A lesson for tenthers in the Arizona ruling

On the angry end of the political spectrum, secession is in the air and a narrow reading of the US Constitution — with severely limited powers for the federal government — is all the rage. But the Constitution is interpreted by federal courts (according to the Constitution), and an Arizona federal judge has delivered a blow to tenthers who believe that the federal government should be allowed to do very little.
In rejecting key parts of the Arizona immigration law, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton agreed with the Obama administration’s views on “pre-emption,” a belief that states cannot usurp important federal powers.

From the WSJ:

A judge’s ruling blocking major portions of Arizona’s immigration law strengthened the Obama administration’s hand in a battle over states rights that appears destined for the Supreme Court.

The ruling from U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton in Phoenix sided with the Justice Department on the most important federal arguments accusing the state of crossing a constitutional line with a law aimed at curbing illegal immigration.

Several other states are considering similar laws, amid broad anti-immigration sentiment, and the ruling likely will contribute to deterring some of them. Underscoring the political implications of the legal fight, Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer used her gubernatorial-campaign website to vow an appeal of the ruling, and the Republican Governors Association sent out a fund-raising letter from Ms. Brewer seeking donations. . .
Federal courts have given the federal government wide latitude over immigration laws, dating to 1880s laws aimed at limiting Chinese migrants. But in recent decades, courts have also allowed state laws that rely on federal law for their force.

Jonathan Benner of Reed Smith LLP said the judge’s ruling was “surgical” in carving out areas where he believed the state clearly crossed the line. “She’s dealing with an area that’s suffused with federal authority,” he said.

An analysis in the NYT agrees that the ruling will likely deter other states from adopting a harsh law similar to Arizona’s:

Although Judge Bolton’s ruling is not final, it seems likely to halt, at least temporarily, an expanding movement by states to combat illegal immigration by making it a state crime to be an immigrant without legal documents and by imposing new requirements on state and local police officers to enforce immigration law.

“This is a warning to any other jurisdiction” considering a similar law, said Thomas A. Saenz, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund , which brought a separate suit against the law that is also before Judge Bolton.

I doubt if the ruling will serve to deter many states from similar laws. There may be a few governors and state legislatures who have the good sense — in these times of gaping state budget deficits — to refrain from engaging in expensive lawsuits they are unlikely to win. But most will not.
After all, governors and legislatures are endorsing such laws strictly for political reasons — to appease a nativist constituency that is angry over immigration. That backlash won’t be halted by common sense.

355 comments Add your comment

Soames

July 29th, 2010
7:36 am

Road Scholar

July 29th, 2010
7:38 am

Why doesn’t our government enforce the current Federal law? While they are at it, arrest and heavily fine any individual or business who hires an illegal worker. The present law needs to be reviewed, but enforce it now! My grandfather came to this country illegaly many years ago; he became a citizen soon thereafter. Why do these illegals come to this country and not become citizens? Those who have and will do nothing need to leave. The decision is yours!

As for the Repubs whining about Obama’s stance, where is your proposed legislation? Didn’t McCain work with Kennedy and develop a bill? Now he says it’s Obama’s fault. John, now try to remember that 1. You are a maverik, 2. You are a senator, and 3. YOU can draft legislation for the Senate to consider. Oh, and it can be bipartison, something you claim Obama hasn’t done…but that YOU and the rest of the Repubs can put your ideas on paper. Get to work!……that’s what you are being paid with tax dollars to do! Oh and how do we pay for it?

straitroad

July 29th, 2010
7:41 am

What is a tenther?

Hector

July 29th, 2010
7:41 am

Angry over illegal immigration, and failure to enforce the laws

southerngal

July 29th, 2010
7:42 am

AZ should refuse to detain or house anyone who is wanted on a Federal charge.

Tack on a 20% fee for all money wired outside of AZ.

Rightwing Troll

July 29th, 2010
7:43 am

Why indeed?

Who’s going to pick the tomatoes and strawberries?

