When the Supreme Court first handed down its ruling on the Arizona immigration law, I was in agreement, at least partially. Even though I agreed with the spirit of the Arizona law, I felt they were possibly overstepping their boundaries as a state. What I found confusing was why the Supreme Court left the most controversial part of the law in place. Arizona law enforcement officials can still check the immigration status of people they have stopped and suspect may be in the country illegally. Please note, that is the teeth of this law. If the police can not check the immigration status, how are they to know if the person in question is illegal or not?
Having said that, I have come to the opinion that the Supreme Court missed the mark in its ruling. I have read several posts on the subject, as well as a good part of Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent, and am convinced the ruling is incorrect. Read The Sentry Journal and Rjjrdq’s America to understand my reasoning. Please understand, I am no constitutional scholar, this is just my unlearned opinion. But, the ruling has been handed down and until it is overruled by another court decision, it is the law of the land.
In the first paragraph of this post, I mentioned how the Supreme Court left the most controversial part of the law in place. Never let it be said that the Obama administration didn’t make plans for every contingency in this ruling. Hardly had the ink dried on the opinion, than Obama was putting into effect administration policies that shackles the efforts of Arizona law enforcement officials to control their immigration problem. Fox News has the story.
The Obama administration quickly moved to deflate the remaining provision.
By Monday afternoon, the Department of Homeland Security had pulled back on a program known as 287(g), which allows the feds to deputize local officials to make immigration-based arrests. According to a Homeland Security official, the administration has determined those agreements are “not useful” now in states that have Arizona-style laws. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has since rescinded that agreement in Arizona — with the state itself, and with three local law enforcement agencies.
The move means that even if local police step up immigration checks, they’ll have to rely on federal officials to make the arrests.
And federal officials made clear that ICE would be selective in responding to the expected rise in calls from Arizona and other police agencies about immigration status. Officials said ICE will not respond to the scene unless the person in question meets certain criteria — such as being wanted for a felony.
Once again, we see the Obama administration in its favorite mode of operation. Once again, they are deciding which part of a federal law they want to enforce. Make no mistake, our federal immigration laws have not been enforced properly for a long time. That’s why we have such an illegal immigration problem. However, no previous administration has been so blatant about picking and choosing the portions of our laws they will or will not enforce. Here is a quote from Rjjrdq’s America that I believe is relevant.
When a single individual, in this case the president, can unilaterally decide to not enforce immigration law, that does not give him either the authority or the right to deny anyone else from enforcing those laws. The Supreme Court says differently, save Justice Scalia. The court has essentially ruled that Obama’s breaking of the law constitutes policy and cannot be overridden. In this case the mighty Supreme Court missed this part of the Constitution all together. Presidential responsibilities is pretty explicit: “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Clearly, Obama is in gross violation of the Constitution, on this and other matters as well. How is it that the Supreme Court basically has ruled that the executive branch breaking the law is supreme, and blocks those that are actually enforcing the law?
We’re right back where we started. Law enforcement can round up as many illegals as they want, but Obama doesn’t have to hold any of them, and the SCOTUS has ruled that’s just fine. We’re on our own, and unfortunately, the guns are pointed at us. I’ve spoken many times of the new America and the concocted demographic shift that is occurring before our eyes. Don’t believe it? This decision has nothing at all to do with the supremacy clause. All the SCOTUS has done is bestow power on a single individual without the authority to do so. They got it wrong, and I suspect they know it’s wrong, but when was the last time truth and justice could be found in a courtroom?
In closing this post, I want to include a portion of the dissent written by Justice Antonin Scalia, borrowed from Maggie’s Notebook. I think it explains why I believe this ruling was incorrect, and why the Obama administration is so wrong in its refusal to enforce immigration law. Keep in mind that the dissent was written before the Obama administration made public its decision to rescind its immigration enforcement partnership with Arizona and local law enforcement agencies.
So the issue is a stark one: Are the sovereign States at the mercy of the federal Executive’s refusal to enforce the Nation’s immigration laws? A good way of answering that question is to ask: Would the States conceivably have entered into the Union if the Constitution itself contained the Court’s holding? Imagine a provision—perhaps inserted right after Art. I, §8, ci. 4, the Naturalization Clause—which included among the enumerated powers of Congress “To establish Limitations upon Immigration that will be exclusive and that will be enforced only to the extent the President deems appropriate.” The delegates to the Grand Convention would have rushed to the exits from Independence Hall.
As is often the case, discussion of the dry legalities that are the proper object of our attention suppresses the very human realities that gave rise to the suit. Arizona bears the brunt ofthe country’s illegal immigration problem. Its citizens feel themselves under siege by large numbers of illegal immigrants who invade their property, strain their social services, and even place their lives in jeopardy.
Federal officials have been unable to remedy the problem, and indeed have recently shown that they are simply unwilling to do so, Arizona has moved to protect its sovereignty—not in contradiction of federal law, but in complete compliance with it. The laws under challenge here do not extend or revise federal immigration restrictions, but merely enforce those restrictions more effectively. If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign State. For these reasons, I dissent.
The obvious question is where do we go from here. Where does this ruling leave us in the realm of illegal immigration? I look forward to your comments.