Right Wing: Arizona Immigration Crackdown

This Week in Conservative Media

State Sen. Russell Pearce, along with fellow legislators, wrote and passed a sweeping immigration-reform bill last week which is now awaiting signature by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. (Just last week Brewer also pleased conservatives—and gun owners—by signing into law an NRA-backed bill that removes the licensing requirement for citizens who choose to carry a concealed firearm outside their home.)

Now Brewer must decide on the immigration bill, which a recent Rasmussen poll found had the backing of 84 percent of Arizona Republicans. “While the pleas from American citizens in Arizona and other states fall on deaf ears in Washington, DC, the violence and crime at the U.S.-Mexico border continues unabated,” writes blogger Jim Kouri of the Intellectual Conservative. "The measure, passed last week by the Arizona House and previously approved by the Senate, grants police the power to stop and verify the immigration status of anyone suspected of being illegal and requires foreign nationals to carry proof of legal residency,” writes Kouri. “Illegal aliens will be charged in state court with trespassing and anyone—documented or undocumented—seeking work from a road or sidewalk will also be criminally prosecuted. Drivers who pick up illegal alien day laborers will also be punished when the law kicks in.”

In a Monday interview with Bill O’Reilly, Sen. John McCain—who once championed a path to citizenship for the nation's roughly 12 million undocumented immigrants—said he favored sending U.S. troops to the border and the bill's strengthening of law enforcement. “The state of Arizona is acting and doing what it feels it needs to do in light of the fact that the federal government is not fulfilling its fundamental responsibility—to secure our borders,” said McCain. Jonathan J. Cooper and Paul Davenport of the Associated Press write that, “Engaged in a fierce contest with the tea party-backed former Rep. J. D. Hayworth, McCain has moved to the right on numerous issues, including gay rights and climate change, and disavowed his long-standing maverick label.” Add immigration reform to that list. 

On the conservative blog Sonoran Alliance, a writer named Locke dismisses criticism of the bill as racist and a step toward racial profiling. “Actually, there is nothing 'racist' about it but in the world of progressive strategy, calling your opponents racist is par for the course.” Locke adds: “It is really important that we recognize 'why' this bill is important for the safety of Arizona. The bill targets illegal immigration, which is correlated with increased crime, depletion of state funds, and is a risk to national security. The bill does not target hispanics specifically but BECAUSE OF ARIZONA’S GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION illegal immigrants from Central and South America will be impacted the most. Opponents want you to think there is an insidious purpose behind the statute and that racism is the primary motivation. This strategy is the only way they can cover up their agenda. Ultimately, amnesty is what they want.”