While Judge Susan Bolton punctures Arizona's immigration law, Gov. Brewer professes the people will prevail.
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.”
Judge Bolton, in her ruling, said that some parts of the law can go into effect as scheduled on Thursday. But she decided against parts of the law that have caused the most controversy: police checking a person’s immigration status while enforcing another law and requiring immigrants to carry identification papers at all times. She said: “Preserving the status quo through a preliminary injunction is less harmful than allowing state laws that are likely pre-empted by federal law to be enforced.” She also said in her decision: “There is substantial likelihood that officers will wrongfully arrest legal resident aliens that only the federal government has the authority to impose.”
Gov. Brewer, in a statement responding to the ruling, said “I am disappointed by Judge Susan Bolton’s ruling. This fight is far from over. In fact, it is just beginning...Arizona will prevail in its right to protect our citizens,” the New York Times Reported.
“I have consulted with my legal counsel about our next steeps. We will take a close look at every single element Judge Bolton removed from the law, and we will soon file an expedited appeal to the United Stated Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.”
Russell Peace, chief sponsor of the law, said he was confident that the parts of the law blocked by Judge Bolton “will survive on appeal.” Legal experts, said the Times, predict the case is bound for the Supreme Court.
The Arizona law came in the trail of economic suffering and a number of high-profile crimes blamed on illegal immigrants and smuggling. The ignorance and misguided prejudices that have flared, particularly from liberals across the county, have demonstrated the ideological split that divides the nation. The “mainstream media” unfortunately has stoked the fires of prejudice and false knowledge about the wording of the law.