Quotes of the day

GOP and immigration: For the Republican Party, politically, there’s good news and bad news in our new NBC/MSNBC/Telemundo poll on the subject of immigration. Let’s start with the good news: The Arizona anti-illegal immigration law, passed by a GOP-led legislature and signed by a GOP governor, has been a short-term political winner. The poll shows that 61% of the public supports the law, and a Republican congressional candidate who backs the law beats a Democratic candidate who opposes it, 40%-26%. But here’s the bad news: Latinos, once a semi-swing group of voters, now have swung overwhelmingly for President Obama and the Democratic Party, and younger Hispanics are moving to the Democrats in even greater numbers

Latinos aren’t swing voters anymore: For example, 68% of Latinos approve of Obama’s job (compared with 48% of overall respondents and 38% of whites), and they view the Democratic Party favorably by a 54%-21% score (versus 41%-40% among all adults and 34%-48% among whites). And their views of the Republican Party? In the poll, the GOP fav/unfav among Latinos is 22%-44%. What’s more, Latinos think Democrats would do a better job than Republicans in protecting the interests of minorities (by 58%-11%), in representing the opportunity to move up the economic ladder (46%-20%), in dealing with immigration (37%-12%), and in promoting strong moral values (33%-23%).

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So many meetings and conventions are being canceled that the Arizona Hotel & Lodging Association has stopped keeping track. The streets of Nogales, Ariz., often filled with Mexican shoppers, were so empty during a recent boycott that stores closed early. And Mr. Hook of the Adobe Rose knows of at least one family that canceled its reservations because of the law – taking a trip to Boston instead…

Cancellations are still coming in but people are not giving reasons, “probably because they prefer to stay out of the controversy,” she says.

She adds that reservations, which groups normally book one to three years in advance, also are down: “The phone is not ringing.”

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Arizona’s new crackdown on illegal immigration will increase crime in U.S. cities, not reduce it, by driving a wedge between police and immigrant communities, police chiefs from several of the state’s and the nation’s largest cities said Wednesday.

Arizona’s law will intimidate crime victims and witnesses who are illegal immigrants and divert police from investigating more serious crimes, chiefs from Los Angeles, Houston and Philadelphia said before meeting Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to discuss the measure. Counterparts from Phoenix, Tucson, San Jose and Montgomery County, among others, joined them.

“This is not a law that increases public safety. This is a bill that makes it much harder for us to do our jobs,” Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said. “Crime will go up if this becomes law in Arizona or in any other state.”

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So not only will the Eric Holder and the Justice Department be challenging SB 1070 in federal court, but the law may also be challenged in an international court (IACHR) with the participation of a group of elected officials from Arizona.

There may be precedent for something like this, but if there is I sure can’t think of it. Sure, there were a bunch of anti-war activists who would have loved to bring charges against the Bush Administration at The Hague, but I don’t remember any members of Congress signing up as parties to the complaint.

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