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Arizona Crosses the Line

Posted on Jul 12, 2010
AP / Michael Dwyer

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer speaks to reporters at the annual meeting of the National Governors Association on July 9 in Boston.

By Bill Boyarsky

The news coverage of the Obama administration’s efforts to stop the Arizona immigration law is missing the point by focusing on politics rather than the merits of the federal government’s case.

Politico declared, “The dust from the Department of Justice lawsuit … is just starting to settle, but the reflexive sense among strategists on both sides is that it will be a net negative for Democrats this fall.”

“The federal-state high noon in Arizona is a political powder keg—at least in the short term,” wrote Kiplinger’s Richard Sammon. The headline for The Hill’s story was “Democratic strategists divided on impact of immigration suit.”

Such stories represent what’s wrong with traditional political writing. They avoid dealing with substance. Instead, there are “he said, she said” stories, quoting observers, political hacks and academics, named and unnamed, on the electoral implications of an issue. These stories are easy to do—quick and superficial, qualities highly esteemed in the new journalism.

To understand the constitutional questions raised by the Arizona law and why the federal government went to court to stop it, take a look at the brief supporting the Justice Department lawsuit, which seeks a temporary injunction against the Arizona law. In clear language, it explains the reason for the suit:


Square, Site wide
“In our constitutional system, the power to regulate immigration is exclusively vested in the federal government. The immigration framework set forth by Congress and administered by federal agencies reflects a careful and considered balance of national law enforcement, foreign relations, and humanitarian concerns—concerns that belong to the nation as a whole, not a single state. The Constitution and federal law do not permit the development of a patchwork of state and local immigration policies throughout the country.

“Although a state may adopt regulations that have an indirect or incidental effect on aliens, a state may not establish its own immigration policy or enforce state laws in a manner that interferes with federal immigration law. 

“The State of Arizona has crossed this constitutional line.”

The Justice Department brief also detailed the impact the law would have on people suspected of being in this country illegally.

The Arizona statute law says a law enforcement officer must demand proof of legal residency from anyone he or she stops if the officer suspects the person is an unlawful alien. Although most of those asked for their papers would probably be Latinos, among other potential targets would be a software entrepreneur of Indian descent, an African-American businessman or some white guy who displayed what a cop considered a bad attitude. If a person can’t provide proof of citizenship, the police can jail him or her pending a check of status with the federal government—a process that could take days, weeks or, given bureaucratic red tape, even months.

“The breadth of Arizona’s mandatory immigration verification scheme is unparalleled and serves to exacerbate the conflict with federal law,” the brief said. “The constant threat of police inquisition is not limited to persons who are suspected of serious criminal offenses because [the law] … mandates immigration status inquiries, when practicable, for every lawful stop where there is ‘reasonable suspicion’ of unlawful presence. … Immigration status verifications accordingly are mandated even for suspected minor, non-criminal infractions of state or local law—such as a minor traffic offense, jaywalking, ... failing to have a dog on a leash, ... or riding a bicycle on a sidewalk. …”

The Arizona law, the brief said, “will result in the harassment and incarceration of foreign nationals and lawful residents—and even U.S. citizens who will not have readily available documentation to demonstrate their citizenship.”

The Arizona law is much tougher than United States immigration statutes. Federal law is a complex amalgam of harshness and occasional compassion, such as offering the chance of sanctuary from political oppression and domestic violence. It also allows 90-day stays for tourists and business people.

The Arizona law has just one purpose: to drive from the state those who can’t produce documents showing they are here legally. As the law puts it, “The legislature declares that the intent of this act is to make attrition through enforcement the public policy. …”

In other words, Arizona rejects national immigration law and substitutes its own.

Thomas Saenz, general counsel and president of the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund, which is opposing the Arizona law, said the law is an example of nullification, which holds that a state has the power to prevent the enforcement of federal laws.

The Southern states invoked nullification in the first half of the 19th century in their efforts to preserve slavery. The Civil War ended that effort, and the postwar 14th Amendment required states to provide equal protection of the law to anyone within their borders. But in the mid-20th century Southern governors trying to stop enforcement of Brown v. Board of Education, banning school segregation, revived the nullification doctrine.

Saenz, in a Fourth of July speech at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, Calif., called the Arizona law and copycat versions proposed for other states “a new nullification.”

“These new nullifiers are trying to push our nation backwards,” he said. 

He also said, “If we allowed Arizona to have its own immigration regulations and California to have its own that deviated from Arizona’s and New Mexico to have its own unique set of immigration regulations and New York and every other state, we would cease to be a single nation.”

Federal law recognizes that we are a nation of immigrants and immigration is part of our history and future. Arizona and potential copycat states do not want to recognize this law. That’s the issue in the current immigration fight, and it is more important—and interesting—than speculation over whether it will help or hurt the Democrats or the Republicans.


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BR549's avatar

By BR549, July 16, 2010 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

From Richard Wagner’s and Atilla’s responses, it only seems logical to avoid
BOTH the Democratic and Republican parties. I have no problem with that, my
friends. They have both contributed to this country’s demise. If it were up to
me, tomorrow, I’d march through the Congress and Senate, single them out,
“You, you, you. and you” and they’d get handcuffed, stripped of their pensions,
have their properties and holdings seized, and hope the mobs don’t stone them
before they go to the gas chamber for being a party to all the murders they
have authorized over the years all over the world.

