Reiko Eoh

Reiko Eoh
March 09
Columnist and Cartoonist; Political Humor/Social Commentary; Print and Blog; Left-handed,left-brained liberal. Left leanings,right thinking; I’m funny that way.

Editor’s Pick
MAY 14, 2010 3:59PM

Arizona’s Immigration Law: It’s Breaking Bad

Rate: 12 Flag

There’s a Made-For-TV series I’ve been watching called Breaking Bad. The show is in its third Emmy-winning season and I’m totally addicted. The story follows a mild-mannered family man going through a bad mid-life crisis, eking out a living as a chemistry teacher in New Mexico. His life takes a turn for the worse when he is diagnosed with stage III cancer, then realizes his income is not enough to support his wife, son with Cerebral Palsy, and their newborn infant. A reckless decision finds him moonlighting his chemistry skills to cook up the highest grade Crystal Meth on the street.  The narcs and drug dealers are closing in on him with each new episode.

             Arizona's Immigration Law: It's Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad contains unspeakably violent scenes involving Mexican gangs, drug cartels, police and DEA agents. Even I am shocked that the show is airing on prime time with all of its Tarantino-like blood splatter and unbridled gore. Yes, I know, I have eclectic TV viewing habits. It’s not Dancing With The Stars. (That’s on Monday and Tuesday nights.)

So where am I going with this? The show might be fictitious, but it’s not far from the reality of our Border States struggling with illegal aliens crossing over the border, some with ties to Mexican gangs and drug cartels. Drug dealers and gangs are nefarious: Think Pablo Escobar ordering his men to brutally torture DEA agents. Escobar was Columbian and killed in 1993, back when heinous drug violence happened further south, away from the states. Today however, the Mexican drug cartels and gangs have become equally diabolical – and they’re right next-door.

But blaming Mexicans who cross the border is like expecting lobsters to be happy in a pot of boiling water. Mexico is nearly lawless today. If the tables were turned, Americans would surely be sneaking across the border into Mexico.

The Border States as well can hardly be blamed for trying to control the influx of illegal aliens when every state in the country is dealing with a bad economy, health and welfare issues, increasing crime, and high unemployment. Who can deny that the Border States have it bad?

That said, Arizona however unfortunate, is shooting first – and aiming later. Arizona’s Immigration Law,  SB 1070, will create more long-term problems than solutions.

First, Arizona can thank George Bush for his Guest Worker Program that created the mess. It was he who quietly put the law into place in 2004 to secure his second term in office – relaxing the immigration restrictions as a way to win the election. Or buy the election. 

Now after obediently keeping quiet for years under the Bush administration, Arizona suddenly couldn’t wait for Congress and felt a need to craft a shoddy state law that appears to be unconstitutional, violating basic civil rights and forcing Attorney General Eric Holder to consider filing suit against the state. He has no choice really; other knee-jerk states may follow Arizona’s lead.

Arizona has failed to think about the consequences: By placing all the responsibility on law enforcement to question citizens, the state is forcing police officers to be the Arizona Gestapo. Have they given any thought to the welfare and safety of the officers? How much support is Arizona giving them really, if the practice is unconstitutional and might not stand up in court? That’s a state-load of responsibility to place on front line police.

If the boycotts and protests aren’t enough to dissuade Arizona from repealing the law, then “Buenas suerte, Phoenix!” Arizona will realize later that their SB 1070 Immigration Law will not only cost them economically long-term, but will also cost them the state’s honor. They may get the results they want short-term, but at the expense of long-term consequences. 

©May 14, 2010 Reiko Eoh  

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
You are correct, Ma'am!

[and I love Breaking Bad as well... some of the best t.v. coming out of non-network sources, ay?]
I'm boycotting Arizona.
ConnieMack, Yes I agree! :0)
Thanks much Catherine, appreciate it!
Understand and agree, Chuck!
But we need to find an answer. Ignoring the problem or being reactionary is wrong so what should we do?
Hi Dr. Levine, AZ needs to craft a better law that will stand up in court, for starters. Any lawyer worth their salt would be able to see the holes in the current one. Too flimsy.
If the other side knows about

etc., already

Some of us must have defected!
I'm willing to bet that you haven't read Arizona's SB 1070. It is far more rational and humane than the Federal law regarding illegal immigration, but if you'd bothered to read it, you'd know that already.
"Mexico is nearly lawless today" This is serious misinformation, very far from the truth, and totally unfair to the Mexican government and people. I retired in Mexico years ago and regularly travel the entire country alone, as does my wife. Most areas of Mexico are very safe. All one has to do is keep informed and use a little common sense.

