Here is Republican Senator Orrin Hatch’s response to Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s condemnation of Arizona’s new immigration law:
The state of Arizona is stepping in where the federal government has failed. It is trying to stop waves of illegal immigrants, many of whom are dangerous gang members and drug and human traffickers, from crossing into its communities. It’s inappropriate for a head of state to question our laws, especially when the state of Arizona only acted in the best interest of its citizens and with the support of seventy percent of its people.
Boy, don’t strain yourself, Senator.
Hatch could have mentioned that Calderon’s characterization of the law as “introduc[ing] racial profiling as a basis for law enforcement” and a “human rights” violation which “opens the door to intolerance, hate, discrimination and abuse in law enforcement” is, as Byron York’s reporting on the law reveals, so dishonest as to border on slander. For instance:
Obama ignored the law’s specific stipulation that any check on a person’s immigration status can only come after a “lawful stop, detention or arrest” when a person is suspected of breaking some law — that is, as Arizona lawmakers explained in a footnote to the bill, it must come “during the enforcement of any other law or ordinance of a county, city or town or this state.”
And even after meeting that standard, the law directs that police meet a “reasonable suspicion” standard before “a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person…” The phrase “reasonable suspicion” means that there must be a number of specific factors that an officer can cite before taking action, and the law specifically says that prosecutors “shall not investigate complaints that are based solely on race, color or national origin.”
And even with those safeguards, the law specifies that if the person involved produces a valid Arizona driver’s license, or other forms of identification specified in the law, then that person is immediately presumed to be in the country legally. In other words, the whole question of legal or not legal becomes moot once the person produces a driver’s license — a common experience for nearly every American, regardless of his or her race or ethnicity.
He could also have mentioned that, not only is Calderon partially responsible for the hardships Arizona is trying to address, but that Mexico’s own immigration laws are far more draconian and “intolerant”:
– The Mexican government will bar foreigners if they upset “the equilibrium of the national demographics.” How’s that for racial and ethnic profiling?
– If outsiders do not enhance the country’s “economic or national interests” or are “not found to be physically or mentally healthy,” they are not welcome. Neither are those who show “contempt against national sovereignty or security.” They must not be economic burdens on society and must have clean criminal histories. Those seeking to obtain Mexican citizenship must show a birth certificate, provide a bank statement proving economic independence, pass an exam and prove they can provide their own health care.
– Illegal entry into the country is equivalent to a felony punishable by two years’ imprisonment. Document fraud is subject to fine and imprisonment; so is alien marriage fraud. Evading deportation is a serious crime; illegal re-entry after deportation is punishable by ten years’ imprisonment. Foreigners may be kicked out of the country without due process and the endless bites at the litigation apple that illegal aliens are afforded in our country (see, for example, President Obama’s illegal alien aunt — a fugitive from deportation for eight years who is awaiting a second decision on her previously rejected asylum claim).
– Law enforcement officials at all levels — by national mandate — must cooperate to enforce immigration laws, including illegal alien arrests and deportations. The Mexican military is also required to assist in immigration enforcement operations. Native-born Mexicans are empowered to make citizens’ arrests of illegal aliens and turn them in to authorities.
– Ready to show your papers? Mexico’s National Catalog of Foreigners tracks all outside tourists and foreign nationals. A National Population Registry tracks and verifies the identity of every member of the population, who must carry a citizens’ identity card. Visitors who do not possess proper documents and identification are subject to arrest as illegal aliens.
A foreign head of state hypocritically slanders American citizens before our own legislature – to the applause of one of America’s two major political parties – and the best the other party can muster is “inappropriate” (maybe an “unfortunate” if we’re lucky). As usual. Looks like the GOP’s not about to kick its habit of pulling defeat from the jaws of victory any time soon.