Gabriel Arana is a senior editor at The American Prospect. His articles on gay rights, immigration, and media have appeared in publications including The Nation, Salon, The Advocate, and The Daily Beast. To contact him, visit his website.
I'm finding Sen. Lindsey Graham's climate bill hissy fit over the weekend hard to understand. Days before the legislation was announced, the senator reportedly walked out of talks on the bill because Democrats -- including Sen. Harry Reid -- plan to prioritize immigration reform.
Graham said he thinks immigration is being rushed for political reasons:
In response to Arizona's crazy anti-immigrant bill, various leaders from civil-rights organizations -- including the Anti-Defamation League, the National Council of La Raza, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights -- called on Gov. Jan Brewer to veto the legislation on a press call today. And as I argued in a previous post, they also said it highlights the need for national immigration reform.
Looks like the nativist group Americans for Legal Immigration (ALIPAC) is getting desperate. William Gheen's rant at a rally "outing" Sen. Lindsey Graham, who supports comprehensive immigration reform, has gone viral. Though Graham has said repeatedly that he is not gay (just single), ALIPAC insists on pushing this line. The organization sent out a press release praising Gheen for correcting the "information imbalance":
As immigrant-rights supporters urge Gov. Jan Brewer to veto Arizona's tough new immigration bill, Randal Archibold at TheNew York Timesexamines how a state with one of the largest Latino populations has come so close to passing the country's most punitive anti-immigrant bill yet. He notes John McCain's change of heart on comprehensive immigration reform and details the political rise of the bill's chief architect, state Rep. Russell Pearce, who went from a Republican "embarrassment" to a party leader.
Most of the reaction to Arizona's passage of a draconian immigration bill -- one that is almost identical to the 2006 bill that set off mass immigration-rights protests across the country -- has focused on whether it will lead to racial profiling. SB 1070, which was approved by the state Legislature Tuesday and is expected to be signed by Gov. Jan Brewer, makes undocumented presence in the state a criminal, rather than a civil, offense. It also empowers local law-enforcement officials to determine the citizenship status of a person if there is a "reasonable suspicion" he or she is undocumented.