Immigration Baiting Must Stop

The Arizona Republic editorial page – literally now only a single page – often serves as a platform for reasoned, well informed debate.  That is until Linda Valdez writes about immigration reform and the very difficult, public process of enforcing and reforming our nation’s immigration laws.

Friday’s (1/10) editorial “Immigrant Bashing Must Stop” is the latest example of her complete ignorance of the real world of how we make and enforce our laws.  For a paper that purports a desire to embrace long-term immigration reform, the Republic goes out of its way to craft missives that ensure it will never happen.

From employer sanctions to SB1070 and everything in between, Arizona’s immigration laws were born from the state’s frustration with the Federal Government’s refusal secure the border or enforce our existing immigration laws.

Instead of focusing on these facts, Valdez clings to making the issue about personalities – painting anyone who favors immigration enforcement as bad guys and claiming that a steady diet of  “dreamer” and “migrant” stories have washed away Arizona citizens’ desire to enforce the laws.

Anyone living in the real world knows that is simply untrue.  In fact, concerns about illegal immigration have started to creep back up in the statewide voter surveys we have conducted lately – and not just among Republicans.  Simply saying that people don’t care anymore doesn’t necessarily make it so.

What’s worse, the editorial falsely claims that “Brewer clings to the issue that won her re-election,” a myth that has been busted time and again.  Ironically, the Arizona Republic even endorsed Brewer in her bid for a second term – touting her support of Prop 100 among other things.  Apparently, they don’t think highly of their own endorsement.

Not much of the editorial makes much logical sense.  Valdez says the notion that immigrants are likely to skip bail is false, and then cites a completely unrelated USC study that has no direct correlation.  She skims over the fact that the bail denial was upheld and focuses on the dissenting opinion making the case for its constitutionality, by, once again, attacking the personalities involved.

This creates a bigger problem because if anything is ever to be done on immigration, Republicans will need to be at the table.  In the Republic’s desire to gleefully bash anyone who takes a stand, they are ending the conversation before it can even start.

The majority of Arizona citizens support denial of bail for those who are in this country illegally and they support making it state crime for someone transport or harbor illegal immigrants.

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This is not out of spite or desire to bash migrants – this is because the majority of Arizona citizens support the rule of law.  If we are ever going to get anywhere on immigration, these personal attacks and immigration baiting needs to stop.  Both sides of the border need to admit that the system is broken and sit down to find a common solution.  Until then, Arizona is right to do what it takes to keep its citizens safe.


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