The Fallout In Arizona–and Republican Collusions?

The following comes from the Progressive Report.  Let me know if it is factual.-KAS

The Fallout In Arizona

On Friday, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) signed overreaching and radical anti-immigration legislation into law, attracting national media attention and fierce opposition. At a ceremony honoring active duty members of the military who were being naturalized as American citizens, President Obama condemned the “irresponsible” new law, saying it “threatened to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans.” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warned the Senate Judiciary Committee that the law “will detract from and siphon resources that we need to focus on those…who are committing the most serious crimes.” Mexico President Felipe Calderon said the law will open the door to “intolerance, hate, discrimination and abuse,” and his country issued a travel warning to its citizens visiting Arizona. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and independent legal scholars have pointed out that the law is likely unconstitutional, and some Obama administration officials are even urging the “extraordinary step” of suing Arizona over the law. The ACLU and many others have warned it will “exacerbate racial profiling,” and even some conservatives have spoken out against the law. MSNBC host and former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough called it “un-American,” while former Bush adviser Karl Rove said, “I wished they hadn’t passed it.” Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio, who is running for U.S. Senate in Florida, said he has “concerns.” Before Brewer signed the bill, the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police said the measure was “problematic and will negatively affect the ability of law enforcement agencies across the state to fulfill their many responsibilities in a timely manner.” Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik called the law “racist,” “disgusting,” and “unnecessary,” and said he will refuse to enforce it.

GOP REACTION: Despite opposition from some conservative pundits, Republican members of Congress have largely remained silent — with a handful even offering support. A Progress Report analysis found that only two national Republican lawmakers — Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — have come out against the bill, while at least 10 have either praised it, or remained noncommittal. “Republican lawmakers are hedging, dodging, and reaching for nuance — anything to avoid taking a strong stand on Arizona,” Politico’s Kasie Hunt noted. “[T]he Arizona fallout has jammed Republicans who need to please a base that is virulently anti-illegal immigrant yet still wants to expand their party’s appeal to Hispanics,” Hunt added. This was particularly visible when ABC News repeatedly pressed Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) for his position, but Cantor could only offer platitudes about “making sure that America remains a country that stands of freedom,” without really addressing the law. Still, that hasn’t stopped some Republicans, like Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), and Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA), from praising the bill. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) even implied that Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) — who is leading a boycott against his own state to protest the law — is a traitor, saying his district may have been “ceded…to Mexico.” Grijalva is “advocating for Mexico rather than the United States,” King asserted. Meanwhile, “Democrats can’t shout loud enough about how much they hate” the law, Politico noted.

COPY CATS: When Obama condemned the law last week, he predicted, “if we continue to fail to act [on immigration] at a federal level, we will continue to see misguided efforts to open up across the country.” Even conservatives who otherwise praised Arizona’s new law expressed concern that it could lead to states creating a patchwork of different, and potentially conflicting, new immigration laws. Unfortunately, this seems to be already happening. A Progress Report analysis found at least seven other states, and a handful of municipalities, that are considering strict new immigration laws. Some of these appear to be directly inspired by Arizona’s law. A lawyer for the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) — the group that helped write Arizona’s law — boasted about being “approached by lawmakers from four other states who have asked for advice on how they can do the same thing.” IRLI is the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Immigration Reform (FAIR), an extreme anti-immigrant group that has recently been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. “In a nutshell, the IRLI has been behind most, if not every, local legislative immigration crackdown over the past few years,” the Wonk Room’s Andrea Nill noted.

About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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