If Mexico is indeed "lawless", then so is every urban area of the United States.
Reiko, your cartoon handles the Arizona situation in a wonderfully humorous way!
John Lammi's quote of Barbara Jordan is one of common sense.
Unfortunately, common sense and a direct connection to reality are not components of the hand wringing, whining besadores de culo mexicano and/or government.
The REAL damage to America is NOT this law, clearly just an attempt to retain the sovereignty of the United States of America.
Rather that REAL damage is the ignorance of those who seek to allow the vermin and very violent criminals in with the bath water.
I can't see how anyone can honestly examine the law and say it is the same as Federal law or the same as laws in other countries - except maybe for police states. The working provisions of the law have nothing whatever to do with Federal immigration law.

What the law as it is written does is to require not only law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of everyone they might suspect is not here legally, it also requires the same of all other civil servants as well in the case of any legitimate contact.

So if you go to city hall for any reason, if you wait in line behind a policeman at the convenience store, if you need to report a crime - they are required to demand proof of citizenship. If you cannot produce a birth certificate (and also in the case of a woman who has been married and/or divorced, all marriage certificates and divorce decrees to prove you are the person on the birth certificate), they are required to arrest you and hold you until you can prove that you are legally.

If you are a crime victim and report that crime, you can be arrested and held for suspicion of being here illegally, even if you are a citizen. If people know they might be jailed for reporting a crime, they're not going to report it.

Who carries around all those papers? Not the people who support this law. But they aren't expecting to be stopped. They are fully expecting that only people who look Hispanic or speak English with an accent will be stopped, irrespective of the disingenuous claim that racial profiling will not be permitted.

It's illegal to require American citizens to carry proof of citizenship with them at all times and produce it on a whim. That is what makes the law unconstitutional.

People need to stop claiming that Federal law permits citizens to be stopped and forced to produce proof of citizenship or face arrest. That makes supporters just look like ignorant racists.
My thoughts exactly.
Thanks for presenting the reality of the issue.
I am torn about how to resolve this; not really any clear answer that won't have somebody up in arms.
Arizona to my mind and specifically Phoenix is a place looking for a reason to be. Having incompetent Republican state governance doesn't help the people of that beleaguered city and state. The whole state and its current problems with illegals is the resulting microcosm of American trade with Mexico, American benefits to major corporations and American preoccupation with greed. American incompetence and avarice have a downside and Arizona is experiencing it big time.
An Arizona driver's license or state ID card is proof of legal right to be in the US. So, saying you have to carry your birth certificate is not accurate.

I don't think this law is that great as written, but I fully agree with the intent of the law: forcing the federal government to pay attention to the illegal immigration issue. Those of us living in border states are tired of Washington ignoring the problem and refusing to do their job in enforcing the federal laws.

Arizona may be particularly tired of being ignored because of the stark contrast in federal border enforcement between Arizona and California. As soon as you cross into California, you find regular border patrol stops and plenty of border patrol agents doing their job. But once you enter Arizona, all that federal enforcement disappears. No wonder the Arizona border has gotten so popular for illegal crossings.
Uh, "Mexico is nearly lawless today" ????

I've lived in Mexico for five years and I disagree. Try lighting a joint in the plaza in my town and see what happens.........
Love the cartoon, the main points of your article, that AZ is turning their police into Gestapo agents, truly a HUMAN rights violation. But to remind you that in 'el corazon de Mexico...the heart of Mexico' there most definitely is LAW...I live in Guanajuato, for five years now, sometimes challenging but mostly BEAUTIFUL...if you fall in the street, for example, a group will help you up...carrying too much a kid will offer to carry your stuff ETC...this is normal here.
Well written. But the law is not unconstitutional because it says police can only question those who are suspected of being in this country illegally. They can only ask if they are stopping someone for probable cause. And within the law a person's race or color is not probable cause.

