"What would Arizona's revered libertarian icon, Barry Goldwater, say?"


Some sharp words about Arizona's despicable new anti-immigration law from New York Times legal correspondent Linda Greenhouse:

I'm not going back to Arizona as long as it remains a police state, which is what the appalling anti-immigrant bill that Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law last week has turned it into.

What would Arizona's revered libertarian icon, Barry Goldwater, say about a law that requires the police to demand proof of legal residency from any person with whom they have made "any lawful contact" and about whom they have "reasonable suspicion" that "the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States?" Wasn't the system of internal passports one of the most distasteful features of life in the Soviet Union and apartheid-era South Africa?

In light of Arizona Sen. John McCain's recent turnaround in favor of his state's harsh new law, it's also worth recalling this observation from McCain biographer and Reason Editor in Chief Matt Welch:

Goldwater was never really warm toward his replacement, which is something McCain, to this day in my judgment, has never properly understood.