One of the most telling sentences in Judge Bolton’s AZ SB1070 ruling starts with “The federal immigration scheme…” but I digress.
I’ve re-read the AZ SB1070 bill and I’ve read Judge Bolton’s 36 page decision.
I agree with her decision to enjoin 1 of the 4 sections she ruled unconstitutional.
The sentence “Any person who is arrested shall have the person’s immigration status determined before the person is released.” IS too vague and does not match the intent of the Arizona Legislature and Representatives. I am surprised by the naivete of those involved to have let this sentence stand in the bill. According to Arizona’s lawyers, that sentence was to work with the prior sentence in that the Immigration Status would only be verified when there was Reasonable Suspicion that the person arrested was not here legally. But, it leaves the issue open to question and must be amended.
Judge Bolton also enjoined the main crux of the bill which stated: “For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of this state or a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the united states, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation.”
On both statements she ruled that the effort to determine the immigration status would severely burden the Federal Government and take them away from their priorities:
Regarding Section 2(B) sentence 1…
“With respect to the United States’ arguments regarding the burden on and impediment of federal resources as they relate to the first sentence of Section 2(B), the Court’s conclusions mirror those stated above regarding the second sentence of Section 2(B). Federal resources will be taxed and diverted from federal enforcement priorities as a result of the increase in requests for immigration status determination that will flow from Arizona if law enforcement officials are required to verify immigration status whenever, during the course of a lawful stop, detention, or arrest, the law enforcement official has reasonable suspicion of unlawful presence in the United States.”
Regarding Section 2(B) sentence 2…
“Further, the number of requests that will emanate from Arizona as a result of determining the status of every arrestee is likely to impermissibly burden federal resources and redirect federal agencies away from the priorities they have established”
Simply put, when there is suspicion of a crime in Arizona (unlawfully entering the United States) the Federal Government cannot handle the job of determining whether those arrested may or may not be legal. The resources allocated through the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) “which empowers various federal agencies (including the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), and Department of State (“DOS”)) to administer and enforce the immigration laws” are not available for Arizona’s determination of legal status. Those resources are allocated elsewhere.
Immigration Enforcement Rationing.
Once again the Federal Government fails the American People by not properly executing its charged duties. Once again de facto amnesty is given to anyone crossing the border — al Qaeda, Hezbollah, or 6 year old child. Once again, we see a form a rationing in the Federal Government ignoring the needs at the border an pushing “nicer” detention centers with “hanging plants” and “open spaces” for the detainees.
Think there won’t be any rationing in the Health Care Bill? Think again! We’ve already got it in the Immigration and Naturalization Act.
The saddest part of Judge Bolton’s ruling is her assumption that the Federal Government enforces the laws that she cites. It may be that her ruling can be seen as valid, but it ignores the little fact that Arizona is substantially injured by the actions/inactions of the Federal Government.