Supreme Court Strikes Down Most of Arizona Immigration Law Because Federal Govt. is Taking Care of It.
The ruling sucks. And don’t let anyone tell you that the “key provision” is still alive. No it isn’t. The only part that’s left is the provision that allows officers to try and figure out if someone they arrested for something else is here illegally. Big Deal. They still can’t arrest someone for being here illegally. Why? Because that’s the federal government’s job. And don’t get me wrong; it is the federal government’s job. The Constitution states that immigration is the job of the federal government. What happens when the federal government fails in its job, however? In his dissenting opinion, Justice Scalia offers the following:
A Federal Government that does not want to enforce the immigration laws as written, and leaves the States’ borders unprotected against immigrants whom those laws would exclude. So the issue is a stark one. Are the sovereign States at the mercy of the Federal Executive’s refusal to enforce the Nation’s immigration laws?
Scalia is obviously calling out the Obama Administration here, although it could be equally levied at the Bush Administration. The obvious problem with only allowing the Feds to handle illegal immigration is that they aren’t doing it. And to be more specific, the Executive Branch, i.e., the Barry Administration, isn’t doing it.
Civics flashback: The Legislative Branch creates law. The Executive Branch enforces law. Congress has passed legislation regarding illegal immigration. In fact, the language of Arizona’s law is virtually identical to federal law dealing with illegals. It’s Obama’s job to enforce the immigration laws that are on the books. And we’re not just talking about tossing the illegals out, but taking steps to keep them out. While it has been deporting people, it has taken no steps to control the border. And let’s not forget Obama’s proclamation made last week about no longer deporting anyone who meets certain qualifications. In other words, in his effort to pander to the growing Latino population, Barry has decided to stop enforcing the law.
All of this creates an intriguing issue for the States, particularly the ones on the border. They can’t build their own wall, they can’t patrol their own borders, and now they can’t arrest illegals for being there illegally. What is to be done about an administration that has expressly told everyone that it is no longer going to enforce the law? I’m not sure. It will probably involve several States suing the Department of Homeland Security, for its willful failure to enforce the law. Whatever happens, it’s going to take a lot of time and money, and all because we have a radical President who only enforces the laws that suit his ideology.
‘When the President does it, that means it is not illegal.’
Google “Bush breaking the law,” and you’ll find an avalanche of left-wing websites and blogs accusing the former President of, well, breaking the law. You’ll see that virtually all of it has to do with Bush authorizing the National Security Agency to perform warrantless wire-taps on communications had between Americans at home and certain people outside of the country. It is certainly reasonable to argue that such an action amounts to a violation of the Constitution, as well as various state and federal laws. And Bush was called out for it, even by some in his own party. The Administration’s reasoning for the move was to combat terrorism. You can make your own judgments as to whether that argument is sufficient.
That’s about all the left has on Bush. Yes, they’ll tell you the invasion of Iraq was illegal (it wasn’t), or that waterboarding is illegal (it might be), but the wiretapping is as close as they get to a blatant violation of the law. And the left continues to complain about it to this day.
I bring up the foregoing because our current president has done more to circumvent the law since just about any president I can think of. As opposed to Iraq, the current President’s action in Libya was actually against the law, since Congress never approved it. The assassination of Anwar Al-Awlaki, an American citizen, without due process, unquestionably violated the law. Every time the administration leaks classified information to the press, such as the identity of the Pakistani doctor who told us where OBL was hiding, it’s a violation of the law. And then you have the Department of Justice sending guns to Mexican drug cartels, which resulted in the death of an American border patrolman.
Well, he’s done it again. On Friday, our little Dictator-in-Chief informed America that deporting young illegal immigrants makes him sad, so we’re not going to do it anymore. That’s it. No Congressional involvement, despite that part of the Constitution which grants it the sole authority on immigration policy. You see, in The Soviet Socialist Republic of Obamaland, the Administration only references the Constitution when it helps, which is rare.
But he obviously has a good reason, right?
Obama described his decision as the ‘right thing to do for the American people,’ but many Democrats and immigration advocates also saw it as the right strategic move to boost his reelection chances.
Oh, that’s right. There’s an election coming up. But wait, there’s more:
‘These are young people who study in our schools, they play in our neighborhoods, they’re friends with our kids, they pledge allegiance to our flag,’ Obama said during an afternoon Rose Garden appearance. ‘They are Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper.’
How sweet. They’re all Americans…in their hearts. And no one should be denied a seat at the Table of Freedom if it breaks their heart. And paper? Screw paper. Are we a nation of
laws paper or a Nation of Happiness, Fairness, and Unicorns for All?
So where’s the anger from all the people who accused Bush of breaking the law? Here we have a President who decided to circumvent the legislative process because it was taking too long, or because he wanted more authentic Mexican food NOW, and so he decided to say to hell with the law.
Arguments in favor of illegal immigration still confound me. I can usually come up with something to support just about anything, but illegal immigration isn’t one of them. Every debate has to end with: an illegal immigrant breaks the law every second of his or her life. And don’t whine to me about how they’re being taken advantage of, and they have to live the shadows, and other nonsense…they shouldn’t be here. Their mere existence violates the law. Does the law matter? Does anyone actually care? Our President doesn’t, and hasn’t for a while now.
