Appraising Arizona
The experts examine the state's new immigration law.



Obama, Reid, and Pelosi thought that attacking Republicans for opposing the “stimulus” spending bill would be their ticket to winning in 2010. Then they thought that attacking the GOP for opposing health care brought to you by the Post Office would guarantee Democratic enthusiasm and win independent votes. For the past 16 months, likely voters have shifted from preferring Democrats by nine points on the generic ballot to preferring Republicans by ten points. This remains in landslide territory.

Now Democrats hope that Republicans in Arizona have passed a law that can be portrayed as sufficiently anti-Hispanic to drive Hispanic voters and women (as happened in 2008) towards the Democrats.

The legislation, among other things, makes it illegal to stand on the side of the road looking for work. Or to stop your car to pick up someone looking for work. Since this is now a crime in Arizona, the cops can then demand to see your papers. I am not sure that putting folks in jail for getting up early in the morning and offering to work is a very Republican idea. I wish more Americans had that get up and go.

Laws that punish businessmen for hiring the wrong people will not simply drive away Hispanics, Asians, Irish, Poles, and others but begins to break the previously strong bonds between small-business men and the Republican party.

The “Republican” legislature and governor who passed this “immigration” bill have placed a $3 billion tax hike on the May 18 ballot. Their time might have been better spent cutting spending and opposing this tax hike than giving Democrats a possible opening to avoid a repeat of 1994.

– Grover Norquist is president of Americans for Tax Reform.

Immigration is one of the least understood issues in the country today. The political class thinks the major question is how to legalize the status of undocumented workers already in the country. However, most voters say those already in the country are a secondary issue. The real issue is how to stop or reduce illegal immigration.

And that’s the next point of misunderstanding. To the political class, the distinction between legal and illegal matters little. To most voters, it matters a lot. In fact, while seven voters out of ten say border enforcement is a higher priority than legalizing undocumented workers, most also favor a welcoming immigration policy. Nearly six out of ten say we should allow anyone in except criminals, national-security threats, and those who want to take advantage of the welfare system. By the way, Republicans are a bit more supportive than Democrats of a welcoming immigration system.