[R]ather than a newfound wave of anti-immigrant sentiment, most Americans support Arizona’s law as well as support for national comprehensive immigration reform is driven by a desire for action by Washington on a problem that has been left unattended for too long.In other words: Americans want our government to fix our broken immigration system. They support comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level, because they know that the current bureaucracy isn’t helping anyone. They’d rather see something — anything — than live another day under the current system.
As further proof that people aren’t anti-immigrant, but pro-action, take a look at the turnout for Tom Tancredo’s anti-immigrant rally over the weekend. Organizers expected about ten thousand people to attend, but only about two thousand actually showed up.
[O]ne thing remains clear: while most Americans are hungry for solutions to our nation’s immigration crisis, the majority want a common-sense fix that lives up to our most basic values of fairness, dignity and hard work – not scapegoating and fear.(Also, let’s not forget that Tancredo initially thought the Arizona law went too far. Apparently, he’s changed his mind, joining John McCain and other Republicans in flip-flopping on immigration reform.)
Since Arizona (and the many states considering copycat legislation) have made the first move towards changing our system, it’s up to the rest of us to show the world that we can reform immigration without hatred, border-only bills, or false solutions that don’t do anything for the millions of people hurt every day that we don’t act. Over half of the people America’s Voice surveyed said they supported Arizona’s law because “the state took action [and] the federal government has failed to solve the problem.” 84 percent of people who support the law in Arizona also support comprehensive immigration reform. Clearly, people want solutions. And in the absence of real solutions, they’ll agree with anyone who looks like they’re trying to fix our broken system — even if those actions only make things worse.