Steve Chapman debunks one of the myths behind the new Arizona law, that illegal immigrants commit crimes in greater numbers than native born Americans. Krugman takes a look at how immigration splits both parties. Chait thinks immigration legislating will be a boon for Democrats:
The combined effect of the Arizona law plus Democrats pushing for immigration reform will probably be to cement Latino's political allegiance for a very long time. In the short term, the politics may not work for most Democrats -- Harry Reid excepted -- but in the long run it will be a bonanza.
He has a slightly more nuanced follow up. He continues to argue that immigration reform would be good for the Democrats but adds that the "only problem is that many of the beneficiaries are future office holders who don't get a vote right now." Reihan doesn't think immigration reform is likely to pass and wonders if the Democrats are acting for purely political reasons:
It's hardly a mystery that both major parties are motivated by a desire to win elections, and that they shape their agendas to that end. One could characterize this immigration push as a cynical effort to exploit the fears of Latino voters in a manner that won't actually lead to concrete reforms, thus exacerbating tension around an explosive issue to no discernible end other than political advantage. I wouldn't embrace that characterization necessarily, but it's clarifying.
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