How Arizona is seen across the nation
How Arizona is seen across the nation
New law giving state a pop-culture buzz cut
by Casey Newton - May. 9, 2010 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
Although there has been some vocal support, Arizona has taken a beating in the media over its new immigration law. Here's a look at how the debate has played out across different media throughout the country.
Danny Glover thinks Arizona's controversial immigration law is "misguided."
Steve Nash, in his "Los Suns" jersey, says it represents Arizona poorly around the world.
That's nothing compared with Jon Stewart, who called Arizona "the meth lab of democracy," or his Comedy Central cohort Stephen Colbert, who warned that the economic effect of the law could make Phoenix "like a very dry Detroit."
Many people support the law. Many others oppose it. But there's no denying it has exploded in popular culture like few other political stories in Arizona history.
"It impacts our brand," said Lawrence Moore, a Phoenix public-relations and marketing consultant. "And unfortunately, we have far too little on the positive side in that arena to balance it out."
To date, there is little question that Arizona is losing the public-relations war. But questions remain over how long Arizona will feel the effects - or whether, in the grand scheme of things, it matters at all.
"Unfortunately, it reinforces a part of our brand that has a history," said Moore, who resigned from the Governor's Film and Television Commission on April 23 in protest of the law's signing. He said the law had damaged the state's reputation, much as the elimination of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday did in the 1980s.
Other PR professionals say the controversy will have a limited impact on the state's image.
"Despite the rash of negative headlines, Arizona's 'brand' will pretty much stay the same: sunshine, spring training, the Grand Canyon, fast-break hoops and populist politics," Chip Scutari, a political consultant with Scutari and Cieslak Public Relations, said in an e-mail. "It's our reputation that's at stake."
The snark, the vitriol, the swastikas scrawled on the Capitol - it's all a result of Gov. Jan Brewer signing Senate Bill 1070, which will make it a state crime to be in the country illegally and will require anyone whom police suspect of being in the country illegally to produce legal identification.
Debate over the measure has led to heated discussion across all media - newspapers, television, radio, blogs, Twitter and Facebook. Will the attention tarnish Arizona's image globally? As with so much of the immigration debate, it depends on whom you ask.
Plenty of people support the new law - a majority of Arizona voters, in fact, according to several recent polls.
Conservative talkers Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh have taken to the airwaves to defend the law, often in strident terms.
"The law in Arizona is the law, so shut up, those of you who don't like it," Limbaugh told his radio listeners. "The debate's over."
Still, it's hard to deny that the law's opponents have the edge when it comes to celebrity.
There's Shakira at Phoenix City Hall, enduring a kiss from Mayor Phil Gordon, saying she's "worried about the impact that implementation of this law will have on hard-working Latinos."
And Ricky Martin, at the great gathering of political pundits that is the Billboard Latin Music Awards, made sure to say the law "makes no sense."
Even at the office drone's classic lunch-hour escape, social media, you can't escape talk about the law.
Facebook lit up with debate, as people on both sides of the issue posted articles and status updates on the subject, leading to pages of spirited comment.
Cities from San Francisco to Boston have banned city employees from traveling to Arizona at taxpayer expense, and conventions are canceling trips here by the day. Such moves only served to add fuel to the fire.
Folk art criticizing the legislation popped up across the Web, from a Lalo Alcaraz cartoon that replaces the word "Arizona" with "Police" in a map of Southwestern states to a photograph of a Mexican flag cut into a star of David.
Meanwhile, a supporter of the law made an illustration of Brewer as Rosie the Riveter. "Arizona," the cartoon reads. "Doing the job the feds won't do!" The illustration was posted on a website for Glenn Beck supporters, and it quickly began to ricochet around social media.
On Twitter, Eva Longoria Parker of "Desperate Housewives" railed against what she called "anti-Mexican hysteria." "Stop the HATE," she tweeted.
On the same site, comedian George Lopez took a lighter approach.
"Went to buy a ARIZONA Iced Tea," he said. "They asked me for my documentation. So I bought HORCHATA instead!"
Lopez's joke got re-posted so many times that the makers of AriZona Iced Tea had to issue a news release to assure everyone that their product is made in New York and has nothing to do with its namesake.
There's a lot of that going around.
Scutari said Arizona is being depicted as "a land of caricatures." It will be up to Arizonans to show the world that there's more to us than our immigration policies, he said.
"Unfortunately, most of America does not see the real Arizona: The vast majority who live here are good, hard-working people (parents, teachers and blue-collar folks) who make the state an amazing place to live," Scutari said.
Push for reform
If there's a silver lining to the dark cloud of controversy, it's this: The law could give both sides what they say they want: immigration reform.
