Supreme Court guts Arizona immigration law SB1070; who won, what to do


The US Supreme Court has struck down three of the four parts of the Arizona immigration law SB 1070, making the law largely ineffective.

This is mostly a loss for Americans who support immigration enforcement and who are negatively impacted by illegal immigration (i.e., the great majority). It's mostly a win for Barack Obama and the illegal immigration-supporting establishment.

All is not lost however: how to make lemonade is described below.

First, the opinion is here:

From this:

The court struck down provisions that make it a crime for immigrants without work permits to seek employment; make it a crime for immigrants to fail to carry registration documents; and authorize the police to arrest any immigrant they believe has committed a deportable offense. The court ruled all of these sections are preempted by federal immigration law.

At the same time, however, the court upheld a section of the Arizona state law that calls for police to check the immigration status of people they stop.

...Finally, on Sec. 2B, which requires state officers to make a “reasonable attempt . . . to determine the immigration status” of any person they stop, detain, or arrest on some other legitimate basis if “reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien and is unlawfully present in the United States”:

The federal scheme . . . leaves room for a policy requiring state officials to contact ICE as a routine matter.

However the law is interpreted, if §2(B) only requires state officers to conduct a status check during the course of an authorized, lawful detention or after a detainee has been released, the provision likely would survive preemption—at least absent some showing that it has other consequences that are adverse to federal law and its objectives.

The problem there is that Arizona could contact the Department of Homeland Security about an illegal alien, and then watch as the federal government did nothing. In the case of a traffic stop, it appears that the illegal alien could just drive away. In the case of someone in jail and set to be released, Arizona would have to release that person if the feds didn't come to pick them up. This has happened in many past instances and in some cases it's formed plausible deniability for some (paragraph 5).

The Feds could be contacted about, for instance, a college-age illegal alien who'd been involved in a scuffle but then decide to informally enforce Obama's DREAM Act policy by not going and picking that illegal alien up.

The way to make lemonade out of this is:

1. Arizona must enforce the remaining parts of the law without any slip-ups. Any questionable enforcement will be pounced upon by illegal immigration supporters.

2. Arizona must keep track of the numbers of illegal aliens they've identified, compared to the number that the DHS comes and picks up. Then, they must promote those numbers to the best of their abilities with the goal of showing that the Obama administration isn't doing their job. They must do that in a politically inclusionary fashion in order to try to reduce Obama's support from his base. The Obama administration's opposition to the law is political, and making it politically costly to them could force a change in behavior.

The elite support for illegal immigration is a "mind war": the elites use their intellectual abilities to enable and support illegal immigration. Laws, "boots on the ground", and so on are necessary parts of opposing illegal immigration, but they aren't enough. The elites need to be intellectually challenged and discredited to force them to change their behavior.

UPDATE: The federal government has validated what I wrote above (link):

Homeland Security will not send its officers to pick up suspected illegal immigrants snared by local police in Arizona unless the person meets the agency’s priority criteria.

In a move that is a direct shot back at the state following’s today’s Supreme Court ruling regarding SB1070, senior officials at the Department of Homeland Security said Monday that immigration officers have been instructed not to go to the scene of a state or local traffic stop to help enforce immigration law, unless the person meets Homeland Security’s priorities:

* Convicted criminals

* Someone who has been deported in the past.

* A recent illegal border crosser.

Homeland Security will continue to take phone calls from local law enforcement to verify a person’s immigration status, officials said.

UPDATE 2: After the decision, the Department of Justice (probably their Civil Rights Division, led Thomas Perez) re-publicized a hotline for civil rights complaints: 1-855-353-1010. That number has been in place since at least October of last year and has been used to solicit complaints about other states attempting to deal with illegal immigration. The associated email address might be new. Contacting either one with pro-American complaints would be ineffective. Instead, promote the plan above and also see things you can do about illegal immigration.

UPDATE 3: From this:

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security today rescinded agreements that allowed seven Arizona law enforcement agencies to check the immigration status of suspected illegal immigrants, further hindering the state’s ability to enforce SB1070 following the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling today.

DHS announced that it was terminating its 287(g) task force agreements with the Arizona Department of Public Safety; the Florence, Mesa and Phoenix police departments; and the Pima, Pinal and Yavapai county sheriff’s offices. Those were the only agencies left in Arizona that had street-level 287(g) agreements.

Pima county is home to Tucson.

287g has two components: the "street-level" referenced above, and a component that jails can use to check if someone has an immigration violation. The jails component will be grandfathered in, but the DHS won't be signing new 287g agreements. The jails component has largely been superseded by the Secure Communities program.

6/26/12 UPDATE: From this:

These extra calls [from Arizona police to the DHS] will present "operational challenges," an Obama administration official who declined to be named told reporters on Monday. But the federal government has no plans to change how it operates in any way due to the law, he added. "We will not allow a state to dictate our priorities," the official said.

When an Arizona police officer calls to verify a suspect's immigration status, the federal government will decide to hold someone only if the person has committed serious crimes or is a recent or repeat border crosser. An Arizona officer will be forced to let that person go if the federal government doesn't want him or her and if the officer doesn't have a crime to charge the person with.