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July 30, 2010
Congress is always looking to get tough on something. It plays well on the campaign trail. Get tough on crime. Get tough on corporate ethics. Get tough on fanny packs and man purses. Just this year Congress got tough on Ford Motor Company by giving the administration millions of dollars to subsidize General Motors. [See which industries give the most to members of Congress.]
Back in 1996 (when fanny packs were still cool, in some circles) it was time to get tough on immigration, and an interesting little law was passed. Congress deemed it appropriate for state and local law enforcement to enforce immigration law. In the inscrutable manners of Washington (where all legislation seems to be named with insufferably cute acronyms or indecipherable legislative codes that read like security passwords), this law came to be known as 287g.