Yesterday the Department of Justice sued Alabama over that state's new anti-illegal immigration law, just as it sued Arizona over the law that Alabama's was modeled after. An article is here, a PDF of the lawsuit is here, and the statement from the DOJ with quotes from Eric Holder and Janet Napolitano is at . The Department of Education is also involved in the suit due to parts of the Alabama law that involve immigration.
The DOJ says they filed the suit "after consultation with the Alabama governor, Alabama attorney general and Alabama law enforcement officials", which might imply that Gov. Robert Bentley helped them. Yet, that doesn't appear to be the case (link):
"All we're doing is increasing the enforcement of the federal laws that they're not doing," the governor said in response to a lawsuit filed Monday by the Obama administration's Department of Justice... Governor Bentley also rejected claims in a lawsuit filed by Alabama churches. The lawsuit claims Alabama's immigration law violates the churches' first amendment right by making it unlawful to give an illegal immigrant a ride even to church or the doctor... "There's nothing in the bill that criminalizes evangelism and humanitarian acts," the governor said. "That's not the purpose of this bill."
I wasn't able to locate that as a specific claim in the lawsuit, but in any case the Alabama law doesn't make it a crime to just give a ride to an illegal alien.
From the first article:
"To put it in terms we relate to here in Alabama, you can only have one quarterback in a football game. In immigration, the federal government is the quarterback," said Joyce White Vance, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama.
To put that it terms based in reality, some of our "quarterbacks" (i.e., most of our political leaders) intentionally keep dropping the ball and throwing interceptions because they've in effect been paid off by corrupt businesses to throw the game. Some of our other "quarterbacks" are trying to throw the game because they want race-based political power. In that case, the other members of the team might get together and - realizing that their quarterbacks aren't on their side - try to take the ball away from their quarterbacks. With this lawsuit, the quarterbacks have cried foul to the NFL, complaining that only they can handle the ball, even if their goal isn't to help their team win.
My opinion is that - instead of trying to grab the ball away from the quarterbacks - it would be much better and much less costly to conduct a public relations offensive against the quarterbacks. Confront the quarterbacks with film of them continually dropping the ball, inform others of how they keep dropping the ball, and force supporters of the quarterbacks to admit that the quarterbacks aren't on their side.
...In a complaint and brief filed in the Northern District of Alabama, the department said that various provisions of H.B. 56 conflict with federal immigration law and undermine the federal government’s careful balance of immigration enforcement priorities and objectives. The brief filed today makes clear that, while the federal government values state assistance and cooperation with respect to immigration enforcement, a state cannot set its own immigration policy, much less pass laws that conflict with federal enforcement of the immigration laws.
Alabama’s law is designed to affect virtually every aspect of an unauthorized immigrant’s daily life, from employment to housing to transportation to entering into and enforcing contracts to going to school. H.B. 56 further criminalizes mere unlawful presence and, like Arizona’s law, expands the opportunities for Alabama police to push aliens toward incarceration for various new immigration crimes by enforcing an immigration status verification system.
...“Today’s action makes clear that s etting immigration policy and enforcing immigration laws is a national responsibility that cannot be addressed through a patchwork of state immigration laws,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “The department is committed to evaluating each state immigration law and making decisions based on the facts and the law. To the extent we find state laws that interfere with the federal government’s enforcement of immigration law, we are prepared to bring suit, as we did in Arizona.”
“DHS continues to enforce federal immigration laws in Alabama and around the country in smart, effective ways that focus our resources on criminal aliens and employers who knowingly hire illegal labor, as well as continue to secure our border,” said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. “Legislation like this diverts critical law enforcement resources from the most serious threats to public safety and undermines the vital trust between local jurisdictions and the communities they serve. We continue to support comprehensive reform of our immigration system at the federal level because this challenge cannot be solved by a patchwork of inconsistent state laws.”...
Tue, 08/02/2011 - 11:15 · Importance: 4