The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Hate Group Lawyer Drafted Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant Law

By Heidi Beirich on April 28, 2010 - 5:16 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

Arizona’s controversial anti-immigrant law was written by a lawyer at the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which the Southern Poverty Law Center has listed as an anti-immigrant hate group since 2007. The law, a recipe for racial profiling, would make the failure to carry immigration documents a crime and give the police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. (See statement by SPLC Legal Director Mary Bauer.)

Kris Kobach, the author of the Arizona law and a lawyer at FAIR’s Immigration Reform Law Institute, has been the prime mover behind numerous ordinances that seek to punish those who aid and abet “illegal aliens,” including laws adopted in Farmer’s Branch, Texas, and Hazelton, Pa.

The laws have not done well and have cost some localities immense sums of money to defend. Recently, the city of Albertville, Ala., refused to work with Kobach on just such an ordinance, reportedly because of the high legal costs incurred by these other communities.

Before joining FAIR, Kobach served as U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft’s top immigration adviser. He then moved on to take charge of Department of Justice efforts to tighten border security after the 9/11 attacks. There, he developed a program — the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System — that called for close monitoring of men from Arab and Muslim nations, even legal U.S. residents. The program collapsed due to complaints of racial profiling and discrimination.

Given Kobach’s history with racial profiling, it is particularly alarming that he was tapped by Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio in February to train his officers. A federal grand jury investigation is under way amid a slew of complaints that Arpaio used racial profiling techniques to round up suspected undocumented immigrants. The grand jury is also reportedly looking at whether Arpaio used his office to target political opponents.

FAIR’s poison is now spreading. Legislation similar to Arizona’s has been introduced in Texas, and six other states are considering doing so.

It’s not surprising to find a group like FAIR behind this repugnant law. FAIR has an extensive track record of racism and bigotry. The group, for example, has accepted $1.2 million from the racist Pioneer Fund, a foundation established to promote the genes of white colonials and fund studies of race, intelligence and genetics. FAIR has employed key staffers who have also joined white supremacist groups; it has board members who write regularly for hate publications; it promotes racist conspiracy theories about Latino immigrants; and it has produced television programming featuring white nationalists.

FAIR has been dominated for much of its life by its racist founder and current board member, John Tanton, who has written that “for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.” Tanton’s role model for FAIR is John Trevor Sr., founder of the racist American Coalition of Patriotic Societies and a key architect of the racially restrictive Immigration Act of 1924. Trevor also distributed pro-Nazi propaganda and warned shrilly of “diabolical Jewish control” of America. Tanton once said Trevor should serve as FAIR’s “guidepost to what we must follow again this time.”

FAIR’s president, Dan Stein, has warned that immigrants are engaged in “competitive breeding” aimed at diminishing white power. He led efforts to win funding from the Pioneer Fund, saying in 1993 that his “job [was] to get every dime of Pioneer’s money.” Stein also served as editorial adviser to Tanton’s hate journal, The Social Contract, at a time when it ran its ugliest edition ever, “Europhobia: The Hostility Toward European-Descended Americans.” The issue’s lead article argued that multiculturalism was replacing “successful Euro-American culture” with “dysfunctional Third World cultures.” Stein has declined to offer any criticism of FAIR’s founder, instead characterizing Tanton last September as a “Renaissance man.”

The principal sponsor of the Arizona law, state Sen. Russell Pearce, has his own history of hate. In 2006, Pearce forwarded an email to his supporters from the neo-Nazi National Alliance titled “Who Rules America?” The article criticized the media for promoting multiculturalism and racial equality, and for presenting the Holocaust as fact. More recently, Pearce has been photographed hugging J.T. Ready, a Phoenix-area resident who is a member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement.

  • Gary M

    Yesterday I said that it was a war zone in Arizona. Perhaps I was right:

    AK-47s, police helicopters under fire; 100+ police officers swarming the desert. And yes, Blackhawks with “special teams” on board.

    And yes, illegals and drug-runners doing the shooting and one deputy who is fortunately still alive.

    There is nothing wrong with the law. I only hope it works. And yes, its a stop-gap measure: we desperately need a reformed and sane system that would allow free immigration of stable and productive aliens. Given all the game playing in DC, that might be a bigger challenge than securing the border, or getting past these ridiculous allegations of “bigotry” and “racial profiling.”

