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Arizona Republic Blames Federal Immigration Inaction; “State laws cannot fix it.”

Something strange is happening in the wild west these days. Out in Arizona, the negative reaction from the recently signed immigration act has led to demonstrations against even those partially affiliated, and and it seems that everyone from local sports teams to not really local Iced Tea companies have been put into odd positions of politics.

Of course, there are some voices that absolutely need to respond. The Phoenix-based Arizona Republic is far and away the largest paper in the state, and given that the national reacted related to the immigration, a weigh-in from the editors’ desk was likely. On Sunday, it happened: with a rare, front page editorial that spelled the message quite clearly.

STOP FAILING ARIZONA; START FIXING IMMIGRATION

The lengthy editorial, by-lined by the newspaper, walks through a litany of politicians with ties to the state – and puts the reality of the new law on their shoulders for not doing enough to reform immigration. There were very few legislators and executives who missed the ire of  editors. The board hits on Arizona Governor Jan Brewer for pandering to politics needed to secure the GOP Gubernatorial primary instead of not signing the bill; they take on long-time Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl for choosing partisan stonewalling over moving immigration reform. The list keeps going, and hits both parties: Janet Napolitano, the one-time Arizona Governor who now heads Homeland Security did not push real reform as a priority, according to the Republic. Former U.S. representative and McCain Senate challenger J.D. Hayworth gets accused of using his position to fuel anti-immigration sentiment and help keep fear high to encourage passing.

It’s only in that final point that board tries to send home its message: this is a bill of fear because the Federal government sat on its hands instead of reforming immigration policies:

Despite the turmoil and passion surrounding this issue, there is a broad consensus that immigration is a federal responsibility and it demands federal action. State laws cannot fix it.

There is also agreement that Arizona suffers disproportionately because of federal border policies, as was seen Friday when a Pinal County sheriff’s deputy was ambushed and shot by suspected drug smugglers.

Arizona can no longer afford to tolerate elected officials who show so little interest in solving one of the state’s most pressing issues. We need leaders who will push to enact comprehensive reform. We need Arizona leadership – as a delegation all working together -sponsoring and spearheading federal legislation to fix immigration.

No one ever said there wasn’t passion associated with the issue, and the Republic brings even more heat to the Desert.

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Dave Levy spends most of his day working on Edelman’s Digital Public Affairs team in Washington, DC. A media researcher on the side and a self-proclaimed geek, he blogs often about how traditional media adapts – or tries to adapt – to the growing social media world at State of the Fourth Estate. You can follow Dave on Twitter for various updates about everything from sports from his previous home in Boston to eccentric and obscure pop culture references.