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Prejudging the Ariz. immigration law issue

To the Editor:

“ADL joins Arizona lawsuit” reflects the groupthink that has stifled debate on immigration within the Jewish establishment while lowering journalistic standards.

Its opening sentence prejudges the issue by saying that Arizona’s state Senate bill 1070 is termed “restrictive.” The “news story” also alleges the law grants “police wide latitude to stop individuals and check their immigration status.”

The remainder is a sounding board for the Anti-Defamation League that condemns the law, repeating the urban legend that it will imperil police-community relations by promoting fear of deportation. Empirical studies suggest language barriers constitute the primary problem.

JTA doesn’t note that SB1070 responds to a crisis: sharply rising crime stemming from Arizona’s huge illegal population of approximately 500,000. Lawbreaking ranges from identity theft to violating employment law to drug dealing and kidnapping.

SB1070 does not pre-empt federal law; it asserts Arizona’s right to concurrent jurisdiction, enforcing what has been federal law since 1940. Not unconstitutional state-made immigration law, SB1070 affirms Arizona’s policing authority — power the U.S. Constitution reserves to the states. SB1070 also contains greater safeguards against racial profiling than current federal immigration law — or parallel law in California — which attacks Arizona even as its economy and social structure collapse because of illegal immigration.

Racial profiling in Arizona, which is 30 percent Hispanic, would constitute idiotic policing in addition to being unconstitutional.

Finally, ADL’s action is a futile exercise in misguided policy and misdirected moralism. Because it has no standing as an “injured party” and courts do not recognize alleged future abuses as “ripe for judicial review,” the lawsuit will be dismissed.

Dr. Stephen Steinlight
Senior Policy Analyst
Center for Immigration Studies
Washington, D.C.

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