In recent days, numerous Fox News personalities have voiced support for Arizona's new controversial immigration law that requires law enforcement to demand immigration papers of those they suspect to be in the country illegally, which many argue will lead to racial profiling. In doing so, these Fox News figures have embraced and defended the law, including the potential for racial profiling, by arguing, among other things, that "people may have to endure some inconvenience."
Law and "racial profiling ... will go hand in hand"
Arizona Republic: Law "will require anyone whom police suspect of being in the country illegally to produce" immigration documents. An April 24 Arizona Republic article reported:
Arizona's immigration law, now considered the toughest in the nation, makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally and requires local police to enforce federal immigration laws. It will require anyone whom police suspect of being in the country illegally to produce "an alien registration document," such as a green card or other proof of citizenship, such as a passport or Arizona driver's license.
It also makes it illegal to impede the flow of traffic by picking up day laborers for work. A day laborer who gets picked up for work, and traffic is impeded in the process, would also be committing a criminal act.
NY Times: "Opponents have called it an open invitation for harassment and discrimination against Hispanics." As the New York Times noted on April 24: "Opponents have called it an open invitation for harassment and discrimination against Hispanics regardless of their citizenship status." The Times added: "It requires police officers, 'when practicable,' to detain people they reasonably suspect are in the country without authorization and to verify their status with federal officials, unless doing so would hinder an investigation or emergency medical treatment."
Arizona Daily Star: "Racial profiling, SB 1070 will go hand in hand." The Arizona Daily Star wrote in an April 16 editorial that the bill "would turn legal residents into police targets, as well as those who are here illegally. It would foment racial profiling of Hispanics. ... Civil libertarians and immigrant-rights groups say the Arizona bill will spur racial profiling. We agree, and we doubt that many of its provisions are constitutional.
Fox Newsers embrace and defend law's potential for racial profiling
Crowder: Nothing wrong with law's racial profiling. During the April 23 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Fox News contributor Steven Crowder said that there's racial profiling in the law and "I don't think there's really anything wrong as far as racial profiling, stopping people who are coming in illegally. I mean, you're not looking for a blond haired, blue eyed Swede most of the time."
Gutfeld: Racial profiling a no-brainer. On the April 21 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Red Eye host Greg Gutfeld said of the law: "A lot of the critics are saying this is racial profiling. Duh! They're coming from another country. That's what you do. You have to look at them and see who they are before you know they're legal or illegal. I don't think that's a fair criticism."
Gallagher dismisses racial profiling concerns. On the April 23 edition of his Salem Radio program, radio host and Fox News contributor Mike Gallagher told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, "Sign it, baby, sign it" and that the Arizona legislature is his "new hero." After Wallace noted concerns about civil liberties, Gallagher said that "it's racial profiling, to be sure, cops know if there's a van full of dark-skinned men with lawnmowers packed into the back of a pick-up truck...that's what they're talking about."
Malkin: "Arizona: Doing the job the feds won't do." Michelle Malkin praised the law in an April 23 post on her blog, writing: "GOP Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed the nation's toughest immigration enforcement bill. They're doing the job the feds won't do - taking the law and our borders seriously to protect the health, safety, and welfare of our citizens first. Cue the ACLU lawyers, the open-borders lobby, and the race-card players. And watch the Left show you what intolerance is really all about." Malkin, who wrote the book In Defense of Internment: The Case for Racial Profiling in World War II and the War on Terror, also wrote that some are "whining about Arizona becoming a 'police state.'"
Hume: "Some people are going to have to endure inconvenience as opposed to everybody." On the April 19 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume appeared to dismiss concerns about racial profiling, stating that "if it's an effective law enforcement technique done in good faith, people may have to endure some inconvenience. What we're saying here is that some people are going to have endure inconvenience as opposed to everybody having to endure it."
Some Fox Newsers disagree: Bill is "draconian" and "goes way too far"
While numerous Fox News personalities have embraced and defended the racial profiling aspect of the Arizona law, some Fox News personalities have criticized it. For instance, Mike Huckabee said on Fox & Friends that the courts will find the law "problematic" because "there is no such thing" as "American looking" person. Fox News contributor Fred Barnes said that the bill is "draconian" and "goes way too far." Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer said he was concerned about "illegals" but the bill "could lead to a lot of civil rights abuses." And Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace said on Mike Gallagher's program: "I'm not sure I like the idea that law enforcement can go up to anybody and say show me your identity card."