The next day, I posted an editorial from the The Washington Post by Phil Gordon, the Mayor of Phoenix, denouncing the law as "hateful" thanks to "political opportunists such as state Sen. Russell Pearce (the author of the legislation), and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio." (Maricopa County encompasses the majority of the Phoenix Metropolitan area.)
As it turns out, Pearce was not the author of the law, but merely its sponsor in the State Legislature. In the May 31, 2010 print edition of The Arizona Republic newspaper the author was Kris Kobach, an immigration attorney from Topeka, Kansas.
Kobach, however, is not your garden variety attorney who helps immigrants with US work permits or attaining citizenship. On the contrary, he is a member of FAIR — the Federation for American Immigration Reform — an organization recently listed as a nativist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
A May 10, 2010 article by John Hanna of the Associated Press had this to say:
Before the law was passed ... Kobach spent several years consulting with its main sponsor [Pearce]. And he has a $300-an-hour contract to teach deputies in Maricopa County [Arpaio], which includes Phoenix, to enforce immigration policies. [Bold is mine]Bill Straus, Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Arizona office, said in a February 9, 2010 press release, which I have as a Microsoft Word document:
We find it absolutely outrageous that Sheriff Arpaio has chosen an individual with an obvious bias, who works on behalf of an anti-immigrant group to conduct training on immigration law and ethnic profiling. This shows that he is not serious about dealing with the concerns that have been raised about his tactics and treatment of immigrants.Well isn't this a cozy little bunch. I've shown that all three compadres (excuse me, gentlemen) have links to white supremacist or neo-Nazi groups. This is not immigration reform, but unabashed hatred of any human being who is not White.
Pearce isn't finished, not by a long shot with a willing and compliant legislature and governor — a Republican governor whom we inherited after Democrat Janet Napolitano was tapped by the Obama administration for Director of Homeland Security. Napolitano kept Pearce in check by vetoing and shredding all his bills that sullied her desk. Jan Brewer, however, is a staunch supporter.
The last paragraph of The Arizona Republic's report is totally outrageous:
Next year, Pearce has said, he will propose a measure that would make Arizona the first state to stop the practice of giving citizenship to children who are born in the United States to illegal immigrant parents. Ending the practice of granting citizenship to "anchor babies," as they are sometimes called, is one of FAIR's legislative goals and is supported by Kobach.Never mind that immigration law is a federal matter; Pearce, Arpaio, and Kobach openly disregard it. And why shouldn't they? The reaction so far from President Obama is a shaking of his head and his usual speechifying.