Judith Gans, who manages the Immigration Policy Program at the University of Arizona, believes the law could prove to be a turning point in the debate.
"It may be something that shifts the national playing field in a good way - in a way that says we've got to get off the dime and fix this problem," Gans said.
That could be what it takes for Shakira and Limbaugh and the rest to turn their attention elsewhere.
Time will tell. In any case, PR professionals say we can expect the media circus to leave town shortly.
After all, there are other stories to cover - and 10 other states considering immigration legislation like Arizona's.
How Arizona is seen across the nation
The article is so shoddy, it's amazing.
Two fast examples:
1) The comment attributed to Limbaugh was a tongue in cheek comment mocking Obama and other democrats for the way they responded to concerns about the health care bill. This writer is either misinformed or out right lying in the way the quote has been portrayed here.
2) "Unfortunately, most of America does not see the real Arizona...". Of course we do. Most Americans (more than 70%, in fact) support the legislation. It is the media that does not see the real Arizona.
Everything is fine. No controversy to see here.
The vast majority of people in Arizona (where it really matters) and Texas support the law. Who cares what the sea-lebs think.
All illegal (that's ILLEGAL) immigrants should leave and get in line to migrate here legally (that's LEGALLY)
I don't have a problem with making it a state crime to be in the country illegally.
I don't have a problem with police checking identification of someone suspected of committing a crime.
I DO have a problem requiring everyone to always carry documentation on them, and giving law enforcement carte blanche to demand it for almost no reason.
This is a free country, not communist Russia. It is not required that residents of the US carry ID or documentation, unless you are operating a motor vehicle or buying a controlled substance. It should not be allowed for any law enforcement to demand ID unless you are suspected of committing another crime. Even in that case, you are innocent until proven guilty. The burden of proof should be on the accuser (the police), not on the accused. Nobody should have to prove that they are NOT illegal. That is flat out un-Constitutional (check the 4th, 5th, and 6th ammendments). It violates Unlawful Search and Seizure, it violates Innocent until proven Guilty, AND it violates the Right to Remain Silent.
Now if you get taken in for another crime like speeding or burglary and you cannot display ID, then I don't have a problem requiring you to come before a judge with proof of legal residency to avoid being charged with Illegal status.
Right on, that is exactly what the Arizona state law says!! It mirrors federal law.
The waiting list to "get here legally" is so long as to literally cause entire generations of applicants to have to choose between adhering to the term of their documentation-period, of staying "illegally" and waiting for a hearing date to come up. The backlog for those seeking US citizenship from Mexico is right around 20 years...and most of the BIA/DHS removal proceedings that I've been involved with involve individuals who have applied for some form of legal status and have had the term run while waiting on the process to actually...well, work. There is a lack of funding, a lack of manpower, and a lack of a clear mission as to what the US immigration policy is--and what policy goals ought to be achieved with regard to the enforcement of the laws that are in place.
Something to chew on, especially for those in the "they should follow the rules and come here legally!" camp.
Immigration reform is necessary. I don't buy the garbage that 70% of Americans support this law. If they do, they are ignorant of the facts when it comes to UNDOCUMENTED immigration. Immigration has always been a part of United States history. Many folks look down upon immigrants today. Yet, many of them are the descendants of immigrants who were part of what believed to be the scum of America. Italians, Greeks, Romanians, and the Irish among others were considered the garbage of American society at one point. They underwent the same process many Mexicans are currently undergoing. How many of you (and I ask this in a polite manner) knew that the first anti-immigration laws were racist and targeted certain folks? I'll let you guess who they targeted in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Who bleepin' cares? Arizona is still such an underpopulated state, even with the semi-recent influx of illegals. It's only relevant in our current hyper sensitive, zeitgeist-driven media culture. And even that dynamic is only temporary, and will fade out eventually.
Arizona is a test tube, not a barometer. And the "experiment", will ultimately fail.
2. 70% support it, and you better believe it.
3. Immigration is what is started AND help make this country.... legal immigration
5. So any past legislation that "is" racist must mean this law is racist? right?
6. You have failed to mention any fairness to those that immigrate legally.
7. When I go to the bank, I have to prove who I am. When I apply for a loan, I have to prove who I am. When I use a credit card, I have to prove who I am. When I get pulled over I have to prove who I am. When I am in another country, I MUST have my passport to prove I am there legally. We are required every single day to prove our identity and citizenship, and illegals should be no different.
Before you begin to attack the ethics and character of people that support this, you had better bring a better argument than what you just posted. You sound like a freshmen college student regurgitating some liberal college professor BS.
Every last one of us are descendants of immigrants. Otherwise you are visiting here from another country or you were born of illegal immigrants. You are foolish to think we don't realize it.
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