The democrats are politicizing this issue for entirely the wrong reason, but are somehow have found themselves on the right side of the issue.
Illegal immigration is a problem in Arizona and here are my thoughts on the law (without having been able to find a full text copy of the bill, and having read multiple summaries from news sites).
The law states that if you are suspected of a crime by police in Arizona, and you are proven to not be either an American Citizen or a legal immigrant then you are deported, or you could receive some more sever punishment than otherwise.
This is a great law if you operate under the assumption that everyone coming into this country illegally is doing so just to commit crimes in a new land.
This is not the case. This has never been the case with immigration, and for much of the history immigrants built this country. Our best days were the days of the melting pot where people of many nationalities came to be American, and as the integration of the Italians, Polish, British, Jewish and Spanish cultures happened over a few generations the early history of America, so will the integration of Mexican people.
Immigration is similar to gun control, in that when you make guns illegal, then anyone with a gun becomes illegal by proxy. The immigration standards to get into the US are so strict that it becomes less of a hassle to sneak in through wilderness and risking life and limb to get here rather than go through the legal process. You have essentially made immigration illegal and the only way for most Mexicans to migrate is to do so illegally!
Now that I've said that: HOW EFFIING BAD IS IT IN MEXICO THAT YOU ARE WILLLING TO GO THROUGH THAT MUCH TROUBLE TO BREAK FEDERAL LAW?!
There is a fact that anytime you have an expatriate settlement in a new land a certain criminal element comes with it. But that is always the minority. There are others that are slow to acclimate themselves to a new culture, think of it as the 80/20 rule.
Generally speaking I think you will end up with mostly the criminal element being dealt with by this Arizona law. Therefore, if you operate under the premise that existing immigration policy is good and just then this law, which empowers local law enforcement to enforce existing immigration law, is just fine and dandy.
Still you have a bulk of them trying to find a better life here than they would otherwise have had back home.
Also, one factor you have here is that there is a state’s rights issue here. If Arizona wants to limit immigration, they, under the 10th amendment should have that right. Texas has a very well used death penalty, Massachusetts does not. Does Boston have more violent crime than Austen? I don’t know off the top of my head, but people have the right to choose their state’s laws, and 71% of Arizona voters want this.
What the Democrats have done to politicize the issue is to make insinuations of race upon anyone who does not support amnesty (Reagan supported amnesty because let's face it, there are better ways to spend the federal budget without raising taxes). But the Democrats want to give something to the Hispanic population, a significantly sized minority, in exchange for expanding the voter base in their favor.
Why? Because in the current political climate they can't win without bribing voters, and anyone who opposes them is going to be called a racist!
Therefore the Democrats have the right idea, yet for the wrong reason. But it goes beyond that. Mexican-Americans are generally Christian (mostly Catholic), pro life, anti gay marriage, believe in strong family values... Essentially members of the religious right! And a generation away from outnumbering blacks as the largest minority in the US. The Hispanic vote is why the ballot initiative for gay marriage in California failed. Did you hear me: GAY MARRIAGE FAILED IN CALIFORNIA!!!
The real solution is to make the immigration process less cumbersome, give these people tax ID's and when they see all those deductions on their paychecks then they'll continue to vote Republican!
So here I am agreeing in practice with the Democrats, but not on principle!