Latino legislators bash Arizona law; Carroll says immigration should be up to federal government

The New Jersey Legislative Latino Caucus says that Arizona’s new immigration law is un-American, and that it chips away from the nation’s founding ideals of liberty and a respect for civil rights. 

“Most people understand that immigration reform is needed, but it must be a thoughtful and comprehensive approach that simultaneously protects civil rights and our law,” the eight Democrats who make up the Legislature’s Latino Caucus said in a statement.  “Piecemeal approaches like Arizona is taking are neither good public policy nor effective law enforcement.

The caucus wants New Jerseyans to oppose the Arizona law. 

“We can never open the door to eroding our civil rights, yet eroding the rights of everyone is the only thing this law will accomplish,” the Legislators said.

Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R-Morris Twp.), one of the state’s most conservative legislators, said that while state governments should not be the enforcers of federal immigration laws, he believes the New Jersey Legislative Latino Caucus misses one foundation of liberty: respect for the law.

“Simple justice requires that no one here illegally be permitted to profit from lawbreaking. That would be grossly unfair to those who obey the law, as well as to the taxpayers,” Carroll told PolitickerNJ.com.  “I wholeheartedly agree with my colleagues that state laws are poor substitutes for forceful federal action to enforce the law.  While Arizona’s response to the crisis caused by the abject failure of the federal government to perform one of its core functions is certainly understandable, piecemeal solutions to a national problem constitute second-rate policy.”

Carroll says the federal government should be vigorously enforcing immigration laws, including punishment of employers who knowingly hire illegal workers.

The Legislative Latino Caucus is chaired by Assemblywoman Nellie Pou (D-North Haledon), and has seven other members: State Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Newark), Assemblymen Albert Coutinho (D-Newark), Angel Fuentes (D-Camden), Vincent Prieto (D-Secaucus), and Ruben Ramos (D-Hoboken), and Assemblywomen Annette Quijano (D-Elizabeth) and Caridad Rodriguez (D-West New York).

Full text of New Jersey Legislative Latino Caucus statement:

“Our great nation was been built on a foundation of liberty, with an enduring mutual respect for everyone’s civil rights a vital cornerstone of that foundation.

 “Arizona’s new law, however, chips away a big piece from that foundation to the detriment of all.

 “This law is more than misguided. It is un-American.

 “Most people understand that immigration reform is needed, but it must be a thoughtful and comprehensive approach that simultaneously protects civil rights and our law.  Piecemeal approaches like Arizona is taking are neither good public policy nor effective law enforcement.

 “The New Jersey Legislative Latino Caucus calls on New Jerseyans to oppose this law and make their voices heard. We can never open the door to eroding our civil rights, yet eroding the rights of everyone is the only thing this law will accomplish.”

Full text of Assemblyman Carroll’s statement:

My legislative colleagues make a good point: Arizona – and other states – ought not be placed in the position of struggling to enforce immigration law.  For too long, the federal government – under administrations of both parties – has shamefully ignored its basic obligation to enforce the law.  Providing services for illegal aliens costs state taxpayers across the nation tens, if not hundreds of billions of dollars annually.

Curiously, my colleagues omit one crucial aspect of the foundation of liberty upon which this country was built: respect for the law.  Simple justice requires that no one here illegally be permitted to profit from lawbreaking. That would be grossly unfair to those who obey the law, as well as to the taxpayers.

 I wholeheartedly agree with my colleagues that state laws are poor substitutes for forceful federal action to enforce the law.  While Arizona’s response to the crisis caused by the abject failure of the federal government to perform one of its core functions is certainly understandable, piecemeal solutions to a national problem constitute second-rate policy.

The federal government should, forthwith, treat the epidemic of lawbreaking as the unacceptable crisis it is and move vigorously to enforce the law.  Such action should, at minimum, include immediately sending anyone here illegally back home, adequately patrolling the borders, and harshly punishing employers who facilitate law breaking by knowingly hiring those here illegally.

As American citizens, elected by the American people to represent their interests, I sincerely hope that all of those privileged to serve as representatives of the American people, will strive to ensure that the country’s laws are uniformly and aggressively enforced, that foreign lawbreakers with no right live here are expeditiously sent home, and that those who facilitate lawbreaking by hiring illegals face swift, certain, and appropriate punishment.

Latino legislators bash Arizona law; Carroll says immigration should be up to federal government