Arizona's largest newspaper criticized U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl and a host of other elected officials in a rare front-page editorial on Sunday, saying the politicians have failed to find solutions to illegal immigration.
The state has become the target of calls for boycotts since adopting a law that requires local and state law enforcement officers to question people about their immigration status if there's reason to suspect they're in the country illegally.
"The federal government is abdicating its duty on the border. Arizona politicians are pandering to public fear," the Arizona Republic said in a full-page editorial. "The result is a state law that intimidates Latinos while doing nothing to curb illegal immigration."
The editorial appeared one day after thousands marched against the law in Phoenix and Tucson, while May Day demonstrators in Chicago, New York, San Francisco and other U.S. cities also criticized the measure. In Los Angeles, police said about 50,000 demonstrators took to the streets.
McCain was once a champion of comprehensive immigration reform, but has abandoned his principles while he fights off a GOP primary challenge this year from former U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth, the Republic said.
Kyl has also dropped efforts for comprehensive reform and is no longer willing to work with Democrats on the issue now that he's a member of the Senate Republic leadership, the paper said.
The editorial also named Gov. Jan Brewer, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former governor and current Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
"Ensconced in a Democratic administration, she forgot all the arguments she once used to demand the Bush administration address immigration reform and reimburse Arizona for the costs of the broken border," the Republic said. "Put in charge of Obama's effort to craft immigration reform, she couldn't get the thing out of neutral."
The newspaper called for reform that allows for current undocumented immigrants to earn citizenship, secures the borders and puts tough sanctions in place for employers who hire undocumented immigrants.
Changes must also be made to "create a legal pipeline for future workers that is demand-based and temporary," the newspaper said.
"When migrant labor is channeled through the legal ports of entry, the Border Patrol can focus on catching drug smugglers and other criminals, instead of chasing busboys across the desert," it said. "Real leaders will have the courage to say that. Real leaders are what we need."
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