Immigration strategery

Some interesting political and demographic facts about the Arizona law….

Polls in Arizona:

There has been a great deal of movement along racial lines. In the September poll Goddard had a 3 point lead with white voters, but he now trails Brewer by 8. At the same time he’s increased his lead with Hispanic voters from 20 points to 46. There are a lot more white voters in the state than Hispanic ones so from a cynical, purely political perspective Brewer’s actions last week probably did her some good.

Demographics in Arizona:

Demographically, there is no doubt Latinos and other immigrant minorities are America’s future, and on this, Arizona stands on the front lines. Over the past two decades the state has seen its Latino population grow by 180 percent as its racial composition shifted from 72 to 58 percent white.

Yet there is an important demographic nuance to this growth—providing context to the white backlash in Arizona in ways that could play out else where. It is the fact that the state’s swift Hispanic growth has been concentrated in young adults and children, creating a “cultural generation gap” with largely white baby boomers and older populations, the same demographic that predominates in the recent Tea Party protests. A shorthand measure for this cultural generation gap in a state is the disparity between children and seniors in their white population shares. Arizona leads the nation on this gap at 40 (where 43 percent of its child population is white compared with 83 percent for seniors). But the states of Nevada, California, Texas, New Mexico, and Florida are not that far behind.

Where things are headed in other states:

Last week, Wonk Room reported on the involvement of the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) — the legal arm of a designated nativist-extremist hate group — in drafting Arizona’s controversial immigration law. IRLI lawyer Michael Hethmon boasted about being “approached by lawmakers from four other states who have asked for advice on how they can do the same thing.” In the aftermath of the passage of Arizona’s law, many states and localities across the country are in fact in the middle of or about to embark on copy cat pieces of legislation.

(the post goes on to list ten states where similar legislation is being considered)

Federal legislation is probably the only way to head this off. On the other hand, Republicans will probably filibuster any bill. I think that, for now, they can sustain it if they want to: the emerging Village narrative is that Obama is being a meanie who hurt president Graham’s fee-fees by bringing up the issue and the push-back from the far right against conservatives who don’t like the Arizona law has been ferocious.

“Secure the border first” seems the most likely position for Republicans here and it’s probably viable, if not brilliant, politically, at least for the time being.

But I wonder how long they want to sustain the damage of Republican legislatures alienating Latinos with crazy legislation. Another four or five years of this could be catastrophic to Republican long-term prospects, even if the short-term politics aren’t bad for Republicans. There will be no way they can compete in places like Arizona and Texas in ten years if this keeps up.

Would the right strategy be to rip off the band-aid now by going along with federal immigration reform legislation?

193 replies
  1. 1
    NobodySpecial says:

    Even if they win in 2010 and 2012 (unlikely both), three years of running hardcore anti-Latino will make sure that all those Latino kids and teenagers vote Democratic the rest of their lives. It’s the medical equivalent of cutting your throat so that the paper cut on your finger stops bleeding.

  2. 2
    beltane says:

    Why rip off the band-aid now? Why not let the wound fester until the GOP is actively hated by everyone but elderly WASPs?

    Your analysis of this data is much better than Andrew Sullivan’s. He sees the debate over immigration as a battle between Oakeshottian and Strausian conservatives. My head still hurts from all the ringing of Burkean bells that went on in his piece. I need an Advil.

  3. 3
    Betsy says:

    No wonder, then, that they’re so interested in deporting US-born children of undocumented immigrants.

  4. 4
    John Quixote says:

    Would the right strategy be to rip off the band-aid now by going along with federal immigration reform legislation?

    Yes. The GOP demise will be final when Texas turns blue in 2012 or 2016.

  5. 5
    Cris says:

    @John Quixote: Yes. The GOP demise will be final when Texas turns blue in 2012 or 2016.

    CA (55) + TX (34) + NY (31) = 120; three states get you halfway there. If Texas turns blue, the 50 state strategy becomes cosmetic.

  6. 6
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @NobodySpecial: Yes this makes no long term electoral sense. They are not just alienating the Hispanic populace here.

  7. 7
    AhabTRuler says:

    “Secur the border.”

    Y’know, it’s a shame that no one has thought of this before. Think of the centuries of smuggling this could haveprevented.

  8. 8
    Mark S. says:

    re: the Rich Lowry link

    Earth to defenders of this law: Everyone agrees that a cop can ask you for your driver’s license if you are pulled over. That isn’t the fucking issue. Please stop making this idiotic argument. Thank you.

  9. 9
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @beltane: Who the hell are these guys anyway and why should I care? I only have come across these names on Sullivan’s blog and Bobo’s columns.

  10. 10
    PeakVT says:

    Would the right long-term strategy [for the Republicans] be to rip off the band-aid

    Yes, but in reality, the primary goal of political parties is to re-elect incumbents, so it not going to happen.

    Groupthink doesn’t fade away; it gets obliterated.

  11. 11
    beltane says:

    @Betsy: Of course. Their time-tested Southern Strategy is wholly dependent on a white-majority nation. Look to see them promote ever more draconian measure to maintain their demographic edge. Arizona is just the beginning.

  12. 12
    Bret says:

    Smart Republicans know where their future bread is buttered. Like Connie Mack of Florida.

  13. 13
    AhabTRuler says:

    And has anyone told the DOD? This might really help them in AfPak.

  14. 14
    BenA says:

    I’d argue that it doesn’t even make sense short term. They’re alienating a huge block of voters who are largely socially conservative and who’s “natural home” is probably the Republican party.

  15. 15
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: If the AZ law were a harsh but logical and effective law, it might make some sense. People might understand it and say tha they disagree but can see where the Repubs are coming from. This law, however, combines the mean spiritedness of Snidely Whiplash with the planning skills of Wylie Coyote.

  16. 16
    ChrisWWW says:

    @beltane:
    Great comment. I throw up a little every time I see those dead white dude’s names mentioned.

    Those conservative bozos can’t fall back on logic or fact to backup their viewpoints so they just name-drop obscure philosophers and hope it makes them sound smart.

  17. 17
    Cris says:

    @ChrisWWW: Those conservative bozos can’t fall back on logic or fact to backup their viewpoints so they just name-drop obscure philosophers and hope it makes them sound smart.

    Howard Johnson: You know, Nietzsche says “Out of chaos comes order.”
    Olson Johnson: Oh, blow it out your ass, Howard.

  18. 18
    DougJ says:

    @BenA:

    I don’t think it makes sense short term either, but I think it’s not catastrophic for 2010, since younger people vote less in midterms. I think it may still hurt them even in 2010. And it certainly hurts in 2012.

    Long-term, it’s an honest-to-FSM party-killer, as in Whigs. Seriously.

  19. 19
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Mark S.: Thank you! It is not as simple as show us your Green Card, what if it is being processed, your I-94 has been approved, are you supposed to travel with all your documentation, the different visas you have held etc?
    If you are a citizen born in the US, with olive complexion and dark hair and brown eyes, are you supposed to go around with your birth certificate in your back pocket?
    That is just ridiculous.

  20. 20
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    If you are a citizen born in the US, with olive complexion and dark hair are you supposed to go around with your birth certificate in your back pocket?

    You betcha. And it better be the long form. Also. too.

  21. 21
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    This. Everybody keeps bringing up CA’s Prop 187 and what that did to state politics with good reason.

    Let the Senate Repups hold immigration reform hostage. The political hay Dems make is rather larger. Simply continue to pound home to the Latino community that “we’d have immigration reform done now if it weren’t for the Republicans, oh and btw, they hate you.”

    It’s one thing for a community to lean with the conservatives on conservative “values”, it’s another to vote for them knowing they’re bigots and hate you for the color of your skin and wish you’d go back to whatever non-white country you came from.

    Electoral disaster assuming the Dems know how to capitalize on it. Oh wait….

  22. 22
    BenA says:

    @DougJ:
    Yup… I don’t see it hurting them much in 2010, but if they went the other way I could see it helping them in 2010. The Tea Baggers are voting Republican no matter what, so alienating a huge demographic in order to shore up the votes of people who are solidly in your camp for a ton of other reasons is just politically moronic.

    The real issue is that lots of “true believers” have been elected at the state level. You have a lot of real Tea Party nuts in state government, put there in part by a substantial latino vote in places like AZ. There’s a lot of Republican state legislators who are going to be out of a job in places like AZ in the next decade.

  23. 23

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Who the hell are these guys anyway and why should I care? I only have come across these names on Sullivan’s blog and Bobo’s columns.

    They were the guys on Sully and Bobo’s pin-up posters when they were teenagers.

  24. 24
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: If that’s the case then I am sad for them.

  25. 25
    The Main Gauche of Mild Reason says:

    Screw young people not voting in the midterms. Remember the immigration reform protests a few years ago? If Republicans hold this bill hostage, that will be the best GOTV incentive I can possibly imagine.

  26. 26
    Napoleon says:

    (the post goes on to list ten states where similar legislation is being considered)

    I posted this in the morning open thread, but on that list they list Ohio. This morning on my local NPR station they had the Repulican who wants to introduce a similar bill and in his interview he said “Obama is siding with the drug dealers” and that was a reason the bill was needed.

  27. 27
    kay says:

    I think Republicans are going to try to differentiate and stall by adopting “secure the border, first” but that’s easy to co-opt, and Democrats already have.
    I think Democrats would be crazy to allow them to not have the debate.
    It’s just so tempting, what with McCain’s shameful cowardly pandering, Jeb Bush’s desperate triangulating, and all the GOP loonies in the House, who are going to out-crazy each other, not to mention the GOP governors.
    So many horrors to showcase.

  28. 28
    El Cruzado says:

    Politicians in general are usually rather bad at thinking beyond the next election, and the current Republican crop seems worse than usual there.

    Still, I get the sinking feeling that far too many of them believe their own bullshit, no matter how little sense it makes.

  29. 29

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    yeah, me too. not even good bathing suit photos.

  30. 30
    Brachiator says:

    Demographically, there is no doubt Latinos and other immigrant minorities are America’s future, and on this, Arizona stands on the front lines. Over the past two decades the state has seen its Latino population grow by 180 percent as its racial composition shifted from 72 to 58 percent white.

    But there is also this (from the Economist, Hysterical Nativism):

    Arizona’s Latinos, by contrast, have not mobilised politically. They make up 30% of the state’s population but only 12% of the electorate. And many are from families that have been American for generations, no longer speak Spanish and are ambivalent toward the new arrivals. They are thus very different from Latinos in Texas and California. During the 1990s attempts to turn back illegals at the border complied with voter initiatives against undocumented immigrants in California motivated Latinos there to become a political force which Republicans fear to cross. Arizona, however, may still be a generation behind.

    Raw numbers alone don’t tell the entire story.

    And the GOP is making a calculated risk. They believe that angry non-Latino voters will be more motivated to go to the polls than liberal leaning voters, and that the general issue of immigration reform will not be a high priority to any but the most dedicated activists.

    It’s a very interesting game of political chicken.

  31. 31
    schrodinger's cat says:

    BTW has anyone checked Tunch’s papers, how do we know that he is a feline American? He is mostly white, but his tail, makes me wonder, hmmmm.

  32. 32

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    that is clearly a soc1alist tail!

  33. 33
    Mark S. says:

    Hmmm, Republicans, do what’s best for their long term electoral interests, or do what Rush Limbaugh tells them to do?

    I think I know what they’ll do.

  34. 34
    The Moar You Know says:

    Would the right strategy be to rip off the band-aid now by going along with federal immigration reform legislation?

