Yet I wouldn't have thought that the Arizona law would hand Republicans this potent a wedge issue (my emphasis):“The public broadly supports a new Arizona law aimed at dealing with illegal immigration and the law’s provisions giving police increased powers to stop and detain people who are suspected of being in the country illegally.
“Fully 73% say they approve of requiring people to produce documents verifying their legal status if police ask for them. Two-thirds (67%) approve of allowing police to detain anyone who cannot verify their legal status, while 62% approve of allowing police to question people they think may be in the country illegally.
“After being asked about the law’s provisions, 59% say that, considering everything, they approve of Arizona’s new illegal immigration law while 32% disapprove.”
I’ve registered my doubts here and here about the widespread assumption that it's to Democrats' long-term political advantage to draw attention to their opposition to strict enforcement of immigration laws and their support for a relatively easy path to citizenship for illegal aliens. These Pew results are more evidence that, sooner or later, Democrats will have to come to grips with the fact that, both as matter of policy and politics, you can’t have a liberal immigration policy without also securing the border."The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted May 6-9 among 994 adults, finds that Democrats are evenly split over Arizona’s new immigration law: 45% approve of the law and 46% disapprove. However, majorities of Democrats approve of two of the law’s principal provisions: requiring people to produce documents verifying legal status (65%) and allowing police to detain anyone unable to verify their legal status (55%)."
Update: Sorry, I fixed the link.