The majority of racial profiling is being done by the media not this law. Why does the media assume the majority of people that will be question will be Hispanic? Because 87% of our illegal alien problem is from Mexico and Central America. And I would venture to guess in AZ 99.9% of their illegal alien problem is Mexico.

But, just what does the law do. It says that if a police officer stops someone suspected of criminal activity or for traffic violations and if the police suspect them of being in this country illegally they can ask for proof. If they are a legal citizen or have a visa they can provide proof end of story. Fact is the majority of legal citizens have ID. If someone is stopped regardless of the reason and does not have ID they most likely will be detained. Sure there will be some who forgot their ID or do not have one who will find themselves in a hassle. Nothing is perfect.

I am not naive and if they pull over a car load of white aryan looking people they will most likely not check to see if they are illegals from Germany. Why because AZ does not have 500,000 illegal Germans in their state.

Everyone knows the reasons why the Mexican people are streaming into this country, they are looking for opportunities. If the tables were turned the Mexican government would arrest and deport Americans. Check their immigration laws they are far harsher than ours, but no one is calling Mexico racist. Don't get me wrong Mexico has every right to protect its boarders and so do we.

Our almost non existent immigration laws for the past 50 years is one of the reasons why Mexico has not had to deal with their problem. Why worry about training and educating millions of people if they can become the problem of another country.
It’s encouraging to see in this post acknowledgement that there is a serious problem with illegal immigration in the United States and the hard-core drug running and crime it’s brought with it.

But the writer is wrong to try to paint Arizona’s law as “violating basic civil rights,” because that is not a true statement. Arizona’s law mirrors federal law on immigration and was enacted because the federal government is not sufficiently enforcing its responsibility to ensure the soundness of our borders. While some entering the country illegally are apprehended and returned to their home countries, millions more enter the country illegally – whether by walking across borders or overstaying visas – and they remain.

The writer’s statement that the current problem in Arizona is due to a guest worker program put in place by former Pres. George W. Bush is factually incorrect. While Bush did try to push through a program which essentially would have been an amnesty, it was not enacted. Under Pres. Obama again we have a proposal for what would essentially be an amnesty for an estimated 10 to 30 million people who are living in the U.S. illegally. Currently it does not have enough Congressional support to pass.

Rather, the problem is due to a long history of amnesty partnered with failure to enforce existing immigration laws, to secure U.S. borders and to enforce workplace laws.

In 1986, with Sen. Ted Kennedy as a champion, an amnesty to address a growing illegal alien population (estimated at 1 million; actual amnesty ended up being more than 2.7 million, with 3.5 million applying) residing in the U.S. was given (déjà vu here?). Many think that this amnesty given under Pres. Ronald Reagan was the last amnesty.

It wasn’t.

There have been six others since. In total, beginning with the 1986 law, 5.7 million people have received amnesty. Clearly, amnesty produces more amnesty.

