It can be argued that, although besieged by illegal immigration from Mexico for decades, and beset with all of the predictable subsidiary problems that stem from that source, e.g. drug trafficking, prostitution, kidnapping, home invasions, as well as assorted drug-related crime, Arizona fired the first shot in the war between the states and the federal government, re: immigration enforcement, when it enacted SB 1070.
However, if the Obama administration’s lawsuit against the state of Arizona could be loosely entitled “The Empire Strikes Back,” then Governor Jan Brewer’s decision to file a counter-suit against the feds for dereliction of duty must be seen as a commensurate response to the assault from the federal government that her state has endured over the past year.
The lawsuit rests upon a number of different premises that have been examined, and rejected, by lower circuit courts in decisions addressing this issue in the past. For example, the claim that the federal government has continually failed to reimburse Arizona for the costs incurred in incarcerating criminal aliens-a perfectly accurate and valid allegation-was one of the chief reasons that Proposition 187 was enacted through the initiative process in the state of California back in 1994.
Unfortunately, a federal judge nullified that measure before it was ever mplemented, although her specious reasoning left a lot to be desired. Like Judge Bolton, she made the bizarre inference that Congress never intended state or municipal authorities to cooperate with the federal government in enforcing immigration statutes, despite the fact that the law provided for precisely such collaboration in the alien detention and deportation process.
Whether Arizona’s lawsuit will ultimately be successful is open to question, but it looks increasingly likely that the final determination regarding SB 1070′s constitutionality will rest with the Supreme Court of the United States. However, until the time that that case arrives on the Supreme Court’s docket, we can do our best to support Governor Brewer and the courageous citizens of Arizona. To that end, I’ll be posting a link where you can contribute to their defense in the “activism” tab of this website sometime in the coming days.
Until then, keep the faith!