… if a governor decided to legalize marijuana within their jurisdiction, what would be the response from the federal government? I know for states, the threat of withholding federal transportation money is usually a sufficient threat for whatever behavior one would want, but what other weapons are there? Can they remove the stubborn governor? Can they send the National Guard in, a la civil rights-era Arkansas? What if the governor just instructs the police to quietly ignore drug offenses, and only prosecute “regular” crimes? I assume setting law enforcement priorities are within their rights. What if the mayor of a city does the same thing? What’s the reaction at the state/county/federal level?
To some extent this has been played out with the medical marijuana clinics issue, so I suppose I’m more interested in de facto legalization schemes than official ones.
I think a large part of the anti-immigration feeling is directed at Mexicans because it’s believed that they’re “just” coming here for better jobs — it would be harder to feel a lot of rage against refugees fleeing here for their own safety. Now it looks like some Mexicans are doing just that:
Aguirre immediately gathered up his family and darted across the border into El Paso, Texas. He hasn’t returned to Juarez since that day.
Aguirre is seeking asylum in the United States, and he’s part of a growing trend among Mexican citizens looking to escape the violence and corruption of their homeland.
Now, it’s still not a huge amount:
In 2003, the USCIS reported 54 asylum cases from Mexican citizens. In 2008, that number reached 312.
I’m not sure most Americans are quite aware of what’s going on south of the border. I don’t know if I’d call it civil war, but when the military has to patrol the streets each day, I’d say that it’s not a very good situation.
And the worst part is, a great deal of the violence is our responsibility. On top of all the standard good reasons for labor mobility, I’d say there’s a moral obligation here as well: if you help screw up someone’s country, you should let them leave that country and join yours. I thought we should do the same for Iraqis or Afghanis as well, so there’s no reason to turn back Mexicans. Alas, my government disagrees with me… again:
But asylum requests based on fear of violence aren’t easy cases to make. Last year, the United States approved less than half of those cases.
Classy. And if you’re not convinced that our drug prohibition contributes to this, then ask yourselves: why aren’t the tobacco cartels shooting up Juarez?
I know it’s trite to say this, but no one is really paying enough attention to what’s going on here. I realize that AIG bonuses are a lot more interesting than a cocaine-fueled civil war on our southern border, but… I guess it’s just old news, there’s been one going on in Colombia for decades, right?