While the Supreme Court majority said Arizona went too far in cracking down on illegal immigration, we agree with dissenting Justice Antonin Scalia – who made a reasoned but impassioned case to the contrary.
History and legal precedents support a state’s right to protect its sovereignty, Scalia argues. Nor is Arizona attempting to do anything that contradicts federal law.
“Arizona,” he wrote, “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.”
But we are sadder still that the Obama administration has chosen to retaliate against Arizona – for the state’s prevailing on the issue of whether local law enforcement can check detainees’ immigration status.
And in a lawsuit that the federal government itself brought!
The Obama administration has retaliated in two petty and harmful ways, both of which only serve to lessen border security and immigration enforcement.
First, the administration has unilaterally canceled an agreement with seven Arizona law enforcement agencies that allowed them to check on immigration status. The cancellation of the “287(g))” agreements is aimed specifically at Arizona – which makes it a clear case of retaliation.
The move also seeks to negate the Supreme Court ruling and make it harder for Arizona to enforce the portion of its law that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld.
It doesn’t get much more blatant than that.
But this comes close:
The administration also moved to set up a hotline for people to report alleged violations of civil rights under the Arizona law. In effect, the administration is, again, retaliating against Arizona for prevailing in that portion of the lawsuit, by in essence baiting people into suing the state for the slightest misstep.
The administration is transparently trying to intimidate the state of Arizona into not enforcing the portion of the law the Supreme Court upheld. It’s a tactic worthy of the mafia.
And consider this picture: Instead of checking on illegal immigrants, the Obama Justice Department is more worried about checking up on Arizona law enforcement officers.
What an insult to the professionalism of law enforcement. And what a slap in the face to Arizona law officers in particular, who, with their border states brethren, bear the brunt of the illegal immigration onslaught the federal government has allowed to go on.
The administration’s actions also are a stab in the back to all the ranchers and other landowners along the border who are desperate for the government’s protection – and whose land is violated and, at times, their safety and lives as well.
We can’t think of another action by another administration that is more blatantly anti-law enforcement or anti-American.
Not even a Supreme Court ruling can stop this administration’s war on the sovereign state of Arizona.
It may be up to the people of the United States to stop it in November.