SEPTEMBER 06, 2012
A Clinton-appointed federal judge has ruled that Arizona can enforce a provision of its immigration control law that allows local police to check the migratory status of suspects and arrestees.
Not surprisingly, the open borders movement was quick to claim it will create a hostile and discriminatory environment for all Latinos, even those who have legal U.S. residency or citizenship. In fact, the head of the civil rights group challenging the law assures that, once it goes into effect, “racial profiling will become rampant statewide.”
The group, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) promises to document racial profiling abuses throughout Arizona as a first step to guaranteeing equal treatment under the law. “Latino members of our community should not be subjected to unlawful stops based on their race or perceived immigration status,” according to the director of the local chapter, who hostilely refers to the upheld statute as “show me your papers.”
The ruling, issued this week by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton in Phoenix, allows local law enforcement to check on the immigration status of people they stop in the course of their duties. In June the U.S. Supreme Court upheld this part of Arizona’s law, but the open borders movement insisted the provision be blocked because it could lead to racial discrimination.
In her decision, Judge Bolton reminded that the Supreme Court had already upheld that part of Arizona’s immigration control law and that she could not block the measure based on the possibility of racial profiling. “Without a set of as-applied facts, the Supreme Court has held that it would be speculative to decide as a matter of law that (the provision) will be enforced in an unconstitutional manner,” she wrote.
Bolton’s ruling did block another portion of Arizona’s immigration control law, which was passed more than two years ago but has faced a multitude of legal challenges. It creates a statute making it a state crime to harbor or transport illegal immigrants. Judge Bolton determined that it conflicts with federal law because the federal government has broad and exclusive authority to regulate immigration.
Regardless, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer applauds the decision because it allows the state to finally begin enforcing the most critical section of a law passed to curb an illegal immigration crisis. That’s because it empowers state and local law enforcement, as part of a legal stop or detention, to inquire about an individual’s immigration status when the officer has reasonable suspicion. Brewer assures it will be enforced “efficiently, effectively and in harmony with the Constitution and civil rights.”
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