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Supreme Court to Decide on Arizona's SB1070

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The Supreme Court will conclude one of its most significant and controversial terms in decades by taking on one more issue that has divided the nation: Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigrants.

The court’s final oral argument on Wednesday — Arizona v. United States — provides yet another chance for the justices to confront fundamental questions about the power of the federal government. And the rulings the court will issue between now and the end of June could dramatically alter the nation’s election-year landscape.

The court has considered President Obama’s health-care law, has taken its first look at the political redistricting battles being fought across the nation and will decide whether federal regulators still hold the authority to police the nation’s airwaves.

The Obama administration has moved aggressively against Arizona’s SB 1070, which directs law enforcement to play a much more active role in identifying illegal immigrants and makes it a crime for them to seek work. The administration has persuaded courts to put aside key parts of the law.

And, as with last month’s hearings on the health-care law, in the Arizona case the government is asking the court to recognize that the Constitution gives the federal government vast powers to confront national problems, such as illegal immigration.

“As the framers understood, it is the national government that has the ultimate responsibility to regulate the treatment of aliens while on American soil, because it is the nation as a whole — not any single state — that must respond to the international consequences of such treatment,” Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. told the court in the government’s brief.

Immigration is one of the nation’s thorniest political issues. Obama and his administration have been accused of not properly securing the nation’s borders and criticized for not delivering comprehensive immigration reform. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s tough stance against illegal immigration has angered some interest groups and is said to have cost him among increasingly influential Latino voters.

And even as the pace of illegal immigration has slowed, it has left a changed picture of undocumented immigrants in the United States. According to the liberal Center for American Progress, 63 percent of illegal immigrants have been in the country for more than 10 years and more than 16.6 million people in the United States have at least one undocumented family member.

Tom Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, said that while the legal issues in Arizona v. United States “relate to the structure of government, it is still very much a civil rights case.”

Beyond Arizona

The decision will have implications well beyond Arizona. Several states have copied — and toughened — Arizona’s law, and more are considering such steps.

“This debate is not just about SB 1070,” Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer ® said in a statement when the state filed its brief in the case. “Rather, it is for the constitutional principle that every state has a duty and obligation to protect its people, especially when the federal government has failed in upholding its core responsibilities.

“SB 1070 is Arizona’s way of saying ‘enough!’ ”

The Obama administration opposed Arizona’s efforts from the start, as it has similar laws passed in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Utah and elsewhere.

“Arizona has adopted its own immigration policy, which focuses solely on maximum enforcement and pays no heed to the multifaceted judgments” that Congress intends for the executive branch to make, Verrilli wrote in the government’s brief. “For each State, and each locality, to set its own immigration policy in that fashion would wholly subvert Congress’s goal: a single, national approach.”

The Obama administration persuaded a federal judge and then the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to keep four sections of the law from taking effect, and they will be at the heart of the Supreme Court’s review. Those sections:

l Require state and local law enforcement to verify the citizenship status of anyone stopped, detained or arrested when there is “reasonable suspicion” that the person is in the United States unlawfully.

l Authorize law enforcement officials to make and arrest without a warrant when an officer has “probable cause to believe . . . [t]he person to be arrested has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the United States.”

l Make it a state crime to be in the United States unlawfully and require non-citizens to carry documents to prove they are legally in the country.

l Make it a state crime for a person who is not lawfully in the country to work or seek work. Federal law puts the burden on employers to verify the legality of those seeking work.

Familiar faces

The case before the court offers a rematch of the lawyers who last month argued the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Verrilli for the government and Paul D. Clement, president George W. Bush’s solicitor general, representing Arizona.

Clement’s brief opens with page after page of costs and crimes that have accompanied a wave of illegal immigration across Arizona’s borders: Schools, hospitals and jails are overtaxed. Home invasions related to drug smuggling and human trafficking have soared. “Incredibly,” Clement writes, the federal government has even posted signs warning travelers: “Danger — Public Warning — Travel Not Recommended.” “Active Drug and Human Smuggling Area.” “Visitors May Encounter Armed Criminals and Smuggling Vehicles Traveling at High Rates of Speed.”

Clement says SB 1070 is not imposing new immigration standards but merely directing its own officials to make sure federal laws are respected.

“Such cooperative law enforcement is the norm, not something that requires affirmative congressional authorization,” Clement writes.

Verrilli responds that the Arizona law’s “very design discards cooperation and embraces confrontation.”

He describes a complex federal policy of detaining and deporting illegal immigrants prioritized on criminal activity and other factors. The Department of Homeland Security receives funding to remove annually about 400,000 of the approximately 11 million people in the country illegally, he says, and it is up to federal officials — not Arizona’s — to decide who they should be.

And he says Arizona’s decision to impose criminal sanctions on those who seek work is an idea Congress debated and rejected in passing immigration legislation in 1986.

