Arizona Immigration Law Divides Latinos, Too

Marc Lacey
The New York Times

PHOENIX — Arizona’s immigration law, which politicians have debated in the Legislature, lawyers have sparred over in the courtroom and advocates have shouted about on the street, has found its way up a driveway in central Phoenix, through the front door and right onto the Sotelo family’s kitchen table.

That is where Efrain Sotelo, 49, a process server, and his wife, Shayne, 46, an elementary school teacher, sat and argued on a recent Friday night. He drank beer. She sipped wine. Like many residents across the state, they differed on State Senate Bill 1070, as the immigration law is known.

“I try not to engage in arguments with my wife,” Mr. Sotelo said, looking across at her. “When we talk about this, we both know what’s going to happen. I can’t convince her, and she can’t convince me.”

On that much, they seemed to agree. “He’s much more conservative than I am,” she said. “He can’t be changed. I can’t be changed. We both know that. But that doesn’t mean we don’t try.”

That such a divisive social issue would divide some families is not surprising. But what makes the Sotelos stand out is that they are both Latinos, he a Mexican immigrant who was born in the northern state of Chihuahua and she a descendant of Spanish immigrants who grew up in Colorado…

…He thinks his adopted state has been unfairly maligned since the law passed. “I’m a Hispanic, and I don’t have any issues walking the streets,” he said. “They make it seem like the police or sheriff are out there checking everyone’s papers, and that’s not so.”…

The complete article is at The New York Times.

H/T The Astute Bloggers

Update: At Weasel Zippers, Poll: Support For Illegal Immigration Plummets From 50% to 29% Among… Latinos

In 2007, 50 percent of Latinos surveyed told the Pew Hispanic Center that the growing number of illegal immigrants was a positive force for the existing Latino population. In a Pew survey released Thursday, that number had plummeted to 29 percent.

Thirty-one percent said illegal immigration had a negative effect, and 20percent said it had no effect…

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