I can’t say I am surprised, but given the persistent reports of large-scale boycotting (which is likely to directly affect big conventions and professional sports) and the widespread criticism of the constitutionality of the bill, I guess I expected The Town Talk would have taken a more sensible approach. Something similar to what John McCain’s daughter recently said:

The concept that a law-enforcement official can stop an individual when ‘reasonable suspicion exists that a person is an alien, who is unlawfully present in the United States’ is essentially a license to pull someone over for being Hispanic.

Maybe that would be asking too much.

Or what Karl Rove said:

“I think there is going to be some constitutional problems with the bill,” he said to the standing-room-only crowd at the Colony Cottage Recreation Center. “I wished they hadn’t passed it, in a way.”

Or former Florida Governor Jeb Bush:

It’s difficult for me to imagine how you’re going to enforce this law. It places a significant burden on local law enforcement and you have civil liberties issues that are significant as well.

What about Mark Rubio, the Republican candidate for Florida Senate?

While I don’t believe Arizona’s policy was based on anything other than trying to get a handle on our broken borders, I think aspects of the law, especially that dealing with ‘reasonable suspicion,’ are going to put our law enforcement officers in an incredibly difficult position. It could also unreasonably single out people who are here legally, including many American citizens.

And that’s just what many Republicans are saying. Heck, even Tom Tancredo thinks the bill went too far.

But apparently, not The Town Talk.

Tom Ridge, the former Secretary of Homeland Security, and Janet Napolitano, current Secretary of DHS and former Governor of Arizona, are both opposed to this law, but The Town Talk points to a Clinton-era immigration reform bill that actually empowers DHS to suggest the Arizona law is grounded in sound precedent. If that is the case, why do Ridge, a Republican, and Napolitano, a Democrat, both disagree? Ridge, the Republican (mind you), believes a more appropriate tactic would be to legitimize 12 million residents but not grant them immediate citizenship and focus the toughest penalties against those who willingly employ illegal immigrants.

But not The Town Talk.

When it takes effect in August, it will empower state and local authorities to detain people suspected of being in the country illegally and turn them over to federal immigration officials.Critics worry about “racial profiling,” but fail to acknowledge “reasonable suspicion” — a tenet that is central to all good police work and endorsed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The bulk of the criticism of this law is based on its broad construction of “reasonable suspicion.” How can one “look” illegal? I don’t believe the United States Supreme Court has ever taken up such a case, despite the paper’s implication. And apparently, Karl Rove agrees.

2 thoughts

  1. I’ve been known to agree with the TT from time to time, but I think the positive reaction to this particular bill is, in large part, based on a visceral appreciation of government finally reacting- and reacting strongly- to illegal immigration.

    However, I think the more people learn about the specific details (and possible implications) of this bill, the more people will realize that this is ripe for abuse and is likely unconstitutional.

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