Conservitards on the street (and in the blogs) may scream and yell about browns, but big business needs those browns to survive. “Natives” are so fat,lazy, and entitled they can’t be counted on to put down thier cell phones, stop texting and put in a 50 hr week to do such meanial tasks. Without browns a lot of tasks simply wouldn’t get done.

Granny Godzilla

July 29th, 2010
7:44 am

Might be a good time to review the Obama Administrations actions on immigration:

the federal government under President Obama has steadily increased the deportation of illegal immigrants., The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency says it’s on track to expel some 400,000 people this year, 8 percent more than 2008 — the last year of the Bush administration.”

The Obama administration is also targeting employers who hire illegal immigrants. But instead of conducting a few high-profile raids and hauling workers away in handcuffs, the government is auditing the working papers filed at hundreds more companies. And there’s been a nearly six-fold increase in the past two years in employer fines.”

From NPR

Obama admin. has increased the number of Border Patrol agents. PolitiFact has noted that Obama has been “increasing the number of border patrol officers.” The Arizona Republic reported on May 26 that “[t]he Border Patrol today has more than 20,000 agents nationwide, more than 16,000 of whom are assigned to the U.S.-Mexican border”

Obama admin. significantly expanded Border Enforcement Security Task Forces. Politico reported on May 6 that “[u]nder the Southwest Border Initiative, the Obama administration has doubled agents assigned to the Border Enforcement Security Task Forces.” According to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), these teams “incorporate personnel from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and other key federal, state, local and foreign law enforcement agencies” to “collaborate and share information to fulfill the overarching goal: to interrupt the flow of cash, weapons and ammunition that fuel the illicit trade of the drug cartels.”

Obama admin. increased number of intelligence analysts on border. Politico stated that the Obama administration “tripled the number of intelligence analysts along the southwest border” and “sent in new canine teams.” The Department of Homeland Security announced these increases in March 2009.

Obama admin. began screening “100 percent of southbound rail shipments.” Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 27, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano stated that “for the first time ever, the Border Patrol is screening 100 percent of southbound rail shipments for cartel-related contraband. This practice augments the longstanding practice of screening 100 percent of northbound rail shipments.”

Recovery Act included funding for Border Security projects. According to DHS, the Recovery Act provided funding for Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Seizures of contraband increased under Obama administration. In her April 27 Senate testimony, Napolitano stated:

Since March 2009, CBP and ICE have seized $85.7 million in illicit cash along the Southwest border, an increase of 14 percent over the same period during the previous year. This includes more than $29.7 million in illicit cash seized heading southbound into Mexico — a 39 percent increase over the same period during the previous year.

During the same period, CPB and ICE together seized 1,425 illegal firearms, which represent a 29 percent rise over the same period in the previous year. At the same time, CBP and ICE seized 1.65 million kilograms of drugs along the Southwest border, an overall increase of 15 percent.

Additionally, the San Diego DHS Maritime Unified Command — comprised of U.S. Coast Guard, CBP, ICE and other law enforcement partners — saw a more than six-fold increase in maritime drug interdictions in the Pacific waters extending from the Southwest border. The Command seized more than 26,000 kilograms of drugs in fiscal year 2009, compared to 4,029 kilograms seized in fiscal year 2008.

From MMA

Vickie

July 29th, 2010
7:44 am

We aren’t calling for the Federal to limit its powers! We are trying to get the Federal government to do its job, which Obama does not.

Peadawg

July 29th, 2010
7:48 am

“who believe that the federal government should be allowed to do very little.
In rejecting key parts of the Arizona immigration law, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton agreed with the Obama administration’s views on “pre-emption,” a belief that states cannot usurp important federal powers.”

Then the government needs to do their damn job. Obviously Arizona thought they weren’t, so they were going to do it themselves.

Peadawg

July 29th, 2010
7:49 am

Granny, this goes back longer than just 2 years. The gov’t hasn’t done squat for years.

Granny Godzilla

July 29th, 2010
7:53 am

Peadawg

Morning Punkin.

No D’uh.

But what I have shown is that the current administration is working the issue – and more actively than the previous.

