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Dems Lick Chops Over Arizona Immigration Law

If Supreme Court upholds, they'll force Republicans to pick a side on prickly issue
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2012 8:55 AM CDT

(Newser) – Even if the Supreme Court upholds Arizona's immigration law this summer, Senate Democrats are just going to go ahead and stick Republicans between a rock and a hard place on the controversial law. Chuck Schumer is set to announce Plan B today: legislation that would require the approval of the federal government for any new state immigration law, basically invalidating the Arizona law and similar laws in other states. The legislation has essentially zero chance of passing either the Senate or the House, but by introducing it, Senate Democrats could force a floor vote on the issue, the Washington Post reports.

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Congressional debate on the legislation would likely force Republicans to take a clear position—a daunting prospect considering the law's unpopularity with Latinos, who already favor Democrats, and who could be a key factor in the presidential race and several Senate races. Democrats could, in turn, increase their existing appeal with Latino voters at a critical time, as the 2012 election is heating up. Mitt Romney could also find himself in the awkward position of having to strengthen his position (he has said he opposes blocking the Arizona law) while also attempting to increase his extremely poor standing with Hispanic voters. (Read more Arizona stories.)

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