was doing needed to send the cop on his way. You state, "I remain troubled by the idea that individual police officers in Arizona are now empowered to stop people and ask for proof of citizenship. Last time I was in Arizona, I didn’t carry any with me. I know someone who has a swarthy complexion who is going there this week...and I’m betting that he won’t have proof of citizenship with him." Of course you carried proof of citizenship, it's called your driver's license. Where I live and I assume in CT as well, one can't get a license without a birth certificate. That might have been forty years ago and you don't remember but you proved citizenship then. I'm sure your friend will be able to, as well.
Still another MNB user wrote:The last time you were in Arizona you said that you did not have "papers" with you. The required "papers' is a driver's license or state issued identification card. To date, all 50 states require citizenship or legal residence to obtain such a document. I don't know how you made it to or around Arizona without a drivers license unless of course your lifestyle is closer to Donald Trumps than Mike Sansolo's, private jet, chauffeur, send the invoice to MNB, etc.
Oh, yeah...that’s exactly the sort of life I lead.
Here’s my question.
What if I forget my wallet?
Last time I checked, there was no law saying that I have to have a driver’s license, and no law saying that I have to carry identification with me when I venture from my home. Sure, there are limits to where I can go and what I can do if I do not have some sort of identification, but the fact remains that I am not required to have it with me.
And, from another MNB user:It seems likely the border states are frustrated with the lack of enforcement by Washington and are tired of expending a lot of resources to apprehend criminals, provide them with attorneys, and all that entails when if you have no papers, they deport you.
Obviously not all or probably even many are criminals but the few ruin it for the many…like everyone having to remove their shoes at airports.
Likely the states(s) are trying to prod Washington to carry through on their threats to do reform.
There is no question that this law will likely spur federal immigration reform. And that’s a good thing.
But I remain uncomfortable that we could potentially have 50 states with 50 different immigration laws, a situation that could create chaos for a lot of people.
The first step, if we’re serious, perhaps ought to be the aggressive prosecution and fining of people who hire illegal aliens. Cut off the source of jobs, and the flow of illegal aliens is almost certain to dry up as well.
Such a proposal, however, is likely to meet a lot of resistance...much of it from businesses that depend on such labor to be profitable.
On another subject...the decision by the California Supreme Court to decide whether a city can ban plastic bags at retail stores without studying the environmental effects of the increased use of paper...we got a number of emails. One MNB user wrote:
MNB user Derek Helderman wrote:A very similar slippery slope to the one being traversed regarding illegal immigration is being tread upon with the debate over banning plastic bags. A large part of the green movement is based upon unfounded (i.e. the blatant doctoring of global warming data, or "climategate"), or in the very least, debatable science (i.e. recycling--a good bit of research suggests that recycling may be more harmful to the environment than traditional methods of dealing with waste). Instead of viewing such issues critically, we jump on the bandwagon, herald them as the next best thing and buy in wholeheartedly. Obviously, there is another form of green in mind when business leaders think of the green movement...
I'm all for any sort of measure that provides a rational, sensible solution to any sort of public issue. Banning specific types of bags at retail outlets seems just a little too drastic for me. In addition to being scant on scientific evidence, this issue raises the question of exactly who would stand to benefit from the banning of plastic bags.
MNB user Kevin Nolan chimed in:I have no beef with the plastic ban ordinance. I think it send a clear and important message to the retail companies, as well as the consumers, that they mean business when it comes to protecting the environment. The part I don’t understand and don’t necessarily agree with is why it is focused solely the big supermarkets and not all retailers in the city.
Currently the ordinance only pertains to “supermarkets” with a gross sales of over $2mil annual which sell “a line of dry grocery, canned goods, or nonfood items and some perishable items.” It also goes on to state “…for purposes of determining which retail establishments are supermarkets, the City shall use the annual updates of the Progressive Grocer Marketing Guidebook and any computer printouts developed in conjunction with the guidebook…” they also squeezed in some wording to include Pharmacies with at least 5 locations or more under the same ownership (i.e.- Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid). Well I think it’s safe to say you’re not going to find the Gap listed PG’s guidebook.…or Best Buy, Home Depot, Sports Authority, Levi’s, Nike, Ross, Abercrombie, Banana Republic, any other clothing store or any of the 1000’s of small Mom & Pop food and apparel shops throughout the city. Do they’re bag not end up in the bay or landfill?
