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Arizona's immigration law -- and China's human rights abuses

Did the State Department get caught apologizing to China for Arizona’s new immigration enforcement law, as various Republican congressman and right-wing bloggers have been proclaiming?

The short answer is: no. But it’s safe to say the Obama administration has given human rights advocates another reason to feel uneasy about its attitude toward abuses by the world’s worst violators, such as Beijing -- and the difference between dictatorships and democracies.

The tempest began with a briefing given by Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner about last week’s “human rights dialogue” between the United States and China. Posner explained that the administration’s view of the talks was that “you have an open discussion where you not only raise the other guy’s problems, but you raise your own,” adding, “we did plenty of that.”

That included raising the issue of the Arizona immigration law, which empowers police to check the immigration status of people they suspect of being in the country illegally. “We brought it up early and often,” Posner said, “as a troubling trend in our society and an indication that we have to deal with issues of discrimination or potential discrimination.”

That hardly sounds like an apology, as Rep. Dan Burton (D-Ind.) was quick to call it. Posner was only telling the truth: The Arizona law does, in fact, raise the question of whether police will use ethnic or racial profiling in judging whether the immigration status of people they stop should be checked.

There is, however, the matter of context.

Arizona’s law came up in discussions with a country that routinely deports refugees from North Korea back to their Stalinist state, knowing that they will likely be sent to prison camps or even executed for having tried to escape. As for ethnic profiling, China’s repression of its Tibetan and Uighur minorities is one of the world’s foremost examples of religious and ethnic discrimination -- and in no way compares with the treatment of immigrants, legal or illegal, in the United States.

Posner didn’t make a direct comparison. He said Arizona came up in the context of a discussion of how the United States handles such controversies, with governments, civil society and the courts all getting involved. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley made the same point when he was questioned about Posner’s comments by Fox News on Tuesday.

But Crowley also said, “There is, as many have said, real concerns about -- that this Arizona law will inevitably devolve into racial profiling. That would be a fundamental challenge to human rights around the world.”

A “fundamental challenge” --- like China’s deportation of North Korean refugees, or its massacres of Tibetan monks? I don’t think so, and I don’t think Crowley thinks so either. But that’s why the context matters. Republican Sen. John McCain, who has been wrong on so many issues recently as he fights for reelection in Arizona, was right about this much, in the letter he and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) sent to Posner: “There is no place for moral equivalency in democracy and human rights policy.”

By Jackson Diehl  | May 19, 2010; 12:38 PM ET
Categories:  Diehl  | Tags:  Jackson Diehl  
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Comments

I'm probably too dense but what exactly about being deported to your country is a violation of human rights?

Posted by: cleancut77 | May 19, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

This guy is a idiot, the problem with libs is they interpret things the way they want them not as they are.

Posted by: samuellenn | May 19, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, but if it was not a direct apology, it was certainly an instance of moral equivalency that is troubling. I doubt if Posner has even read the Arizona law and by the way since when is it racist to stop people from entering your country illegaly.

Posted by: Slemmel | May 19, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Illegal immigrants are to the best of my knowledge neither an ethnic group, nor a religious groups, nor any single category. Simply put, they are people that are resident in this country without proper documentation or, in other words, without proper authorization. If one wants to look at where illegal immigrants come from, they will fubd people from Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Americas. Furthermore, if one wants to look at the religion of illegal immigrants, they will find every or almost every religion under the sun. Therefore, to say that any law in Arizona targets and one particular religious or ethnic group is simple false. It merely mirrors federal law on immigration status. The truth is not in the law but the perception that the law will reveal that the vast majority of illegal immigrants in Arizona happen to come from one source, Mexico. If this turns out to be so, it is simply the luck of the green. In any even, both Crowley and Posner are looking into the future and predicting an outcome that may or may not happen. Whatever, they are wrong and should apologize to Arizona.

Posted by: jeffreed | May 19, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse


Obama, says he never read the AZ bill.

Holder, says he never read the AZ bill.

Napolitano, says she never read the AZ bill.

Posner, says he never read the AZ bill and Diehl, do some homework or if you knew the truth tell it, POSNER SAID HE BROUGHT UP THE AZ ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION BILL, HIMSELF, MANY TIMES IN CHINA!!!

Crowley, says he never read the AZ bill.

