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Opinions about Arizona immigration law

A U.S. Border Patrol officer monitors the U.S.-Mexico border fence in Nogales, Arizona.
A U.S. Border Patrol officer monitors the U.S.-Mexico border fence in Nogales, Arizona.
  • Immigration studies center director says that "reformers are stuck in 1986"
  • Arizona state representative says state has stepped in after U.S. government fell short
  • Public interest lawyer says law aims "to provoke sustainable immigration reform"
  • Columnist: Obama may lose Latino voters' support if his promises about reform fall short

The midterm elections are in 100 days, and the political races are heating up. Starting Wednesday night, "John King, USA" is on the road in Arizona for an in-depth look at the immigration debate. Watch "John King, USA" at 7 p.m. ET Wednesday on CNN.

(CNN) -- Since Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed Senate Bill 1070 into law in late April, there has been a wide array of opinions about the controversial immigration law, which takes effect Thursday. Here's a look at some of those viewpoints:

Immigration reform: Start with small steps: John D. Skrentny, director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at U.C. San Diego, says: "Like the characters in 'Hot Tub Time Machine,' reformers are stuck in 1986."

Arizona should kill immigration bill: Every movement needs heroes. The fight against discrimination in Arizona just got nine, writes Stephen Lemons, a blogger and columnist with the Phoenix New Times.

Arizona had to take charge on immigration: Republican Russ Jones is an Arizona state representative from the 24th District in Yuma, and he voted for SB 1070: "Some people criticize this new bill, while at the same time saying that something must be done about illegal immigration. Then they will mention the ever-popular catchphrase about "comprehensive immigration policy." This is fine and good, but so far no one on either the state or federal level has enacted any workable solutions to this problem. ... With a lack of progress, this state has felt compelled to move forward in crafting its own legislation to deal with problems at home."

Undocumented workers need legal rights: Richard Trumka is president of the AFL-CIO and former president of the United Mine Workers of America. He believes that the United States "cannot afford to have millions of hard-working people without legal protections, shut off from economic gain. But the way we treat the immigrants among us is about more than economic strategy: It is about who we are as a nation."

Law meant to provoke government action: Michael Hethmon is a public interest lawyer and general counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, the legal affiliate of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. He helped draft SB 1070, the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act. Hethmon argues that the controversial law "was intended by its creators, myself among them, to provoke sustainable immigration reform."

How Obama can lead on immigration: Ruben Navarrette Jr. is a nationally syndicated columnist, an NPR commentator and a regular contributor to He argues that "it doesn't make any political sense for President Obama to talk about the need to reform our immigration system."

Did Obama break his promise to Latinos? In this piece, Navarrette says Obama stands to lose the support of Latino voters by failing to uphold his promise on comprehensive immigration reform in his first year.

Can Obama close the divide on immigration? Tamar Jacoby is president of ImmigrationWorks USA, a national federation of small-business owners advocating immigration reform. She addresses the differing opinions among Americans about immigration reform, and suggests ways Obama can address that paradox.