MESA, Ariz. — The architect of the groundbreaking Arizona immigration law that thrust the issue into the national political debate faces a recall election Tuesday likely to be viewed as a referendum on the state's hardline immigration policies.
The effort to oust Republican state Sen. Russell Pearce has transformed a normally quiet legislative district in a Phoenix suburb into a closely watched battleground on immigration that also features issues such as school funding cuts and state mandates on local governments.
People on both sides of the debate believe that removing Pearce would send a powerful message to the Legislature that uncompromising stands on immigration and other issues will not be tolerated by voters.
On the flip side, a Pearce victory will say a tough stance on illegal immigration is just what voters demand.
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