Thursday, July 29, 2010
President Obama highly criticized the Arizona immigration law back when Governer Jan Brewer of Arizona signed the nations's toughest bill on illegal immigration in April of this year. BUt since then there has been high criticizm for what the law meant for thousands of people in Arizona, most of them illegal immigrants. President Obama claimed that the law threatened "to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and our communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.”
The law, which proponents and critics alike said was the broadest and strictest immigration measure in generations, would make the failure to carry immigration documents a crime and give the police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. Opponents have called it an open invitation for harassment and discrimination against Hispanics regardless of their citizenship status.
The political debate leading up to Ms. Brewer’s decision, and Mr. Obama’s criticism of the law — presidents very rarely weigh in on state legislation — underscored the power of the immigration debate in states along the Mexican border. It presaged the polarizing arguments that await the president and Congress as they take up the issue nationally.
The law was to take effect 90 days after the legislative session ends, meaning by August. Court challenges were made since the Governer signed the bill in April. It requires police officers, “when practicable,” to detain people they reasonably suspect are in the country without authorization and to verify their status with federal officials, unless doing so would hinder an investigation or emergency medical treatment.
It also makes it a state crime — a misdemeanor — to not carry immigration papers. In addition, it allows people to sue local government or agencies if they believe federal or state immigration law is not being enforced.
With all of the work by the Arizona Governor to put the law into effect, a federal judge stepped into the fight just hours before the law was to take effect, and blocked the heart of the measure, and also defused a confrontation that was brewing between police and thousands of activists that had been building for months. But the battle is not over, and most likely will end up in the Supreme Court. Judge Bolton, who stopped the measure from becoming law for now, claims that her ruling backed by the federal government has a good chance of succeeding. The President claims that the law now only put several thousand Mexicans in danger, it also put several Americans in danger, not to mention how the law would have hurt U.S. Mexican relations.
For now, in her preliminary injunction, Bolton delayed provisions that required immigrants to carry their papers and banned illegal immigrants from soliciting employment in public places – a move aimed at day laborers.
The judge also blocked officers from making warrantless arrests of suspected illegal immigrants for crimes that can lead to deportation. Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman said the state will appeal Bolton's ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Thursday, asking the appellate court to lift the injunction and allow the blocked provisions to take effect. The appeal will ask the 9th Circuit to act quickly, Senseman said.
Whatever way that court rules, Bolton will eventually hold a trial and issue a final ruling.
Wednesday's decision was seen as a defeat for Brewer, who is running for another term in November and has seen her political fortunes rise because of the law's popularity among conservatives.
But in the end, the realization exists that not just one governor from one state should try and enact a law that should be instituted on the Federal level. Most people accross the country agree that a more nationalized solution must be met, and that one state governor cannot try to solve what is considered a national issue with the bordering country of Mexico.
Jan Brewer is running for re-election this year, and chances of her re-election may be slim because of the problems caused by her signing a bill that had the makings to hurt Americans, cause riots, and disturb families in her state.