Ariz. ruling a ‘killer’ for Dems, huge windfall for right

Updated
Let me finish tonight with this federal injunction against the new Arizona immigration law. First of all, it is a “killer” issue politically for the Democrats this fall and a huge windfall for the right. It will anger even those people who believe the Arizona law went too far. It will dramatize the main case raised by the Tea Party people: that the federal government in Washington has become too powerful, that the rights of the states have been terribly abridged. That is the political consequence and it will be felt mightily this November. I say this realizing a critical problem with the Arizona law. The policeman who stops a suspected illegal immigrant would, under the new Arizona law, be required to check out that person’s immigration status. Standing next to that stopped car, he would be at a horribly unfair disadvantage. He might “suspect” the person of being in the country illegally. The illegal immigrant would certainly “know” it and might well decide to fight it out rather than face deportation and separation from his or her family. It’s not hard to imagine the desperate moral calculation this would trigger. But the plain fact, and most Americans recognize it to their distress, is that the federal government has not been serious about enforcing the immigration laws. Arizona, whatever you may think of its law, is at least attempting to deal with the situation. That, too, is a fact, cruel as it might come across. I wish Americans were fair-minded about immigration. I wish the politicians were honest about it. The right panders by suggesting it would throw the millions of illegal immigrants out of the country - knowing full well that would be a catastrophe. The liberals refuse to get serious about enforcement. This is one case where government in this country has simply failed and that means the politicians have failed. The deal is there to be struck. Find a way for people who have made lives here to become full, assimilated Americans like every other immigrant over our history. Find a way to stop the illegal hiring of people who have no right to be in this country. Do both or get out of the way because only by doing both will there be a deal and without a deal this problem will grow and grow. The divide in the country will cut deeper and the only winners will be the exploiters – those interests who love this issue because the more heat it raises on illegal immigrants the more it cheapens their labor and delivers the vote – and that, too, is a fact.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Arizona, Washington and Hardball Let Me Finish

Ariz. ruling a 'killer' for Dems, huge windfall for right

Updated