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Sensing “Long-Term Damage,” Smart Republicans Distance Themselves from Arizona Bill

by Dara Lind on 04/29/2010 at 2:28pm

The Arizona GOP may not mind that it’s hurtling off a demographic cliff and dooming itself to permanent minority-party status, but some prominent Republicans are taking a stand against Arizona’s newly-passed law criminalizing undocumented immigrants.

During a television interview Tuesday, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell said he was “concerned” about people being forced to carry documentation at all times under the law. As quoted in the Washington Post, McDonnell said:

“I’m concerned about the whole idea of carrying papers and always having to be able to prove your citizenship. That brings up some shades of some other regimes that weren’t necessarily helpful to democracy.”

Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio released a statement that included some typical anti-immigrant posturing, but pointed out that the Arizona law contradicts Republicans’ supposed preference for “small government.” As Rubio wrote in the statement (reprinted by the St. Petersburg Times):

“I think aspects of the law, especially that dealing with ‘reasonable suspicion,’ are going to put our law enforcement officers in an incredibly difficult position.  It could also unreasonably single out people who are here legally, including many American citizens.”

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