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On second thought, Americans still like Arizona's tough immigration law

May 3, 2010 |  6:40 pm

US Mexico border Fence near Nogales

After two weeks of sometimes emotional controversy, especially outside of Arizona, the American public at large seems to be settling on a generally favorable impression of that state's stringent new illegal immigrant legislation.

The measure, which authorizes local police to check immigration status, among other things, was passed by the legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer in explicit exasperation over the lack of federal action to secure the state's borders from illegal immigration from Mexico, cited as the source of rising violence and crime there.

A new CBS/New York Times poll out Monday finds a majority of Americans (51%) say the law, which goes into effect this summer, is just about right and 9% say it doesn't go far enough. Another 36% say it goes too far. And 4% claim not to know.

About 70%, however, agree the law is at least somewhat likely to reduce both new illegal immigration and the population of existing illegal immigrants.

President Obama has led critics of the measure, saying it is "misguided." He has also acknowledged that comprehensive immigration reform is urgently necessary but not likely given the other controversial legislation he has pushed through Congress, which faces mid-term elections Nov. 2.

As The Ticket reported here Monday morning, critics of the legislation are attempting to organize boycotts of the state in retaliation for the law. Now on Facebook, critics of the critics are attempting to organize boycotts of the boycotters here, over here and over here. There's even a group here that wants to boycott celebrities boycotting Arizona.

Related items:

Forget Obama, Arizonans like their new law

Arizona Gov. Brewer explains signing nation's toughest immigration bill

So what does the new Arizona law actually do?

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signs controversial law in state melting pot

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Matt York / Associated Press

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