I see where our drug police found and seized 4 acres of marijuana plants growing on Mount Charleston, northwest of Las Vegas. The pot farmers are bad people because they litter and sometimes hunt wildlife out of season, says Forest Service spokesgal Judy Suing.
Suing says the field was accidentally discovered by a police rescue helicopter months ago. By waiting all summer, authorities can claim more tonnage destroyed. It’s unlikely that accidents led to the discovery of the six other local fields Suing says authorities are soon planning to exterminate, though.
In fact, these outfits spend millions of tax dollars overflying sparsely inhabited areas, employing high-resolution thermal imaging. Then, lots more is spent eradicating a harmless ditch weed that Nevadans — like residents of a whole bunch of other states — have said should be legalized for medical use and otherwise treated as the lowest law enforcement priority.
Because the courts keep ruling people can’t sell this herb — even where voters have legalized its use (see http://tinyurl.com/3gaboel) — wouldn’t it be more appropriate to simply publicize the location of the plants, so those who need them can go pick the stuff for free, without engaging in any federally regulated “interstate commerce”?
Elsewhere, people grow indoors. So the federal government has spent small fortunes on undercover operations to catch and imprison people who sell “grow lights,” arguing before juries sworn in advance to enforce unconstitutional edicts that the sellers “must have known” buyers intended to use them to grow the harmless medicinal plant (http://www.fear.org/960115.html).
Meantime, legitimate American collectors of old firearms are frightened — with good reason — that if they try to sell off more than a few of their artifacts to other collectors they could be imprisoned by undercover feds for “operating a gun sales business without a federal firearms license” — a license that’s now virtually impossible for a part-time seller to acquire.
But how much high-tech aerial surveillance, how complicated a sting operation would it take to start rounding up the illegal aliens that swarm the southwestern United States? How hard would it be for federal agents to stop someone who’s just wired money to Latin America from a storefront?
So what did the White House most recently announce? On Aug. 18, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Cecilia Munoz blogged that the Department of Homeland Security will review its entire deportation caseload — that’s 300,000 cases — to “clear out low-priority” cases.” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., likened the Obama policy to the stalled Dream Act, that being the up-to-age-35 amnesty that’s opposed by most Americans and can’t pass Congress.
Worse, Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, points out the new policy will allow individuals who have been caught to apply for work permits, which makes getting arrested equivalent to winning the lottery, because “fellow illegal aliens who were not arrested don’t get work authorization.” Mr. Krikorian calls the new policy “administrative amnesty.”
The problem here is not with Mexicans. Plenty of people of Hispanic extraction are great Americans and a vital part of our culture.
The problem is that American citizens increasingly fear a federal government that will spend vast sums to entrap, arrest and imprison them for violating edicts that are absurd, which do not enjoy majority informed public support, and which blatantly violate the Second, Ninth or 10th amendments — while this same government won’t lift a finger to round up and question likely immigration lawbreakers who anyone can spot in a typical day driving around town, to enforce immigration laws that are a specified constitutional duty of the central government.
This is supposed to enhance respect for the law? Sure, our immigration laws should be reformed. Right now, an entire restaurant can close, costing American jobs, if a chef has to return to his home country and then can’t get back in because his work visa expired. Just ask Raj Patel at the Saffron restaurant, Craig Road and Tenaya Way, who now hopes to get his chef back from the Punjab and re-open in late October.
Before the Democratic Party turned “immigration reform” into a euphemism for “yet another amnesty,” plenty of sensible souls were pointing out the need to bring back some version of the old bracero program, allowing willing Latin workers to come here and work the harvests, without bringing their families to burden our public schools and other welfare rolls.
One thing you have to say for a lot of these illegal immigrants is that they do come here to work. I regularly drive by the U-Haul lot at Rancho Drive and Jones Boulevard. Even in the heat of the Mojave summer, you’ll frequently spot a dozen men squatting or standing in the vacant lot across Jones, hoping someone who’s just rented a truck will wave them over and offer to pay them for a few hours of physical labor.
The official Southern Nevada unemployment rate now hovers around 14 percent. Nationally, black teenage unemployment is reported around 27 percent. Hereabouts, I’d bet it’s closer to 35 percent. So why are the men hanging around in the sun, anxious for day work, almost exclusively Mexican?
I suspect the answer is the same as the answer to the question “Why are Americans so complacent as our screwed-up federal government claims to be in favor of job creation, at the same time it bans employment in manufacturing and sales of high-capacity toilets and shower heads; at the same time it blocks new oil wells and refineries and coal-fired power plants; at the same time it wastes tax money on subsidies and otherwise seeks to coerce automakers to churn out glorified electric golf carts that Americans refuse to buy; at the same time its EPA is gearing up to lay on American businesses a trillion dollars in new annual costs regulating virtually harmless ozone?”
The answer to both questions, I suspect, is that hardly any Americans today are truly unemployed, if you count as a form of employment “going to the post office to pick up your welfare check, your unemployment check or your check for some made-up ‘disability’ ” (http://tinyurl.com/3ztlh83).
This is why the politicians are so terrified of slashing entitlement spending. Once those Americans are off the dole — once they need work as badly as an illegal Mexican — the question of why state-socialist government regulators are systematically destroying our job-producing economy will suddenly become a whole lot less academic.
Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Review-Journal and author of the novel “The Black Arrow.” See www.vinsuprynowicz.com.