Not since President Eisenhower sent troops to Little Rock and JFK sent U.S. marshals to the University of Alabama has the federal government seemed so at war with a state of the union.
Arkansas and Alabama were defying U.S. court orders to desegregate. But Barack Obama's war on Arizona is not a war of necessity. It is a war of choice—an unprovoked war, undertaken not to defend constitutional or civil rights, but to pander to his party's left and Hispanic voters.
New Mexico's Gov. Bill Richardson, himself Hispanic, gave the game away. At the Boston governors conference, he assured colleagues, nervous over the administration attacks on Arizona's immigration law, that "Obama is popular with Hispanic voters, and this is going to be a popular move with them nationally."
Eric Holder fended off criticism of his Justice Department suit against Arizona that alleges the state usurped federal responsibility by saying he has not ruled out a second suit for "racial profiling."
In a shocking and telling episode in the Rose Garden, Obama stood by mute as Felipe Calderon attacked the Arizona law as "discriminatory." The next day, Democrats in Congress, with Eric Holder and Janet Napolitano joining in, cheered the Mexican president's slander that Arizona introduced "racial profiling to law enforcement."
There was a time when such an insult to a state of our union, on U.S. soil by a foreign ruler, would have produced a diplomatic crisis, if not pistols at dawn.
Some of us recall Ike walking out of a Paris summit with Nikita Khrushchev rather than apologize for sending U-2s over Russia, and JFK, after the Bay of Pigs, retorting to Khrushchev that the United States did not need any lectures on intervention from people "whose character is forever stamped on the bloody streets of Budapest."
And what exactly is at the heart of the Arizona law?
Simply this: Being in this country illegally is now a misdemeanor in Arizona, as it is in U.S. law. And as a 1940 U.S. law requires resident aliens to carry their green cards or work visas at all times, Arizona will require police to request such identification if, in a "lawful contact"—a traffic violation or altercation—the officer entertains a "reasonable suspicion" the individual may be here illegally.
Answer: Calderon and Obama notwithstanding, racial profiling is prohibited by the Arizona law. Nor is there any evidence racial or ethnic profiling will be condoned by Arizona. The law has not even taken effect.
Unlike San Francisco and other towns that declare themselves to be "sanctuary cities" and refuse to cooperate with U.S. immigration authorities, Arizona is not challenging or usurping U.S. law, but trying to assist the U.S. government in enforcing the immigration laws.
Why is Arizona under attack for simply trying to help enforce our immigration laws? Because the Obama administration cannot, will not or does not even wish to see those laws enforced.
The U.S. government is today derelict in its constitutional duty.
And this is approaching an existential crisis for America. For there are in Arizona 450,000 illegal aliens, a population of law-breakers in a single state approaching the size of the entire U.S. Army.
Though we have 15 million Americans unemployed, near 10 percent of our workforce, with a higher share of African-Americans jobless, we have 8 million illegal aliens holding jobs. And last year the administration handed out over a million green cards and work visas to foreigners to come and take jobs that would have gone to American citizens.
That idea is taking root in America—the idea that our government no longer seeks to represent us. And as one watches Obama and Congress take the side of a foreign leader attacking an American state, and the government refuse to do its duty and defend the borders or send the illegals back home, questions arise.
In this ongoing invasion of the United States that has brought 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens into our midst, whose side is the government on? Ours or theirs? What is the reason for the refusal to secure our border?
Why do Democrats insist that the illegal aliens be put on a "path to citizenship"?
Is the real objective the abolition of the old America we grew up in?
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Patrick J. Buchanan needs no introduction to VDARE.COM readers; his book State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America, can be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book is Churchill, Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World, reviewed here by Paul Craig Roberts.