May 6, 2010


Arizona's Law: Anti-Immigrant And Anti-Constitutional (Shikha Dalmia, 05.05.10, Forbes)

Brit Hume, a Fox News commentator, who had previously called the law “somewhat draconian,” came out swinging in its favor on Sunday--declaring that his initial characterization was completely wrong and the law is actually “totally sensible.” Meanwhile, the National Review crowd, which has yet to encounter an anti-immigration law that it doesn't like, put its full weight behind Arizona right from the get-go. In this it seems to be marching in lock step with the ultra-restrictionist Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) whose founder, Mark Krikorian, is a regular contributor to the magazine.

CIS advocates a moratorium on all immigration--illegal and legal, unskilled and skilled. And it pursues its agenda with as much finesse as Detective Clouseau displayed when pursuing criminals in Pink Panther movies. Two years ago, it released a study arguing against relaxing U.S. immigration restrictions on grounds that this would raise global greenhouse gas emissions. (Really! Check out the link.)

Even before the ink had dried on the Arizona law, CIS issued talking points insisting that it was nothing more than a mirror image of the federal law--a claim that Byron York, National Review's former White House correspondent, immediately repeated in his column. “Contrary to the talk [of the law's critics],” York declared, “it is a reasonable, limited, carefully crafted measure...that went to great lengths to make sure it is constitutional.” Likewise, National Review editor Rich Lowry maintained: “Arizona seeks only to enforce the nominal immigration policy of the United States.”

But such talk failed even to reassure Arizona's own legislators, who moved last Friday--less than two weeks after the law was passed--to amend the law's more draconian provisions after civil rights groups threatened to sue on constitutional grounds. However, even with these changes, the law raises equal protection and federalism issues large enough to drive a Mexican truck through.

The CIS types are more vile but at least they're honest with themselves.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 6, 2010 8:53 PM
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