I recognize that the Arizona law is in part a reflection of frustration with the inability of the Federal Government to come to grips with immigration. There have been attempts to rectify the situation, but there hasn't been the political will to accomplish reform, in part because there is no consensus on what to do, as well as conflicting agendas. There are business leaders who are largely Republican that want to broaden access for migrant workers, because they need these workers. These are also the folks who are hiring undocumented workers. On the other hand there are Democrats who are concerned about civil rights, and thus concerned about the civil rights issues involved, and yet they have constituents concerned about loss of jobs. Then mix into this a growing nativism, and you have the foundations of a stalemate.
As for the law itself, it simply goes way to far. Not only does it step on the toes of the federal government, but it creates untold numbers of problems, including potential for abuse of civil rights. Proponents of the law say they don't understand why there is all the fuss about producing documents. But, most of these proponents are white and unlikely to ever be asked to produce such documents such as a birth certificate. How many of us carry proof of citizenship? Few if any. But, if you're Latino, well that's different. Why? Because you fit the profile of someone who society believes might be here illegally. Therefore, one could be a Brit living here illegally, probably having overstayed one's visa, or maybe even a Canadian, but no one would ask for documents, but one could be Latino, having lived here legally one's life, but be required to produce documents -- because they fit the profile. Suspicions are based on profiles. You can train the cops and mean well, but the pressure is on in Arizona to show results. And so rights will be abused.
Now, what would be best would be for Congress to get behind a reform measure that is realistic and that provides needed security. I realize in today's political climate that's not likely, but this would be helpful. It is also time for a broader discussion about immigration. Why people have come here to the US, and why they continue to come. Its time w reflect on the benefits that immigration provides to the nation. After all we are a nation of immigrants. Even Native Americans migrated here from Asia thousands of years ago. We also need to recognize that migrants aren't the cause of drug related crimes. Yes some are involved, but they're not the cause. The cause is the insatiable appetite on the part of Americans for cocaine and other drugs, signs that the American "war on drugs" has been a failure.
My hope is that the Supreme Court will throw this law out so that we can get on with resolving the real problems.