  • Tezuka fan

    By the way, I heard that Ms. Brewer passed/made another part of the law. It makes “clear” that racial profiling will not be tolerated. Which means the police are going to be forced to check the papers of anyone they have a reasonable suspicion of being an illegal immigrant after a lawful encounter (which there are a lot of different kinds including asking for directions or being a victim of a crime) under pain/fear of lawsuits, which could lead to racial profiling, but they cannot racially profile.
    Sigh, reminds me of the old marijuana laws where in order for you to have marijuana you need a license, but you’d need the marijuana first, which is illegal without the license.
    The DOJ can’t challenge this Catch-22 fast enough.
    “Our failure to act responsibly at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others.”
    P.S. I’ll take the high ground and not compare this to Nazi laws. Looking at the USHM’s site would stop anyone from misapplying that characterization (though it may have the opposite effect as well). The only Nazi laws are laws that Nazis pass.

  • Laurie

    I am a middle-aged 4th generation Texan and we have many illegals in our state and have had for over a century.. The vast majority are very hard working, family oriented people struggling to survive. Our churches have missions across the border and many people there live on the edge of city dumps to try to survive. The poverty is overwhelming. The illegals face horrendous heat, rattlesnakes,etc. and hundreds die crossing trying to find a way to make money to send home. It is appalling that we are the most powerful nation on earth and let this poverty exist beside us and have such cold hearts. Where is the sense of humanity, and compassion and decency?

  • Reed

    RaeAnna, this requirement is nothing like the everyday id requirements you list. If you fail to show your id in a government building or when you pay with a credit card, they simply won’t let you in. You won’t be arrested.

    This bill makes it a crime and puts the onus on the individual to prove their immigration status if the police decide they suspect the individual of being out of status. So it’s a guilty until proven innocent.

    Of course the bill doesn’t specifically mandate racial profiling. The drafters aren’t quite that stupid. But all the evidence shows that attempts in the past to identify illegal immigrants this way lead to racial profiling, harassment and unjust detainments. It’s inevitable. What do you think an illegal immigrant looks like? I used to work in an immigration law firm and can assure you that they come in all colors and there’s no way to tell just by looking. Other studies have shown that racial profiling isn’t always a very good way to identify somebody’s race!

    It’s not going to stop much crime. The drug dealers will just find people who don’t “look Hispanic” to do their work in the US. And what do they care if some of their runners get deported? They’ll just send more.

    Not everyone who supports the bill is a racist. People are just scared and uncertain and this sounds like a good idea on the surface, but look a bit deeper and you’ll see that it’s only going to create more suspicion and fear.

    Most of the people who are here illegally came because they desperately need to find work to get their family out of poverty and the US greatly restricts the number of visas it provides to central Americans. Even if you can get a work-based visa, it takes years and can cost many thousands in legal bills. Most people can’t afford that. If they could get here legally, they probably would, but if it’s a choice between starving and being illegal, they pick the latter. Anybody would. For the most part, these people work hard and pay taxes (unless they’re being paid under the table, in which case the employer is cheating the IRS too). They’re a productive part of the economy. How can people who work hard everyday be described as a “burden?” If there were no illegal immigrants, who would do those jobs? Assuming there are citizens that could do them – which isn’t likely – we’d still have to find a way to send their kids to school, provide public services and so forth. So getting rid of the aliens doesn’t solve that problem. We’d still have an “underclass.”

    And the well-documented connections between known hate groups and the framers of this bill, as well as their propensity for bald-faced lies (well-documented on this website and other sources) should give every American pause and compel them to question the motivations of the people who claim to be trying to protect America from foreigners.

  • Ray H

    Thank you for pointing out that I said “race” instead of “ethnic group”. Thank you also for pointing out that the groups I mentioned (Mexican, Irish, Polish etc..) are all considered “caucasian”. Therefore the cry of racism is moot since all ethnicities are included in the law. As far as treating “people humanely and not like criminals and they are more likely to assimulate than hide all the time”. I respond, they are criminals if they are living here illegIly, and if caught should be punished. I didn’t realize that enforcing the laws of our nation was considered “inhumane”. It is precisly that attitude that has allowed the situation to explode to the level it is. I counter, become LEGAL, then they won’t have to hide at all. Then one’s success will only be limited by their own drive and desire. Instead, illegal immigrants remain hidden in their ethnic communities, never living up to their full potential. They are exploited by employers thru low wages and by landlords who force multiple families to reside in one home, knowing they will never complain.This type of poverty breeds the very criminal activity others complain of. Do you consider this humane? I don’t.

  • Walter Isaac

    This is a good article. It’s great to know that, even if an unpopular enterprise, some journalists are still interested in pursuing and understanding the genealogy of racism that persists in our civilization. Thank you SPLC.

