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OPINION Protesters stand outside the Montgomery County Jail after having been released. They were some of the 13 people arrested last Tuesday for protesting the immigration law. (SOURCE:

by SAM HARRIS, ’15 Contributing Writer


n 2010, the American political discussion was rocked when Arizona sought to crack down on illegal immigration. The state passed legislation mandating that highway patrolmen check alien-status documentation during routine traffic stops if there was reason to believe that an individual was in the country illegally. This was widely interpreted as a legalization of racial profiling, and sparked a storm of activism from both the right and the left. This past June, with far less controversy and noise, Governor Robert Bentley of Alabama signed into law the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, also


known as H.B. 56, which contains similar provisions to the bill passed in Arizona. H.B. 56 was a product of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who wrote the bill with the help of the Alabama state legislature. Kobach describes the passage of the act as a “great service to America,” adding that “Alabama achieved something very significant by approving it.” Rep. Micky Hammon, a lead sponsor of the bill, stated that “this is a jobs creation bill for Americans.” Additionally, Hammon said he hoped to “prevent illegal aliens coming to Alabama and to prevent those who are here from putting down roots.” The act itself has several provi-


JOHNS HOPKINS’ Only WeeklyPublished Political Magazine

sions aimed at providing stricter enforcement of current immigration laws and allows for harsher penalties on illegal aliens and their employers. They are as follows: • Makes it a misdemeanor crime for illegal aliens to perform work in the state • Requires law enforcement officers on “any lawful stop, detention, or arrest,” to verify the person’s immigration status if they reasonably suspect he or she is an illegal immigrant (continued on Page 2) WWW.JHUPOLITIK.ORG

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Hannah Holliday


Will Denton



Ana Giraldo-Wingler

Randy Bell Jeremy Orloff Matt Varvaro


Julia Allen Colette Andrei Megan Augustine Michael Bodner Rachel Cohen Robert D’Annibale Virgil Doyle Eric Feinberg Cary Glynn Anna Kochut Hilary Matfess Chloe Reichel Daniel Roettger Ari Schaffer




Alex Clearfield JHU POLITIK is a student-run political publication. Please note that the opinions expressed within JHU POLITIK are those of the author alone.

INTERNATIONAL REPORT (Continued from page 1) • Makes it a misdemeanor for the “willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document if person in violation of 8 USC 1304 (e) or 1306 (a)” • Makes it illegal to claim illegal workers’ wages on business tax deductions • Makes it a felony for an illegal alien to do business with the state (such as obtaining a driver’s license or license plate) • Makes it illegal to harbor, transport, or shield aliens, and provides a civil cause of action for those who hire illegal workers Governor Bentley, on passage of the act, stated, “it would not have been necessary to address this problem if the federal government would have done its job and enforced the laws dealing with this problem.” The Federal government and Justice Department have responded to the law by saying that it is unconstitutional, violating the Supremacy Clause which establishes the U.S. constitution and federal statutes as the “supreme Law of the Land.” The federal response asserts, “If allowed to go into effect, H.B. 56’s enforcement scheme will conflict with and undermine the federal government’s careful balance of immigration enforcement priorities and objectives.” On October 14, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals put a hold on key provisions including Section 10 and Section 28, which relate to the need to carry docu-


mentation of legality and the requirement to determine if a child or parent of a child enrolled in a public school is unlawfully present in the U.S. Additionally, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice Thomas Perez issued a letter which gave the Department of Justice express authority to investigate obstruction of civil rights laws in conjunction with the enactment of H.B. 56. Over the past several months, there has been a growing consensus among the legislature and citizens of Alabama that the law must be amended. Orlando Rosa, a local radio personality, had this to say: “There’s a lot of hard working people that just come here to work to better their life, better their families and because of this law they’re being separated because of HB56.” Several activist and religious groups have spoken out against the new bill. Mary Bauer of the Southern Poverty Law Center describes the bill as an “extreme anti-immigration law,” while Cecillia Wang of the American Civil Liberties Union added that “[the] bill invites discrimination into every aspect of the lives of people in Alabama.” Jerry Spencer, a representative for Grow Alabama, has said that in conversations with agricultural and construction industry representatives there has been the acknowledgement of the loss of a significant portion of their (continued on Page 3) WWW.JHUPOLITIK.ORG

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INTERNATIONAL REPORT work force. Spencer went on state that “185,000 Hispanics had left [Alabama].” Shortly after the enactment of the bill in September, several thousand workers refused to show up for work and many closed their stores. In addition, 13 people were arrested for protesting the bill this past Tuesday in Montgomery. This past Wednesday, a German manager of Mercedes-Benz was stopped by police and detained for a short time after it was discovered he only had his identification card. On Saturday, nearly 500 protestors marched to the capitol in Montgomery. Occurrences such as these have brought scrutiny to the new law, and some early supporters are beginning to waver. Slade Blackwell, a Republican Senator, said that “the longer the bill has been out, the more unintended consequences we have found.” Senator Paul Sanford added that “there are a lot of frustrated citizens that are being inconvenienced by the implementation of the law and who didn’t think it was going to impact them.” Republican Senator Gerald Biel has said that “[he] made some mistakes in voting for this bill, and [he] wants to step up and fix them.” The growing discontentment with the law has recently led to a more drastic call for reforms. Democratic Senator Billy Beasley has drawn up a new bill to repeal the law. When asked about the law, Biel stated “What we’ve done is tell the Hispanics we don’t want you in Alabama. Legal Hispanics are leaving as well as illegals.” The events of the next few weeks will prove crucial in determining of the future of the law. As the media’s scrutiny increases, many leaders will find it hard to continue to justify the strict measures taken by the law. Time will tell if these factors bring substantive change, as the legislature is slated to reconvene in January. s

The Supreme Court takes on the Healthcare Law by VIRGIL DOYLE, ’14 Staff Writer

n November 14, the Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari to hear a case challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, agreeing to hear arguments in March 2012 and make a decision some time in June. Ever since this healthcare reform bill passed on March 23, 2010, it has been a polarizing law: Demo-

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crats hail it as a major legislative accomplishment for the Obama administration, while Republicans deride it as an example of Obama’s wasteful spending and overextension of government beyond its proper bounds. How the Supreme Court rules in this case will have important implications for both sides and could serve as validation for the arguments of one party or the other heading into the 2012 presidential election. While many lower court rulings on the Act have appealed to the Supreme Court, the justices of the highest court in the land agreed to hear arguments on just one appeal. In this ruling, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta struck down the individual mandate provision of the bill. New York Times’ Supreme Court correspondent Adam Liptak says that it is now up to the Supreme Court “to decide not only whether the mandate is constitutional, but also, if it is not, how much of the balance of the law… must fall along with it.” Thus, the Supreme Court’s ruling could potentially overturn the entirety of the Affordable Care Act. The individual mandate, a provision in the bill that requires all Americans to have health care, lies at the heart of the constitutional debate over the Act. Though President Obama did not support this measure while he was campaigning in 2008, he decided to reverse course and push for its inclusion in the final bill in 2010. The mandate has become the chief talking point in the bill and is the specific provision of the Act on which the Supreme Court will have to rule. The justification for the mandate is based on the business model of health insurance companies. The Affordable Care Act seeks to prevent these companies from declining to provide coverage for sick people while they can simply collect premiums from less expensive, healthier individuals. For instance, a provision in the bill prevents health insurers from denying coverage to an individual based on a previous condition. Thus, the Act allows more people with a variety of illnesses, who may have had trouble finding health insurance before, to find coverage. However, the presence of more sick people in pools will raise costs for insurance companies, as it costs them more money to cover, for instance, an elderly individual with a chronic illness than a young, relatively healthy person. This is where the individual mandate comes in. By requiring most of the approximately 30 million uninsured Americans to buy insurance, the increased costs of newly insured sick people are covered by the payments (continued on Page 4) WWW.JHUPOLITIK.ORG

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INTERNATIONAL REPORT of healthier, often younger individuals who do not currently have insurance. Thus, the premium payments of the healthy will offset the costs of provided medical care to the sick. Without the mandate, the insurance industry could enter into what health economists term a “death spiral,” in which there are not enough healthy people to cover the costs of the sick. In this spiral, premiums skyrocket as companies attempt to cover costs, and eventually the insurance company is forced to go out of business. Defenders of the individual mandate cite preventing a death spiral in the insurance industry as a primary defense of the measure. Opponents of the Act call it an infringement on personal liberty and an example of the Federal government overstepping its proper bounds, reasoning that the Atlanta Circuit Court used to overturn the law. In its case statement, they conclude both that “Congress exceeded its commerce power in enacting its individual mandate” and also that “Congress’s tax power does not provide an alternative constitutional basis for upholding this unprecedented individual mandate.” Many conservative commentators have made their arguments against the Act upon similar lines How the Supreme Court rules on the Affordable Care Act will have long-reaching implications for each branch of government. For the judiciary, it will be a key legal precedent that will serve as a major component of the historical view of the Court under Chief Justice John Roberts. For the legislative, the ruling will serve as a constitutional rebuke or acceptance of broad congressional action. And finally, for the executive, whether or not the health care act is overturned will play a key role not only in the legacy of Obama’s first four years as president, but also in whether or not he serves four more years as commander-in-chief. s

Karl Rove vs. Occupy Baltimore by COLETTE ANDREI, ’14 Staff Writer


n Tuesday, November 15, Karl Rove, former deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to President George W. Bush, spoke to an audience assembled in Shriver Hall at Johns Hopkins University. Rove has been called the architect of Bush’s successful 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns, and he is considered one of the most powerful and controversial political operatives of his generation. Admirers praise Rove’s winning track record and longtime effort to create a lasting national Republican majority. Critics deride him for his ruthless, win-at-all-costs campaign style. Speaking to Rove’s controversial reputation, prior to his speech, a group of protesters affiliated with the Occupy Baltimore movement gathered outside of Shriver Hall to demonstrate against him. The protesters chanted several derisive phrases towards Rove, ranging from his involvement in the war in Iraq to criticism of his recent memoir and his pro-conservative commentary on the Fox News network. Rove began his speech with his opinion of President Obama at the beginning of his presidency, saying he was a young, strong senator for whom Rove said he had the best wishes and highest expectations. However, after three years of an Obama administration, Rove stated that he feels the country has taken a downturn, and he reminded the audience that no president has ever been reelected with such a low approval rating as those currently being reported for Obama. He believes that the young voters who elected Obama have now moved away from him. He went on to say it was expected that Obama would govern from a centrist position, but so far he has not been bipartisan, and has governed in a way that has caused people to question his policies and actions. Rove also commented that the unemployment rate in the country is 9%, 16% if it is expanded to include discouraged workers, and that it “wasn’t supposed to be this way”. Rove then launched into criticism of Obama’s 2009 Stimulus Bill. He pointed to testimony by Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein, former Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors in the Obama administration and former Chief Economist and Economic Policy Advisor (continued on Page 5)



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NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL REPORTS to Vice President Joe Biden, respectively, who together coauthored the Obama administration’s plan for recovery from the 2008 recession. They predicted on January 9, 2009 that for every $1 the government would spend with the stimulus plan, there would be $1.55 in economic growth for the nation. Rove mocked this logic, claiming that he checked freshmen macroeconomics textbooks and discovered that only 81 cents can be generated for every dollar spent. Rove said the president’s administration thought they could magically create growth, but they have failed to meet economic targets, which has caused backlash from the American people. He also said that Obama criticized Bush for a deficit that was 1% of GDP; however, there has been three consecutive years with a deficit that is 10% of GDP. At this point in the event, protestors, dispersed throughout the audience, began to chant, “Karl Rove is the architect of occupy Iraq, is the architect of occupy Afghanistan.” Rove responded by saying “If you believe in free speech then shut up and wait your turn.” As the disruption continued and the protesters began the calland-response technique of the occupy protests, Rove countered, “Who gave you the right to occupy America? How arrogant and presumptuous can you be?” When the protesters came into unison with the cry “We are the 99 percent”, Rove rebutted, “No you’re not. Once some of the protesters left or were escorted out of the auditorium, Rove continued with the topic of what he believes is the country’s biggest spending problem: an entitlement program that will sink the United States. Rove disputed Obama’s claim that we do not have a spending problem and that people are not being

taxed their fair share, stating that the top 25% pay 86% of tax income, while the bottom 50% pay 3%. Rove then brought up the Affordable Care Act, the only piece of legislation, he said, to become less popular after it was passed. Rove responded to the Obama administration’s projection that the program would reduce the deficit by $243 billion “only if you believe in the tooth fairy.” There are 46 million people in the country without healthcare and Rove believes it is the taxpayer’s responsibility to foot the bill for coverage for people who can afford it, but not for the 9.7 million without coverage who are illegal immigrants. Rove said that he believes that for all the issues confronting the nation, there are alternatives better than what we now have in place. He said that the country has gone in a direction we did not expect, and while we can never truly be united, there needs to be a respectful, honest dialogue about issues. He believes that the challenges now are so big and daunting that as a country we must find a way to resolve them. s


