But right now, for the people of Arizona, this is not (from I gathered) this is not even an immigration issue. This is a public safety issue. And the fact is that Mexican drug violence has tragically crossed over the border and into an American state and American cities. So I congratulate them on taking steps to clarify even further the intent of the law.
This part of the interview flagged by Ben Smith also seems worth repeating:
"There are going to be stories of very young kids that were brought to this country at a very young age who don’t even speak Spanish that are going to be sent back to Nicaragua or some other place. And it’s gonna feel weird and I understand that," he said, suggesting that those hardships would be a price worth paying.
Drug violence from Mexico hasn't carried over and the undocumented population in Arizona has decreased over the past couple of years. But the thing that stands out to me is that Rubio is telling his conservative audience that the kind of suffering the law will cause for people who haven't committed a crime -- like the children of undocumented immigrants -- a suffering he "understands," doesn't matter. This is of a piece with the general burden facing minorities in the Republican Party, where signaling that they accept the predominant racial views of their party is necessary for acceptance.
In what was perhaps an unintentionally revealing quote, Ann Coulter said a few days ago regarding Rubio's initial opposition to the law, "I'm a little upset about that. I thought you were going to be good, Marco. ... People get bullied into taking silly positions."
Indeed. If you want to be a person of color in the Republican Party, apparently you have to "be good."
-- A. Serwer