Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Arizona's Law

As these words are written, Arizona law 1070 is before the United States Supreme Court. This is the Arizona law that requires all police to check with federal officials if they suspect that someone is in the country illegally. You would think, with all the talk about illegal immigrants that this would be a logical move. It would increase the number of those enforcing the immigration law by a large factor. However, it would seem that this current Administration does not want to know who is here illegally. President Obama has fought this law tooth and nail. Now it is before the court of last resort, the U.S. Supreme Court.
Supreme Court justices took a dim view of the Obama administration’s claim that it can stop the State of Arizona from enforcing immigration laws, telling government lawyers during oral argument Wednesday that the state appears to want to push federal officials to carry out the law, not conflict with them.
The court was hearing arguments on Arizona’s immigration crackdown law, which requires police to check the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally, and would also write new state penalties for illegal immigrants who try to apply for jobs.
The Obama administration has sued, arguing that those provisions conflict with the federal government’s role in setting immigration policy, but justices on both sides of the aisle struggled to understand that argument.
“It seems to me the federal government just doesn’t want to know who’s here illegally,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. said at one point in the proceeding.
The Arizona law in question requires all Arizona police to check with federal officials if they suspect someone is in the country illegally. There can be no stops simply to check status, but if there is a stop due to another violation of the law, immigration status can be checked. The government argues that this is OK when it’s on a limited basis, but said having a state mandate for all of its law enforcement is essentially a method of trying to force the federal government to change its priorities.
Many are protesting the possible passage of this law stating, in effect, that illegal immigrants have as much right to live in the United States as legal citizens. In fact one of Time Magazine's Top 100 most influential people in the world is an undocumented alien (read illegal immigrant). In spite of what amounts to a confession of her status, this administration is doing nothing to address this issue. Makes you wonder about President Obama's promise in 2008 to "support and defend the Constitution and enforce the laws of the land."

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