Music News

Merle Haggard Thinks SB 1070 is a Bad Idea

Sure, Latina pop sensations, Latino comic legends, and Canadian Indie bands, are upset with Arizona's crazy new immigration law, SB 1070. They're the usual suspects, right? You might, however, expect the "Okie From Muskogee" to be on board.

Nope. Merle Haggard, the outlaw country star who made a lot of waves with his pro-American anthems in the late 60s and early 70s, tells us he thinks the law is a terrible idea. In case you haven't heard, the controversial measure requires police to stop, question and detain anyone they think may be a possible illegal immigrant, and allows private citizens to sue their city if cops aren't doing enough to hassle brown people.

The Hag started by saying this country has a huge number of seemingly insurmountable problems.

"The border with Mexico, to start with -- what a mess," he says.

While Haggard says the border needs to be secured in some way, he's not a fan of SB 1070.

"I think it's unconstitutional. You know, you see the guy on TV, the Mexican kid, that's fixing to leave home and go fight [in Iraq] and he was born here and if he wasn't in uniform they'd profile him. That's not right," he says. "There certainly needs to be something done about the border, there's no doubt about that, but you can't just jump up and criminalize everybody."

Happily for fans, though he dislikes the law, Haggard won't be joining in on the coming boycotts of our state.

We'll have a lot more from Haggard in a preview of his show at Mesa Arts Center which is running in next week's issue.

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Martin Cizmar
Contact: Martin Cizmar