The Federal Govt. Sues Arizona: Your Tax Dollars at Work
Some call it an attempt to distract us from the economy…as if that’s possible. Others call it a noble attempt to stop racism…tell that to J. Christian Adams. I simply call it a monumental waste of my tax dollars. As many of you probably know by now, Obama’s DOJ filed suit against the State of Arizona yesterday for its immigration law. You know, the one that requires Arizona cops to make an effort to identify criminals and then arresting them…novel concept. According to our esteemed government attorneys, any and all aspects of immigration are within the exclusive purview of the federal government. Thus, in legal terms, Arizona’s law violates the Supremacy Clause in the Constitution…or so the argument goes. I haven’t read the complaint, and I’m not sure I will, but the Wall Street Journal apparently has, so that’s got to count for something right?
The suit, filed in Phoenix, said that the state had ‘crossed a constitutional line’ that interferes with the federal authority over immigration. It alleges that the state law would burden federal agencies, diverting resources from such higher priorities as tracking illegal immigrants implicated in terrorism cases, drug smuggling or other crimes.
If this is the best the federal government’s got, then I want my money back. Now, courts can do all kinds of strange things, like deny unopposed motions for example, so I guess anything’s possible. That being said, how the hell can enforcing federal law interfere with federal law? In fact, the feds are doing more interfering than Arizona, due to their refusal to enforce their own law. Oh, and when did the Supremacy Clause include a section about not diverting resources from higher priorities? That’s called the “let’s throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” argument.
‘Setting immigration policy and enforcing immigration laws is a national responsibility,’ Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. ‘Seeking to address the issue through a patchwork of state laws will only create more problems than it solves.’
As an initial point, this is the equivalent of the Chicago police department sitting outside my front door and watching my family be attacked by an intruder, and then arresting me when I kill him. But Holder’s right. Setting immigration policy is within the exclusive purview of the federal government. I’m not so sure about enforcement though. After all, what constitutes “enforcement?” The State of Arizona certainly can’t deport the illegals. But can they arrest them for being here illegally and hold them until I.N.S. deports them? My gut tells me they can…but that may just be the Chipotle I ate last night…which was awesome by the way. The learned, ivory tower types have thrown in their two cents as well:
‘I think the federal government is going to win and the Arizona law is going to be shown to be unconstitutional,’ said Karl M. Manheim, professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. ‘States don’t have any power to regulate immigration.’
This opinion begs the question though: does the Arizona law “regulate” immigration? I think the federal govt. would have a difficult time arguing that the law does any regulating. It’s simply a criminal statute piggy-backing on a federal statute which already defined who is here illegally. Arizona’s law hasn’t made being here illegally more illegal than it was before.
As usual though, Gov. Jan Brewer hits the nail on the head with respect to the practicalities of the lawsuit:
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer called the federal lawsuit ‘a massive waste of taxpayer funds’ and said the money ‘could be better used against the violent Mexican cartels than the people of Arizona.’
She said that the Obama administration, if worried about a patchwork of laws, could have chosen to sue local governments that adopted ‘sanctuary” policies instructing police not to cooperate with federal immigration officials.
She is absolutely correct. The Obama Administration doesn’t give a rat’s ass about a “patchwork of laws.” Controlling the border is right in the wheelhouse of the federal government, and its failure to do the controllin’ is the sole reason why states are being forced to pick up the slack. In fact, the DOJ’s complaint constitutes an admission of this.
Of course, as the article goes on to point out, this is all about politics. Obama doesn’t care about immigration. If he did, he would have pushed a bill through Congress before he lost his filibuster-proof majority. Instead, he has continued to dither on the issue, now hoping that the lawsuit will bring the democrats the hispanic vote in November. I personally doubt that the immigration law is going to bring the Dems any more votes then they already have…but we’ll see.
In the meantime, be sure to send a little love note to your Congressman, thanking him or her for the wise use of your tax dollars. After all, the only reason the Arizona law was enacted in the first place was because they have failed to do their jobs…again.