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Is Voter Suppression Behind Arizona’s Anti-Illegal Immigration Law?

Greg Palast in a guard tower looking out on Joe Arpaio's jail in Maricopa County, Arizona. Photo: Greg Palast/Truthout (CC)

Greg Palast in a guard tower looking out on Joe Arpaio's jail in Maricopa County, Arizona. Photo: Greg Palast/Truthout (CC)

BBC journalist Greg Palast has written a new article for TruthOut suggesting that perhaps the real reason for the insane-o “Papieren, bitte” (that’s “Papers, please” to you non-Nazis) law in Arizona is not actually about illegal immigration, so much as it is about voter suppression of LEGAL Hispanic residents.

If past trends in that state are any indicator, he may not be far off the mark. He writes:

What moved GOP Governor Jan Brewer to sign the Soviet-style show-me-your-papers law is the exploding number of legal Hispanics, US citizens all, who are daring to vote — and daring to vote Democratic by more than two-to-one. Unless this demographic locomotive is halted, Arizona Republicans know their party will soon be electoral toast. Or, if you like, tortillas.

In 2008, working for Rolling Stone with civil rights attorney Bobby Kennedy, our team flew to Arizona to investigate what smelled like an electoral pogrom against Chicano voters … directed by one Jan Brewer.

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