July 9, 2010
In our view: Judge will decide fate of new law
The federal government has now filed a lawsuit against the impending new law in Arizona designed to curb illegal immigration. It seems that the suit is based on the idea that Arizona is being “facially unconstitutional.” That means its new law cannot be enforced with constitutional means.
Our first question is: Who knows? The law has yet to go into effect and thus has not yet been enforced. Is that a presumption of future guilt as far as constitutionality? Seems so to us.
The real agenda, politically, is twofold. The federal government does not want a state to “do its job” that it (the federal government) has, by anyone’s imagination, not been doing. We have federal laws on the books to prevent illegal immigration and identify those here illegally. We don’t need new laws — we just need to enforce the ones we have as a first step.
Second, many consider the Arizona law blatant racism. But that is not alleged in the federal lawsuit. Does that mean the federal government does NOT consider that the Arizona law unconstitutionally violates laws against racial discrimination? Probably, many federal authorities feel that way but are doubtful that they can prove it in a court of law.
Progressives clearly do not like the current federal laws related to illegal immigration. That is fine as a political position on their part, and they should make attempts to change the law. On the other hand, we are a nation of laws and as such they should be enforced and not ignored. When other states establish “sanctuaries” that directly violate existing laws, the federal government should sue them.
The only leg to stand upon is to prove in court that the Arizona law violates existing federal law. If in fact the Arizona law simply “mirrors” current federal statues, then we ask what is illegal about that.
Summarizing, this seems to be a political issue, not a legal or constitutional issue thus far. Political issues should be confined to the politics of the legislature. Legal issues are a matter for courts, or at least should be, in our view.
So, we now will spend untold federal and state tax money on litigation over the new law. A judge will make a decision, and of course, that decision will be appealed up to who knows where. It would be money better spent to put more border patrols and resources in place to reduce the tide of illegal immigration while everyone else sorts out the politics of this issue.