Arizona Governor Jan Brewer made state history on April 23 by signing one of the toughest immigration bills in the country into law. The legislation, while praised by many conservatives and libertarians, has met with Democratic criticism both at the local level and in Washington.
The Libertarian candidate for governor, Bruce Olson, wrote in a blog for The Arizona Sentinel that he was "proud" of Brewer for the step that is "making it tough to run against ya."
He added that other states must follow suit with similar laws, but warned that the Federal government may try to overturn the bill.
However, the new law, which will make it a misdemeanor for foreign nationals to fail to register and carry their documents with them, was heavily criticized by ethnic groups and Democratic lawmakers.
Among the critics were Hispanic state legislators in Arizona as well as members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in Washington, D.C.
In the nation’s capital, President Obama called the bill "misguided" but said the Federal government must act on the immigration issue.
"Our failure to act responsibly will only open the door to irresponsibility by others," he said.
"That includes the recent efforts in Arizona, which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe," Obama added.
The president was referring to the part of the bill that requires police officers, if they have a "reasonable suspicion" that someone is an illegal immigrant during a lawful stop, to determine that person’s immigration status and, if necessary, transfer them into Federal custody.