Arizona’s enactment of the harshest immigration control measure in the country has re-ignited a national debate over comprehensive immigration reform. Opposition to the law has come from across the political and community spectrum—from faith leaders to the Major League Baseball Players Association; from immigration and civil rights advocates who fear the law relies on racial profiling, to the leaders of cities and states who understand the severe consequences if an Arizona-type model were to be copied in their locales. The Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police predicts the new law "will negatively affect the ability of law enforcement agencies across the state to fulfill their many responsibilities in a timely manner."
Federal courts have previously found state and local laws similar to Arizona’s to be unconstitutional, ruling that only the federal government has the power to regulate immigration. But Congress has not yet acted on comprehensive immigration reform.
What impact would a law similar to Arizona’s have on cities, counties, and law enforcement, and how should immigration be addressed? These questions and others will be answered by Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix, Arizona, who is currently handling this crisis in his home state; Mayor John DeStefano of New Haven, Connecticut; and Arlington County Board Member Walter Tejada.