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  1. #1
    Senior Member Ratbstard's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    New Alien City-(formerly New York City)

    Court's ruling on Ariz. immigration law to echo in November

    Court's ruling on Ariz. immigration law to echo in November

    By Dan Nowicki, The Arizona Republic
    Updated 7h 16m ago

    PHOENIX – One way or another, the U.S. Supreme Court's looming decision on Arizona's immigration law is expected to affect the presidential race and down-ticket battles in Arizona and other states.

    If, as some court-watchers expect, the justices uphold controversial elements of the state law, known as Senate Bill 1070, President Obama's re-election efforts and the campaign of Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Richard Carmona could be lifted by energized Latino voters angered by the decision.

    If the high court strikes down key pieces of SB 1070, it's possible that the Republican presidential nominee and other GOP candidates could benefit from a backlash directed at the Obama administration's decision to sue Arizona over the law. Some experts say border-security advocates are already mobilized.

    While no one expects immigration to eclipse the economy as the dominant political issue of the year, the SB 1070 decision could pick the scab off an emotional issue that so far has barely registered in the presidential race.

    Reverberations from the ruling are expected to pack an extra punch in potential swing states with large Hispanic populations such as Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia.

    "The old principle in politics is that the people who are angry are the people who count," said Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. "They turn out at a larger rate, they give more money, and they spend more time volunteering. If the tough immigration rules are upheld, then Hispanics are going to be angry and will turn out at a larger rate. If it's the reverse, it's possible that the anti-immigration people will say, 'Hey, we need to get somebody who is friendly to our point of view in the White House.'"

    The Arizona Legislature passed and Gov. Jan Brewer signed the strict immigration-enforcement legislation into law in April 2010, setting off a nationwide furor and calls for economic boycotts of the state over fears of widespread racial profiling.

    The legislation made it a state crime to be in the country illegally. It also states that a law-enforcement officer engaged in a lawful stop, detention or arrest shall, when practicable, ask about a person's legal status when reasonable suspicion exists that the person is in the United States illegally. U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton in July 2010 blocked the most controversial parts of the law from going into effect, but Supreme Court oral arguments in April have many SB 1070 opponents worried that at least some of the statute will be upheld as constitutional. The provision regarding police stops particularly is viewed by some as likely to be upheld. A decision in the case is expected sometime in June and could come as early as Monday.

    In Arizona, the effects also are expected to be felt in the high-profile race to succeed retiring three-term U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.

    On the Democratic side, Carmona, a former U.S. surgeon general of Puerto Rican descent, is the expected nominee, although he faces primary competition from Tucson psychiatrist David Ruben. The immigration issue has already exploded in the GOP primary between U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake, a former supporter of comprehensive immigration reform, and his anti-"amnesty" rival Wil Cardon, a largely self-funded Mesa investor who is estimated already to have spent more than $2 million on television commercials.

    While opinions differ on whether Obama has a real shot at carrying traditionally Republican Arizona this year — he lost it to home-state U.S. Sen. John McCain in 2008 — or whether Carmona can become the first Democratic senator from Arizona in 18 years, it's clear that a big anti-SB 1070 Latino outpouring at the polls would tighten both races.

    The Latino vote

    Supporters of national comprehensive immigration reform such as Frank Sharry, executive director of the pro-reform organization America's Voice, say they still hope the Supreme Court comes down on the side of SB 1070's critics.

    But Sharry said upholding what he calls SB 1070's "show-me-your-papers provision" could be a boon for Obama and other Democratic candidates while putting Arizona Republicans "on the wrong side of the demographic changes in the state." Latinos tend to vote Democratic and he predicted that it is just a matter of time until Arizona's politics turn more liberal, citing what happened in California after the controversy over that state's 1994 voter-approved get-tough-on-illegal immigration measure, Proposition 187.

    "My guess is that it (a ruling in favor of SB 1070's law-enforcement provision) will galvanize Latino voters in the state to vote as an act of self-defense and could put Arizona in play in the presidential race and could help Carmona quite a bit, especially if he ends up running against Cardon," said Sharry. "And it will accelerate the day that Arizona goes the way of California."

    This year, though, Cardon is using SB 1070 to clobber Flake, the Republican Senate front-runner. To many conservative activists and primary voters, illegal-immigration remains a hot-button topic even though illegal immigration in Arizona and the United States is down significantly.

