The Center for American Progress is out with the results of a study that purports to show the adverse economic effects that Arizona’s economy suffered as the result of conference cancellations and economic boycotts in the wake of the state’s controversial S.B. 1070, which gave police the authority to check on citizen status under some circumstances.
The study itself is fine; it is by a reputable research group, and anything can be studied. The Center’s use of it is manipulative, deceptive and hypocritical, however.
The first clue is how the Center characterizes the law itself in the opening sentence of its announcement of the results: “harsh, anti-immigrant legislation.” That’s two misrepresentations in three words, a .667 dishonesty average. Asking non-citizens to confirm their legality is by no means “harsh,” and the legislation was not “anti-immigrant.” It was anti-illegal immigrant, as all elected officials, law enforcement personnel, and American citizens should be. The use of the “anti-immigrant” phrase is a dead giveaway that The Center for American Progress is not anti-illegal immigration, and is therefore pro-lawlessness and open borders.
Next, though the Center’s release document purports to be interested in the benign goal of letting other states know that there are “practical” considerations when they decide to do what the Federal Government refuses to do—enforce immigration restrictions—what the report really does is serve as a thinly-veiled threat to other communities: “This can happen to you, and we can make it happen.” The Center and its allies have encouraged and supported boycotts of Arizona, and now helpfully release a commissioned study to show how damaging and successful their efforts were. This is like mob thugs who break the legs of snitches and then release “objective” X-rays of the victims…just for informational purposes, you understand.
Finally, and worst of all, the Center’s implicit argument from the study results is that standing up the rule of law is too expensive, and that’s what matters most. Similar logic could be used to dismiss all law enforcement; after all, it’s damn expensive too. After all, locking up citizens who are criminals could be called “anti-citizen,” in the Bizarro World of the Center for American Progress. The unethical boycotts of Arizona businesses, harming Arizonans in a recession to punish their legislature for a legitimate and courageous statement of principle, should, by the Center’s logic, be capitulated to and acknowledged as such a great threat that state efforts to discourage illegal immigration must be abandoned.
The Center’s use of the study is dishonest and extortive. It’s timing is easy to understand, though: last week, another study indicated that an estimated 100,000 illegal immigrants had left Arizona since S.B. 1070 was enacted…without a single arrest. Why? Because the law, as it was supposed to do, made a clear statement that illegals were not welcome, as indeed illegal immigrants should never be. Yet another study, of illegal immigrants in Prince William County, Virginia, showed that the tougher enforcement laws there also worked: 3,000 to 6,000 illegals fled the County in the wake of its laws.
The state and local governments that seek to make a serious effort to discourage illegals are the good guys, with law, ethics, and right on their side. Opponents like The Center for American Progress are willing to use economic bullying tactics, fear-mongering and misrepresentation, and then feign the role of disinterested observers, helpfully calling attention to the hardship caused by the consequences of Arizona’s principled action, when they were the ones that instigated the boycotts. It is no coincidence that the report on the study is called “Stop the Conference.”
The study is really a self-indictment of the opponents of S.B. 1070, like the Center. They caused the harm, not the law; they are the unethical ones, punishing the citizens of a state for not making law-breakers feel welcome.
That is what the study shows.