  • RaeAnna

    byron1 — “…proof of these hate-ridden allegations…” 12 million illegal aliens reside in the United States. What more do you need to know?

    By the way, my grandfather immigrated (legally) from Chihuahua, Mexico. You are not talking to a hater. You are talking to a person who respects the law and values the lawfully gained rights of citizenship.

    Even as a full-fledged citizen, I routinely have to show my identification – when I use a credit card, write a check, travel on the airlines. Teachers in Texas -actually anyone working in Texas schools – have to provide the FBI with a photo ID and fingerprints. Parents and other visitors to public schools have to check in at the office and produce a photo ID. Countless companies require employees to prominently display at least one photo ID, sometimes one for each area of the building they have to visit, on lanyards around their necks.
    How can anyone living in post-9/11 United States see an ID requirement as racist?
    Look around, byron1, it’s an ugly world. Deal with it! That’s the intent of the AZ law in a nutshell.

  • kiara

    once again revisionist history is in full effect,what is a country that dismisses laws? when they suit the purpose of whoever has power of the mike. as the saying goes, i am outraged at people defending illegals out of some sense of guilt, as an african american i know the detrimental impact,having unchecked borders has had on the african american community.and how we have been pushed out of the job market,these people don’t move into affluent liberal white communities either or compete with them for affordable housing either.

  • Cheryl

    Mr. Shauger is unfortunately one of those people who could be called “intentionally illiterate”.
    As some one of Native American heritage ( we’ve been here for thousands of years) I have a real issue with this law. What exactly is an illegal immigrant supposed to “look” like? How in the world do you figure that one out without even considering skin color? What happens to African Americans who were born in the south before they issued birth certificates? Can they be detained too? This is a bigger mess than law enforcement should have to deal with. The idea that private citizens can sue law enforcement for not racial profiling is what will happen, even though it violates governmental sovereignty (if you want to sue the government you must have the government’s permission) On top of that “reasonable suspicion” is too broad and too low of a burden to be allowed in American law. The burden is probable cause and that would mean that immigration status couldn’t become an issue unless someone was being stopped for something else first. This lower standard makes the law vague and over-broad and therefore it is unconstitutional, but unfortunately in order to get this thrown out someone would have to be harassed or detained first.
    I’m sick of all the whining, crying on the right. If they aren’t making unconstitutional laws they’re filing frivolous lawsuits (and yet they still complain about tort reform-it’s also only class warfare when some one who isn’t a millionaire speaks out) To the unevolved right : Your elite ruined things so you have no right whatsoever to lead or have any kind of privilege at all. All rights are Equal-that means everybody has them. White people are illegal immigrants too-my ancestors didn’t invite you so the least you could do is mind your manners or go back to Europe (oh wait a minute-they’re socialists)

  • Angry

    As a real WASP whose ancestors arrived in the 1600’s. I find this legislation and the attitudes of those supporting it really offensive. The U.S. was born of immigrants. If you don’t like immigrants then you should go back to where YOUR family came from. Immigrants have made America what it is, and not just those who came when my family came. From our Founding Fathers to our founders of Google and other hi-tech firms we wouldn’t be who we are without these immigrants.
    For Franklyn Jones. Yes I have a social security number, but I lost the card maybe 40 years ago(by the way by federal law that card is not to be used for ID purposes, I believe). I don’t drive anymore so I have no driving license. My only picture identification is my passport. Do I have to carry that with me to visit Arizona? I know there is a 1940’s federal law requiring non-citizen visitors to the US to carry their passport at all times, but in 45 years of living and traveling abroad, I have never been asked by any foreign policeman or other official to show any identification except in crossing a border or when I went to a government office for business purposes. The Nazification of the US is one reason I rarely return to the US to visit.

  • Tom A. F.

    Alot of opinions and sincere expressions of concern for justice. I don’t know if my experiences are unique, but, my friend and I were stopped by the police every night we went out to a high school football game, a dance, to the store, to the movies, in the early 60’s, in San Diego, California. And we were white, cleanly dressed males. I know blacks and latinos must have had it much worse. I would find it difficult to believe that more than 80% of the people the police stopped and interrogated had committed or intended to commit any crimes. Having experienced this kind of harrasment, I have no doubt law enforcers will end up treating America’s indigenous or our fellow citizens with latin bloodlines cruely. Most reasonable Americans know that our archaic, criminalizing drug laws have created this huge, profitable international gang cartel business/war. Legalize drug use, provide it free to the user/abusers, monitor/treat them, eliminate the profiteering/cartel/competition for dominating territories. We feed this Frankenstein with our stubborn ignorance. No more drug profits, no more killing for drug profits. Damn.

