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Rep. Mack: Ariz. immigration law has echoes of Gestapo

Only a few days ago, Republicans were arguing that there was more division among Democrats than among members of their party on the Arizona immigration bill. Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) complicates that argument.

"This law of 'frontier justice' – where law enforcement officials are required to stop anyone based on “reasonable suspicion” that they may be in the country illegally – is reminiscent of a time during World War II when the Gestapo in Germany stopped people on the street and asked for their papers without probable cause," said Mack in a statement. "It shouldn’t be against the law to not have proof of citizenship on you."

Meanwhile, Mack's colleague Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) -- another second-generation member of Congress, incidentally -- stands by his call to deport U.S. citizens born to undocumented immigrants.

Mack's whole statement below the fold.

There’s no question that our nation’s immigration policies are in dire straits. We all agree that inaction by both the Bush and the Obama Administrations has compounded this problem and forced states like Arizona to take drastic measures.

But the new Arizona law strikes a severe blow to freedom and the principles that make our nation strong. This law of “frontier justice” – where law enforcement officials are required to stop anyone based on “reasonable suspicion” that they may be in the country illegally – is reminiscent of a time during World War II when the Gestapo in Germany stopped people on the street and asked for their papers without probable cause. It shouldn’t be against the law to not have proof of citizenship on you.

This is not the America I grew up in and believe in, and it’s not the America I want my children to grow up in.

Instead of enacting laws that trample on our freedoms, we should be seeking more ways to create opportunities for immigrants to come to our nation legally and be productive citizens. We must improve our border security both north and south, and make certain that we have sufficient resources in place to enforce our immigration laws.

America has always been, and should always be, a beacon for those seeking freedom. But as a wise man once said, a government big enough to give you everything is big enough to take it all away – and that includes our freedom to live our lives as we see fit.

By David Weigel  |  April 29, 2010; 2:20 PM ET
Categories:  Congress , Immigration  
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