Opinion

Commentary: Congress needs to get to work on immigration

Maricopa County's town of Carefree might not live up to its name come summer, at least not for residents with Hispanic surnames, brown skin or a pronounced accent.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer stirred up a mess of national controversy when she signed state legislation requiring police officers to make "a reasonable attempt" to determine the status of a person "where reasonable suspicion exists" that the person is in the country illegally.

But what's "reasonable" and who gets to decide? A reasonable action this isn't.

But it should surprise no one that the Congress' continued inability to address a chronic irritation to border states would finally push a governor and her Legislature to write a law of their own. Arizonans are as frustrated by the burden that a porous border puts on their state, as are Californians, New Mexicans and Texans. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, about 1.4 million of the nation's more than 11 million illegal immigrants live in the Lone Star State.

Municipal efforts to crack down on undocumented migrants -- Farmers Branch, for instance -- have been derailed in court, but that doesn't mean city leaders won't continue to file costly lawsuits that taxpayers are expected to underwrite.

After Brewer signed the law Friday, it didn't take a New York minute for immigration lawyers to start questioning the constitutionality of Arizona's SB 1070.

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