It is over-the-top and out-of-control when it comes to the Arizona immigration bill recently signed. Not the law itself, but the reaction.
Linda Greenhouse’s opinion piece in The NY Times epitomizes the absurd rhetoric (emphasis mine):
I’m glad I’ve already seen the Grand Canyon.
Because I’m not going back to Arizona as long as it remains a police state, which is what the appalling anti-immigrant bill that Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law last week has turned it into….
Wasn’t the system of internal passports one of the most distasteful features of life in the Soviet Union and apartheid-era South Africa? …
So what to do in the meantime? Here’s a modest proposal. Everyone remembers the wartime Danish king who drove through Copenhagen wearing a Star of David in support of his Jewish subjects. It’s an apocryphal story, actually, but an inspiring one. Let the good people of Arizona — and anyone passing through — walk the streets of Tucson and Phoenix wearing buttons that say: I Could Be Illegal.
Actually, Linda, not everyone remembers the Danish King driving around wearing a Star of David. Because it is not true. It is a myth. [see note below] But it sure does sound good when making a hyperventilated argument on the pages of The New York Times.
And isn’t the opposition to the Arizona law based on mythology and hysteria.
Yesterday Last week Arizona was a great place, now it is the last bastion of Nazis, Communists and Apartheid-ists.
And why? Because Arizona decided to implement procedures which have the effect of forcing the federal government to enforce existing immigration laws.
Under the Arizona law, the State of Arizona will have no power to deport anyone, only to turn them over to the federal immigration officials.
To say that the Arizona law requires internal passports, or creates an apartheid state is absurd. We already require identification for a whole host of day-to-day activities (see Byron York’s piece today) such as checking into a hotel or boarding an airplane. Check out this Georgetown database of federal immigration laws to see the sweeping scope of the immigration laws already on the books.
There are procedural aspects of the law (such as the provisions which make violation of federal law also a violation of state law) which will be challenged, perhaps successfully so. But overzealous state enforcement of the law (if that is what it is) hardly changes the substance of the federal laws.
If Arizona is a fascist, communist, racist, apartheid state because it has decided to hold the federal government to the letter of the federal immigration laws, then wouldn’t that of necessity make the federal immigration laws racist?
And isn’t that really the point here. The people screaming about the Arizona law really are screaming about the substance of the federal immigration laws, demanding that such laws not be enforced in any meaningful way.
Update: Greenhouse uses the term “apocryphal” in her article, signifying that the story was not true. Yet she builds her call to action on mythology, which is the point.
Heh: It appears that Greenhouse was using the wrong version of the bill for her article. I can sympathize with that fault, because many of us on Saturday had trouble sorting through the various versions being linked by news organizations, until Allahpundit resolved the problem. If Greenhouse had read HotAir or here, she would have been alerted to the problem.
Saturday Night Card Game (The Arizona Immigration Bill Is Not Racist)