    For the GOP? Absolutely not. One does not split the party for long-term gains, which is what would happen if they got on board with immigration amnesty now.

    No, one milks the tea from the teabagger until the teabagger well runs dry, and then, left with no other choice, get religion on immigration since there won’t be any other options.

  35. 35
    El Cruzado says:

    @Brachiator: Wait until those long-term American latinos who don’t even know English start being stopped by the police and asked for their papers and they’ll find Activist Jesus quickly enough.

  36. 36
    cleek says:

    There will be no way they can compete in places like Arizona and Texas in ten years if this keeps up.

    if i was a Hispanic kid in AZ, i’d move. if i was a Hispanic immigrant looking for a place to settle down, i’d look somewhere other than AZ. the proponents of the bill know this.

    laws like these are almost certainly intended to cleanse as well as to prevent further soiling.

  37. 37
    ThatPirateGuy says:

    This is our problem. We may be temporarily outnumbered by the crazies on this issue but I think we could turn it around.

    Never forget the political potency of they took er jerbs.

  38. 38

    If I were a younger Republican, I’d be jumping at the chance to work with Democrats to nip this in the bud before the states can get even more carried away. If, say, Texas copies Arizona’s law, the RNC might as well close up shop for a few decades.

  39. 39
    Mark S. says:

    @Brachiator:

    Yeah, but an issue like this can really mobilize otherwise apathetic voters. This hits very close to home.

  40. 40
    The Main Gauche of Mild Reason says:

    @Brachiator:

    It’s a very interesting game of political chicken.

    It would be less dangerous for the Republicans if it was closer to the registration deadline for the November vote. It’s not.

  41. 41
    croatoan says:

    No wonder, then, that they’re so interested in deporting US-born children of undocumented immigrants.

    Yet they also want to promote the supposed rights of fetuses–which are not American citizens under the same 14th Amendment that makes these US-born kids citizens–over the rights of the American citizens carrying them. “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

  42. 42
    gwangung says:

    @The Main Gauche of Mild Reason:

    Screw young people not voting in the midterms. Remember the immigration reform protests a few years ago? If Republicans hold this bill hostage, that will be the best GOTV incentive I can possibly imagine.

    Hell YES.

  43. 43
    PaulW says:

    It’s not just the Hispanics the Republicans are pissing off with this anti-immigrant crap. They’re also pissing off us whites who, you know, AREN’T racists and know you don’t solve immigration issues by going after the innocent legal residents.

  44. 44
    beltane says:

    @Brien Jackson: If Texas passes a law like this, they had better be prepared for a major uprising. Even George W. Bush was smart enough not to try this crap. Yes, the Republicans are now even dumber than George Bush.

  45. 45
    Randy P says:

    @Mark S.:
    I was listening this morning to a BBC story (WHYY in Philly carries the BBC news at 9 am) on Tea Baggers and the race in Florida. Interesting hearing the coverage from a UK viewpoint.

    They found a number of TBers stating that ideological purity was more important than winning elections. That this was somehow important to “defending their lost rights” or something. One guy said something like “I don’t give a crap about winning elections”.

    So I guess that reinforces your thesis.

    Now having heard US politics through the UK prism, I need the converse process. Somebody explain to me what exactly triggered this election, what exactly the philosophies of the three parties are and who are the candidates? Anybody got a good link to a tutorial on UK politics for US residents?

  46. 46
    yellowdog says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    If you are a citizen born in the US, with olive complexion and dark hair and brown eyes, are you supposed to go around with your birth certificate in your back pocket?

    That’s exactly what would be necessary if the law was carried out equitably. I’m brown-haired, brown-eyed with an olive complexion, grandchild of Sicilian immigrants, born in Brooklyn, NY and I can see me being targeted by this law. But then they probably think anyone from the East Coast IS an alien.

  47. 47
    Shalimar says:

    Would the right strategy be to rip off the band-aid now by going along with federal immigration reform legislation?

    How did that work for them when Bush, Rove and McCain tried it 4 or 5 years ago?

  48. 48
    Josie says:

    I’m not so sure the Texas Legislature would be able to pass such a draconian law. The sane people gave them a pretty good run for their money during the last session, particularly with the id for voting requirement. There has always been a problem with getting the Hispanic voters to the polls in the past, but, with the publicity about the Arizona law, they might get riled up enough to vote. People are always more motivated by anger about something. Bill White is a strong candidate for governor; we might turn blue or maybe purple this year.

  49. 49

    @Randy P:

    Anybody got a good link to a tutorial on UK politics for US residents?

    I read something on Talking Points Memo a couple of days ago which was pretty good. Unfortunately, TPM’s search sucks ass, so i can’t give you a link.

  50. 50
    Randy P says:

    @yellowdog: I might be a candidate for deportation too. I’m a mongrel mix that includes Mexican. (Also Russian Jew, and my brother the family genealogist has uncovered evidence of Japanese in the tree). Here in the east white people take me for some unknown ethnicity, sometimes guessing asian. Black people take me for white. Some hispanics take me as white, almost refusing to engage me in spanish (which I don’t speak very well though I’m always looking to practice). Others start off in spanish right away.

    In southern California, both whites and Mexicans immediately assume I’m Mexican and I often get asked if I speak English. So I’m guessing whatever people see in me in that part of the country would trigger the Arizona reflex.

  51. 51
    JSD says:

    On the one hand, I think you do need to find a balance, have rules and enforce them. On the other hand, you need to have compassion, and deporting people who have been here for 20 years, especially people who are adults who may have come here when they were 3 years old is simply unconscionable.

  52. 52
    Martin says:

    And lest people think that this won’t blow over, my neighborhood was built in the mid-70s and has a substantial Taiwanese population (either in residence, or owners who rent). They bought when China/Taiwan was a hot issue and wanted a place to escape to if the shit went down, and it was a good investment.

    For the residents, they invariably support Republicans. I asked one once why they are so reflexive to support the GOP, and her answer was that they would never support a Democrat after Carter shifted the US stance toward Taiwan. Asking around, I get a consistent answer for why the local Chinese community vote Republican. That was 31 years ago and it still influences their vote.

    For the Democrats, forcing the GOP to take a position is political gold. Either the GOP will go all in, and lose the Latino vote for at least a generation, or they’ll back off and further fracture the party.

  53. 53
    beltane says:

    @yellowdog: Me too. Even worse, my father was still an Italian citizen when I was born and both my first and last names are almost comically Italian. No way would I ever step foot in Arizona. Anyone darker than Cindy McCain is not welcome there.

  54. 54
    WereBear says:

    But they are between a rock and a hard place (and may they both be heated white hot.)

    They’ve gotten themselves into a situation where any outreach alienates an existing segment of their constituency. The xenophobic white people won’t allow any “ethnic” strategies. The Xantians won’t let them loosen up on the GBLT hate, or even consider their most mainstream appealing, yet Mormon, Presidential candidate. They’re bleeding traditional NE Republicans with the moves that appeal most to the unrepentant Confederates.

    And there you are.

  55. 55
    Citizen_X says:

    @Josie:
    Q: Do you think Rick Perry could be tricked convinced to run on an Arizona-type law?

    A: Are you kidding? Only if he’s a complete moron!

    Q: Hello! He’s Rick Fucking Perry.

    A: Oh yeah. Then, probably, yes.

  56. 56
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @JSD: I remember reading cases like this in NY Times, it is very sad.

  57. 57
    Trinity says:

    @Citizen_X: I just read this.

  58. 58
    Brachiator says:

    @Mark S.:

    Yeah, but an issue like this can really mobilize otherwise apathetic voters. This hits very close to home.

    Posters keep saying this. I haven’t seen it yet.

    And it is not simply that voters are apathetic.

    The other shoe waiting to be dropped is that progressive immigration reform always seems to include amnesty and de facto open borders, along with the false assumption that every illegal immigrant is a) itching to become an American citizen; b) is going to be politically involved; c) is going to be eternally grateful to the Democatic Party; and d) is going to vote in high numbers.

  59. 59
    DougJ says:

    @Josie:

    I’m not so sure the Texas Legislature would be able to pass such a draconian law.

    You are probably right.

  60. 60
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @DougJ:

    I don’t think it makes sense short term either, but I think it’s not catastrophic for 2010, since younger people vote less in midterms. I think it may still hurt them even in 2010. And it certainly hurts in 2012.
    __
    Long-term, it’s an honest-to-FSM party-killer, as in Whigs. Seriously.

    I think I might be an outlier around here, but I can easily see this issue being catastrophic for the Republican Party in the midterms this year. As more and more people find out about this law–and its especially odious standards–they are going to be rightfully horrified. Every conversation I’ve had with someone who heard about this law and wasn’t sure what they thought, the moment they found out their driver’s license would not be good enough to prove their citizenship, they were stunned. Just fucking stunned. Like, “A Police State? In my United States of America?” It’s more likely than you think, friendo.

    This trainwreck is only going to get worse for Republicans at every level. Sure, there are plenty of unelected Republican officials condemning the law, but as of now, I believe there are only two active Republican members of Congress who have publicly declared their opposition to the bill. Again, Rep. John Boehner–he who would be SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE if Republicans win in the fall–keeps responding and justifying by saying that it’s a states issue and he doesn’t pay too much attention to those. Yep, that’s going to spark a Republican resurgence in the fall. You have elected Republican members of Congress talking about how being an American is “in your soul” and how we need to deport underage American citizens and their entire “illegal” families.

    This is going to be an unmitigated disasters for these clowns. They have no other options except to charge headfirst into bigotry. And even more states are thinking about doing this?!

    Hot damn, I knew that having an opposition party filled with people completely unserious about governing would pay off at some point, but never did I think it would happen like this!

    Goddamn, I cannot wait to watch these fuckers go down in flames.

  61. 61
    Martin says:

    @beltane: Today Arizona governor deported Guiseppe Lasagne to Mexico. When asked to comment, the governor’s press secretary responded “With a comically unamerican name like that, he had to go. We don’t really give a shit where. Italy. Mexico. Blah blah lala ole basta. It’s all fucking gibberish. Maybe if the guy was willing to paint my house we would have kept him.”

  62. 62
    Josie says:

    @Citizen_X: Exactly – it could be his undoing. We can only hope.

  63. 63
    R-Jud says:

    @Randy P: They’re debating right now if you want to check it out. The Guardian has a feed here; it may or may not work from the US.

    My take:
    Labour: Brown is kinda nuts, the party has sold its soul;
    Conservatives: Cameron has no actual ideas, but his ex-Thatcherite backbenchers sure do (shudder);
    LibDems: Clegg’s okay, they don’t have enough candidates running to take the HoC this time around, though.

    I think at the moment a hung parliament/coalition gov’t is the best we can hope for. And I don’t think the parties realize how good it would be for them. The UK needs serious austerity measures to check its defecits before we’re in a Greek-style situation. Whoever has to wield the axe will be unpopular for years to come.

  64. 64
    aimai says:

    Was that Rich Lowry I just heard interviewed on NPR? Because whoever it was was also insisting that this was all somehow just a “can I see your driver’s liscence” moment at a traffic stop. I’m furious that the NPR interviewer didn’t challenge him on the fact that the law is not limited to traffic stops or drivers, who always have had to carry lisences, but to any suspicious person at any time. And also, of course, there are thousands of people who don’t have driver’s lisences (geez, why can’t I spell that word?): the poor, the elderly, teenagers–all of whom may be American citizens and legally here. Or legal immigrants. You can tell just how uncomfortable this law makes “reasonable” republicans because of how fast they are coalescing around the false argument that its “just the same old laws” and “totally up to the discretion of the police” so no harm no foul.

