Thursday, June 24, 2010
Esquire talks to Congressman Raul Grijalva about SB 1070:
ESQ: It seems like once a generation or so we have a spasm of anti-immigrant fervor in this country, and it's been that way since the beginning. We've been going through such a period in the last half a dozen years or so. Why do you think it's had such a profound effect and actually gotten such incredible results in Arizona? The litany of legislation that you just recited for me — why have the stars aligned in to make Arizona the laboratory for all this?
RG: That's a great question, Mark. I think that it is the growing population here of Latinos. The population continues to grow and it's the fastest growing. At some point soon it's one out of every three kids coming into kindergarten is going to be Latino in this state. It's not as simple as just being nativist. This growing population is seen as a threat. Whether it's Lou Dobbs, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, you name it, it's just feeding and feeding. Here's what 1070 did. Underlying the issue of immigration here in Arizona and in other parts has been the issue of race. But what 1070 did, both in Arizona and on a national level, is put the question of race front and center in the debate. Now that's part of the issue, a big part of the issue. It was always there, but now it's out in the open.