Free Markets, Free People
I won’t belabor you with a full detailing of how the court ruled yesterday on Arizona’s immigration laws except to say most of it was struck down with the Court supporting the “supremacy clause” as its basis for doing so.
However, it did find for AZ in one part of the law – the requirement to produce identification, if asked, proving citizenship if law enforcement is has a reasonable suspicion the person is in the country illegally.
Note the last word.
You see, that’s the word that is often left off when discussing immigration, as in “the right is anti-immigration”. Of course that’s a totally inaccurate assertion. The vast majority of the right is against illegal immigration. Legal immigrants are both wanted and welcome.
That said, we all know that our immigration system is flat out broken. It sucks. It is terrible. And in this day and time, given advances in the speed and efficiency of communications, there is absolutely no reason that should be the case. Upgrading and speeding up the system should be a priority.
But that doesn’t change the fact that people who go around that antiquated system and take it upon themselves to enter the US illegally are lawbreakers.
So, to yesterday’s ruling: Arizona’s law was a result of the federal government’s refusal to enforce existing immigration law. It was a law born of frustration. Arizona is a border state. Non-enforcement was causing strains on the state that for the most part, non-border states didn’t have to deal with. And, after numerous appeals to the federal government to enforce the laws of the land, the state took the drastic step of passing its own laws that mirrored the federal statutes.
Yesterday the Supreme Court struck most of them down. I understand and don’t necessarily disagree with the basis of the ruling. I understand the importance of the “supremacy clause”. But I also understand when it is improperly used – in this case to not enforce existing law. That is not a choice made by an administration dedicated to the rule of law. That’s the choice made by one which is driven by an ideological agenda.
To make the point, yesterday after the ruling, Homeland Security, the executive agency that ICE falls under, made it clear that it would not cooperate on section 2 (b) of the AZ law, the section the Supreme Court upheld, effectively nullifying it:
The Obama administration said Monday it is suspending existing agreements with Arizona police over enforcement of federal immigration laws, and said it has issued a directive telling federal authorities to decline many of the calls reporting illegal immigrants that the Homeland Security Department may get from Arizona police.
Administration officials, speaking on condition they not be named, told reporters they expect to see an increase in the number of calls they get from Arizona police — but that won’t change President Obama’s decision to limit whom the government actually tries to detain and deport…
Federal officials said they’ll still perform the checks as required by law but will respond only when someone has a felony conviction on his or her record. Absent that, ICE will tell the local police to release the person…
On Monday the administration officials also said they are ending the seven 287(g) task force agreements with Arizona law enforcement officials, which proactively had granted some local police the powers to enforce immigration laws.
Or, more simply, the President has directed his agencies not to enforce the law of the land, a clear violation of his oath of office, but in full compliance with his recent enactment of the “DREAM act” by fiat.
By the way, that raging righty, Mickey Kaus updates us on what the real results of Obama’s decision concerning a certain type of illegal really means:
The maddening details of Obama’s DREAM Decree are becoming clearer. As this CIS report notes, 1) The decree doesn’t just apply to illegal immigrants who were “brought to this country by their parents.” It also would give work permits to those who snuck across the border by themselves as teenagers. “Through no fault of their own” is a talking point for DREAM proselytizers, not an actual legal requirement. 2) The same goes for the phrase “and know only this country as home.” That’s a highly imaginative riff on the decree’s actual requirement, which is for 5 years “continuous residence.” It turns out “continuous residence” doesn’t mean what you think it means. “Immigration attorneys have been successful in getting immigration courts to whittle this down to a point where it is almost meaningless,” says CIS’s Jon Feere. As an illegal immigrant you can go back
homeabroad for multiple 6-month stints during those five years–but, if precedent holds, in Janet Napolitano’s eyes you will still “know only this country as home.” …
He has a couple of updates that are worth the read as well that show this for the broad attempt at amnesty it really is.
Look … this may indeed be how it all ends up, but this isn’t how it should be done. There’s a clear, legal and Constitutional path for changing laws we don’t like or think need to be changed … that is if we are a nation of laws.
Barack Obama seemed to think that was important once:
I believe that we can be a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.
Now? Not so much.
So here we have the nation’s chief law enforcement officer refusing to enforce the law.
His excuse is he’s frustrated with the lack of movement in Congress (of course he’s exerted no leadership or effort to resolve the issue)?
Hey, wait, wasn’t that the same sort frustration Arizona expressed about the administration’s refusal to enforce the law of the land?
So why is Obama’s refusal to enforce the law rewarded while Arizona’s attempt to enforce it isn’t?
Because George Orwell is alive and well and renaming his book “2012”.
Seriously. We have a 15 trillion dollar national debt. Ever wonder how we got there?
Yesterday, although the paper warped it into a completely stupid rant on race, the NY Times told us that government workers are losing their jobs. Why? Because revenue is down and budgets are tight. But there are other reasons as well.
Montcalm County recently received a $900 Arctic Blast Sno-Cone machine.
The West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission (WMSRDC) is a federal- and state-designated agency responsible for managing and administrating the homeland security program in Montcalm County and 12 other counties.
The WMSRDC recently purchased and transferred homeland security equipment to these counties — including 13 snow cone machines at a total cost of $11,700.