The Supreme Court in its previous term signaled that immigration enforcement is not solely the province of the federal government. In a 5 to 3 vote, it agreed that Arizona could revoke the business licenses of companies that knowingly employ undocumented workers.

The court in that case said Arizona was in line with an exception in the 1986 law that allows states leeway in the licensing of businesses, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote.

The same eight justices will hear Wednesday’s Arizona case — Justice Elena Kagan recused herself in both, presumably because of her work on the issue in her previous job as Obama’s solicitor general.

If they split evenly, the 9th Circuit’s injunction of those aspects of the Arizona law would stand and the larger issue of federal authority would need to wait for a challenge to one of the other states’ laws.

As with health care, the case has attracted a raft of amicus briefs. Sixteen states, including Virginia, are supporting Arizona; 11, including Maryland, say the federal government must play the dominant role in immigration.

The stance of each state follows less the number of immigrants within its borders and more the political party of its leadership.

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The ultimate solution is to enforce our worker protection and wage and hour laws against employers so that exploiting and abusing illegals is no longer economical. We passed those laws to protect people and make workplaces decent and respectable. We should not allow greedy corporations and other employers to increase profits by avoiding our worker protection laws. The same people that look away when employers profit from hiring illegals will be the first to criticize Walmart and McDonalds for not offering good pay and benefits, even though they fully comply with the law. :wacko:

I think laws like Arizona's are fairly useless. Only an economic solution will actually work to solve an economic problem.

Still I do not like the idea of the US government suing states and I believe states need to have some control over WHO is in their state. It is the job of the federal government to protect the border but once the illegal is in the US he is under the jurisdiction of the state. The state cannot deport an illegal but they can be turned over to the Feds and the Feds can do their job and be thankful for the assistance of the state.


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Still I do not like the idea of the US government suing states
FWIW, in 11-182 (Arizona v US), Arizona was the one suing the feds - not the other way around.

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FWIW, in 11-182 (Arizona v US), Arizona was the one suing the feds - not the other way around.

OK. The point is we do not need government suing government. It is ALL our tax money.


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Poll: Americans overwhelmingly support Ariz. immigration law, think court should uphold it

Published: 1:45 AM 04/24/2012

By Jamie Weinstein - The Daily Caller

Senior Editor

Arizona-Immigration.jpg

AP Photo

As the Supreme Court readies to hear the Obama administration’s case against Arizona’s strict immigration law, a new poll shows that Americans overwhelmingly support the law and believe the Supreme Court should uphold it.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Friday asked 2,577 registered voters nationwide whether they support Arizona’s immigration law, S.B. 1070, passed in 2010. Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they approved of the law while 27 percent said they disapproved of it. The poll question spelled out the provision of the law that “requires police to verify the legal status of someone they have already stopped or arrested if they suspect that the person is in the country illegally.”

Asked whether they thought the Supreme Court should uphold or overturn the law, 62 percent said the law should be upheld by the high court while 27 percent said it should be overturned. Ten percent registered as unsure.

The poll has a margin of error of 1.9 percent.

The Supreme Court will hear the case Wednesday. The Obama administration contends that immigration issues are a federal matter while Arizona argues that it responded to an “emergency situation” since the federal government was not enforcing the immigration laws already on the books. Furthermore, since its law matches provisions already in federal immigration statutes, Arizona contends the law is within constitutional bounds.

Daily Caller link

If the Federal government hadn't abrogated its responsibility by not enforcing Federal laws already on the books, this would be a non-issue. Currently, this administration, like others before it, is not representing the people it was elected to represent. It needs to start.


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Elise Foley

elise@huffingtonpost.com

Chuck Schumer Plans To Kill Arizona Immigration Law If Supreme Court Backs SB 1070

Posted: 04/24/2012 1:39 pm Updated: 04/24/2012 2:17 pm

s-CHUCK-SCHUMER-ARIZONA-IMMIGRATION-large.jpg

WASHINGTON -- Senate Democrats announced a game plan on Tuesday for dealing with immigration law SB 1070, should the Supreme Court rule in Arizona's favor -- one that would ban states from creating their own immigration legislation.

The Court will hear a case against the Arizona law on Wednesday, based on the Justice Department suit that contends SB 1070 -- already partially blocked -- is preempted by federal prerogative to enforce immigration.

Ahead of the hearing, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), chairman of a Senate subcommittee on immigration, announced a bill that would kill the Arizona law and ones like it.

"States like Arizona and Alabama will no longer be able to get away with saying they are simply 'helping the federal government' to enforce the law when they are really writing their own laws and knowingly deploying untrained officers with a mission of arresting anyone and everyone who might fit the preconceived profile of an illegal immigrant," Schumer said at a hearing of the subcommittee.

