The GOP announced late on Tuesday that it wants to push for Arizona-style immigration policies as an official party plank. The new plank as reported by Arizona Central reads, “state efforts to reduce illegal immigration must be encouraged, not attacked.” The new plank will be presented at the Republican National Convention.
That simple, short sentence holds a whole lot of dynamite. The man behind the newest addition to the GOP platform is Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who urged the addition of the immigration policy to be reinstated. It had been part of the 2008 Republican platform but had not been officially added until last week at Kobach’s incessant urging.
This newest version of the plank includes a mandate that says government funds should be withheld from universities that allow undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition. Furthermore, “sanctuary cities” that do not enforce new immigration laws will be denied federal funds.
The new plank even demands that current lawsuits against immigration laws throughout the United States be withdrawn. This policy means that SB 1070, the Arizona bill that allows law enforcement to ask for papers from anyone they stop in Arizona, often based on racial stereotypes and discrimination, would be given free reign. Arizona Central points out that this past June, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the portion of SB 1070 that allows law enforcement to ask for papers from people they suspect are undocumented.
Some surprising personalities have joined on the band wagon regarding the strict immigration policies of the GOP. Right Wing Watch notes that Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference has joined the ranks of the GOP. Although this political leader has been trying to garner votes from Latino voters and has also tried to tone down the GOP stance on immigration, it appears he will side with Republicans at the end of the day. He will even share the stage with Sheriff Joe Arpaio at the RNC. Arpaio is most commonly known for his draconian detention policies in Arizona.
It appears that for Rodriguez, helping the GOP is more important than opposing anti-immigrant policies and activists. Rodriguez is scheduled to share the spotlight at the Republican National Convention with none other than Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Arpaio has been in national headlines for many months and faces a number of serious charges regarding his civil rights records. Sheriff Arpaio’s most recent fiasco involved arresting a 6-year-old that he demanded should be deported from Arizona. Jan Brewer and Joe Arpaio, the main political organizers of anti-immigration policy in Arizona, have become icons of merciless attacks on undocumented people in the state.
Just this year, a local Arizona woman was arrested and kept in jail for over four months because officials refused to believe she was a citizen, even though she was. The GOP apparently finds this model of immigration policy appealing and highly effective, which isn’t very surprising considering the rest of the planks they stand upon, especially the constitutional ban on abortion.
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