Trying to put this off as a one-time Republican failure isn’t borne out by the facts. Both the Republican and Democrat parties have failed U.S. citizens for years by not enforcing immigration laws. Some people break this down simply as Republicans wanting cheap labor, while Democrats want more votes and are trying to position the issue of illegal immigration as some sort of civil rights issue. Whatever the reasons, both parties are failing American citizens.
This is much ado about nothing. The Arizona Law and the federal law are identical. Of course it was Bush's fault. Isn't everything?
How long before Arizona law ignores the "law?"
This was on the news out of Sacramento on Kcra. Just a few days ago, a semi driver was hauling his load as usual through AZ and was pulled over. The police officer asked for his operators permit and then asked the driver, who had an accent, if he was an American citizen. The driver stated he was born here. I guess that didn't make the officer happy and he asked for the drivers birth certificate. Of course the driver didn't have it on his person, so he was arrested. His pregnant wife had to drive an hour and a half to the police station to give the police his BC, which showed that the driver's place of birth was FRESNO, CA ! He was born and raised here.
I swear this was a report on the news. I can't believe you people that keep saying that all police need to look at is a Driver's lisence and then everything is ok. NO. A DL does NOT prove citizenship. Only a birth certificate or passport do.
This was on the news out of Sacramento on Kcra. Just a few days ago, a semi driver was hauling his load as usual through AZ and was pulled over. The police officer asked for his operators permit and then asked the driver, who had an accent, if he was an American citizen. The driver stated he was born here. I guess that didn't make the officer happy and he asked for the drivers birth certificate. Of course the driver didn't have it on his person, so he was arrested. His pregnant wife had to drive an hour and a half to the police station to give the police his BC, which showed that the driver's place of birth was FRESNO, CA ! He was born and raised here.
I swear this was a report on the news. I can't believe you people that keep saying that all police need to look at is a Driver's lisence and then everything is ok. NO. A DL does NOT prove citizenship. Only a birth certificate or passport do.
Well written piece. As with most things, there is two sides of every story and I don't think Arizona is getting a fair shake in the media. Although I'm not very fond of their new law, it seems that they have to do something about the problem. With so many of their political leaders looking like crazy people in the news with the chicken lady Senate candidate and the McCain "build the dang fence" commercial, the rest of up not involved have a tendency to just shake our heads.
Many laws have a high odor when first enacted. The health care reform bill is a prime example. Laws need to be tweaked and massaged into shape quite often.
I'm not a Constitutional lawyer, so I won't comment on that aspect of it. Leave that to the brainiacs to fight over. I just want to say that if I were in Arizona's shoes, I would want something done about the situation, too. Like my pappy used to say when someone has a problem,, don't just stand there, do something even if it's wrong.
PS. Awesome cartoon!
Applauding your interest in the topic. Keep going ... the history is complex and pre-dates Bush. You might also explore factors like the impacts of NAFTA on small business in Mexico, Mexican migration impacts spurred by the proliferation, then subsequent dismantling of corporate maquiladoras along the border. The roots of these Breaking Bad conditions dates back to the 1800's. Checkout the US War with Mexico and the resulting Gadsden "Purchase", General Grant's comments on the Mexican-American war as noted in his memoirs (an immoral war of aggression against a friendly neighbor). The US has a long history or aggression and hostility with respect to Mexico as well as the indigenous people of the Southwest. It's a shameful legacy.
Arizona institutes Pogroms and bans the multicultural studies in public schools. Other states consider following them.
Texas fictionalizes public school textbooks and plans on teaching right wing ideology.
Candidates for the US Senate would repeal the Civil Rights Act, if they could, and modify it, for sure.
All of these could have been done before now. Why now? Because they must feel the time is right, yet they accuse this Administration of government intrusion and indoctrination. This is nothing more than the exploitation of people's insecurity and unrest during hard times, preying on the darkest feelings, and Scapegoating. Where and when did we see this in history?

I live in Texas. While the Madhatter Governor and his Conservative Board of Education rewrites history, he doesn't dare try to espouse Arizona's Final Solution. He and his Republican State Legislature would be run out of this state, if they tried that one, not just out of office.

San Antonio glories in the history of Texas, which is all about our Hispanic heritage. We love the food, the music, the people. We are talking Family, here. We manage to celebrate all things Hispanic and have never felt endanger of being overthrown.

I cannot imagine a city, like, say, Phoenix, which already looks like a Monopoly board town, a Stepford Wife community, rejecting their history of Indian/Mexican culture. Mashed potatoes. What's next? Banning Mexican food restaurants?

Crime should be dealt with, no matter who does it. That's the time to ask all kinds of questions. But, stopping people "who look like" is nothing more than profiling and intruding where more than 4 are gathered is pogroming. If the drug business is so big in Arizona, better to look at those in gated communities, with "fronts" for businesses, who may be in charge of marketing and distribution. They "look like" they could be drug kingpins as much as someone who "looks like" and illegal.

All of these "patriots" who have been foaming at the mouth since Jan 21, 2009, have forgotten that "United we stand, Divided we fall".
The cartoon clearly shows a tea partyer dressed up as a border cop.
That is their almost nonexistent level of intelligence.
How about shifting the blame and the cost to the people who cause the problem...the ones who hire the immigrants? If they were treated as the problem with huge fines and jail sentences for 2nd or 3rd-time offenders the problem would, if not disappear, decrease greatly. Also solved would be us, the citizens, paying to clean up problems caused by corporations.

