Daily Archives: July 6, 2010

DOJ Files Suit Against Arizona Over SB1070

The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Arizona’s new law targeting illegal immigrants, setting the stage for a clash between the federal government and the state over the nation’s toughest immigration crackdown.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Phoenix argues that Arizona’s law requiring state and local police to question and possibly arrest illegal immigrants during the enforcement of other laws such as traffic violations usurps federal authority.

“In our constitutional system, the federal government has pre-eminent authority to regulate immigration matters,” the lawsuit says. “This authority derives from the United States Constitution and numerousacts of Congress. The nation’s immigration laws reflect a careful and considered balance of national law enforcement, foreign relations, and humanitarian interests.”

The government is seeking an injunction to delay the July 29 implementation of the law until the case is resolved. It ultimately wants the law declared invalid.

The government contends that the Arizona law violates the supremacy clause of the Constitution, a legal theory that says federal laws override state laws. It is already illegal underfederal law to be in the country illegally, but Arizona is the first state to make it a state crime and add its own punishment and enforcement tactics.

State Sen. Russell Pearce, the principal sponsor of the bill co-sponsored by dozens of fellow Republican legislators, denounced the lawsuit as “absolute insult to the rule of law” as well as to Arizona and its residents.

“It’s outrageous and it’s clear they don’t want (immigration) laws enforced. What they want is to continue their non-enforcement policy,” Pearce said. “They ignore the damage to America, the cost to our citizens, the deaths” tied to border-related violence.

State Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, a Phoenix Democrat who opposes the law, said the suit should help settle questions over what states can do when they don’t think federal laws are being adequately enforced.

“I hope this galvanizes Congress to gain the moral courage they need to address this (immigration) crisis,” Sinema said.

Tuesday’s action has been expected for weeks. President Barack Obama has called the state law misguided. Supporters say it is a reasonable reaction to federal inaction on immigration.

Gov. Jan Brewer’s spokesman called the decision to sue “a terribly bad decision.”

“Arizona obviously has a terrible border security crisis that needs to be addressed, so Gov. Brewer has repeatedly said she would have preferred the resources and attention of the federal government would be focused on that crisis rather than this,” spokesman Paul Senseman said.

Three of the five Democrats in Arizona’s congressional delegation, who are facing tough re-election battles, had also urged Obama not to try to block the law from going into effect.

Republican Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain of Arizona also lashed out at the administration’s decision, saying “the American people must wonder whether the Obama Administration is really committed to securing the border when it sues a state that is simply trying to protect its people by enforcing immigration law.”

The law requires officers, while enforcing other laws, to question a person’s immigration status if there’s areasonable suspicion that they are in the country illegally.

Arizona passed the law after years of frustration over problems associated with illegal immigration, includingdrug trafficking and violent kidnappings. The state is the biggest gateway into the U.S. for illegal immigrants, and is home to an estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants.

Obama addressed the Arizona law in a speech on immigration reform last week. He touched on one of the major concerns of federal officials, that other states were poised to follow Arizona by crafting their own immigration enforcement laws.

“As other states and localities go their own ways, we face the prospect that different rules for immigration will apply in different parts of the country,” Obama said. “A patchwork of local immigration rules where we all know one clear national standard is needed.”

The law makes it a state crime for legal immigrants to not carry their immigration documents and bans day laborers and people who seek their services from blocking traffic on streets.

The law also prohibits government agencies from having policies that restrict the enforcement of federal immigration law and lets Arizonans file lawsuits against agencies that hinder immigration enforcement.

Arizona State University constitutional law professor Paul Bender said the federal government’s involvement throws a lot of weight behind the argument that federal law pre-empts Arizona’s measure.

“It’s important to have the federal government’s view of whether state law is inconsistent with federal law, and they’re the best people to say that,” Bender said.

Kris Kobach, the University of Missouri-Kansas City law professor who helped draft the Arizona law, said he’s not surprised by the Justice Department’s challenge but called it “unprecedented and unnecessary.”

He noted that the law already is being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups opposed to the new statute.

