Critics say Arizona's controversial new "SB 1070" immigration law — which lets police arrest people who can't prove their legal right to be in America — may ultimately prove unconstitutional. In the meantime, the notorious law has provoked some weird side-effects, from celebrity interventions to baseball boycotts. Here, 6 curious consequences:
1. Pundits are predicting that Arizona will turn blue
Until now, the state's Hispanics have been far more receptive to Republicans than Hispanics nationwide. In 2008, John McCain won 41 percent of Arizona's Latino vote (compared with only 23 percent of the national Hispanic vote). Now, in the wake of SB 1070, the Daily Kos is warning that anti-GOP feeling amongst Latinos could shift the state's political leanings: "Within a decade, Arizona will be as reliably Democratic as California is today."
2. Republicans may get a national boost
Even if the GOP loses Arizona in the long term as a result of the bill, it could see short-term gains. A small majority (51 percent) of Americans approve of the bill, according to a Gallup poll, with three of four Republicans saying they back the measure. "Most Americans have heard about Arizona's tough new immigration law, and they support it," says Gallup's Jeffrey M. Jones.
3. Baseball fans plan to boycott the Arizona Diamondbacks
The state's MLB team, scheduled to play road games in Chicago, Texas, Atlanta, Florida, Colorado and California in the next month, may face fewer fans, given protest plans unfolding in each location. The link? Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick is a major contributor to Arizona's Republican party. Dave Zirin at The Nation calls the team, "the SB 1070 Traveling Roadshow."
4. Critics are (unfairly) vilifying an iced tea company
Some of the bill's opponents are calling for a widespread boycott of products made in Arizona — something the makers of AriZona Iced Tea find particularly irksome since their concoctions are brewed in New York, and their company name pays tribute to a "south-western inspired house in Queens."
5. Concerned citizens can buy "Relax, I'm legal" tees
"Where there's controversy, there's t-shirts," says Aylin Zafar at The Atlantic. Canny marketeers are exploiting the controversy to flog political outerwear. Critics of the bill can buy a "Relax. I'm legal" shirt, while supporters can proudly wear the message: "Arizona: Doing the job the Feds won't do."
6. Shakira is staging an intervention
The Hispanic pop starlet flew to Arizona this week for informational meetings with law enforcement officers and Latino community leaders. According to Shakira's "political and philanthropic adviser," the singer is "deeply concerned" about the bill's racial implications and even tried (unsuccessfully) to set up a summit with Governor Jan Brewer. Also speaking out: Ricky Martin.
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