Barry’s relationship with Mexico is interesting, I’ll give him that. He’s basically trading automatic weapons for Mexico’s uneducated and unskilled labor. And it’s all happening when there aren’t enough jobs for our own uneducated and unskilled labor. He’s either an incompetent felon or something worse. I just haven’t decided which.
I’m glad our Dept. of Justice is on this, I really am. After all, if the DOJ spends all of its time blocking state legislation that requires would-be voters to prove they’re not dead, then it has less time to give guns to Mexican drug cartels and then proceed to lose them.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department’s civil rights division on Monday objected to a new photo ID requirement for voters in Texas because many Hispanic voters lack state-issued identification.
Photo ID laws have become a point of contention in the 2012 elections. Liberal groups have said the requirements are the product of Republican-controlled state governments and are aimed at disenfranchising people who tend to vote Democratic — African-Americans, Hispanics, people of low-income and college students.
Sigh. Always with the “civil rights,” Whitey thing…will it ever end? Question: Why would a photo-i.d. law disenfranchise “African-Americans, Hispanics, people of low-income and college students?” In all honesty, I can’t comment on African-Americans because I’ve never emigrated to the U.S. from Africa, and maybe there are some strange rules for why they can’t get photo identification. If I had known this was such an issue, I would have asked some of the African exchange-students I met in college. Missed opportunity there.
What about the others? Is it so difficult for members of the aforementioned groups to find the secretary of state’s office? If the answer to my question is in the affirmative, then they should probably consider whether voting is something they’re qualified to do. After all, we all remember how difficult it was for some people in Florida to punch those paper ballots.
Put another way, why is this such a big deal? Anyone who is 18 and a citizen of the U.S. can vote. So why is this law necessary and, more importantly, why would the DOJ move to block it? Here’s a hint: it has nothing to do with racism and everything to do with politics.
In a letter to Texas officials that was also filed in the court case in Washington, the Justice Department said Hispanic voters in Texas are more than twice as likely than non-Hispanic voters to lack a driver’s license or personal state-issued photo ID. The department said that even the lowest estimates showed about half of Hispanic registered voters lack such identification.
This isn’t about low income people, or minorities, or college kids. This is about illegal immigrants, period. See, registering to vote is about as difficult as falling off a log. In Illinois (and every other state I’ve looked up) for example, all it takes to register is signing an application promising that the applicant a U.S. citizen. That’s it. As you can see, my dog could register to vote (if I had a dog).
It’s when the hopeful voter shows up to vote that an “effort” is made to figure out if he or she is a real person. This is also astonishingly easy…unless you’re an illegal in Texas under the new law. In Illinois, if the voter didn’t provide any sort of i.d. when he registered (like the aforementioned example), then he must bring something to the polling place to “prove” he’s the person who registered. All he would need to bring in to a polling place, however, is a paycheck or bank statement with his address on it. That’s it. Thus, not only could my imaginary dog register to vote in Illinois, he could also vote.
Everything is the same in Texas, except the law at issue doesn’t allow a voter to use a bank statement or paycheck. It requires a state-issued photo i.d. So you can see the problem. It would be much more difficult for the citizen-challenged voter to vote if he or she needed to have a government i.d., as opposed to a paycheck written in crayon.
So what have we learned? It’s not about civil rights, it’s about politics. If the illegals were presumed to vote for the Repubs, the outcry would likely be reversed. Of course, the “you’d cry too” argument doesn’t hold water since the Constitution that limits potential voters to American citizens who are at least 18 years old. In other words, we love America, and the left enjoys kicking puppies.
In a 5-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an Arizona law which allowed for the suspension or revocation of a business’s license to do business in Arizona if the company was found to be intentionally employing illegal immigrants. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which obviously has some significant members that like cheap labor, challenged the law, arguing that it is preempted by federal law. For those of you out there who are aren’t boring, “preempted” simply means the federal government controls the issue completely, thereby leaving nothing for the states to do. Here, the feds had enacted their own law that punishes businesses that knowingly employ illegals with civil or criminal sanctions (money damages or jail time). The federal law also expressly prohibits state laws from doing the same thing. Thus, preemption. However, the federal law also expressly allows states to impose their own sanctions “through licensing and similar laws.”
The majority, made up of the so-called “conservatives” on the court, ruled that Arizona’s law, which instructs courts to suspend or revoke the licenses of Arizona businesses that knowingly employ illegals, clearly fell within the federal exception allowing a state to issue sanctions through its “licensing” laws. To that I say: Hooked on Phonics works. The majority also upheld Arizona’s law that required each employer to confirm the immigration status of potential employees by using the E-verify system. E-verify allows an employer to send information supplied by the employee to the federal government via the internet, and then be told whether the employee is able to be legally employed.
