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President Obama gave his first big speech on immigration Thursday, laying out his case for bipartisan immigration reform and calling out Republicans for uniformly opposing an initiative some of them supported when it was proposed by President Bush. In lieu of a coherent policy to deal with the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country, he said, you get a "patchwork" of local laws, like the "ill-conceived" and "ultimately unenforceable" law that will go into effect in Arizona this month. Is the president playing straight, or villifying Arizona for partisan reasons? (Watch highlights from Obama's speech)
The only thing Arizona's law will produce is chaos: Obama was right to take "particular notice of the extremism of Arizona," says The New York Times in an editorial. Its "deeply unjust" immigration law isn't just "an invitation to racial profiling," but also a "usurpation of federal authority" and a prelude to the "chaos" that will ensue if different states have different immigration rules.
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Obama's blaming Arizona for his own failure: Obama "dumped on Arizona's law," but what's his solution — other than blaming Republicans? asks Allahpundit in Hot Air. And how is Arizona's law any more "unenforceable" than federal immigration law? He doesn't say, but maybe "that was the point: From the feds' perspective, all immigration law these days is 'unenforceable.'"
Enforcement means more than just cops: Obama's right that "illegal immigration can't really be handled in a piecemeal fashion," says The Denver Post in an editorial, but that doesn't just apply to states taking the law into their own hands. Thanks in part to Arizona's law, the already overworked federal courts that handle immigration law "are about to drown in cases." For border enforcement to work, Obama needs to hire more judges.
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