CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, July 23, 2010

"U.S. Lays Out Case Against Arizona Law"

From the New York Times:

Edwin S. Kneedler, the lawyer for the federal government, argued that the federal government has the sole authority to enforce immigration laws under the Constitution and that Arizona was, in essence, establishing its own immigration policy — which in some cases would be stricter than the federal law and does not take into account either humanitarian concerns or the government’s foreign policy goals.

. . .

[T]he lawyer representing Arizona, John J. Bouma, asserted that the state law actually mirrors the letter of the federal law, even if that federal law is not enforced fully in practice. He argued the state had every right to ask its peace officers to call up federal authorities and check on a person’s immigration status during routine traffic stops or other arrests, even if it created a headache for federal authorities.

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The Feds have accepted local law enforcement as partners in immigration law matters for years. The 287 (g) program has 63 state, county, and local police departments helping the Feds do their job.

Aside from that, there's the question of whether Arizona's law is stricter than the Federal law. Does it send home students who have overstayed their visas, or tourists who are here a year after entry and working on someone else's SS Number, all in an extension of Federal law? No, Federal law covers those cases. The AZ law adds nothing new.

Posted by: Ralph | Jul 23, 2010 5:20:06 PM

Governor Brewer,
Promoting a more ethical culture within your government must be a priority, maintaining public security, trust, and confidence is what a state does on behalf of the community.
Here in Mexico we believe that is essential and you have every right to provide this to your fellow Arizonians. Immigration is a complicated issue as we all know, we understand completely and we are of course against illegal immigrants crossing any border.
But you and your consultants may have overlooked a few details in the implementation of 1070 law. It has the broadest and strictest immigration measures ever, it would make the failure to carry immigration documents a crime and give the police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. This could be an open invitation for harassment and discrimination against Hispanics regardless of their citizenship status.
Your government could not guarantee that the state police have proper training to carry out the law. How would officials know what constitutes reasonable suspicion that someone is in the United States illegally? Everyone would be a subject of sensitive surveillance skills of your police officers. This is not enough to guarantee proper police work in this matter.
A month ago a border patrol officer killed a 15 year old boy who refused to drop a rock. A month after that, another officer beat to death in front of his family a man that was not breaking any law. All this may have a reason hopefully, but what is to happen with those legal immigrants or visitors in your soil that can be suspects just for their looks or not speaking fluid English?
This governor with all due respect, needs to be taken to consideration again, and it can be done without the high costs of uncertainty and doubt.
Mrs. Brewer as a leader you should believe in the value and the potential of every person. You are compromised to defend the right to life and work of the people, should actively support policies that offer women and men work opportunities regardless of their looks.
You said that 10 % of all marijuana produced in Mexico is transported by highly organized and compartmentalized Mexican drug trafficking organizations each year. And if that is true, you would probably have to consider a social and health problem as well.
Because someone in your state has to inhale or smoke all the drugs that are provided. I would respectfully suggest that you may need to work on values in families and schools too; if you can encourage your youngsters in their future you would not have such a terrible drug problem.
Governor Brewer, we should not allow that our governments responsible for watching justice and fairness in our countries, contribute to divide us as persons as well, this is the true reason that terminates with our hopes and dignity of our people and soak us in shame and regret.
Carlos Vilchis

Posted by: carlos vilchis | Jul 28, 2010 9:09:57 AM

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