Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Arizona Law Proves Complex for the Republican Party

Following the passage of the controversial Arizona immigration law, notable Republicans including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, a candidate for US Senate in Florida, are countering some in their party to speak out against the law.

In an interview with Politico (link it), Bush said, “I think it creates unintended consequences. It’s difficult for me to imagine how you’re going to enforce this law. It places a significant burden on local law enforcement and you have civil liberties issues that are significant as well.”

The new law, which was signed by the governor last Friday, would require police to check the immigration status of any individual they suspect could be illegal immigrants and arrest them if they can’t prove legal status.

Bush noted that immigration should remain a federal issue saying, “I don’t think this is the proper approach.”

The former Florida governor, like his brother President George W. Bush, is a supporter of comprehensive immigration reform. On Thursday, Bush will join other conservative leaders on a press conference call to renew the push for immigration legislation.

Rubio, who is Cuban-American, said the legislation could “unreasonably single out people who are here legally, including many American citizens.”

On the other side of the issue, Senator John McCain, a long outspoken champion of giving illegal immigrants a path to citizenship, has embraced the new law. McCain is facing a stiff primary challenge this August against a conservative who backs tough immigration measures.

Some analysts believe that the controversy could result in long-term risks for the Republican Party if it is aligned with extreme measures to crack down on illegal immigration especially when Hispanic voters are at stake.

According to Mark McKinnon, who was a senior advisor to both McCain and President George W. Bush, “Immigration is the most explosive issue I’ve seen in my political career.”

He adds, “This is an issue on which Republicans salivate over short-term gains without much thought to the longer-term damage it will do the party.  Arizona may force the Democrats’ hand to push for immigration reform. Unfortunately, an election year is the worst time to move good public policy on this issue.”

New York Times



  1. dontmesswithtexas says

    What I find incredible is that even with this law, which is politically undesirable for both Democrats and Republicans, both parties are still incapable of coming together to write an immigration bill that will be tough enough to resolve the issue of border security while giving immigrants who currently live in the US illegally the respect and consideration they morally, as well as pragmatically, deserve.

  2. See not all Republicans are anti-immigration.

  3. This is a difficult issue. Hispanics cannot be used by each political party just because they are a significant part of the electorate. It saddens me about McCain. I was a fan, but not anymore. What a flip-flopper and typical politician.