Arizona’s Radical Bill
No surprise to see John McCain supporting this unAmerican attempt to mandate that police demand citizens show their papers.
What a phony McCain is. Where does he think is: The Occupied Territories.
From The Progress Report:
Arizona’s Radical Bill
Arizona has often been referred to as “ground zero” of the nation’s immigration fight. It’s the state where a nine-year-old girl and her father were shot and killed by anti-immigrant Minuteman vigilantes this past summer. It’s the place where the brutal murder of a prominent rancher led politicians to blur the line between dangerous drug cartel operatives and undocumented workers. It’s also home to “Hispanic-hunting” Sheriff Joe Arpaio. On Monday, the Arizona state legislature made headlines when it approved a bill entitled the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act,” legislation that will likely end up establishing the harshest set of state immigration laws in the country. Gov. Jan Brewer’s (R-AZ) phone has been ringing off the hook with residents encouraging her to either sign or veto it. Given the fact that Brewer is up for re-election this fall, and with polling data suggesting that 70 percent of Arizona voters support the stringent measure, it seems likely that the bill will soon become law — but not without a fight.
HIGH-RISK BILL: SB-1070 would require police to attempt to determine the immigration status of anyone they encounter as part of a “lawful contact” and allow them to arrest undocumented immigrants and charge them with trespass. If residents believe police officers are not enforcing immigration laws, they can sue them. It would also outlaw the hiring of day laborers off the street and prohibit anyone from knowingly transporting an undocumented immigrant for any reason. The ACLU points outthat SB-1070 unconstitutionally allows the state to regulate immigration — a power which the Constitution assigns to the federal government. The ACLU also highlights a provision of the bill that grants police officers authority to conduct warrantless arrests of anyone who cannot immediately produce documents and notes that such action has already been deemed invalid by the Ninth Circuit Court. The ACLU concludes that the bill will “exacerbate racial profiling” and tries to “rewrite the Constitution by turning the presumption of innocence on its head.” Several research institutions have also cited the high fiscal costs associated with local immigration crackdowns. The National Employment Law Project pointed outthat smaller-scale anti-immigrant ordinances have cost individual localities millions of dollars. The Perryman Group estimates that if all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Arizona, the state would lose $26.4 billion in economic activity, $11.7 billion in gross state product, and approximately 140,324 jobs. The Immigration Policy Center noted that, “with Arizona facing a budget deficit of more than $3 billion, Gov. Brewer might want to think twice about measure that would further imperil the state’s economic future.” Brewer has until Saturday to sign or veto SB-1070 before it automatically becomes state law.
MCCAIN EMBRACES DISCRIMINATION: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is facing a tough primary challenge this year from immigration hawk J.D. Hayworth and is using SB-1070 to show that he’s “tough” on the issue. On Monday, McCain endorsed SB-1070, describing it as “a very important step forward” shortly after proposing his own 10-point enforcement-only plan to secure the nation’s borders. In an interview with Fox News, McCain stated that he would be “very sorry” if racial profiling happened, but “illegals” are “intentionally causing accidents on the freeway.” McCain once preferred to refer to undocumented immigrants as “God’s children” and described “enforcement-first” policies as an “ineffective and ill-advised approach.” McCain now wants 700 miles of fencing along the Arizona-Mexico border, a proposal he once derided as a “quick fix” to our border security problems in the absence of a comprehensive approach. Now McCain says that he and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) will block immigration reform if it is proposed this year. In 2006, McCain opposed the failed Sensenbrenner bill — which contained criminalization components virtually identical to SB-1070’s — calling it “anti-Hispanic.” McCain is clearly trying score cheap political points in a state in which 83 percent of voters say a candidate’s position on immigration is an important factor in how they will vote, with 51 percent saying “it’s very important.” The co-founder of the Minutemen, who is usually quick to embrace anyone who agrees with his radical views, described McCain’s newly adopted position as “shameful election-year politics” and accused him of trying to “hood-wink” voters. Meanwhile, immigration advocate Frank Sharry stated, “Obviously, John McCain is fighting for his political life in Arizona. I sure miss the days when he fought for his principles.”
VOCAL OPPOSITION: Rasmussen may suggest that most Arizonians support SB-1070, yet it has generated a strong and vocal opposition. The Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police (AAOP) firmly opposesit for fiscal and public safety reasons. Mesa Police Sgt. Bryan Soller, who is president of the Mesa and Arizona Fraternal Order of Police, has expressed similar concerns, stating that the bill “will bankrupt our city.” Arturo Venegas, director of the Law Enforcement Engagement Initiative, issued a statement accusing the Arizona legislature of “playing politics with public safety,” pointing out that it “will result in police spending less time keeping the streets free of violent criminals” and create distrust within the immigrant community. Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus have askedBrewer to veto the bill and are pressuring President Obama to either warn of federal pre-emption of the law or threaten Arizona’s federal funding. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) has called for a national boycott of his state until it disavows its “fundamentally racist” immigration bill. Meanwhile, on the ground, several 24-hour candle light vigils have been held and nine students were recently arrested after chaining themselves to the old State Capitol building. As of Monday, Brewer’s office had received1,356 calls, e-mails and faxes in favor of SB-1070 and 11,931 against the bill. While Cardinal Roger Mahony “can’t imagine” Arizona reverting to “German Nazi and Russian Communist techniques,” former President Bill Clinton explained that the bill is a response to widespread insecurity and disorientation and reminded Americans that, ultimately, “we can’t let the debate veer so far into hatred that we lose focus of our common humanity.”
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