    God I hate these people.

    aimai

  65. 65
    Martin says:

    @Brachiator: I agree. The flip side to legislation like this is that it tends to come with a side order of voter suppression. How much do you want to bet the GOP will have a lawyer in every precinct threatening to sue the state if the ballot workers don’t ask the right people for their immigration paperwork when they come to vote? How to do turn out voters in that kind of climate?

    Prop 8 only turned out the pissed off voters, not the ones that were supportive of the people affected.

  66. 66
    Cat Lady says:

    @Bret:

    Wow, he went full Godwin in the first sentence, and in the proper context, FTW!

    Tying into the last post about Republican sociopathy, Mack must either have an Hispanic wife, a child with an Hispanic spouse, a Jewish wife with relatives who died in the Holocaust, or close friends who have one of the aforementioned, because the likelihood is slim to none that he arrived at this conclusion without it affecting him personally.

  67. 67
    beltane says:

    @Martin: Funny. But maybe deporting Rudy Giuliani to Mexico is something we could all get behind.

  68. 68
    Quiddity says:

    I do not like the Arizona law. I believe that anyone in this country (legal or not) should get public services (e.g. school and medical for children) and that the police should not be an immigration enforcement agency.

    But damn, I’m not happy that we have had so many immigrants of all types enter this country since the 1965 “reform” (thank you very much Ted Kennedy). I don’t care if they are from Pat-Buchanan-approved England. I don’t want so many of them in.

    In California immigration has been responsible for an over 2% annual population growth for decades. Result? The place is overcrowded, the infrastructure isn’t able to cope, and it has reduced labor’s bargaining power.

    Over 2% annual. That’s like Egypt or other places that suffer from unbridled population growth. I don’t want it here.

    FUN FACT:
    Population density of Hong Kong: 6076/km2
    Population density of Los Angeles: 3168/km2

    Los Angeles is half the density of legendarily overcrowded Hong Kong. How about that?

    So, to repeat, I don’t like these “in your face” laws (which the Right seem to like) or those absurd citizen border patrols, but what is the liberal solution? All I ever hear is a repeat of the amnesty gambit. We’ve done that at least two times and it’s a joke because after the amnesty, there’s no real enforcement – despite assurances. Is the liberal “solution” to have open borders with no immigration control?

    I’m not defending the recent Republican campaign against illegals, but there is definitely a frustration with the high numbers. Hearing Bill Clinton say that more people in the country will save our entitlement programs is NOT the kind of message that will satisfy.

  69. 69
    Pangloss says:

    Can’t these morons remember Pete Wilson? He killed his ambitious political career (I hear he used to doodle ‘POTUS’ on his notepads during boring meetings) with hard-core support of Prop 87, and made Ronald Reagan’s former homebase a very reliable Democratic stronghold.

  70. 70
    stickler says:

    Beltane:

    Anyone darker than Cindy McCain is not welcome there.

    Every person on the planet is darker than Cindy McCain. (Not disproving your point, just sayin’.)

    This issue is going to appear in 10 more states? Yumpin’ yiminy, that’s stupid of the GOP. It’s one thing to rile up the Hispanics in Arizona; why do it everywhere else, too? If the Democrats are stupid enough to let this opportunity pass by, then they (and we) deserve everything that follows, including the GOP retaking the House.

    Argh.

  71. 71
    gwangung says:

    You can tell just how uncomfortable this law makes “reasonable” republicans because of how fast they are coalescing around the false argument that its “just the same old laws” and “totally up to the discretion of the police”

    Hm. The same police that think nothing of tasing nine year olds and pariplegics?

    Right.

  72. 72
    beltane says:

    @aimai: A driver’s licence does not offer any information about immigration status anyway, so Rich Lowery is clearly thinking with his starbursts here.

  73. 73
    Mnemosyne says:

    @aimai:

    It would probably be worth making and circulating a list of states whose driver’s licenses will not be accepted as proof of citizenship in Arizona.

    I might be okay — depending on the cop’s mood — because I did have to show my birth certificate to get my California driver’s license, but people from states that don’t require that will be screwed if they’re caught driving while brown in Arizona.

    I think I should ask my snowbird parents if I need to get a passport before I come visit them again.

  74. 74
    Sir Nose'D says:

    This will likely do for Republicans what Nixon’s Southern Strategy did for Democrats. This time, Republicans are doing it to themselves.

  75. 75
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Josie:

    I’m not so sure the Texas Legislature would be able to pass such a draconian law. The sane people gave them a pretty good run for their money during the last session, particularly with the id for voting requirement. There has always been a problem with getting the Hispanic voters to the polls in the past, but, with the publicity about the Arizona law, they might get riled up enough to vote. People are always more motivated by anger about something. Bill White is a strong candidate for governor; we might turn blue or maybe purple this year.

    I, for one, am very much so looking forward to the Governor Bill White era in Texas.

  76. 76
    gwangung says:

    But damn, I’m not happy that we have had so many immigrants of all types enter this country since the 1965 “reform” (thank you very much Ted Kennedy). I don’t care if they are from Pat-Buchanan-approved England. I don’t want so many of them in.

    The vast bulk of Asian American immigration has been the result of the 1965 reform, because of the odious Asian Exclusion Acts.

    My family thanks that. I would guess most of America would thank that.

  77. 77
    aimai says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    I wanted to say that I agree copletely with Midnight Marauder. This is a straight up question of numbers but the knock on effects are going to be huge. Someone upthread said that Latinos are 30 percent of AZ but only 12 percent of AZ voters? That number can only be increased so much this year, given the youth of the latino population. But elsewhere in america the immigrant identified population is huge, and also growing. As I said yesterday I’ve already been contacted by a Brazilian immigrant rights group here in MA that has noticed–long before I would–that some Republican state legislator introduced some kind of potential AZ type law targeting our Brazilian community. There’s a huge undocumented and on the way to being citizens group here in MA–they get a lot of their information from Brazilian TV. They don’t all vote–yet–but many of them can. The significance of the AZ law going so big, so international, is that immigrants from all over the world *and in every state of the Union* see the rise of nativism as a direct threat to them, wherever they are.

    The Republicans keep trying to insist that this affects “only Mexicans” or “Just illegals” or “just border states” or whatever. That story is just for the usual “I’m not a teabagger/racist/republican” soccer mom crowd. The immigrant population understands very well that this is the tip of the iceberg and that first they come for the illegals then they come for everyone because they aren’t “soul” americans or whatever Tom Tancredo thinks they are.

    The tidal wave of activist, new voting, recent citizens is going to be huge. And its going to affect little local races all over the country.

    aimai

  78. 78
    The Main Gauche of Mild Reason says:

    I don’t really think it’s a game of chicken. If Democrats bring up an immigration bill, the Republicans may offer some weak-ass opposition the like of the financial reform bill, but they’re not going to take the risk of alienating the hispanics for a generation. So ultimately they’ll go along with it, which will piss off the tea party.

  79. 79
    Cris says:

    @Midnight Marauder: the moment they found out their driver’s license would not be good enough to prove their citizenship, they were stunned.

    Okay, I’m not defending SB1070 at all, I’m not defending the empowerment of police to demand your papers, but I really need somebody to provide a link for this assertion about driver’s licenses. The language of the bill itself (pdf) says:

    A PERSON IS PRESUMED TO NOT BE AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES IF THE PERSON PROVIDES TO THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OR AGENCY ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
    1. A VALID ARIZONA DRIVER LICENSE.

    Is the problem that out-of-state licenses don’t count?

  80. 80
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Quiddity:

    In California immigration has been responsible for an over 2% annual population growth for decades. Result? The place is overcrowded, the infrastructure isn’t able to cope, and it has reduced labor’s bargaining power.

    I will point something out to you that I pointed out in another thread: the reason why those workers are not contributing to the tax base is because their employers are dodging their responsibilities.

    It all comes back to the employers. As long as there are jobs, people will come. Trying to stop illegal workers from coming here by arresting them on the job site is about as useful as stopping prostitution by arresting the hookers. You have to cut off the demand before the supply will go down.

    Until we face the fact that we have created our own problem by making this underground labor market a way of life for large sections of our economy, we aren’t going to get anywhere. When managers at Tyson Chicken are caught placing specific orders with coyotes for the number of illegal workers that they want and the company is acquitted, why would they stop that way of doing business? It’s cheaper to pay the fines than to actually hire legal workers who have to be paid minimum wage and have work standards.

  81. 81
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cris:

    Is the problem that out-of-state licenses don’t count?

    Yes. Also keep in mind that not every has a driver’s license or ID card. If, say, your 15-year-old is stopped by the cops, what proof does he have that he’s a citizen?

  82. 82
    kay says:

    @Quiddity:

    and it has reduced labor’s bargaining power.

    I think this is amazingly short-sighted. Newer low wage immigrants are a natural new labor constituency, and labor knows it, thank goodness. Republicans do, too. If they have a route to get legal, they’ll organize.

    That’s where “labor” energy came from, in the past. Who else are they going to organize? Finance and insurance?

    We’ve been here before, and it worked out well, all things considered. Why would these immigrants be any different than the last?

  83. 83
    Cris says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yes. Also keep in mind that not every has a driver’s license or ID card. If, say, your 15-year-old is stopped by the cops, what proof does he have that he’s a citizen?

    Right, I totally understand that part. It’s just the “producing your license isn’t enough” line of argument that I needed to nail down.

  84. 84
    me says:

    @Quiddity:

    In California immigration has been responsible for an over 2% annual population growth for decades. Result? The place is overcrowded, the infrastructure isn’t able to cope, and it has reduced labor’s bargaining power.

    The infrastructure isn’t able to cope because of California’s fucked up property tax laws means there’s not enough money, not because of too many people.

  85. 85
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cris:

    It’s just the “producing your license isn’t enough” line of argument that I needed to nail down.

    The law says that driver’s licenses from states that do not require proof of citizenship before issuing a license will not be accepted as proof of citizenship. I believe about 10 states require proof of citizenship before issuing a license.

    That’s gonna get ugly.

  86. 86
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cris:

    Is the problem that out-of-state licenses don’t count?

    Exactly.

  87. 87
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Cris:

    Is the problem that out-of-state licenses don’t count?

    Obviously, yes, that is the problem. Because not all states require you to prove your American citizenship when you are getting a license. You know, because most of them are more interested in making sure that people know how to competently operate a multi-ton vehicle moving at high speeds.

    And really, you don’t even need a link to prove this point. If all driver licenses were valid for proving citizenship according to Arizona SB 1070, don’t you think they would have explicitly stated so in the law?

  88. 88
    Third Eye Open says:

    @Bret: D00D, I KNOW!

    From a cynical, political standpoint, this has win written all over it for the Dems. Read the comments on the Hill blog, this is why Redstate has yet to “comment” they are trying to figure out how to bash Latinos while at the same time fellate Rubio and keep him viable in a general that will be 12-13% hispanic…If you want a taste of how Florida hispanics vote, go here.

  89. 89
    Josh says:

    I agree with everyone who argued against Quiddity.

    That’s all I have to say.

  90. 90
    Sarah says:

    Repulbicans are mean.

  91. 91
    Randy P says:

    @Midnight Marauder:
    And even if it was from a state where a birth certificate was required, that might not be good enough. As we all know by now, the official certificate you get in Hawaii when you request a copy of your birth certificate may be good enough to get you a US passport, but not good enough to prove citizenship in Arizona.

