This week, two issues have garnered the lion’s share of the headlines: Arizona’s new immigration state law and the Goldman Sachs/Financial Regulations bill. The left is saying that these situations prove that we need comprehensive immigration reform and a permanent bailout bill. We need neither.
In the case of Arizona’s new state immigration law, they were forced to act because the federal government refuses to deal with the kidnappings and murders committed by renegade drug cartels. The last time I looked, laws existed that allowed for the prosecution of these crimes. I also know that laws exist that permit the federal government to stop people from illegally entering our country.
DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano testified Tuesday that “the borders are as secure today as they’ve ever been.” Tell that to Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu. Here’s the key part of his interview with Greta van Susteren:
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, that’s just a sample of the federal promises. And apparently, Arizona got tired of waiting for federal action. And now the state’s new immigration law is causing a firestorm. Sheriff Paul Babeu (INAUDIBLE) Pinal County, Arizona, and supports the new law. Why? Sheriff Babeu joins us live. Good evening, sir. And why do you support this new state law?
PAUL BABEU, SHERIFF OF PINAL COUNTY: Good evening, Greta. Well, crime literally is off the charts here in Arizona, that we have some of the highest crime statistics in America, and where officers being assaulted, officer-involved shootings, carjackings, home invasions. Literally in the absence of federal action, our state now taking action. And it’s a welcomed action and step by us who serve in law enforcement.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, we could go back well beyond former president Clinton, when he was in office, and find federal leaders who said we’ve got to secure our borders. I take it you…do you not think our federal government is going to secure the borders? Have you given up or not?
BABEU: Not at all. Not at all. What we’ve had is a lack of uniformity here even locally. We’ve had an evolution, if you will, in local leaders and even in law enforcement, where we have always bought into this idea that, Hey, this is a federal problem. And we can no longer afford to ignore that. Crime in my county, where we have a third of our population is Hispanic, Latino, I have 200 of my staff that are, and we’re going to apply this new law without profiling anyone. Just last month, Greta, we had…
VAN SUSTEREN: All right…
VAN SUSTEREN: Go ahead. I’m sorry, sir. I interrupted you.
BABEU: Last month, we had 64 pursuits just in one of our patrol regions, and that’s where a vehicle fails to yield for our lights going on and sirens blaring and they take off and speed up in high-speed pursuits, running red lights, intentionally causing traffic wrecks. And this is to not just avoid the police, but their tactics have changed. They’re always armed. And this has resulted in numerous people being killed in traffic wrecks in my county.
And who are these people that are fleeing from law enforcement? These are smugglers, not only of drugs but of humans. And they’re trying to get to metro Phoenix. And so right now, it’s reached an epidemic proportion here in Arizona, and this is where you have sheriffs like myself, police chiefs that are calling for what Senator McCain and Kyl have asked is 3,000 soldiers to the border.
And until we literally stop the unseemingly flow of illegals coming in, it’s like a hamster wheel. We’re just going to keep chasing our tail here. And we can’t, we would never ask for actual troops to the border if we could handle this on our own, and we can’t.
Listen to the litany of violent crimes listed by Sheriff Babeu. Does it verify Secretary Napolitano’s testimony or refute it entirely? I’d submit that it refutes it but that’s I’ll do when a law enforcement officer presents crime statistics vs. the testimony of a discredited career politician hoping to spin her way out of a delicate situation. Call me fickle that way.
Here’s a real life story that Sheriff Babeu related during his interview that’ll get your attention:
BABEU: Well, I’ll give you an example. Just last night, we had Deputies Taber (ph) and Miller (ph) go on a traffic stop. They stopped somebody not because of the color of their skin but because they were breaking a traffic law. They were speeding. So the deputy turned around, pulled the traffic stop. The driver pulled into a residential driveway.
