Do We REALLY Want to be Like Arizona?

Last week Senator Janssen proudly introduced his “Illegal Immigration Enforcement Act” (LB 48).

“As promised,” he wrote on his web page, he has introduced a bill with “similarities to the Arizona illegal immigration bill passed last year.”

Here is some of the stuff in Janssen’s bill:

Bunches of new crimes to get those darn “illegals:” Haven’t registered when you are supposed to? Class II misdemeanor. Not carrying your papers? Class V misdemeanor. Working? Class I misdemeanor. Our prisons in Nebraska are already stuffed to the gills but hey, we’ve always got room for a few more people who commit terrible crimes like holding down a job.

Are you here “legally?” Guess what, Charlie has some nice new crimes for you, too, if you have the audacity to try to help out a fellow human being. Give a Mexican dude a ride? Class I misdemeanor. Encourage a Mexican friend or relative to come visit Nebraska? Class I misdemeanor. Take that, ya little old church lady! There’s a nice cot in the York women’s penitentiary just waiting for scum like you.

Janssen’s bill also requires local law enforcement to “determine the immigration status” of someone if they have a “reasonable suspicion” the person is not here legally. The cops are not supposed to base their “reasonable suspicion” on “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” What’s left? Hat size?

Come on, Charlie, let’s call a spade a spade. This is a mean bill, designed to be mean to people who happen to be Latino, whether they are in Nebraska “legally” or not. It is also the essence of political grandstanding. Nebraska is not a border state, unless you consider Kansas a huge threat to the “good life” that exists north of the Republican River. Our dog in this fight is no bigger than a Chihuahua. With three legs.

Arizona is home to some of the most toxic, vitriolic politics of race-hating in the nation. Just ask Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, speaking after the tragic shootings in Tucson on Saturday. He likened Arizona to “the mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”

So do we really want to be like Arizona?

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