A Mandate for Immigration Reform?

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As Alex wrote yesterday, TIME has a new poll out. Having focused earlier this week on the immigration debate, I found the questions on the Arizona law particularly interesting. Some 60% of respondents said they liked the Arizona law versus 35% who didn’t like it. That said, 54% said they believe the law would lead to harassment of legal citizens and 63% said it’s the federal government’s job – not that of states – to craft and enforce immigration laws. Perhaps, though, Arizona was driven to action by the public’s perception that the federal government has been falling down on that responsibility: only 35% of respondents approved of the job President Obama’s doing on immigration and 53% disapproved. Even worse? Only 1% said the government is doing an “excellent” job of defending the nation’s borders, 12% said a “good” job is being done, 35% rated it only “fair” and a whopping 49% said the government is doing a “poor” job policing the border. You’d think these numbers would give Obama a mandate to fix the border problem and pass immigration reform. Er, no.