“The issue was already teed up in the courts. There’s no reason for the Justice Department to get involved. The Justice Department doesn’t add anything by bringing their own lawsuit,” Kobach said in an interview.

Reported by LTB, care of AP

Real American Heroes – SJC Americans And Tony & Orrie Brown

Note to my East Coast readers:  In a post such as this I realize you may find local issues different from your own community.  What I wish to portray here is a group of people who love their country, and their community.  They saw things going the wrong direction and fought great odds to make a difference.  The Browns have paid a substantial personal and financial price to make these changes a reality, and to me they are the poster family for “We’re not going to accept wrong-minded leadership.”

I hope you will take time to read the post and visit their site.  I believe you will be as impressed with them as I am.



There’s an obscure quote I read from a few years back from a British Columbia legislator, Leonard Krog, which went something like:
“Leaders aren’t born, they’re developed.  And a true leader is a leader in every area of life…community leadership starts at home.”

It’s a great quote, and in succinct fashion defines where many maladies of todays society begin.  It has become far too fashionable for parents to leave stewardship of their children to teachers and others outside the home.  The same can be said of our political climate.  With the majority of voters practicing apostasy when it comes to the body Politic, it’s no wonder our government has become more covered in weeds than bountiful of harvest.

There are exceptions to this trend, and I had the pleasure of meeting two of them face to face about a month ago over lunch.  Tony and Orrie Brown are citizens who are making a difference in their community.  They are genuine people who love the community they live in, and are the epitome of leadership beginning at home.  Today, I’d like to introduce you to them.

The Browns are long time citizens of southern Orange County, California. Orrie attended school in the same city where they later raised their own children.  A few years ago they began to notice signs of neglect and blight within this quaint community.  They also began to notice that local politicians were not only turning a blind eye to the blight, but were in some cases aiding and abetting its advance for political expediency.  They saw bad signs.  They decided to begin fighting for the home they love.

The Browns and a few others who became interested in joining the fight started a loosely based community group called SJC Americans.  SJC Americans became dedicated to the fight against gangs in their community.  They took on ACORN-esque organizations which were receiving subsidies from city leaders while coaching illegal immigrants how to gain state and county benefits. They fought to better their community.  To change the political climate within their city.  To lead from home.

Along the way, they have been labeled as hateful, bigoted, racist and associated with other words we generally don’t repeat around children.  They have been threatened, publicly humiliated and humbled by their own mistakes.  But they have also been noticed by others who believe in doing the right thing.  And ultimately, they have been successful.  They have influenced local elections, and changed wrong minded policy.  They have achieved success in many of their endeavors.  The Browns feel they and other active citizens have made a difference within their community.  SJC Americans and the Browns have now earned the attention – and in some cases the support – of their city leaders.

These are real American heroes; and great examples of how America was meant to be: hands-on citizenship as defined by “government of the People, by the People and for the People”. To maintain their integrity, SJC Americans accepts no outside funding.  All fliers, signs and publications are paid for by the Browns, and a few other people who regularly contribute time and materials to the cause. SJC Americans does not seek to influence on a state or national level because they believe change is best effected at home.  It’s a good strategy.

Over lunch that Friday we met, I asked Tony what his vision for SJC Americans would be.  He told me of a hope to show others that community-based activism does work.  That through involvement and dedication to right minded causes, individuals can refocus government when it has gone astray.  That even seemingly insurmountable wrongs can be righted – when citizens stand up for their beliefs.  The Browns certainly know it’s not easy, but it can be done.  They hope others will learn of their efforts and perhaps find a way to effect changes in their own communities.

Finer examples of Americans I’ve not known in a long time.

I also invited the Browns to send me periodic updates of SJC American’s activities, and I will post them here, and selected posts to Smash Mouth Politics. We’d all appreciate your readership and comments.

SJC Americans website is: http://site.sjcamericans.com.  They also publish a periodical flier, maintain a website, send email updates of activities and participate in community activities such as city government meetings and local rallies.

I have an video of their July 3, 2010 rally for you enjoyment as well.  We all look forward to your thoughts.