At the Very Least, Read the Bill

Ever since Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed an immigration bill into law on April 23, 2010 that is considered to be among the toughest in the United States, Americans across the country have been arguing over whether the law is legislating discrimination.  A poll by the Wall Street Journal and NBC this week says that 64 percent of American adults support the Arizona law.  Opponents of the law have called for a boycott of Arizona. 

It’s clear that these opinions are translating into actions.  A May 11, 2010 USA Today article reports, “tourism officials are growing increasingly concerned at the prospect of huge hotel and convention dollar losses because of fallout from the state’s new immigration law.”  A financial impact as huge as this is quite worrisome given today’s fragile economy. 

The USA Today article continues, “In Phoenix alone, David Krietor, a deputy city manager who is tracking the issue, said this week the city faces lost business worth about $90 million over the next five years.”

 How many of those actively engaged in the debate actually read the bill?

Attorney General Eric Holder admitted, during a meeting with the House Judiciary Committee on May 13, that he hadn’t read the bill.  Senate Bill 1040 is not a long or difficult bill to read.  It’s available on the Internet in PDF format to anyone willing to take the time to read it and it should be read before being either criticized or praised.

Holder is not alone in his failure to read the bill, but at least he was honest about it.  How many of those actively engaged in the immigration debate (or any legislative debate for that matter) actually read it? 

Critical thinkers can’t rely upon others’ interpretations of bills, interviews or events as fact.  It takes more effort to do the work and actually examine the evidence.  But the risks of not doing so are huge.