Defenders of Arizona's immigration law have employed a variety of arguments in support of the "papers please" policy. But none have gone the route of Jonah Goldberg, who offered critics of the law a bizarre deal: every state for itself.
The National Review columnist argued the immigration policy was no less restrictive than health care reform and equated "breathing while undocumented" to "breathing while uninsured." He also sarcastically alluded to an apocalyptic German opera from the 19th century to lampoon left-wing outrage over the Arizona law.
Some Sarcastic Mocking of Left-Wing Critics
When the state of Arizona opts to pass a popular law requiring Arizonan officials to comply with and enforce federal law, suddenly all of the usual suspects come completely unglued. Police will be allowed to ask people for their "papers"! Gird your loins for Götterdämmerung!
On Health Care Reform's Impact, With More German
In fact, if you really want to hear the government say "Deine papieren, bitte!" just wait until that law is fully implemented, assuming the "new nullifiers" fail.
A Not-So-Modest 'Proposal'
Let's throw it all back to the states. Arizona can be an illegal-immigrant-free zone and New York can hold an open house for everyone. The same goes for health care. States that want universal health care can provide it, including to illegal immigrants (or should I just say "immigrants"?). Other states can let the market rule. The feds would save piles of money that can go to paying off our credit cards (or to antiterrorism, to deal with undocumented New Yorkers/terrorists).
Goldberg's Utopian Society
If it were up to me, the feds would still enforce basic civil rights, provide for the common defense and protect interstate commerce (sorry, nuke-free zones!), but beyond that, let freedom reign.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.