Only in the minds of progressives is a state law that helps enforce federal immigration law unconstitutional, while a city ordinance impeding the enforcement of federal immigration law is to be lauded.
Arizona’s controversial new immigration law should not be controversial at all. It essentially reinforces federal law by requiring that all state and local agencies and personnel enforce existing federal laws against illegal immigration:
No official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state may limit or restrict the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law.
Thus, the argument that the Arizona law is unconstitutional because it somehow purports to supercede federal law is absurd. The precise opposite is the case. Arizona is simply following through on requiring proof of documentation, which federal law says that non-citizens must have in their possession at all times.
The Arizona law does this by requiring that the police assist federal authorities in determining the legal status of individuals with whom the police first come into lawful contact – for example, after pulling a driver over for speeding. As a border state which has experienced an uptick of violent crime by illegal aliens and a drain of its resources by having to support illegal aliens living in Arizona at taxpayers’ expense, Arizona has the constitutional right under the Tenth Amendment to protect the general welfare of its citizens. The federal government is falling down on its responsiblity to protect the borders, which is causing Arizona to help the feds enforce their own laws within Arizona’s own state borders.
I understand the concern that Hispanics may be profiled by police and subject to harassment. Such misconduct in violation of the civil rights of persons legally present in the state of Arizona should be severely punished if it occurs. But the potential for misuse does not automatically render the law itself racist or unconstitutional. If that were the case, virtually all laws would be vulnerable.
Meanwhile, San Francisco - which is up in arms about Arizona’s law – has had on its books a “City of Refuge” ordinance prohibiting city agencies from contacting the federal authorities on immigration matters or cooperating with federal immigration officials to deport illegal undocumented immigrants. As a U.S. attorney for San Francisco put it:
San Francisco for all intents and purposes is running its own department of immigration
Other cities around the country have similar “sanctuary” laws. These laws should be unconstitutional on their face as they seek to override federal law by shielding illegal aliens.
I would love to hear more from the media about the “sanctuary” cities’ defiance of federal immigration policies in violation of the Constitution. Instead, self-righteous progressives are given carte blanche by the ‘lame street’ media to mischaracterize what Arizona is seeking to do and to turn aliens who are in this country illegally into folk heros deserving protection from enforcement of this nation’s federal immigration laws.