Paul Moomjean continues to exhibit his ignorance of the facts to feed his ideological conclusions with regard to Arizona’s new proof-of-citizenship law (Right Persuasion, 5/13). His opening paragraph cites numerous benefits guaranteed under our Constitution and body of law. He unfortunately mixes rights granted specifically to citizens with other rights granted to all present under the dominion of the United States Constitution. He then argues that the law as written in Arizona would only apply to someone who has violated the law and thus come into contact with the police. The law as written contains no such provision. In fact, even before this law was signed, an American citizen of Hispanic descent, born and raised in Fresno, Calif., driving a commercial truck with a valid commercial driver’s license was stopped at an Arizona weigh station.

While his vehicle was being inspected he was asked several questions, including where did his mother live. He truthfully answered that she lived in Mexico, having returned to live with her family after living and working for years in the United States. Since he could not produce his birth certificate (after all, he was working, driving a truck at the time), he was handcuffed and taken to jail. His wife had to go to the jail with his birth certificate, carrying her own just to be safe, to secure his release.

The law, as written, would require any individual who encountered lawful authorities to prove citizenship or lawful residence. Only a subsequent amendment removed silly things like school crossing guards and librarians from such lawful encounters. Still existent are the numerous encounters that occur in the normal commerce of working people. A California driver’s license, along with dozens of other states, is not proof of lawful residence. As a result, American citizens can be jailed on mere “suspicion” when visiting Arizona unless they carry proof of citizenship. In fact, this is of itself a major cause for concern for travel agents booking tours, since they must warn their clients that they may have to carry their passports, even though U. S. citizens, while visiting the Grand Canyon. The issue for legal resident aliens is much clearer since, under federal law, they are required to have proof of that legal residence on them at all times.

Norman Rodewald

Borderless America-loving liberals?
Re: Raising Arizona by Paul Moomjean (Right Persuasion, 5/13)
In response to the five students sent home for wearing American flag shirts to a Cinco de Mayo rally at school, Moomjean writes: “This (suspension) happened when we decided we weren’t really American at all, but just a borderless piece of land for all to pass through freely.”

First of all, Mr. Moomjean, how dare you imply that school officials, acting to diffuse what, it was obvious to them, was a provocative and “incendiary” act by these five students, for their own safety (are you a high school administrator? I didn’t think so), speak for all of America! That we have decided that we prefer a borderless America.

Get real, Mr. Moonbeam.

These types of generalist attacks (we’re all “socialists” or “communists” or “welfare bums,” etc.) would be absolutely comical, were it not for the fact that lunatics like you seriously believe that emergency measures, taken by school administrators to protect five stupid teenagers, speak for all of (liberal) America.

It may come as a shock to you, Mr. Moon, but many of us “borderless America-loving liberals” actually believe in the rule of law, that our borders need to be secured by federal forces to enforce existing laws to protect our country from illegal invasion, by illegal laborers, terrorists, drug smugglers, human smugglers, armed gangs, whomever.

Thinking Americans (of which I wish you were a member, since you take up so much space in our weekly paper) believe that our corporate-controlled Congress over the past 30 years of Republican deregulation, massive military wastefulness and a failed war on drugs, has also failed to seal our borders precisely because its corporate bosses love the cheap and, yes, illegal labor! They work harder for less money than Americans are willing to, without benefits of any kind, and they don’t complain (because they can’t). In essence, illegal labor is the perfect slave labor class for maximizing corporate profit, even for letting the individual homeowners save a ton of money on remodeling, home maintenance, etc.

Arizona just acted out of ultimate frustration that Congress continues to protect these corporate criminals who employ illegal slave laborers instead of Americans.

If you want to point fingers at anyone for perpetuating the illegal immigration mess we have and the loose security at the borders (which is a much bigger problem), Mr. Moonbeam, you can start by pointing at people like John McCain and his Republican corporate overlords.

And please, please, won’t you let the school administrators just do their jobs?

Justin Markman