Other states shouldn't wait to file their own SB 1070 legislation - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Other states shouldn't wait to file their own SB 1070 legislation

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Posted: Thursday, July 29, 2010 11:32 am

Is it really true? Do the majority of Americans really support SB 1070? If you listen to the media or our national leaders, you wouldn't think so. However, most national polls indicate that 60-81 percent of Americans support Arizona's attempt to crack down on illegal immigration.

It's also been reported that many community activists, organizations and especially states support the bill. I don't know about you, but as an Arizonan, I feel stranded among a pack of race-baiting wolves.

According to reports, many states have joined in the support effort aimed at Arizona and are now in the process of developing and filing similar type bills to combat their own illegal immigration woes. The 17 states include Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.

"Arizona no longer stands alone and we have now documented state lawmakers filing, or announcing they will file, versions of the Arizona bill in 17 states," said William Gheen, President of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC.

My question is: Why haven't they filed yet? Why haven't any of these state legislatures taken similar bills to a vote? You can't tell me that out of these 17 states that support this type of measure, at least one of them couldn't bring a similar bill to vote by now?

Could it be that they are cowards? It seems to me that everyone is waiting to see how the federal lawsuit against the great state of Arizona pans out. The nation is waiting to see if Arizona is successful against the feds before really showing their support.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton created enormous waves by essentially blocking all of the important and controversial parts of the bill. In essence, she has now handcuffed (no pun intended) state law enforcement officers by castrating the bill.

I'm not an expert on the process for each state to pass new laws, but to me, this seems to be a cowardly approach. We are looking for true support. States can find a copy of SB 1070 all over the Internet. All lawmakers have to do is Google it. It shouldn't take state attorneys very long to replace Arizona with their state's name and change a few of the intricacies to fit their state's unique laws.

If these states truly had our backs and supported Arizona, they would push even harder by holding emergency sessions to pass their own versions of immigration reform.

It reminds me of the current fledgling Arizona Diamondback bullpen. A starter takes the hill and gives it everything he's got. He puts himself out on the line, for better or for worse. When it comes down to crunch time, the starter needs to have full confidence that the bullpen will be there to support him. That is why they are called relief pitchers. However, when the bullpen fails, the starting pitcher feels violated and alone, like many of the Diamondbacks' starters.

Assuming that the support of these states is genuine, then it could mean bad news for the Obama administration in 2010 and 2012. Obama is running a serious gamble by allowing his Justice Department to attack Arizona and states that are following Gov. Brewer's lead.

You have to keep in mind Obama's historical priority: the Electoral College, as evidenced by his continual and relentless campaigning tactics and efforts. Does he realize that the 17 states following in Arizona's footsteps account for 193 Electoral College votes? With Arizona's 10 votes, it will exceed the 200 mark. That is a staggering 38 percent of the Electoral College. With only 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House, it seems that Obama is paving the way for his Republican opponent to be named later to replace his residency at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

I don't know about you, but I can't wait until November.

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Mike Russell contributed to this report

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Michael Weinstein is co-host of the "The Mike & Winey Show" heard at 7 a.m. Saturdays on KKNT (960 AM) or on the web at www.kknt960.com.

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