After Arizona's new immigration bill was signed into law last Friday, Mexico has warned its own citizens that they may face a "negative political environment" if they venture across the border. The new law requires police to question anyone who they suspect might be an illegal immigrant — and to arrest those who fail to show identity papers. The president has called the new legislation "misguided," but conceded it was provoked by the federal government's failure to act on illegal immigration. Has Arizona gone too far? (Watch an AP report about the furor over Arizona's immigration law)
Arizona had to act: Concerns that this bill is disproportionately harsh "have to be balanced against necessity," says Jonah Goldberg at the LA Times. The "economic, social and environmental" costs of unchecked immigration are too much for Arizona to bear, and something needed to be done. The state is simply enforcing a "federal law that Washington isn't enforcing."
"Arizona's ugly but necessary immigration law"
But it has acted by encouraging racism: Arizona does need to tackle this problem, says Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post. But giving police these powers invites profiling, relegating legal Latino citizens of the state to "second-class status." The bill is "racist, arbitrary, oppressive, mean-spirited [and] unjust." Let's hope the courts find it "unconstitutional" and strike it down.
"Arizona's new immigration law is an act of vengeance"
This is bad for Arizona, but it may make Obama act: Not only is this bill practically unenforceable, says an unsigned editorial in the Arizona State Press, it's "making Arizona a target of ridicule." But at least the federal government is beginning to admit it has failed to address immigration. Let's hope this flawed bill spurs "real action" in Washington.
Nothing will change as long as both parties keep playing politics: Unfortunately, lawmakers are choosing to "play politics" with this situation, says an editorial in The Wall Street Journal, rather than fix it. Obama has decided to "pick a fight and define Republicans as anti-Hispanic going into the election," while the GOP can use the bill to paint the government as weak on border control. Expect even more "desperate laws" to be passed at the state level.
"Arizona's immigration frustration"