Arizona judge gets it exactly right

By Ruben Navarrette Jr., Special to CNN

San Diego, California — U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ripped the guts out of SB 1070 on Wednesday, striking down the most egregious and indefensible parts of Arizona’s immigration law.

That’s exactly what you should do when confronted with a monster — in this case, the monstrosity of a law that usurps federal authority over immigration enforcement, doesn’t just allow for racial profiling but requires it by allowing police to arrest people they suspect are in the country illegally, makes it a state crime to ask for work if one is undocumented and requires legal immigrants to carry documents proving their legal status.

If I were grading this law, I’d give it straight D’s. It’s divisive, dangerous, dishonest and dysfunctional. It’s divisive because whites and Latinos see the law differently; according to polls, about 70 percent of whites support it, and 70 percent of Latinos oppose it.

It’s dangerous because, as Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris argues, local police shouldn’t have to enforce immigration law at the cost of reallocating resources aimed at tackling other kinds of crime.

It’s dishonest because Arizonans created the very problem they’re now complaining about so vociferously by hiring illegal immigrants.

And it’s dysfunctional because neither local cops nor federal immigration agents had any idea how they were going to enforce the very provisions that the judge struck down.