I think I understand frustration at the slow pace of immigration reform, and I also understand Arizona's rather unique geographical position in regards to immigration. I don't understand mandating that anyone who looks like an illegal immigrant carry proof that they are not:
The Arizona Senate passed one of the most stringent immigration laws in the country on Monday, marking a new level of influence for a Republican state senator who not long ago was seen by many as an eccentric firebrand.
Passage of the law, which would, among other things, allow the authorities to demand proof of legal entry into the United States from anyone suspected of being in the country illegally, testified to the relative lack of political power of Arizona Latinos, and to the hardened views toward illegal immigration among Republican politicians both here and nationally.
Arizona followed this up
by passing a bill through the House demanding Barack Obama show his birth certificate if he ever wants to run for president again. But leaving that aside, I think John McCain's support of the immigration bill is a blow for cynics everywhere. I understand what's happening--he's tacking right to win a primary. But it's still amazing to behold.
This is what I meant yesterday about incorporating people who don't look like you into policy formulation, as opposed to simply using them to sell policies you've already formulated. If you're going to pass a law like this, with someone who's been seen as open to Hispanics supporting it, you should expect to have a tough time getting their vote. And you really shouldn't spend much time wondering why your coalition is so white. It's not even worth thinking about.
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is a national correspondent for The Atlantic
, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of The Beautiful Struggle
, Between the World and Me,
and We Were Eight Years in Power