Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), once a supporter of comprehensive immigration reform, shot down hopes from advocates that he’d again push for the cause. “Really? I’m certainly happy to hear that, since they have been unrelenting in their criticism of me,” McCain told Politico. “I will maintain my position that we secure the border first, which is a position that I’ve had for the last three years.”
Immigrants-rights groups threatened to stop backing California gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown (D). They claimed the Democrat failed immigrants by forcing San Francisco to participate in Secure Communities, a program that mandates information-sharing between federal immigration authorities and local law enforcement.
Brown’s opponent, Republican Meg Whitman, said she supports Arizona’s immigration law — for Arizona — despite posting billboards in Spanish that claim she doesn’t.
Arizona’s new immigration law went into effect Thursday, but not before a federal judge stripped it of controversial provisions. Protesters showed up in the state anyway, and 71 were arrested Thursday. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said the law might need “a little tweaking” to alter provisions blocked by a federal judge, and the state appealed the ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The judge who ruled to block parts of SB 1070 received threats “from people venting and who have expressed their displeasure in a perverted way.”
States are considering copy-cat legislation despite setbacks for SB 1070. Texas lawmakers said Thursday they plan to move forward with plans for an immigration bill, and Tennessee lawmakers visited Arizona Friday to show support for SB 1070 and discuss their own measures. In Virginia, Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey A. Stewart released a proposal Thursday for minimizing illegal immigration in the state. (Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell has been vague about whether he thinks Virginia should adopt an Arizona-style statute.) Indiana Democrats are bracing for immigration bill when their legislature returns in January.
Meanwhile, Fremont, Nebraska suspended its immigration law Tuesday to save costs as it faces lawsuits from two civil rights groups.
Boycotts of Arizona so far haven’t proved harmful to the state’s hotel industry.
Marco Rubio, a candidate for Senate from Florida, said Thursday Arizona’s immigration law won’t necessarily harm the GOP’s image among Latino voters. To avoid backlash, he said Republicans should brand themselves as the party of “pro-legal immigration.”
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