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Obama won. The people lost. That’s the real story of the decision of Judge Susan Bolton to issue a preliminary injunction against major portions of the Arizona law to protect the state against illegal immigrants.
The law, to take effect July 29, had the support, not only of the majority in Arizona, but also in the country at large. A Pew Research Center poll found 59 percent of residents in favor. Arizonans have seen the equivalent of a foreign invasion of their state from Mexico, practically bankrupting the state in costs ranging from law enforcement to public services for immigrants.
The law, SB 1070, was misconstrued and mischaracterized from the start. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder admitted in a Congressional hearing that he had not even read the bill, even after the Obama Administration had decided that it should be overturned.
The controversy, which has been raging for months, has always been more about racial politics than any legal questions of states rights and federal prerogatives. In simple terms, the law said that police in Arizona could question any person suspected of being in the state illegally if they were stopped in connection with a law violation and that police could demand to see their papers to determine if the subject was in the state legally. An arrested person then should be turned in to federal custody. The law also specifically barred “racial profiling.”
Governor Jan Brewer signed the law in April when it was apparent that the federal government was not going to do its constitutional duty to secure our southern border. The Obama Administration has refused to secure the border before a comprehensive immigration law can be enacted. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz) told a Tea Part town hall meeting June 18 that in a meeting in the Oval Office with President Obama, the President told him: “The problem is,…if we secure the border then you all [Republicans] won’t have any reason to support ‘comprehensive immigration reform.’” Said Kyl: “In other words, they’re holding it hostage.”
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