Schumer's legislation would bar states from enacting immigration enforcement legislation and prohibit them from seeking to find, apprehend or detain undocumented immigrants without training and authorization from the federal government.

It's not likely to pass any time soon, given the difficulty of passing even immigration reform with bipartisan support. Many Republicans support SB 1070 and the states' rights to police immigration. Both sides say laws like SB 1070 are put in place because the federal government has failed on immigration in some respect -- either through enforcement or changing policy.

Given the unlikelihood of passing an immigration law this year, some accused Schumer of playing the issue for politics.

Only two senators, Schumer and Sen. ####### Durbin (D-Ill.), showed up for the hearing on Tuesday, which Schumer said was "not surprising" and "typical" because many senators are also absent from the reform effort. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said in a Tuesday morning statement that the hearing was "no more than election-year theater" and skipped it for that reason.

Ousted Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce, a Republican who introduced the law, said he was surprised that none of the Republicans, particularly Kyl, showed up to defend the law, and that none of them told him they would be staying away from the hearing.

Immigration activist and former Arizona State Senate majority leader Alfredo Gutierrez (D), who opposes SB 1070 but was not in attendance, also wasn't convinced that the hearing was more than politics.

Gutierrez pointed out in an email that Pearce was measured and calm during the hearing, despite a 30-minute-straight questioning from Schumer.

"This cynical circus by Schumer and his fellow Dems is backfiring on him," he wrote in an email. "A reasonable sounding Pearce is being given a platform to further espouse his views. I think Schumer thought Pearce would be unintelligent, clumsy and unprepared ... Schumer [is] getting an unpleasant surprise."

But Schumer noted during the hearing that most Arizona officials who support the law, including Gov. Jan Brewer ®, declined to attend, which may show they are backing away from it.

"If you're enforcing the law, why can't you come and defend it?" he said. "Governor Brewer didn't want to come. We reached out to officials far and wide," he said, but added none would come.

Pearce told reporters after the hearing that he knew he would be outnumbered, but would have liked more backers of the law to be in attendance.

Pearce is president of Ban Amnesty Now, an organization that advocates stricter immigration enforcement, which quickly decried Schumer's planned legislation after the hearing.

"Mr. Schumer isn't drunk with power, he's clearly moved on to much stronger drugs than alcohol," founder Sean McCaffrey said in a statement. "Clearly what America thinks doesn't matter to Barack Obama or Chuck Schumer."

Huffington Post link

The Republican committee members stayed away, because they knew that to attend this dog and pony show would have lent it some semblance of credibility. When only the author of the bill shows up to defend it, and endures 30 minutes of concerted interrogation from Senators Schumer and Durbin, emerging as a considered and reasonable person, the only thing this show did was backfire on the pro-illegal Senators from New York and Illinois.

The day before the Supreme Court considers AZ SB 1070, this was a train wreck opponents of the law didn't need.

As for Schumer's proposed response should SCOTUS uphold the Arizona law, even pro-illegal advocates are dismissing it as political theatre. I bet the good Senators are regretting putting on this show today. And so they should.

Edited by Pooky

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If the Federal government hadn't abrogated its responsibility by not enforcing Federal laws already on the books, this would be a non-issue. Currently, this administration, like others before it, is not representing the people it was elected to represent. It needs to start.

Thankfully we have a Constitution that prevents local or national legislation from superseding that constitution, regardless of the popularity of such legislation. SB1070 infringes on our civil liberties by giving authority to local law enforcement to detain anyone they believe is in this country without proper documentation, indefinitely and without access to legal counsel.

Edited by Mister Fancypants

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Thankfully we have a Constitution that prevents local or national legislation from superseding that constitution, regardless of the popularity of such legislation. SB1070 infringes on our civil liberties by giving authority to local law enforcement to detain anyone they believe is in this country without proper documentation, indefinitely and without access to legal counsel.

We also have an Administration, like many that preceded it, of both political persuasions, that has abrogated its responsibilities with regard to immigration laws and is opening individual states to the adverse effects of such a policy of non-enforcement. If this Administration actually fulfilled its responsibilities under existing Federal immigration law, rather than trying to find ways to circumvent such laws without regard for the consequences of doing so, this would be a non-issue.

It is solely Washington's deliberate policy of non-enforcement that has brought about this action.


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We also have an Administration, like many that preceded it, of both political persuasions, that has abrogated its responsibilities with regard to immigration laws and is opening individual states to the adverse effects of such a policy of non-enforcement. If this Administration actually fulfilled its responsibilities under existing Federal immigration law, rather than trying to find ways to circumvent such laws without regard for the consequences of doing so, this would be a non-issue.

It is solely Washington's deliberate policy of non-enforcement that has brought about this action.

