Obama’s attack on Arizona’s immigration enforcement legislation (SB 1070) demonstrates just how out of touch the White House is with what is happening across the nation.
Arizona voters passed SB 1070, which tracks the federal law concerning illegal aliens, when it became clear that the federal government was abdicating its obligation to protect the border.
Prior to the filing of the U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit against Arizona for interfering with federal immigration policy, President Barack Obama and the liberal left (many in the news media) declared that the Arizona law violated the “civil rights” of illegal aliens.
When the DOJ got around to filing its lawsuit against Arizona, however, no mention was made of “civil rights” or “constitutional rights” of illegal aliens, but only that the states must defer to the federal government on immigration matters. The federal judge hearing the case agreed with the DOJ that it is improper for Arizona police to question a person’s immigration status, even when reasonable grounds exist to suspect illegal entry.
The judge, however, found other parts of SB 1070 constitutional and allowed them to stand. State officials are allowed to work with federal officials to detain foreign nationals in the state unlawfully. The judge’s ruling, in effect, legitimizes federal enforcement actions against sanctuary cities and states, but few such actions take place.
Meanwhile, violent crimes committed by illegal aliens in Arizona make a mockery of the U.S. criminal justice system. For example, illegal-alien drug gangs now control parts of interstate highways in Arizona extending miles north of the border.
Posted signs warn U.S. citizens that the roads are no longer safe for their use. With U.S. Border Patrol agents headquartered 60 miles from the border, U.S. citizens cannot count on them for help, and those sheriffs and local police who take action against illegal-alien criminals are maligned by the liberal left.
In addition, proclamations by sanctuary cities and states (also known as civil liberties safe zones) assist illegal aliens in defying U.S. immigration laws. The “sanctuary” movement began in the United States in the 1970s when thousands of El Salvadorians and Guatemalans, fleeing civil wars in their homelands, entered the United States illegally.
Their supporters sought a safe haven for undocumented immigrants, even though sanctuary had then and has now no legal basis in the United States. In 1989, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld criminal convictions of sanctuary workers for violating immigration laws (U.S. v Aquilar).
In that landmark case, the court affirmed U.S. immigration laws that prohibit bringing in or landing aliens, transporting or moving undocumented aliens within the United States, and concealing, harboring, or shielding aliens.
In 2002, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit affirmed U.S. immigration laws and denied sanctuary as a defense (U.S.v Francine La May).
Still the sanctuary concept spreads, with sanctuary states such as California, Illinois, Maine, New York, and Oregon. Sanctuary cities include Anchorage, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, D.C., Chicago, Baltimore, and Houston. These “civil liberties safe zones” contend that illegal aliens must be given costly social services and the right to vote.
In addition to evading prosecution for violating federal immigration laws, sanctuary jurisdictions are being rewarded with federal funds. These funds are authorized under the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1994, which introduced a State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP).
This program provides monies to cities and states to cover the costs of imprisoning criminal illegal aliens, with much of SCAAP funding going to sanctuary jurisdictions. In 2008, U.S. Senator Obama voted to table a bill that would have stopped federal assistance to sanctuary cities; and in 2010, the Obama DOJ has allotted $62.6 million to 27 sanctuary jurisdictions.
According to a recent report by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), illegal aliens cost the federal, state, and local entities $113 billion annually. But we pay far more: Many crimes occur in sanctuary jurisdictions.
Immigration anarchy in their home districts makes cowards of legislators on Capitol Hill. In 2003, the U.S. Congress failed to pass legislation that would have required federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to obey U.S. immigration laws.
The Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal Act (CLEAR), a House of Representatives bill, and the Homeland Security Enhancement Act, a Senate bill, fell short of passage in the 108th Congress. In July 2010, however, U.S. Representative Dan Burton (R-IN) introduced a bill to withdraw federal funds from states and political subdivisions of states that interfere with the enforcement of federal immigration laws.
Today’s sanctuary cities and states ignore U.S. immigration laws by enforcing a “don’t ask-don’t tell” policy for their employees.
The Obama administration, through U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, has opted out of suing any sanctuary cities or states for violations of federal immigration laws. This is in spite of recent Rasmussen Reports polls showing that 54 percent of Americans want criminal action brought against sanctuary cities and states, and 61 percent support withholding federal funds from them.
When cities and states turn their back on U.S. immigration laws, the result is anarchy; and when the federal government subsidizes that anarchy, trouble follows.
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