IAEA Report Suspects a Nuclear Iran by SAM MARKSTEIN, ’15 Contributing Writer


Word of Occupy Baltimore’s disturbance of Karl Rove’s speech at the final MSE Symposium event of the semester made headlines. (SOURCE: http://


ast week, the United Nations nuclear-watchdog organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), released a scathing report detailing Iran’s emergent nuclear program. The findings, which indicate that “Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device,” have reopened the international debate surrounding Iran’s nuclear intentions: whether they are peaceful or militaristic. The report states that from 2008 through 2009, Iran crafted computer models displaying nuclear explosions, as well as investigated the use of nuclear triggers. In addition, the report claims that back in 2000, Iran built a large containment vessel at its Parchin military base, located 30 kilometers southeast of the capitol Tehran, to conduct nuclear testing. The IAEA deemed Iran’s activi(Continued on page 6) WWW.JHUPOLITIK.ORG

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INTERNATIONAL REPORT (Continued from page 5) ties at this base “strong indicators of possible weapons development.” The inspectors responsible for the report cited multiple documents suggesting that Iran “was working on a project to secure a source of uranium suitable for use in an undisclosed enrichment program” as a means to make bomb fuel. Furthermore, the report states that records of “at least 14 progressive design iterations” for a missile warhead to possibly deliver an atomic bomb to a distant target were found as well. However, while this IAEA report is the most damaging to Iran’s nuclear program to date, it does not assert that Iran has mastered all the technologies necessary, nor does the report estimate how long it would take for Iran to be able to produce a functional nuclear weapon. IAEA inspectors also do not point to a single weapons lab, or provide clear evidence of a fully constructed nuclear weapon. Yukiya Amano, the Director General of the IAEA for the past two years, recently stated that the IAEA’s report consisted of “over a thousand pages” of documents pertaining to Iran’s nuclear program and that they illustrated “research, development and testing activities” on technology consistent with building a nuclear weapon. A senior Obama administration official concurred with Mr. Amano’s statement, citing the IAEA’s evidence regarding Iran’s work on detonation systems. “It’s a very telltale sign of nuclear weapons work,” he stated. Naturally, Iranian officials have rejected the IAEA’s findings calling them “meaningless and baseless.” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suggested that Western powers, chiefly the United Stated, were responsible for constructing the report. Mr. Ahmadinejad asserted that, “the IAEA is just publishing reports provided by American officials…the head of the IAEA, Yukiya Amano…is a puppet of America.” Ali Larijani, Iran’s parliamentary speaker, went so far as to say that the United States had conspired with Israel, and that the two countries had actually dictated the IAEA report word for word. The IAEA report cited “a wide variety of independent sources,” including the agency’s own investigations, in an effort to anticipate the critique that the agency was simply recycling information from the CIA or the Israeli intelligence organization, Mossad. Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni countered by retorting, “the facts are clear, Iran is trying to achieve a nuclear weapon. It’s not an Israeli problem, it’s the problem of the entire world and the free world must unite in order to stop nuclear Iran.” The hostilities between Iran and Israel have been exacerbated not only by the IAEA’s report, but also by the wave of uprisings against iron-fisted dictators in the


region known as the “Arab Spring.” The popular revolutions taking place in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, and Syria have forced Iran and Israel to verbally and physically brandish their respective military powers in order to exude strength and stability in a region of mass civil unrest and volatility. This “sword clanging” by both nations is very disconcerting and alarming for the entire world. All parties involved will no doubt monitor the situation carefully and closely as it continues to develop. s

Economic Conference Focuses on the Future of the Pacific by ERIC FEINBERG, ’12 Staff Writer


he city of Honolulu hosted this year’s annual meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), held November 8-13. The conference, hosted by President Obama and the United States, included the heads of government from 21 nations bordering the Pacific, including China, Russia, and Japan. The multilateral discussions covered a wide range of issues, but the elephant in the room was clearly the worldwide economic slowdown. President Obama’s economic priority was gathering support for the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership, a framework of free trade agreements in development since 2005. Only a handful of the 21 are already signatories, but more are in the process of negotiating for admission and still more have announced that they are considering it. The Pacific nations produce more than half of the world’s gross domestic product each year and comprise a similarly massive proportion of international trade, so the US increasingly sees these commercial agreements as critical to the economy of the future. Security was also a major theme of the summit, with a notable emphasis on the growing apprehension over the rise of China. Ever since the conclusion of World War II, the United States has been the dominant power in the world—including in the Pacific. However, Chinese growth has outpaced that of the US for decades, and China has become the single largest holder of US sovereign debt in the world. The US postwar ascendancy has thus been steadily corroding in the region, and there are (Continued on page 7)


