Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Supremes Weaken National Security in AZ Case

Supremes Weaken National Security in AZ Case
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
June 26, 2012

In a severe blow to states’ rights and sovereignty, the Supreme Court has effectively tied the hands of the State of Arizona from enforcing SB 1070 – the illegal immigration law officially entitled “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act.”

The Supreme Court ruled that the State of Arizona interfered with Congressional authority over the borders of the United States. Yet, the Grand Canyon State passed legislation in the best interest of its citizens and legal residents. Congress, and by extension, the federal government as a whole, has either refused to do its job or has done so in such a poor manner as to necessitate Arizona to do for themselves what the feds have not or would not.

Porous borders, too few border patrol agents, and a feckless Justice Department unwilling to do its job of halting illegal immigration, made it incumbent upon the states, whether Arizona, via SB 1070, or any other legislative acts, to do what the federal government refuses to do.

Yet, the Supreme Court, in cherry-picking where the federal government’s responsibilities lie and do not lie, has long accepted the existence, and uncooperative behavior of, sanctuary cities that would juxtapose the ruling it handed down on June 25. No city declaring itself a sanctuary should be entitled a single dollar of federal funding. For those who think that punishment is Draconian, that is the severity of the scourge of illegal immigration deleterious to the security of the United States.

And yet, “We will not be issuing detainers on people unless they meet our priorities,” was a statement from the Barack Hussein Obama administration. Those priorities are to turn a blind eye on any illegal who has not committed a crime, according to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. BEING IN THIS COUNTRY ILLEGALLY IS A CRIME! As the former Arizona governor, Napolitano should understand the challenges faced in that state and the region as a whole.

“There has come to pass, and is with us today, the specter that Arizona… predicted: A Federal Government that does not want to enforce the immigration laws as written, and leaves the States’ borders unprotected…. So the issue is a stark one. Are the sovereign States at the mercy of the Federal Executive’s refusal to enforce the Nation’s immigration laws?” asked Associate Justice Antonin Scalia in writing his minority opinion.

The frightening answer is YES, the states are indeed at the mercy of the federal executive – a federal executive who has balked at every opportunity to close loopholes providing illegals with free and unfettered medical care, food stamps, education for their children and citizenship for children born in the United States, thanks to a weak interpretation of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

A “patchwork of state laws is not a solution – it’s part of the problem,” said Obama in defending the indefensible – continuing to support sanctuary cities and the striking down of three of the four main provisions of Arizona’s SB 1070. Obama expressed his opposition even prior to Governor Jan Brewer (R) boldly signing the bill into law in 2010. Obama has, for political purposes, opposed efforts to combat illegal immigration.

Obama’s pandering to the Hispanic community, which is not monolithic, is actually insulting all Hispanic-Americans who immigrated to the United States legally. It insults them on two levels: that their legal immigration is meaningless and that just because the illegals in question are predominantly Hispanic, their legal brethren would welcome them with open arms.

“The government of the United States has broad, undoubted power over the subject of immigration and the status of aliens,” wrote Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy in his majority opinion. “Immigration policy can affect trade, investment, tourism and diplomatic relations for the entire nation,” continued Kennedy for Chief Justice John Roberts, along with associate justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor in a five to three decision. Associate Justice Elena Kagan recused herself from this case having served as Solicitor General during the litigation stages. (www.wsj.com)

Three of the four components of SB 1070 were struck down:

Section Three, defeated six to two with Associate Justice Samuel Alito joining the aforementioned majority, would have declared it a state crime if immigrants failed to register with the federal government or failed to carry a required registration card.

Quite frankly, if all legal residents and citizens were required to carry a photo ID, be it a drivers’ license, which cannot legally be obtained by illegals, or another official federal ID, there would be fewer problems and would also eliminate the voter ID issue.

In the case of sections Five-C and Six, Alito joined the minority of associate justices Scalia and Clarence Thomas in the five to three decisions.

Section Five-C would have made it a crime for an illegal alien to solicit work if not authorized to work in the United States. A jail sentence would have accompanied that crime.

Denying the legality of this section of SB 1070 puts the onus completely on the shoulders of the employers, who, according to federal law, are punishable for hiring illegals. The only saving grace for employers would be if illegals used forged documentation or perjured themselves in an effort to garner employment.

Striking this portion of SB 1070 is practically a free pass for foreigners to continue invading the United States in hopes of finding employment, thus defrauding the country they claim to wish to join. Such a violation should be countered with deportation and inclusion on a data base which lists all such violators. Should the violation be repeated, jail time should be the next penalty with a concomitant reduction in aid to the miscreant’s country of origin.

Section Six would have granted state and local law enforcement the right to arrest immigrants in some cases without a warrant. Granted, there are times when an arrest without a warrant is imperative, but it should apply to immigrants and natives alike equally.

The majority “deprives States of what most would consider the defining characteristic of sovereignty: the power to exclude from the sovereign’s territory people who have no right to be there,” Scalia opined in the minority. (www.wsj.com)

It can’t get simpler than that. In other words, what part of illegal does the executive branch of the federal government not understand? What part of illegal do justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Kennedy, Roberts, and Sotomayor not understand? One does not need a law degree or teach constitutional law to comprehend this basic concept.

What was upheld by the High Court was Section Two-B: maintaining state and local law enforcements’ authority to determine the immigration status of anyone stopped under suspicion of committing another crime. This provision, known as status-check, is rather weak, as it does not include any authority to hold illegals without federal permission.

In spite of the weakness of the upheld portion of SB 1070, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio offered his spin on the partial victory. “It shows cops can ask someone if they’re here illegally when you stop them for another crime,” said the sheriff known for his dogged determination to fight illegal immigration. (www.wsj.com)

“The State has the sovereign power to protect its borders more rigorously if it wishes, absent any valid prohibition. The Executive’s policy choice of lax federal enforcement does not constitute such a provision… If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign State,” wrote Scalia in his minority opinion.

Scalia, as per his usual, presents so eloquent an opinion; it is baffling how it was not supported by the five justices in the majority. Only those with an agenda similar to that of Obama could possibly object, and they did, in effect endangering the security of the United States.

With the potential retirements of swing voter Kennedy and reliable conservative Scalia during the next presidential term, all the more reason for the defeat of Obama and the election of Mitt Romney. Romney may not be the darling of the conservatives, but he will presumably make more intelligent Supreme Court appointments than Obama.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

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