Stand Up for Arizona

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Major demonstrations are to be held in 70 cities on May 1 to protest the new Arizona law to cope with an army of half a million illegal aliens now living there.

Since Gov. Jan Brewer signed that law a week ago, Arizona has been subjected to savage attack as the modern embodiment of Jim Crow, apartheid and Nazism. Few have risen in her defense.

In San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., moves are afoot to boycott Arizona and cancel conventions to break the state, as it was broken when Arizona declined to set aside a holiday for Martin Luther King.

Republican leaders like Jeb Bush, Karl Rove and even the rising Marco Rubio of Florida have declared themselves “troubled” or “concerned” and washed their hands of Arizona, which suggests they have not read the law — or the party remains captive to country-club political correctness.

In a particularly offensive smear, Mexican President Felipe Calderon charged Arizona with opening the door “to intolerance, hate, discrimination and abuse in law enforcement.”

And what was the reaction of the Great Apologist to this slander of an American state by the leader of a neighboring nation?

None. One wonders if Barack Obama will ever stand up to foreign leaders’ abusing the nation that awarded him its highest honor. Or has he been marinated since birth in the “Blame America First” mindset of the San Francisco Democrats who sneer at the real America?

As columnist Michelle Malkin writes, there is no shortage of ammunition our president could have used to fire back at the hypocrites of Mexico City.

For where Arizona has made it a misdemeanor to be in the country illegally, in Calderon’s country it is a felony that can get you years in prison. Where illegal aliens in America regularly protest under Mexican flags, no foreign resident of Mexico may demonstrate against the regime.

Where immigration is changing the ethnic balance of this country, in Mexico immigrants are not allowed in who could upset “the equilibrium of the national demographics.” Where Americans demand we treat illegal aliens firmly but fairly, Guatemalans caught in Mexico are often treated with a brutality bordering on sadism.

We really do not need any lectures on morality or human rights from Mexico. But what is the matter with our leader that he will not defend his country?

As for the supposedly neo-Nazi Arizona law, what does it really say and do?

First, it brings Arizona law into conformity with federal law. As it has long been a federal crime to be in the country illegally, it is now a crime in Arizona.

Second, just as U.S. law since 1940 has required legal aliens — immigrants and guest workers — to carry their green cards or work visas at all times, Arizona law now says the same thing.

Is there something inhumane about this? If so, where have the protests been these last 70 years? Many of us in the 1950s had to carry not only driver’s licenses, but draft cards.

No U.S. citizen in Arizona, however, has to carry an identity card. As for racial profiling, the new law forbids it. A police officer, it reads, “may not solely consider race, color or national origin” in stopping anyone or in determining an immigrant’s status.

Before there can be a “reasonable suspicion” an individual is here illegally, there must first be a “lawful contact.” This means no cop can halt and challenge a man on the street, or sitting in a restaurant or bar, or driving a car.

If an individual is caught running a traffic light, the police must first ask for his license. Only if the individual lacks a valid ID or driver’s license, or his behavior causes “reasonable suspicion” he is an illegal, can he be brought in. Then, a call must be made to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to determine his status.

Where is the neo-Nazism here?

Is this too much to ask on behalf of the police in a state whose first city, Phoenix, in the words of Kris Kobach, co-author of the new law, has become the “kidnapping capital of North America and the hub of human smuggling into the United States”?

When one looks closely at what the Arizona law says, the hysteria it has generated seems so excessive one wonders if it is fear the Arizona law will work — as well as hatred — that is behind the over-the-top reaction.

Whatever the motivation of the left, defense of this law by conservatives is imperative. For without tools like this, the Southwestern states cannot stop the invasion from Mexico — given the U.S. government’s dereliction of its duty to defend America’s borders.

Conservatives must stand up for Arizona. And this is winnable. For by backing away from “immigration reform,” both Harry Reid and Obama are admitting, de facto, that America is with us, not with them.