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July 14, 2010

Obama Administration On Why It Also Doesn't Sue Sanctuary Cities For Having Policies In Direct Conflict With Federal Law: But That's Different, Somehow

I confess, this line of questioning never even occurred to me. Kudos to the Washington Times -- you didn't think it was the MFM asking this question, did you? -- for advancing it.

Obama's lawsuit against Arizona contends the state is subverting federal law (they mean federal policy, because Arizona law says what federal law says) and hence is unconstitutional interference with the government's constitutionally-ennumerated power to control immigration and naturalization.

Ah, but what about the shoe on the other foot? What about sanctuary cities that explicitly declare policies of non-enforcement in direct contradiction of federal law?

Oh -- see, that's different or something.

The Obama administration said this week that there is no reason to sue so-called sanctuary cities for refusing to cooperate with federal authorities, whereas Arizona's new immigration law was singled out because it "actively interferes" with enforcement.

"There is a big difference between a state or locality saying they are not going to use their resources to enforce a federal law, as so-called sanctuary cities have done, and a state passing its own immigration policy that actively interferes with federal law," Tracy Schmaler, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., told The Washington Times. "That's what Arizona did in this case."

But the author of the 1996 federal law that requires states and localities to cooperate says the administration is misreading it, and says drawing a distinction between sanctuary cities and Arizona is "flimsy justification" for suing the state.

"For the Justice Department to suggest that they won't take action against those who passively violate the law --who fail to comply with the law -- is absurd," said Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee and chief author of the 1996 immigration law. "Will they ignore individuals who fail to pay taxes? Will they ignore banking laws that require disclosure of transactions over $10,000? Of course not."

It is important to note always that a state can't obviate federal law in an area of special federal jurisdiction, but Arizona does not violate the law at all -- Arizona law simply restates it.

It is the Obama Administration that is in fact in conflict with federal law.

The federal law that was actually passed by Representatives in Congress and duly signed into law by an elected President says that there will be enforcement of immigration laws (and reporting of those in violation to the federal authorities).

It is only Obama -- and his buddies in Congress -- who say otherwise, but they have not even attempted to get that policy enacted into law. If they did -- well, that would be different. If they change the law, then fine, Arizona can be found to be in violation of the supremacy clause.

But they don't. They don't dare. They keep the law on the books because they know it would be politically suicidal to change it, and instead seek to simply ignore it through a policy that was never agreed to by regular constitutional order.

Thanks to JackStraw.



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posted by Ace at 03:27 PM

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