Pile on Arizona

There was a lot of brouhaha over Arizona’s immigration law.  The coverage in the news has died down, but the fight has gotten a lot more bizarre and a lot nastier.

To recap, Arizona passed a law on April 23, 2010 that basically said that what is illegal under federal immigration law is also illegal under Arizona law, and Arizona is going to enforce the law.

When the law was passed, a lot of people went crazy.  Many high-level federal officials with a lot of authority didn’t read the law, but they had plenty of opinions on how bad it was.

First to express an opinion was Eric Holder.  He publicly criticized the law several times, including a hint that the federal government might file a lawsuit.  On ABC’s “This Week” on May 9 he suggested that “. . . we could potentially get on a slippery slope where people will be picked on because of how they look as opposed to what they have done.”  (First, the law doesn’t kick in until you DO something that causes you to be stopped because you have possibly broken another law.  Second, the law SPECIFIALLY says, “A law enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state may not consider race, color or national origin in the enforcement of this section . . .”)

On May 13 in front of a Senate Judiciary Hearing, Mr. Holder admitted that he had not yet even read the law.  In the Judiciary hearing, Holder said, “I’ve only made the comments that I’ve made on the basis of things that I’ve been able to glean by reading newspaper accounts, obviously, television, talking to people who are on the review panel.”  This guy is a lawyer?  He read a newspaper account of the law, but not the ten page law itself?  He had time to spend hours traveling from forum to forum to criticize the law in a 3 week period, but not the 20 minutes it would have taken to have just read the law one time?  This head honcho for enforcing laws for our federal government had appointed a panel to review the law (i.e., spent OUR money to pay those people), and was considering suing Arizona based on what he’d been reading and hearing about the law from news sources?

Janet Napolitano, our Homeland Security Director, also publicly criticized the law.  Then, in a Senate Homeland Security meeting on May 17, she admitted that she hadn’t read the law.  She was a lawyer by training and profession but criticized a 17 page law that she couldn’t find time to read in almost four weeks.

Even our president chimed in with repeated criticisms.  On April 27 at an appearance in Iowa, he said, “You can imagine, if you are a Hispanic American in Arizona suddenly, if you don’t have your papers and you took your kid out to get ice cream, you’re going to be harassed.”  No one could have read the actual law and used that example except in a comedy routine. The only way that it could happen the way the president described it would be if it were a crime to take your kid out to get ice cream.  Even if you are stopped for a valid reason based on some other law, a drivers license (or “any valid United States Federal, state, or local government issued identification”) is proof enough as to your legal presence in the United States.

At least three people, all with prestigious legal degrees and careers, and all with a responsibility with respect to our laws, couldn’t even be bothered to read a short law before criticizing it, spreading misrepresentations about it, and questioning its Constitutionality.

Now that I have once again raised your blood pressure rehashing what was well covered in the news, it gets to the even nastier part.

There was a lot of public talk by our high federal officials about the law causing racial profiling, denying people their Constitutional rights, and violating people’s civil rights.  However, the suit that was brought against Arizona by our Department of “Justice” doesn’t even mention those issues.  The government case is simply stated:  Immigration laws and policies are the responsibility of the federal government.  State governments cannot legislate nor enforce those kinds of laws.

Federal officials have continued to publicly raise objections about the racial profiling and civil rights issues even though it did not raise them in their lawsuit.  By continuing to misstate provisions of (aka, lie about) the law, our federal government is attempting to try Arizona in the Court of Public Opinion.  It is failing even in that court.  Every single poll has found that a majority of citizens support Arizona; most polls put the figure at 60%.  A similar number would like to see an Arizona style law in their own state.

Believe it or not, it has gotten even nastier.  Our government decided next to try the suit in the Court of International Public Opinion.

First, it reported the law to the UN Human Rights Council as an example of human rights abuses committed in the US.  It’s right up there with worldwide abuses such as torture and long imprisonment for political dissidents, stoning for women as adulteresses even when they are raped, and genocide. Our federal government has characterized Arizona’s law as a human rights violation worthy of international scrutiny.  Since facts about America are frequently distorted when disseminated to the rest of the world, I am sure that many in foreign countries think that Arizona will be randomly stopping, torturing, and shooting Latinos.

Now, the next step has been taken.  The US Government will be joined in its lawsuit against Arizona by eleven foreign countries (Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and Chile), who will submit friend-of-the-court briefs in favor of the federal Government’s case.  The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals made a ruling on October 6 to allow this.

First, the federal government vilified Arizona overseas; now foreigners are being invited in to pile on.  My heart bleeds for Arizona.  My heart bleeds for my country.  I don’t know how long we can survive with this monstrosity of a federal government.

Published in: on October 15, 2010 at 11:47 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Pile on Arizona « Silencetoolong's Blog…

    Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by davekehnast, davekehnast. davekehnast said: Pile on Arizona « Silencetoolong's Blog: To recap, Arizona passed a law on April 23, 2010 that basically said that… http://bit.ly/8YT361 […]

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