CounterPunch: Local Reactions to Ariz.'s Controversial Law

Sunday, May 16, 2010  |  Updated 9:06 AM PDT
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CounterPunch: Local Reactions to Ariz.'s Controversial Law

Two of the brightest young lights in the San Diego political sky -- Democrat Aaron Friberg and Republican Andrew Lund -- are weighing in every other week on hot topics.

This week's topic: Should local governmental institutions, such as the city of San Diego and the San Diego Unified School District, take stands on Arizona's controversial immigration law? -- Ed.


Friberg's Punch: Government institutions should publicly censure unconstitutional laws.

Arizona’s immigration bill requires police to detain people they “reasonably suspect” are undocumented. What do illegal immigrants look like? Officers will inevitably target people on the basis of race and social stereotypes grounded in race, despite assurances from the Arizona legislature to the contrary. This violates the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

Republicans Lindsey Graham, Karl Rove, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio all acknowledge constitutional flaws with the law. In light of this, the San Diego City Council and the San Diego Unified Board of Education were spot-on in publicly denouncing the Arizona law. Sure, there are potholes to fix and budgets to sort out, but taking a few moments to defend our Constitution is always time well spent in a good day’s work. 


Lund's Punch: I understand how certain governments and governmental organizations would like to take an opinion on the Arizona immigration law, but I don’t believe that these organizations should be taking an opportunity to comment on anything without looking at the facts.

It also makes no sense for the city of San Diego to take a position on this law when they have many other things they need to be doing for the well being of the city which they can actually control. Trying to “send a message” to the state of Arizona doesn’t make sense when we here in San Diego have a budget problem, crumbling streets and our own crime, not to mention a host of other things.

Ceremonial resolutions to make the people of Arizona feel bad do not represent effective governance on any level.


Friberg's Counterpunch: San Diego governmental bodies absolutely should send a message: We will not tolerate violations of the Constitution! Both San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne and Mayor Jerry Sanders criticized Arizona’s law for hindering police efforts by discouraging undocumented workers from reporting crime. Meanwhile, Carl DeMaio continues to embrace the extreme, radical right and finds himself on the opposite side of our public safety officials.


 Lund's Counterpunch: My opponent has only served to prove my point.  It is not up to the city of San Diego or the San Diego Unified Board of Education to decide this issue. Clearly the people of Arizona think it is valid, but it will ultimately be up to either the State Supreme Court of Arizona or the U.S. Supreme Court to pass judgment on this law.


Aaron Friberg, the president of the San Diego County Young Democrats, graduated UCLA Law in May 2009 and will begin as an associate attorney of Latham & Watkins LLP in the fall. Aaron contemplates democracy from his man cave tucked away inside a woman's dorm.

Andrew Lund is the president of the San Diego Young Republicans

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