On September 30, 1996 President William Jefferson Clinton signed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA ’96) into Federal law. Section 287(g) of this law …deputizes state and local law enforcement personnel to enforce immigration matters. IIRIRA allows the Federal government to enter into agreements with state and local governments, to provide training and to deputize state and local officials to enforce immigration law in concert with the Federal government. Arizona, Alabama, California, Florida and North Carolina have entered into agreements under IIRIRA.
Frankly Arizona SB 1070 is not necessary. Arizona has already entered into an agreement under IIRIRA ’96 with the Federal government to assist with enforcement of existing Federal immigration law. SB 1070 does nothing more than formally reiterate and reinforce existing Federal law. This ignorant, apparently politically biased ruling issued today by Federal Judge Susan Bolton suggests that not only sections of Arizona’s SB 1070, but the Federal IIRIRA ’96 should both be blocked until further court adjudication. Judge Bolton’s ruling blocks those portions of SB 1070 requiring identification be provided to an arresting officer when stopping a suspect for violation of some other law. The officer, at his or her discretion, may still ask for proof of citizenship. The ruling also blocks employers from verifying citizenship of prospective employees, thereby placing those employers in jeopardy of violating Federal immigration law.
Judge Bolton is by most accounts a well respected and reputable Clinton appointee. Judge Bolton may feel that this block sets the stage for further legislative analysis and discussion, which may eventually lead to a well thought out immigration solution. Her motives may be admirable, but her job requires responsible interpretation of law, not empathetic analysis and facilitation of legislation. Judge Bolton’s ruling is inappropriate and weakens our Rule of Law. I believe this ruling is an example of poor judicial judgment – no pun intended.
The Bolton ruling is a good example of poorly thought out, politically motivated cowardice and has no place in an objective court room. Judge Bolton has kicked this can down the road just as our Congress has done for decades. Those most damaged by this farce are the illegals themselves. Nothing is more damaging to the status, dignity and earning power of prospective immigrants than our open Southern border. For example, a skilled cabinet maker worth $20 per hour works in Arizona for $8 per hour because of the enormous surplus of cheap labor enabled by insufficient border security. Terrorism issues and other violence aside, the open border renders skilled workers valueless and forces underpaid groups of immigrants to live in intolerable conditions. It is not possible to live in Phoenix, Arizona for example, earning $8 per hour. This forces underpaid workers to live with dozens of people crammed into a two bedroom apartment or house, just to survive. If racism is an issue, then this ruling and our open Southern border are both racist.
SB 1070 may be nothing more than a political tool hoping to encourage our irresponsible Federal government to do its job; but it has inadvertently done a great job of exposing another politically motivated Federal Judge incapable of appropriately assessing our Rule of Law. Judge Bolton has done herself and the law a dis-service. The losers today are not only “we the people”, but the immigrants themselves and perhaps most tragically the Rule of Law.