Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday neared a deadline to act on the nation's toughest legislation against illegal immigration.
The sweeping measure would make it a crime under state law to be in the country illegally. It would also require local police officers to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegal.
A Saturday deadline for Brewer, a Republican, to act on the bill was set on Monday when the legislation arrived on her desk. She can sign, veto or allow it to become law without her signature.
This law will also make sanctuary cities illegal. On the other hand, it will almost certainly lead to at least charges of racial profiling. The bill is currently overwhelmingly approved by the citizens of the state overrun with illegal immigration.
The president just weighed in on the bill.
He denounced as "misguided'' efforts around the nation to crack down on illegal immigrants -- pointing to Arizona, where protests and counter-protests are mounting amid local crackdowns and new state legislation allowing police to check the documents of people suspected of being illegal immigrants.
"If we continue to fail to act at a federal level, we will continue to see misguided efforts opening up around the country,'' the president said. "That includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona.''' Efforts there, he said, "threatened to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.''
The president may or may not take up immigration reform later on in 2010. If he does, the only way to make it work is to combine tough border security and enforcement with a path to citizenship. This is a window into what Obama thinks is tough border security.