Now these incompetents listed above either didn't actually read the bill and are making unsubstantiated assumptions; or they DID read the bill but are not acknowledging it because then they would have to admit that it isn't racial profiling.

They are losers either way.

BTW, I have read the AZ bill and it's NOT racial profiling.

Posted by: janet8 | May 19, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

apologize: a regretful acknowledgment of a fault or offense.

Posner clearly was apologizing for a law that he clearly thought was a human rights offense. He certainly did not bring the law into the discussion to endorse the law or defend it. To suggest that this was anything but an apology is ridiculous.

Posted by: amazd | May 19, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Arizona compared to China? what a pinhead!
is there a part of Illegal that people dont understand? When Amreican Citizens break the law we are subject to a punative system- fines, jail etc. The ILLEGALS invade our country "illegally"; have killed Americans in some instances, and get free housing, healthcare etc. and the US governments "blind eye and deaf ears". If they want to come to America,DO IT LEGALLY. Arizona leads the way in immigration reform. support the Arizona position on the illegals. Speak English in America. My grandparents were immigrants-LEGALLY. i learned fluent english and french by the age of 5. I was taught to speak english when in public, out of respect for America- I proudly served in the military and worked for the goverment until retirement. I earned my stay here
Maybe Mexico and China would be a better comparison, when talking "human rights and wrongs". The key word here is ILLEGAL; i repeat ILLEGAL.

Posted by: horsefeather1 | May 19, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

It WAS an apology, and it was an outrage. Posner is anti-American ... because somehow he feels it's OK for us to be invaded.

Posted by: wmpowellfan | May 19, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

More bowing and scraping and sniveling by Obama who is clearly embarrassed by being American. It's an outrage to patriotic Americans everywhere.

Arizona has every right to protect itself from the immense horde of marauding outlaws liberals call "immigrants". Arizona is becoming the model state for immigration law enforcement.

Anyone who sympathizes with Arizona haters is an anti-American humbug. Arizonans ought to boycott their professional basketball team. "The Lost Suns".

Posted by: battleground51 | May 19, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse


Republicans are merely losers who want to blame all of their failures on someone else and vent their frustrations on some defenseless minority.

..

Posted by: DEFJAX | May 19, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse


It is sad when our own government officials work contra to the security of our sovereign nation.

Mexicans aren't the only ones illegally crossing our borders. There are illegals from Yemen, Somali and other terrorist countries. Are they all just coming here looking for a job or is there some more diabolical reason?

We have enough problems here that our Federal government chooses to ignore.

Watch this two part investigation done by a local Atlanta TV station:

http://www.wsbtv.com/video/23438021/index.html

http://www.wsbtv.com/video/23438021/index.html

If the Mexicans would be voting for Republicans, then you'd see how fast Obama and Company would seal the borders.

But because of these pandering fools and their lapdog MSM, our national security is the worst since 2001.

Posted by: janet8 | May 19, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

The incompetence of personnel in the State Dept is beyond human belief. Posner, probably has not, like most of the Obama administration, read the Arizona law, but opinion about it is plentiful from Obama; Homeland Security Dir.; State Dept., and virtually any other activist in the Obama administration. Comprised of radical social activist, Obama has turned the White House, not into a representative figure of America, but rather the under the rock species of radicals who would strike at the under belly of America and hasten the day of its demise through the ideology of Obama and social engineering.
What we need in the White House is people who can read. Who can read Arizona law and be able to comprehend what it says. Nothing in the law is in contridiction of the federal laws on immigration. Documents must be provided; proofs must be established and one must be legal and a good citizen.

Posted by: lhudson828 | May 19, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

It is un-American to criticize a law that a person has not read. At least in this instance Holder, Obama and Napolitano told the truth. The first time!!

The Hispanics are not the only illegals who are crossing the borders. They come from alot of countries including Muslims who may be coming as terrorists. I think it is the Muslims that Obama and Holder want to protect. Remember Obama said, "the USA is not a Christian nation." And he would not allow Franklin Graham, FRANKLIN GRAHAM, to attend the Day of Prayer breakfast. And Obama wants to get rid of the chaplains in the military-mostly Christains and Rabbis.

But he wants to keep the borders open to people who bring in drugs and come to murder our citizens. All for getting the votes in November!! Read THE MANCHURIAN PRESIDENT. I can not remember the author, but it made the NYTimes best seller non fiction list last Sunday. It will tell you exactly why Obama does what he does.

