Thursday, April 29, 2010

Some sanity in an error of insanity

Of all the reports, accounts, and opinions I've read about the current state of affairs in Arizona, one of the more balanced pieces appeared in the SFGate today by Debra Sanders. America is being divided -- hence the title "America's Political Grand Canyon" -- by the politics surrounding Arizona's new immigration law.

Let me lead with what should be an unremarkable observation: Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer did not write federal immigration laws that require permanent residents to carry green cards, employers to check documentation or limit the number of legal immigrants admitted each year. Washington did. But because Washington has failed to enforce those rules, Brewer signed into law a bill passed by the Arizona legislature to beef up and expand enforcement of federal immigration law.
This is something similar to in a recent post by me:  Inaction by the Feds caused an over-reaction in Arizona. This may be tried in Texas, where Gov. Rick Perry has been asking for federal help for more than a year.

There are always two sides to each story, it seems:
Why alienate Latinos who are good Arizonans when local police already can notify the feds after they arrest illegal immigrants?

By the same token, supporters of the bill feel alienated, too. Their belief in enforcing duly enacted federal laws earns them the tag of "racist" - whether they are or not.

Opponents of the new law drew swastikas on the Arizona Capitol, yet somehow pundits aren't asking whether they are inciting violence. Some critics have likened the bill to the "Your papers, please" authoritarianism of Nazi Germany. Please. If you think you shouldn't have to carry identification, don't travel abroad. And don't drive.

Then there's San Francisco's response - calling for a boycott.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera believes the Arizona law is "unconstitutional," and he may well be right. He was righteous when he told me, "We all know that racial profiling happens within the law enforcement community" - not only for arrests, but also when questioning innocent people.

I still have to ask: Why should San Francisco support a boycott of another government? Don't city politicians have their hands full governing this place, without telling other politicians how to run their turf?
One of her conclusions: This is how America gets torn apart.

This article is fair and balanced. We need more of this today, now more than ever. You can find the entire article here.

If for some reason, you don't like the SFGate article, try this one from the Los Angeles Times.

On a side-bar, most media reports of this issue are very intellectually dishonest. First of all, the law is not anti-immigrant, but anti-illegal-immigrant. A small, but important distinction, and the mis-reporting is driving me crazy.

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