Democratic governors expressed “grave” concerns to White House officials this weekend about the Obama administration’s suit against Arizona’s new immigration law, warning it could cost the party in crucial elections this fall, The New York Times reported late Sunday.
The closed-door meeting took place at the National Governors Association in Boston on Saturday, according to two unnamed governors who spoke to the Times.
“Universally the governors are saying, ‘We’ve got to talk about jobs, and all of a sudden we have immigration going on,'” Gov. Phil Bredesen of Tennessee, a Democrat, was quoted as saying. “It is such a toxic subject, such an important time for Democrats.”
Attorney General Eric Holder, meanwhile, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday that the federal government was leading with its “strongest” argument in the suit filed Tuesday and would not rule out a second suit months down the road–if the law ends up going into effect.
The lawsuit filed last week in U.S. District Court in Arizona claimed the state was infringing on federal immigration responsibilities and urged the judge to prevent the law from going into effect at the end of July. Despite some officials’ claims that the law could lead to racial profiling, that concern was not cited as grounds for the suit.
Rallying around Gov. Brewer at the Boston meeting, Republican Gov. Dave Heineman of Nebraska told the Times: “I’d be willing to bet a lot of money that almost every state in America next January is going to see a bill similar to Arizona’s.”