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Supporting SB 1070 Still a Good Move for Colorado Conservatives

The Justice Department claims Arizona’s immigration law violates the Constitution, but supporting the law is gaining popularity as a smart campaign move for conservatives.

When Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer endorsed Jane Norton’s bid to oust Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) this past weekend, for instance, she emphasized Norton’s tough-on-immigration reputation: “Jane will fight Barack Obama’s heavy-handed and unconstitutional attempt to block Arizona’s landmark immigration law. She supports the right of states like Arizona and Colorado to do what the federal government hasn’t – fight back against illegal immigration – and that’s why I’m honored and excited to support Jane Norton.”

Norton said at a forum last week that she supports the Arizona law. “Our immigration system is absolutely broken, and the Arizona law is a natural response to a policy that is not doing what it’s supposed to be doing,” she said.

The reason? Despite controversy over the law, it’s popular overall, particularly in Colorado. Most Coloradans are in favor of passing an Arizona-style immigration law — and conservative politicians are using that to their advantage. At our sister site, The Colorado Independent, John Tomasic reports on Tom Tancredo’s use of immigration politics to jump into the race for governor:

Former Colorado Congressman Tancredo ran for president in 2008 on what he has called a one-topic platform that focused exclusively on illegal immigration. Tancredo hosts a talk radio show in which he often discusses immigration as a centerpiece part of his conservative politics. He made news in the spring for traveling to the U.S. border in Arizona and tweeting the murder of a borderland rancher and the pursuit for the killer, an alleged illegal immigrant or trafficker in illegal immigration. He has also spoken at events in support of Arizona’s controversial new immigration law, SB 1070.

Sunday, he told listeners on his KHOW radio show that he was prepared to draw on his 20,000-member donor list to jump into the race immediately. The candidacy of Tancredo, an icon of the far right in Colorado, will sink any chance the struggling GOP candidates have of winning Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter’s office.

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