Arizona Immigration Law
The Supreme Court’s decision on the individual mandate will be delivered on Thursday. Based on who has authored opinions thus far this term, it is highly likely that the majority opinion will be delivered by Chief Justice Roberts. Even if that is the case, that does not mean that the individual mandate is doomed.
Today the Court did deliver an opinion on the Arizona immigration law, striking down three of the four major provisions. The Court permitted the “show your papers” provision, though the language suggests that it must be applied narrowly. Justice Kennedy delivered the opinion of the Court. The case was decided 5-3, with Justice Kagan recusing herself. Justices Alito, Scalia, and Thomas dissented. The opinions can be found here.
The Court also ruled that juvenile convicts cannot be subject to life in prison without parole. As Shannen Coffiin quipped, next “look for the Court to decide that juvenile offenders cannot be sent to their room without possibility of their supper.” The decision is here.
In another case, the Court ruled that its Citizens United decision applies to a Montana state law.
All in all, today’s decisions remind us that, no matter how the Court rules on the individual mandate, the Court is still a bloody mess.
I hope to have further analysis of the Arizona case later today.
Update: Reading through the opinions now in the Arizona case, and I just want to note that Alito agreed with the majority in declaring Section 3 of the AZ law (which forbids the “willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document”) to be preempted by federal law. Both Thomas and Scalia would have upheld all four sections of the law.
Update 2: And the fig leaf that the Court gave to the state of Arizona proved to be of little use:
The Obama administration said Monday it is suspending existing agreements with Arizona police over enforcement of federal immigration laws, and said it has issued a directive telling federal authorities to decline many of the calls reporting illegal immigrants that the Homeland Security Department may get from Arizona police.
Administration officials, speaking on condition they not be named, told reporters they expect to see an increase in the number of calls they get from Arizona police — but that won’t change President Obama’s decision to limit whom the government actually tries to detain and deport.
Shorter headline should be, “Obama to Arizona: Drop Dead.”
I am a proud American with a long and rich Mexican heritage.
My name is Tito Edwards and I approve this message.
(Biretta tip: Lucianne)
Conservatives are fairly comfortable with the point that if you ban or severely restrict guns, than only the criminals will be armed.
Let’s then ask ourselves: If we ban or severely restrict immigration (most especially from a right-next-door country with a much poorer economy, such as Mexico) aren’t we assuring that only criminals immigrate?
If it’s cross-border crime which is such a problem, would anti-immigration advocates be willing to support a massively increased legal immigration quota for Mexico (say 250,000 immigrants a year, rather than the current legal quota of ~25,000) in return for permission and cooperation from the Mexican government for US law enforcement and military units to hunt down cross border cartels?
The boycott that Los Angeles is imposing on Arizona has its first victim, the city of Los Angeles itself.
The state of Arizona is about to strike back at L.A. again to defend itself.
A letter written by one of the commissioners of the Arizona Corporate Commission is telling Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to be ready to accept the consequences of his actions:
If Los Angeles wants to boycott Arizona, it had better get used to reading by candlelight.
Basically Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s bluff has been called.
The discussions here about Arizona’s new attempt at enforcing immigration law have set me thinking about a more general question: What should we do as a body politic in a situation in which a law we have passed seems impossible to enforce?
In a sense, no law is enforced perfectly. Cannibalism is against the law, yet it does still, on rare occasions, happen that someone kills and eats someone else. We don’t generally describe this as the laws against cannibalism “not being enforced”. Rather we describe it as someone breaking the law.
When we talk about a law not being enforced, we generally mean that a lot of people are breaking it, and yet few of them seem to be suffering the consequences. Thus, although murders take place on a daily basis in our country, we generally do not hear complaints that no one is enforcing the laws against murder, since we at least see the police and prosecutors going through the process of trying to arrest and prosecute people for those crimes.
The State of Arizona is only enforcing what is already law at the federal level. That being said and myself being the son of a legal immigrant from the nation of Mexico, the May Day protests and the highly unbalanced news reporting from the mainstream media have purposely distorted the legislation that has been passed in Arizona.
Having attended college and lived in Arizona for almost ten years I know for a fact that there are many good people living there and I am disappointed in how unfairly and untruthful they have been portrayed by the mainstream media.
The only other thing I want to say is that Roger Cardinal Mahony’s reprehensible choice of words to characterize the law that had been passed in Arizona is unbecoming of an archbishop.
Related posts on this issue here at The American Catholic:
Somewhat related posts on this issue here at The American Catholic: