For years Arizona sought Washington solutions to illegal immigration. The state finally acted unilaterally because the federal government failed to respond to the growing border crisis.
Now, Washington’s belated response wastes money and does nothing to address the broken border.
President Obama’s finally agreed to meet with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Thursday.
During the 30-minute discussion, Brewer refused to back down from implementing the state’s new illegal immigration law. While Brewer stood firm, the President conceded that the “majority” of the 1,200 National Guard troops he decided to send to the border will go to Arizona.
Even if it gets the Arizona the majority of the new resources, the state will share the President’s token election-year response of troops and $500 million dollars with Texas, New Mexico and California.
Obama’s 1,200 troops delegated to office duties and split among four states’ border areas is a feel-good, but ultimately meaningless gesture. Cochise County Sheriff Larry Deaver said it amounts “to spitting into the wind.”
The presidential directive followed a contentious May 25 meeting between President Obama and Senate Republicans. Obama left the meeting irritated by criticism after asking for Republican support for comprehensive immigration reform.
Three attempts to increase the number of troops and funds through amendments to other legislation were rejected by Senate Democrats before the Memorial Day recess.
In a June 3 letter to Brewer, Sen. Charles E. Schumer, (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security said he opposes SB-1070, the Arizona immigration law, because it is “wrong-hearted,” “likely unconstitutional,” and will not reduce illegal immigration.
Schumer’s plan calls for “comprehensive immigration reform” including a biometric Social Security card (a.k.a. national ID card), guest worker visas and amnesty for the illegals already here. Border security and resolving Arizona’s issues is not mentioned—only that Schumer’s plan will put more unspecified “resources” forward than the ten-point Border Security Plan offered by Arizona GOP Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl.
Schumer asked Brewer to delay implementation of SB-1070 and pressure Arizona’s senators to work with him on comprehensive reform. In a 40-page response to Schumer, Arizona’s governor told the New York senator to take a hike. Her letter of response includes copies of the ignored correspondence Brewer sent asking for help from Obama, Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano and a host of Washington’s top power brokers.
Arizona also has to deal with a federal lawsuit that will cost millions of dollars that would be better spent addressing the real problem. But the lawsuit isn’t against Arizona’s SB-1070, the bill that makes it a state crime to be the country illegally.
Obama did order the Justice Department to review SB-1070 for civil liberties violations, but Justice is asking the Supreme Court to overturn a 2007 state law that targets employers who knowingly hire illegals. DOJ claims the law, defended in court and found valid, interferes with federal jurisdiction over immigration enforcement.
Arizonans hope Atty. Gen. Eric Holder read that Arizona statute before filing the lawsuit.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals already refused to overturn it. A smokescreen drama rehashing settled law distracts from the Obama Administration’s hesitancy to contest SB-1070 outright—a fight they might not win.
Attorney Kris Kobach, an immigration law specialist who drafted SB-1070, said the challenges to the law are heavy on rhetoric, but “light on legal arguments.” The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law professor and candidate for secretary of state in Kansas helped defend Arizona’s Human Smuggling Act in court and co-wrote the 2007 law.
Arizona’s immigration enforcement law mirrors federal statutes and prohibits racial profiling. Since 1984, California’s immigration law requires local police agencies to notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement of any detainee suspected of being in the country illegally, but does not prohibit racial profiling.
Hundreds of local law enforcement agencies in 24 states are currently empowered to enforce federal immigration laws under the federal 287(g) program. Seventeen other states are considering regulations similar to Arizona’s. The 40-year old federal laws enforced by numerous federal, state and local law enforcement agencies provide evidence immigration laws are enforced without racial profiling. In reality, the protestors against the Arizona law are also opposed to the federal law. The true goal of pro-immigration groups calling for comprehensive immigration reform is amnesty for the illegal immigrants already here and open borders.
To call the law racist is a specious charge. Illegal immigrants do not have a right, human or otherwise, to be in this country. Nor do they get to choose which U.S. laws shall apply to them. Arizona’s law, like the federal statute, applies equally to all regardless of race, color, creed, gender, or sexual orientation. The fact that the majority of illegals in Arizona and the U.S. are from Mexico does not make the law racist.
Mexico’s economy depends on the billions of dollars Mexicans illegally working in the
United States send home. Mexico has a vested interest in increasing the numbers of workers here and the pro-immigration groups hawking comprehensive immigration reform have equally sinister ulterior motives for demonizing a conservative backed immigration crackdown—workers to be organized and voters who will support liberal politicians and nanny-state progressivism.
Comprehensive immigration reform will not be accomplished by a single piece of legislation, but steps to begin the process, such as securing the border and following Arizona’s lead would start the process.