Home Profile Media Support
We Make Rules, They Break Them
Public servants ignore immigration laws, property rights, other bedrocks of free society
East Valley Tribune
April 7, 2007
One of the things that has always distinguished the United States from other countries is that we are "a nation of laws." Individual rights are protected by law. Here people and ideas flourish because the law protects us. Or, at least, it used to. Consider the following:
  • Federal law requires the reporting of illegal immigrants to immigration authorities, but across the country, city councils and police chiefs prohibit police officers from making these reports, thus, turning their cities (Phoenix and Mesa, for example) into "sanctuary" cities where criminal immigrants, gangs, and drug traffickers flourish without fear. Meanwhile law-abiding citizens suffer the criminal acts inflicted upon them by the immigrant gang members and criminals.
  • In 2003, a federal law was passed enhancing the privacy of medical information. Since then, more than 19,000 complaints of violations have been filed with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, but not a single fine has been imposed, and only two cases have been prosecuted. It would appear that the medical privacy law is being ignored.
  • In last November’s election, voters approved Proposition 300, which excludes illegal immigrants from state-funded adult education classes. After the election, the district coordinator for the Gilbert Public Schools’ English Language Learner Programs brazenly announced that she would not comply with the law.
  • Proposition 207 also passed in November, protecting the property rights of private landowners and preventing cities from misusing the powers of eminent domain. The cities, however, quickly devised a sneaky way to get around Prop 207. When landowners apply for permits to develop their property, the cities now require them to sign a waiver of their Prop 207 rights. The cities have wellpaid attorneys (whose salaries are funded with taxpayer money) who know that this devious little maneuver isn’t legal — governments cannot condition a benefit upon a surrender of rights — but did that stop the cities? Not hardly. It will take another hugely expensive lawsuit (and you and I will foot the bill) to get the cities to follow the law.
Arizona is not the only state with government officials who have run amuck, ignoring the law, clawing the Constitution to shreds, and doing whatever they darned well please. Other states face the same problem. Wisconsin, for example, has very lax standards for issuing driver’s licenses, making that state a magnet for illegal immigrants. It’s estimated that 350,000 to 400,000 illegals have fraudulently obtained licenses in Wisconsin. When the Wisconsin Legislature recently passed a law requiring valid proof of legal residence in the U.S. before a person could obtain a driver’s license, the governor and disappointed lawmakers on the losing side set to work behind the scenes to nullify the law through regulations they hope will delay or impede its implementation.
George Washington warned that government "is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." When government bureaucrats and politicians think they are above the law, then you get monstrosities such as Border Patrol guards who are imprisoned for doing their duty, and drug runners who get immunity to testify against the innocent guards.
Here in Maricopa County, we have a court system that spits on the citizens of the state and refuses to implement Proposition 100, which requires the court to deny bail to illegal immigrants accused of serious crimes. Failure to obey the law has already resulted in an illegal immigrant charged with extreme DUI, vehicular manslaughter and false documents in getting bond, and then inexplicably getting the bond reduced, before public protests led to a reversal in that decision. There will most likely be more such incidents and dreadfully more deaths. Such outrageous arrogance has no place in government. Employees who refuse to obey the law should be fired immediately and their jobs given to people who are willing to do their duty. If these renegade employees aren’t removed, then we in the Legislature need to take a look at the county budget and think about ways to encourage the county to respect the law. As a nation, we need to get back to the rule of law or we could be facing anarchy.
Sen. Karen S. Johnson, R-Mesa, is chairwoman of the Senate K-12 Education Committee.

Paid for by Committee to Elect Karen Johnson