Jan Brewer, Governor of Arizona and vehement immigration opponent, has taken on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a recent report sent to the United Nations’ Human Rights Commissioner by the State Department. Apparently, Brewer is steamed at the move toward “internationalism” and is trying to protect her state from charges of racial profiling, a thinly veiled accusation included in the report.
The federal government, however, views its legal challenge to the law as a prime example of how it’s addressing possible human rights violations.
In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Brewer says it is “downright offensive” that a state law would be included in the report, which was drafted as part of a UN review of human rights in all member nations every four years.
“The idea of our own American government submitting the duly enacted laws of a state of the United States to ‘review’ by the United Nations is internationalism run amok and unconstitutional,” Brewer wrote.
Okay, this is a dicey one. Consider, for example, the shooting death of Houston police officer Rodney Johnson, who was killed by an illegal immigrant who had been deported at least once and arrested several times. Under the Arizona law Brewer is touting, Rodney Johnson might well be alive.
There is, however, the very real possibility that Hispanics would be unnecessarily and unfairly targeted. Look at what happened to Florida mother Janet Lovett, who was arguably targeted for being Hispanic and subject to some pretty rough treatment.
Is this a can of worms that we want to open? Obviously the federal government is not a big fan of Arizona’s law, with a federal judge agreeing with the U.S. Justice Department’s attempt to block many parts of it.
While the State Department dances around stating directly that the Arizona law would result in racial profiling, the insinuation is pretty clear.
“A recent Arizona law, S.B. 1070, has generated significant attention and debate at home and around the world,” the report says. “The issue is being addressed in a court action that argues that the federal government has the authority to set and enforce immigration law. That action is ongoing; parts of the law are currently enjoined.”
The thing is, there are valid arguments on both sides here. Illegal immigration is a very serious problem, and there are many, Rodney Johnson’s widow Joslyn, for example, that can say firsthand that this law is necessary.
At the same time, though, it is a complete set up for racial profiling. You’d have to be a complete moron not to see that. Like it or not, it’s the world we live in.
My older daughter recently flew by herself for the first time, and she told me after she landed that she got a little nervous when the pilot came on the intercom and introduced himself in a middle-eastern accent. This is a very open-minded and trusting kid, and she was very unhappy with herself for having that, “Oh my God, is he a terrorist?” reaction.
I understand the need for border states to have immigration policies. I totally get that. If I lived near the Mexican border, it’s entirely possible that I would look at this differently, and I completely admit that.
At the same time, however, it is certainly noteworthy of discussion in terms of human rights with an international group focused in that area. Frankly, it might help America break down its “elitist” reputation if they are looking as closely at their own policies as they do those of other nations.
I feel that, by examining its own potential human rights violations, the United States will gain more credibility when it calls out other nations for atrocities.
I know this isn’t a popular opinion, but I honestly think that Jan Brewer, who is a favorite for reelection in November largely due to her hard-nosed stance on immigration, is turning this into way more of an issue than it really is.