  92. 92
    kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    And, it’s everyone in the car. They can do a Terry stop, on reasonable suspicion of undocumented status, and then they can look inside the automobile and find “reasonable suspicion” re: everyone in the car.
    Everybody out! You know the drill. As long as they don’t hold them long enough to qualify as a seizure, they don’t need probable cause.
    I love these people who are like “I’ll flash my license and be on my way!” Have they never been pulled over? Do they travel ALONE, all the time? Can they even define the factors for reasonable suspicion, in this situation? I sure as hell can’t.

  93. 93
    JohnR says:

    “..catastrophic to Republican long-term prospects..”

    I was trying to think of the last time the Republican Party thought in anything more than short-term terms. Even the “Thousand-Year Rei^Hpublican Nation” wasn’t really concerned with any much more than the next election (or maybe two), after which the Deep Thinkers like Rove figured it would be self-sustaining.
    I guess the “Southern Strategy” would be the last time any formal long-term planning was done – fitting, since Nixon was certainly that last Republican President who had anything more than fluff between his ears. You can’t convince me that any of Reagan’s sunny blathering amounted to any sort of long-term thinking. Maybe if “long-term thinking” is sort of the same thing as JK Rowling did when she sketched out the Harry Potter books..

  94. 94
    giltay says:

    I think that Republicans are hoping that the law is not enforced to its full extent, or at least not before the midterms. Then, a few illegal immigrants are deported, with special care taken to ensure that they’re illegal. A small number of deportees are not so dirt poor that the media can’t portray them as fat cats. The Republicans keep up hawkish talk about how this law protects Arizonans from evil dirty foreigners to rile up the base. The enforcement doesn’t affect enough people to stir up Latino citizens in Arizona to vote against them. It also doesn’t affect enough workers that local businesses take a hit. This gives the Republicans a boost from the base, corporate donations are not reduced, and Democrats don’t gain votes.

  95. 95

    @schrodinger’s cat: And what about our Friends of Color, who are covered from head to toe with black cat fur? And some of my best friends are brown dogs. What about them?

  96. 96
    Allan says:

    I changed planes once in Phoenix without being required to produce proof of citizenship to AZ law enforcement authorities, therefore I am suing Sheriff Joe for failing to enforce this important statute.

  97. 97
    Warren Terra says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Is the problem that out-of-state licenses don’t count?

    Obviously, yes, that is the problem. Because not all states require you to prove your American citizenship when you are getting a license. You know, because most of them are more interested in making sure that people know how to competently operate a multi-ton vehicle moving at high speeds.

    .

    Yes, this, exactly. It’s worth remembering that although the driver’s license is used as a de facto ID card, it isn’t one: it’s your license to operate a piece of equipment that could easily kill dozens of people if not used correctly. The primary purpose of driver’s licenses is to regulate speeding cars, each of them a couple tons of glass and metal carrying a dozen gallons of gasoline. The fact that they’re used as ID is an afterthought.

    Furthermore, we can’t even get national agreement on the ID functions of the driver’s license (or the related state ID card), in part because half the conservative populists all invoke Big Brother when it’s mentioned, and the other half want to attach a residency requirement for the ID. It’s just more evidence that no-one is proposing a serious plan to reduce the number of illegal immigrants in this country. Denying them healthcare, denying their kids an education, denying them valid ID or drivers licenses – all of that is petty and cruel and ultimately hurts our society much more than it discourages illegal immigration. If we want to discourage illegal immigration, we need to deny undocumented workers employment, and we need to deny employers the ability to exploit workers in a way that only undocumented workers would tolerate.

  98. 98
    JGabriel says:

    kay:

    Can they even define the factors for reasonable suspicion, in this situation?

    Ooh, ooh, I know this one: Breathing While Brown.

    .

  99. 99
    Cat Lady says:

    Republicans have twisted themselves into quite a knot with one end of the rope being the Wall Street wing who need cheap labor, and the other end of the rope being the scary brown people haters. Either end you tug on works for the Dems. They’re going to reap the whirlwind sooner or later, but the worry is that we all go down with them.

  100. 100
    Cain says:

    Anybody check out this story about the Supremes being more permissive about allowing religious symbols on public land?

    Oh boy, this is just going to be fan-tas-tic. I mean what could go wrong? You give relgious folks an inch and they’ll take the whole thing. Once you have religious symbols on public land, it will inevitably have to answer to people who believe this is a christian nation and don’t want the other symbols. Of course that will lead to the protestant vs catholic vs judaism vs the fly spaghetti monster cult.

    cain

    oh yah! comment number 100!

  101. 101
    Warren Terra says:

    @giltay:

    I think that Republicans are hoping that the law is not enforced to its full extent, or at least not before the midterms.

    The law comes into effect 90 days after signing, i.e. in mid-July, more than three months before the election. There is no chance that some horror stories won’t emerge in those three months, especially in the Spanish-language media.

    On the other hand, maybe they’re hoping the courts will delay implementation or kill it entirely within those 90 days, and they will therefore be able to go to their base and say that they tried their best to stick it to the scary aliens, but were blocked by activist judges – all without any actual concrete horror stories of the law’s implementation ever happening.

  102. 102
    Comrade Dread says:

    Would the right strategy be to rip off the band-aid now by going along with federal immigration reform legislation?

    Yes.

    But they won’t take it.

    Things I’ve seen self described small government conservatives advocate (with various levels of seriousness) in the past week: national ID cards; Border wall; with Machine gun posts; and Landmines.

    There’s a level of ugliness on this issue in the base that is going to preclude rational solutions.

    You know, I am aware that illegals broke the law, but logistically we’re not going to find them all and we can’t bloody well afford to spent the time and resources doing so, and we sure as hell can’t afford to ship them all back across the Rio Grande. So we’re going to have to do something to legitimize them and get them Americanized.

    And I don’t think I’m that much of a bleeding heart liberal, but I could just be fooling myself.

  103. 103
    mai naem says:

    I think what’s going to make people rethink the Arizona law if when brown skinned people get pulled over and jailed/deported and then turn around and sue the sheet out of the state/county/city government. And believe me, it is going to happen. This stupid state is going to be paying out millions in lawsuit settlements. And, oh , I did mention that we are having a fiscal armageddon here already and cannot afford these lawsuits?

  104. 104
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Randy P:

    And even if it was from a state where a birth certificate was required, that might not be good enough. As we all know by now, the official certificate you get in Hawaii when you request a copy of your birth certificate may be good enough to get you a US passport, but not good enough to prove citizenship in Arizona.

    Exactly. It’s really a fascinating dynamic. The Republican Party has spent over a year demonizing and delegitimizing birth certificates as a whole, declaring that only the “long form” birth certificate is good enough to definitely establish U.S. citizenship. All right then, if those are the terms, they’ve pretty much created a standard that will doom anyone stopped on a “reasonable suspicion” in Arizona. If the President of the United States can’t establish his citizenship with a birth certificate, what makes you think you’re so special, Sally O’Connor-Gutierrez?

    And really, the most fun part of this entire ordeal is going to be when the boycotts start officially rolling in. First from Mexico, which supplies Arizona with something like 30% of its tourism revenue, and then places like San Francisco and Los Angeles. Oh, and all the companies that will so rudely take a stance against this kind “border protection”!

    I can’t wait to see how all these other states thinking about rolling out legislation like this react to Arizona (they who have no money to keep their rest stops open) being slammed even further into the red.

  105. 105
    R-Jud says:

    @Warren Terra:

    If we want to discourage illegal immigration, we need to deny undocumented workers employment, and we need to deny employers the ability to exploit workers in a way that only undocumented workers would tolerate.

    Round of applause to you, sir.

  106. 106
    Persia says:

    @me: Don’t forget their addiction to referendums. (Referenda?)

    And let’s keep in mind that most of the people on this board are immigrants or their descendants, at least in part. Just because the first wave of European immigrants committed genocide doesn’t mean we should assume the current wave of international immigrants have similar plans.

  107. 107
    kay says:

    @JGabriel:

    And the search.

    For their own safety, the police can perform a “weapons frisk” on the outside of a person’s clothes during a Terry stop, and “reasonable suspicion” is a Terry stop. Since half the state is packing, they’re going to find a weapon.

    This is not five minutes and you are on your way. This is going to fall just shy of a seizure. Just shy.

    Do Republicans not get pulled over, or what?

  108. 108
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:

    Let the Senate Repups hold immigration reform hostage. The political hay Dems make is rather larger. Simply continue to pound home to the Latino community that “we’d have immigration reform done now if it weren’t for the Republicans, oh and btw, they hate you.”

    Who do they not hate?

    They hate
    liberals
    immigrants
    muslims
    gay people
    climate scientists
    people on the coasts
    people in the cities
    people with a higher education
    trial lawyers

    in fact everyone that does not look like them or believe the things that they do. I am sure my list is not exhaustive, have I left anyone out.

  109. 109

    OT

    Want an example of President Obama saying something epically stupid. Here it is, brought to you by a card carrying Obot.

    “It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills. They are technologically very advanced.”– President Obama, quoted by Think Progress on April 2, 2010.

    Said but 18 days before a now Coastal Emergency is called.
    Duh!

  110. 110
    Josie says:

    @Quiddity: The one thing that would do some good is the thing no politician wants to back – really strong laws against hiring illegals, a visiting worker program for jobs that are open, and determined enforcement. If there are no jobs, many will go back home, or they will work seasonally. There should also be laws about every employer being forced to pay the going wage in an area, so that they cannot undercut other employers to save money and hire people for low cash wages. If you live close to the border in Texas, you can forget making a living wage in the construction trades, because someone else will work for peanuts. Of course, what people don’t realize is that you get what you pay for, and the work is often substandard.

  111. 111
    maus says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    Even if they win in 2010 and 2012 (unlikely both), three years of running hardcore anti-Latino will make sure that all those Latino kids and teenagers vote Democratic the rest of their lives. It’s the medical equivalent of cutting your throat so that the paper cut on your finger stops bleeding.

    I’m just glad that Florida’s trending Blue with the help of South Florida. All the 1st-3rd gen kids that grew up with their parents politicizing them are seeing how much bullshit comes from the corrupt infrastructure of Miami politics and while they’re not distancing themselves from what their Republican parents went through exactly, they’re definitely trending liberal with each further generation.

  112. 112
    Scott says:

    @Josie:

    I’m not so sure the Texas Legislature would be able to pass such a draconian law.

    I’m a Texan, and I’d like to tell you that you’re right… but you’re not. The Republicans in the Lege are Pure 1000% Acid-Based Crazy. If they submit the bill, I’d give it a 95% chance of passing, no matter how much the Democrats yell about it (if they yell about it at all — our Legislative Dems seem pretty beat-down and scared…)

  113. 113
    twiffer says:

    while we’re on the subject, this bears repeating. as bad as the AZ law is, the federal law needs to be challenged as well. TITLE 8 > CHAPTER 12 > SUBCHAPTER II > Part IX > § 1357 of US code has this little nugget of joy in it:

    § 1357. Powers of immigration officers and employees
    (a) Powers without warrant
    Any officer or employee of the Service authorized under regulations prescribed by the Attorney General shall have power without warrant—
    1) to interrogate any alien or person believed to be an alien as to his right to be or to remain in the United States;
    (2) to arrest any alien who in his presence or view is entering or attempting to enter the United States in violation of any law or regulation made in pursuance of law regulating the admission, exclusion, expulsion, or removal of aliens, or to arrest any alien in the United States, if he has reason to believe that the alien so arrested is in the United States in violation of any such law or regulation and is likely to escape before a warrant can be obtained for his arrest, but the alien arrested shall be taken without unnecessary delay for examination before an officer of the Service having authority to examine aliens as to their right to enter or remain in the United States;
    (3) within a reasonable distance from any external boundary of the United States, to board and search for aliens any vessel within the territorial waters of the United States and any railway car, aircraft, conveyance, or vehicle, and within a distance of twenty-five miles from any such external boundary to have access to private lands, but not dwellings, for the purpose of patrolling the border to prevent the illegal entry of aliens into the United States;

    this is also a grievious affront to the 4th amendment. keep in mind too, that any coast is an external boundary. the “reasonable distance” is defined as 100 air miles. so, for instance, under US code, ICE agents can search your car and ask you for proof of citizenship, without a warrant, in, say, NYC. my entire state is within 100 miles of the coast and thus in this zone.

    it’s wrong. but, hey, it’s intended to protect us from terrorists sneaking in, right? so that must mean it’s okay. fuckers.

