America Throws the Gauntlet Down on AZ

America's got a bone to pick with Arizona. The state's anti-immigrant legislation (SB 1070), signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer in April, has caused a nationwide uproar of people who view it as a misguided political ploy. (It's no secret that this is an election year for Brewer, and it appears she may have some campaign funding problems, which may or may not have played a role in this bold move.)

Not only has the Arizona decision elicited the expected cacophony of advocacy groups challenging the law, but cities across the country, stretching from coast to coast with some in between (including our very own, Boston) have made Arizona's immigration policy their business, making moves to boycott the state and municipalities of Arizona until the decision is reversed.

President Obama has publicly denounced the law (watch it below), advocating for comprehensive immigration reform over punitive and divisive patchwork measures (e.g., fences, walls, community raids, round-ups, detentions and mass deportations).

Obama pow-wowed with Gov. Brewer earlier this month to find common ground on this issue. It was pretty much a waste of jet fuel and air time, because not much came of the meeting. Brewer is holding her ground, saying the completion of the Great Wall between the US and Mexico and increased militarization of the border are prerequisites to comprehensive reform.

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice is reviewing Arizona's immigration law in consideration of a potential suit against the state for violations of civil rights. To that end, Brewer had this to say--she won't go down easy, and is willing to go to some extreme legal lengths to prove her point.

Despite Brewer's incorrigibility on reversing SB 1070, and despite the generally favorable results of full-context-lacking polls about the law, we're able to find clarity in paradox. Most of those who support the Arizona law only do so because it was a form of action on a long-standing concern. At the same time, an overwhelming majority of voters, including those who support the Arizona law, would support comprehensive immigration reform by the federal government. That begs this question: What are our elected officials [still] waiting for?


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