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THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
Juliette Kayyem

Immigration-law remorse

Alabama and Arizona suffer the unintended consequences of bad laws

Rafael Guerrero stands outside the Arizona State Capitol wearing a sticker on his face supporting the recall of state Senator Russell Pearce. Rafael Guerrero stands outside the Arizona State Capitol wearing a sticker on his face supporting the recall of state Senator Russell Pearce. (Reuters)
By Juliette Kayyem
Globe Columnist / November 21, 2011

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This week, millions of Americans will buy gifts and goods they don’t need and never really wanted. A new piano looks pretty fine at half-price. That’s the beauty of Black Friday, our post-Thanksgiving credit card workout. Supported by a marketing campaign that links shopping to the Pilgrims, Black Friday urges us to buy because it’s the American thing to do. But many will wake up Saturday with a lot of remorse. Anti-immigrant legislation is the public policy equivalent of Black Friday. Cloaked in patriotic fervor, states have been falling all over each other at the sales rack of nationalism to pass sweeping legislation in their efforts to be tougher at the border. And they don’t even have to be a border state. It’s good politics, but not exactly good governing. Now a few states are waking up with that buyer’s regret, and they only have themselves to blame.

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