Mike Kueber's Blog

July 7, 2012

Chasnoff strikes again

Filed under: Issues,Law/justice,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 9:18 pm
Tags: , ,

My hometown paper, the San Antonio Express-News, has two new columnists – Brian Chasnoff and O. Ricardo Pimentel – who regularly pull-the-chain of the paper’s conservative readers.  Today it was Brian’s turn. 

All you have to do is read the first sentence in his column to get his drift – “As the nation watches Arizona wage an open war against immigrants, it’s important to remember the same clash is under way in Texas.”  Nothing gets the gander of a conservative quicker than a columnist who fails to distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants.  Obviously, there are few shared characteristics between them, and the only reason to lump them together is to unfairly characterize opponents of illegal immigration as xenophobes and nativists.   Imagine the difference in Chasnoff’s lead sentence if he wrote it in an accurate, non-inflammatory fashion – i.e., “As the nation watches Arizona wage an open war against illegal immigrants….”  Suddenly, Arizona does seem like the land of the loony.

What is Chasnoff complaining about today?  Apparently, the Texas legislature recently passed a law that “requires noncitizens to prove they’re in this country legally before they’re allowed to renew a driver’s license,” and Chasnoff thinks this as “a devious twist on Arizona’s ‘show-us-your-papers’ provision.”  This new law is so dastardly bad because, without a driver’s license, an illegal immigrant who is driving a car is subject to being arrested.  Once arrested, the illegal immigrant might come to the attention of federal authorities and be deported. 

Fortunately for illegal immigrants who operate a car without a license in San Antonio, our local police chief is as anti-enforcement as President Obama.  SAPD chief William McManus has assured the San Antonio community that his officers will ticket, but not arrest, an illegal immigrant operating a car without a driver’s license.

Chasnoff really likes McManus’s policy of non-enforcement, calling it a rebuke to lawmakers in Austin, but he is concerned that many of San Antonio’s police officers do not share the chief’s  sentiments, and they might actually enforce the law by arresting the lawbreakers.  “To ease the fears on which the cold war feeds” (the column started with an “open war” and closes with a “cold war”), Chasnoff wants the chief to issue explicit instructions to all officers to follow his lead in refusing to enforce the law.

The does sound a lot like Arizona, doesn’t it?


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