I’ve learned in my marriage that it’s not necessarily what I say to my wife, but how I say it. I refer to this as “packaging” skills. This is where the legislation went wrong concerning the new immigration law (SB 1070) and why the great state of Arizona is facing national protests and boycotts from cities nationwide.
The immigration law has been packaged as “let’s get tough” on illegal immigration. Arizona was forced to pick up where the federal government left off by finally cracking down on and addressing the illegal immigration problem in the Grand Canyon State. Unfortunately, it has been perceived by many as a dangerous new law that can and will lead to racial profiling.
There have been protests nationwide. Cities and organizations are calling for a travel boycott to Arizona, as well as a boycott on products manufactured in the state. There have also been riots in places like Santa Cruz, Calif., over the controversial bill. There was even an effort to have the Major League All-Star Game taken away from Phoenix in 2011.
So, where did Arizona go wrong? In its “packaging” of the bill.
The state legislature should have approached 1070 as a human rights issue. Playing the victim card, though it is justified, was not the best strategy. Every reason that was given for the passage of the bill was factually accurate; however, it scored no points with the leftist victim groups and the rest of America. The battle of what conservatives believe is the right thing to do vs. those on the left and what they believe they are entitled to, is on full display.
Instead of citing:
• High illegal immigration numbers
• High violent crime rates
• Drug trafficking
• Incarceration costs
• Education and medical costs
They should have cited that this bill will help end:
• The plight of immigrants who live in the shadows... hiding from the law
• Illegal immigrants being forced to live “locked up” in drop houses
• Illegal immigrants being forced to carry illegal narcotics across the border... subjecting them to the illegal drug trade
• Young illegal immigrant women being forced into prostitution
• Children’s exposure to drug cartel violence in border schools
• Hispanics becoming kidnapping victims
President Obama has issued the rallying cry to his constituents and future voters by citing that 1070 is “misguided.” United States Attorney General Eric Holder threatened to sue Arizona over the constitutionality of the bill before he ever read it. The racial ambulance chaser Reverend Al Sharpton has even made a visit to the state. Where is their concern over the “true” mistreatment of illegal immigrants?
Playing the human rights card would have caused those on the left to have no other option than to support the immigration bill or at least work with lawmakers to find a mutually beneficial way to end human suffering. Alignment with victim groups has been an exclusive tactic that those on the left have used for decades. It’s time that conservatives start beating liberals at their own game.
Mike Russell contributed to this article.
Michael Weinstein is co-host of the “The Mike & Winey Show” heard at 7 a.m. Saturdays on KKNT (960 AM) or on the web at www.kknt960.com.