Posted by: annnort | May 19, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

The heck with China, I want Calderon or Obama to defend this:

11 year old raped by Mexican who had been deported

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/05/deported-felon-molestation-case.html

Everyday, here in southern Arizona, we read and hear reports like this.

Tell this child that our law is wrong.

Posted by: r_leever | May 19, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

It never fails to disappoint that commentators use the phrase "which empowers police to check the immigration status of people they suspect of being in the country illegally". They intend to give the impression that brown people walking down the street can be approached and asked for their "papers".

The people who might be asked for their "papers" first have to present themselves to government agencies seeking access to government programs, or already be in custody for a crime or be suspected of a crime or other offense. The simple expedient of having a valid driver's license creates a presumption of legality under the law.

The law states very clearly that absent legal contact, as described above, no one, as in NO ONE, may be investigated to establish their status.

Posted by: mike5462 | May 19, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

McCain is so fake, he is running to the right trying to sound conservative on illegal immigration because he is facing a tough primary challenge in the Republican primary from conservative JD Hayworth. Hayworth has championed illegal immigration for years, even wrote a book about it called "Whatever it Takes." Hayworth has a 98% lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union. McCain championed AMNESTY with TED KENNEDY. He is nothing more than a flip-flopper and only runs as a conservative, when he gets reelected he'll go back to bashing conservatives and co-sponsoring legislation with liberal Democrats. Arizonans see through it, and that is why they are going to boot him out in the primary. Contribute to JD Hayworth now and help him defeat TARP bailout supporting McCain. https://www.jdforsenate.com/ctt?cttid=46&redirect=contribute

Posted by: RedArizonan | May 19, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Our immigration system is just broken. The Arizona immigration law is wrong and it does promote racial profiling.

Race and Work: Do bosses benefit from Black/Brown animosity? http://bit.ly/9bapwY

Posted by: annie23 | May 19, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

The Mexican race is a mestizo race of Native Americans, Whites and some Africans for good measure. It is the largest Spanish speaking nation in the world and it is our next door neighbor.

Instead of investing our money in China to build things like solar panels and wind generating machinery - we should be investing our money in Mexico instead. The more we invest in Mexico - the better it is for both of us.

Posted by: alance | May 19, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Have you ever seen any president more disingenuous or divisive than President Obama. His staff has not even read the 10 page law and they are up in arms about what could possibly happen vs what the law says. I seem to recall Sarah Palin bringing up what could happen in the Healthcare bill creating a government decision-making board ("death-panels") and go soundly criticized for even bringing up the question. But Obama and fabricate things that are actually expressly not allowed and starts a national riot vs a civil and open discussion.

Posted by: lynnman1 | May 19, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse


Probably Posner never talks about ISraeli's apartheid human rights problems...in his little chats with China, who deals frequently with, for example Iran and Syria.

And certain Diehl doesn't, does he? Never heard of human rights abuses by Israel.

Posted by: whistling | May 19, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Probably Posner never talks about ISraeli's apartheid human rights problems...in his little chats with China, (China deals frequently with, for example Iran and Syria).

And certain Diehl never heard of human rights abuses by Israel. Nor WaPo. Diehl's stuff is so absurd.

Posted by: whistling | May 19, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

what part of ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT dont you understand...ILLEGAL. look it up in the dictionary! The system is broken because the elected public officials in Washington have ignored the problem, creating a plethora of problems.. Their "crime sprees" begin when they enter the country ILLEGALLY. false identification, stolen identities, fake drivers license or no license- it doesnt matter- The ACLU will represent them for free. The ILLEGALS get housing,medical--Americans pay for it. They know the ropes before they get here. e.g. the leverage of having their baby born in America when they are here illegally.
It has been going on for generations..has reached epidemic proportions and needs to be addressed. Arizona is doing something about it.. They had the courage to do something about it. Support their position on immigration. Stop the "pathological permissiveness" that has been allowing people to enter illegally- You can be certain that terrorists are aware of the border problems..National Security is another concern-
Support the Arizona decision to address the problem of ILLEGAL Immigration. Have a great day!