  114. 114
    artem1s says:

    @Napoleon:

    yea, they list OH even though Strickland has already vowed to veto if they get it to his desk. anyone think that statement will help him during his debates with John Kasich? this is looking more and more like a get-out-the-base strategy. it worked when they decided they could throw the LGBT vote out the window for all time. there are plenty of states like OH that are on the verge of flipping back to Democrat and I think the GOP will do anything to keep them even if it means they only stay in power for a couple more years.

    srsly, the Dems don’t want to lose the Gov. seat in OH to Kasich. But if he can continue to hide his history with Lehman Bros. and divert attention by pointing to the alien-lover during the election its going to happen. Remember Voinovich’s seat is up for grabs too. this whole thing is really bad news in swing states.

  115. 115
    Brachiator says:

    @Martin:

    The flip side to legislation like this is that it tends to come with a side order of voter suppression. How much do you want to bet the GOP will have a lawyer in every precinct threatening to sue the state if the ballot workers don’t ask the right people for their immigration paperwork when they come to vote?

    Voter suppression is fairly easy to deal with. The Democrats will just have to be organized (yeah, I know). And you show a little old lady with all her papers in order being questioned by some sleazy lawyer and get it on the news and YouTube. Big Fun.

    And let’s play some hardball. Put election monitors in solid Republican precints and question those voters. And challenge the legality of absentee ballots (who’s to say that they are being sent in by legal voters).

    How to do turn out voters in that kind of climate?

    If voters don’t come out in this climate, then they really don’t care, do they? But as I say, this any attempts at voter suppression can easily backfire on the GOP.

  116. 116
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Warren Terra:

    I think that Republicans are hoping that the law is not enforced to its full extent, or at least not before the midterms.

    The law comes into effect 90 days after signing, i.e. in mid-July, more than three months before the election. There is no chance that some horror stories won’t emerge in those three months, especially in the Spanish-language media.

    More importantly, regardless of the challenges to delay implementation of this law, or question its legality, members of the Republican Party will still have to talk about this issue on a daily basis. There will be reporters swarming all over their petrified caucus looking for even the slightest whiff of agreement or defense of this law. Republicans will hem and haw, obfuscate and deny, all while the ship continues to sink.

    There will be NOWHERE for them to run from this issue.

    Nowhere.

  117. 117
    geg6 says:

    Personally, I hope the GOP doubles down on the immigration issue and tries to pass this exact thing in all 50 states. There is no way that this is a loser for them if all they are interested in is white, male, southerners as a voting block and I think this is a great strategy to keep them in line for decades to come. Meanwhile the Dems can just keep up with their losing strategy of pandering to women, blacks, Hispanics, gays, and the young who are too stupid and naive to know that they are supposed to hate the “other.” Stoopid Dems.

  118. 118
    Shalimar says:

    @Warren Terra: The border sheriff who is being interviewed all around the cable channels today because he refuses to enforce the new law said on MSNBC earlier that it is 90 days from when the legislature ends their session, which will be August at the earliest.

  119. 119
    maus says:

    @Josie:

    If you live close to the border in Texas, you can forget making a living wage in the construction trades, because someone else will work for peanuts. Of course, what people don’t realize is that you get what you pay for, and the work is often substandard.

    Substandard is “just enough”, of course. My dad was a commercial artist, doing muralwork and design, and towards the later years, he’d find himself underbid continuously by people who paint houses and have little skill. I mean, he didn’t blame “illegals” for this, and had to go for other niches. Of course, that’s not much of an option for more “disposable” employees like construction, where all that’s needed is a general knowledge in a role.

    The point is, of course, that as with IT outsourcing and other substitutions, that quality is a premium people don’t generally want to go for unless they market themselves based on such prestige.

  120. 120
    M. Carey says:

    In California, former Gov. Pete Wilson won his election in 1984 (?), using anti-welfare and anti-immigrant ballot measures. This has caused a generation of activated Latinos to essentially deny any state-wide office to the Repubs since then. [Does the Governator really count as a Repub???)

  121. 121

    @Randy P: The prototype of a US resident in the 21st Century!

  122. 122
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Secure the damn border already. Bring back the damn troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and do it. Sheesh.

  123. 123
    M. Carey says:

    Actually, was it 1994? I am not sure of the date.
    Rove and W are quite aware of this story, by the way.

  124. 124
    timb says:

    @BenA: That might be true if the natural position of the Republican Party was actually the entrepreneurial/rugged individualist they claim it is. However, the natural position of the Republican Party is white, status quo power. You don’t even need to be a racist to realize you’re on top of the pyramid and try to keep it that way by appealing to real xenophobes, racists, and reactionaries.

    That’s why Hispanics are NOT natural Republicans. Truth is, they represent a historical demographic shift that cannot be denied.

    Anybody remember the “Know Nothings”? Or, the Nebraska law which forbade speaking German in the classroom? Or, how Al Smith even lost Southern states, ’cause he was Catholic? Neither do today’s conservatives, which is why they are destined to be the Whigs of the 21st century. Good riddance. Denying immigrants is the politically losing position to take in a nation of immigrants.

    This November’s victory will just make them more crazy and make the next few drubbings all that more delicious.

  125. 125
    Warren Terra says:

    @Shalimar:

    The border sheriff who is being interviewed all around the cable channels today because he refuses to enforce the new law said on MSNBC earlier that it is 90 days from when the legislature ends their session, which will be August at the earliest

    Ah. I’d heard it was 90 days from signing. Assuming the sheriff is right, and he’s got every reason to be far better informed than I am, it indeed won’t be in effect until after the election.

  126. 126
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Shalimar:

    The border sheriff who is being interviewed all around the cable channels today because he refuses to enforce the new law said on MSNBC earlier that it is 90 days from when the legislature ends their session, which will be August at the earliest.

    Incorrect. According to everything I’ve read, and the National Conference of State Legislatures, the regular session of the Arizona legislative is scheduled for a “late April” adjournment.

    Any day now…

  127. 127
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Joseph Nobles: Do you know what a secure border looks like? The Great Wall of China or the Berlin Wall. Is that what we want to build?

  128. 128
    twiffer says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: not only that, but people still got over those walls.

  129. 129
    Shalimar says:

    @Midnight Marauder: That’s what I meant, just didn’t say it properly. The 90 days will end in August at the earliest according to the sheriff.

  130. 130
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @twiffer: That too.

  131. 131
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Josie:

    There should also be laws about every employer being forced to pay the going wage in an area, so that they cannot undercut other employers to save money and hire people for low cash wages.

    There already is one — it’s called the federal minimum wage. States can set theirs higher than the federal level, but not lower.

    This is what sometimes drives me nuts about this conversation: employers are breaking, like, six different laws at once when they use illegal workers but people keep focusing their energy on the workers, not the illegal acts of the employers.

  132. 132
    Cris says:

    @Warren Terra: we need to deny employers the ability to exploit workers in a way that only undocumented workers would tolerate.

    Well said. This is the underpinning of the excuse (so loved by W) that “they’re doing jobs that Americans won’t do.”

  133. 133
    beltane says:

    @Mnemosyne: We should just call it “illegal employment” and not illegal immigration. The real problem lies with employers using undocumented workers in order to circumvent US labor laws. Why do we never see the employers rounded up and detained?

  134. 134
    Cris says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Do you know what a secure border looks like? The Great Wall of China or the Berlin Wall. Is that what we want to build?

    That’s exactly what the Minutemen want.

  135. 135
    Paula says:

    @Quiddity:

    But damn, I’m not happy that we have had so many immigrants of all types enter this country since the 1965 “reform” (thank you very much Ted Kennedy). I don’t care if they are from Pat-Buchanan-approved England. I don’t want so many of them in.

    Fuck you very much. A lot of those post-1965 immigrants and their citizen children have done pretty well for this country since then. And, considering my parents and then myself have willingly gone through the green card/citizenship application process and paid all the required fees and waited the required time and in the meantime paid taxes and spent our money on your goddamn properties and stores and worked to keep your businesses running, we have as much right as native-borns to use “your” roads and cities and attend “your” schools.

    As for your snark on Teddy, I’m sure the long-dead Irish immigrants who laid the tracks for this country’s first railroads (themselves subject to the very complaints you pose here) and who were later sequestered to city slums can’t mind too much that one of their own tried to make the way easier for the folks coming later.

  136. 136
    Michael says:

    Why does some douche tell me I’ve been selected to receive a $1000 WalMart gift card every time I come here, and why do my visits to BJ result in me having to scrub malware off my computer frequently?

    Just another reason for me to say FYWP.

  137. 137
    WereBear says:

    @Mnemosyne: It’s cheaper to pay the fines than to actually hire legal workers who have to be paid minimum wage and have work standards.

    Exactly. It’s Wal-Mart Syndrome all over again. People cream their cellulose based jeans over Wal-Mart’s low prices; except their jobs are dwindling, and pay less. When people who work at Wal-Mart can’t afford to shop there, it’s too late.

  138. 138
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cris: I know, but who else does? I am hoping no one else.

  139. 139
    Michael says:

    Secure the damn border already. Bring back the damn troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and do it. Sheesh.

    You shitheads won’t be happy until you deprive the southwest of access to about 1800 miles of the Rio Grande and start shooting unarmed day laborers.

  140. 140
    Taobhan says:

    The GOP’s aging white base isn’t going to allow Republican politicians to doing anything less than keeping the non-whites down (where they belong, in their thinking). If anything, the Republican base is going to try to force the party to take even more drastic action as demographics begin to add ever more pressure to the political process and its outcomes. This situation is going to become more volatile as the GOP base resorts to increasingly violent means to hang on to what it perceives as its political entitlement to run the states and the nation. Buckle your seat belts, kids – this could turn into a very rough ride.

  141. 141
    Lurker says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    in fact everyone that does not look like them or believe the things that they do. I am sure my list is not exhaustive, have I left anyone out.

    You left out women. Republicans don’t want women to have access to equal pay, contraception or safe abortion.

  142. 142
    Warren Terra says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    @Joseph Nobles: Do you know what a secure border looks like? The Great Wall of China or the Berlin Wall. Is that what we want to build?

    The Great Wall of China was never secure against immigration (nor even against invasion), nor was it intended to be. It was secure against casual raiding, and that mostly because it was garrisoned. The Berlin Wall was similarly secure because of the men with machine guns, and because of the population density. My understanding is that our border fence near San Diego is fairly secure for similar if less dramatic reasons.

    The real defense against cross-border migration in the Soviet Union was a tight system of internal passports, a police state that is exactly the thing many of us fear – and a police state would be bad enough before you worsen it with the racial profiling angle added by the Arizona law.

