Peter Schrag has a level-headed discussion of immigration policy in the latest issue of The Nation. He examines the local laws being passed and the vagaries of public opinion, which is never as anti-immigrant (not even anti-undocumented immigrant) as restrictionists claim, something we should always keep in mind.
At that point the nation may look back on this period as another of those eras, like the Red Scare of the 1920s or the McCarthy years of the '50s, when the nation became unhinged; politicians panicked; and scattershot federal, state and local assaults led to unfocused, and often cruel, harassment. It may be seen in retrospect as a desperate rearguard attempt to freeze Anglo-white places and power in a mythic past.
I especially like the image of becoming "unhinged," which is right on the money.
h/t Bender's Immigration Bulletin.