Why just supermarkets (and Drug Stores), why not apparel retailers? Why not ALL retailers, Big and SMALL? I think I know what you’re going to say to that…..”You gotta start somewhere……” but isn't that always the case, especially with San Francisco, that they take out their frustrations on Big Business and give the little guy’s a hall pass.
Like I stated earlier, I really have no problem with the idea of “banning the bag” just the inequitable approach the City is taking.
I agree. It ought to be applied to everybody, if the ban is passed.
MNB user Art Ames wrote:This entire paper or plastic bag and move to ban things is driving me crazy. Banning products is not sustainable nor consumer friendly. In fact, it’s lazy retailing in an already over regulated industry as we let government dictate their concept of best practices instead of being proactive. There are a number of small store and cooperatives across the country who approach the issue very differently. Our location charges a dime a bag, donates the proceeds to non-profit environmental focused agencies every quarter, and in conjunction we offer low cost canvas bags, empty boxes and recycled paper bags for reuse by our consumers. We don’t offer plastic at all. We also took 3 months to market the concept and the reasons behind it before initiating the program. 2 years after initiation, our new bag purchases are down 70%, our waste cardboard pick up fees are way down, and consumers have embraced that concept as a value (not values) added identity…and it’s sustainable because it is the consumer who is changing a habit. We win all around. Now imagine if a large chain would embrace a similar program as a “we care” approach. Perhaps other chains would follow suit and we could then move on to bigger and more pressing issues.
MNB user Jim DeLuca wrote:Last week we celebrated Earth Day at our Co-Op by instituting an extra nudge to encourage use of reusable shopping bags. We have for some time given a nickel back for each reusable bag the shopper needs and now we are charging a nickel for a plastic bag and a dime for paper. We spent over a month promoting the change and on that day the most common reaction to the fee for bag was, "oh, I'll just run out to my car and get my bags."
We are hoping that the dual reward/punishment model will be just the nudge needed.
My research on the environmental issues surrounding paper versus plastic is that it is a wash. Different plusses and minuses, but overall neither is sustainable in the long term.
We charge more for the paper because it costs us more; in fact, each paper bag costs us 11.6 cents and the price is going up.
And lastly, we will be donating half of the income from the sales of the bags to local non profits. We are not trying to make money at this, we want to raise consciousness.
My opinion on this is simple. The planet would be better off if we eliminated much of the trash we generate. If we could replace the majority of disposable shopping bags with reusable bags, it would be an important step in the right direction. It also would be better to do this through enlightened approaches by retailers who educate their shoppers and appeal to their better natures, rather than through legislation.
But since some folks are in denial about the notion that climate change can be influenced by how we treat our environment - in much the same way that a lot of these same folks kept saying that smoking didn’t cause lung cancer (which is a good metaphor, in my view) - some legislative bodies, prompted by activist outcries, feel the need to step up.
And we got this email, responding to yesterday’s piece about a Bloomberg Business Week
article by Harvard’s Richard Tedlow about how denial was a central factor in Toyota’s problems:Without defending Toyota, Professor Tedlow, and his fellow jokers at Harvard need to recognize the damage they have done to main street, since thousands of Harvard Business School grads have blown up Wall Street due to their incapability to understand risk and follow ethical behavior. The first institution that should adopt a classroom for not being in DENIAL is Harvard Business School. Prof. Tedlow points the finger at Toyota and forgets that at the peak of the recession Harvard University had lost over $11 billion in endowment. What does Professor Tedlow and his Harvard graduates say when the Virginia Mine that killed innocent miners, what do they say when the CEOs of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citi, Morgan Stanley, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers committed bets on sub prime loans that resulted in eroding over $1.4 trillion wealth, which they can't recall and fix.
Yes, I am a loyal Toyota customer. I hope Toyota gets their mess fixed. This month I purchased my fifth Toyota. I buy at one-hundred thousand miles and sell at two-hundred thousand miles and have been lucky to only have to perform normal maintenance during my ownership of five vehicles. I only have the cars in my garage to judge against my 410K statement in the mail and the assessor’s valuation of my home value to tell me who is shining a spot light away from the stench.
Do you get a sore arm wielding that broad brush?
Because there are an awful lot of generalities in that email, among them the implication that the Harvard Business School is the root of all evil. (Do I sense an anti-elitist philosophy here?)
There is plenty of blame to go around for the nation’s recent economic travails. Sure, a mindset that was created by a lot of business schools deserves a percentage of it. But not all of it."The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves...