Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer today signed into law what President Obama had just called an irresponsible act that “threaten[s] to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.”
The new law makes it a crime to lack proper immigration paperwork and requires police, if they have reasonable suspicion that someone is in the country illegally, to determine their immigration status. It also bars people from soliciting work as day laborers.
The President made his remarks at a naturalization ceremony for 24 active-duty military people. He acknowledged that the Arizona action resulted from “our failure to act responsibly at the federal level,” as he called for Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform.
So we now wait and see whether the new law increases or decreases the security of the people of Arizona. To her credit, Gov. Brewer spoke forcefully about her determination not to tolerate racial profiling by police officers. On the other hand, when a reporter asked her what an illegal immigrant looked like, she answered simply, “I don’t know.”
She said she signed the law to combat the “murderous greed of drug cartels, drop houses, kidnappings, and violence.” We can expect that the murderous greedy drug kingpins will no longer congregate in Wal-Mart parking lots looking for day labor.