Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Saturday, April 24th, 2010.

Mob Rule in Arizona

Wingnuts Being Wingnuts

Is it really “open season” on Latinos in Arizona? Maybe, but that’s partly up to the governor.

The new law, just signed, gives local cops the job of demanding proof of citizenship or a green card from anyone they think might be in the country illegally, e.g., people who look Latino. Those who lack the proper documentation are subject to arrest.

E.J. Dionne quotes Gideon Aronoff, the president and CEO of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society: “Arizonans are now living in a world where police may impound vehicles transporting anyone found to be an undocumented immigrant, which means that Arizonans who don’t check the papers of the kids they drive to Sunday school may now be engaging in illegal activity.”

That last quote suggests a lot of Arizonans who are gung-ho to get tough on illegal immigrants haven’t thought this bill through.

The drug wars in Mexico — genuinely nasty business — has spilled over into Arizona, and it’s understandable that people want something done. As usually, however, the right-wing blowhards who favor this “get tough” move are not necessarily in sync with law enforcement professionals, who say it will stretch their resources very thin.

Note that the law allows citizens to sue police to compel them to enforce the law. This could get dicey. Further, some commenters suggested that Arizona police could lose the trust of Latino communities, which could make law enforcement more, not less, difficult.

How hard law enforcement comes down on innocent Latinos depends in part on what direction the governor might give for how the law is carried out. Right now, there are a lot of unknowns, including what exactly might make a person a “suspect.”

As Dionne says, “It’s rather strange that many who say they mistrust government overreach could support a law of this sort.” Not strange at all, really, if you follow Righties. On this very day some of the same bloggers expressing support for the Arizona bill have been protesting “big government” by making a hero out of Guy Fawkes, and they see no inconsistency to that.

From what I can tell, the righties are laboring with a false dichotomy — you’re for the Arizona law, or you favor “open borders.” That many people really don’t favor open border but still think the Arizona law is an abomination flies right over their empty heads.

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