The Simon Wiesenthal Center, although opposing Arizona’s new immigration-enforcement law, injected a note of common sense into the debate. The Los Angeles City Council and Cardinal Roger Mahoney have compared the law to Nazi Germany, with Mahoney suggesting that it portends a return to the Gestapo and people being forced to inform on one another. The Wiesenthal Center requested that people stop using the Nazi comparison:
No kidding! In fact, it’s both legally and historically illiterate. The law in Arizona, which neither Mahoney nor the City Council appear to have bothered to read, doesn’t set up a snitch system at all. It tasks law-enforcement personnel to check the residency status of people already in some form of custody for other issues when they have a reasonable suspicion that the detainee may be in the country illegally. The result of this law will be that law-enforcement personnel at state and local levels will have to enforce federal immigration laws, in much the same way they already do for federal drug laws (and for that matter anti-terrorism laws), only when a threshold of probable cause has been reached on some other matter.
One can rationally object to the law on the basis of costs, priorities, and focus. But it’s hardly Nazi-like to enforce border and immigration controls. The Jews in Nazi Germany were German, most of them having families that lived for generations and centuries in Germany — and Poland, and Czechoslovakia, and France, and Holland, and everywhere else the Nazis seized them. Jews weren’t emigrating to Germany (for very good reasons) while the Nazis ruled; they were trying to get out. And it’s not irrelevant to point out that the US, among others, wasn’t exactly welcoming to those who wanted to escape, either.
Comparing the two situations is especially ghoulish, and only someone completely unschooled in 20th-century history would make that kind of comparison. It’s idiotic on its face, and highly insulting, which is why the Wiesenthal Center has politely asked the various entities in Los Angeles to pull their craniums from their nether regions.
San Diego tourism leaders and hoteliers fear they could lose a sizable chunk of business this summer from valued “Zonies” who are so angered by elected leaders’ recent censure of Arizona for its illegal-immigration law that they’re mounting an informal boycott of their own.
The San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau and several hotels report receiving e-mails and letters from Arizona visitors saying they intend to change their plans to travel here in light of local outcry over their home state’s anti-illegal-immigration stance.
Tourism officials are striking back. In an open letter, they urge Arizona residents to overlook local politics and come to San Diego just as they always have for its mild climate, beaches and attractions. The visitors bureau, in conjunction with the San Diego County Hotel-Motel Association, plans to circulate the letter to media outlets and in advertising this weekend in The Arizona Republic.
Bruce Kesler is amused:
Seems the School Board voted to place the parents of some of its students in the unemployment line. The School Board should have stuck to the Three “Rs” and not the “I” that tourism officials call “political posturing.” Similar for the City Council, not paying attention to the City’s severe budget deficits, largely the result of pensions for unionized workers.
Good luck with the PR campaign, San Diego. The city can put all of the letters it wants in the Arizona Republic as advertisements, but their own political entities made their animosity to the Arizonans who want immigration laws enforced as clear as daylight on Coronado Island. When their politicians go out of their way to insult people, don’t expect them to bring money in response. Instead of conducting a PR campaign, maybe those political entities should just apologize for their knee-jerk reactions and withdraw their insulting declarations.