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

Mexico US border Fence near Ttijuana

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.

Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer

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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Photo: David McNew / Getty Images (Mexican border near Tijuana); Gov. Brewer's office.

Comments () | Archives (22)

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If you don't think the Federal Government is taking the West Coast for a ride note the National Earthquake Center is in Golden, Colorado.

Curiously the National Hurricane Center is in Miami, FL.

As for taking on illegal immigration? The feds won't lift a finger. Sadly, it'll have to be done on the state level. Looks like the citizens of Arizona finally got fed up with the status quo.

For every action, there's a reaction.

Arizona is Alabama in the desert. Its white voters are ultra-right and they are, shall we say, great believers in the supremacy of their own race.

I live in San Diego and approve of what Arizona did. The federal government has failed and the state now has to react. You cannot continue with the status quo when your largest city (Phoenix) has the second highest kidnapping rate in the world.

Good job, Matt. You were the first one to play the race card. Second post isn't too bad. You must be so proud.

Some people say that this will cause "racial profiling" but the last time I checked "Latino" and "Hispanic" were *Ethnic groups* not, "races."
And as for President Obama he'd better start enforcing our immigration laws and close that border.
His total allegience is to the American People not to foreign nationals in this country illegally.
Which pin on which grenade does he want to pull first, the "cap and trade" pin or the "not enforcing our immigration laws" pin?
There is a *real* possability that he could lose the house AND the senate in November.
Many out here are having misgivings about voting for him myself included.
It's shaping up like Bush's third term!
Where's the beef? Where's the "Change?"

The federal government says Mexico's drug cartels are the number one organized crime danger. They are in 230 American cities. Arizona is fed up with being Crime Super Highway 101 into the United States. Obama, Bush I & II and Clinton did nothing to enforce immigration laws fo 24 years. They and the Senators and Representaives of both parties, by inaction, have allowed the invasion and occupation of our country by 12 to 30 million job thieves and other assorted criminals. The border has never been secured and still hemorrhages pill, powder and pot death smugglers, slave smugglers, terrorists, murderers, rapists, molesters and greedy slave labor for greedy, criminal employers. There are now 25 million unemployed and under employed Ameican workers, many losing cars and homes, looking for ANY job, while 8 million felon illegal aliens are working and sending $billions out of our economy to their homelands.

It's about time that someone, stood up, and taken action against "Illegal immigrant's!". The Idea that somehow California's Gov:Mr.DoDad! Arnold Schwinagger, wants to boycott Arizona's bussiness because of new immigrant law!
Weii I got some sad new's for him! No longer will my family and friends, including my bussiness associates,visit Calif, nor will we no longer support or invest in calif's entertainment Industry "Hollywood".Music,and movies now are a "No Show!" in our family & work place!In other words Mr. Alien, you just beem, "TERMINATED!".

Arizona’s immigration reform reminds me of the level of suspicion after 9-11. Arizona’s answer to “immigration reform” is now cloaked in racial profiling satisfying the few distrustful while terrorizing the many who are here legally.

Similar to then Governor Pete Wilson's misguided endorsement of Prop 187 in 1994, Judge Marianna Pfaelzer rejected California's attempt to regulate immigration, which she correctly declared as the federal government's responsibility.

With ad hoc proposals like these, in an election year no less, simply puts a new spin on bullying. This so-called solution appeases citizens who are keeping tabs on an ever-growing segment in this border region while, in meantime, all of Arizona now becomes a police state.

Border violence caused by drug cartels, kidnapping, and human trafficking in this border state is the real issue.

Thank you LA Times for publishing polls that show most Americans disagree with your editorial position on this topic.

I think this is a wake up call for the supporters of illegal immigration. I read these polls as showing Americans want our immigration laws enforced.

With the first legal challenge to the Arizona law to be filed today, I look forward to whether the principle of "eminence" or "concurrence" applies. If concurrence prevails as I hope it does, it looks like this might cascade, with the states of Ohio, Colorado, Texas, and several others considering similar legislation.

I doubt the California legislature would address the issue but the voters might via the initiative process.

Here is a hint for Matt...most of the voting citizens in Arizona support this new law. That does include a lot of citizens of mexican heritage. They are just as upset as everyone else about the abuse of illegals which is perpetrated by their own coyotes! The day this bill was signed a Uhaul with 68 illegals in it was discovered on US10 after it was abandoned by the coyotes..leaving the rest of the people trapped in the truck. We welcome legal citizens in our state and value all of our people of Mexican heritage. Why don't you join Al Sharpton and his racist gang when they arrive in Phoenix for their "parade"? Can't wait to watch them march in our 105 degree heat...bring it on!

Look, there are any number of potential measures Americans might find popular but are still unconstitutional. As a teacher, I'd love to see a law stating no teenager will be allowed a text-messaging device until they reach 18. I'd love to see a law requiring human beings to read a book a month. I know such laws are just as ridiculous as requiring police officers to stop brown people and ask them for papers.