Breaking Bad is all about unintended and very negative consequences, blowback if you want to call it that. Arizona's immigration law will surely bring about a Breaking Bad-style drug war: The only reason drugs are imported is because it's cheaper to grow/manufacture them in Mexico, or import them through Mexico and, conversely, the principal reason for so many people to immigrate is to make money transporting drugs across the border. (They don't need Mexican citizens to do that, by the way. I suspect quite a few of the "illegal aliens" are U.S. citizens who can't find work. Or do you really believe someone would pay $30,000 to clean toilets?)

Close the border, take Mexico out of the equation and the drugs will be manufactured here in the U.S. or imported through any other port. Then the war in Mexico will be fought on this side of the border - and those deaths will be blamed on anyone but the people who wrote the law. They are never to blame when things Break Bad.
Such coherent reporting, such clarity of thought. And the central point transcends the rhetoric: I suddenly see how dangerous this is for the police and state troopers, many of whom are so service-driven they will do their utmost -- and the whole thing escalates.
Thank Heaven for the more in-depth comments that appear further down the line. The Politicos in California are weeping into their hankies about the poor Mexicans. What they don't seem to understand or choose not to understand is that about 25 percent of those caught are OTM, that is, other than mexican. Can you guess where they originated. That's right. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and other countries who defend and support terrorism against the people of the United States. We need to protect our southern border and if it offends the helpless government in Mexico then
lo siento.
Did you know a county in VA has a similar law as the one in AZ?

probably not, b/c the leftist media does not want you to know that ever since they enacted it in '07 they had a 38% decrees in violent crime. And no one has won a suit for profiling.

The horrors of facts.
I'm with Michael Rodgers on this one.

Here is where you are twisting the story to fit your point of view. While I'm sure you did hear it on TV that doesn't make it what you are saying.

I go through that check point on a regular basis. It's a fixed location. It's always there. When they walk up to your truck they ask the same questions about where you were born, what country you are a citizen of, do you have anyone else with you etc. Also most of the time the dog comes by for a friendly sniff.

The check point is run by the Border Patrol! AZ has nothing to do with it. The new AZ law had nothing to do with this driver. AZ law enforcement has nothing to do with this check point. It's all the federal government.

So what does the problem this driver had have to do with the AZ law?
I loved Wolf Blitzers interview with the president of Mexico last week. I'm sure you saw it. When Blitzer asked him if he allowed illegals in his country? He answered, "No. No. We send back anybody without the permissions."

Double standard. Mexico shoots first anybody sneaking over their southern border. And he dares lecture us.

I care about the Americans killed, raped and kidnapped in Arizona by illegal aliens. No state has signed up for suicide.
Let the Arizona folks take care of themselves, 'cause they have to. Nobody else is going to take responsibility...just jabber, as Washington has done for too long. Here's a treat:
Holder and Napolitano both critcize the AZ law. Is this the same Eric Holder who admitted before Congress that he had not read this 17 page law? Is it the same Janet Napolitano who admitted she had not read the law either? Is this the same Mexico that deports illegal immigrant without due process?

Breaking Bad glorifies a domestic crack cooker who bravely fights that evil imported meth from Mexico and wicked drug kingpins. He is a model for all Salon readers! Support home grown drugs!

Did you read the bill? Where are YOUR papers?!?
Arizona does not stand alone -- several states, as someone mentioned earlier, are following suit.

Immigration restrictions should be only one sentence: You break the law(s), you pay the price, just like every other citizen, resident or visitor of this country. End of story.
This problem has been going on for year. Regan gave them amnesty in 1986 and now we are supposed to do it again. No, Bush didn't start this problem. There has been a guest worker program of some type since the 50's. Remember the old "Bracero Program"? Our politicians are "so politically correct" that they refuse to follow our laws. No one should criticize this law unless they have lived in a Border state for at least 5 years, for you have no idea of the various problems. But the illegal immigration is against our Federal laws and the Feds don't enforce it.
Thank you, all, for your comments - appreciate it! Lively discussion!