The operator of the vehicle immediately got out, which is an alert to an officer. The deputy approached him and said, Hey, what’s going on? The suspect said, Hey, there’s nobody in the car, but then took off on foot. The deputy stayed with the vehicle, had seen the trunk actually pop open. And two deputies approached the vehicle, and surprise, in a Ford Taurus, there were nine other people, including two in the trunk. Now, that’s what we call reasonable suspicion or a clue in law enforcement.
So we would take any lawful action we normally do. Here in America, we trust our police officers with the authority that, say you committed a crime, Greta, or any citizen, that we have this awesome authority to suspend somebody’s constitutional rights and freedoms. We also have the lawful authority to literally use lethal force and take somebody’s life, and yet here we’re questioning the fact that we can’t build the components that are necessary to get to reasonable suspicion and probable cause.
What law enforcement officer wouldn’t react with skepticism if confronted with this situation? I’d hope that they’d approach with both eyes open and senses tuned.
Democrats, singing from the same hymnal, say that this is proof that we need comprehensive immigration reform. I couldn’t disagree more vehemently.
Meanwhile, back in DC, the fashionable thing to do is bash Goldman Sachs, something that I think it warranted. Each of the first two days of this week, congressional Democrats have held a test vote to pass a permanent bailout bill that empowers the Treasury Secretary to unilaterally determine which financial institutions pose a systemic risk to the banking system and whether they’re failing.
Hypothetically speaking, if President Obama signed this bill into law, Timothy Geithner would have the authority to rule that a bank was too big and failing. He’d also have the authority to liquidate that bank without judicial review.
According to James Gattuso of the Heritage Foundation, that isn’t the only shortcoming of the Senate bill. See if you like this provision:
Creates permanent bailout authority. Section 204 of the bill authorizes the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to â€œmake availableâ€¦funds for the orderly liquidation of [a] covered financial institution.â€ Although no funds could be provided to compensate a firmâ€™s shareholders, the firmâ€™s other creditors would be eligible for a cash bailout. The situation is much like the scheme implemented for AIG in 2008, in which the largest beneficiaries were not stockholders but rather other creditors, such as Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachsâ€”hardly a model to be emulated.
If you like that provision, you’ll LOVE this provision:
Opens a â€œline of creditâ€ to the Treasury for additional government funding. Under Section 210(n)(9), the FDIC is effectively granted a line of credit to the Treasury Department that is secured by the value of failing firms in its control, providing another taxpayer financial support.
In other words, the Treasury Department wouldn’t have to appear before Congress to have them appropriate the money for bailing a bank out. Isn’t it convenient that Democrats are writing legislation that omits checks and balances and frowns on accountability?
I’ll defer to the experts whether new tools are needed to regulate financial institutions, though I’m betting there isn’t a need to this massive expansion of regulatory control.
I’m betting that because I think the SEC and the Federal Reserve already have the authority to hold financial institutions accountable for their risky behavior.
Whether we’re talking about immigration-related issues or regulating Wall Street, I’d submit that we don’t need new laws as much as we need the enforcement of existing laws. I’d further submit that we need abundant proof, repeated day after day, month after month, that there’s a true resolve to uphold the law. Anything less than that should be considered proof that we need a new administration with the resolve to enforce existing laws.
If our lawmakers aren’t serious about holding invisible bureaucrats accountable, then we need to hold those lawmakers accountable this November. The United States was founded as a nation of laws, not men. God help us if we reject that premise. The only way we can avoid the insanity, violence and corruption is if we stop violence and corruption each time it’s spotted.
By stopping the violence and the corruption, we’ll stop the insanity dead in its tracks.
Technorati: Banking, Regulations, Bailouts, Treasury Department, FDIC, Federal Reserve, Too Big To Fail, Accountability, Judicial Review, Immigration, Law Enforcement, Paul Babeu, Violence, Kidnappings, Murders, Probable Cause, Democrats, Janet Napolitano, President Obama, Chris Dodd, Corruption, Election 2010
Cross-posted at California Conservative