Let’s Be Clear: If You Oppose the Recent Changes to the Arizona Immigration Law, You Oppose United States Immigration Law
Because, see, the substance of the revisions to the Arizona law make it almost a carbon copy of the federal law. “Almost”; the Arizona law is actually less harsh than the federal law because, unlike with federal law, Arizona officials cannot simply walk up and ask someone for their papers.
And, did you know that the Arizona law includes the following provisions? [Emphasis and editorial comment added.] Page 2:
J. THIS SECTION SHALL BE IMPLEMENTED IN A MANNER CONSISTENT WITH FEDERAL LAWS REGULATING IMMIGRATION, PROTECTING THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF ALL PERSONS AND RESPECTING THE PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES OF UNITED STATES CITIZENS.
The attorney general or county attorney shall not investigate complaints that are based solely on race, color or national origin.
The terms of this act regarding immigration shall be construed to have the meanings given to them under federal immigration law. [Again, emphasizing that this law is based upon federal law.]
C. This act shall be implemented in a manner consistent with federal laws regulating immigration, protecting the civil rights of all persons and respecting the privileges and immunities of United States citizens.
I point this out both because there has been widespread confusion about the Arizona law, reaching as high as the White House, and for the edification of two Rhode Island candidates in particular: Anthony Gemma, candidate for the first Congressional district and Ken Block, candidate for governor. A transcript of the portion of Mr. Gemma’s recent appearance on the WPRO Buddy Cianci Show dealing with the Arizonal law is posted after the jump.
Mr. Gemma is a nice man. But the transcript reveals that he is clearly in way over his head on the matter of illegal immigration: he is unaware that the United States already has in place a path to citizenship (and has had for decades) and he doesn’t even understand the concept of birthright citizenship. Yet lacking a full understanding of the issue, he inexplicably proceeds to voice an opinion on it.
And, while Ken Block appears to warily support Governor Carcieri’s Executive Order on e-verify, he describes the Arizona law (thank you, Andrew, for attending, recording and transcribing) as “assinine” and “xenophobic”.
Shall we take two? Do both of these gentlemen – and everyone who opposes the Arizona law – stand by their reservations now that they are aware that the law is simply a less rigorous version of federal immigration law?
Anthony Gemma, June 21, on the WPRO Buddy Cianci Show.
BC: How do you feel about the bill that was passed in Arizona, that will take effect in July, July 29th, being able to ask an immigrant for their papers once a police feels there’s something suspicious about them, you know, behavior?
BC: … an immigrant, its not only , any person is asked who’s acting suspiciously, might even be in the process of committing a crime, now, that the law in Arizona says that the cop can ask him for his papers to see if he’s legal or illegal, what do you think?
AG: Well, I think what most people forget, especially around here… I’m, I’m, my grandparents were immigrants, so, I have to say that….
BC: Were they illegal immigrants?
AG: No, they were not, but I have to say that I’m not in favor of, I think the Arizona law goes too far and I think we have to create a rigorous path to citizenship, then secure the borders, and work with Mexico and Canada to make things right.
BC: What do we do with the ones who are already here that are illegal?
AG: I think that we should work to getting them into a path to citizenship so that…
BC: What would that require and how’s, what’s the path?
BC: … and I don’t know what it is, do you know what it is?
AG: Well, actually, we’re trying, we’re working it out right now but I would say that checking everyone, ah, umm, out, making sure that getting criminal background checks, and then getting them onto a place where they can work here and pay taxes here, which would be significant for us and for them.
BC: How do you feel about the anchor baby legislation, in Arizona that’s being proposed?
AG: Umm, I’m not familiar …
BC: Ok, let me, I didn’t mean to catch you off guard.
AG: No, its quite all right.
BC: But no, the anchor baby, we talked about the other day, I didn’t know about it either, but there’s a law that’s being proposed, saying that if you, if you’re an illegal immigrant, have your kid here, then, you know, the kid is, everyone assumes that its naturalized, that person, that baby is a US citizen. They wanna pass a law in Arizona that says, that isn’t true, uhhh what do you think, is that law ‘Ok?’ I mean it anchors the family here, that’s the problem, that’s what they say the problem is, what do you think?
AG: Well, umm again, I think taking everyone onto a path to citizenship and that, that includes the whole family – ummm whole family unit, so I believe Arizona goes a little too far and it kind of forgets our heritage, forgets what America is built on, we’re a melting pot and we need to remember where we come from and just embrace that. And getting everyone back involved in their government and that includes undocumented residents as well.
ID Cards for Illegal Immigrants?
BC: So, undocumented residents are ‘ok’ you think we should give them an ID card say, go about your business, just stay out of trouble and we’re going to think about having a path to citizenship?
AG: I think that we should do it sooner than later, I think its appropriate and I think most undocumented residents want that,
BC: I’m sure they want it!