Barack Obama and the Democrats keep trying to paint the new law in Arizona on immigration as some sort of misguided effort by a frustrated fringe. Unfortunately for them, a new poll from Pew Research shows that they’re the fringe — even in their own party. Almost three-quarters of Americans support Arizona’s new law, and almost two-thirds of Democrats support the already-law requirement for immigrants to carry ID:
The public broadly supports a new Arizona law aimed at dealing with illegal immigration and the law’s provisions giving police increased powers to stop and detain people who are suspected of being in the country illegally.
Fully 73% say they approve of requiring people to produce documents verifying their legal status if police ask for them. Two-thirds (67%) approve of allowing police to detain anyone who cannot verify their legal status, while 62% approve of allowing police to question people they think may be in the country illegally.
But that’s just those nutty Republicans, right? Wrong. While Democrats split evenly on the law itself, the two provisions that caused the most controversy get broad support from Obama’s own party:
However, majorities of Democrats approve of two of the law’s principal provisions: requiring people to produce documents verifying legal status (65%) and allowing police to detain anyone unable to verify their legal status (55%).
That’s not the only bad news for Obama from Pew. While they have his overall job approval at a perhaps-generous 47%, his numbers on immigration have tanked over the last six months. They started off badly in November, at 31/48, making immigration one of his weakest policy areas, but he’s managed to lose 12 points in the gap since. He’s now at 25/54, down from 29/47 a month ago. His dismissive attitude towards Arizona’s law has damaged him.
Of course, it’s not just his remarks about the law that’s the problem. The federal government all but forced Arizona to act after its inaction allowed Phoenix to become the kidnapping capital of the world. Violence plagues Arizonans, natural-born citizens and legal immigrants alike, and they’re tired of getting no response from Washington. They want a common-sense approach to law enforcement, such as actually enforcing the law. If Obama won’t do it, they will.
The AZ immigration law is only getting more popular, not less. It’s making Obama look more and more like an ivory-tower elitist and less every day like someone who understands the problems of people in the country he leads. With numbers like these, don’t expect a push on amnesty any time soon, or perhaps ever. This appears to have become a big game-changer.