Steele, Republicans May Be Split on Immigration Reform

Steele, Republicans May Be Split on Immigration Reform

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Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele once again talked his way into the news this week with comments on Arizona’s controversial immigration law. Steele, speaking to Spanish-language television network Univision, said the views of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer don’t necessarily represent his view or those of all Republicans.

“The actions of one state’s governor [are] not a reflection of an entire country, nor … a reflection of an entire political party," Steele said. “The governor and the people of Arizona made a decision that they thought was in their best interest, and that’s the beauty of a republic, that’s who we are.”

The law signed into existence in April requires immigrants to carry alien registration documents at all times and also gives law enforcement the right to question anyone if they suspect they’re in the country illegally.

Since then, the Justice Department has filed suit and has blocked portions of the bill much to the chagrin of Brewer, who said in a statement, the ruling applied the wrong legal standard and ignored key provisions of federal law that “empower states to enforce immigration laws.”

Steele is not the only party member not waving the Arizona flag on this issue. Other members of his party have come forward criticizing not only the Arizona law, but also criticizing proposed changes to the 14th amendment. Alberto Gonzales, former attorney general under President George W. Bush, wrote an op-ed piece in the {Washington Post} condemning efforts to change the amendment.

“I do not support such an amendment. Based on principles from my tenure as a judge, I think constitutional amendments should be reserved for extraordinary circumstances that we cannot address effectively through legislation or regulation,” Gonzales wrote. “Because most undocumented workers come here to provide for themselves and their families, a constitutional amendment will not solve our immigration crisis.”