    As I said in a comment a couple of days ago, the only time I know of that the US government has proposed a truly effective solution to a “border problem”, to keeping out illegal immigrants, was when Douglas MacArthur proposed keeping the Chinese out of North Korea with a combination of nuclear and radiological weapons. Would have worked, too – but would have been a horrifically monstrous act even if it hadn’t resulted in escalation to global annihilation. And MacArthur was rightly sacked for it. But you see people proposing versions of MacArthur’s solution on our southern border even today, like the wingers calling for machine gun posts and land mines and the web comments suggesting that we murder the undocumented immigrants we catch instead of deporting them. And you see it to a much lesser degree in the way we’ve herded our migrant flow into the unforgiving Arizona desert, and the attempts to prosecute and to persecute those humanitarians who seek to provide water and other medical aid to the migrants suffering in that desert.

    At the end of the day, there’s a basic problem here: despite what the wingers say, we do not have a “border problem”. Or at least, not a solvable one. We’ve tried to treat this as a border problem, so now it’s more expensive to cross illegally and it takes more failed attempts before the migrants succeed. But that hasn’t reduced the flow, because the incentives still overwhelm those difficulties. Tightening the border further, or turning all of Arizona into a policed border zone, isn’t going to change the calculus. If we want fewer illegal immigrants, we need to change the system so we don’t reward those who overcome the barriers and successfully illegally immigrate.

  143. 143
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Warren Terra: all true. That will teach me to respond to someone with a quick quip.

  144. 144
    Josie says:

    @beltane: That is something I would truly enjoy witnessing.
    @Warren Terra – You present your case beautifully. It is what I have thought for a long time. I just could not explain it as fully as you just did. Thank you.

  145. 145
    Mark S. says:

    @Brachiator:

    The other shoe waiting to be dropped is that progressive immigration reform always seems to include amnesty and de facto open borders,

    I don’t know about de facto open borders. Who the hell is proposing that? I think some sort of amnesty would be in the mix, if only because it would be a little hard to deport 12 million people.

    along with the false assumption that every illegal immigrant is a) itching to become an American citizen; b) is going to be politically involved; c) is going to be eternally grateful to the Democatic Party; and d) is going to vote in high numbers.

    You do know that most Latinos are in this country legally and they are the largest minority group (close to 50 million)? Whatever their views on illegal immigration, they don’t really appreciate right wing talk radio blowhards talking about dirty Mexican criminals stealing their jobs, which they will hear plenty of if there is a debate on immigration this year.

  146. 146
    Kryptik says:

    As a Filipino, with a markedly Hispanic last name, you can damn well be sure I’m not setting foot in Arizona any time in the near future. Just one time out without my wallet for whatever reason could be all it takes for a nightmare.

    And for those noting how this will be political poison to the GOP the long term…my nightmare is that they realize that, and thus are desperate to pass laws they know will have long-term effects and will, at the best, take years of political and legal wrangling to undo, and at worst, become entrenched enough that it’d be viritually impossible to undo said laws.

    And I don’t exactly put my trust in the Supremes to do what’s right, given their current track record, even if Obama gets the most liberal possible nomination they can get to replace Stevens.

  147. 147
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Lurker: The reason I didn’t include women, was that there are a significant number of women who seem to like the GOP and their policies. Yes but they do hate women who don’t subscribe to their agenda.

  148. 148
    Shalimar says:

    @Lurker: Or vote. That Las Vegas editorial writer may have claimed he was joking, but you know it’s only the beginning of a women-don’t-have-the-temperament-to-vote meme.

  149. 149
    BGK says:

    OT, Breaking, Big Surprise (heh): Charlie Crist to run as independent for Senate.

    Funny…announcement of his life, and “Mrs. Crist” is nowhere to be seen. Introduced by his sister. Heh.

    Update: says he’s running “without political affiliation” because “our political system is broken” and people have had enough of “the politics of destruction.” Now going to work to stop offshore drilling.

  150. 150
    Mark S. says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    This is what sometimes drives me nuts about this conversation: employers are breaking, like, six different laws at once when they use illegal workers but people keep focusing their energy on the workers, not the illegal acts of the employers.

    Excellent point. I once had a professor who said something like “You ever wonder why there are illegal immigrants in Iowa? Do you think they cross the border and just decide to try Iowa? No, there’s a huge underground network that shuttles them off there.”

  151. 151
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Shalimar: When they say that 50’s was the golden era, I think they mean the 1850’s not the 1950’s, everyone knew their place, women and black people had no rights. It was all wonderful.

  152. 152
    ChockFullO'Nuts says:

    I don’t think this has been mentioned ….

    Here’s a NYT piece by the principal author of the infamous bill. Without comment.

    Discuss please.

  153. 153

    I just contacted representative, senators, plus Pelosi and Reid to suggest that now might be the time we need to address immigration on a federal level.

    That is all that I know to do at this moment.

    Sooner is better than later.

  154. 154
    Mnemosyne says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Nah, uppity bitches were already whining about not being allowed to own their own property and wages, so states were already passing Married Women’s Property acts by the 1850s. They’ll have to go back to the 1750s at least.

  155. 155
    Barry says:

    @Cris: (sorry, I’m skipping over a 100 comments, so this has probably been covered): Florida is probably not that far behind, so there’s a prospect of all four big states being either Dem shoo-ins or leaning Dem.

  156. 156
    KRK says:

    Hey! Look who showed up to instruct everyone to “discuss” Kris Kobach’s totally sincere explanation for the new law. Now there’s a guy a hardcore ACLU member can really put his confidence in.

  157. 157
    Paula says:

    @beltane:

    Well, because they have power. Undocumented workers by contrast have no power to contest anything done to them. Since no one has the resources to deport 12 million people, this whole “conversation” that criminalizes the undocumented is only serving to preserve this illegal market of workers to the benefit of those at the top. They are capitalizing on everyone’s apparent “hatred” of immigration reform and “amnesty” because it prevents anything from being done.

    There’s also a long human tradition of everyone blaming their problems on new immigrants.

    I swear to Jesus, you could do a sound collage of all the different arguments against allowing immigrants to come into North America over the last 400 years AND THEY WILL ALL SOUND EXACTLY THE SAME.

    Taking our jobs. check
    Diluting our American heritage. check
    All criminals. check
    Dirty and disease-ridden. check
    No interest in assimilating “American” values. check

  158. 158
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @ChockFullO’Nuts:

    I don’t think this has been mentioned ….
    Here’s a NYT piece by the principal author of the infamous bill. Without comment.
    __
    Discuss please.

    Wow, how utterly bogus.

    The law will allow police to engage in racial profiling. Actually, Section 2 provides that a law enforcement official “may not solely consider race, color or national origin” in making any stops or determining immigration status. In addition, all normal Fourth Amendment protections against profiling will continue to apply. In fact, the Arizona law actually reduces the likelihood of race-based harassment by compelling police officers to contact the federal government as soon as is practicable when they suspect a person is an illegal alien, as opposed to letting them make arrests on their own assessment.

    Oh, okay then. Law enforcement officers may not “solely” consider race or color while making any stops to determine immigration status. That’s good to know. I’m glad that having brown skin and looking like you might be “illegal” won’t be the sole arbiter for the validity of those stops. You hear that, Hispanics and Latinos?! Crisis averted!

    It is unfair to demand that people carry a driver’s license. Arizona’s law does not require anyone, alien or otherwise, to carry a driver’s license. Rather, it gives any alien with a license a free pass if his immigration status is in doubt. Because Arizona allows only lawful residents to obtain licenses, an officer must presume that someone who produces one is legally in the country.

    This is representative of a major problem in Kobach’s “defense.” He keeps focusing of the impact of the law only on so-called “aliens.” He neglects to even address or mention the fact that a driver’s license for anyone from out-of-state will most likely be insufficient to prove their US citizenship. It’s easy to account for any potential problems in the bill if you just pretend like those things can, and will, never happen.

    State governments aren’t allowed to get involved in immigration, which is a federal matter. While it is true that Washington holds primary authority in immigration, the Supreme Court since 1976 has recognized that states may enact laws to discourage illegal immigration without being pre-empted by federal law. As long as Congress hasn’t expressly forbidden the state law in question, the statute doesn’t conflict with federal law and Congress has not displaced all state laws from the field, it is permitted. That’s why Arizona’s 2007 law making it illegal to knowingly employ unauthorized aliens was sustained by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

    I feel like this point defeats itself easily enough without any comment.

    And it’s very necessary: Arizona is the ground zero of illegal immigration. Phoenix is the hub of human smuggling and the kidnapping capital of America, with more than 240 incidents reported in 2008. It’s no surprise that Arizona’s police associations favored the bill, along with 70 percent of Arizonans.

    Well, the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police (AAOP) came out with a statement strongly condemning the law, so…not so much. And again, he fails to clearly state how this law will address the problem of human smuggling in Arizona.

    If this is the best defense that they have, they are going to get eaten alive.

  159. 159
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I’m not serious about the border control thing. I’m just tired of hearing militant knuckleheads screaming about the border while we’ve got Americans being killed and killing in Iraq and Afghanistan by the knuckleheads’ express consent.

    The real way to address this problem is to knock cheap-labor employer heads together. Those are the scumbags that need to have documentation for their workers.

    It’s just like drugs. I don’t care about the casual user, I care about the pusher. I don’t care about undocumented workers, I care about the rapacious SOBs employing them hundreds at a time. If the employers won’t hire them, why the hell would they walk across a desert to come here?

    Along the same lines, you don’t need border control if you’ve got organized labor. But God forbid any of the Tea Partyers crying about border control do something to enable unions.

  160. 160
    Midnight Marauder says:

    The Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police (AACOP) remains in opposition to Senate Bill (SB) 1070. The provisions of the bill remain problematic and will negatively affect the ability of law enforcement agencies across the state to fulfill their many responsibilities in a timely manner.
    __
    While AACOP recognizes immigration as a significant issue in Arizona, we remain strong in our belief that it is an issue most appropriately addressed at the federal level. AACOP strongly urges the U. S. Congress to immediately initiate the necessary steps to begin the process of comprehensively addressing the immigration issue to provide solutions that are fair, logical, and equitable.

  161. 161
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @Michael:

    Obviously my penchant for imitating shitheads facetiously isn’t common knowledge around here.

  162. 162
    kay says:

    @ChockFullO’Nuts:

    Oh, sure. I’ll bite. It’s not an honest analysis. Here’s why:

    makes it a state crime for an alien to commit certain federal immigration crimes.

    .

    The writer does the same dishonest dodge every supporter of this law does: he avoids the big issue.
    The fact is, they created a new state criminal law. That’s important in the context of “reasonable suspicion” because the individual can be stopped and questioned (and searched, actually, if there’s reason for the police officer to fear a weapon) for that crime.
    I want them to drop the dodge, which is “in the course of a stop for another crime, the person can be asked for documents”. That was always true. Police officers can enforce federal law, and they did, in Arizona.
    The new state criminal law is the issue.
    One more time: police could always ask for documents in the course of a stop on another issue. Always.
    The stop is on reasonable suspicion of the new state-law crime.
    That’s the difference.

  163. 163
    Nick says:

    @NobodySpecial: If they let Latino teens vote at all.

  164. 164
    kay says:

    @ChockFullO’Nuts:

    You should ask, when reading that, why did they create the state law crime?
    Because that’s the question he can’t answer. His defense consists of “this was all illegal anyway”.
    So why did they write the law? Why create a “tool” (the word they always use) if they didn’t intend to use it?
    He cites the federal law that says they have to carry papers. He mentions that they will be asked for these papers in the course of a stop on reasonable suspicion of another crime.
    But they could always do that. So why the new state law?
    All they’re doing is cementing what I believe, that they wrote it to intimidate, and chase these people to another state.