The machines were funded by a grant from the Michigan Homeland Security Program. The request for a snow cone machine came from another county, but all 13 counties received them.
Your first question has to be “why wasn’t a request to “Homeland Security” for a Sno-Cone machine summarily turned down with a warning that such requests were inappropriate? Especially in tight fiscal times? Well the simple answer to that is because Homeland Security isn’t dealing with its own money. It’s dealing with your money. And because of that apparently nothing is inappropriate, tight fiscal times or not.
Note the job description of the WMSRDC I’ve emphasized. And what is the reason for a Sno-Cone machine? Well here’s the reason given why it was “necessary”:
MCES Director David Feldpausch said the machine could be useful at the scene of a large fire or during very hot weather.
“I don’t like the term snow cone machine, because it sounds horrible,” Feldpausch said. “When you look at it as an ice shaving machine and its purpose, it makes a little more sense. I assume it will get used in Montcalm County a lot more in the summertime by the Fire Corps.”
Of course he doesn’t like the term “snow cone machine”. It doesn’t just sound terrible, it sounds inappropriate and wasteful. And it is both of those things. Oh sure, it might be nice to have. But a “necessity”? A bucket of ice and some water could serve the same purpose.
And of course there’s the matter of a single $900 request being turned into a $12,000 dollar expense when some bureaucrat decided all of the counties, even the 12 who never asked for one, get a Sno-Cone machine.
Now I know this comes from a completely different bucket of money, but any idea of what percentage of an employee’s salary this would pay if layoffs are being contemplated in the area? Is this the best and most appropriate use of Homeland Security money? Does anyone even review this stuff?
Profligate spending is the symptom of an out-of-control government. While $12k spending is but a mere speck on a drop in the bucket of money spent by government each year, it is indicative of how we got into the debt mess which we now find ourselves and is ever getting worse. Multiply these sorts of transactions by the millions and you understand how we have gotten where we are.
There is no necessity for shaved ice at a fire. Note the word. Necessity. There are plenty of much less costly alternatives. Like bagged ice and water. And this is for a contingency (“large fire”, summertime) for an event which may or may not happen.
The reason I highlight things like this is because the are better understood by people than complex and much more costly examples which are essentially the same but harder to wrap your head around. This is relatable. This shows clearly how wasteful government can be with a fairly low cost example that people can readily identify with.
Its like showing a picture of luxury food which is able to be purchased with EBT cards (Food Stamp Cards). You naturally know “this ain’t right”. You sort of go with the idea of helping the less able, but you bristle at being taken advantage of. Well the above example “ain’t right” and certainly an example of taking advantage of the taxpayer, but typical of literally millions of government purchases over the years.
Result. Well just take a gander at the national debt clock if you need a reminder.
Apparently if you don’t like the law and you’re the Homeland Security Department – you know, the department charged with ensuring your safety – you can just quietly refuse to do your job. Judicial Watch clues us in:
A month after the Department of Homeland Security launched a covert program to dismiss pending deportations there’s been an increase of more than 700% in the number of cases that have been dropped by the government in one of the nation’s busiest immigration court systems.
In August Homeland Security officials quietly began to systematically dismiss the pending removal of illegal immigrants, even when expulsion was virtually guaranteed or the aliens had a criminal record. The move, first reported by Texas’s largest newspaper, stunned the legal profession and baffled immigration attorneys who said it was “absolutely fantastic” for their illegal alien clients.
Instead of enforcing the law, they’ve decided to interpret it as they wish and to modify the criteria for expulsion to whatever they arbitrarily decide.
However, EOIR’s liaison with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Raed Gonzalez, said he was briefed on the guidelines in August directly by DHS’ deputy chief counsel in Houston and described a broader set of internal criteria.
Government attorneys in Houston were instructed to exercise prosecutorial discretion on a case-by-case basis for illegal immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for at least two years and have no serious criminal history, Gonzalez said.
To qualify for dismissal, defendants also must have no felony record or any misdemeanor convictions involving DWI, sex crimes or domestic violence, he said.
Now before some nimrod who never reads the blog beams in and claims I’m “anti-immigration”, let’s be clear. No, I’m not. But we have a proper and legal way of immigrating into this country and an improper and illegal way of doing so. The government’s job is to enforce the law and its priority should be the protection of the rights of its citizens. Decisions to arbitrarily enforce law or not enforce it at all shouldn’t be within the ability of the government’s enforcement agencies to decide. We have a process for that – it’s called legislation.
As I recall, law enforcement agencies require oaths of their agents to “enforce the law”. Not to “internally” decide to modify them to suit their tastes or a political agenda.
I understand the “system” is broken. But “clearing a backlog” by dismissing cases against law breakers on whatever grounds simply encourages more of the illegal behavior they’ve displayed. If there’s really no risk in flaunting the law, there’s no reason not to engage in the behavior that breaks it.
Obviously the immigration system needs to be overhauled and immigration brought into the 21st century with a speedier and less costly process that better serves all.
But that is a separate issue from the subject of this post. It is dangerous and destructive to have government agencies who have been charged with enforcing the law to be internally deciding what if any of the law they will enforce. It’s just another example of the government not serving the needs of those it is Constitutionally charged with protecting. It has, however, become almost a trademark of this administration.