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Arizona law passes constitutional muster

So say a panel of law professors at the University of California, San Diego:

"I don't see this as giving police more authority," said Lawrence A. Alexander, one of three University of San Diego law professors on the panel. "I don't see it on the face of the statute."

However, panelists said, if a police officer unlawfully arrests or detains an individual, this could amount to a constitutional violation.

There remain concerns about racial profiling, even with the revisions, said Lilia Velasquez, an immigration attorney and adjunct professor at California Western School of Law in San Diego who attended the discussion.

"We have to not just concentrate on how it is facially constitutional," Velasquez said, addressing the panelists. "But how is it going to be applied in Arizona, considering the state of mind?"

And unlike a U.S. citizen or legal resident arrested unlawfully, who can be released, it would be difficult to halt the removal from the country of someone apprehended during an unlawful stop, Velasquez said.

"Police will abuse authority from time to time," Alexander said. "That is a fact of life, and it is regrettable."

The law, partly written by University of Missouri law professor Kris Kobach, is drawn to closely mirror federal immigration law -- and there lies the rub. Because immigration law is adjudicated by the federal government, the Arizona law could be pre-empted because federal law overrides state law, said Maimon Schwarzchild, another USD law professor on the panel.

"What the state is doing here is saying, 'We will enforce the law, until you tell us not to,' " Schwarzchild said.

Kobach said the fact that it mirrors federal law is a good defense against a pre-emption claim. The law could more easily be defeated if it conflicted with federal law, he said.

"There is no conflict when the two laws are mirror images of one another," Kobach said in a phone interview. "That is an important factor that will play in the judicial defense of this law."

In other words, if the Arizona law is one based on raaacism and if that means that Arizonans are all raaacists... then the Federal law is raaacist too and all Americans are raaacists.

A ludicrous and idiotic assertion.

And more Americans see it as such than those who don't:

... you may well think public sentiment is dead against the good voters of Arizona.

But you would be wrong. Poll after poll has found most Americans think the Arizonans have a good idea. Not perfect, to be sure. But good. I'm not talking about a bunch of fly-by-night push polls. I'm talking about Gallup, New York Times/CBS, and Pew among others; heavy hitters with solid reputations. And they are finding that the majority of Americans don't think there is anything wrong with police asking some questions if it seems like someone is here illegally.

As you might expect, the polls show Republican voters most in favor of this law. But Independents also support it, albeit by a narrower margin. And Democrats? A majority of them oppose the law, but one-out-of-three is okay with it.

Opponents of this measure don't like hearing those numbers. They like numbers like this: 90 million. That's how many dollars the mayor of Phoenix says boycotts could cost his metro area over the next five years in lost conventions and tourism.

Maybe so. But boycotts are notoriously unpredictable. Everyone who ever starts one predicts it will cause the fall of the Roman Empire, and that is rarely the case. Uh, except in Rome about 1500 years ago, and that was not so much a boycott as a general strike.

Those who are complaining about the Arizona law are passionate, and they may have some solid legal arguments, vis-à-vis, constitutionality. But make no mistake, they are in the minority. Americans in growing numbers are telling Washington, D.C. it is time for a serious debate and some hard decisions need to be made about our immigration policy. And far from damning Arizona for jumping the gun, they are applauding.

I join in the applause. 

Critics of the law must be reminded that it's nothing more than a clone of the Federal statute and that it's nothing more than Arizona doing what the Feds refuse to do.

I close with this summarizing video coming our way via BUYcottArizona.com, a site setup to counter those promoting boycotting the state:

Crossposted at Brutally Honest.


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Comments (17)

Nice to see that 64% of the... (Below threshold)

Nice to see that 64% of the people of the US support the law.

64% supporting after the co... (Below threshold)

64% supporting after the completely dishonest way the media reported about it is amazing. Imagine if we had an honest media reporting about all of the issues of the day.

Wonder how many of those 'o... (Below threshold)

Wonder how many of those 'open border' idiots would be so supportive if they were told that a newly arrived "resident" would be taking their job.

As for boycotts. San Diego Union ran a piece yesterday were about 30 local hotels have received cancellations of summer reservations FROM ARIZONA residents. Many from past repeat customers.

