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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 1970

    Fed suit of Arizona law based on "enforcement!" ... wD9GQFP900

    Enforcement at heart of Ariz. immigration lawsuit

    By BOB CHRISTIE (AP) –7/7/10 3:13 pm pdt

    PHOENIX — On paper, Arizona's controversial new immigration law is not that different from

    the federal version. But the key difference is this: Arizona wants every illegal immigrant

    caught and deported. The federal government says treating all 11 million of the nation's

    illegal immigrants as criminals would overwhelm the system.

    In its lawsuit challenging the Arizona law, the Justice Department says its policy is to

    focus on dangerous immigrants: gang members, drug traffickers, threats to national security.

    Law-abiding immigrants without documentation would largely be left alone.

    Homeland Security officials say the government cannot possibly find, arrest and deport

    everyone who is here illegally. And trying to do so would also upset a balance crafted by

    Congress that takes into account humanitarian interests and foreign relations.

    But proponents of the Arizona solution insist that's no reason not to try. And they say the

    state's toughest-in-the-nation law is a reasonable way to start.

    "If it's really the case that they don't have enough resources to enforce the laws that

    Congress has passed, it would seem it's incumbent on them to go back to Congress and ask for

    more resources," said Steven Camarota, research director at the center for Immigration

    Studies, a group that favors stricter enforcement of immigration laws. "But since they don't

    do that, it sort of undermines the argument."

    Arizona's new law is nearly identical to federal immigration law. At issue is how it is

    enforced. The federal government says the state law is unconstitutional because it usurps

    federal authority to protect U.S. borders and American citizens. Arizona counters that the

    federal government is not doing its job, which forces state officials to step in.

    State lawmakers argue that the federal government already enlists local authorities to

    identify illegal immigrants who have been arrested for other crimes. The new law, they say,

    just extends that to police patrols.

    The federal government says the law goes too far by making it a state crime to be in Arizona

    illegally and requiring police to question the immigration status of anyone they encounter

    who is believed to be undocumented.

    The furor over the Arizona law is overblown, Camarota said Wednesday. It does not envision

    mass deportations or roundups, just a slow but steady pressure on illegal immigrants to leave

    Arizona — either for their home countries or for another state.

    The number of illegal immigrants in the country fell for the first time this decade in 2007,

    and dropped another 800,000 between 2008 and 2009, primarily due to the recession and

    increased enforcement efforts.

    As of January 2009, an estimated 10.8 million people were in the country illegally, 1 million

    less than the 2007 peak, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

    Deportations have been increasing, climbing from 185,944 in 2007 to 387,790 last year.

    Many critics argue the federal government cannot selectively enforce immigration law, but

    it's common for law enforcement at all levels to prioritize. Small-time pot dealers do not

    receive the same level of investigation or prosecution as big-time heroin traffickers. The

    government has also tolerated medical marijuana in 14 states.

    But Arizona's law has brought selective enforcement — and the differences that exist even

    among police agencies — into clearer focus.

    Those differences are stark, even in the Phoenix metro area. Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris

    says in an affidavit supporting the federal suit that he will probably have to move

    detectives focused on violent crime to street patrol because regular officers will be busy

    enforcing Arizona's new law.

    But Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has been at the forefront of the effort to

    empower local authorities to enforce immigration laws, routinely assigns deputies to crime

    sweeps where they target illegal immigrants.

    The federal government is worried that other states will follow Arizona's lead, overwhelming

    federal agencies with non-criminal illegal immigrants who will cost the government millions

    to deport.

    A March study by the liberal Center for American Progress estimated that deporting the entire

    illegal immigration population and securing the borders would cost $285 billion over five


    In the government lawsuit, officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and

    Border Protection declared they will be forced to shift resources from major cases to minor

    ones if the law goes into effect as scheduled on July 29.

    Five other lawsuits, filed by immigrant-rights groups, the American Civil Liberties Union and

    individuals, are already before a federal judge in Phoenix. The federal challenge filed

    Tuesday is expected to be transferred to the same judge, who has hearings set for next week

    on requests to block the law from taking effect.

    The federal lawsuit focuses on a core constitutional concern — balancing power between the

    states and the federal government. More specifically, the issue centers on the long-running

    "pre-emption" legal argument that says federal law trumps state law.

    The government sidestepped concerns about the potential for racial profiling and civil rights

    violations most often raised by immigration advocates. Experts said those are weaker

    arguments that do not belong in a federal legal challenge.
    Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    the law is pretty clear to me , its a crime to be here illegally and the govt has no option but to deport

    I have not heard that Congress passed any law exempting illegally aliens for any reason

    Maybe I missed the memo?

  3. #3
    Law-abiding immigrants without documentation would largely be left alone
    Law abiding? By being in the country illegaly they are breaking the law. If they have a job they are breaking the law. If they are receving public benifits they are stealing from the american taxpayer. The list goes on. They are criminals and they need to be punished. These people need to be put in prison to pay for their crimes then deported.

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