US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Arizona doonybrook continues, points to inaction in Washington

Father Tom Joyce CMF | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

The reaction to the anti-immigration law in Arizona continues unabated. A large demonstration in Phoenix marked Cinco de Mayo with angry protest, and the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association became "Los Suns" in solidarity with the protesters (see NY Times). The Cities of Tucson and Flagstaff are filing suit against the law, and the Mayor of Phoenix is momentarily halted in doing the same (see Arizona Republic). Other suits and calls for boycotts are coming from around the country (see Arizona Republic).

While the Hispanic community in Arizona and many of the business community are upset by the law and want it to go away, both within the state and nationally the bill seems to be popular (see NY Times). What the polls seem to say is that the American public has bought into the argument that our borders are insecure and violent and so it wants tighter border controls. But it doesn't think we ought, or even can, send back 12 million undocumented.

The fear of a border threat is more propaganda from the nativists than reality. Chiefs of police in the border cities Tucson, Nogales, Douglas, and Yuma opposed the law and deny that the border has become more dangerous. They have the FBI statistics to back up their claims (see Arizona Republic).

President Barrack Obama, at his White House celebration of Cinco de Mayo, restated his desire to see comprehensive immigration reform "this year." His staff has been wooing Republican senators behind the scenes, but none seem to be biting (see Washington Post). It will take the president's enthusiastic leadership to get action before the elections. Many have no confidence that he will provide it.

In a scathing editorial last Sunday, the Arizona Republic, which has been committed to comprehensive immigration reform since the beginning of the more recent efforts, called a "plague on all Republican and Democratic houses" for the disastrous Arizona law - from the governor down to the state senator that pushed it. But the major failure it set in Washington for its continued inaction.