Pearce Recall Was NOT a Repudiation of Immigration Enforcement

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No surprise. The illegal alien advocacy network is “shouting from the rooftops” that the defeat of Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce was a public repudiation of his stance on state-based enforcement of immigration laws and, particularly, his sponsorship of SB 1070. Not surprising and also not true.

Whatever contributed to Sen. Pearce’s defeat on Tuesday, it surely wasn’t his immigration record. The guy who defeated him, Jerry Lewis, “political views – including his stance on immigration – are surprisingly similar to Pearce’s,” reports the Deseret News. “Lewis believes Pearce’s Senate Bill 1070, which put immigration enforcement into the hands of local and state police, is a good starting point,” reports The Economist, although Lewis does say he believes that parts of the law were “excessive.”

What differentiated Lewis and Pearce in the minds of the voters was style, not substance. Constituents grew weary of Pearce’s combative style and opted instead for Lewis’s Boy Scout image. As Lewis himself noted, “I don’t disagree with Pearce on much.”

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Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.

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