What the hey is going on south of the border? Land of the Free? Maybe not so much: Arizona’s racist new anti-illegal immigrant law seems to be catching on.
The law MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow dubbed the “Papers Please” law would allow cops to detain anyone they have “reasonable suspicion” might be an illegal immigrant. “Reasonable suspicion” being relative to the officer’s mood and thuggishness, I suppose. The law is so draconian that even legal immigrants could face jail time if they’re detained and found not to be carrying Their Papers. It’s a pretty obvious mandate for racial profiling of Hispanics and probably the result of utter frustration with a porous border, but that doesn’t make it any less odious, intrusive or wrong. Accordingly, the law has provoked a shitstorm of controversy, but guess what: other states are considering similar laws.
Yes, really. Maryland:
At least two state delegates are considering sponsoring anti-illegal immigration legislation in Maryland which replicates a new Arizona law that has drawn criticism from Hispanics, the ACLU and President Barack Obama.
A handful of South Carolina legislators want an illegal immigration law as tough as Arizona’s new rules.
A group of House Republicans introduced a bill on Thursday requiring police to check immigration status of people they stop and have reasonable suspicion the person is in the country illegally.
Not to be outdone by Arizona, some conservative lawmakers in Oklahoma say they plan to introduce a bill similar to that state’s controversial new immigration law.
(I can’t say I’m surprised to see Oklahoma among those states enthusiastically endorsing such state intrusion. After all, this is a government that recently ruled that women having abortions must be punished during the procedure by getting pointy objects jabbed into their private parts. But I digress.)
All the enthusiasm for “Papers Please”-type legislation is coming from Republicans: apparently GOP lawmakers in 10 states are considering such a law. This is amazing to me: conservatives should be the last people getting on board with a law that allows such aggressive government overreach. Shouldn’t they?
Unless conservatism as we once knew it has officially lost all meaning.