Immigration Suit Is Big Political Gamble

Democrats in the Southwest could face voter wrath as a result of the Justice Department action against Arizona

The federal-state high noon in Arizona over immigration is a political powder keg -- at least in the short term.

Western conservatives and anti-immigration groups will benefit for now as the federal government and the Obama administration seem incapable of slowing illegal immigration or even taking a hard stand. The Justice Department lawsuit, aimed at blocking Arizona’s new law on constitutional grounds, won’t do anything to address illegal immigration, and many in Arizona and elsewhere are eager to see if the state law will work. Public opinion polls show widespread support for the law, which makes it a state crime for illegal immigrants to be in Arizona.

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Richard Sammon
Senior Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter