Jun 6, 2010

Selective Enforcement

Abigail and Dolley readers you may have noticed I am taking time off politics because frankly I have become so discouraged with the current situation and the lack of power and influence my side has right now that I have withdrawn into my own world for a while.  I will reemerge in time for the election and I am certain there will be more than enough posts on the current political situation once election season rolls around.  Even though I have buried myself in my garden and my family, I am not deaf, dumb and blind to what is still going on around me and this little tidbit made it through my perceptual filters and I find that I must share.

There is much controversy (I do not really understand why) around the new Arizona Immigration Law that basically does nothing other than state that Arizona will enforce the laws of the State and the laws of the Country.  What really can be wrong with that?  I heard a pundit on the radio the other day, and I am sorry I do not remember who it was, so while I can not give credit, I do not claim these thoughts are entirely mine.

The argument that we must across the board enforce immigration law in order for it to be effective is dispelled by selective enforcement.  Selective enforcement states that you can catch a few lawbreakers and that influences the behavior of the rest of the population.  Here is the example, if on your commute home from work, there is a stretch of highway where the police never set up radar.  You have been driving it for years and have never seen a cop.  Do you go 55 mph?  NOT!  You drive as fast as you can and so does everyone else.  What happens if one day, you see a cop giving someone a ticket?  The next day you may give it a second thought before putting the gas petal to the floor.  Sure enough, day two there is another cop pulling someone over.  Did the cop get everyone that was speeding?  No.  Ask yourself though, what did they accomplish in just two days?  They made people think before they headed down that highway.  The free for all was clearly over and the existing drivers began to obey the law.  The police influenced behavior with only a minimal effort.

The same is true for the Illegal Immigration Highway.  If someone is minding the influx, it will automatically improve the enforcement of the laws.  It is really quite simple.

On a side note, I wish they would enforce the laws.  It would be better for everyone to feel confident that our neighbors, workers, and fellow countrymen are here lawfully and legally.  I do not like looking at a group of Mexicans in the back of a pick up truck and thinking they are probably illegal.  I remember the same sight 20 years ago inspired in me that they were hard working and good people.  No longer.  So ignoring the laws and not enforcing them hurts everyone, especially those hard working, good people who are here legally.