Listening to the national uproar, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Arizona has marched into the civil rights apocalypse with its new state law cracking down on illegal immigrants.
Last Friday, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed SB1070, making it a crime to be in the state illegally and requiring cops, where “reasonable suspicion” exists, to determine a person’s legal status.
Rev. Al Sharpton is promising to come to Arizona to march, the New York Times says that the state has gone “off the deep end,” and the Nazi references are flying. Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony likened SB1070 to “German Nazi and Russian Communist techniques.”
Riding the noise for political advantage, President Obama is summoning his Justice Department to look into the matter, saying that the law would “undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans.”
But 70 percent of Arizona residents support the law, according to Rasmussen.
What’s going on here? Do we know something the rest of the country doesn’t?
Actually, we do. Context is everything, and it’d be nice if the national media provided some, rather than simply slamming Arizona as a redneck haven filled with nativists and bubbas with a hankering for racial profiling.
An estimated 500,000 illegal aliens live in Arizona, and many are decent folks, to be sure. But the border is still wide open, and many more are coming. Last year in Border Patrol’s 262-mile-wide Tucson Sector, agents arrested 241,000 illegal aliens, a drop of more than 130,000 from 2007.
It sounds great until you understand that gotaways outnumber arrests by three to one.
Does the country realize this, or have the people bought Janet Napolitano’s political fairy tale that border security has been “transformed” from where we were in 2007?
As Obama lectures Arizona, citizens here await his decision on an urgent request to send three thousand National Guard troops to the border. Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl (more…)