Steve Russell: Brown people should stay away from Arizona
"When Americans, including even marginally assimilated Natives, see something they don’t like, the reaction is “there oughta be a law.” By “law” they normally mean a criminal law. Hence, we have a discouraging number of reservations that still ban alcohol by tribal law. The ban used to be by federal law and anybody who points out that prohibition enables a criminal class is painted as being in favor of drunkenness. This is pretty much what happened in reaction to my column supporting the boycott of Arizona to secure repeal of the brown in a no-brown zone law.

Republicans have no interest in stopping illegal immigration from Mexico because their supporters benefit from cheap labor and the ability to ignore a lot of pesky regulation.

Democrats have no interest in stopping illegal immigration because great numbers of the immigrants eventually become legal voters who tend to vote Democratic. Democrats also fear offending the substantial Hispanic vote that can already swing many elections in the borderlands.

Arizona cannot enact my plan for the same reason they cannot enact the idiotic law they have. State courts are not competent to determine immigration status in contested cases. Our Constitution places responsibility for immigration policy at the federal level. How much concurrent jurisdiction may be held to exist for states is a matter to be worked out in the courts, and I suppose Arizona will be in the forefront of working it out. In the meantime, brown people who live in Arizona should stay close to home or carry papers. And brown people who don’t live in Arizona should stay away."

Get the Story:
Steve Russell: Raising Arizona for brown people (Indian Country Today 5/24)

Related Stories:
Tohono O'odham Nation opposes state anti-immigration law (5/21)
Muscogee Nation weighs stance on Arizona immigration law (5/13)
Editorial: Taking a stance against state's immigration law (5/7)
Arizona tribes worried about state's anti-immigration law (5/3)
Steve Russell: Don't head to Arizona without your papers (4/28)