The Immigration Debate On The Right

Republican heavyweights such as Rove, Rubio, Jeb Bush, Tom Tancredo, (contrary to earlier reports Tancredo says he fully supports the law) and Tom Ridge have voiced concerns about Arizona's new law. So what has the debate among right-of-center pundits looked like? Here's George Will:

Arizona's law might give the nation information about whether judicious enforcement discourages illegality. If so, it is a worthwhile experiment in federalism.

Julian Sanchez and Lexington protest. Malkin's says Mexico is hypocritical because it too treats illegal immigrants badly:

Here’s the proper rejoinder to all the hysterical demagogues in Mexico (and their sympathizers here on American soil) now calling for boycotts and invoking Jim Crow laws, apartheid and the Holocaust because Arizona has taken its sovereignty into its own hands:


Hewitt nods in agreement with Rubio. We covered the Michael Gerson and Byron York spat earlier. Cesar Conda, writing at the Corner, counters York:

The bottom line is that this new law places enormous discretion in the hands of local police officers, since there are any number of circumstances in which an interaction between a police officer and a private individual is "lawful contact"; indeed, there are very few in which it is anything other than lawful contact, according to Mr. Otis.

This is why conservatives like Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Tunku Varadarajan, David Boaz of the Cato Institute, Bob Barr, and others have raised concerns about the Arizona law, and specifically that this "reasonable suspicion" standard could lead police officers to unreasonably single out legal immigrants and American citizens.

Ramesh admits that York is incorrect on one account but largely sides with Byron. John McCormack, who also buys York's view of the debate, worries about Rubio:

It remains to be seen if Rubio's concerns about the Arizona law will hurt his credibility as an opponent of illegal immigration.

Larison also sides with York:

Unless there is another undesirable provision that critics of the law have failed to mention, it would seem that the only people who have reason to complain about this law are those who are here illegally and those who believe that immigration laws should simply not be enforced. This is one reason why Gerson’s objections ring so hollow: he insists that he favors enforcement of the law, but objects vehemently the moment someone attempts to enforce the law.

Via Slog, Glenn Beck is upset that Democrats are comparing the Arizona law to Nazism:

Arizona sure is putting the AZ in Nazi. I really hate to rain on the hate parade, but could we slow down for just a second here and ask: You’re out of your mind? Are you comparing the systematic cold-blooded extermination of millions of Jews, to America making sure people are here legally. The parallels are non-existent.

Reynolds earlier comment falls along the same lines. Lowry defends the law:

Arizona’s offense is to attempt to enforce the nation’s immigration laws, in the absence of any serious commitment to do so on the part of the federal government or our political class. The Arizona law makes it a state crime for aliens not to have immigration documents on their person. This sounds draconian, except it’s been a federal crime for more than half a century U.S.C. 1304(e).

As does Ponnuru:

Nearly everyone in the immigration debate has claimed to favor enforcing the immigration laws. But if you think it is draconian to require that anyone have to show papers proving their legal status, then you're simply against enforcement. And if you really believe that, you're not going to change your mind just because the government has set up a "temporary worker" program or a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants: You're going to be against truly enforcing any conceivable set of immigration laws.

And Matt Welch says Arizona could take his car, if he lived there.