  165. 165

    Joseph Nobles:

    you don’t need border control if you’ve got organized labor.

    Oh, well said, Sir! I shall join it up with beltane’s:

    We should just call it “illegal employment” and not illegal immigration. The real problem lies with employers using undocumented workers in order to circumvent US labor laws.

    and Warren Terra’s comments, too. The nail, it has been hit on the head.

  166. 166
    terry chay says:

    @ChockFullO’Nuts: Not only is the Kris Kobach piece presented without comments. But I noticed that they disabled commenting on it at New York Times.

    Of course, given Kris Kobach’s track record on immigration law (nearly every immigration law other than employer mandates that he has been involved has been lost in court or on appeal), I have even higher hopes that this bill will be declared unconstitutional. :-)

  167. 167
    kay says:

    @ChockFullO’Nuts:

    And he’s right. There’s extensive law on the factors that justify reasonable suspicion and a Terry stop.
    But those are for other crimes.
    What are the factors that lead to reasonable suspicion that a person is undocumented?

  168. 168
    Brachiator says:

    @Mark S.:

    RE: The other shoe waiting to be dropped is that progressive immigration reform always seems to include amnesty and de facto open borders,

    I don’t know about de facto open borders. Who the hell is proposing that? I think some sort of amnesty would be in the mix, if only because it would be a little hard to deport 12 million people.

    Amnesty might be a practical solution, but it is unfair unless you can also speed up applicant processing for those who played by the rules, and might cause a backlash. The devil is in the details.

    And here in California, activists and the Green Party platform calls for open borders, at least with respect to Latinos and indigenous peoples.

    You do know that most Latinos are in this country legally and they are the largest minority group (close to 50 million)? Whatever their views on illegal immigration, they don’t really appreciate right wing talk radio blowhards talking about dirty Mexican criminals stealing their jobs, which they will hear plenty of if there is a debate on immigration this year.

    I agree with you here, but this still does not necessarily mean that Latinos will monolithically shift to the Democrats.

    @ Josie

    If you live close to the border in Texas, you can forget making a living wage in the construction trades, because someone else will work for peanuts. Of course, what people don’t realize is that you get what you pay for, and the work is often substandard.

    It’s more complicated than that. In California, the unions and contractors are complicit in the use of illegal immigrant labor. And it is not that illegal immigrants work for peanuts. They don’t get union level wages, don’t get benefits, etc. And the work is not substandard. But what happens is that the value of the illegal immigrant labor is stolen because of the unequal compensation, which allows for larger profits in the construction trades when the properties are later sold.

  169. 169
    Cain says:

    @giltay:

    I think that Republicans are hoping that the law is not enforced to its full extent, or at least not before the midterms. Then, a few illegal immigrants are deported, with special care taken to ensure that they’re illegal. A small number of deportees are not so dirt poor that the media can’t portray them as fat cats. The Republicans keep up hawkish

    I think this is exactly the thinking, after all a lot of other laws are not enforced, so we just create more and more laws rather than just enforcing the existing one. But one important difference is that the fact that people can sue if they think this is not being done. So, if they think they can get away with it, the whole suing the state department by crazies is nuts. They should have gotten rid of that.

    cain

  170. 170
    kay says:

    @Brachiator:

    I agree with you. I don’t think it’s any guarantee of electoral dominance, or any of that.
    I think it has to be done, and should be done, and Democrats are the only Party who can and should do it. Clearly, Republicans have lost their minds, and they can’t do anything without getting permission from the lunatics and racists.
    Not to mention that Obama promised to do it. Not a small thing.

  171. 171
    Nick says:

    @Brachiator: Well that’s the problem, whatever immigration reform comes out of Congress is going to be hated by everyone for different reasons.

  172. 172
    Gozer says:

    Ugh…Kris Kobach…

    A few years back when I lived in KS (in the soshulist paradise of Lawrence, KS. A little blue dot in a sea of red) Kobach ran against incumbent Dennis Moore with all kinds of freaky terrorism/immigration bullshit. This was 2004 so the TERRA! stuff fit with the general ‘pub platform at the time, but the immigration angle seemed like it was from another planet. I guess Kobach was a wingnut ahead of his time.

    I’m kind of sad Moore is retiring. He seemed to be a pretty nice guy and his constituent services were top notch. Of course, I’d want to go away somewhere, anywhere after having to fight off the likes of Phill Kline and Kris Kobach every 2 years.

  173. 173
    ChockFullO'Nuts says:

    @kay:

    Well, I don’t think I am alone with Arizona Dems in saying that this whole thing caught us seriously off guard. People are still reeling here, to say the least. We are going to the Drinking Liberally meeting tonight to see what we can find out from the political obsessives who really know what is going on at the statehouse. More on that later tonight.

    But meanwhile, I can’t come up with any conclusion other than the idea that this is part of a big political play, a manipulation aimed at herding their base and forcing an issue at just the right time for the midterm elections. Also it appears to be working in the short term to advance GOP incumbents and candidates here as a way to kick off the campaign season. And if it scares a few mexicans along the way, what do they care? They probably figure they have lost that demo and their votes anyway.

    I have to hand it to them, it’s a masterful political move here so far. I haven’t expressed this much this week, but you have no idea how much I hate these people. I have been fighting them all my life it seems and right now, even with a 30% hispanic population and gaining 5 of 8 congressional seats for Dems last time out, they are coming back looking like they will kick our asses this year. I am not happy at all. And Dems are not exactly stepping up to this whole border/immigration reform issue. They seem to be cowering and equivocating and resting on gratuitous Arizona bashing as a cover for their inaction and dithering.

    All I can say is: Shit.

  174. 174
    Calouste says:

    A PERSON IS PRESUMED TO NOT BE AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES IF THE PERSON PROVIDES TO THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OR AGENCY ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
    1. A VALID ARIZONA DRIVER LICENSE.

    Funnily enough, that actually turns illegals into legals in case of people who have overstayed their visa or no longer fit the requirements of their visa. (The validity of driver licenses tend to be longer than that of visa.)

    Unless of course Arizona is going to tie the validity of driver licenses for visa holders to the end date of their visa, in which case you get all kinds of funny shit with people who are no longer allowed to drive when they get an implicit extension to their visa during the renewal process or when tranfderring to a different kind of visa.

  175. 175
    terry chay says:

    @Brachiator:

    And the GOP is making a calculated risk. They believe that angry non-Latino voters will be more motivated to go to the polls than liberal leaning voters, and that the general issue of immigration reform will not be a high priority to any but the most dedicated activists.

    This was true in the 90’s with Prop 187. Most people, even many Latinos, weren’t necessarily against it. They certainly weren’t mobilized. Prop 187 steamrollered through the state winning almost every county, except the Bay Area and Humbolt (where your pot comes from).

    But the long term backlash was severe. It mobilized the Latino vote at the same time the state was becoming majority-minority. It caused Asians and other immigrants to self-identify with the other minorities, and swung California so far blue it went from Nixon/Reagan to “the Left Coast.”

    There is a reason that the architect of the Southern Strategy (Nixon) effectively “created” the Hispanic demographic out of thin air. He expected to pull them into the Republican party because of social conservatism.

    Nixon was a savvy, forward-thinking politician. The current republicans? Not so much.

  176. 176
    ChockFullO'Nuts says:

    @kay:

    I’m no expert on that, but the Hardball Cop on Tuesday basically explained that in his view, the new law just folds right into the standard stop protocol as just another path along which to develop probable cause …. it’s all in the questioning, and according to him, it isn’t very hard.

    You can still see the interview on the MSNBC site, as well as the transcript. Tuesday’s show.

  177. 177
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @ChockFullO’Nuts:

    I’m no expert on that, but the Hardball Cop on Tuesday basically explained that in his view, the new law just folds right into the standard stop protocol as just another path along which to develop probable cause …. it’s all in the questioning, and according to him, it isn’t very hard.
    __
    You can still see the interview on the MSNBC site, as well as the transcript. Tuesday’s show.

    Right. Until some zealot decides to sue the entire city and police force for still somehow not doing enough to enforce the standards of the law. Then, they’re facing a $1000-5000 fine every day they remain in violation.

    Not to mention the costs of dealing with the actual lawsuit(s) from people who will be illegally detained and arrested because they made the mistake of going out of their house without their driver’s license.

  178. 178
    kay says:

    @ChockFullO’Nuts:

    Honestly, I hate this sort of hysteria. The law and (some of) the reaction to the law. I’m as guilty as anyone else for engaging in it, because I get mad, but it only muddies the water. As usual with Republicans, the most infuriating part is the lying, hence my reaction to the article. Why can’t he just defend his law? Does he have to spin it?
    When people settle down it can be sorted out.
    This law probably sucks as a context to discuss immigration, but maybe we always need a kick in the ass before we do anything in this country.

  179. 179
    Sly says:

    @ChockFullO’Nuts:

    1) Kobach makes no distinction between federal and and state jurisdictions. As this is coming from a former chief advisor on immigration and border security to the Attorney General’s Office, I’d consider that pretty fucking scary. States cannot simply usurp powers of the Federal government (DoJ, DoHS, etc), unless Republican legal scholars are now abandoning key components of the doctrine of Federalism after a century and a half.

    I didn’t get that e-mail, but I am admittedly not on the Federalist Society’s listserv.

    2) Reasonable suspicion applies to criminal provisions of state and federal law. Not civil provisions. The Federal government also has an explicit exemption from reasonable suspicion while doing searches at border crossings. The states have no such exemption. I would expect A former chief advisor on immigration and border security to the Attorney General’s Office to know something like this.

    4) If he seriously believes that police officers won’t be able to get around this…

    A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE MAY NOT SOLELY CONSIDER RACE, COLOR OR NATIONAL ORIGIN IN IMPLEMENTING THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SUBSECTION EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY THE UNITED STATES OR ARIZONA CONSTITUTION.

    …then I have some beach-front property in Arizona he might be interested in.

    5) Kobach didn’t read the court opinion he cited on Federal vs. State issues:

    The explicit preemption provision in IRCA states: “The provisions of this section preempt any State or local law imposing civil or criminal sanctions (other than through licensing and similar laws) upon those who employ, or recruit or refer for a fee for employment, unauthorized aliens.”

    States cannot enforce immigration-related statutes, especially those related to civil violations, unless Congress carves out an explicit exemption. Enforcement of immigration status is still within the realm of civil immigration law, which is the exclusive domain of the Federal government unless otherwise stipulated by IRCA. Allowing state police act as ICE officers is not one of these stipulations. Allowing state agencies to enact criminal penalties against businesses that provide employment to undocumented persons is.

    A former chief advisor on immigration and border security to the Attorney General’s Office.

  180. 180
    ChockFullO'Nuts says:

    @kay:

    I hear that, and I am aware of my own reaction tendency …. in Arizona, anything the Republicans do always strikes me as a move on an evil chessboard, manipulation, deception, misinformation, deflection, responsibility avoidance … all the traits of my family on my mother’s side, to which I am supersensitive. Heh.

    But seriously, I never trust anything they do no matter how harmless it may seem at the moment. I think Kobach spins now because they had the play and spin all ready in their Terrorism By Legislation Ryder truck and now they are just going off their script.

