We have reviewed Arizona’s new immigration law (SB 1070) and posted an analysis of its major provisions. The Arizona House subsequently passed a revision, and we analyzed that. Meanwhile, opponents have reacted stridently, calling the state of Arizona:
- A police state (Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.); Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.); The Nation, via National Public Radio; New York Times Supreme Court correspondent Linda Greenhouse; American Civil Liberties Union; LaRaza President and CEO Janet Murguia) in which Americans would have to “present their papers” (Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.), Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.))
- Reminiscent of Nazi Germany (Cardinal Roger Mahoney, Al Sharpton, Mack, Polis), the Soviet Union (Greenhouse, Mahoney), the Jim Crow South (Sharpton, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.), rapper Rass Kass, demonstrators in Newport News VA), or apartheid South Africa (Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), Sharpton)
- Racist (Polis, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson)
As our previous posts here and here make clear, these characterization are not based on the text of the law, which makes it a state crime to violate federal immigration law. Ironically, the use of extreme language by opponents of the law may have the unintended effect of better achieving the law’s objectives than the law itself.