Karl Rove, who was chief political strategist for President George W. Bush, believes the new Arizona immigration law may be unconstitutional.
“I think there are going to be some constitutional problems with the bill,” he said in a speech at an Orlando senior community, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
“I wished they hadn’t passed it, in a way. At the end of the day, I think there are better tools. But I understand where it’s coming from.”
The new rules require police officers to check the status of any immigrants they reasonably suspect to be here illegally and arrest them if they can't prove they are here legally.
Rove condemned comments of critics, including President Obama, that the law will cause police officers to use racial profiling.
“These are modern police forces that respect the rights of people in their communities,” he said.
“They’re going to do it on the basis of reasonable suspicion that these people are here illegally, like they’re driving a car with a Mexican license plate, or they can’t speak English, or they don’t have a driver’s license.”
On Tuesday, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush became the first top national Republican figure to oppose the law.
"I think it creates unintended consequences," he told Politico. "It's difficult for me to imagine how you're going to enforce this law. It places a significant burden on local law enforcement and you have civil liberties issues that are significant as well."
Bush explains that, after he gave a speech Monday night, a Hispanic man expressed his concern that the law will foster racial discrimination and unfair targeting of Hispanics.
"He said, 'My parents live here, my grandparents live here — I'm Mexican-American. I could be picked up.'"
The uproar that sparked the Arizona bill is understandable, Bush says. But he maintains that immigration should remain a federal issue.
"I don't think this is the proper approach," he said.
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