Robert Knight: With Arizona, You Get Egg Roll on Your Face


ACRU Staff


May 20, 2010

ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight wrote this column appearing on on May 20, 2010.

Oh, that Arizona. What a handy thing to have in your transnational quiver for those times when you want to identify with the tyrants of the world.

“We brought it up early and often,” State Department official Michael Posner said of Arizona’s recently toughened immigration law. And to whom was he talking? Just Communist Chinese officials—about human rights violations.

And why not? The Obama Administration has practically declared war on Arizona for daring to defend the border that the feds will not secure. Arizona has become liberal shorthand for “racist,” “xenophobe,” or “bigot.”

Posner, assistant secretary for democracy, human rights and labor at the State Department, was part of discussions last week with the Chinese, and he felt their pain over reminding them of little things like forced abortions, murdered priests, padlocked churches and tortured dissidents. To make them feel better about themselves and so we wouldn’t sound so preachy, he volunteered that the U.S. delegation regarded Arizona’s new law as part of “a troubling trend in our society” toward “discrimination or potential discrimination.” The U.S. delegation also helpfully accused their own country of being unfair to “Muslim Americans in an immigration context.”

With friends like these… wait a minute. He’s not just a backstabbing “friend.” He is representing us. He speaks for the American people. Not Arizonans, maybe, but the rest of us.

Posner is just one of several Obama Administration officials to use Arizona as a punching bag. Obama himself led the pack with this gem at an Iowa community college on April 27:

“You can imagine if you are a Hispanic American in Arizona, your great, great grandparents may have been there before Arizona was even a state. But now suddenly if you don’t have your papers and you took your kid out to get ice cream, you’re going to be harassed, that’s something that could potentially happen.”

The law specifically requires that a crime other than illegal immigration be suspected before people are asked for their identification. And it prohibits racial profiling.

Remarks like the President’s are designed to appeal to left-wing groups like La Raza (“the Race”), the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the editorial board at The New York Times. Now that the Administration has used this ploy with the Chinese, we can only imagine what they’re telling their socialist friends in Europe.

Another disturbing trend: Administration officials admitting that they haven’t read the law.

Attorney General Eric Holder told ABC News’ “This Week” that “we could potentially get on a slippery slope where people will be picked on because of how they look as opposed to what they have done.” At a House Judiciary Committee hearing, when Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) asked him whether he had read the law, Holder replied, “I have not had a chance to—I’ve glanced at it.” Poe helpfully said, “I’ll give you my copy of it if you would like.” That would be easy. It’s only 10 pages.

Likewise, Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano, who was once governor of Arizona, called the new law “a shame,” noting that she used to veto such awful bills. When asked by fellow Arizonan Sen. John McCain whether she had read the law, she replied, “I have not reviewed it in detail—I certainly know of it, Senator.”

They can’t read everything, which is why they have staff. But this is not the health care bill. It would take 270 of these to come close to that.

I read the law. It took me 15 minutes, because I kept getting interrupted.

Here’s the key part, which the legislature recently updated:

For any lawful STOP, DETENTION OR ARREST made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of this state or a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF ANY OTHER LAW OR ORDINANCE OF A COUNTY, CITY OR TOWN OR THIS STATE where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien AND is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation.

Taking the kids out for ice cream wouldn’t appear to fit any of these scenarios.

Finally, there’s State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley. He admitted to Fox News’ America’s Newsroom on May 18, “Have I read the bill? No.” Then he elaborated:

“I’m simply responding to a challenge that says that we at the Department of State were apologizing for America, we are actually standing up to America by saying ‘this is how we function in a civil society…'”

Standing up to America? Okay, anyone can misspeak. He probably meant “for.” But the Fox anchor noted that neither Holder, Napolitano nor Crowley had read the bill. He asked bluntly, “What is going on here?”

Crowley gave classic transnational newspeak: “We had a vigorous debate and discussion with our Chinese delegation last week promoting human rights in this country and promoting human rights around the world.”

That’s it. We’re all just equal opportunity human rights violators, we and “our Chinese delegation.” We’re both there, “standing up to America.”



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