A tip of the hat to The Arizona Republic for devoting its entire Sunday front page to an editorial chastising members of both parties for their failure to bring about comprehensive federal immigration reform. The Phoenix newspaper’s editorial, the paper’s first ever to fill the full front page. Jim Romenesko reports, comes in the wake of a new state law that requires immigrants to carry immigration papers at all times and police to check on anyone they “reasonably suspect” might be in the state illegally.
Headlined “Stop failing Arizona; Start fixing immigration,” the editorial begins with these words:
We need leaders. The federal government is abdicating its duty on the border. Arizona politicians are pandering to public fear. The result is a state law that intimidates Latinos while doing nothing to curb illegal immigration. This represents years of failure. Years of politicians taking the easy way and allowing the debate to descend into chaos.
The paper then names the names of those who it believes have failed the state — from current Republican Gov. Jan Brewer to former Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano, and from Republican Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl to Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva and Democratic Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon.
In each case, it explains how the paper believes they’ve failed.
The editorial continues:
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 ….
and it concludes with the words:
“real leaders are what we need. Arizona, our time for excuses is over.”
It’s impossible to measure the editorial’s impact. But it surely singes the toes of some of the state’s most powerful politicians. And that’s something the news media should be doing much more often on the public’s behalf. It gives some needed bark and teeth to the term, “watchdog of government.”