I'm not impressed with either of them. Poizner's trying to rekindle the Pete Wilson magic of 1994 (it's feigned, and some of the thrill is gone, I'd say, in public opinion), and Whitman's simply hoping not to alienate the seal-the-border constituency on the hard right. Since both of these two are basically opportunistic leftists, it's hard to take them seriously.
But conservatives in Arizona are another story, especially Sheriff Joe Arpaio. As ABC News points out, the guy's authentic and making a difference on the front lines of the immigration wars. See, "Arizona Law Promises to Be 'Toughest' on Illegal Immigration: Republicans Float Bill to Charge Illegal Immigrants with Trespassing -- in the State":
A bill empowering police to arrest illegal immigrants and charge them with trespassing for simply being in the state of Arizona, is likely just weeks away from becoming the toughest law of its kind anywhere in the country.
Already passed by the state's Senate and currently being reconciled with a similar version in the House, the bill would essentially criminalize the presence of the 460,000 illegal immigrants living in the state.
The measure allows police to detain people on the suspicion that they are illegal immigrants, outlaws citizens from employing day laborers, and makes it illegal for anyone to transport an illegal immigrant, even a family member, anywhere in the state.
The bill's supporters say a local crackdown has become a necessity because the federal government has failed to adequately seal the borders or actively enforce its laws. They blame Arizona's spiraling crime and unemployment rates on its large population of illegal immigrants.
"When you come to America you must have a permission slip, period," said state Sen. Russell Pearce, the Mesa Republican who sponsored the bill. "You can't break into my country, just like you can't break into my house."
"It will be, there's no doubt, the toughest immigration enforcement bill in the nation," said Pearce, a former deputy in the Maricopa County Sherriff's Office, where he worked for Sheriff Joe Arpaio, nicknamed "America's toughest sheriff." Arpaio, who has stirred controversy over his roundups of illegal immigrants, is being investigated by the federal government for alleged racial profiling ....