Protests to Arizona immigration law spread across country

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by SUE TURNER / KVUE News Washington Bureau

kvue.com

Posted on April 26, 2010 at 4:07 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 26 at 5:24 PM

Anger is sweeping across the country after Arizona passed a tougher immigration law.

In the nation's capitol, lawmakers are pushing for immigration reform to ease tensions, but the issue is one Congress might not have enough time or energy for.

Arizona's immigration law signed last week allows police to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. 

Supporters say it will help curb illegal immigration. 

Opponents say it legalizes racial profiling.

Protests against Arizona's new immigration law are reaching as far as Missouri.  The new law has perked up the powers in Washington.

"Our failure to act responsibly at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others. That includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans,” President Obama said.

Some senators say it has to be done before climate change legislation, which angered Republican Senator Lindsey Graham who appears to have abandoned the energy bill.  Democrats say they'll move forward on both.

"Whichever bill has the support needs to be passed -- that's what will move first.  But I would say to you I think we can make progress on more than just one issue," said Robert Gibbs, White House press secretary.

“It is fundamentally wrong to be a second-class citizen just because you have a certain accent or you look a certain way, that's what Arizona is pursuing, that's why we need comprehensive immigration reform," said Super Sen. Robert Menendez, (D) New Jersey
Republicans say there isn't enough time.

“We've got a budget to deal with. We normally get that done before the 15th of April, that has not been done, we've not done one single appropriation bill in the Senate, we've not done a defense authorization bill,” said Sen. Saxby Chambliss, (R) Georgia.

The Obama Administration has asked the Department of Justice to evaluate the impact of Arizona's law before they decide how to respond to it.

The law goes into effect in July.

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