Feathered Bastard

Janet Napolitano at DHS Equals Russell Pearce with Skunk Hair and Shoulder Pads

What's the difference between neo-Nazi hugger, and forwarder of white supremacist e-mail, state Senator Russell Pearce and Gov. Janet Napolitano on immigration? Well, to judge by this CNN excerpt from Nappy's DHS confirmation hearings yesterday, I'd say, not much. A lot's being made in the national press concerning Napolitano's "shift" in focus, promising to bust employers of illegal aliens for a change. But that doesn't mean she won't be parading illegal immigrants through ICE gauntlets in shackles, as was done in the now infamous Postville, Iowa raid in 2008.

Indeed, when the Napster states that there should be enforcement on "the demand side as well as the supply side," and that what draws Mexican immigrants across the Southern border is "the prospect of a job," she is echoing the constant refrain of state Sen. Pearce, the most notorious of Arizona's nativist politicians. Take this excerpt from a PBS Newshour segment broadcast in June, for which Pearce is interviewed about the new employer sanctions law, which was his baby:

JEFFREY KAYE: One in 10 Arizona workers is believed to be an illegal immigrant, double the national share, so Pearce decided to aim for the magnet: jobs.

RUSSELL PEARCE: Just like Disneyland or any other theme park learned a long time ago, if you want the crowd to go home, you've got to shut down the rides, turn off the lights.

JEFFREY KAYE: Last year, Pearce wrote a controversial law that penalizes employers who hire illegal immigrants.

RUSSELL PEARCE: We passed a good bill, in fact, considered the toughest bill in the nation.

Napolitano signed Pearce's bill into law. And in her U.S. Senate confirmation, she is hardly apologetic about not vetoing this legislation, which has been so harmful to the state's economy.

"I signed the nation's strongest employer sanctions bill when I was governor," she told the Senators, neglecting the fact that she still is governor, "in part because of my belief that you have to get at the employer side as well as the employee side."

So there you go. No concern for the human rights of those coming here for work. No worry over the families torn apart as thugs like Sheriff Joe Arpaio raid candlemaking factories and water parks to arrest people guilty of no more than trying to provide for their familes.

Some Dems have deluded themselves into thinking that Nappy's new role as head of DHS will mean that undocumented migrants will somehow be cut some slack. Don't bet on it, if it's up to the Napster alone. Because on immigration, she stands shoulder pad to shoulder with racist knuckledragger Russell Pearce.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons