Top Justice Department officials have drafted a legal challenge asserting that Arizona's controversial immigration law is unconstitutional because it impinges on the federal government's authority to police the nation's borders, sources said Wednesday.The sooner the better. Take it to the courts. Let the GOP go on record saying the law doesn't amount to racial profiling when it's struck down for doing just that. After all, Latinos are rapidly becoming the next block of reliable Democratic voters.
At the same time, the government officials said, the department's civil rights section is considering possible legal action against the law on the basis that it amounts to racial profiling of Latinos who are legally in Arizona but conceivably could be asked to provide documents proving their citizenship.
U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. met Wednesday with 10 top police chiefs who object to the Arizona legislation and promised them he would act on the recommendations soon, a spokesman said.
The police chiefs urged Holder and the Obama administration, which has grave reservations about the Arizona measure, to stop the law. The chiefs said it would seriously hamper local police work if officers had to serve as border patrol policemen.
"He did say that the Justice Department is seriously considering what they would do and that could come very soon," said Chuck Wexler, the director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a think tank that helped bring the police chiefs together with Holder.
Smart GOP strategists know this is a problem; the consensus is that Republicans need to capture AT LEAST 35-40% of the vote to win national contests. Yet looking at Republican primaries across the country, GOP candidates aren't looking at the long-term. In Arizona, John McCain is airing a TV ad declaring “complete the danged fence.” In California, Steve Poizner is comparing Meg Whitman to Mexico’s president in a TV ad criticizing her opposition to the Arizona law, while Whitman has a TV ad saying she “absolutely” opposes amnesty. And in Alabama, gubernatorial candidate Tim James says, “This is Alabama, we speak English. If you want to live here, learn it.” Pete Wilson is an important lesson here, says co-pollster Peter Hart (D): In presidential races from 1952 to 1988, Dems won California just once. After Wilson’s Prop. 187, Republicans haven’t come close to winning the nation’s biggest state. The next California could be Texas, and the GOP can't afford to have that big state become competitive.Texas, Florida, California, New York and increasingly states like North Carolina and Ohio have growing Latino populations. They see what the GOP is doing to them in Arizona. They see that Republicans increasingly don't care about them either, more and more just want to deport millions and couldn't give a damn about Latino families, children, or communities caught in the collateral damage.
So thanks, GOP. We appreciate you handing over the country to the Dems for the next couple decades.