Friday, October 12, 2007

Schwarzenegger Sells Out California (Again)

It's probably no surprise that to hear that pseudo-conservative California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a law which "prohibit(s) local governments from forcing landlords to check the immigration status of tenants." I don't really buy the argument put forth by the Apartment Association of Southern California Cities that "landlords cannot be compelled by local government to compile dossiers and become de facto immigration police." No one was asking them to become "police," they were merely asked to perform the same function as employers - insuring the legal status of those they rent to. Hardly an enormous burden, considering the background checks most landlords run perspective tenants through.
Schwarzenegger spokesman Francisco Castillo said the governor understands the emotions but still “believes that local and state governments should not be forced to assume the responsibility of the federal government.”
An actually somewhat valid sounding argument. However, the federal government is not living up to this responsibility. The costs incurred by the lack of border security are falling upon state and local governments. Communities are being damaged and bankrupt by illegal immigration, all because of the federal government's failure to act decisively. If the federal government does not step up to the plate by dealing with illegal immigration, or at least financially compensating these communities, then local and state governments have little choice but to act.

In any case, Escondido's ordinance did not punish illegals for being here illegally, it would have punished landlords in that town for renting to illegals. The city would not be entering into the realm of immigration enforcement at all. It was merely setting a standard for property renting within that community. Something perfectly reasonable and well within its rights. Well, until now. Thanks Arnie.

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