Sunday, August 15, 2010

LePage's Mainizona?

A press release from the Maine Republican Victory Campaign made the rounds over the weekend, excerpts follow:


AUGUSTA - A resolution in support of Arizona's right to enforce existing federal immigration laws was passed last week at the Republican National Committee meeting in Kansas City. The resolution was introduced by Maine GOP Committeewoman Jan Staples, and received unanimous support.

"Maine Republicans stand with the people of Arizona," said Staples. "As a border state, we understand the gravity of this issue. The safety of our citizens is of paramount importance, and Arizonans have the right to protect themselves in light of lax federal enforcement."

The resolution cites specific support of S.B. 1070, a bill passed by the Arizona legislature and signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer.

A recent Rasmussen Reports poll showed a majority of Mainers support the passage
of an Arizona-like law in Maine, with only 39% supporting the Obama Administration's decision to sue the state of Arizona.

"We are proud that Maine is leading the way in support of Arizona," said Maine GOP Chair Charlie Webster.

I am struck by the reference to "passage of an Arizona-like law in Maine". Is this part of what the Maine Republican Victory Campaign hopes to achieve in the future?

After all the concern and exceptions extended to businesses and families who enjoyed decades of cross border relaxed exchanges between Maine and our Canadian neighbors during the move to new passport requirements, do Republicans now want to have local law enforcement officials during stops to attempt to determine a person's immigration status given some sort of suspicion that the person is an "illegal alien"?

At the heart of the Arizona debacle is that profiling of Hispanics will necessarily take place in actual police practice despite how the law is written. What type of profiling in Maine would take place? Perhaps a French accent would prompt a demand for papers. Can we expect Paul LePage to reject this resolution and to speak out forcefully in opposition to such a law and the malpractice of it in Maine on behalf of border communities and Franco-American Maine citizens? Of course this would occur only if he is a truly common sense thinker he purports to be and not just another rigid right-wing politician.

The Republican Party resolution referenced follows:

WHEREAS, the United States has a rich tradition of extending the promise and opportunity of America to immigrants who legally enter her borders; and

WHEREAS, America recognizes the contributions of generations of immigrants legally entering the country have made to the economy and culture of the United States; and
WHEREAS immigration that is both legal and controlled allows immigrants coming to America to openly assimilate into the culture of their adoptive home and, therefore, more readily reap the benefits available to all who reside legally within the borders of the United States; and

WHEREAS, the federal government, through lax enforcement of the federal immigration laws, has failed to protect our nation's borders, our citizens and legal residents by stopping the flow of illegal border crossings; and

WHEREAS, the State of Arizona, to protect its citizens, legal residents and visitors, has therefore passed S.B. 1070 to enforce standing federal statutes concerning immigration; and

WHEREAS, the Arizona law mirrors federal immigration law and does not provide any additional burdens on any person legally present in the United States; and

WHEREAS, enforcement of the Arizona law explicitly prohibits profiling; and

WHEREAS, the rule of law has been, and should continue to be, the basis of governance in this country; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that The Republican National Committee supports the State of Arizona's right and responsibility to provide security and stability for its citizens; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Republican National Committee supports the State of Arizona's effort to protect its citizens, residents and visitors through the passage of S.B. 1070.

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