Friday, February 11, 2011

Arizona Immigration Law Lawsuit

Last July, I wrote a suggestion for Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. It was in response to the decision by Barack Obama and Eric Holder to abuse the federal courts to harrass Arizona for (a) trying to get the federal government to fulfill its responsibilities and enforce federal immigration law or, in the alternative, (b) leave Arizona alone to enforce its own law, written to mirror the federal immigration law.

My suggestion was Countersue! Specifically, I wrote

So here's my suggestion to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer — Countersue! Sue for two things:
  1. Specific performance, a court order ordering the federal government to enforce the law. (Of course, the Administration will probably ignore that court order, just as it has ignored others.)
  2. Damages to repay the state and its people for the costs of the federal dereliction of duty, probably on the order of $2 trillion.

Just a suggestion.

Now, it has happened. Arizona filed suit against the federal government on Thursday. The Arizona lawsuit reportedly has five primary counts, as taken from press conference notes:

  1. Failure to achieve operational control over the Mexico/Arizona border. (I would have said "refusal", not "failure".)
  2. Failure to protect Arizona from invasion. And Arizona says invasion is not just limited to other countries' armies but applies to people and secured border. (That means "invasion" isn't just limited to a country's army, but also applies to the drug cartels, and to the coyotes and other criminals.)
  3. Failure to enforce federal immigration laws ... and this failure causes national security risks. Part of the charge is that it is a clear abuse of discretion that federal government only enforces the laws Holder and Obama choose to enforce. The Administration must enforce all the laws. (Yes, I agree — this failing is not limited to the current Administration. But the fact that others violated the law, too, doesn't mean they are allowed to violate the law.)
  4. Declaratory relief about reimbursement for the federal government’s failure (refusal) to pay for the incarceration of illegal alien prisoners (that are really a federal responsibility).
  5. Under the Constitution's 10th amendment, powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states and the people. While control of border is federal responsibility, when it abdicates that responsibility and criminals cross the border illegally and commit crimes, responding to those criminals and crimes is a state responsibility — and the federal government us interfering with the state's duty to fulfill its responsibilities.
It looks like I missed Arizona's count five, but I still feel pretty good (and slightly prescient).

Given what I have said here, and before, all I can add is "It's about damned time!"

Good for you, Governor Brewer — and good for your Attorney General Tom Horne, too!

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