Opinion: Forget Obama and others, Arizonans like their tough illegal immigrant law and Jan Brewer who signed it


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Many people around the country and on The Ticket’s comment board have been bothered in recent days by Arizona’s tough new law authorizing police to nab illegal immigrants. But new polls now indicate Arizonans are pretty good with it.

Not only that, but they like Gov. Jan Brewer more since she signed the measure last week. (For past items explaining her decision and the law, see related links below.)


President Obama and others, most of whom don’t live in Arizona, have criticized the carefully crafted measure as ‘misguided’ and worse.

But new Rasmussen Reports surveys today reveal the law’s popularity among voters at....

...home and a surge in approval for the Republican governor, who was facing a stiff challenge to her own election in November.

While a substantial majority of Americans (57%) say they favor a welcoming policy toward immigrants, a whopping three-quarters (76%) say it’s more important to gain control of the nation’s borders than to legalize existing illegal immigrants.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Arizonans like the new law, while only 30% oppose it. The measure’s passage by a frustrated state legislature and its public signing have ignited a national debate over how to treat the millions of illegal immigrants.

In Arizona, however, Rasmussen found a week after the bill was signed into law, fully 56% of Arizonans approve of Gov. Brewer’s job. Just two weeks ago only 40% approved.


And not long ago Brewer trailed her likely Democrat opponent, state Atty. Gen. Terry Goddard, in a November matchup. But her approval began growing after Goddard refused to join a multi-state lawsuit against Obama’s national healthcare bill.

As lieutenant governor, Brewer inherited the state’s top job last year when then-Gov. Janet Napolitano accepted the nomination as secretary of Homeland Security in Obama’s cabinet. Brewer now leads Goddard 48-40.

Despite the well-publicized media outcries against the Arizona law, which takes effect mid-summer, another less-noticed poll has discovered since that 60% of Americans approve of allowing local police to stop suspected illegal immigrants and verify their status. Perhaps counterintuitively, the Rasmussen polls found that among angry Arizonans only a tiny fraction (10%) are angry at work-seeking illegal immigrants themselves. The overwhelming number (85%) are angry at the federal government for its failure to secure the state’s border with Mexico.

Enroute home from a campaign swing to Iowa, Illinois and Missouri on Wednesday, Democrat Obama indicated not much hope for any federal immigration reform relief soon. He said after the rancorous yearlong healthcare arguments and now finance reform, he did not sense a legislative ‘appetite’ for another divisive issue.

Related items:

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer explains signing the state’s new illegal immigrant law

What does Arizona’s new law actually do?


Arizona’s new law turns up the heat in a state melting pot

-- Andrew Malcolm

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