  • jeff

    i wonder whether this Arizona law contains any provisions applicable to those in the state who hire illegal immigrants. if not, why not?

  • Arturo_Vandelay

    It’s nice that somebody is out there to watch hate only from the right. Turning a blind eye to the hundred million plus the left killed in the last century is a small oversight.

    As for Arizona, I have no idea how people think you can stop illegal immigration without checking any IDs for any reason. If you are for open borders just say so. It’s an honest answer, and though I don’t agree I’d respect it.

    Folks who get green cards are expected to carry them all the time, is that racist? Mexican is NOT a race, it’s a nationality. A nation that treats illegal visitors VERY harshly. To have them lecture Americans about how immigrants and visitors are treated is the very pinnacle of hypocrisy.

    Just carry “a driver’s license, a non-operating identification license, valid tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal identification, or “any valid United States federal, state, or local government issued identification.”

    and you should be fine in AZ.

    Just read the law.

  • Rebecca

    This guy Kobach tried to take down a bill passed in Nebraska that allows children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state college tuition. When he testified in favor of appeal, one state senator asked him about FAIR’s record and cited SPLC’s labeling of FAIR as a racist group. It was so satisfying to see him squirm a bit. . . I’m very grateful for SPLC shining a light on these issues.

  • Tezuka fan

    @ franklyn jones,
    Actually, according to Politifact, the police don’t have to see a crime before checking legal status.
    Here’s the link:
    In short, a police officer just has to be in “lawful contact” with someone (which could be anything from asking a police officer for directions, reporting a crime to a police officer, or being a victim of a crime or a witness and being questioned by a police officer) then, with “reasonable suspicion” (one of the major issues people have with this law), an officer could ask for the pertinent documents.

  • Gary M

    Arizonans are being murdered by drug-running illegal aliens, on their own property. Southern Arizona is a war zone. Blackhawk helicopters clatter overhead. Border Patrol Hummers are poised on almost every overpass. Drag strips parallel east-west roads for miles and miles. Portable observation posts pop up here and there. All this law does is allow local law enforcement to verify the residency of illegal aliens in the course of a lawful law enforcement contact. I have to show my drivers license…why doesn’t an alien have to show a green card or passport? For those outside of AZ, and for those who are inside and clueless–please stuff the “bigotry” issue. Arizona is a strongly integrated state; our law enforcement agencies are very diverse–in fact, I suspect that with affirmative action, some agencies have disproportionately high numbers of minorities. These folks are not going to go out and racially profile, any more than they’d look in a mirror and arrest themselves. But when they show up at the typical van rollover north of Tucson and chase down the 20 “victims” who scurry into the desert, well yes, they WILL check for immigration status, and those who are here illegally will be turned to the feds–and if need be, charged with trespassing. Enough is enough.

  • Emmett

    A recent Rasmussen poll showed that over 70% of Arizonans support SB 1070, while merely 23% oppose it. With all the hysteria that the mainstream media and leftist organizations are whipping up, it’s glaringly obvious just how out of touch they are with the people of Arizona, and with the threats of boycotts and lawsuits against the State, how far they are willing to go to ram their own agenda down the people’s throats. I won’t stand by and do nothing, while La Raza, MECHA and that Chicano nationalist Grijalva run their mouths. Just like during the Mohamed cartoons controversy I made sure to buy Danish products and merchandise (I even bought a Lego set for my nephew) in order to show my solidarity with Denmark and support freedom of speech, I will do the same for Arizona. I’ve already visited Arizona before, and I’ve booked my this year’s summer vacation there, because I’m looking forward to visiting Grand Canyon once again.

  • Don Quixote

    It it smells and barks like a dog, then it must be a dog.

    Which brings us to this law, which…

    a) was authored by a hate group,
    b) was sponsored and introduced by a white supremacist, anti-semite affiliated with the neo-nazis, and
    c) has language the the governor of the state couldn’t explain. When prodded during the signing she outright admitted that race was a factor, and when pressed some more, could not articulate the other factors.

    Ergo, this law is a dog, a rabid, racist, unconstitutional dog and it will most definitely be put to sleep and everyone with their fingerprints will go down in history, only not in a good way.

  • Marisa

    I hate to say this, Ray, but you need to educate yourself a little. I, too, believe that immigrants should come to the U.S. LEGALLY, but they haven’t always done that, and it didn’t matter where they came from. Mexicans, Polish, Irish, etc., sre NOT races. All are Caucasians, and Caucasians come in many colors – they are ethnic groups but not races. And – when people are treated humanely and not like criminals, they’re more likely to “assimilate” than those who are scared all the time.

