The New York Times has an article about how Democratic Governors are complaining about the government's lawsuit against Arizona. A few thoughts:
First, I am not convinced that voters will think much about the Arizona lawsuit when voting in November midterm elections. The governors' argument rests on the assumption that the lawsuit will somehow tip people who otherwise would have stayed at home or who would have voted Democrat. I have yet to see any evidence of that.
Second, as I've written countless times, people's views on immigration policy are never as simple as generally portrayed. Kudos to the reporter (Abby Goodnough) for this perceptive paragraph:
The lawsuit contends that controlling immigration is a federal responsibility, but polls suggest that a majority of Americans support the Arizona law, or at least the concept of a state having a strong role in immigration enforcement.
Exactly. People do want a functional system with a working enforcement component. However, that does not necessarily translate into punishing Democrats because of the lawsuit.
Third, the main problem is a general sense of inaction, not the lawsuit per se. Outgoing Washington Governor Christine Gregoire makes the following point:
“They described for me a list of things that they are doing to try and help on that border,” Ms. Gregoire said of the White House officials at the closed-door meeting. “And I said, ‘The public doesn’t know that.’ ”
She added, “We’ve got a message void, and the only thing we’re hearing is that they’re filing a lawsuit.”
I disagree that people are paying such close attention to the lawsuit, but the administration is doing a poor job of convincing anyone that it is committed to anything except nice words and more enforcement for PR purposes, and so it is criticized by all sides.