A Great Critique of Arizona Immigration Law

It did my heart good to see Linda Chavez’s recent comments at the National Review critiquing the recent Arizona immigration law.  As a staunch localist, my disdain for this law does not necessarily mean that I think federal action should be taken to dismantle it.  However, I still think that it is the duty of society to condemn the recent actions of the Arizona state government, and to ensure that other states do not make similar mistakes.

Chavez contends that, contrary to the stereotypical compassionate left vs heartless right debate being put in the spotlight, conservatives and advocates of the free market should be the harshest critics of the recent Arizona law.  She writes:

…the whole defense of racial preferences in college admissions and employment rests on the notion that race is simply one of many factors taken into account. But as the Center for Equal Opportunity’s studies on racial preferences in college admissions have definitively shown, whenever race is taken into account — even as one of many factors — it always becomes the deciding factor. And it will here as well. We conservatives can’t have it both ways: either we’re for race-neutral justice or we’re not. We can’t be against using race when it helps minorities but for it when it harms them — at least not without legitimate criticism as to our motives.

This law does nothing to secure the border. Moreover, contrary to popular belief, illegal immigration is down significantly … If conservatives really want to stop illegal immigration, we’re going to have to figure out a way either to shrink our economy on a permanent basis so that we don’t need manual laborers and service workers — something I’m convinced groups like FAIR and Numbers USA would have no trouble accepting in return for a smaller U.S. population — or we’re going to have to come up with a reasonable, market-based immigration system to allow more people to come here legally to work. Harassing illegal immigrants — as wells as U.S. citizens or legal residents who some government bureaucrat or bad-apple cop decides look like they might be illegal aliens — isn’t going to solve the immigration problem.

Read the rest of her comments here.  And hat tip to the National Review for publishing this viewpoint; this is the kind of conservative I will work with any day of the week.

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