Though the specter of racism will continue to underscore the current controversy, many Democratic politicians will avoid making such strong accusations at such an early stage. The mid-term elections are approaching and the Democrats want to preserve or increase their thin majority in Congress. The Democrats are poised to achieve important objectives such as financial regulation and energy policy in the coming year. An eruption of racial tensions at this point would derail the national debate and relegate long overdue reforms to the backburner for an indefinite period.
A responsible public policy maker would try to avoid the racial war trap while still expressing strong disapproval of the new Arizona law. After all, the racial issue is not the only offensive aspect of this new law. What is probably more disturbing, and more applicable to all Americans, is the violation of basic civil liberties.
The degree of authority granted to police officers in arresting and detaining suspected illegal immigrants is disturbing to any freedom-loving American. Any time the Federal Government violates the civil liberties of any American, no matter the race, that violation threatens the fabric of our nation and every right guaranteed to Americans by the countrys founding fathers.
The situation in Arizona can be understood mostly as a declining populations resentment towards newcomers to its state. However, the way in which this resentment has been expressed through its state legislature indicates a decline in the integrity of our countrys politicians, who seem all too willing to sacrifice the liberties of us all to appease the whims of a few.
“Arizona Enacts Stringent Law on Immigration”
New York Times
April 23, 2010