Arizona Begins Enforcing Immigration Law — For Now

Arnold Ahlert is a former NY Post op-ed columnist currently contributing to JewishWorldReview.com, HumanEvents.com and CanadaFreePress.com. He may be reached at atahlert@comcast.net.


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The federal government is on board with the activist side of the equation as well. Authorities have put Arizona on notice that they will help enforce the law, but only if that enforcement “conforms to their priorities.” Those priorities are apparently limited to catching repeat violators and those who threaten public safety and national security. If the feds refuse to pick up illegals detained by Arizona police, local officers will likely be forced to let them go, unless they’re suspected of committing a crime that requires incarceration. In other words, the Obama administration’s position is clear: breaking an additional law on top of being in the country illegally is the minimum threshold for getting involved, despite the reality that it is the federal government’s duty to enforce immigration law.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio mulled the reality of the fed’s position. “I am mulling what I will do if they don’t respond,” he said. “I don’t feel comfortable letting the illegal alien back on the street.”

The machinations behind the effort to overturn the statute–despite its approval by the United States Supreme Court–reveals one of the pillars of progressive ideology: no court, not even the highest one in the nation, will stop us from attempting to overturn any law that does not align with our worldview. Thus, it was completely unsurprising that a coalition of civil rights and immigrant advocacy groups, including the ACLU, the National Immigration Law Center and the Mexican American Legal defense and Educational Fund, tried to get Bolton to ignore that ruling and re-instate the injunction. Now that she has refused to do so, the coalition is appealing her ruling to the infamous 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, a body notoriously sympathetic to leftist causes. The coalition has filed another suit as well in which they raise a separate claim that the law was passed with intent to discriminate, and thus violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

If any one of these suits succeed, or the 9th Circuit over-rules Bolton, it is highly likely the case would be forced back into the Supreme Court. During the original ruling Justice Anthony Kennedy alluded to such a possibility. Despite writing for the majority, Kennedy noted that the ruling “does not foreclose other preemption and constitutional challenges to the law as interpreted and applied after it goes into effect.” Kennedy contended that if an individual were detained under SB 1070 longer than they would have been before, just to check their legal status, it would constitute a constitutional problem.

How one determines such an ill-defined time period is precisely the fodder activists will undoubtedly use in their ongoing attempt to eviscerate the state’s ability to protect its citizens, even as a sympathetic DOJ–which is also continuing to sue the state–studiously ignores their obligation to enforce the law. In other words when it comes to a choice between the rule of law and the progressive agenda–the rule of law be damned.

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  • Kosto

    How on earth is Obama “protecting Americans, blah, blah, blah” by stonewalling state governments’ attempts to uphold immigration laws that Obama refuses to enforce? Civil rights? I seem to remember that the Constitution says something about the right to life, but illegal aliens have killed more Americans than the war in Afghanistan. There were big headlines in the media recently for the milestone of 2,000 Americans killed in the Afghanistan conflict, but I don’t recall them showing any headlines for the 2,000th American killed by illegal aliens.

    These people are pathetic.

  • Justanoldretread

    The problem is that illegals know they can get away with breaking the law. It is time to increase the punishment given to these criminals. Do not deport. They will just come back. Put them on chain gangs and make them work. If they do not work, they get minimum benefits. You may argue that impounding them would be prohibitively expensive. But, the present system is not working. You have to make an example so that the rest of the illegals will voluntarily return to their countries. In the long run, this will work. Nothing else has to date and nothing else will work.

  • jim

    Danny Ortega, if your are illegal you don't have rights under the constitution.

  • Ghostwriter

    I doubt legal immigrants would have problems with this law. They're here legally and have EVERY right to be here.

  • Christian J.

    “President Obama has the moral responsibility and legal authority to protect the people of Arizona,” it said. “We expect he will do everything within his power to prevent the discrimination, punishment, and suffering that will escalate under…[the law's] implementation.”

    This is precisely how they lie and exaggerate any issue whenever they want to minimise or destroy the rights of Americans to live in a country that is free from illegals, who already have demonstrated to being the majority of criminals, thieves, murderers, rapists and drug runners. Those people do not deserve a place with decent everyday Americans who now live in fear of their lives while the state is being overrun by criminals that the Obama Administration want to encourage and give free license to continue their level of criminal activity.
    The only answer is to ship them back and increase the security at the border to stop those criminals entering in the first place.

  • Sunbeam

    America can lead by example. The West must stand together as a united people to beat the odds of the current issues facing them. They should not be in any way be discourage or faint in strength in standing for what is right or truth in the face of its enemies. By sacrifice your rights of freedom of expression would mean to give up that rights and submit to the rights of your enemies. This would gain them an upper hand over you. I believe the government in the countries of the West has an important role to play in hearing the voices of its own people rather than compromising, and sacrificing its own traditional rights and values.