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INTERNATIONAL REPORT/OPINION (Continued from page 6) mounting reservations that China may seek to capitalize on its newfound ability to exert its economic influence against its neighbors. “Now they have grown up,” Obama said of the changing situation. “They are going to have to help manage this process in a responsible way.” There are already high-level discussions taking place in Australia about increasing the US military presence in Southeast Asia, so the way that this narrative will unfold remains to be seen. It looks increasingly as though there could be heightened Sino-American tensions, at least in the short term. China was also the target of criticism over its economic policy. Businesses have long complained that China has seriously undervalued its currency, the Renminbi, by as much as 25% in order to artificially cheapen its exports. But in the shadow of the economic downturn and

question concerned the United States’s position on the Iranian nuclear program, which is especially pressing in light of a recent United Nations report indicating that Iran is inching ever closer to achieving nuclear capability. The president made it clear that no options were off the table. One audacious reporter took note of the environment—a beautiful Hawaiian sunset, a tropical beach lined by luxury hotels, and, of course, hula dancers— and asked whether Obama was at all uncomfortable to be seen cavorting in such a paradise while the American people were suffering through a painful recession. “With respect to this trip, look, this is a pretty nice piece of scenery,” the president joked. “But we’re here for business. We’re here to create jobs. We’re here to promote exports. And we’ve got a set of tangible, concrete steps that have been taken that are going to make our economy stronger, and that’s part of what our leadership has been about.” s


The Politics of Brazilian Slum Occupation by HILARY MATFESS, ’14 Staff Writer President Obama poses with some of the other 21 leaders at the 2011 meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.. (SOURCE: http://whitehouse. gov)

mounting political pressure on the president, the issue took on a new sense of urgency at the APEC summit this year. In addition to currency issues, Obama also criticized the Chinese for their lax enforcement of American intellectual property rights, which he said drains billions of dollars from our economy and discourages exactly the kind of innovation the world desperately needs right now. At a press conference near the conclusion of the summit, flanked by gently waving palm trees and a magnificent vista overlooking Mamala Bay, President Obama answered questions from reporters on a number of issues discussed in the backroom negotiations. He highlighted a series of accomplishments, including progress toward Russia’s admission to the World Trade Organization, which has been a longstanding objective. Another



arly in the morning on November 13, 3,000 heavily armed Brazilian police and soldiers entered the nation’s largest slum to begin the process of “pacification.” Over the past three years, twenty of these flavelas have been raided, though Rocinha is the largest and its raid has been the most significant and symbolic. Although the soldiers came with armed tanks and heavy artillery, by the afternoon, the troops declared Rocinha to be under state control without a single shot fired. In fact, the police were met with no resistance in the course of their occupation. This peaceful pacification may have been enabled by the police’s announcement of their coming occupation, or because, as the Christian Science Monitor points out, Rocinha is largely a non-violent area, despite being plagued by drug gangs. The occupation of Rocinha follows Brazil’s capture of (Continued on page 8) WWW.JHUPOLITIK.ORG

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OPINION (Continued from page 7) the nation’s most wanted drug lord, Antônio Bonfim Lopes. All of this may seem puzzling until one considers that Brazil will be hosting the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. In addition to the heavy financial burden imposed by hosting such games (China spent an estimated $40 billion when it hosted the 2008 Olympic Games, shattering all records), there is a considerable toll on the government’s crowd-control abilities. The invasion of Rocinha is a means of sending a message to the international community that Brazil is capable of maintaining the internal order necessary to host the games. Brazilian authorities stated that the occupation of the slum was an attempt to integrate the nation’s slumdwellers into the national society and economy; they hold that the raid is not just in preparation for the World Cup and Olympics. A man interviewed by EuroNews welcomed the troops, suggesting that slum-dwellers would finally be given the same rights and protections granted to residents of wealthier areas. Though flavela residents have largely welcomed the soldiers, there have been some complaints about police behavior, usually concerning abuse of power and the police’s use of excessive force. If Brazil’s occupation of Rocinha is really motivated by a desire to extend equal rights and protections to all of its citizens, then the question arises of how long the occupation will last and what projects will be undertaken to address the general depravation of the slum-dwelling population. Given that many of the raids are focused on slums near valuable real estate, it seems unlikely that poverty alleviation is truly the motivation behind these occupations. s

Thank you for reading JHU Politik this semester. Our next issue is due for release after Thanksgiving, and will be one of our special issues featuring several interviews. We’ll be back in February with our regular weekly issues. Enjoy the holidays! Best, The Editors

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