Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin Speaks Out In Favor Of Arizona SB1070 Immigration Enforcement Law

Sarah Palin has never been a hawk on immigration reform. While she's always favored enforcing our existing laws, she has also supported some amnesty for illegal aliens in the past.

Consequently, it was surprising -- and gratifying -- to find that Sarah Palin has spoken out vigorously in favor of Arizona's SB1070, which allows police to enquire about the immigration status of anyone they detain AFTER they've stopped them for another infraction. Read my previous post on SB1070 for more details on the law and the protections against profiling. Palin came out swinging in defense of the law on Fox News on April 27th, 2010: She accused the Obama administration of a "shameful" attempt to make the law into a "racial issue" by suggesting it will encourage cops to stop and question legal Hispanics in their search for illegal immigrants. "It is telling the federal government that they better wake up, buck up, and do their job in securing our borders," Palin said. Watch it on the YouTube video embedded below (the video on KTVA Channel 11 is the same):

Lawmakers in other states are considering Arizona-style laws, at least in part, for their locations. In Utah, State Rep. Stephen Sandstrom (R-Orem) is preparing to write a similar law. In Colorado, former U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis, now a Republican candidate for Governor, said he would push for a similar law. Alternet reveals that Georgia, Maryland, Ohio, North Carolina, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas may all follow suit.

Opposition to SB1070 has been noisy and abusive at times. Phoenix New Times blogger Stephen Lemons, who opposes the bill, chronicles the opposition HERE. Among the opponents are carpetbagging Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, State Representative Clovis Campbell, and Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox. Notorious black supremacist Al Sharpton has said that he will bring "freedom walkers" to Arizona to bait cops into asking for their papers, an echo of the freedom riders who tested the desegregation of interstate busing in the 1960s. Sharpton warned that there will be more civil disobedience and has indicated that he's willing to be arrested if need be. There are also calls for a national boycott, and massive demonstrations are planned for Cinco de Mayo in Arizona and across the nation. President Barack Obama has called the law "misguided" and ordered the U.S. Justice Department to closely monitor the situation and examine the civil rights and other implications of this legislation.

The city of San Francisco has now banned official travel to Arizona by city workers. Mexico's Foreign Ministry has issued an advisory to Mexicans living and working in Arizona that "there is a negative political environment for migrant communities and for all Mexican visitors".

The latter two actions simply mean that there will be fewer queers and Mexicans coming to Arizona. That might not be such a bad thing.

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