AZ SB 1070 may be Obama’s tipping point on immigration reform


LatinaLista — Maybe it was the fact that the Arizona senate passed SB 1070 and are only waiting for Arizona Governor Brewer to sign it into law — or do nothing and have it pass into law anyway.


Or maybe it was the fact that Sen. McCain abandoned his long-held position on immigration and decided, for political reasons, to endorse SB 1070. Or it could have been the public scolding he got in the Huffington Post piece penned by Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez.

Two of the nine protesters who chained themselves to the Capitol’s doors in protest of SB 1070. (Photo source: Phoenix New Times)

Whatever the source, President Obama seems to have gotten the message that as long as Congress and his administration put immigration reform on the backburner, the chasm of racial tension in this country is only going to get deeper — and potentially deadly violent.

That concern to head off any further volatility, fueled by states adopting their own immigration laws, may have been the motivation for Pres. Obama to call the Senate’s newest member today, Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown. Not to chitchat but to tell him to get ready — Democrats will be moving forward with immigration reform in a month.

“He called me originally about illegal immigration, something that he wanted me to look at that was coming down the pike,” Brown says of the call, which also roamed onto other topics like basketball and financial regulation. “I told him and others that I will read anything and make a judgment when it comes forth.”

Alluding to the issue a few minutes later, Brown clarified what he told Obama. “When I said I have an open mind, it means I have an open mind to read the bill,” he said. “That doesn’t mean that I will vote for granting amnesty to anyone. But I want to be respectful to the president and to any member who brings me a proposal.”

If Brown means what he says then he’s bucking his own party’s strategy for avoiding the immigration issue. It’s good to hear that he has an open mind and no one assumes that an open mind is a code word for a yes vote.

Yet, an open mind means staying open to discussions to move the issue along and not stall it with deception or intentional mischaracterizations. That kind of behavior has been the pathetic hallmark of GOP senators from U.S.-Mexico border states.

Of all the states in the country, these border states are the ones that desperately need immigration reform so that border security can be tackled as it relates to cartel border violence.

Immigration reform means putting a face to every person that now hides in the shadows so law enforcement can know for sure who belongs and who doesn’t; who’s intent to commit crime and who just wants to work.

If it took SB 1070 for Obama to act, what will it take to get these GOP senators to understand that their inaction and indifference to resolving the status of large segments of residents in their home states is contributing to the insecurity of not just the border but the safety of everyone.