Arizona versus the United States?
Arizona is fighting against a two-front assault. The first is of no surprise: trying to secure the state's border against illegal immigrants. The second one, related to the first, has President Obama and his administration using their powers to intimidate and bully the state. Under this administration, the federal government has not stepped up to the plate to help enforce the Supreme Court decision upholding the heart of S.B. 1070 and allowing law enforcement to ask for ID to determine who is and is not legally here after stopping someone for a violation. Instead, the president is using his powers in an attempt to make this law unenforceable. American Thinker interviewed Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ) to get their opinion on what is transpiring.
Supreme Court Justice Kennedy, in writing his opinion, noted, "With power comes responsibility, and the sound exercise of national power over immigration depends on the Nation's meeting its responsibility to base its laws on a political will informed by searching, thoughtful, rational civic discourse. Arizona may have understandable frustrations with the problems caused by illegal immigration while that process continues."
Governor Brewer agrees and told American Thinker that if the federal government were doing its job, there would be no need for S.B. 1070. As she travels around the country, she is heartened that "across America, I have found that people support the rule of law and S.B. 1070. Those against this bill try to make Arizonans look like bigots and racists. I get so tired of having to defend that, especially since those of us that live in the Southwest are very diverse. We all go to school together, go to work together, go to Church together, and are each other's neighbors." In fact, Congressman Gosar points out that over 70% of Americans support S.B. 1070.
By their actions, the people in the Obama administration have encouraged some, including a coalition of civil rights organizations, to file a motion in federal court asking the fed to block the implementation of the police immigration checks, even though the Supreme Court upheld this provision. The governor is frustrated and wonders why these groups do not worry about "the civil rights of those illegal immigrants who are kidnapped, have money extorted, and have been raped. These issues go on and on."
President Obama is bombarding Arizona with retaliatory actions. As Congressman Gosar suggests, "[i]t's a war on Arizona from this administration. We are being singled out." Just hours after the Supreme Court ruling, the Obama administration announced that it was suspending a vital program that allows state and local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration law according to the Immigration and Nationality Act Section 287(g), that ICE agents will not be responding to calls from Arizona law enforcement about a person's immigration status, and that there will be no sharing of federal databases with Arizona authorities.
Logically speaking, the federal government should want to work with Arizona to make sure the law is enforced the right way and that law enforcement is trained accordingly. Governor Brewer commented to American Thinker, "What was really outlandish and unbelievable is that the DOJ took away 287(g). We had to hear it from the news, and three hours later we got confirmation from the feds. Shortly thereafter we find out that they are establishing a hotline for those who feel their civil rights were violated. Someone can call the DOJ, who will then file a complaint against my law enforcement. Yet they are preventing my law enforcement from gaining access to data regarding who is here legally and who isn't or if someone committed a federal crime. We are the only state they took it away from. Regarding ICE agents, they have always worked along with us. Now what is the message going to be?"
After expressing the view that "the federal government is saying 'drop dead Arizona,'" Brewer presented two scenarios. There is what Arizona law enforcement calls "roadside amnesty." Currently, after stopping someone for a violation, there is no way for law enforcement to validate if that person is a citizen, in addition to the fact that the person in question cannot be held for a long period of time. This generally leads to said person being released. Brewer also believes that there are people just waiting to file suit, which puts a burden on the state, since the state will have to defend against frivolous lawsuits.
This brings about Brewer's second scenario, where the person let go could possibly be wanted for a criminal act or could commit an illegal act. "People will sue because our law enforcement has not done their job. We stopped them and did nothing. Something is unholy if my law enforcement cannot use tools afforded to everyone else in this country."
To address this problem, the governor has gathered together, over a period of several meetings, the state police and local law enforcement, including the Sheriff's Department, to discuss their options. She wants Arizona's law enforcement to follow federal law as well as state law, making sure something is formulated in writing to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Governor Brewer wishes the Obama administration would be part of these meetings that addresses Arizona's border problem instead of bombarding Arizona with obstacles. She explains, "A country without borders is like a house without walls; it collapses. The federal government needs to obey the rule of law and work with us as partners to address our border problem. Americans need to understand that the Obama administration is a government totally out of control."
Congressman Gosar believes that the way to deal with an executive branch that oversteps is either through legislation or in the courts. Because of the Senate's inaction, the first remedy is basically powerless. Gosar supports Congressman Steve King (R-IA), who plans to sue the Obama administration over a separation of powers issue regarding the selective illegal immigration law enforcement policy.
The congressman regards "everything this administration has done to Arizona as being underhanded, nontransparent, and not forthright. The immigration issue is a clearly defined doctrine for Congress to handle and only Congress. This administration has violated the Constitution. President Obama, a constitutional scholar, has defiled the Constitution and due process of law. He is just destroying it. The problem is the intentional noncompliance from the Senate and the president. I find this despicable. We don't have a leader in the White House; we have a monarch who thinks what deserves to be enacted is his will and only his will."
Both the congressman and the governor agree on what needs to be done. They want the president to understand that they will not back down and will fulfill their duty to protect Arizonans. Gosar summarized it best: "Be careful who you pick a fight with, since we will finish it. They want a war with Arizona; bring it on. This president; our former governor, Janet Napolitano; and Eric Holder have defiled everyone who has stood up to them, from Jan Brewer to our legislators. The first Tuesday in November will hopefully resolve this issue and will show there are consequences to these actions or inactions, as the case may be."