This was a beneficial decision because it will allow Arizona to try and put an end to illegal immigration by targeting its catalyst: employers. It also gives every other state a template to use in their own legislation. Finally, it was also an easy decision, because the Arizona law does exactly what the federal law said it could do: impose sanctions through its business licensing laws. Of course, three of the four “liberals” on the court sided with the Chamber of Commerce; although not because they like big business (the fourth lib, Elena Kagan didn’t hear the case).
I’m not going to bore you with the details of the three dissenting opinions. Let me just say that the justices had to go through some serious contortions of law and the English language to even approach well-reasoned decisions. Their “legal” reason for trying to strike down the law: while Congress may have specifically made sanctions through “licensing laws” an exception to federal preemption, Congress didn’t actually mean it. The real reason why they wanted to strike down the law: it increases the possibility of a business discriminating against someone of non-European heritage (despite the existence of anti-discrimination laws). Oh yeah, the law also makes it harder for illegals to get jobs. And without jobs, the illegals may go back to their countries of origin, thereby making it more difficult for community organizers to get them registered to vote so that they can vote for Democrats. [Places broad brush back into bag].
Bottom line: good decision. The easiest, and cheapest, way to combat illegal immigration is to go after the businesses that employ them. And since the federal government has no interest in enforcing its own immigration laws, while at the same time turning a blind eye to cities like Chicago that blatantly advertise themselves as “sanctuary cities,” someone had to do something…and Arizona’s on the front lines. Oh, and the law clearly falls into the federal exception. So no “activist” judges here. Which is good.
Woops, there goes my mom to apply for a job as a border patrol agent (she hearts beanie-babies…especially the limited edition ones). But seriously folks, things are getting a bit dicey south the border (or almost south of the border). Apparently a gun battle broke out near Nogales, Arizona, the evening of December 14, 2010. Sort of. While the bad guys were armed with guns and real bullets, our border patrol agents were packing Red Rider BB guns:
Border Patrol agents shot beanbags at a group of suspected bandits before the men returned fire during a confrontation in a remote canyon, killing agent Brian Terry with a single gunshot, records show.
The documents say the group of illegal border entrants refused commands to drop their weapons after agents confronted them at about 11:15 p.m. Two agents fired beanbags at the migrants, who responded with gunfire. Two agents returned fire, one with a long gun and one with a pistol, but Terry was mortally wounded in the gunfight.
Not surprisingly, Brian Terry’s brother Kent found our border patrol policies a bit out of whack,
‘You go up against a bandit crew that is carrying AKs, and you walk out there with guns loaded with beanbags – I don’t get it,’ Terry said in a phone interview from Michigan. ‘It’s like going to the Iraqi war with one knife. It boggles my mind. …
That would be pretty dumb, huh? Going into the Iraq war with a knife. Of course, while our soldiers did have guns, Barry’s military policy in Afghanistan wasn’t much more effective than having a knife: don’t shoot the bad guys until they shoot at you first. Anyone noticing a pattern here?
And what were the agents like Brian Terry doing at the time of the shootout?
On the night of the shooting, Terry and his crew were targeting a ‘rip crew’ that robbed and assaulted drug runners and illegal immigrants, said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
That’s right. Terry was killed while targeting a group of criminals that robbed and assaulted other criminals. Shouldn’t we be in favor of such activity? Does anyone else find this to be a waste of resources?
Oh yeah, then there are those allegations about where the bad guys got their guns in the first place:
The Terry family remains upset about allegations that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed a gun smuggler it was investigating to purchase and smuggle into Mexico the weapons used in the shootout in which Terry died.
Yes, they’re just allegations, but allegations that have not been denied by the feds. To borrow a line from Charlie Sheen, our Mexican border policy was written by droopy-eyed armless children. Definitely not winning.
But wait, there’s more! Even though we have border agents in Mexico to assist Mexican police in dealing with heavily-armed drug cartels, our people don’t carry guns; despite the fact the one of our immigration agents, Jaime Zapata, was killed last month while in Mexico. Barry’s response, after meeting with Mexican president Felipe Calderon:
‘There are laws in place in Mexico that say that our agents should not be armed,’ Obama said, describing the U.S. role south of the border as an ‘advisory’ one. ‘We do not carry out law enforcement activities inside of Mexico.’
But yet we’re in Mexico providing advice to Mexican law enforcement. Why? Is Tijuana nice this time of year? Well, at least Felipe is looking into it,
Calderon said Mexican officials are ‘deeply analyzing alternatives.’
Huh? The only other alternative is not getting shot at by drug cartels. And that plan isn’t working very well either. Hey, maybe the translation was bad. Maybe Calderon actually said “Mexican officials are heavily consuming tequila.” That would make a little more sense, right? Of course it would.
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.
Well, I’m pretty sure the border won’t be secured under this administration. In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked if we just started giving illegal immigrants cash at the border. The payout had better fairly compensate them for their trip though.
So, if I’m reading this right, an illegal immigrant is being paid an unfair wage. So he calls up the U.S. government, and says he’s being paid an unfair wage. Won’t the fact that the worker is here illegally come up at some point? What then? Do they send him back?