  • Jack

    Seems something missed here is that the issue is everyone stopped by police and there is “reasonable suspicion” must provide proof of citizenship or be taken in.
    Are only Latin American’s not here in a legal status? Certainly not. Are only people who appear “Mexican” (whatever that is) going to be stopped? To avoid racial profiling will anyone with an accent be asked for proof? Is the only concern with immigrants who are not white? The police and sheriff don’t support this law… why do others.

  • Alex Lange

    RaeAnna said: The fact that Arizona intends to enforce the law has prompted cries of racism from the ill-informed.

    As I said above, it may be interesting to note that the Sherriff of Pima County, Arizona, (which borders Mexico) states quite bluntly that his office has no intention of enforcing this law, because they’re “damned if they do and damned if they don’t.”

    “Sheriff Clarence Dupnik says that he can’t enforce the Arizona Illegal Immigration law without racial profiling. In the video below, the Sheriff also said that the law is “disgusting” and “unnecessary” and “one of the worst pieces of legislation” he’s ever seen in 50 years. He’s expected to get sued if he doesn’t enforce the law and get sued if he does enforce the law. Dupnik says Federal law supersedes state law, so he will follow federal law.


  • Kate De Braose

    Mary Ellen

    The USA has hosted and still protects the most blood-curdling of Hitler’s Nazis. I’m afraid that nobody considers needy Mexicans to be the most dangerous of people.

    Calm down and keep your wits about you. Private armies are your biggest enemy. Look at Blackwater.

  • bryony1

    –They don’t want to surrender citizenship to their former home (the one they left for a better life in the U.S.)
    – They don’t want to learn to speak, read, or write English (in spite of the fact that ESL classes are offered to them free of charge)
    – They do not want to swear allegiance to the U.S. Constitution (the document written to guarantee rights as citizens)
    – They do not want to learn American history (although Americans who do not recognize the historical significance of national holidays from an immigrant’s home country are labeled “racist”)
    – They are of low moral character or even criminals”

    I’d like to see proof of these hate-ridden allegations. Also I’d like to see proof of this:

    “Several Americans are killed by illegal aliens (nationwide) every day (murders, car accidents, etc.).”

    First, there are no statistics for either of these
    execrable sets of allegations.

    Second, no one spewing at illegal immigrants addresses the author of the Arizona law, a well-known hate-spewer with a legal background, who left the DOJ to join a well-known white supremacist group. That Gov. Brewer signed the law written by this supremacist shows very clearly what her own feelings are on the matter — in sympathy with supremacists.

    Third, there wouldn’t be a violent drug problem at the border if good old Americans didn’t willingly buy the drugs being brought into this country. If there wasn’t a big market for these drugs right here in the U.S., among people of all races and ethnicities, including Western European-descended Americans, the drug problems would disappear overnight.

    I’m happy to learn there’s now a boycott against travel to and tourism in Arizona. San Francisco and many other cities and counties have or are in the process of establishing such bans. When Arizona feels the pinch, as it did when it very misguidedly chose to refuse to acknowledge a holiday for the Rev. Martin Luther King and thus lost the Super Bowl that same year as well endured a steep drop in tourism, this law, like that one, will be quickly repealed.

  • Lara N.

    My family and I came to USA in 1968, we came in with a VISA, which is required by LAW to do. Then we applied for a green card, which is by LAW to do if a person wants to live and work legally in USA. And then in 2002, I became an american citizen by choice. Now if My family and I were able to do everything to be legal in this country. Then why is it so hard for those who refuse to do the same.

    This law in Arizona has nothig to do with race, it has everything to do with having people respect the laws in this country and enforcing our laws.. If Obama and their supporters are going to use the term racial profiling lets remember how many Muslims are still being racial profiled or how many Palenstine people are being racical profiled in Israel or how the laws in Mexico makes a person a felon if they enter the country illegally.. why is it these other incidents are not focused as racical profiling, but when a state enforces their laws it is ?
    Its called hypocritical and it needs to stop.

    There is a old saying” its takes a racists to know a racists “. And many people forgets to look in the mirror I guess.

  • Obed Arango

    Mary Elllen, bacause the world is bigger of what you imagine. Bacause US has concentrated the rescources of the world and people immigrate for resources. Because Immigration is the reverse history of colonialism and imperalism.


