American Elephants

So What’s Wrong With Enforcing the Law? by The Elephant's Child

Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department has filed a lawsuit to prevent the Arizona immigration law from taking effect. The Arizona law mirrors Federal immigration law.  The big difference is that Arizona wants to enforce the law, and the Attorney General does not, even though he took an oath to do so.

President Obama and Attorney General Holder want to claim that only the feds have jurisdiction, and there is a preemption issue, even though the Arizona law has not yet taken effect.  But, it seems that Rhode Island has long been carrying out the procedures at issue in the Arizona statute.  Rhode Island state police check immigration status at traffic stops whenever there is reasonable suspicion, and they report all illegals to the feds for deportation.

Critics have claimed all the usual profiling arguments, and the assertion that such procedures hamstring police because they might make immigrants afraid to cooperate.  But it turns out that it is the Rhode Island police who insist on enforcing the law.  So why hasn’t Holder sued Rhode Island?

But the Supreme Court has already held, in Muehler v. Mena that police do not need any reason to ask a person about his immigration status — not probable cause, not reasonable suspicion.  The U.S. Court of  Appeals upheld the Rhode Island procedures.  So Holder is suing a sovereign state for enacting a statute in support of immigration enforcement practices that have already been upheld by the nation’s highest courts.

Michael Graham notes ion the Boston Herald that “knowledgeable local cops will actually prove that the law is enforceable, blowing his boss’s cover.”

Remember President Barack Obama’s claim last week that our borders are “just too vast” for us to secure them through enforcement, with fences and border patrols? The border’s too big.  The hole in the Gulf is too deep.  The recession is too stubborn.  Maybe we should find the president a smaller, easier-to-manage country to govern.  You know — send him to the minors for a few years.

A new study by the Federation for Immigration Reform concludes that illegal immigrations cost us $113 billion a year.

3 Comments so far
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What is a state government supposed to do? It is the governor’s job and the state legislature’s to protect the citizens of their state.


Comment by renaissanceguy

Nice to hear from you again, RG. It would seem to this non-legal mind that the Justice Dept. is on rather shaky ground. The govt. doesn’t want Ariz. enforcing laws that we won’t enforce because it makes us look bad? because we don’t like the law? because it’s too much work? If you followed the links, it would seem that the Supreme Court has already dealt with the “profiling” issue. Many think the suit is simply to appease Obama’s Hispanic supporters like La Raza, but he claims to want to deal with immigration in the “lame duck” session after the election.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

Welcome back RG! Hope all is well!


Comment by American Elephant

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