I think that the previous post was strong in the assertions made. I would echo the idea that public scrutiny has led to examination of immigration policy and law. At the same time, I think that immigration is a fairly easy issue for politicians to cling to in order to consolidate their own power and rally individuals around their various belief systems. In times of distress, American History has shown itself to be vulnerable to fear and resentment. Certainly, this is a part of the motivation behind the clamor around immigration. Arizona's measure to demonstrate toughness on illegal immigration has brought the issue back to the forefront of public discussion, and even issues that might not be directly connected to it are being scrutinized with it in mind. For example, the health care debate merged with the immigration discussion and different sides were able to "spin" it for their own purposes. I would say that the need to examine public policy on immigration has been injected with emotions and politicizing, which has caused new laws to be passed.
I do not know which immigration law you are referring to, so I will guess that you are talking about the Arizona law since it is the most famous immigration law in the US right now.
I think that these are some causes of it:
- Excessive illegal immigration. Many people feel like there are too many illegal immigrants.
- The bad economy. Because of this, people dislike immigrants more -- they feel that the illegal immigrants come and take "our" jobs and increase our taxes because they use up social services.
- The fact that most of the illegals are Hispanic. I think (my opinion only) that there is more fear of them because they seem unlike "us." There is a fear that they will not assimilate and become like "regular" Americans.