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Immigration Issue Fading in Arizona — For Now

March 1, 2012
Plain English Version

Two years ago the governor of Arizona signed a law that made all immigrants carry documentation or face arrest. The law set off protests in Arizona and stirred a national boycott of the state. Today there is much less talk about the law.

Republicans candidates for president hardly mentioned immigration in the recent Arizona debate.

The Republican mayor of Mesa said, “There’s no doubt that in Arizona, there is immigration fatigue. People want to talk about things that impact them every day. And the reality is that in Arizona, illegal immigration does not affect you as much as not having a job.”

Observers say the issue could rise again. It may if employment picks up and more migrants try to cross the border. Or when the Supreme Court rules on a challenge to the Arizona law this year.

Leaders who supported the bill are having their own troubles. Voters recalled the chief state senate sponsor of the bill. The sheriff of Maricopa County is a strong advocate of rounding up immigrants. He is under investigation by the federal government for bias against Latinos.

Republican presidential candidates want to avoid a fight over “who can be tougher on immigrants.” The votes of Hispanics across the nation are at stake. Anti-immigrant legislation is resulting in more Hispanics registering in the Democratic Party.

The New York Times


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