Arizona Begins Enforcing Immigration Law — For Now

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In Arizona on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton lifted the injunction on the part of Arizona’s immigration law upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in June. As a result, police can check the immigration status of people they stop and suspect are in the country illegally. The implementation of this particular provision of SB 1070 represents the latest development in the two-year battle between the state of Arizona and the federal government. Governor Jan Brewer was delighted. “Today is the day we have awaited for more than two years,” Brewer said, before adding a caveat. “It must be enforced efficiently, effectively and in harmony with the Constitution and civil rights. I have full faith and confidence that Arizona’s State and local law enforcement officers are prepared for this task,” she added.

What Arizona law enforcement officials actually do may be largely irrelevant. It is no secret the Obama administration and its minions in the Department of Justice (DOJ) are contemptuous of Arizona’s attempt to protect itself, despite the reality that the state remains the nation’s most heavily traveled corridor for both illegal immigration and smuggling. The same DOJ estimated that 400,000 of Arizona’s two million Latino population are illegal aliens. Moreover, 60 to 70 percent of the state’s deportations or “removals” are Mexican nationals.

The usual demagogues are out in force muddying the waters. Omar Jadwat, a senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union Immigrants’ Rights Project said the ruling “opens the door to racial profiling, wrongful detentions and arrests, putting everyone’s civil rights at risk. Law enforcement resources are wasted when people are targeted based on their skin color, and our core American values of fairness and equality are compromised,” he added. The National Day Laborer Organizing Network released a statement. “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.”

Pro-illegal activists will employ several strategies in an effort to undermine the statute. Efforts to set up a hotline to field questions about one’s rights if stopped by police have begun. Immigration patrols conducted by police will be monitored by private citizens armed with cameras. Opponents of the law are contacting individual police departments around the state asking them not to enforce the provision. And the ACLU said it was prepared to continue challenging the law by documenting instances of racial profiling throughout the state, according to Alessandra Soler, executive director of the legal group in Arizona. Phoenix attorney Daniel Ortega echoed that sentiment. “We have to respect authority. We have to be cooperative. But we have constitutional rights and we should exercise them, especially if we believe that the police are racially profiling us and the community,” he said.

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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.