The Corner

Rubio on Arizona

The key passage in Rubio’s statement on the Arizona policy is this one: “From what I have read in news reports, I do have concerns about this legislation.” I would have said the same thing before I looked into the legislation, a process that allayed the concerns that the news reports raised. I suggest that Rubio do the same; a good start would be for him to talk to Professor Kris Kobach, who helped to draft the law.

My friend Cesar Conda also seems to have been misled about the law. He writes in Politico, “Under the new law, Arizona police would have the authority to stop anyone on ‘reasonable suspicion’ that they may be an illegal immigrant and arrest them if they are not carrying identity papers or a valid driver’s license. Just think of the implications of this: American citizens of Hispanic descent or even people who look Hispanic could be stopped on the sidewalk by police and asked to produce their identity papers.” Neither the premise nor the conclusion is true. The law does not give police the authority to stop people on the “reasonable suspicion” that they may be an illegal immigrant. See Byron York for an explanation.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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