For almost a week, now, Obama has been blasting the new immigration law in Arizona that was signed by Governor Jan Brewer, calling it “poorly conceived”. On Wednesday, he repeated the popular misconception that Hispanics will be stopped and carded based on race:
“What I think is a mistake is when we start having local law enforcement officials given the power to stop people on the suspicions that they may be undocumented workers,” Obama told reporters. “That carries a great amount of risk.”
Obama has sharply criticized the law, asking the Justice Department to look into whether it violates civil rights. On Wednesday, he said he understands the frustrations of people in Arizona who are faced with thousands of immigrants coming into their state illegally, but he said the state’s new immigration law would only end up polarizing the debate over reform.
He should know better. Kris Kobach, who helped craft the bill, corrected that falsehood, among many others in his NYT oped, today:
Actually, Section 2 provides that a law enforcement official “may not solely consider race, color or national origin” in making any stops or determining immigration status. In addition, all normal Fourth Amendment protections against profiling will continue to apply. In fact, the Arizona law actually reduces the likelihood of race-based harassment by compelling police officers to contact the federal government as soon as is practicable when they suspect a person is an illegal alien, as opposed to letting them make arrests on their own assessment.
At the Corner, Andy McCarthy’s concluded:
The people who are complaining about this law almost certainly either have not read it or are demagogues who would make the same absurd claims no matter what the law said.