Well, at least we know where Russell Pierce stands on the issue.
The Republican legislator, who is best known for his hardline stance on undocumented workers, late last week praised "Operation Wetback," a 1950's mass deportation program in which millions of people were rounded up forcibly (in some cases violently) and trucked back across the border, and recommended reinstating it and doing the same thing fifty years later. Pierce then reiterated it today in the face of calls for him to take his remarks back, and said that he is proud to stand behind them.
The Hispanic community was outraged at Pierce, along with Democrats. The Arizona Democratic party issued a statement condemning Pierce's remarks, as have all the Democratic candidates running for statewide office. Then the party invited the Republicans to join them in condemning this sort of bigoted anti-immigrant attitude. We know where we stand on this. I stand with the rest of the Democratic party. The problem is not illegal immigration, it is illegal employment. Put people who hire illegally in prison, then the job magnet will dry up and they will no longer have the incentive to come.
So what have the Republicans said about it? Very little to talk about there, except of course for Pierce's buddy, Randy Graf, who agrees with Pierce. Gubernatorial candidate Len Munsil did comment on Pierce's remarks. He called the name of the program, 'offensive' and said he didn't support doing the same thing today because 'it's not practical.' I would assume from that tepid response that if they changed the name to say, "Operation sugar-coat" and could figure out a way to do it practically, then Munsil's objections would be satisfied and he would then side with Pierce.
The rest of the state Republicans have said nothing at all. Nada. Zilch. Zip. The state GOP actually came out and said that they are not taking a position and won't say anything about it. Their candidates are clearly taking a cue from the state party organization. Even Munsil's weak, weak response was better than what we are (or in this case aren't) hearing from most Republicans.
Well, at least it is nice to know they are all taking a position on Pierce's remark. They stand firmly in favor of not taking a position.