When the Arizona legislature passed one of the most
restrictive and sweeping anti-immigration bills in the country last week, it sparked a national
. Now opponents of the law, which they say will legalize
harassment and discrimination of Latinos, are looking at how to roll it
back. Every avenue, from a court challenge to fighting within the
Arizona political system, is being explored. Here are the possibilities.
Congressman: Obama Should Fight It Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva called for the
White House to push back against the law. In a speech at the state
Capitol in Phoenix, alongside civil rights activists, Grijalva said,
"We're going to overturn this unjust and racist law, and then we're
going to overturn the power structure that created this unjust, racist
law." The Department of Justice is already looking into the issue at the
White House's request.
- Federal Immigration Law Preempts State Law Time's Nathan Thornburgh notes, "President Obama ... ordered the Justice
Department to look into the legislation. Some experts say that under
Article 1 of the Constitution, only Congress has the right to set
immigration law. There is a good reason for that, say opponents of the
bill: Even if Arizona is successful in its crackdown, illegal traffic
will just move to other border states, moving the burden elsewhere
without solving the national problem."
- Want Change? Look to Governor's
Mansion Northwestern law professor Victoria DeFrancesco
writes in Politico, "My home state of Arizona is NOT a 'wingnut
paradise' rather Arizona is a state that does NOT have a balance of
power check. It is no coincidence that extremism set in when Democratic
Governor Janet Napolitano stepped down to join the President's
administration." Napolitano was able to keep the conservative
legislature in check. A new, equally moderate governor must take the capitol to return the balance.
- 'Doomed' in Federal Court
Politics Daily's Andrew Cohen predicts, "in a
few weeks, or maybe even a few days, the effect of the state law is
likely to be stayed by the federal courts. And then the debate will go
back to where it belongs, onto Capitol Hill and away from the courts, at
least for the time being."
- Why It's Unconstitutional
Salon's James Doty explains why
"there is a high probability that its most controversial provision will
be struck down before the law goes into effect." That provision requires
police to check the identity and immigration paperwork of anyone who
could possibly be an illegal immigrant. "For one thing, the
Constitution's equal protection clause forbids the government from
differentiating between anyone in the United States -- including illegal
aliens -- on the basis of race. The new law, on its face, doesn't make
racial distinctions, but its supporters haven't articulated any other
grounds for suspecting that someone is an unlawful resident. It is,
therefore, vulnerable to the argument that it essentially criminalizes
walking while Hispanic."
- Federal Funding for Borders Would
Stem Fears Writing in Politico, Victoria DeFrancesco notes
that California and Texas get the bulk of federal border control
funding, leaving Arizona with much of the traffic and little ability to
control it. "The federal government has not only failed to provide a
comprehensive plan for immigration but it has laid the brunt of the
issue on the state of Arizona." That's why the state fights back,
sometimes misguidedly, with strict anti-immigration measures.
Arizona A handful of groups and leaders have called for boycotts
of Arizona commerce in protest of the bill. Rep. Grijalva called for
companies to avoid the state's highly lucrative industry of convention
centers and resorts. A New Mexico-based immigration group has called for a boycott of all Arizona
businesses. And a group of truckers has announced they will no longer haul
goods in or out of the state.
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