Today the weight of the federal government joined five other lawsuits filed against the Arizona immigration bill, SB1070.
In the lawsuit â€œThe United States of America, Plaintiff v. The State of Arizonaâ€ the Department of Justice uses pre-eminent authority.
The introduction of the lawsuit states: â€œIn this action, the United States seeks to declare invalid and preliminarily and permanently enjoin the enforcement of S.B. 1070 as amended and enacted by the State of Arizona, because S.B. 1070 is preempted by federal law and therefore violates the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution.â€
â€œIn our constitutional system, the federal government has preeminent authority to regulate immigration matters. This authority derives from the United States Constitution and numerous acts of Congress.â€
In other words, federal law trumps state law.
It was only a matter of time until the Justice Department stepped in, fearing copycat laws in other states, creating havoc in the court system and no real continuity controlling immigration.
The Justice Department declared that SB1070 will â€œcause the detention and harassment of authorized visitors, immigrants and citizens who do not have or carry identification documentsâ€ while ignoring â€œhumanitarian concernsâ€ and harming diplomatic relations. (AP)
SB1070 is just ripe for harassment, allowing police to stop anyone â€“ anyone- they think is in the country illegally. Of course that is an open invitation for racial profiling as much as Arizona says they are training their officers not to do so.
Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva made a good point about SB 1070 when speaking with Tucsonâ€™s Channel 9. â€œThis law has nothing to do with border security number one and the constitutionality that's being tested here should be a message to all of us that we can just not go on emotion and ideology we have to pass a constitutional validity test. And this is what the courts are for," Grijalva said.
The government also said they are targeting dangerous aliens, those who pose a danger to the national security, whereas the Arizona law would force federal officials to cope with a flood of illegal immigrants who pose no danger. (LA Times)
There is no doubt that the issue of immigration needs to be addressed, but not by laws like SB1070, not by longer and higher walls, or â€œshipping them back where they came from.â€
Not all immigrants are drug dealers or bad people. Smithsonian magazine reported that according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, an association of 30 democratic, free-market countries, the United States was home to 12.5 million skilled immigrants.
â€œBetween 1990 and 2005, immigrants started one out of four venture-backed public companies. Large American firms are also increasingly led by people with roots in foreign countries, including 15 of the Fortune 100 CEOs in 2007.â€ (Smithsonian, July/August 1020)
I donâ€™t know about Arizona, but without immigrants, both legal and illegal, California would be missing a lot of nannies, gardeners and house cleaners, not to mention hotel workers, food servers and most especially, farm workers. There are also an abundance of immigrants here as professionals.
The Smithsonian article continues, â€œthe United States of 2050 will look different from that of today: whites will no longer be in the majority.â€
Therein lies the elephant in the Arizona room, â€œwhites will no longer be in the majority.â€ Hiding behind bills like SB1070, buying more guns and building higher and longer walls will not change that fact, much to the chagrin of conservative whites in America. They see their â€œMasters of the Universeâ€ power slipping away and in their fear and anger, they respond with emotional bills like SB1070.
Because the Arizona law is scheduled to take effect on July 29, the federal lawsuit will be on a fast track. According to the LA Times, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton has set a hearing for July 22 in Phoenix to hear arguments on whether to block the law for going into effect. If she issues a temporary injunction, the state can immediately appeal to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, and from there, to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Speaking to Tucsonâ€™s Channel 9, Civil Rights Attorney Stephen Montoya said the federal lawsuit â€œBasically signals the end of 1070.â€
Montoya continued, â€œThe United States is a nation, singular, nation, and not nationâ€™s and therefore, only one federal immigration law can be enforced.â€
We are a nation of immigrants. One nation. Maybe SB1017 is the catalyst needed to tackle the problem of illegal immigration, as one nation with one Constitution.
Cheri Cabot, Politics Correspondent
Cheriâ€™s column, â€œPersonal About Politics,â€ published every week, will reflect on how the life of a 60 year-old, middle class woman is affected by politics, policy and the current state of the nation - a look at the personal aspects of politics. Her column is part of Gather Essentials.
Cheri is a freelance writer, living in Southern California.Â She has two grown children and is the proud grandmother of three.
You can find all of Cheriâ€™s columns on Personal About Politics at www.personalpolitics.gather.com, The Obama Watch at theobamawatch.gather.comor her home page here, www.ccabot.gather.com.