Exclusionist Conservatives in Arizona are quick to defend themselves against charges of racism. While I tend to be an pro-immigration hawk, I accept that there are issues, such as the conflict of immigration and the welfare state, where reasonable people can disagree as to solutions without any hint of racism charging the debate. I really, really resist playing the race card on anyone.
However, if Conservatives really want to discourage charges of racism, they need to stop playing on fears of immigrant crime as a main argument in their case (example from Expresso Pundit). Such fears of minority group violence are part and parcel of every racist position in history. The out-group is always vilified as criminal, whether it be blacks in the 60's or Italians and Eastern Europeans earlier in the century or the Irish in the 19th century.
There is no evidence either recently or throughout history of immigrant-led crime waves, and in fact as I wrote the other day crime rates in Arizona are improving throughout this "invasion" at a faster rate than the US average. So when Conservatives grab a single example, such as the Pinal County shooting (for which no suspects have been identified) as "proof" we need immigration reform, they are no different than Al Sharpton grandstanding based on the Tawana Brawley case (and possibly these cases could be even more similar, update: or perhaps not).
Stop trying to manufacture a crime spree that does not exist. Sure, illegal immigrants commit some murders. So do every other group. There is no evidence they commit such murders at a disproportionate rate. And yes, I understand there are violent, paramilitary gangs roving Northern Mexico, which currently is in a state of chaos, that we really don't want to spill over into Arizona. But this has been a threat for years, and for all the fear, there is no evidence that they are somehow increasing their activities here. And even if they were, laws that give Joe Arpaio additional power to harass day laborers in Phoenix are sure as hell not going to scare them off.