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Voters sour on the Obama administration's lawsuit against Arizona immigration law

by Christopher A. Guzman, published

Voters are convinced that the Obama Administration’s pursuit of a lawsuit against Arizona’s immigration law is the wrong approach in dealing with the matter.  A Rasmussen poll released last week shows that 56 percent of the nation’s likely voters oppose the lawsuit. 

In fact, 61 percent of the nation’s likely voters would support an Arizona-like immigration law in their own state.  Those who label the law as racist, on the other hand, believe that a majority of the nation is on the fringe side of being anti-immigrant.  However, according to the same poll, 59 percent want a welcoming immigration law, while merely wanting to discourage illegal immigration. 

When put on the spot as to whether Arizona’s immigration law amounted to a racist policy, Attorney General Eric Holder refused to label the law as racist in an interview with ABC’s Jake Tapper.  Holder’s denial came even as Tapper called him out for comments made earlier in the course of Holder’s career. 

“You've said we're a nation of cowards because we don't talk freely and openly about race.  So in that spirit, let me give it a shot.  Do you think the Arizona immigration law is racist?,” Tapper asked.  After Holder seemed to evade the question a few times, Tapper did not let up.  Upon Tapper’s continual persistence, Holder finally gave in to answer the question directly:

     “I don't think it's racist in its motivation.  But I think the concern I have is how it will be perceived and how it perhaps could be enacted, how it could be carried out.  I think we could potentially get on a slippery slope where people will be picked on because of how 
they look as opposed to what they have done, and that is I think something that we have to try to avoid at all costs." 

Despite Holder’s insistence that he doesn’t believe the law to be racist, he’s still pressing forward with the lawsuit based on the ground it could lead to racial profiling.  This comes even though the law prohibits racial profiling. 

Even for those who want to give the Attorney General the benefit of the doubt, there is still a very problematic flaw with the lawsuit against Arizona.  This flaw was exposed in a question raised in last week’s White House briefing, which came from a reporter. 

     “There are dozens of so-called sanctuary cities that have their own policies that might potentially conflict with federal law, something that's led Governor Brewer to say that if Arizona is in violation of federal law then so are these localities. So my question is why did the president only ask DOJ to look at Arizona and not everywhere?,” she asked. 

This is where the sanctuary cities, like ones in Los Angeles and Sacramento, come into play.  Called into question is the administration’s consistency in dealing with immigration policy.  Singling out Arizona and not calling out sanctuary cities like ones in California only makes the DOJ’s lawsuit look all the more politicized.

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