On the Peter Boyles talk radio show Wednesday morning, Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis said that if he were governor, he would seek to pass the same kind of harsh anti-illegal immigration laws recently passed in Arizona.
“I am going to wave the magic wand. You’re governor. What would you do?” Boyles asked McInnis.
“I would do something very similar [to what Gov. Jan Brewer did in Arizona],” said McInnis, lauding Brewer for signing the legislation. “Finally some governor stood up and said ‘We are stopping the retreat. No more retreat. Federal government if you are not going to do it, we are going to do it’… because [illegal immigration] has impacts to all the parties involved in the state of Arizona… By the way, if a person has a driver’s license or a government I.D., there is a presumption of citizenship. That is not the issue. The issue is that government refuses to acknowledge that illegal means illegal.” (Listen here at David Sirota’s 760 radio show.)
Last week Brewer signed the controversial state Senate bill 1070 into law, giving Arizona the toughest immigration-related laws in the country. The law makes it a crime to be in the country without the proper visa. The laws stretch beyond workplace or borderland inspections and put the onus on local law enforcement to, among other things, ask suspects found at random for their documentation and take them into custody if they fail to produce it.
Civil rights and immigration activists were appalled by the law and its possible consequences. They said it seemed designed to encourage abuse and racial profiling. The Mexican government has issued an advisory to citizens warning against travel to Arizona.
Denver Mayor and Democratic candidate for governor John Hickenlooper has not yet returned calls for comment.
Colorado Democratic Party Chair Pat Waak told the Colorado Independent in an email that the debate over the Arizona laws has merely demonstrated the need for immigration policy reform.
“The United States is a diverse nation built by people from all parts of the world. The Colorado Democratic Party has clearly stated in its Party Platform that we support Comprehensive Immigration Reform, which we consider a federal issue. We reject the politics of division, and efforts that create fear and bigotry against any person or community are unacceptable in a free society.”
Boyles is a proponent of strong immigration laws. He argues that American culture is changing as a result of the influx of Latin-American immigrants, who he has said refuse to assimilate.
From April, 28, 2010 airing of the 630 KHOW’s Peter Boyles Show:
BOYLES: Jan Brewer in Arizona.
BOYLES: I am going to wave the magic wand. You’re governor. What would you do?
MCINNIS: I would do something very similar. I will tell you the situation. The federal government has refused to act and finally some governor stood up and said we are stopping the retreat. No more retreat. Federal government if you are not going to do it we are going to do it because it has impacts to all the parties involved in the state of Arizona. Now I have looked at a lot of material that has come out in the last 24 hours on that. By the way, if a person has a drivers license or a government I.D. there is a presumption of citizenship. That is not the issue. The issue is that government refuses to acknowledge that illegal means illegal.
MCINNIS: And here is a Governor who has stood up to it and said, “Look if you have a system that is going to work you have to have some kind of repercussions or some kind of circumstances or consequences when somebody steps outside of the system illegally. So I think that this governor–I know she is catching all sort of flack. Most of it is unfair. Most of it is ice guard. Most of it all this kind of stuff– but the fact is she finally stood up and said the federal government needs to do what they are required to do. And the federal government is not doing it. I think–what did they have a poll yesterday, 75 percent of the people said “It is about time somebody stood up and said Come on government get this thing taken care of.”
BOYLES: Overwhelmingly. I mean, greater than 70 percent. So that would mean a lot of Democrats, a lot of Latinos.