    Flake, a six-term congressman, in 2011 pivoted to a position in which he insists on a secure U.S.-Mexico border before proceeding with other reforms such as a guest-worker program or a pathway to legal status for undocumented workers already in the country. But Cardon's latest anti-Flake television ad still attacks him for joining "Barack Obama in criticizing SB 1070, Arizona's immigration law" and holding a "liberal position" on illegal immigration that "is the same as Obama's."

    The Cardon commercial features a fake photo, which appears to show Flake and Obama standing together.

    "Wil Cardon's dishonest campaign for Senate continues to mislead voters and rely on doctored photos," Flake spokesman Andrew Wilder said. "The truth is that Jeff Flake is a leading supporter for securing our border and does not support amnesty."

    Romney, the GOP presidential nominee-in-waiting, already has taken a lot of heat from immigration advocates over his support of policies such as steering illegal immigrants back to Mexico by making the United States inhospitable to them, and for accepting endorsements from Brewer and Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state who helped Arizona lawmakers write SB 1070. Romney also promised to veto the Dream Act if it came to his desk as president. The legislation would grant legal permanent residency to individuals brought to this country illegally as children if they are attending college or serving in the military.

    It's unclear whether Romney will counter some of the bad press he has received in the Latino community by picking a Hispanic vice-presidential running mate such as U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

    "It is one of Romney's biggest problems: the fact that he is losing Hispanics by a margin as large if not larger than the margin that McCain lost by," Sabato said.

    For his part, Obama may need to re-energize some of the Latino supporters who backed him over McCain four years ago. Some have become dispirited by the lack of progress on Obama's 2008 promises to enact immigration reform and his administration's record levels of deportations.

    Over the last year, Obama has revamped his deportation policy to focus on serious criminals while allowing some longtime undocumented immigrants without criminal records to stay in the U.S. Analysts have said the move was calculated to win back some of his lost support from Latino voters. Outrage over a Supreme Court ruling on SB 1070 could motivate Latinos who are still frustrated with the president to cast ballots for him on Election Day.

    Impact at state level

    Others suggested that the predictions about potential reaction to the SB 1070 ruling may be over-hyped. Nationally, polls continue to show significant support for the Arizona law.

    One supporter of immigration enforcement said Romney could use a Supreme Court ruling upholding SB 1070 to hammer Obama for opposing what the high court has deemed a constitutional and reasonable state statute, but doubts that either candidate will press the immigration issue in a big way . Because while SB 1070 may stir passions in Arizona and Southwestern swing states such Colorado and Nevada, its impact in swing states such as Ohio, New Hampshire Iowa and Pennsylvania is not so clear cut.

    "Neither of them is sure whether the position that they've staked out on immigration hurts or helps them on balance," said Steven Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, D.C., think tank that favors vigorous enforcement of immigration laws. "Obama doesn't want to alienate all kinds of voters in battleground states that he might (if he emphasizes immigration reform on the campaign stump). And it's the same with Romney: He's just not sure."

    Camarota said the biggest impact of a pro-SB 1070 court ruling likely will be at the state level, with other states emboldened to enact similar laws.

    Louis DeSipio, a political science professor at the University of California-Irvine, said many Latinos fear widespread implementation of Arizona-style immigration laws, and that concern could contribute to their political action. The perception among some Latinos is that the law targets Latinos and will lead to higher discrimination against all Latinos, not just Latino illegal immigrants, DeSipio said.

    "I think that will act as a real spur to Latino participation in the election," DeSipio said.

    However, veteran Arizona pollster Bruce Merrill was somewhat skeptical of predictions of higher-than-usual Latino voter turnout, though he did agree that a decision upholding key parts of SB 1070 probably would help Obama and Carmona to some degree.

    "Every year, the Hispanic leaders tell me that this year is going to be different and they're really going to turn out," said Merrill, a senior research fellow at Arizona State University's Morrison Institute for Public Policy. "And I think they will this year, maybe, a little bit more. But how much is more? To me, unless the election is just razor-thin, I don't think it's going to be something that makes or breaks the election."

    Court's ruling on Ariz. immigration law to echo in November
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  2. #2
    Senior Member agrneydgrl's Avatar
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    May 2007
    That is assuming that ALL latinos want all those illgals here. Alot of my mexican friends don't want them here becasue most are American born and raised and they are smart enough to know that these illegals are helping to bring down our standard of living.

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