Okay, new developments in the Arizona immigration debate. This is my overall impression: Federal busybodies back east, led by President Obama, were scandalized that Arizona law enforcement were doing crazy things like enforcing the law.
So after conferring with the president of Mexico they took the matter to a federal judge. And today we have a ruling: Obama was right. Those local pipsqueaks have been meddling in matters that were none of their darn business.
A federal judge on Wednesday blocked some of the toughest provisions in the Arizona illegal immigration law, putting on hold the state’s attempt to have local police enforce federal immigration policy. […]
The ruling said the Obama administration, which sought the injunction, is likely to “succeed on the merits” in showing the above provisions are preempted by federal law.
“The court by no means disregards Arizona’s interests in controlling illegal immigration and addressing the concurrent problems with crime including the trafficking of humans, drugs, guns, and money,” the ruling said. “Even though Arizona’s interests may be consistent with those of the federal government, it is not in the public interest for Arizona to enforce preempted laws.”
There you have it. Local yokels were just getting too big for their britches, and it’s the job of the feds to set up some boundaries. Ed Morrissey:
Federal judge Susan Bolton has issued a temporary restraining order against the most controversial portions of the Arizona immigration-enforcement law, while keeping much of it in place. The requirement for police to check immigration status has been suspended, however, pending a full review by the court at a later date:
It’s really kind of funny. Law enforcement officials enforcing the law. Ha! It’s really nuts when you think about it. Good thing wiser heads at the federal government were willing to come in and straigthen them out. And according to today’s ruling, it was a close call. The liberty of millions of law-abiding Americans was teetering in the balance.
“Requiring Arizona law enforcement officials and agencies to determine the immigration status of every person who is arrested burdens lawfully-present aliens because their liberty will be restricted while their status is checked,” Bolton, a Clinton appointee, said in her decision.
So tut-tut Arizona. Don’t ask for sales slips from suspected shoplifters. That would be the same as slipping handcuffs on every other customer in the store. Morrissey:
This point seems key. On page 14, Bolton says that the law as written would require law enforcement to check immigration status on everyone arrested or held, not just those with “reasonable suspicion” of being illegal immigrants. That would create a huge burden on both law enforcement and on legal immigrants, Bolton writes.
Funny, the definition of “law enforcement” is starting to get a little blurry to me. I hate uncertainty, so I better look it up:
ensuring obedience to the laws
That feels better. I like to keep these matters clear and coherent in my mind.