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Rick Perry has 'concerns' about Arizona's immigration law

The governor of Texas, who's never really been in danger of irritating his right flank on this issue, comes out swinging against Arizona's immigration law.

I fully recognize and support a state’s right and obligation to protect its citizens, but I have concerns with portions of the law passed in Arizona and believe it would not be the right direction for Texas. For example, some aspects of the law turn law enforcement officers into immigration officials by requiring them to determine immigration status during any lawful contact with a suspected alien, taking them away from their existing law enforcement duties, which are critical to keeping citizens safe. Our focus must continue to be on the criminal elements involved with conducting criminal acts against Texans and their property.

My emphasis. That's not as harsh as Rep. Connie Mack's (R-Fla.) take, but it's a swipe at the bill from one of the GOP's leading defenders of state sovereignty. (Sarah Palin defended the bill not so much by defending its components as much as arguing that it was up to the state.) It's a swipe from a politician who, his new national profile aside, is in a competitive battle for reelection, and who can't afford not to play for Hispanic voters.

By David Weigel  |  April 30, 2010; 10:48 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Election , Immigration  
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