Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bite Your Lip

As an Arizona Senator, I had the benefit of working with state legislators from all over the United States through multi-state policy groups designed to help representatives from each state both do their own jobs better and to better understand what was going on in other sovereign states.  Over the years, I apparently became known for immigration policy in many of these settings. Sometimes this was a good thing, other times not so much.

Strange as it seems to an intelligent reader, these folks who had no real experience with our federally ignored border seemed to have a strong opinion that they never failed to share.  I tried my best to gently inform them, but often left those conversations with the realization that my understanding of the border issue, having "been there" was causing them cognitive dissonance with their own strongly held (read: ignorant) beliefs.

Now that I am out of office, I would like to suggest to all elected officials that they take a deep breath and accept there are things you don't know yet.  There are things you can't possibly understand not having "been there."  And, while you were biting your lip enduring yet another cry for help from Arizona for the destruction of our state caused by our open border, we were biting our lip, too.

We bit our lip when you wailed that the billions in federal aid you received after your hurricane simply wasn't enough.  We bit our lip when you implored us to support a federal bailout of your largest industry because it would be crushing to your state budgets if all of those private for-profit companies failed.  We bit our lip when you asked us to force drivers to use more ethanol products because your farmers couldn't possibly be expected to actually sell corn for market value in ways other than through forced market creation by the federal government.  We bit our lip when your state created its own mini-European welfare state and then went broke, but you insisted that as one of the largest states you somehow deserve extra federal bailout dollars to continue your broken promises to your constituents.

The glaring difference is that OUR problem is also YOUR problem.  The open borders in Arizona present a national security risk that is absolutely the sole responsibility of the United States.  And, you swore to support the Constitution which provides for protection of the states.  And, yes, this includes the federal dollars needed to provide that protection.  So, while we all have our problems in our states, the problem in Arizona is a shared problem and it must be dealt with by the combined treasuries from all 50 states... through a federal appropriation.

I'd encourage elected officials from all 50 states to come to Arizona and see this national problem for just that... a NATIONAL problem.  Until then, please bite your lips a little harder.

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