*If you're following this discussion from Facebook, welcome. Normally we talk about fun things like stereo equipment, music and cat litter. Well, at least I think those are fun topics, and I'm the one doing most of the typing around here.*
Okay, seeing that I have violated my own posting rules on politics and attracted an all-time high number of personal messages, some quite irate, (this discussion should be on my very quiet blog, it could use the traffic) I'll explain my original point. Of course I am no lawyer. But if only lawyers can understand the laws governing our conduct, we're in bigger trouble than we think, so I'll take a shot at muddling through. Prepare to be confused.
My question was originally a purely legal one, which is why you may have had difficulty discerning my "position," Anne. The Supremacy clause holds that the US Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and trumps all state law (this includes Federal regulations, but unless you want to read streams of profanity, let's not get me started on that). So, given that under 8 U.S.C., it is the Federal government which regulates naturalization and immigration (if things were left to states, when the Sabres lost to Ottawa in the playoffs, Canadians wouldn't have been able to get home from the game in anything like a timely fashion), a challenge resulting in SB1070 being found unconstitutional seemed inevitable (see Pennsylvania v. Nelson 350 U.S. 497 1956, for example).
So what's the deal in Arizona? Don't they know this is all for nothing? The various people who believe that all of the creators of SB1070 are ignorant, NAZI, White-supremacist, cowboy-rednecks, aside from hurling rocks from inside their own glass living rooms, are displaying a good deal of intellectual laziness. Sure, there are some individuals with racial motivations, good luck finding legislation or legislators in any state, or town anywhere where that isn't the case. Ignore that for a second. What if the writers of SB1070 were trying to address a legitimate complaint without issuing ranchers an open season most-dangerous game license? What if the Federal government abdicates its Constitutional responsibility to the detriment of a state's residents? What recourse does a state have?
Under 8 U.S.C. sec. 1252c, a state may arrest and detain someone illegally in the country IF that person has previously been convicted of a felony in the United States and deported or left the United States after such a conviction. The state still has to clear the individual's status with the Feds. But SB1070 is going a step farther than that and as I read it, essentially setting up Arizona law enforcement to assist in the enforcement of Federal laws, at least SB1070 is written carefully enough that a novice like myself can interpret that out of it with not-too careful reading. I think that Arizona will probably rely upon the Decanas v. Bica decision which upheld a state's police power to regulate the hiring of Illegals, in order to force the Federal government to enumerate the ways in which SB1070 interferes with Federal policy. That was my original question- will the current administration betray its hand in the course of the litigation? This can play out a few different ways, depending on how accurately or inaccurately the White House has judged public sentiment on the issue. I think the language of the government's argument could do more than not to further the cause of those who see the issues occurring in Arizona and other parts of the country as a serious problem that will not be solved by amnesty or amnesty-light. The victorious suit will backfire, in other words.
As for my personal opinion, which is of course meaningless, I recognize Kathleen's points. James and I were once detained on the Jersey Turnpike because we and the vehicle we were in (a red Toyota pickup) met the profile of alleged drug-traffickers. A very young NJ trooper asked me a whole slew of very foolish questions after making me partially unload the bed of the truck. I was unhappy to put my speakers on the side of the road (Klipsch KG2s!) He demanded to know what I studied in school, and when I said French, he demanded I say something in French. Weighing my options, I chose not to indignantly invoke my Constitutional rights and instead responded: "Va te faire foutre" or something to that effect. He had no clue, but got much nicer after that, which is funny. I am very glad I had ID with me at the time or it would have been a very long day. It is also my opinion that immigration as a whole has been a disastrous failure at the foreign policy level, causing ordinary people in Mexico and the US alike to suffer because of the influence of special interests and the duplicitousness of government. I am not giving the Mexican government a pass on this one either. I think it's pretty unlikely Dennis would be detained even for as long as I was by that NJ trooper coming out of a 7-11, and were he to be I would volunteer to work on the pro se case against Suffolk County that would ultimately pay for Jaden's college tuition. There are so many horrible things happening as a result of the current status quo however, that I am willing to see a few Slurpees spilled if it means an end to human trafficking, for example. And now I will go back to putting music lyrics and thinly-veiled innuendo on my Facebook page.