Arizona’s draconian anti-immigration law
Andrea Nill sums up the new anti-immigrant law in Arizona:
According to America’s Voice, the approved bill, entitled the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act,” would “make every undocumented worker in Arizona guilty of a criminal offense and require state and local police to go after them.” More specifically, it would allow police to arrest anyone who is in this country illegally and charge them with trespass, require police to attempt to determine the immigration status of anyone they encounter, outlaw the hiring of day laborers off the street, and prohibit anyone from knowingly transporting an undocumented immigrant for any reason.
Matt Yglesias ponders the consequences:
This sounds like a declaration of open war on all Hispanic persons within the state boundaries. Suppose I find myself in Phoenix for work and I get robbed. I just might call the police to report it. Then all of a sudden we have a Phoenix police officer “encountering” some dude with a Spanish name and he needs to attempt to determine my immigration status. Well, I don’t make a habit of taking my passport with me. So what am I supposed to do? Call up CAP and have someone fax over my W-9? If it’s after business hours on the east coast am I going to be detained overnight.
Meanwhile, I do wonder about the politics here. Short-term politics is mostly about the economy, but in the long-run demographics matters a lot. For a decade now it’s been conventional wisdom that Republicans need to do more to appeal to Latino voters, but policywise they’re moving in the opposite direction.
Well yes, but as we all know, Republicans are in the middle of a party-wide attempt to take as many wrong-headed, mind numbingly stupid positions on as many issues as possible. I’m not sure about the logistics of this strategy, but it certainly is a unique one. Arizona can serve as a sort of testing-ground for all these extreme and extremely silly ideas. Rumor has it we’re about to legalize sparklers, which is fine – it’s a silly law if you live in the desert. Unfortunately for those of us who live in the dry, dry forest it means we’re all the more likely to have the forests shut down each year due to forest fires.
At least we’ll be able to carry our guns in secret around town, even if we can’t go shoot them in the woods.