The controversial bill would require police to question people about their immigration status if there’s reason to suspect they’re in the United States illegally. Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has said she will decide soon whether she will sign the legislation.
Our failure to act responsible at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others. That includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona, which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe,” the president said at a naturalization ceremony for members of the military.
“In fact, I’ve instructed members of my administration to closely monitor the situation and examine the civil rights and other implications of this legislation. But if we continue to fail to act at the federal level, we will continue to see misguided efforts opening up around the country.”Civil rights activists are quite plausibly arguing that the Arizona law would lead to racial profiling of Latinos.
Other provisions of the bill allow lawsuits against government agencies that hinder enforcement of immigration laws, and make it illegal to hire illegal immigrants for day labor or knowingly transport them.
The bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Russell Pearce of Mesa, said it would remove “political handcuffs” from police and help drive illegal immigrants from the state.
“Illegal is illegal,” said Pearce, a driving force on the issue in Arizona. “We’ll have less crime. We’ll have lower taxes. We’ll have safer neighborhoods. We’ll have shorter lines in the emergency rooms. We’ll have smaller classrooms.”Yes, life will certainly return to its previous state of blissful perfection for white people once Arizona is rid of all those “illegals.” Why, back in the day, Arizona was probably a kind of desert of Eden!