That knife can cut two ways. LA, land of hypocrites, of course will only "boycott" those things which will not hurt the city. I can only hope that Arizona cuts off electrical power purchased by LA's Dept of Water and Power - midsummer would be a great time, during a SantaAna wind.

64%? That means 36% are sti... (Below threshold)

64%? That means 36% are still stupid enough to vote hope and pocket change!


University of California, S... (Below threshold)
paul walker:

University of California, San Diego and University of San Diego are not the same institution. UCSD is pretty much Berkeley south, has been and probably always will be. USD is a Catholic university with a well regarded law school

With the revisions, I expec... (Below threshold)
James H:

With the revisions, I expect that the law would surviva a facial challenge. But as-applied challenges may be more challenging.

What does that panel say ab... (Below threshold)

What does that panel say about the constitutionality of Obamacare?
I believe the same 64% of the people OPPOSE it.

"What the state is doing he... (Below threshold)

"What the state is doing here is saying, 'We will enforce the law, until you tell us not to,' " Schwarzchild said.

Yep. One of the primary jobs of the executive branch is to enforce federal laws. It is what the State of Arizona is asking. I believe a particular group of immigrants are called 'illegal' for a reason. I think Barry was under the mistaken impression that once he was inaugurated he could make the job whatever he wanted it to be. Didn't work that way real well for any of his predecessors.

All of the opposition to th... (Below threshold)
Geoffrey Britain:

All of the opposition to the Arizona law is smoke and mirrors to obscure their real reasons for opposition.

The left doesn't want illegal immigration to end because their constituency supports it.

Whether whites, who out of PC and liberal guilt or blacks who subscribe to class and minority solidarity or Hispanic's who want their racial group to continue to have access to the U.S. 'safety valve' and 'doorway' out of poverty or the leftist elites who wish to use the illegals to bolster their vote totals, those on the left place their rationale above all the reasons why Arizona instituted this law.

We all know this, at least subconsciously. Part of the lack of clarity on this issue is due to conservatives not having thought this issue completely through and liberal's fundamental dishonesty about what they believe.

Liberal support for the Hispanic position is noteworthy because Hispanics who actually support illegal immigration are placing their racial needs above the larger society's needs, which of course is a classic qualification of racism.

It's truly ironic that PC liberals who support the liberal Hispanic position are engaged in support of racism.

All of the claims that the Arizona law is racist are simply a smoke screen to conceal the left's real reason; support for illegal immigration because it benefits their agenda. They're even willing to support racism, if that will advance their agenda.

Because for the left, 'the liberal agenda' is ALL that they have, since the great majority's overwhelming allegiance is to secular post-modernism, which whether acknowledged or not, implicitly requires abandoning faith in a divine, beneficent God.

Once liberals abandon faith in God, the consequent belief applies; this life is all there is... and, given secular post-modernism's tenets, your entire worth rests upon how politically correct you behave...it's literally a religious fanaticism for many, acting as a replacement for what they've abandoned.

All of this results in the situation we face; an unsustainable level of illegal immigration that is part and parcel of the forces that are destroying the social cohesion of America.

Geoffrey don't put it all o... (Below threshold)

Geoffrey don't put it all on the Libertines. In Texas Rick Perry and several other Repub. state executives are beholden to some very LARGE interest groups that need virtual slave labor to garner huge profits. In Texas Perry is for shutting dwn the border during elections, but soon drops that tune when told by his big contractor contributors to shut up.

The problem is 2 fold. Your right the Lib's see a potential voting block for public services and race politics is their bread and butter but at the same time, large corporate interests enjoy the use of low wage, no taxes, no benefit. workers, and their large campaign contributions ensure that Repub's only pay lip service to the issue.

I and others caught in-between have to share the blame also. We complain about the large taxes we have to pay, but do we actually put pressure on our politicians? It seems we enjoy the fact our lawns are mowed, fast food stays open late and hell our kids don't go to those schools where the majority of kids are illegal. The cops being shot at, the drugs and chaos on the border, do they really effect us in our nice little suburbs?

Blaming the Facists, they are not Liberals, they are perhaps Libertines but more closely resemble Musolini style Facism, is as easy as they screaming RACISM to avoid thinking logically. We must really look hard and honestly at the situation, which means looking in the mirror.

