Drazkowski defends Arizona-style immigration bill

Yesterday we introduced you to Steve Drazkowski, the Republican representative who wants to import Arizona's anti-immigrant legislation to Minnesota.

We called Drazkowski to learn more about his bill and see if he'd say anything crazy. He didn't disappoint.

"If we have people here who don't have a loyalty to their country, we need to be concerned," Drazkowski told City Pages at one point, echoing Michele Bachmann's fear of anti-Americans.

Drazkowski wants to match Arizona's immigration bill here in Minnesota, even though we couldn't be further away from the Mexican border.

"I have reviewed the Arizona law and am in the process of drafting a parallel bill," he confirms. "The Democrats won't let us pass it, but we'll get some discussion started on it, and then after the elections, I expect we'll have a legislature that will be ready to pass it."

Extrapolating from a 2005 study by the state's Office of Strategic Planning and Results Management, Drazkowski claims that undocumented immigrants are costing taxpayers a quarter of a billion dollars a year in state services.

"But even more important than the money is the government's role of protecting its people," Drazkowski says. "If we have people here who don't have a loyalty to their country, we need to be concerned."

In particular, Drazkowski said, he's concerned about "criminal alien felons who are being incarcerated for murder, rape, and child molestation."

Drazkowski realizes this probably isn't going to win any Hispanic converts to the GOP, but he's not worried about folding up the big tent.

"This isn't about politics," he says. "Sure, there are some open-border constituencies out there and they are tied to the Democrat Party, but then there are those of us who just want to bring safety to families. We've got really got widespread support on this."

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