  181. 181
    kay says:

    @ChockFullO’Nuts:

    But he couldn’t stop on reasonable suspicion of being undocumented before. “Developing probable cause” for what?
    An arrest, right? On the brand new criminal law.
    That’s what they’re afraid of. That’s what’s new.
    He could stop them before on reasonable suspicion of drug running. He could stop them on reasonable suspicion of DUI. He could stop them on reasonable suspicion of car theft.
    But he couldn’t stop them on reasonable suspicion of being undocumented, because that wasn’t a state-law crime.
    They’re afraid of being stopped, and questioned, and subjected to the (limited) search that is permitted with a Terry stop.
    It won’t take five minutes. Not for anyone. You’re not going to be able to flash your driver’s license and speed merrily along. He’s got you stopped, he’s permitted to conduct a limited search (for weapons).

  182. 182

    […] smartest thing you are likely to read about illegal immigration this week; let the lawsuits begin; polls, demographics, and the future; boycotts are already underway; even some prominent Republicans think Arizona has gone too far; […]

  183. 183
    Kirk Spencer says:

    Lotsa posts saying what really needs done is hammering the employers. I propose an alternative: an improved guest worker program.

    “They took our jerbs” is the yell, but when they try to defend it (when shown what jerbs get taken) the fallback is taxes. “Them illegals get cash and don’t pay taxes, and we have to carry them.”

    So put them in the system. Allow businesses to employ guest workers. As such they pay social security taxes, but not being citizens probably won’t get any from them. They’ll pay income taxes and sales taxes and all the other taxes. Legitimizing them has the same effect as legitimizing, oh, say alcohol after prohibition. (No, it’s not that simple. It’s strongly parallel, however.)

    Now, I’d also argue for loosened (and increased) immigration allowances. It bothers me that we wind up being the kid with the ice cream saying, “Mmmm, this is good, too bad you can’t have any.” But that’s a different argument.

  184. 184
    terry chay says:

    @Cris: Yes, you are correct. The issue is out-of-state licenses.

    They are not considered valid because some states do not require proof of citizenship for a license. A few examples are Utah (1999), New Mexico (2003), Florida (2004). I think there are around a dozen states that allow this.

    Beyond that, not all the states that don’t allow it, don’t explicitly exclude the possibility. Only about 20 states have a law explicity excluding it (Arizona is one of those, hence the provision of their DL being a valid proof of citizenship).

    The civil rights argument for this is that automobiles are almost a requirement for livelihood. The practical argument for it is the hit-and-run accident rate of California (2004 bill veto’d by the Governator).

  185. 185
    Warren Terra says:

    @Kirk Spencer:

    I propose an alternative: an improved guest worker program.

    And I propose a flying polkadotted unicorn-elephant.

    Seriously, go read the John Bowe piece “Bound for America” in the current issue of Mother Jones. You’d see that – to the surprise of exactly no-one whose income doesn’t depend on their being surprised – the current guest worker system, allegedly one that was vastly improved on its predecessors, is a nightmare of abuse and exploitation. Even working perfectly, a guestworker system means indenture even while it crowds out domestic labor.

    We’ve got 10% unemployment, and a that number would be bigger if we counted those who are underemployed or no longer seeking work. And we’ve got more inequality than we’ve ever had. Maybe if we made the jobs rewarding, we wouldn’t need easily exploitable undocumented labor.

  186. 186
    mclaren says:

    A better analysis of this move by AZ involves a GOP scheme to disenfranchise Latino voters, the better to ensure GOP wins in 2010 and (most importantly) 2012.

    If NV and CA pass copycat laws you could be looking at mass disenfranchisement of Latinos throughout the entire American Southwest, which would give the GOP a fighting chance in the polls.

    More to the point, no one has mentioned that this looks like another example of states moving in to fill the void caused by lack of federal action. The feds have done nothing to end the futile pointless war on drugs so now individual states are effectively legalizing drugs one by one. The feds have done nothing to end the mass waves of illegal immigrants flooding across the border, so now individual states are passing increasingly draconian anti-immigrant laws on their own initiative. The feds have done nothing meaningful to reform health care (the recent HCR bill only makes things worse) so individual states like Maine and California are moving to pass single-payer state insurance systems on their own.

    In a larger context, this AZ immigration law is a further sign of the loss of legitimacy of the nation-state as a whole. The U.S. federal government increasingly does nothing to help its own citizens and sucks up taxes and passes insane laws (like the federal anti-drug laws) to accomplish nothing of value to the citizens of the United States. As the citizens find themselves unable to dissuade the federal government from pursuing its insane pointless never-ending wars on drugs and wars in afghainstan and unconstitutional kidnapping and torture policies (Bagram, Guantanamo) and insane pointless TSA harrassment, the indiivdual citizens find themselves increasingly alienated from the federal government and find the federal government increasingly irrelevant to their lives.

    So the individual states are increasingly passing laws that simply bypass the federal government. As Washington descends into a morass of gridlock and lobbyist-based corruption, the individual states are moving to solve their problems on their own. The southwest borders states have a big problem with illegals so they’re moving to solve this issue without regard to Washington, since DC seems to have no interest whatever in doing anything about the flood of illegals pouring across the Mexican border. Likewise, states like Maine and California are moving to fix their broken health care systems on their own by setting up state-based single-payer systems, since once again Washington has no interest in doing anything about the problem despite all the lip service from Obama and the Democrats.

    It remains to be seen how far the individual states will go in simply flouting the federal government. They’re already past that point with the medical weed initiatives. Now AZ is flouting the feds with this draconian immigration law, which seems pretty clearly a violation at the very least of amendment 14 of the constitution. You have to wonder if we’ll hit a turning point and one of the states will pass an initiative making it illegal for any of the tax movies of its citizens to be used in meaningless lost foreign wars. That would be interesting. If we get to that point, things would definitely start to heat up.

  187. 187
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @Warren Terra: Some good points in there.

  188. 188
    Barry says:

    @Third Eye Open: They have now; in favor and denying racism. I didn’t read down to far into comments, to see if the comments would be racist.

  189. 189
    Barry says:

    @Michael: Seconded. This sucks.

  190. 190
    Paula says:

    I’m all for cracking down on employers, but to play devil’s advocate a little, isn’t one of the problems that a lot of business, especially smaller ones, don’t have the most accurate means of determining someone’s residency status because of forgery and/or kinks in the backlog of federal information the have to work with?

    Also, what do we propose for undocumented workers to survive on while their employers are shut down by the feds? Or is this just a way of saying that deportation is acceptable under certain circumstances?

    Eventually, I get that a real desire by the feds to enforce work laws will gradually dry up that market for undocumented workers. (And whether the large groups of migrant workers that move around where work can be found are included in this would also need to be addressed by states that need large numbers of agricultural workers.) However, that “gradual” can be a horrid length of time for anyone who’s desperate to come here and then finds that there’s nothing.

    Is this plan going to include a re-negotiation of NAFTA? A boost to the Mexican economy so that people have well-paying jobs to go back to? Is that even our problem?

  191. 191
    Barry says:

    @ChockFullO’Nuts: And it’s Mr. ‘Papers, Please’ himself.

  192. 192
    pattonbt says:

    While I detest this law on so many levels, from a political perspective, I think it is a huge loser for the Dems in the short term. Reason will never win this debate. Sure, long term, the Republican party is toast if they keep it up. But, there is too much emotional power in the immigration debate to win enough “white” Dems to counter the rabid, juiced up teabagger Republicans. Hate of “the other” is super powerful. And when times are bad, “the other” is always the reason why. Add to that there are real problems with immigration that are not being addressed adequately at the Federal level and all politics is local.

    Sure you may get 100% of the Latino vote, but that isn’t enough “right now”. I mean look at the debate here on this site. Sure, the general consensus is wholeheartedly against this bill, but there is a somewhat soft opposition of “we have to do something” and “well, the feds aren’t doing enough”. Real problems are being highlighted that people have to deal with day to day.

    I will stand against this law with everything I have and I will call out those who support it as the racist shitbags they are, but I will also have to realize that there is a real, serious problem here where there is no political will to act. In a vacuum like that emotionally appealing laws like this can hold sway.

    And no comprehensive immigration reform put forth by Federal Dems will be well received by anyone. I keep seeing the glee in Dems to take on this fight for political reasons. While I support taking it on because it is the right thing to do, it will short term kill the Dems. Some aspect of any comprehensive reform will anger everyone and it will be easy to yell “death panels” and “amnesty for criminals” and “theyre taking our jobs!” and the media will relish in the horse race themes and lovingly talk about the “rise of the tea party” and the “tumult within the Dems” and the “dipping of Obama’s approval rating?”. This is going to get ugly and the Dems are going to get brutalized in the short term.

    Does anyone honestly think the Republicans will come to the table honestly? Does anyone think the media will play the coverage factually and with integrity? Please.

    I will bet that if the Federal Dems push immigration reform before the midterms, they will get wiped out worse than expected (without immigration reform I actually do not think the Dems will do as bad as most predict – but I am an idiot, so, theres that).

    Now, long term? Totally different story. Demographics are a bitch and the Republican party is dead.

  193. 193
    Warren Terra says:

    @Paula:

    I’m all for cracking down on employers, but to play devil’s advocate a little, isn’t one of the problems that a lot of business, especially smaller ones, don’t have the most accurate means of determining someone’s residency status because of forgery and/or kinks in the backlog of federal information the have to work with?

    This is a genuinely difficult problem. But right now we don’t even take on large-scale employers who really have to no.

    Also, what do we propose for undocumented workers to survive on while their employers are shut down by the feds? Or is this just a way of saying that deportation is acceptable under certain circumstances?

    Well, to some degree deportation is acceptable. I’m not sure what to do with people who’ve been here for a long time, or especially with people who came as kids and know no other home, but sure: if we can force the undocumented out of the workforce, then we’ll have a responsibility to send them home, if we safely can do so. And including some sort of amnesty for the people who are already here while we fix the system so we aren’t hypocritically demanding a huge influx of exploitable undocumented labor not only seems like a relatively just approach, it’s part of most proposals for immigration reform.

    Eventually, I get that a real desire by the feds to enforce work laws will gradually dry up that market for undocumented workers. (And whether the large groups of migrant workers that move around where work can be found are included in this would also need to be addressed by states that need large numbers of agricultural workers.) However, that “gradual” can be a horrid length of time for anyone who’s desperate to come here and then finds that there’s nothing.

    I agree with this – but, again, there are ways we can do this humanely. And so far as I’m aware it’s already the case that someone who’s here illegally and is caught (or surrenders) is repatriated, free of charge – albeit likely heavily in debt to human traffickers. But unless you believe in Magical Border Walls any solution other than Open Borders will inflict pain on the people arriving after the solution is imposed.

    Regarding the migrant laborers: sure, in the South they’re abused. But look at the migrant apple-pickers in Washington state. State regulation, at least occasionally enforced when I lived in the state, mandates that they be provided with decent housing and facilities, and that they not be overcharged for them – and yet we still seem to have plenty of cheap apples in the stores year-round, many of them from Washington. It’s time we ask who is reaping most of the rewards from our national epidemic of labor exploitation, because I don’t think much of that money goes to the consumer, or to the small farmer or small businessperson.

    Is this plan going to include a re-negotiation of NAFTA? A boost to the Mexican economy so that people have well-paying jobs to go back to? Is that even our problem?

    I don’t know much about NAFTA’s labor provisions, but I don’t see an obvious conflict. I’m not sure helping the less fortunate abroad is “our problem” in any legalistic sense – but affordable measures to help our fellow man are the right thing to do for their own sake, they would reduce the pressure on the citizens of these countries to emigrate, and improving education, health care, and security in poor countries might even reduce some overpopulation problems without resorting to the more traditional methods of famine-and-disease (Sub-Saharan Africa) or massively intrusive state power (China).

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