Ariz. Immigration Law Debate Heats Up

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The tension over Arizona's new law aimed at bringing illegal immigrants to justice is spilling over into Washington, D.C.

Arizona's new illegal immigration law is fanning a fire storm across the country.

Lawmakers from other states are weighing in and the Obama administration is threatening to challenge the law in court.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers sent Obama a letter calling for a deployment of National Guard soldiers along the U.S. border with Mexico.

To read the full text of Arizona's new immigration bill click here.

"Where, right now, the cartels dominate and they dominate through violence and intimidation," Rep. Ed Royce said.

A group of diverse Democrats compared the new law to those of the Jim Crow era.

"Imagine walking down the streets of Arizona and being stopped by police because you look like an illegal immigrant," Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., said.

It's an emotional and geographically-charged debate with different solutions that transcend party lines.

Some Republicans, especially those in states with large Latino populations, are critical of the law.

In a statement, Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio said the law could "unreasonably single out people who are here legally, including many American citizens."

Critics say the silver lining to the Arizona law is that the legislation has pushed the issue of immigration reform back to the top of the agenda in Washington.

Arizona is already feeling consequences of the controversial law. California is considering severing state contracts with Arizona, San Francisco's mayor has banned city employees from traveling to the state and the U.S. Justice Department is threatening to challenge the new law in court.

"Constitutional or not, there are some real law enforcement reasons why laws like that are misguided," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said.

In Phoenix, a former city councilman has started gathering signatures to put a repeal measure on the November ballot.

The developments come despite the 70 percent of Arizonans who say they are in favor of the new law.

Meanwhile, the roundup up of illegal immigrants has already begun.

In Phoenix, police were called to one house where 69 illegal immigrants were found inside.

Police say the residence was a drop house for immigrants heading to the East Coast. The immigrants have been placed in federal custody.

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CBN News
Jennifer Wishon

Jennifer Wishon

CBN News White House Correspondent

Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at