  • Bruce

    “Hate Group Lawyer Drafted Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant Law”

    Is this an “Anti-Immigrant Law” as the title reads or simple an Illegal Immigrant Law?

    Is this law in Arizona saying that there is to be no immigration or no illegal immigration?

    If it is simply focusing on illegal immigration, what is the problem with that? I don’t want illegal immigration but legal immigrants are great. Lets keep the hate speech down and uphold the law of the land.

  • Ellen Judith

    Hear ye hear ye, Racism by any other name is still racism.
    Arizona arparteid is your middle name, Shame shame now thine name, The shock and awe statements are regrettably the usual talking pts, for whites only,who indulge in anti-immigrant sentiments not to mentioned the shocking statement supposedly thought through. No one is folled since this is masked bigoted speak,

  • Ray H

    to Alice 215

    So your justifying illegal immigration so they can make a better life for their family? No one has ever said that immigrants cannot come and earn a living, we just want it to be done LEGALLY. You talk about loss of Mexico’s jobs to China, but fail to recognize jobs lost here to illegal immigrants of ALL RACES-Mexican, Polish, Irish, etc..Did it ever occur to you (and others) that if they were here legally, they would be better accepted and even get better jobs to help their families? America is supposed to be the melting pot where people assimulate into society. But yet, there are many communities here in Chicago in which the members have never leave their neighborhood. Why? because they are here illegally. They will never assimulate and therefore (accept in rare cases) will never earn anything minimum wages. How is this benefitting them?

  • RaeAnna

    The requirement that immigrants produce identification papers is nothing new. Please see the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services brochure “Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants,” p. 8, “Your Rights and Responsibilities.”
    ” As a permanent resident it is your responsibility to:
    — Obey all state, federal, and local laws
    — Pay federal, state, and local income taxes
    — Register with the Selective Service if you are a male between the ages of 18 and 26
    — Maintain your immigration status
    — Carry proof of permanent resident status at all times
    — Change your address online or provide it in writing to the Department of Homeland Security within 10 days each time you move”

    Clearly, the Arizona law mirrors federal law that has been in place for years. The fact that Arizona intends to enforce the law has prompted cries of racism from the ill-informed.
    Applying the “racist” or “Nazi” label to argue against the Arizona law demonstrates a shallow understanding of established immigration law and discredits its opponents.

    Eligibility for citizenship, also clearly defined by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, requires no more of an applicant than is expected of a public school student at the sixth grade level.

    One can only presume that immigrants who remain here illegally do so by choice for one or more of the following reasons:
    –They don’t want to surrender citizenship to their former home (the one they left for a better life in the U.S.)
    — They don’t want to learn to speak, read, or write English (in spite of the fact that ESL classes are offered to them free of charge)
    — They do not want to swear allegiance to the U.S. Constitution (the document written to guarantee rights as citizens)
    — They do not want to learn American history (although Americans who do not recognize the historical significance of national holidays from an immigrant’s home country are labeled “racist”)
    — They are of low moral character or even criminals

    Arizonans have a long history of embracing their heritage and take pride in cultural diversity unique to their state. Attempts to disparage the character of Arizonans — who drafted the immigration law, congressmen who voted for the law, a governor who inked the law, or the officials who have a duty to defend the law — are ill-conceived and have no basis in constitutional law.

  • Ray H

    Not only is there 70% approval rate in Arizona, but an over 60% approval rate nationwide. Obviously people want something done about illegal immigration, and it doesn’t seem to be amnesty. If your here illegally, you should be arrested and sent to your country of origin, period. Racial profiling doesn’t have anything to do with this law. If anyone knows a little bit about criminal law and the Constitution, they would know that under Terry v Ohio any person can be stopped as long as the officer can articulate that a crime has been, is being, or will be committed. Thats all that is needed for reasonable suspicion. The crime being commited in this case would be entering and remaining in the country illegally.

  • Alex Lange

    > “The law is nothing about racial profiling. ”

    There’s a thing called “enforcing the law” that always puts a twist on any law’s text.

    Exactly how would Mr. Shauger go about enforcing this law without relying on “reasonable suspicion’s” need to account for a suspect’s racial characteristics?

    It may be interesting to note that the Sherriff of Pima County, Arizona, (which borders Mexico) states quite bluntly that his office has no intention of enforcing this law, because they’re “damned if they do and damned if they don’t.”

  • jerilyn kay miller

    This will be easy to comment. Ms Kate Robinson
    has put all this in nutshell. So truthful, everyone please read
    Kate’s comments. Thanx, Kate, j

  • David

    That is the problem. You don’t need to bring proof of citizenship with you to Arizona, unless you happen to have brown skin. I for one plan to either stay out of the sun or stay out of Arizona.

