In a visit with Ecuadorian officials Secretary of State Hillary Clinton let slip that the Obama Administration intends to sue the state of Arizona over recently passed immigration laws. While Hillary's speaking out of turn may have forced the Administration's hand, a Justice Department spokesman confirmed that the DOJ was building a case against Arizona and would likely bring suit in the near future.
There is one puzzling aspect to this, though; if they thought this violated the Constitution, why didn't the Administration protest when Missouri did what Arizona is now doing?
Over the last five years Missouri has systematically put in place the provisions recently enacted by Arizona. If Arizona's laws are so draconian and, as Michael Posner told the Chinese, are a detestable violation of human rights, why didn't the DOJ begin crafting a legal challenge to the Show-Me State?
Missouri laws are quite similar to those of Arizona, and they preceeded the Grand Canyon State's law.
First came HJR 7 in the Year of Our Lord 2007 and approved by Missouri voters with 86.3% of the vote:
"Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring therein:
That at the next general election to be held in the state of Missouri, on Tuesday next following the first Monday in November, 2008, or at a special election to be called by the governor for that purpose, there is hereby submitted to the qualified voters of this state, for adoption or rejection, the following amendment to article I of the Constitution of the state of Missouri:
Section A. Article I, Constitution of Missouri, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 34, to read as follows:
Section 34. That English shall be the language of all official proceedings in this state."
Some of the highlights of the bill include:
- "43.032. 2. No municipality shall enact or adopt any sanctuary policy."
-208.009. 1. No alien unlawfully present in the United States shall receive any state or local public benefit, except for state or local public benefits that may be offered under 8 U.S.C. 1621(b). Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the rendering of emergency medical care, prenatal care, services offering alternatives to abortion, emergency assistance, or legal assistance to any person.
- 3. In addition to providing proof of other eligibility requirements, at the time of application for any state or local public benefit, an applicant who is eighteen years of age or older shall provide affirmative proof that the applicant is a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States or is lawfully present in the United States
- " 3. All public employers shall enroll and actively participate in a federal work authorization program."
- "302.063. The department of revenue shall not issue any driver's license to an illegal alien nor to any person who cannot prove his or her lawful presence pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and the regulations promulgated thereunder. A driver's license issued to an illegal alien in another state shall not be honored by the state of Missouri and the department of revenue for any purpose."
- "2. There shall be a presumption that releasing the person under any conditions as provided by section 544.455 shall not reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required if the circuit judge or associate circuit judge reasonably believes that the person is an alien unlawfully present in the United States. If such presumption exists, the person shall be committed to the jail, as provided in subsection 1 of this section, until such person provides verification of his or her lawful presence in the United States to rebut such presumption."
- "577.722. 1. It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly transport, move, or attempt to transport in the state of Missouri any illegal alien who is not lawfully present in the United States"
- Plus this amendment:
" 28.824. All law enforcement officers shall inquire into the citizenship andimmigration status of any person under arrest for a violation of any state law or municipal ordinance, regardless of the person's national origin, ethnicity, or race. In all such cases where a person indicates
that he or she is not a citizen or national of the United States, the law enforcement agent shall verify with the federal government whether the alien is lawfully or unlawfully present in the United States, under 8 U.S.C. 1373(c). If the alien is verified to be unlawfully present in the United States, the law enforcement officer shall cooperate with any request by federal immigration authorities to detain the alien or transfer the alien to the custody of the federal government."
There are also penalties applied to businesses that knowingly hire illegal aliens.
State Representative Will Kraus gives a good overview of the Missouri law in the Lee's Summit Journal. Missouri also bans in-state tuition aid for illegal aliens at state junior colleges. So, why should the Arizona law be unpalatable when Missouri's was never worth challenging? The Department of Homeland Security estimated Arizona's illegal population at 560,000 in 2008, while the Pew Hispanic Center estimates between 400 and 450 thousand back in 2005. Pew's 2005 estimates for Missouri were between 35 and 65, so Arizona's illegal population is larger than Missouri's by about a factor of ten. 560,000 potentially new Democratic Party Voters and union members! But there is more, much more; Arizona is not just a repository but a portal, the figurative Gibraltar of the U.S. According to the AZ Capitol Times:
"Overall, illegal immigration through those two states, New Mexico and Arizona has declined from nearly 1.2 million in 2005 to 541,000 last year, according to the Border Patrol. In Arizona, illegal crossings fell from 578,000 in 2005 to nearly 250,000 last year - before the recent rise."
So, last year a quarter of a million people came in through Arizona. Where did they go? Everywhere, and that is why the Obama Administration is desperate to prevent Arizona's law from working.
One leg of Obama's plan to Democratic political hegemony, to a new New Deal, rests on opening the nation wide. What happened in Missouri is small potatoes, because the important thing is to get these people here, not to protect their rights. Unhappy illegals can leave Missouri for Illinois and prosper. PEW's estimate for Illinois in 2005 was anywhere between 375-425 thousand illegals - ten times the number in Missouri - and that before the new laws were enacted. The worry is not about civil rights, but about keeping the flood of invading peoples coming.
Fredo Arias-King, former foreign relations aid to Vicente Fox, explained back in 2006
"While Democratic legislators we spoke with welcomed the Latino vote, they seemed more interested in those immigrants and their offspring as a tool to increase the role of the government in society and the economy. Several of them tended to see Latin American immigrants and even Latino constituents as both more dependent on and accepting of active government programs and the political class guaranteeing those programs, a point they emphasized more than the voting per se. Moreover, they saw Latinos as more loyal and "dependable" in supporting a patron-client system and in building reliable patronage networks to circumvent the exigencies of political life as devised by the Founding Fathers and expected daily by the average American."
After his first 100 days, President Barack Obama told a hand-picked crowd in Missouri:
And that, my friends, is Gospel Truth!
(Hat tip: Dana Mathewson)