July 9, 2010
Americans from around the country are sending donations to Arizona in an effort to fend off a looming federal lawsuit against the state’s recently passed immigration law.
The Arizona Star reported yesterday that a legal defense fund for SB 1070 has collected almost $500,000 as of Thursday morning, more than 60 percent of it coming in during the 48 hours after the Justice Department sued to invalidate the law. Money came from more than 9,000 contributors spread from coast to coast and border to border.
Eighty-eight percent of the donations came via the internet and a majority of the donations were between $10 and $100.
The federal lawsuit duplicates an earlier one filed by the ACLU and supported by the Mexican government. The Mexican government has provided support for lawsuits filed by U.S. organizations opposed to the law.
Earlier in the week the Mexican Foreign Ministry issued a statement stating that it has an “obligation to protect the rights and dignity of its citizens” who are arrested for illegally entering the United States. In April, the Mexican government said it would provide consular protection and legal advice and assistance to illegal Mexican immigrants in Arizona through its five consulates in the state.
A Gallup poll released today indicates most Americans oppose the federal lawsuit. “Americans’ initial reactions to the U.S. Justice Department lawsuit against Arizona’s new illegal immigration law are more negative than positive, by a 50% to 33% margin,” reports the polling organization. “The fact that Americans are more likely to oppose than favor the federal government’s lawsuit against Arizona’s controversial immigration law is in line with previous polling showing that Americans generally favor the Arizona bill. This means the Obama administration is sailing against the tide of public opinion in its efforts to block the law, although members of Obama’s own party certainly support the administration.”
A Rasmussen poll released on Thursday reveals that voters by a two-to-one margin oppose the Justice Department’s decision to challenge the legality of Arizona’s new immigration law in federal court. “Sixty-one percent (61%), in fact, favor passage of a law like Arizona’s in their own state, up six points from two months ago,” reports Rasmussen.
Support for Arizona’s law is not divided along racial lines as the corporate media often claims. In Colorado, a recent Denver Post poll said 62 percent of Colorado Hispanics favor a law like Arizona’s. “But Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Hickenlooper, the mayor of Denver, opposes it, putting himself at odds with those Colorado Latinos,” notes Fox News. “On immigration, the GOP accuses Democrats of ignoring a border crisis and selling out national security to cynically court Latino votes.”
Meanwhile, the state of Utah is pushing ahead with its own immigration law. “I actually think the more states that pass legislation and get involved in the lawsuit, the better it’s going to be for defraying costs and fighting the federal government,” Rep. Stephen Sandstrom told The Salt Lake Tribune. Sandstrom has introduced a Utah version of the Arizona law.
Lawmakers and political candidates in as many as 18 states say they want to push similar measures when their legislative sessions start in 2011, according to the Star-Telegram. Legislation may pass in Oklahoma and gubernatorial candidates in Florida and Minnesota are discussing introducing laws in their states. Bills similar to the Arizona law have been introduced in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Minnesota, South Carolina and Michigan.
Mexican drug cartels have threatened to assassinate an Arizona law-enforcement officer who is outspoken about his support for the state’s legislation. Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu has received threats from the Mexican mafia and drug cartel members. Outside law enforcement teams brought in to investigate the threats found them credible, Fox News reported on July 6. “I understand this threat, yet I will not run in fear or change my support for SB1070 and my demands for President Obama to secure our border with 3,000 armed soldiers in Arizona and start building the fence again,” Babeu said.
This article was posted: Friday, July 9, 2010 at 10:00 am