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July 7th, 2010
10:03 AM ET

Letters to the President #534: 'Why I would have waited on Arizona'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/13/king.sou.border/art.borderfence.cnn.jpg caption="Foreman: 'Polls have shown that most Americans think what Arizona has done to address illegal immigration is proper, and they aren’t too impressed with what the federal government has done…which, uh, seems to be not much.'" width=300 height=169]

Reporter's Note: The Administration has launched a legal challenge to Arizona’s new immigration law. So I have launched another letter to the Administration. Huzzah!

Dear Mr. President,

So you have pressed ahead with that lawsuit against the new Arizona Immigration law before it is even put into action, eh? Well, win or lose, no one can accuse you of being timid about stepping into minefields at this point. Still, without taking sides on whether you are right or wrong to do this (and certainly without trying to cast the bones on what the courts will do, because heaven knows they have plenty of options) I don’t think I would have taken such an action at this point.

First, because, let’s face it, you have plenty of trouble already. Oil spills, foreign wars, and oh yes…and economy that has more people pounding the pavement than New Year’s Eve in Times Square. If you think the millions of unemployed families in this country are sitting around saying, “Oh yes, I need work, but let’s focus on the Arizona law first,” I fear you are mistaken. Remember, even presidents have to pick their fights. You can’t go to the mat over every issue.

Second, people like this law. Polls have shown that most Americans think what Arizona has done to address illegal immigration is proper, and they aren’t too impressed with what the federal government has done…which, uh, seems to be not much.

And third, as far as I can tell, you don’t have a good alternative. This is really the backbreaker, I think. As you have learned, there are plenty of people in the public sphere who just like to stand in the way of anyone else doing anything. Heck, your political party loves to go around calling the Republicans the party of “no.” And yet, here you are telling Arizona “no” while offering no concrete plan for something else that might help.

And again, without passing judgment on your philosophical stance for or against illegal immigration, this is the kind of thing that drives people stone-eye-rolling-steam-puffing-crazy. Rather than spend time trying to make the courts override what a border state is trying to do to protect its people, I suspect you’d get a much warmer reception from people all across the political spectrum if instead you rolled out a comprehensive plan explaining what the feds are going to do to solve this problem of people pouring across our border.

Just saying. You know I always try to be encouraging. Give me a call if you want to talk. I’m around, and heaven knows in this scorching heat I’m not doing much! Ha!

Regards,
Tom

Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (One Response)
  1. K S Verdi, San Antonio, TX

    I am a legal immigrant and thank you for the letter because English is my second language. I have worked very hard to learn the language of the land that I now call my home. You are our voice, those who try really, really hard to be good citizens but struggle with the language and don't quite get the words across 😉
    Thank you again.
    K V

    July 7, 2010 at 11:01 am |