  • beholder

    Fascinating and very relevant. Thanks SPLC!

  • Mary

    I see just as much hate spewed from both sides of any argument especially this one.

  • Kent B.

    I agree with much of what Heidi had to say but not with how she said it. When you label people racist and refere to groups as hate groups you end up losing people that might otherwise listen to you. Let the facts speak for themselves. Rather than calling a group a hate group talk about the hateful actions of the group.

    Should I start carrying around a copy of my birth certificate because my state borders Canada?

  • franklyn jones

    Every American Citizen born in this Country has a Social Security number and card (that is proof) Any Legal Alien in this country has a temp. visa. like to attend school . Antone driving an automobile has a drivers license. The Law is very clear (MUCH LIKE A SEAT BELT LAW , FIRST AN OFFENSE MUST BE COMMITTED BEFORE ANY ACTION ON THE SEAT BELT CHARGE) the same with the Immigration Law , an offense must first be committed before asking about the citizenship. A police officer can not just indiscriminately pick someone out of a crowd and ask about citizenship.
    This law very closely parallels the “PRESENT FEDERAL STATUTE” , so to call it unconstitutional is ridiculous. We are talking about criminals here (they are illegal aliens not undocumented immigrants).

  • Alice 215

    Mr. Shauger (and those like him) Immigrants don’t “want” to leave their countries. They are not here to invade the USA. They are trying to make a better life for their families just like you and I. Most of their earnings get sent back to the families they left. Our country, big business, is the cause for most of the loss of jobs. NAFTA has caused loss of jobs here in the US too. Large companies put their factories in countries with the cheapest labor which is China right now. Mexico did have lots of businesses move there but now they are leaving for lower wages. How dare they get .90 cents an hour when the Chinese will do it for .30 to .40 cents an hour. Not to mention the chaos created in Mexico by the illegal drug trade that comes through to the US. These issues must be addressed to look for answers to immigration problems.Huge multinational companies are creating most of the problems here and abroad and we are to busy hating each other instead of pointing our fingers at the real enemy.

  • jim Lopey

    Most people who are criticizing Arizona’s new law haven’t worked the streets as peace officers. It’s easy for pencil pushing lawyers and white collar types to criticize that which they know little about. Ride in a squad car for a few days and you’ll get educated. Illegal immigration affects most communities. The FEDs haven’t gotten the job done, despite having a lot of dedicated people trying). The locals are ones who shoulder the adverse results once illegals are in this country. I can see why Arizona is frustrated. Phoenix supposedly averages one kidnapping a day (mostly Latinos preying on other Latinos). Latino dominated drug cartels, prison gangs, street gangs and other thugs are killing each other daily. Several Americans are killed by illegal aliens (nationwide) every day (murders, car accidents, etc.). People are fools if they don’t think illegal immigration is affecting crime and the quality of life. We have laws that should be followed. I agree that most immigrants from south of the border and elsewhere are good, hard working people, but with that said, what about the other 10% who are peddling drugs, commiting homicides and other crimes (applies to other ethnic groups as well/including Europeans, etc). We need an orderly process for admitting immigrants into this country, not DISORDER. We have a problem and it needs to be fixed. Arizona’s law also appears to follow the federal law–right or wrong they are trying to survive and send an important message. Also Racial Profiling gets thrown around freely–we did studies in our state and discovered that in our community, white males were contacted more than latinos and blacks, commensurate with the population. Arizona has some good law enforcement, but cannot continue to bear the burden of illegal immigration–neither can our country. The money isn’t there anymore. I find it ironic that the Federal Government would criticize Arizona, yet I don’t see them coming up with a viable plan. In fact I see them offering amnesty to all–which will not solve the problem and in 10 years we’ll be offering amnesty again and still have the same issues. Why should anyone follow the law if they know they won’t be punished? Perhaps the states need to take action, because it’s not coming out of Washington.

  • Stephen Manning


    Those overmatched in discourse hurl insults, lie and question facts.

    This writer backs up assertions with fact and obvious research.

    You exhibit typical behavior and speech patterns most of us associate with fanaticism.

  • Brad Hoover

    Yes AZ has immigration concerns that need to be listened to…HOWEVER. this law is the wrong way to go about it. Requiring local law enforcement to act as immigration agents sends a chill to those who value liberty & states rights. The same people who didnt like national health care dont seem to mind federalizing the police? Whats up with that?

