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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Activists throw another legal punch at Arpaio's chin

    EJ Montini, columnist | 6:12 p.m. MST June 18, 2014

    (Photo: Ross D. Franklin)

    It's the next round of an ongoing boxing match between Sheriff Joe Arpaio and immigrant activists.

    For much of the match the activists have had Arpaio (and the Arizona Legislature) on the ropes.

    This time, a coalition of immigrant rights and civil rights groups have filed a class-action lawsuit (Puente Arizona vs. Arpaio) challenging state laws that allow Arpaio's deputies to stage workplace raids looking for migrants working off of fictitious papers.

    According to the lawsuit, this turns "immigrants into felons simply for working to provide for their families."

    As the lawsuit itself points out, then-Gov. Janet Napolitano first signed off on the policy.

    Signing a bill allowing the raids, she said, "Immigration is a federal responsibility, but I signed House Bill 2779 because it is abundantly clear that Congress finds itself incapable of coping with the comprehensive immigration reforms our country needs."

    She was right. But did Arizona overstep its authority?

    According to the lawsuit, "Arizona's passage of laws to penalize undocumented workers' use of false or fictitious identities to 'obtain or continue employment' directly intrudes upon the federal government's exclusive authority in the (federally-created) employment verification process."

    They argue that "the Constitution grants the federal government exclusive, plenary power over immigration matters…"

    That argument already has worked in the court when it comes to some of Arizona's most aggressive anti-immigrant legislation. And the sheriff and his department have been slapped around and put under restraints by a federal judge.

    The workplace raids have continued throughout all of this, however.

    So a group that included Puente Arizona, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and others decided to fight it.

    In a statement, ACLU of Arizona's legal director Dan Pochoda said, "Maricopa County is the only jurisdiction systematically enforcing these tools given to it by the state legislature. We know from past experience that when the MCSO gets into the business of immigration enforcement, it's a recipe for discrimination and abuse."

    Now that another lawsuit has been filed there will be a lot of huffing and puffing by the sheriff and his supporters, and the plaintiffs will work hard to humanize and make sympathetic the people being targeted in the raids.

    But in a courtroom it will boil down to a fairly simple question.

    As much as some of us might like, the argument is not going to be about whether the federal government is doing a good job in this area.

    It's about territory.

    It's about turf.

    It's about whether Arizona has the legal jurisdiction to step in and do the enforcement.

    Whether the federal government is doing a good job or not.

    If the activists' lawyers connect with this round-house swing, will Arpaio go down for the count?

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  2. #2
    MW is offline
    Senior Member MW's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    North Carolina
    I hope the legal citizens living in Joe's county support him in this endeavor because what he is actually doing is protecting their potential jobs from illegals.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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