Arizona's recent passage of Immigration Law is not only contentious but possibly even unconstitutional, as only the Federal Government has power over immigration matters. However, that is for the courts to decide and it will not be surprising if constitutional petitions head the Supreme Court way in not too distant a future. The Supreme Court may have leanings in a certain direction, but when it comes to interpreting the constitution, the Justices are at their best.
Being a border state, Arizona no doubt has an illegal immigration problem. But, this law may be less to do with that and more to do with tempting President Obama and Democrats to bring about an immigration bill in a haste.
Republicans are still recovering from their failure to block the the Health care bill. They also know that Financial Reform Bill is likely to pass, so they cannot present President Obama victory after victory heading into mid term elections in 2010. An immigration bill before the US House of Representatives and the US Senate is sure to stir passions and anger against a Federal Government providing a route to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
With a strong opposition to such a move in the South and much more so in the border states plus the ire of nearly 10% Americans without jobs, it could create quite a strong anti-immigration lobby in the country, possibly far larger than all of the Latino votes combined. It could prove to be a costly and a high risk strategy for an Administration to bring an immigration bill before the Congress in an election year. Perhaps this is what the Republicans are hoping for. The Arizona Immigration Law could be a bait for President Obama and the Democrats. However, going by President Obama's strategic style so far, he is far ahead in these things than any Republican or Democrat. So, hopefully, he will weigh all options before initiating an immigration bill.
In the meantime, Arizona law could prove to be a good kicking opportunity for the Administration. They could take it to the Supreme Court, hopefully win and garner Latino support without alienating the white voters.
Arizona is already beginning to face the music as more and more people and corporations are planning to stay away from the State. American Immigration Lawyers Association has already canceled its convention in Scottsdale. Other organizations and corporations may follow suit. The hotel industry is complaining bitterly as they rely heavily on immigrants for their staff requirements. All this could have serious consequences for Arizona's economy and its tourist industry.