  • Robin White

    On a personal note, this brings out the activist in me. I am a 7th-generation Texan with a slightly dark complexion who will “wear the armband” next time I travel to Arizona.

    Perhaps we’ll get a chance to get this into court.

    Seños, it is not Sonora (the state or the desert) but an emerging xenophobic urban culture disconnected from the land, its culture and most of its people. This is not unique to Arizona, as we have seen similar bills and local ordinances in other states, nearly every one thrown out on its ear by a competent court.

  • Peter Stevens

    I find it interesting that you are attacking Mr. Shauger. When there is a 70% approval (I am not sure I would call this a “small minority” Ms. Robinson) in the State of Arizona concerning this law. The reality of the situation there will be no “racial profiling” and to say there will says a lot about your trust for the police profession. Secondly, if you in the country ILLEGALLY what kind of treatment would you like? Maybe you should consider illegally migrating to an alleged “sanctuary city” who won’t accept you either.

  • Mary Ellen

    I feel that my heart is in a good place. I hold no rancor toward Hispanics. Nor do I resent immigrants. But, I absolutely detest people who lie and cheat to get what they want. That includes citizenship. Why shouldn’t these people wait in line like every other nationality and ethnicity does? I wish just ONE PERSON would give me a rational reason rather than a lot of political babble and accompanying histrionics. I am disillusioned with SPLC for their employing this inflammatory rhetoric. Is it really so difficult to understand my concern:

  • tyrone mixon

    How can people figure this won’t leave room for profiling? Most of the drug laws now allow for profiling.

    I think it just to much talk anyway. First things first, is the person here illegally? yes? then that’s as far as we need to go. Pack your back pack and let’s go.

  • Mitch Beales

    Perhaps Mr. Shauger has read the law and can let us know what sort of proof of citizenship one needs to bring along on a trip to Arizona.

  • Carter

    Arizona has long met with a great deal of challenges. It is a very conservative state with a history of Libertarian; “just let me live my life the way I want to” sentiment with long time residents. For people of color that sentiment was reassuring & it still has powerful support here.
    Barry Goldwater spoke out to the effect that gay individuals should be left to live their lives as they choose to. That was the old school Libertarian / conservative ideal that Goldwater shared with a heartfelt anti-communist stance strengthened by Stalinist atrocities & excesses.
    As a working class man of color myself, I felt no threatening element from that quarter.
    But lately many conservative venues have had racist elements “piggy-back” on their agenda and blur the message quite effectively. – That has given me cause to worry.

    Each state of the USA has it’s own flavor and culture (for lack of a better description). Arizona is unique. It’s a Boarder State, it has several University communities, & has had a great deal of visitors as well as a indigenous population. The indigenous population has often remembered the “old Arizona” that was a sister state with Senora. Both shared their values with the Tribal population & as I traveled to other states I grew to understand that Arizona, at that time, was quite free of racial prejudice….compared to other places I had seen in my lifetime.
    The growth of my state has brought with it some many challenges: some of which I find disgusting. That is why I deeply believe that there exists an “anti-growth” element in our state.
    Developers tried to cram bee-hive type housing in grazing land and attempted to make easy moving highways into “Freeways”.
    The Tribal lands have benefited from the casinos but the children have often been treated like beings from another world by the best intentioned new-comers. I wish Arizona could go back to the way it was when the population was 75% less than it is today. But those days are lost.
    Now, we have to deal with stupidity like the issues presented above. It’s a pity.

  • Don

    Shauger you absolute fool. If you can’t read this bill and understand it’s total racist attack on Hispanic people you should just sell your computer, vacate the web and go back to your obvious Ku Klux Klan sympathies. Your hatred is so obvious it is sickening to us honest and fair minded citizens.

  • Kate Robinson

    Mr. Shauger:

    Clearly the author of this article knows EXACTLY what she is talking about. I’ve lived in Arizona for 36 years, and there is a small but vocal minority who support examples of trash legislation coming from horrendously dubious sources such as this. If Gov Jan Brewer had her wits about her rather than desperation for votes in the November election, she would have vetoed this law.

    There are far more intelligent ways to deal with illegal immigration and the dubious drug war. That this bill was passed almost in tandem with a conceal/carry weapons law shows the true nature of these pitiful, frightened, and racist people. None of this has ANYTHING to do with the upstanding principles our country was based on and anyone who cares about the US Constitution and these principles will not support it.

  • David H. Shauger

    Why don’t you read the law, instead of commenting on something you obviously know nothing about. The law is nothing about racial profiling. Go shove your “discharge” at someone who doesn’t know how to think!