The Obama administration's legal challenge to Arizona's immigration law, scheduled to take effect July 29, is being waged before a U.S. district judge in Phoenix.
If the government's attempt to derail the Arizona law succeeds, states will not be able to enforce immigration laws. If the state of Arizona is successful, expect to see many more states follow with their own laws. So far, lawmakers in about 20 states have said they will push similar measures, including South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Michigan, which have already filed bills.
The federal government's lawsuit argues that the Arizona law requiring state and local police to question and possibly arrest illegal immigrants during the enforcement of other laws, such as traffic violations, usurps federal authority. President Obama termed Arizona's law as "misguided," stating that full-blown immigration reforms are necessary but not just now.
When Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the law on April 24, she had strong words for the federal government's inability to enforce the law and protect our borders. As for the racial profiling argument of opponents, Arizona's order strictly prohibits state and local officials from "solely considering race, color or national origin" while enforcing the law.
Police must have reasonable suspicion that people are in the U.S. illegally before questioning them about their legal status. Also, they must have been involved in some other crime for the stop to be made.
Polls show that most Americans like Arizona's aggressive approach to securing the borders against illegal immigration. The majority feel that the law is simply adding teeth to a federal law already on the books but not being enforced.
Many believe that locking down the borders will keep illegal immigrants from taking away, abusing our social programs and adding to the crime rates. One study reported that illegal immigration is costing the United States $113 billion a year.
Pulling over a suspect and asking for some identification, if police feel the person is intoxicated, or acting suspiciously, should never be questioned. There should be no problem with a card check at the discretion of the police ... unless the person has something to hide.
It was disgusting to hear that many of our top government officials admitted not even reading the full text of the Arizona law when it was first announced, yet they eagerly railed against it when questioned before media cameras.
One was U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who admitted during his appearance before the House Judiciary Committee on May 13 that he only "glanced" at it. Arizona's immigration law is just a few pages long thousands of pages less than the voluminous Obamacare legislation yet the top enforcement official in our nation admits to only giving it a glance?
And Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, the former Arizona governor, told Sen. John McCain during a hearing that she would not have voted for the bill, even though she admitted not having reviewed it in detail.
"I certainly know of it, Senator," she told McCain.
Napolitano and many others in the Obama administration should realize that many citizens "know of it" also, and realize how the defeat of Arizona's law can negatively impact American society for years to come.
By Jim Zbick