Posted by: horsefeather1 | May 19, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

With all the controversy surrounding illegal immigration and the new Arizona Law, I thought it might be interesting to take satirical look at the other side of the coin.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRAcVGHNlGk

PLEASE READ ON:
1. If you migrate to this county, you must speak the native language
2. You have to be a professional or an investor. No unskilled workers allowed.
3. There will be no special bilingual programs in the schools, no special ballots for elections, all government business will be conducted in our language.
4. Foreigners will NOT have the right to vote no matter how long they are here.
5 Foreigners will NEVER be able to hold political office.
6. Foreigners will not be a burden to the taxpayers. No welfare, no food stamps, no health care, or other government assistance programs.
7. Foreigners can invest in this country, but it must be an amount equal to 40,000 times the daily minimum wage.
8. If foreigners do come and want to buy land that will be okay, BUT options will be restricted. You are not allowed waterfront property. That is reserved for citizens naturally born into this country. 9. Foreigners may not protest; no demonstrations, no waving a foreign flag, no political organizing, no badmouthing our president or his policies, if you do you will be sent home.
10. If you do come to this country illegally, you will be hunted down and sent straight to jail. Harsh, you say? The above belongs to the immigration laws laid out in the constitution of MEXICO! Maybe we should scrap ours and adopt theirs!

Posted by: Voxominous | May 19, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

The real issue that needs to be discussed about the Arizona law is the economic contribution that immigrants make -- a largely invisible but enormous contribution. I read an extremely compelling, but brief, exploration of this in a piece called "Your Livelihood is Subsidized by Immigrants" Definitely worth googling

Posted by: lindabicycle | May 19, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

The fact that they even brought it up makes me wonder about their judgment.

Posted by: moebius22 | May 19, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

I scanned through the comments and the majority think Posner is a fool to be bowing and scraping in front of the Red Chinese who don't give one whit about human rights.

Why is the US populance is upset over the illegal invasion of our borders but the politicians are not? In the mainstream media there is an anti AZ bias, but the population wants enforcement of our national laws.
By the way I am progressive on most issues.

However breaking our laws and then shuffling in front of the Chinese about a State that is literally invaded without Federal enforcement is insane.

Posted by: Mnnngj | May 20, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Jackson,

It's not just context. It's about an awful moral equivalency that generates from these asymmetrical situations. We never hear what Mike Posner actually said about grave Chinese human rights violations. In all this media discussion, there doesn't seem to be a single occasion where Mike talks about Tibet or Chinese prisoners of conscience or suppression of the Internet. Did he leave that only to quiet diplomacy? Can you investigate this?

Instead, we hear only about his efforts to raise the Arizona law -- an act that may be admirable and in good faith, but is not matched by equivalent candor and good faith on the Chinese side.

I think you also have to realize this isn't only a one-off controversy involving China. This is Obama's consciously constructed policy across the board, and similar awful moral equivalencies are springing up with U.S. official meetings in Egypt, Uzbekistan, Russia and elsewhere. It has to change, because they are undermining the universality of human rights by making false symmetry between very unequal situations.

I'm very concerned about the next State Department dialogue with Russia. This is fraught with the same kind of moral equivalency pitfalls, and will lead to the same kind of Fox News media circus unless officials work to script it better and really raise the issues of Russia.

http://3dblogger.typepad.com/minding_russia/2010/05/raise-russian-human-rights-in-russia-not-just-american-wrongs-.html

http://3dblogger.typepad.com/minding_russia/2010/05/they-will-only-bark.html

Posted by: Catfitz40 | May 20, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I live in southern AZ. Every time I go through a federal immigration checkpoint they either slow me down to profile the people in my car or I am stopped and asked if I am an American Citizen. This is done by white and brown agents. So where is all the uproar about the feds profiling? Unfortunately for illegals, they are afraid the AZ law might actually work. What country can afford to open up it's boarders to everyone with no quota system or documentation needed. Our elected representatives answer to the problem is to count the illegal population every few years to see how much worse the situation is getting. We need more politicians with a backbone. Those who are playing the race card do so because they have no other argument for people breaking the law. I'm not a racist and am offended by those who accuse everyone who stands behind immigration laws of being bigots. I don't care if they are from Mexico, Europe, or the Middle east, there is a front door. Use it and respect our laws.....

