Arizona Law Puts Spotlight on Federal Immigration Reform

Posted on May 11, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Arizona’s new anti-illegal immigration law has not only turned-up the heat on federal immigration reform pushing it to the forefront, but has put added pressure on both Democrats and Republicans.

This divisive issue is a two-edge sword for federal lawmakers of both stripes, not only impacting the 2010 midterm elections but going forward.

For moderate Democrats in swing districts facing tough reelection fights in the fall, supporting reform measures that hint of a “pathway to citizenship”–which for many translates into “amnesty”– could, and most likely will, hurt them at the ballot box. Data clearly indicates that swing voters in many competitive districts in the South and Midwest overwhelmingly approve of the new Arizona law that requires police to determine a person’s immigration status if there is “reasonable suspicion” they are in the U.S. illegally.

For Republicans, embracing Arizona’s tough new measure, while carrying some short-term benefits, could alienate Latino voters and severely damage GOP efforts to woo that important constituency.

Critics of the new Arizona law including Hispanic groups, civil rights activists and organized labor, claim the law sanctions racial profiling.

Supporters of the new law point to the need to curb crime, including drug smuggling along the border. More importantly they say the law addresses the inescapable fact that there are an estimated 10.8 million people in the United States illegally.

Several national polls, including separate opinion surveys conducted by CBS, Gallup and Rasmussen, clearly show that Arizona’s new law is popular with a majority of American voters. There is strong support across the board for Arizona’ crackdown on illegal immigrants, with the Rasmussen survey indicating that 60 percent of voters nationwide backed the state’s statute.

The one thing on which both critics and backers of Arizona’s tough illegal immigration law can agree– is that the federal government has failed to adequately secure the borders and stem the flow of illegal immigrants.

Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), who is facing a very tough reelection fight, took the opportunity presented by the Arizona immigration statute, signed into law in late April, to shift the Senate’s attention from climate legislation to immigration reform.

“Democrats and Republicans can all agree that our immigration system is broken,” said Reid who has indicated he wants to see swift movement on comprehensive immigration reform. A draft proposal by Senate Democrats has already started making the rounds but there is little hope of a deal being reached before the midterm elections.

Senate Republicans just aren’t buying in and view the immigration reform push by Reid as a pure politics. The GOP claims Reid is merely trying to score points with Nevada’s Latino voters who make up nearly 25 percent of the state’s electorate. (His GOP opponents all support the Arizona anti-illegal immigration law.)

Since the passage of the Arizona immigration law tens of thousands have joined protests in cities across the country denouncing the new measure and demanding real immigration reform.

On May 5, President Obama said he would like the Senate to begin debate on immigration this year.

“What has become increasingly clear is that we can no longer wait to fix our broken immigration system,” said the President.

We at Turner GPA couldn’t agree more.

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One Response to “Arizona Law Puts Spotlight on Federal Immigration Reform”

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Thanks for printing an article that is a more on point. This law isn’t just for Latino’s. This law also includes student and work visas. There are lots of illegal people in Arizona and the same goes for the rest of the country.
I don’t agree with the law but my fear is the way it will be enforced. Sheriff Joe Arpaio could be wild card in how this law is inforced.


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