The recent brouhaha in Arizona resulting from a federal judge’s decision to put a hold on certain parts of SB1070, Arizona’s new anti-illegal immigration law, has created some heroes and villains.
On the hero side we can clearly see Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and the always lovable Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Both of these public servants are standing on the side of the vast majority of Americans. I have seen polls showing as much as 70% support for Arizona’s new law while the majority of polls put the support anywhere between 55% to 60% on average.
In Arizona, the support is up in the 70% range quite frequently and has been ever since the law was passed.
One then has to wonder why the Justice Department, led by Attorney General Holder and President Obama, has pursued SB1070 in the courts with an aim to kill the provisions which give it teeth.
So you might say the recent court decision was at least a battle won for President Obama even if most judicial analysts see the Supreme court eventually siding with the state of Arizona. I would counter that by pointing to the seemingly overwhelming support for tougher illegal immigration laws in nearly ever corner of the country.
In fact, take a look at this story out today from US News and World Report:
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.
Want to know what 287g says? Well, just read the law in Arizona. Yes, that law. The one causing protests in the streets of Phoenix, hysteria on cable talk shows and confusion in the courts. The one that empowers state and local law enforcement to enforce immigration law.
The federal law that has been on the books for more than decade … empowers state and local law enforcement to impose immigration law. According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, more than 60 jurisdictions in states across the country have taken advantage of this law.
Florida, Virginia, Oklahoma, Ohio, New Hampshire, California, and even Massachusetts are among the states in which local police are enforcing immigration law.
Seems we’re missing out on the chance for a lot more street theater and cable news shouting from both sides of the partisan divide. Why stop at the Arizona border?
The Arizona law is nothing new, it is copied in dozens of states and even mirrored by federal law.
Why then has the Obama administration chosen to target SB1070 as an issue?
The only clear answer can be for pure 100% uncut politics. The midterms are coming up and Obama is losing Hispanic support in droves due to his failed economic policies.
What’s the best way to re-energize his 2008 voter base of minorities? Put forth the lie that Arizona’s recycled law is equivalent to Nazi Germany and President Obama will be there to save everyone. There is no other explanation which makes sense considering the Justice Department could be going around the country suing other states with equal provisions in their immigration enforcement codes.
Take it away, Joe:
Thus, I can argue that President Obama may have lost the battle and war in this case since the court decisions has not stifled this law, it has only served as a battle cry for concerned citizens who desperately want to see CHANGE come to Washington in 2010.