What really pisses me off by the racist “papers please” law in Arizona is that conservative bigots who complain about President Obama violating rights see nothing wrong with striping minorities of their rights. We’ve been down this road before and it wasn’t right then and it isn’t right now.
Kelly: Mark, why would the president get involved in this? You’ve got — you know, you’ve already got legal challenges that will be mounted by many other groups — why would the Department of Justice, according to our attorney general, Eric Holder as of May 9, be considering challenging this law on their own when you’ve got these kind of approval ratings of the law on a nationwide basis?
Levine: It’s a fair point, Megyn. Anyone can challenge the law, it’s clearly unconstitutional — it violates Article I, Section 8 — and you’re right that anyone can challenge it. I think the president, though is making clear that anytime you have a majority attack the rights of minority, that’s something where you want the Justice Department involved.
I’ll give you a great example: Jim Crow laws in Alabama and Mississippi were vastly supported by the great majority of people in the 1960s. That didn’t make them right. Anytime you have a majority infringing on the rights of a minority, then that’s usually when the Justice Department does need to stand up.
What we saw in this episode is that it’s very easy for the public, angry and eager for some kind of action to resolve an urgent fear, to embrace some kind, any kind of action, even if it takes away the rights of someone other than themselves. And with a certain segment of the population, there is real relish in taking those rights away.
But much of the population goes along with these kinds of solutions often thoughtlessly, and then when confronted with the very human realities and consequences of them, realizes its mistake, changes course, and then works to repair the damage.
That certainly is the course of the American experience when it took away the basic civil rights of all its citizens of Japanese descent: We wound up paying huge amounts of money to the victims in the end, and the long-held public view is that the internment was a horrendous mistake of catastrophic proportions, one of the true black blots on the nation’s history of protecting civil liberties.
Of course, at the time, it was extremely popular. Most great mistakes are.
And then there was this:
Even if you are a U.S. citizen, you will be presumed to be an alien “unlawfully present” unless you have one of the above stated IDs — assuming a cop has “reasonable suspicion” to think you’re undocumented.
Kobach and his pawns in the state legislature later changed the law, which originally stated that a cop cannot “solely consider race, color or national origin.” They’ve since taken the “solely” out, and they claim this means there will be no racial profiling.
This is highly disingenuous to say the least, when the “intent” of the law is to make “attrition through enforcement” the policy of the state. As the nativist Center for Immigration Studies has defined this loaded term, it means making life so difficult for illegal immigrants that they will self-deport.
Since the vast majority of Arizona’s estimated 500,000 unauthorized aliens are from Mexico or Central America, it is reasonable to conclude that Latinos in Arizona will bear the brunt of police scrutiny.
So when someone slaps the “ethnic cleansing” label on the law, a label Nowicki is uncomfortable with, they are essentially correct.
The Arizona law explicitly states that an ID from state that requires proof of citizenship is valid proof so if you are from a state that doesn’t have that requirement then you are also considered “to be an alien “unlawfully present””.