Perhaps the most chilling aspect of the immigration legislation is the requirement that citizens report anyone suspected of illegal status. Such a requirement is eerily reminiscent of Nazi Germany, Cold War Russia, and Fascist Italy, when snitching mandates were central to sustaining a regime of fear and central control. Sadly, these demands are not exclusive to the immigration bill, as everything from drug enforcement policy to the Obama Administration’s counter-terrorism strategies are undergirded by the expectation that everyday people will be forced to report the alleged misdeeds of others. Like many dimensions of fascist politics, the notion of the citizen-informant seems relatively harmless. Unfortunately, evidence shows that such a practice is unreliable and ineffective, not to mention devastating for the moral and cultural fabric of a community.
Although it would be hyperbolic to say that America is destined to become a truly fascist nation, the Arizona immigration bill reflects the nation’s continued shift away from its expressed principles. Unless we quickly begin to organize and challenge what currently counts as “common sense,” we may lose the opportunity to save what’s left of our democracy.
For once, I’m in complete agreement with Dr. Hill.