In another sign of just how screwy things have gotten, Mitt Romney, the GOP nominee for president, steadfastly refuses to get involved in the political debate about immigration. He refuses to offer his own ideas about a national immigration strategy*, and he won’t voice an opinion on President Obama’s controversial decision not to deport illegal aliens who were brought here as young children.
But worry not: A supposedly nonpolitical Supreme Court justice, Antonin Scalia, is eager to jump into the political fray where Romney is too meek to tread. In his radical dissent to today’s ruling on the Arizona immigration law, Scalia argues that Arizona and the other 49 states have the right to exercise “what most would consider the defining characteristic of sovereignty: the power to exclude from the sovereign’s territory people who have no right to be there.”
“Even in its international relations, the federal government must live with the inconvenient fact that it is a Union of independent states, who have their own sovereign powers,” Scalia writes.
Just as remarkably, Scalia used his dissent to lambaste Obama’s decision regarding children of illegal immigrants, slyly referring to “the Executive’s unwise targeting” of available resources to combat illegal immigration.
“The husbanding of scarce enforcement resources can hardly be the justification for this, since the considerable administrative cost of conducting as many as 1.4 million background checks, and ruling on the biennial requests for dispensation that the non-enforcement program envisions, will necessarily be deducted from immigration enforcement,” Scalia complained.
Scalia plays politician; Romney plays possum.
*Note: Here’s the official Romney response to today’s ruling:
“Today’s decision underscores the need for a president who will lead on this critical issue and work in a bipartisan fashion to pursue a national immigration strategy. President Obama has failed to provide any leadership on immigration. This represents yet another broken promise by this president. I believe that each state has the duty — and the right — to secure our borders and preserve the rule of law, particularly when the federal government has failed to meet its responsibilities. As Candidate Obama, he promised to present an immigration plan during his first year in office. But four years later, we are still waiting.”
– Jay Bookman