I didn’t want to see the headline, but there it was just as I began this column.

An Arizona lawman was shot by illegal aliens. Fortunately, he wasn’t killed.

That’s not the kind of news the pro-illegal-immigration forces in government and media want to see. In their own “honest, unbiased” way, they virtually ignore it.

Instead, they focus on the issue that the state of Arizona is trying to get a handle on a problem it’s faced for years: the tidal wave of illegal aliens crossing the border from Mexico.

For a week, Arizona has been roiled because of legislation signed into law a week ago by Gov. Jan Brewer.

It restates federal law that police have a right to question the immigration status of people stopped or questioned for probable cause. Essentially, the law says being an illegal alien in Arizona is illegal, reaffirming federal law.

The reaction to the legislation was as though Arizona had turned into “hate central” with politicians and the media tossing around the usual leftist slurs such as “Nazi” and “KKK” and whatever other epithets could be dredged up. Disruptive protesters destroyed property, attacked police and chanted accusations of racial profiling.

Arizona needs the law because Washington ignores the federal law. Arizona is overrun with illegals, and the state has become the major transit route for border-jumpers, drug running and human trafficking.

It’s not only expensive for Arizona taxpayers, it’s downright dangerous.

Case in point, last Friday afternoon: Pinal County Sheriff Deputy Louie Puroll, a 15-year veteran of the department, was on regular smuggling interdiction patrol in the desert between Phoenix and Tucson. He encountered five men, suspected illegals, who were transporting bales of marijuana. At least two were armed.

The area is commonly used by illegals entering this country and for the movement of drugs and people. Puroll confronted the men and was shot with an AK-47. The men beat it, perhaps thinking the deputy was dead. But he wasn’t and radioed for help.

It took a massive search, but he was located and taken to the hospital. He had a chunk of skin torn from his back, but his injuries aren’t serious.

A manhunt for the suspects has rounded up 17 suspected illegal aliens.

Sheriff Lt. Tamatha Villar said the shooting took place in an area with increasing drugs and violence.

She told KTAR-TV, “We’ve had increasing concerns in this area about being outmanned and outgunned and unfortunately this evening, this is coming true.”

But at least Deputy Puroll is alive.

Rancher Rob Krentz is dead. He was shot and killed three weeks ago, as was his dog, on his own ranch, as he went to assist suspected illegals on the property. He was well-known in Cochise County for assisting such people. For his good heartedness, he was killed.

The illegals escaped back to Mexico.

These two shootings aren’t the first, nor will they be the last as the numbers of illegals and their criminal activities in Arizona increase daily.

Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever told me the increasing crime is more than worrisome because it’s getting more violent. Robbery and car-jackings are common. He tells of home invasions, often in broad daylight. People out shopping come home to find their houses and out buildings burglarized and vandalized and vehicles stolen. Fences are cut, water lines broken, cattle slaughtered, other farm and domestic animals killed, the property trashed.

I’ve been there and know what he’s talking about. I’ve talked to residents and ranchers and know what they’re enduring.

I have family members living in the area. When they moved there, it was beautiful country and a safe place to live.

It’s still beautiful, but it’s no longer safe.

The people of Arizona have suffered for years because of the intentional neglect of the federal government to protect citizens and U.S. borders.

How did our border with a “friendly neighbor” turn into a highway for lawbreakers? How is it that politicians and the president make excuses and do nothing?

Perhaps there is a motive: allow the numbers of illegals to get so big that their only solution is amnesty, even though the American people don’t want it.

Protest rallies against the new law draw thousands; more are planned. Lawyers for immigrant rights groups threaten lawsuits. Christian and Jewish leaders rant in defense of illegals.

There are reports that illegals in Arizona are so upset, they plan to leave the state!

Boycotts are planned of everything Arizona, from products to tourism to sports.

Not surprisingly, very liberal California swung into self-righteous action. The state Senate proposes breaking existing contracts with Arizona and preventing new ones.

The Oakland City Council proposes a boycott of Arizona and limits on city contracts and business dealings.

San Francisco is doing the same and putting pressure on travel to Arizona by businesses, organizations and city employees.

It is, after all, a sanctuary city, which means police are already forbidden from asking immigration status and are limited in reporting lawbreaking by illegals to ICE.

A shocking example: the brutal, cold-blooded murders of Tony Bologna and his two sons. They were shot in their car by gang-member illegals with rap sheets, who had been protected by the city sanctuary policy.

Actually, San Francisco should invite those unhappy illegals in Arizona to come to S.F. for lots of free goodies.

I’ll bet there are some Arizonans more than willing to drive them, one way, to the coast. Gratis.

I believe what’s happened was purposeful neglect by Washington and now, the powers that be have what they want.

They’ve set up the “haves” versus the “have nots,” reignited race animosity and suckered in churches to push new racial conflicts into the quicksand of religious guilt.

Now that Arizona had the courage to pass a law protecting itself, the left is setting the scene for a states’ rights battle – challenging each other, disrupting economies and fracturing the social contract among citizens.

It’s a dangerous time.

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