Arizona's controversial law, SB 1070, is "an abomination, no doubt about it," says Tamar Jacoby in the Los Angeles Times. And the president must take a strong stand against it. But a possible Justice Department lawsuit "would be a horrendous mistake" and end any chance the president has at passing immigration reform. The bill has already been quite divisive. On one side, boycotts in 15 states condemn Arizona's action. On the other, polls show that 60 percent of Americans support the law, presumably driven by anger at our country's "dysfunctional immigration system and a political class that doesn't seem bothered by millions of people making a mockery of the law." This lawsuit would ensure that these two sides would never find peace in their "moralistic standoff." Here, an excerpt:
"If the White House sues, it will do so under a flag of high moral righteousness. But many will see the suit as something far more cynical. Arizona acted only because the feds hadn't, moving, albeit misguidedly, to handle a problem Washington had left to fester for years. Yet now, instead of stepping up to do its job, Washington is trying to cover its flank by punishing those who filled the vacuum?
Only the federal government can fix what's wrong with immigration — but not with a lawsuit. What's needed is comprehensive immigration reform — a balanced, bipartisan bill supported by a broad national consensus. That's what the administration should be focused on — developing consensus on immigration, not exacerbating a widening divide and closing off all possibility of compromise."