And not for nothing, but this just another column by Andrew Malcolm that manipulates data for his own ends while tossing logic to the wind. And Andrew? Before you add sarcastically 'thanks for reading' let me beat you to it by adding, "You're welcome!" You're like a one-stop shop for right-wing talking points.

I like Gov. Jan Brewer's law. Americans rights are being violated because the federal government refuse to enforce this country's immigration laws. When I'm stopped by law officers, for any reason, even talking on a phone, I have to show a drivers license, car registration, proof of who I am, and proof that I have auto insurance. If I'm missing any of these, I can be taken to jail, ordered to appear in court, pay a fine, and maybe jailed, depending. Why should anyone else be treated differently? Especially ILLEGALS.

I want to add, I was born in this country and raised in this country. All of my family are American citizens, yet the rules of law I stated above apply to all of us Americans.


Americans are being racially profiled because they have to coexist with illegal aliens!!!
May God bless Arizona!!!!!

Illegal immigration is an enormous drain on the American economy and increasingly lowers the overall quality of life of most Americans.
The United States, despite its own serious economic woes, continues to be Mexico's welfare system, and dumping ground.
Billions upon billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are spent each year to provide food, healthcare, education, housing, and prison cells for millions of proud illegal Mexicans who require, and demand, more and more free handouts.
Our cities and states are under siege and continue to beg the Federal Government for billions of more tax dollars to cover their losses.
Our hospitals, schools, and prisons are bursting at their seams from the huge influx of illegal immigrants.
Mexicans having anchor babies in the U.S. is out of control, accounting for 55% of all births in California, alone. Pregnant Mexican women regularly and illegally cross the border, sign up for free prenatal and maternity care, and have their (now) U.S. citizen babies. This, in turn, sets them and their entire families up for potentially life long 'cradle to the grave' welfare, paid for by American workers and tax payers.
Ironically, at the same time, there is a massive (Spanish speaking) underground economy that directs the tax-free dollars earned, or otherwise acquired, by illegals straight back to Mexico.
It's no wonder that the Mexican government does nothing to try to meet the requirements of their needy citizens except to point their way North.
Cheap Mexican labor and welfare dependency is undermining American employment, economic recovery, and our standard of living. While many Mexicans are benefiting and even prospering from illegal immigration, more Americans are experiencing job cuts and suffering losses.
Something has to be done to stem the tide of the Mexican invasion (which may better be described as an occupation) before we quickly resemble the third-world environment that the illegal immigrants are escaping from.

Go Arizona! It's about time an elected official stood up and did the right thing! this law should be passed in the other 49 states and soon. If you enter our country illegally everything you do is illegal, every breath you take is illegal and any children you have are illegal and should be deported with you. If you go through the process and can gain legal status...welcome.

Thank You Gov. Jan Brewer and all others to all others in implementing and supporting this immigration law. Hats off to all who enforces it as well. Now we to get other states to do the same including us in Florida.

What's missing on the fence along the boarder?


The next law should be one that regulates interstate and/or international cash remittances, such as Western Union.

Choke off the money flow back to the home country(ies) and you've solved half the incentive to hop the border in the first place.

You're darn right we like this legislation. Instead of boycotting us, you should be considering this for California!

WHY? Because about 500,000 of our illegal residents are heading your way!

The best think that could happen is that other states take matters into their own hands. If the federal government won't do its job, we are no longer a federation. Get your act together Washington.

Can anyone tell me why the other states of Nevada, California, Texas, and others sitting on or near the Mexican boarder do not have the guts to follow Arizona’s lead on passing the immigration laws. There are thousands of immigrant who try to become citizens each year, if these people sneaking in and taking American jobs or free loading on welfare or what ever they call it now, are caught they should be imprisoned for 10 years to life which ever comes first and not sent back until they are out of prison. Set examples, look at China what they do to immigrates they have very little problems because of it.

If our states could ban together they can make this happen, instead of BUTT HEADS like Arnold Schwinigger, who wants to boycott Arizona’s business because of the new immigrant law! Any of those states and individuals that does support Arizona’s law then we should boycott those other state as well as cut of their power, water, and tourism revenue and supplies that is supplied to them from Arixonia and see how fast they turn around.

I say if the supporting states would cut off funds to the federal government as they try to do on our highway and school funds for not applying to their issues why can we not do the same back to them. On the other hand, is that these other states do not have guts to follow through and are scared mice

Funny how 1 state cedes Federal law, with a unconstitutional law, that somehow people think is a 'Great Idea'. No one is saying not to secure the border, what is being asked is to humanely legalize people who have been here for some time PAYING TAXES, INCLUDING STATE< LOCAL< FEDERAL

As to Steve.... you come in illegally, all your kids are illegal..etc etc etc.... So you want to ship everyone back ... HA HA Steve just try to go to someone's house and seperate them from their mom, kids, grandparents.. Not only will you and your other xenaphobic cronies feel the wrath of a 'Ethnic' group, you will also feel the wrath of ALL good people who will stop you and any other hat try such a wicked plan.

Grow up.... stop acting like an 8th grader....


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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