Arizona is backtracking a bit on its immigration law, offering a meaningless tightening of the bill’s meaningless protections against racial profiling, and a meaningful concession in terms of tightening the definition of “contact.” Still, I think there’s going to be substantial long-term political impact in terms of the collapse of the GOP’s pro-immigrant wing:
Massey Villarreal, a Houston businessman and past national chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly, an independent group with chapters nationwide, said, “It’s insulting to have Republican leaders across the country applauding this racist law. I’m sure this is going to hurt the Republican Party.” […]
But even some of the most conservative Latinos were jolted by the Arizona law. Deedee Blase, a Mexican-American resident of Phoenix who served in the Air Force, said she favored tighter border security and a conservative political and economic agenda. “Now I feel like we are living in the 1960s, and Arizona is the new Alabama,” she said.
An important part of the dynamic here is that because the Hispanic population contains many non-citizens and many children, today’s Hispanic share of the electorate is far smaller than today’s Hispanic share of the population. But in the long-run, the voting share is going to catch up with the population share as people become citizens and/or have their 18th birthdays. So things that work politically in 2010 can prove disastrous come 2020.