Thursday, May 13, 2010

Raising (hell with) Arizona...

Several weeks after its passage (and later amending), Arizona’s controversial immigration law continues to be…controversial – to say the least. From the Phoenix Suns (er, sorry, Los Sols) to President Barack Obama, everyone seems to have an opinion – even if they don’t know what they’re talking about (or if they’re just being cynical and playing the race card)...

Yesterday, America’s second-largest city (and arguably the largest Mexican-populated city in North America), Los Angeles made a statement. After a morning of grandstanding, the LA City Council voted to bar official travel and contracts with Arizona. What’s the immediate impact of that? According to LA city officials, it is believed that approximately $8 million in contracts can be canceled, immediately, without any legal repercussions. In the long-run, it’s estimated that losing the City of Angels’ official business will hit the Grand Canyon State to the tune of about $50 million-plus, annually. As Officer Vic (who I appeared with on the Brian Sussman show on KSFO-AM 560 this a.m.) put it, “…glad to see they got all those potholes taken care of.”

LA’s decision runs counter to the sentiment being expressed nationally according to a number of polls. A new poll from the Pew Foundation shows that, “Fully 73% say they approve of requiring people to produce documents verifying their legal status if police ask for them.” Is anyone listening?

The controversies continue to build this week as “Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill targeting ethnic studies, hours after a report by United Nations human rights experts condemned the measure. State schools chief Tom Horne, who has pushed the bill for years, said he believes the Tucson school district's Mexican-American studies program teaches Latino students that they are oppressed by white people. Public schools should not be encouraging students to resent a particular race, he said.’It's just like the old South, and it's long past time that we prohibited it,’ Horne said.” (h/t: Yahoo!/AP)

All of these resolutions and polls, however, are meaningless – at least in the sense that the law will eventually be ruled on by the U.S. Supreme Court down the line. According to numerous experts, including the man who helped co-write it, the chances of it being upheld are quite good.

We shall see…

Late addition: Wouldn't it be nice if the nation's chief law enforcement officer, the U.S. Attorney General (Eric Holder) actually read the Arizona statute before criticizing it? According to a Washington Times story, Holder is quoted as having expressed concerns about the law but he really can't explain anything about the law because he "hasn't read it." He also, prior to asking his staff to read it and brief him on what it means, said the law's passage was "unfortunate." Why is that, Mr. Holder? If you haven't read it and don't know what it says, how can you honestly criticize it?

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