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Why Michael Gerson can't be trusted on Arizona's immigration law

Former George W Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson continues to be an attack toy poodle for the Bush family, this time offering "A test of Arizona's political character" in the Washington Post (link). I'm going to outsource most of this to Byron York (link) and fill in some of the gaps.

Gerson starts with no less than two hoary talking points in one paragraph:

[Chaos on the border] is an argument for effective border enforcement. It is also an argument for a guest-worker program that permits an orderly, regulated flow of temporary, migrant laborers, allowing border authorities to focus on more urgent crimes than those resulting from the desire to provide for one's family.

See safe legal orderly for others using what Gerson transcribes as "orderly, regulated". Note that the last part is the busboys canard. See also guest workers.

He says:

The law forbids the use of race or ethnicity as the "sole" basis for questioning. So what are the other telltale indicators? ...Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the law, looked flustered when asked during a news conference the obvious question of how illegal immigrants might be identified... Yet Brewer has ordered Arizona police to be trained in the warning signs of illegality -- signs that she cannot describe. There is a reason no Arizona official has publicly detailed these standards -- because the descriptions would sound like racial stereotyping. And probably would be.

Bear in mind that the preceding appears in an article promoting border enforcement, which would be done by the Border Patrol and other agencies such as ICE. Those and similar groups have decades of experience at being able to tell illegal aliens from citizens and legal immigrants and visitors, and all without the legal armagedon that Gerson concern trolls about. No doubt there will be a few cases of local yahoo cops crossing the line, but with the proper guidelines and training - something that Brewer is developing - that can be mitigated.

Gerson ends with the false establishment take on Proposition 187; see my long discussion of Proposition 187.

Wed, 04/28/2010 - 13:28 · Importance: 4