Shields and Brooks: Arizona Immigration Law Proves Tricky Political Territory

New York Times columnist David Brooks and syndicated columnist Mark Shields stopped by the Rundown after their regular Friday slot on the NewsHour to discuss the political impact and the broad national support for Arizona’s controversial new immigration law. The measure makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally and gives broad powers to police to question people they suspect of being illegal immigrants.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll found 64 percent of Americans support the new law.

“Most disturbing to Republicans long term is that 70 percent of Latinos oppose the Arizona law … Republicans could get identified as the anti-immigration, anti-Latino party in the long run and therefore not be competitive nationally,” Shields said.

David Brooks said that Arizona Sen. John McCain has decided to reach out for the anti-immigration vote in his Republican primary battle, running an ad portraying him as a tough opponent of illegal immigration. Brooks said that Democrats are introducing a new immigration reform bill in the Senate in order to attract Latino voters, putting some Republicans in a tough spot.

They also discuss their summer reading list – Brooks said he is reading research for his own new book, but seconded Shields’ recommendation of “Joe DiMaggio: The Hero’s Life” by Richard Ben Cramer.