Tamar Jacoby: feds suing over Arizona immigration law would block immigration "reform"
An administration lawsuit against SB 1070 would only push immigration further in this direction. It would enrage the 60%. It would inject immigration into midterm campaigns from coast to coast. Worst of all, it would alienate key lawmakers, from Arizona and elsewhere, without whose help the administration will have no hope of advancing comprehensive reform.
How exactly does Obama imagine influential Republican Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, or Sen. John McCain, would react to a federal lawsuit against their state? Without help or at least acquiescence from Kyl and McCain, where does the president expect to find Republican support for a reform bill? And how does the administration think proud, state-minded elected officials — not to mention "tea party" voters — would feel about a federal effort not just to check, but override a state legislature?
If the White House sues, it will do so under a flag of high moral righteousness. But many will see the suit as something far more cynical. Arizona acted only because the feds hadn't, moving, albeit misguidedly, to handle a problem Washington had left to fester for years. Yet now, instead of stepping up to do its job, Washington is trying to cover its flank by punishing those who filled the vacuum?