Dem Argues Ariz. Law Benefits Drug Dealers

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill. (left), and Republican Senate candidate J.D. Hayworth of Arizona on "Face the Nation" on Sunday, May 2, 2010. Immigration reform illegal immigrant CBS

Arizona's controversial new anti-illegal immigrant law has stirred passions and protests across the country. Supporters say it is a necessary antidote to rising crime and porous borders; opponents say it infringes the civil rights of anyone, including U.S. citizens, who fall prey to racial profiling.

On CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) argued that the law will actually destroy trust between the police and the public, and benefit the drug dealers and other criminals the law's backers claim are its targets.

Heated debate over SB 1070 continued Saturday as rallies protesting the law took place across the country. Immigrants made up large portions of some rallies, with estimates of as many as 50,000 immigrants participating in Los Angeles alone.

In Washington, D.C., about 35 protesters were arrested, including Gutierrez. He said Sunday that his arrest was "part of a response to what I consider the immorality of our broken immigration system. We were protesting the fact that hundreds of thousands of immigrant families have been destroyed."

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Gutierrez said there are approximately 4 million American children whose immigrant parents have been deported or are under threat of deportation. "I was arrested yesterday because it was time to escalate and to elevate the level of awareness and consciousness for all those who tried to reach our shores and can't because our system is broken," he added.

Also on "Face the Nation" was former U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth, who is challenging John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the Arizona Senate race. Hayworth had a much different attitude about the immigration law than Gutierrez.

"I would suggest that the law here in Arizona is designed quite simply to enforce federal law," said Hayworth. "I think what has been going on here has been a massive disinformation campaign and distortion."

Hayworth read directly from the Arizona law: "The law 'shall be implemented in a matter consistent with federal laws regulating immigration, protecting the civil rights of all persons, and respecting the privileges and immunities of United States citizens.'"

Hayworth then asked a question of Gutierrez. "Do you think illegal aliens have done anything wrong by being in this country without authorization?"

Gutierrez said, "Let me tell you what I propose. I want to end illegal immigration as we know it."

One step in ending illegal immigration, he said, is to "go after employers that hire undocumented workers and be very severe with them."

A second part of his plan is more technologically sophisticated, and perhaps radical. "The same Social Security card that my granddad got in the 1930s is the same one my grandson, who is 7 years old, just got. It's time to bring new technology to make sure that everyone that works in America has a Social Security card. I'm ready to give a little blood and a little DNA to prove that I'm legally working in the United States of America."

He continued, "People want to think that if we pass a law [illegal immigrants]'ll go away. They have roots in the community. There are millions of American citizen children. Make them learn English. Make them pay a fine. Make them pay into our system and then put them on the track so that there's some relationship between what they did and the punishment [for entering the country illegally]."

That plan doesn't work for Hayworth. "It's not only illegals coming northward from Mexico," he said. "We've been getting Chinese. We've been getting people from the Middle East. There's a huge criminal component. Just Friday afternoon a sheriff's deputy wounded - apparently surprising - drug smugglers. Now 17 people are in detention, three of them persons of interest in the shooting of the deputy sheriff. This is a major problem.

"For Luis to suggest that somehow we need to forgive people coming into the country illegally — that's the root of the problem. When you enforce the law, people respond to the law."

Gutierrez made clear that he thinks patrolling the borders is just one step of the many needed for immigration reform. "Ten years ago there were 10,000 border patrol agents. There's [20,000 now]. Ten years ago, no fences. Some places we've tripled the fences. It's not working, because in the end it is jobs here in the United States that [illegal immigrants are] able to maintain that brings them," he said.

"I'm ready to put more agents in and triple that border," he said. Gutierrez advocated a "comprehensive plan so that we can take the 12 million that are here, legalize them, make them pay taxes, know who they are, [and] fingerprint them."

He continued, "I don't like criminals, but the people that J.D. is dealing with - they're drug smugglers. They're criminals. They're vicious, ruthless people. I want to combat them."

"Early Show" anchor Harry Smith asked Hayworth if he thought the Arizona law was racist in nature, or is comparable to Nazi Germany's treatment of Jews, as has been alleged by some detractors.

Bristling somewhat, Hayworth said, "That is overblown rhetoric," he said. "What's going on is a deliberate distortion to move this from a question of enforcement to one of ethnicity."

Asked if he'd be nervous if he were a Hispanic man walking on an Arizona street, Hayworth said, "No, I would not because there has to be reasonable suspicions."

Gutierrez didn't buy that the law will not lead to racial profiling. "The law is discriminatory," he said.

In reference to the Latino community, he added, "We're not criminals. We've come here to sweat and to toil and to work hard. Yes, some of us cross that border and some of us overstayed our visa. But by and large, we love this country. To say that somehow we are all this criminal element and to target us with the discriminatory law is wrong. It has galvanized and unified. In the end, doesn't it speak to, sadly, the lack of action of the federal government."

Smith asked about the unintended consequences of the Arizona law. There have been worries that businesses that would otherwise use Arizona's convention centers would hold events elsewhere in protest. Smith said there's been talk that Major League Baseball will not hold the All-Star game in Phoenix this year as planned.

Hayworth said supporters would actually do the opposite: "What I heard from friends in California the other day is that they want to start a 'buycott' — actually come to Arizona, to reaffirm the fact that all we're doing is enforcing federal law."

"[Gutierrez] wants to forgive law-breaking," said Hayworth, referring to illegal border crossings. "The first act of people, no matter their later motivation - to [enter] the country without authorization - is to break our laws. Immigration policy, border security and national security are synonymous. Crime is on the increase. Arizonans have had enough."

Guiterrez argued that, according to the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, crime is actually down. "It's a red herring," said Guiterrez of Hayworth's point.

"Washington, D.C., has to get involved in securing that border. What is the greatest tool the police have in combating crime - I hate those drug dealers [and] I hate those involved in human smuggling - but the greatest asset that the police have are the eyes and the ears of the public. Let's not drive a wedge between the police and the public in general."

He added, "You know who's happy with that [wedge]? Criminals and drug dealers. I want to end illegal immigration as we know it."

CBSNews.com Coverage of Arizona's New Immigration Law:

Manhunt Nets 17 in Ariz. Cop Shooting
Rallies Held Nationwide Against Arizona Law
Dobbs: Protests Against Ariz. Law Just "Theater"
Illegal Immigrants Sought in Ariz. Cop Shooting
Immigration Law Condemned by MLB Players' Union
Arizonans Say Immigration Law Will Reduce Crime
Rick Perry Has Concerns over Arizona Immigration Bill
Can Dems Do Immigration Reform this Year?
Arizona Immigration Law Backlash Intensifies
Ariz. Immigration Debate Zeros in on Baseball
2 Lawsuits Challenge Immigration Ariz. Law
Web Turns into Weapon in Immigration Fight
City Councils Mull Ariz. Boycotts Over Immigration Law
  • David Riedel

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