Republicans spent the weekend trumpeting shock and outrage over President Obama’s leaked “backup plan” on immigration. In dysfunctional Washington, this means that prospects for comprehensive reform—including what amounts to an amnesty for the undocumented—are getting brighter.
Momentum has shifted against anti-immigrant bills like Arizona’s SB 1070 in the more than 20 states that have tried to institute copycat laws. Most efforts have failed to gain legislative traction, with bills dying in committee or simply being voted down.
Arizona is known for its anti-immigration climate, with vigilante sheriffs seemingly ruling the day. Now, that anti-immigration sentiment may be about to be implemented by the state’s political system, as the Legislature votes on a bill that would significantly toughen laws against undocumented immigrants.
A huge rally will converge in Phoenix on Saturday with activists calling for federal action to address Arizona’s immigration problems. At the center of it all is Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a man accused of racial profiling in his notorious crusade against undocumented immigrants.
Despite the American penchant for xenophobia, a report from two policy institutes concludes that legalizing the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. would boost wages, consumption, jobs and tax revenue.
Joe Arpaio, a sheriff in Arizona known for his rabid anti-immigration stance and poor treatment of undocumented immigrants in his custody, has finally lost the federal power to enforce immigration law—a power reserved for federal agents, not county sheriffs.