GOP congressman: Arizona's law is "un-American," Gestapo-like

An utter disgrace. I can almost forgive this as a misunderstanding given that Arizona’s legislature felt the need to clarify its own law, but misunderstanding is one thing and Nazi analogies are quite another. Every other Republican who’s expressed concerns about the civil-rights implications of the law has managed to avoid the sort of rhetorical filth that the left routinely flings. Not Connie Mack.

“There’s no question that our nation’s immigration policies are in dire straits. We all agree that inaction by both the Bush and the Obama Administrations has compounded this problem and forced states like Arizona to take drastic measures.

“But the new Arizona law strikes a severe blow to freedom and the principles that make our nation strong. This law of ‘frontier justice’ – where law enforcement officials are required to stop anyone based on ‘reasonable suspicion’ that they may be in the country illegally – is reminiscent of a time during World War II when the Gestapo in Germany stopped people on the street and asked for their papers without probable cause. It shouldn’t be against the law to not have proof of citizenship on you.

“This is not the America I grew up in and believe in, and it’s not the America I want my children to grow up in.

“Instead of enacting laws that trample on our freedoms, we should be seeking more ways to create opportunities for immigrants to come to our nation legally and be productive citizens. We must improve our border security both north and south, and make certain that we have sufficient resources in place to enforce our immigration laws.

“America has always been, and should always be, a beacon for those seeking freedom. But as a wise man once said, a government big enough to give you everything is big enough to take it all away – and that includes our freedom to live our lives as we see fit.”

The boldfaced bits are, of course, flatly incorrect, and the part about it being illegal to lack ID is astoundingly demagogic. Nothing in the bill says that; in fact, the section on ID was included as an easy way for suspects to create a presumption that they’re here legally. If you’re stopped and the cop suspects that you’re an illegal, showing him ID is sufficient to put that suspicion to rest. Or, as Kris Kobach (who helped write the law) put it, “[I]t gives any alien with a license a free pass if his immigration status is in doubt.” In other words, lacking ID isn’t grounds for suspicion — which, I remind you, only comes into play after someone’s been detained on suspicion of criminal activity anyway. Rather, having ID is actually a defense to it.

But maybe we’re giving Mack a bad rap. He posted that yesterday, before Arizona revised its law to clarify it. Surely he’d have a different opinion today, right? Nope: Check out his interview with Cavuto this afternoon. Informed criticism of what Arizona did is one thing, bottom-feeding Nazi hyperbole is quite another. Appalling. Exit question for Mack: Why is “reasonable suspicion” in the immigration context a Hitlerian nightmare but reasonable suspicion in the criminal context — which was okayed by the Warren Court more than 40 years ago — peachy keen?

Update: Here’s a nice story to cap off Mack’s diatribe: Earlier this afternoon, an Arizona deputy was shot in the stomach by a suspected, ahem, “undocumented immigrant.” I guess the Gestapo got what was coming to them, right, Connie?

Update: Simply unbelievable. A textbook example on why political discourse between the two sides is now impossible.

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