That's irrelevant to the issue of why SCOTUS is going to rule on the constitutionality of SB1070, for one. Second, if it was just an issue of enforcement of laws already on the books, then states don't need to create their own legislation. That's been their argument - that SB1070 is merely reiterating U.S. immigration laws, but then that means SB1070 is either redundant or frivolous. It's neither though because it does go beyond our existing U.S. Immigration Laws.

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That's irrelevant to the issue of why SCOTUS is going to rule on the constitutionality of SB1070, for one. Second, if it was just an issue of enforcement of laws already on the books, then states don't need to create their own legislation. That's been their argument - that SB1070 is merely reiterating U.S. immigration laws, but then that means SB1070 is either redundant or frivolous. It's neither though because it does go beyond our existing U.S. Immigration Laws.

They wouldn't need to, if the Federal government actually tried enforcing the laws on the books. But they aren't. Hence AZ SB 1070.

And where AZ SB 1070 exceeds Federal laws, then I would expect SCOTUS to rule against. If that is all they rule against, however, then 2 of the 4 parts currently stayed would be reactivated, bringing the law closer to its original scope.

After the Schumer and Durbin show in the Senate today, I wouldn't be surprised if SCOTUS doesn't reinstate as much of the law as it can, given Senator Schumer's intent to propose legislation to run an end-around any SCOTUS support of the law.


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That's irrelevant to the issue of why SCOTUS is going to rule on the constitutionality of SB1070, for one. Second, if it was just an issue of enforcement of laws already on the books, then states don't need to create their own legislation. That's been their argument - that SB1070 is merely reiterating U.S. immigration laws, but then that means SB1070 is either redundant or frivolous. It's neither though because it does go beyond our existing U.S. Immigration Laws.

They wouldn't need to, if the Federal government actually tried enforcing the laws on the books. But they aren't. Hence AZ SB 1070.

And where AZ SB 1070 exceeds Federal laws, then I would expect SCOTUS to rule against. If that is all they rule against, however, then 2 of the 4 parts currently stayed would be reactivated, bringing the law closer to its original scope.

After the Schumer and Durbin show in the Senate today, I wouldn't be surprised if SCOTUS doesn't reinstate as much of the law as it can, given Senator Schumer's intent to propose legislation to run an end-around any SCOTUS support of the law.


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They wouldn't need to, if the Federal government actually tried enforcing the laws on the books. But they aren't. Hence AZ SB 1070.

And where AZ SB 1070 exceeds Federal laws, then I would expect SCOTUS to rule against. If that is all they rule against, however, then 2 of the 4 parts currently stayed would be reactivated, bringing the law closer to its original scope.

After the Schumer and Durbin show in the Senate today, I wouldn't be surprised if SCOTUS doesn't reinstate as much of the law as it can, given Senator Schumer's intent to propose legislation to run an end-around any SCOTUS support of the law.

Immigration is under federal jurisdiction, just as national security is. Arizona couldn't decide to build it's own nuclear arsenal just because the state felt the federal government wasn't doing a sufficient job of securing our nation from foreign enemies. This isn't even arguable, except for those extremists who think the federal government has no encompassing powers over states. But lets say, for the sake of argument, SB1070 merely gives authority to local law enforcement to deal with immigration. First of all, they do, it's that like any sets of laws, there is due process. The immigration courts are already backed up and flooded with cases. So really, what SB1070 has attempted to do is not only give local law enforcement authority over immigration laws enforcement, but forgoes the due process of anyone they believe doesn't have proper documentation to be here legally. It was an ill conceived law to begin with, born out the frustration with this country's problems with immigration.

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Immigration is under federal jurisdiction, just as national security is. Arizona couldn't decide to build it's own nuclear arsenal just because the state felt the federal government wasn't doing a sufficient job of securing our nation from foreign enemies. This isn't even arguable, except for those extremists who think the federal government has no encompassing powers over states. But lets say, for the sake of argument, SB1070 merely gives authority to local law enforcement to deal with immigration. First of all, they do, it's that like any sets of laws, there is due process. The immigration courts are already backed up and flooded with cases. So really, what SB1070 has attempted to do is not only give local law enforcement authority over immigration laws enforcement, but forgoes the due process of anyone they believe doesn't have proper documentation to be here legally. It was an ill conceived law to begin with, born out the frustration with this country's problems with immigration.

But, for the most part, the Federal government isn't even pretending to enforce immigration law. That is what is frustrating over two-thirds of the American public.


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But, for the most part, the Federal government isn't even pretending to enforce immigration law. That is what is frustrating over two-thirds of the American public.

Well, thankfully, well thought out laws aren't formulated based on conjecture. There is a process and you can't simply circumvent that process out of frustration without basically losing confidence in that system itself. And if that's the case, we have a lot more serious issues when the public no longer believes in our branches of government.

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