Posted by: mike147 | May 20, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I live in southern AZ. Every time I go through a federal immigration checkpoint they either slow me down to profile the people in my car or I am stopped and asked if I am an American Citizen. This is done by white and brown agents. So where is all the uproar about the feds profiling? Unfortunately for illegals, they are afraid the AZ law might actually work. What country can afford to open up it's boarders to everyone with no quota system or documentation needed. Our elected representatives answer to the problem is to count the illegal population every few years to see how much worse the situation is getting. We need more politicians with a backbone. Those who are playing the race card do so because they have no other argument for people breaking the law. I'm not a racist and am offended by those who accuse everyone who stands behind immigration laws of being bigots. I don't care if they are from Mexico, Europe, or the Middle east, there is a front door. Use it and respect our laws.....

Posted by: mike147 | May 20, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I live in southern AZ. Every time I go through a federal immigration checkpoint they either slow me down to profile the people in my car or I am stopped and asked if I am an American Citizen. This is done by white and brown agents. So where is all the uproar about the feds profiling? Unfortunately for illegals, they are afraid the AZ law might actually work. What country can afford to open up it's boarders to everyone with no quota system or documentation needed. Our elected representatives answer to the problem is to count the illegal population every few years to see how much worse the situation is getting. We need more politicians with a backbone. Those who are playing the race card do so because they have no other argument for people breaking the law. I'm not a racist and am offended by those who accuse everyone who stands behind immigration laws of being bigots. I don't care if they are from Mexico, Europe, or the Middle east, there is a front door. Use it and respect our laws.....

Posted by: mike147 | May 20, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

lol@chinas human rights issues compared to what the cia does around the world, and your beloved troops slaughtering millions of iraqis.

Posted by: 3432423423423423423 | May 21, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Human rights questions are one thing, and Posner is another.

When the guy you send to deal with the Chicoms doesn't seem to know the difference between a bullet to the back of the head and a hearing before an immigration judge then it's time to get a new guy in there as his boss.

Really ~ what an ignoramous that guy is. How can he walk standing up. Why doesn't he choke to death on his spit? When he eats does he stick his chopsticks in his eyes or up his nose?

So many real questions; so little time.

Posted by: muawiyah | May 21, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I am glad somebody is enforcing the law in Arizona.

===
Obama has a point, "This is not a Christian nation", if cafeteria Christians or cultural Christians don't count.

How many Christians read their Bibles and try to follow it? Yeah, I thought so. 990 chapters of Old Testament across 39 books and 260 chapters of New Testament across 27 books, well, that's just too much for most people... let alone reading it several times over.

Posted by: cmarshdtihqcom | May 25, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

janet8

Actually there is a reason for them to state the have never read the bill.(which of course they have).

If they were to admit they had, then they would have to admit that it does not discriminate toward anyone. That is the factual reason all of them are saying it, I mean its only 10 pages or so.

Not even a single form of the propaganda media will show it, as outrageous as that is.
If anyone can get on a news call-in show, ask them to give you the clause or paragraph number where it is discriminatory. Trust me they will have some excuse why the can't.

I would love to get old MaddCow, Scarborough or Matthews cornered on the air with that challenge.

If you have not yet noticed, no one, not even the media has shown any part of the law, while bashing it. Again they can't, because it would expose them as the race baiting gutter muck pseudo journalistas that they are.

It would also make the Patriot Act law Obama expanded to dictatorial proportions, a law he vowed to repeal if elected. and extended from just ICE being able to write their on warrants, to all forms of federal law enforcement, which in turn has the power to extend that power to anyone they choose.

If the AZ law violates Human Rights, then Obamas law in comparison would resemble genocide.

Plus if the Arizona law is ruled unconstitutional (unfortunately it probable won't) it would provide legal precedent to make Obamas law unconstitutional. Which I think might have originally been Arizonans hidden agenda. Unfortunately they toned it down.

The only way the Government could contest it, is to admit their official policy in regards to the Federal Law, is one of Non-Enforcement. Unheard of, although this is the almighty Obama.

Obama is merely posturing, he is the last person that wants it in the courts, less he be stripped of the dictatorial powers the Patriot Act unjustly grants our Presidents.

The only media elements that do show the law, are those which openly voice the truth.
try alipac.us, they have California's immigration law, which is considerably worse than Arizona's.

It should tell everyone paying attention, that the Main Stream Media is Government run, actually Government funded. actually it is under the Pentagon budget and direction.The actually admits that the Government is their primary client.

Anyone who embraces the Media as fact, is someone not fond of the truth.

Posted by: africanwarrior1 | May 26, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

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