Last Wednesday United States District Court Judge Susan Bolton ruled in favor of a law requiring officials to check the papers of anyone suspected of being illegal. However, in an ironic turn of events, Arizona Republicans are calling for a reform of their immigration policies that would be softer on immigrants, a change that might mean great things for the future of immigrants in the U.S.
Historically, Arizona and specifically the Arizona GOP, have had some of the harshest policies in the nation. Arizona Republicans have been backing SB 1070, a law that has been seen as the harshest immigration law in U.S. history. The law adversely supported racial profiling by officials and angered many civil rights groups.
Recently though, politicians who have previously supported harsh immigration laws are starting to change their opinions. The new push by Republicans is toward a law that is supportive of business endeavors in Arizona. Many business owners have been working with politicians to not only improve Arizona businesses but also create a new face for Arizona economy.
However, this isn’t the only reason; this change of face is also in attempt to appease Latino voters who will be key in the next election. Immigration is going to be one of the key topics in the next election, both in state and federal elections. So this is a pretty strategic move on the Republicans’ part. With the Latino population growing steadily larger, especially in states such as Arizona, the Latino vote could change the course of the countries politics.
No matter what the real motivations behind this policy change might be I still think that it is great that a state such as Arizona with historically anti-immigration policies can evolve. Arizona’s political changes were influenced by politicians in Florida, so if Arizona can have the same on other impacted states we might be looking at a national reformation.
While the recent court ruling by Judge Bolton might be more consistent with Arizona’s previous laws, I think that the fluidity of this issue has proven it’s self over and over again over the years. We truly have no idea where we will be in the next year much less the next five our 10, but if this change is any indication we could be looking at a new age of immigration policies.