It's an easy call.
The Obama administration has decided to file suit to block a new Arizona law aimed at deporting illegal immigrants, thrusting itself into the fierce national debate over how the United States enforces immigration policies.
The move is a rare instance of the federal government forcefully intervening in a state’s affairs, and it carries significant political risks. With immigration continuing to be a hot-button issue in political campaigns across the country, the Arizona law, which gives local police greater power to check the legal status of people they stop, has become a rallying point for the Tea Party and other conservative groups.
Arizona Republicans claim that racially profiling brown people in farms and in restaurant kitchens will stop drug violence on the border. Or something stupid like that. Coherence hasn't been their strong suit.
Fact is, if these xenophobes really wanted to go after the drug gangs on the border, they'd go after the drug gangs on the border. Instead, SB 1070 was their best shot at making the lives of brown people miserable. Unfortunately for the xenophobes, the law looks unkindly at such efforts.
Their little fit of pique has already cost Arizona millions in lost convention business and tourism, it threatens the 2011 All-Star Game, it has made the state a national symbol of intolerance, and it has destroyed the Arizona GOP's ability to compete with their growing Latino population (not to mention other non-Anglo demographics). On top of all that, I wouldn't bet on the law ever being implemented.
In California, Prop 187 was locked up in the courts until the following (Latino voter-fueled) Democratic administration killed it. History will repeat itself in Arizona.