For all the politicians tha... (Below threshold)

For all the politicians that want to protect the illegals, I say move to Mexico, take them with you, and coddle them on their own soil. We will remember which politicians prefer illegal Mexicans over Americans come election time.

deke, i keep hearing about ... (Below threshold)

deke, i keep hearing about these large US companies that need all of these illegals that they virtually enslave. but i never hear the names of these companies, or see any proof of the accusation.

do illagals get hired? sure. but it's a lot easier for small companies to get away with it than a large corporation. i've seen proof offered of that.

and i've seen evidence of liberal/democrat voter fraud involving illegals as well.

if you got some evidence to back up yoru accusation regarding large corporations hiring thousands of illegals and paying off the republican party to keep getting away with it, i'd love to see it.

Yes deke, lets see that pro... (Below threshold)
Geoffrey Britain:

Yes deke, lets see that proof.

That said, a possible error in deke's analysis doesn't obviate that all of the special interests content with the status quo in illegal immigration...do not reside solely on the left.

Millions of illegals find low-wage jobs in this country and somebody is hiring them. I completely support going after the employers. They are NOT going anywhere and they are much easier to monitor for compliance with applicable laws.

That is the way to attack illegal immigration because it uses the free market to do so, if no one will employee illegals because the penalties are too severe, the illegals will go home on their own. There have been many recessions where that's exactly what happened, so we have empirical confirmation of that assertion.

That said, our economy does need low wage workers, as a ten dollar fast-food hamburger ain't gonna sell folks. Obviously we need some kind of well thought out, properly managed "Guest Worker Visa Program".

The problem isn't what to do, there are valid, reasonable answers...the problem is that special interests and a united consensus of liberal interest groups and the Democrats don't want to solve the problem and are actively blocking any solution that doesn't include 'Amnesty for illegals' and a 'pathway' to citizenship'... which is why the feds are not enforcing the laws.

The 'pathway to citizenship' is a highly disingenuous, cynical ploy to redefine the issue of illegal immigration. It's being portrayed as the reason why we have this continuing problem, which is hogwash and is actually an attempt to greatly increase democrat voter roles, so as to permanently skew elections in their favor.

Oops! should have said, "if... (Below threshold)
Geoffrey Britain:

Oops! should have said, "if no one will employ illegals because the penalties are too severe,"

@ ke_futureIn Texa... (Below threshold)

@ ke_future

In Texas the largest contributor to the Perry camapagin is Bob Perry of Perry Home construction. He along with Pulte Homes, and several other large contractors are at the crux of the problem. They all work through sub-contractors who depend heavily upon an illegal work force to make and maintain profit margins that are very desirable to their investors. The fact they haven't been convicted of anything goes to the might of their political and legal prowess, to that matter how many successful trials have there been over electoral fraud perpetrated by illegal voting? Slim to none is the answer. Both parties are guilty and those in the middle are stuck between the proverbial "Rock and a hard place."


I think you and I are closer to agreement than argument. Shutting dwn the border and instilling some kind of guest worker program is the answer. The problem is that a guest worker program means money out of pocket for large construction and farm interests, something they are loathe to do. I again stress that until the great unwashed middle is willing to get out from the front of the plasma screen and demand more and better from our politicians we will continue to see chaos on the border, higher taxes to pay for the illegal load and a general sense of malaise over this issue.

If NUMNUTS himself in Washi... (Below threshold)

If NUMNUTS himself in Washington would do his job and protect the Border and keep illegals out there would have been no need for the Arizona LAW. Look up the definition of ASS in the dictionary and you see a picture of an ILLEGAL KENYAN with a SS # from Connt. Big WOW HUH????

In Texas the largest con... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

In Texas the largest contributor to the Perry camapagin is Bob Perry of Perry Home construction. He along with Pulte Homes, and several other large contractors are at the crux of the problem. They all work through sub-contractors who depend heavily upon an illegal work force to make and maintain profit margins that are very desirable to their investors.

Thanks for posting a substantive answer. I too had wondered about lefty talking points about large corporations hiring illegals.

Still, a couple points. First, per your comment, the illegals are being hired through sub-contractors. Second, this only addresses construction, and in one state at that. What about other industries and companies, and in other states -
AZ, NM, and CA?






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