Arizona, illegals and PR problems
If anybody thinks illegal immigration isn't a hot issue, they need only check the comments of our readers today in response to a story that says Arizona politicians of both parties are dismayed about the polarization of opinion about a new state law that gives police wide latitude to check the immigration status of people they suspect are in the country illegally.
Almost 400 comments have been filed at this hour as readers argue about the virtue of the statute, complain about what they see as a liberal bias in the reporting of the story, praise or decry the state for passing the law, note that some employers knowingly hire illegals, and decry the demand illegal residents place on state resources.
As Peter Slevin writes from Phoenix, "Arizona finds itself at the vortex of an immigration debate that is increasingly bitter and, figures on both sides say, increasingly unwinnable. Opinions are split, with fear of harassment rising among Hispanics and worry about an economic boycott growing among the state's leaders."
We'll start with POPS1, who said, "Any state that would have been bold and courageous enough to tackle this issue the right way would come under intense fire from the left including slanted pieces like this from this paper. But then again, you liberals don't seem to mind footing the bill for the illegals...The problem with illegal immigration has been politicized for a long time but it isn't a political issue. It is an economic and security issue and nothing more -- except to the liberals."
But old_sarge wrote, "Arizona Republicans made their bed, now they have to lay in it. They knew that their actions would have consequences. Unfortunately, they grossly miscalculated the extent of those consequences. Businesses rely on the public to survive. If political actions cast Arizona in a socially negative light, much of the tourism that relies heavily on the social image of an area will suffer..."
steveboyington said, "Anyone that thinks it is the Democrats who have prevented strict laws to combat the hiring of illegals is a pure partisan fool. It is the businesses that hire those illegals that stop any changes. The Chamber of Commerce and other pro-business pro-GOP organizations prevent any real laws to punish the employers of illegals. Until that happens the illegals will come... and make money. Both parties are to blame, but it is the GOP that protects the ones that hire illegals."
johne37179 wrote, "Only the left could consider the right move by Arizona to be a mistake. The overwhelming majority of Americans recognize it as wisdom."
vote4change ranted, "...Wake up america and quit playing the sympathy card. I know many of you that have come after the 60's generation don't believe in right and wrong even if it is the law. Try crossing the border into some other country and see what rights you have. Yes, even Mexico."
ShermanMiller wrote, "The American people are voting their disdain for racial profiling with their dollars by vilifying business arrangements with businesses in the state of Arizona. Arizona's leadership fails to grasp that the rest of the nation recognizes the high potential for the reincarnation of Jim Crow laws that dehumanize people of color... Has Arizona morphed into today's bastion of white intolerance hoping to circumvent the US Voting Rights Act by defrocking nonwhites of their voting rights through de facto voter intimidation?"
ttj1 said, "According to this article, 52% say the Arizona law is about right, and 17% say it's not strong enough [in a CBS News/New York Times poll.] That's support from 69%. Opinions are split, the article says. Yes, split nearly 70% to 30% in favor of the Arizona law. Legal citizens are already making a point of buying more from Arizona. If there is a PR disaster, it's a disaster for proponents of illegal immigration."
fgoepfert1 asked, "What PR nightmare? 80% of the people agree with Arizona's new law. That is called an overwhelming majority that are in favor. That doesn't mean anything to the Liberals at the Post, who only measure opinions in the newsroom."
SportingGoods suggested, "With poll after poll showing public opinion in favor of the new Arizona laws, let's take a trip or vacation to Arizona soon because 1. it's a beautiful state and 2. we want to support a state that is willing to tackle an important issue: illegal immigration."
Georgetowner1 wrote, "Only someone who is from a state under seige by illegal immigrants could understand why Arizona is trying everything it can think of to stop the flow. They are sinking under the cost of health care, schooling, repair of damage, and crime uptick caused by the flood of illegal immigrants. If these people were in a foreign uniform crossing the border in the number that they are, the Federal governement would have battalions down there... It is no[t] xenophobic to object to having to pay for other people's way when they are there illegally in the first place."
rappo12447 said, "My wife and I have changed our vacation plans. This year we will be vacationing in Arizona ! They deserve the support of all law abiding Americans. Other States should follow in Arizona's foot steps if they want to stop illegal immigration. Arizonans should begin posting road side signs that say, Illegal immigrants are not welcome in Arizona. Go to California, they love you there!"
To which DeepClue replied, "As I just told someone else--don't forget to bring your birth certificate! With the new law you love so much, you may be asked for it at any time."
frodot wrote, "Trying to control illegal immigration is one thing. Targeting a specific ethnic group is another. If we all had to carry national ID cards... it might seem fairer. But this law is aimed only at Mexicans and anyone who looks Mexican. Its enforcement is inherently discriminatory."
BernatvorBernadette5 wrote, "We canceled our Fall Vacation to Tucson because of the Republican law signed by Jan Brewer that now insists upon RACIST, HATEFUL, PROFILING. I am boycotting AZ. Folks, let's remember AZ was the last state to recognize the Martin Luther King Holiday in 2000 and they want us to believe they aren't racists?"
We'll close with ThomasFiore, who wrote, "We had a stupid law promoting discrimination against gays here in Colorado a couple of decades ago. We repealed [actually it was stricken by the Supreme Court] that when we started to run into negative economic consequences... it will from here on be a part of the state's history just as Colorado's anti-gay initiative is still remembered. We have a problem, but what Arizona has done isn't the answer."
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