Just two days ago I wrote about how the Arizona law is a sign of everyone's failures. Roberto Suro, who has been researching and writing about immigration for years, wrote an excellent op-ed for the Washington Post, beginning with the following:
Arizona's immigration law was never going to solve the problem of illegal immigration. That is not its purpose. Instead it is an invitation to a shootout in which there will be no winners. It is more of a provocation than an attempt to enact policy, and as a protest against Washington's failure to fix a broken immigration system, it resonates.
It's a very well-written piece. An immigration system that functions properly must balance a wide variety of interest, but as he argues it must also consider what is good for the country as a whole:
Immigration policy needs to be about a lot of things, including national identity and security, but right now it needs to be about getting the economy's pulse up and improving our global economic competitiveness. These challenges are macro. The Arizona law offers micro solutions. It argues that immigration can be a law enforcement matter and pushes the decision-making down to the state and local level. That's a false hope regardless of where you stand on the issue, but it's a false hope that has struck a chord with many Americans.