We are almost a full week into the debate on the new immigration law passed in the state of Arizona and the heated rhetoric is still prevalent. The opponents are bringing out the big outrage guns through marches planned by Rev. Sharpton, boycotts against traveling to Arizona, boycotts against companies headquartered in Arizona, and even boycotts against Arizona iced tea…which is manufactured in New York (like a bad salsa commercial). Facebook groups against the bill have been created, Paul Rodriguez has canceled his comedy tour through Arizona, and people are picketing the Arizona Diamondbacks…even on the road. You cannot view the media without finding some opinion relating the law to racism, Nazi Germany, or apartheid which no doubt should shape the opinion of the nation. Unless it hasn’t.
In the post by MacGregor earlier this week, he quoted the local Arizona polling right after the law passed that said 70% of citizens in Arizona support the law. Now, if you research the demographics, in 2008 – 30% of the population in Arizona reported they are at least partially Hispanic. Unless 100% of non-Hispanic residents supported the bill in the poll, the reasonable assumption is that some level of legal Hispanics realize the negative effect illegal immigration is having on the state economy, health care, education, etc.
Back in early April before the passage of the law, CBS News/New York Times released a poll showing that 83% of Americans thought illegal immigration was a very serious or somewhat serious problem in America. Without any definition to a law, people realized the issue is a major detriment to our country. Now after a week of every liberal trick being played to misrepresent the law, distract from the real problem and play guilt games on racial emotions, you’d expect that support would go away. But yesterday, Gallup published a poll that said people who have heard of the Arizona immigration law support it by a 51%-39% margin. In my opinion, this first week of initial reaction will be the downward spike of the support for this law. Usually you see a spike or drop in the immediate aftermath of a polarizing decision and then it will level off. Since a great majority of Americans support illegal immigration reform, once the rhetoric and politicizing of the issue dies, I think it will settle in about a 60% favorability range.
So what does this mean for the Republicans and how should they respond? The other Conservative Bros and I have been debating this issue over email this week. If you read the comments in MacGregor’s original post, I think I got caught in the cable news cycle trap and listened to too much of the propaganda. I originally said the bill was bad. It isn’t. It’s actually quite cautious, and strictly tries to enforce laws that are already on the books. I still don’t like some parts, such as citizens being able to criminally accuse police officers for not enforcing the law. This may make me crazy, but I actually trust the police and think 99.9% of the time they are acting for the general good.
Politically, I think the GOP is saying the right thing so far. You haven’t heard a lot about current politicians too emphatically supporting the law. This is important because the Latino voting block is very large, and we need to get back to the percentages that at least GW Bush was getting to consistently win elections. So guys like Marco Rubio, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, John Kyl, and Karl Rove are all very smartly saying, this isn’t the best part of reform but its admirable that Arizona is addressing a major state issue that the federal government has failed to address in the past. Can the Republican Party explain it’s position and not lose Latino votes? I don’t know. They would need to reach out in other avenues of common ground such as Christianity.
The best thing the Arizona law will achieve is now the federal government must take a serious look at protecting our borders and true immigration policies. The party needs to remember it’s not anti-Hispanic to be for strong immigration reform. I actually think this is a worse situation for the Democratic Party. Since the Dems want to be seen as the big tent for all people, they risk alienating the Latino block by passing reform. But if they are too weak, they risk being too accommodating for illegal activity, which as shown, would be against 83% of the nation. This should put the GOP in a good position to focus on a major issue where the majority of the nation agrees with them, and maintain less attention on issues that would cause them to lose in November.
What do you think?