Mid-South Philosopher

July 29th, 2010
7:54 am

Good morning, Miss Cynthia,

The fact that Georgie Bush failed and Barry Obama is failing to enforce the United States immigration laws is not without precedent. Presidents, on occasion, choose to not carryout acts of Congress and decisions of the Supreme Court at least in a timely fashion.

Of course, Barry will have no problem carrying out the decision of U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton, which, as much as I would like to see it differently, is the correct decision under our Constitution.

History, however, has a way of diminishing the legacy of such shirkers, and, methinks, come November 2, 2010 and, again, November 6, 2012, the electorate may have a way of dealing with it as well.

Keep up the good fight!

July 29th, 2010
7:58 am

Granny….There ya go again…arguin with facts not fiction.

Peadawg

July 29th, 2010
7:59 am

“But what I have shown is that the current administration is working the issue – and more actively than the previous.”

And that’s all fine and dandy. But I still don’t see what’s wrong w/ checking papers at a traffic stop. That should be done everywhere anyways…seems kinda like common sense.

Granny Godzilla

July 29th, 2010
8:01 am

Peadawg

I don’t have a problem with checking papers at traffic stops FOR EVERYBODY.

Seems like common sense.

Peadawg

July 29th, 2010
8:06 am

Ah yes, political correctness. One reason our country’s going down hill. You’re so afraid to offend someone.

Marine

July 29th, 2010
8:07 am

Half of you are good with 13 million Muslims sneaking in, right?

Keep up the good fight!

July 29th, 2010
8:08 am

Pea…common sense isn’t very common especially in the Tea party and the wingnuts. First, there are constitutional issues and the exclusive right of the federal government. I would suggest you read the actual decision. It is spelled out rather clearly.

Jimmy62

July 29th, 2010
8:11 am

Then what you are saying is that the Federal Government has a responsibility to enforce immigration laws, and not only are they not doing so, but they are actively fighting against any possibility of doing so, and further are seeking ways to get rid of those very laws (or gut them through amnesty).

I wouldn’t go so far as to call it treason, but a government that refuses to enforce laws it doesn’t like at the very least is no longer legitimate. I may not have voted for him, but Obama is still my President, and I expect him to enforce the law. That includes immigration laws. If he won’t, then he needs to step down and allow someone who will do the job get things done.

Granny Godzilla

July 29th, 2010
8:11 am

Punkin

What you political correctness many call civil rights.
So it goes.

godless heathen

July 29th, 2010
8:13 am

I commend the Obama administration for deporting illegal immigrants. Only about 10 million to go.

Since I have not been approached by a Border Patrol agent and asked for identification, are we to assume they are using profiling to identify the ones they deport?

Drawing Black Lines

July 29th, 2010
8:14 am

Obama has lost on this issue. He should have (still waiting) come out and emphasized the importance of border control and what he will do to work on the broken boarder. All he’s done is get in a pissing contest with AZ. How presidential.

quod erat demonstrandum

July 29th, 2010
8:15 am

Here is the basic question.

I the Constitution, one of the powers of Congress is to – “To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization…” Article I, Sec 8. Also in the same Article I, there are powers denied the states. The Constitution does not forbid the States regarding immigration.

If anyone can show me where the states do not have the duty to enforce immigration law, please point it out to me.

And being a tenther, I guess I should say, I believe n all the amendments, I am just asking someone to point out where in the Constitution it lays out that only the feds can enforce immigration laws.

Peadawg

July 29th, 2010
8:15 am

“common sense isn’t very common especially in the Tea party and the wingnuts.”

:roll: Excellent response. I’d expect nothing less of you, KUTGF

ctucker

July 29th, 2010
8:15 am

Peadawg and others, Facts are old-fashioned, I know, but I still insist that they are necessary for a rational discussion (or life, for that matter.) Herewith, some facts on the Obama administration and its enforcement of border security:

Immigration and Customs Enforcement will deport approximately 400,000 illegal aliens in fiscal year 2009, up 10% from 2008 and 25% from 2007 – the last two years of the Bush Administration. The majority of the illegal aliens deported are criminal offenders who were identified through ICE’s Secure Communities program.

