The e-mails, which have been posted in full online and excerpted in the Arizona Republic, were sent to and from former Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce, SB 1070’s Republican author.
In them, Sen Pearce compares undocumented immigrants to lepers and Islamic jihadists, claims that the children of “illegal immigrants” will be criminals, accuses immigrants of turning America into a “fractured nightmare of social unrest and poverty,” and asserts that corruption is “their only known way of life.”
The ACLU of Arizona obtained the emails through a public records request. Dozens of the emails have been included in a legal filing in which the ACLU is trying to prevent the most controversial parts of the law from going into effect.
SB 1070, the so-called “show me your papers law,” makes it a crime for foreigners in the state to be without immigration documents and forces police to determine individuals’ immigration status during a “lawful stop, detention or arrest” or during “lawful contact” when there is reasonable suspicion that the individual is in the country illegally.
The law also cracks down on anyone who harbors, hires or transports undocumented immigrants.
It is the second-toughest anti-illegal immigration law in the nation, after Alabama’s.
Supporters of the law say it only enforces existing federal law and is necessary in the face of an uncontrollable flood of “illegals” crossing into the state from Mexico. Critics counter that SB 1070 encourages racial profiling; some even go so far as to call the law racist.
Those who claim the law is rooted in racial prejudice got a huge boost from the emails released by the Arizona ACLU. Here is an alarming look inside the mind of Sen. Pearce, in his own words:
* “Can we maintain our social fabric as a nation with Spanish fighting English for dominance?… It’s like importing leper colonies and hope [sic] we don’t catch leprosy. It’s like importing thousands of Islamic jihadists and hope [sic] they adapt to the American Dream.”
* “[Undocumented immigrants] create enclaves of separate groups that shall balkanize our nation into fractured nightmares of social unrest and poverty.”
* “We are much like the Titanic as we inbreed millions of Mexico’s poor, the world’s poor, and we watch our country sink.”
* “9,000 people [are] killed every year by illegal aliens,” and “illegal aliens in the United States have a crime rate that’s two-and-a-half times that of non-illegal aliens… their children are going to make a huge additional crime problem in the US.”
* “Last week, Denver’s illegal aliens sang our national anthem in Spanish and bastardized the words of OUR county’s most sacred song.”
* “Corruption is the mechanism by which Mexico operates. Its people spawn more corruption wherever they go because it is their only known way of life.”
* “Tough, nasty illegals and their advocates grow in such numbers that law and order will not subdue them. They run us out of our cities and states. They conquer our language and our schools. They render havoc and chaos in our schools.”
* “Battles commence as Mexican nationalists struggle to infuse their men into American government and strengthen control over their strongholds. One look at Los Angeles with its Mexican-American mayor shows you Vincente [sic] Fox’s General Varigossa [sic] commanding an American city.” (A reference to former Mexican President Vicente Fox and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa).
SB 1070 opponents slammed Sen. Pearce in the wake of the e-mail release.
“This just shows who Russell Pearce really is,” Randy Parraz, who led a successful effort to recall Pearce from the state Senate, told the Arizona Republic. “You can call it hate speech. [SB 1070] was about using this type of fear and hate for political purposes.”
But a spokesman for Jan Brewer, Arizona’s Republican governor, dismissed the e-mails as an “ACLU smoke screen.”
“The ACLU’s tactic is a smoke screen,” Matthew Benson told the Arizona Republic. “By focusing on an individual legislator’s e-mails, they intend to divert focus from SB 1070’s simple common sense language, language that the overwhelming majority of Arizonans and Americans support, and language the Supreme Court unanimously upheld.”
The released e-mails may provide the necessary ammunition to those who seek to persuade courts to overturn SB 1070.
Last month, the US Supreme Court ruled in a lawsuit filed by the Justice Department that the “show me your papers” provision of the law was constitutional while striking down the rest of it.