“We’re trying to put our money where our mouth is,” ICE Director John Morton said in an interview with the Washington Post. “You’ve got to have aggressive enforcement against criminal offenders. You have to have a secure border. You have to have some integrity in the system.”

resno2

July 29th, 2010
8:17 am

After all, governors and legislatures are endorsing such laws strictly for political reasons — to appease a nativist constituency that is angry over immigration. That backlash won’t be halted by common sense.

WHO is doing this for purely political reasons?!?!?! Common sense is only one of the things that is severely lacking in this woefully inadequate administration.

Rhymes With Right

July 29th, 2010
8:17 am

Given that failure to enforce US immigration law and protect the borders of the country constitutes a failure to “faithfully execute the office f President of the United States”, when will articles of impeachment be introduced?

ctucker

July 29th, 2010
8:18 am

More pesky facts on the Obama administration and border security:

While the success of America’s border enforcement may be questioned, historical data reflect an escalation of effort:

• Today, there are 22,800 U.S. Border Patrol agents, five times the number in 1993. About 17,000 agents work along the Southwest corridor, double the number from seven years ago. They are supported by National Guard troops, local police and thousands of port officers using everything from drug-sniffing dogs to gamma-ray machines.

• In Arizona, the primary smuggling corridor on the U.S.-Mexico line, there are now more than 3,600 Border Patrol agents, about 10 for every mile of boundary with Mexico.

• The budget this fiscal year for Customs and Border Protection, the federal agency charged with guarding U.S. borders, is about $17 billion, double what was spent in 2003.

• The number of illegal immigrants arrested by Border Patrol has plummeted by almost two-thirds in just five years, a combined result, authorities say, of fewer people trying to cross because of the economy and increased security.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2010/06/20/20100620border-security-arizona.html#ixzz0v4auGRBU

godless heathen

July 29th, 2010
8:18 am

“The majority of the illegal aliens deported are criminal offenders who were identified through ICE’s Secure Communities program.”

So they only deport the criminal criminals.

quod erat demonstrandum

July 29th, 2010
8:19 am

Granny,

Think of the funds we could save if we had stopped them before they crossed the border illegally.

Seal the borders, deploy roving and static military patrols, empower the local law enforcement agencies.

Peadawg

July 29th, 2010
8:19 am

Thank you for being redundant Cynthia. Granny already posted facts about Obama’s efforts.

Peadawg

July 29th, 2010
8:20 am

And like I said Cynthia, I still don’t see anything wrong with Arizona’s law.

Keep up the good fight!

July 29th, 2010
8:20 am

Jimmy, I am sure you made the same cry for resignation of Bush and Cheney right.

But of course what you mean: Is the fed enforcing the law to your satisfaction and with the appropriate resources. Of course to have that discussion, you have to discuss the resource allocation, the efforts being made and decide what the issues are. In addition you have to discuss what the problems are with current enforcement efforts, fixes and to deal with the difficult issues that arise in enforcement. Allocate to the court system and immigration system resources….

Of course, at the same time, fight 2 wars, provide tax cuts for the rich, etc, etc. Its a complicated world and all the parts have to be looked at in the totality and not just your little isolated demands. There are nuances.

We can agree there needs to be a fix. AZ however should not be trying to drive that fix with a law that is unconstitutional.

TGT

July 29th, 2010
8:21 am

Oh how sweet–the AJC’s front-page website story coincides nicely with the AZ ruling! And it paints such a nice picture for those here illegally:

While most illegal immigrants live and work under the radar in Georgia, they have created an indelible economic footprint here, according to a number of experts:

● They account for about $9.4 billion in a state economy of roughly $320 billion.

● They contribute between $215 million and $253 million to state coffers in the form of sales, income and property taxes.

But then there is this account: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/07/02/immigration-costs-fair-amnesty-educations-costs-reform/

Peadawg

July 29th, 2010
8:22 am

“AZ however should not be trying to drive that fix with a law that is unconstitutional.”

Asking for papers from a suspected illegal alien is unconstitutional? Can you provide a link or anything por favor? ;)

godless heathen

July 29th, 2010
8:22 am

“In Arizona, the primary smuggling corridor on the U.S.-Mexico line, there are now more than 3,600 Border Patrol agents, about 10 for every mile of boundary with Mexico.”

• The budget this fiscal year for Customs and Border Protection, the federal agency charged with guarding U.S. borders, is about $17 billion, double what was spent in 2003.

• The number of illegal immigrants arrested by Border Patrol has plummeted by almost two-thirds in just five years, a combined result, authorities say, of fewer people trying to cross because of the economy and increased security.”

More agents, bigger budget, fewer arrests. Sounds like most Federal Government operations. They better let Az handle it.

ctucker

July 29th, 2010
8:23 am

Drawing Black Lines, Peadawg has pointed out that both Granny and I have posted facts on Obama’s stricter border control, but you seem to be ignoring them.

ctucker

July 29th, 2010
8:23 am

jimmy62, Please see posted facts

poor CT

July 29th, 2010
8:24 am

If you weren’t so blinded with hate and prejudice, you’d realize this was a horrible blow to the Marxist Administration. Obama really did not want to have the radical Clinton appointed judge come down the way she did. He wanted to file suit and for everything to move along how it was, just so he could say he tried. Now with this TEMPORARY injunction, it’s only going to fire up the country even more. All this did was speed up the inevitable, which is getting the case before the supreme court. This judge’s explanations are idiotic and clearly biased. Sound like something you’d say. The Supreme Court will most definitely come down on Arizona, and America’s favor.

hahahaha!!!

July 29th, 2010
8:25 am

LOL!!! This judge is has less sense and intelligence than even CT!!! Giving illegals more freedoms than legal citizens is beyond insane.

Granny Godzilla

July 29th, 2010
8:27 am

qed

if a reasonable process for sealing the border becomes available
I believe we all would support it

Keep up the good fight!

July 29th, 2010
8:27 am

Pea… apparently you did not read The Court’s decision. You can read for yourself.

???????

July 29th, 2010
8:30 am

The judge was contacted by Billy boy before her decision. To basically say it’s legal to be illegal and illegal to be legal only further illustrates the dangers and amazing radical nature of the Communist movement in our current government. This will not stand.

Keep up the good fight!

July 29th, 2010
8:31 am

Granny…. what? That expensive fence did not work. Got any duct tape?

Peadawg

July 29th, 2010
8:31 am

I’ve read the courts decision. But I still don’t understand why/how asking for papers is unconstitutional.

Dave R.

July 29th, 2010
8:36 am

Cynthia, you should get a clue about yesterday and change the title of this piece.

There was no “ruling” yesterday. No settling of law. No decision except to delay implementation until a higher court makes a decision.

This was a time-out, and absolutely nothing else.

You, who live by doing nothing except use words, should be more careful in the use of them.

Richard

July 29th, 2010
8:37 am

I am still very concerned that the libs aren’t going to bat for the 5 poor Muslims who were simply trying to assimilate into Georgia and obtain a drivers license. Why were these patriots arrested? Where is the outrage?

godless heathen

July 29th, 2010
8:37 am

“if a reasonable process for sealing the border becomes available
I believe we all would support it”

10 border patrol agents per mile = 1 every 528 feet. Wonder why it doesn’t work.

quod erat demonstrandum

July 29th, 2010
8:37 am

This whole deal could be solved in a few short weeks. Earlier there was a guest worker program, this allowed worker to cross the border, work and return to their homeland. Everyone was happy, until the Unions stepped in and killed it. Bring it back.

Giving workers a legal avenue to work her, pay taxes and not steal or fake id would ease the strain on LEO’s and other agencies. Some updating might be needed, but I am sure our benevolent dictator would agree.

Just for those in mid-town, it was called the “Bracero Program”. It was killed by organized labor in ‘64.

Granny Godzilla

July 29th, 2010
8:39 am

poor CT

Jon Kyl R-AZ strongly supported that radical judge, hope his voters don’t hear that…..