Save for a small handful of politicians with some measure of integrity still
intact, the floor of Congress would look like a near empty auditorium by the
time I got done with it.

As for the whiners, loafers, and parasites, in the population, I hate to say it (or
to sound like a bleeding heart liberal), but much of these people in our culture
were intentionally fostered or totally ignored by those people who were just
rounded up in the previous paragraphs.

The average person really does want to have some self respect, put in a decent
days work, and get paid for it. Not everyone has to become an entrepreneur to
be successful, but Washington has systematically stripped away the average
persons ability to maintain any meaningful level of self respect.

We look at these clowns on TV and they all have the $4,000 perfectly tailored suits. That idiot Boehner (Boner) is one of the first to go. Then Liebermann, and if any of them are feeling left out here, don’t worry, we’ll get around to them sooner or later.
Probably sooner than they’d care to think about.

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By Atilla, July 16, 2010 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment

The founding fathers would roll over in their graves if they could see what their American has become. A nation of whiners, wuzzies, complainers, loafers, illegal immigrants, perverts, dope addicts, socialist apologists, unpatriotic, sheeple. And certainly let’s not leave the out the leeches who, not only depend on handouts from the government for their very existence but have started demanding them from the womb to the tomb. So yeh buddy…if you like what you have today…go out and vote Dimocrat…the producers of this nation will eventually have enough of it.

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By richard wagner, July 16, 2010 at 9:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Never again vote Republican. Their party represents all
that is corrupt and anti American. Do everything in
your power to unseat them and leave them muttering in
their sleep. Unseat their Democrat sympathizers and
when the house and senate have been thoroughly cleaned,
we will have the beginning of a revitalized
America…the country taken back with little or no
blood shed. It can all be done with the simple act of
voting. Band together, and re-create what was given to
us by our founders. They would be proud to see us
fulfill our true destiny.

Report this

By Atilla, July 15, 2010 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment

Hollywood Russ, the Great Society and the summer of love are significantly responsible for the situation we find ourselves in now….Like the song says, “he’s an old hippie and he don’t know what to do”. Don’t feel lonely though Bubba…you got a lot of company in today’s young people. Go ahead and smoke….but you are too old to inhale any more.

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By jean gerard, July 15, 2010 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Secession is for reactionary naifs who dream of some golden impossibility
called unlimited freedom, irresponsible independence, disconnected a-social
anti-community, an absolute individualism irrespective of the pains of others.
You go your way, I’ll go my way, and if you try to go my way I’ll shoot you

It’s called disintegration—and after all those lives lost to get us together in
the first place and to keep us together for a couple hundred years.

“I pledge allegiance to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and to the State in
which I was born.  One of a number of eastern States, divided against each
other, with different codes and regulations, with different rights and privileges,
and no common standards for liberty and justice whatsoever.”

If I want to drive to California, I have to pay 17 different taxes to use 17
different toll roads.  Sheesh!  I don’t even want to go there!!

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Hollywood Russ's avatar

By Hollywood Russ, July 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

BR549 - I don’t think your going to win any points with me by calling my wife an
alcoholic! LOL Yes, I loved Kucinich too, but he’s too far to the left to get elected
anytime soon. I long for the days of the Great Society and the Summer of Love too,
my friend, but I think we need to hold our horses for a little while longer. The GOP
continues to marginalize itself. Soon it and the Tea Party will become one, and the
average American will be sickened. At one point during the FDR Administration,
the Republican presence in the Senate was down to 17. I’m looking forward to that
happening again. l don’t think Americans are as stupid as you do. You may say I’m
a dreamer…


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tropicgirl's avatar

By tropicgirl, July 15, 2010 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

“”“The last time I checked Govenor Jan had done nothing to help Arizona’s
children in urgent need of healtcare”“”

You think someone has? You can’t be referring to the Liar in Chief, whose
representations on the health care bill have been totally dishonest, from rationing
to NOT covering CHILDREN with pre-existing conditions, to abortion.

Far as I know, uninsured children are covered by Medicaid, a federally-
administered program, through the states. OOOHHHH, perhaps that is the

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Artsy's avatar

By Artsy, July 14, 2010 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment

What a bunch of sexists. Focusing on the governor’s appearance makes it obvious that you either have no brains or have nothing valid to offer. It is a shame that “reality” tv seems to have destroyed the minds of so many.

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By Kevin, July 14, 2010 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Moonraven said :  That stringy old bleached blond bigot Brewer should pack HER bags and go back to whatever Eurotrash cesspool her folks came from.She can take her chances there as an illegal immigrant.

I believe that this statement shows the intellectual fortitude of the logically challenged.  It’s the law stupid.  Stop the personal attacks.

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BR549's avatar

By BR549, July 14, 2010 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment

Re:  Hollywood Russ, July 14 at 5:05 pm

“...  crazies out of the woodwork”

“The people, the 80% of us or so who are middle class, have been politically
raped. Yes, that’s very true. I’m disappointed with Obama too, but not enough
to abandon him ..... and vote for ..... the Republican Party”.

“Corporate America already drove down wages when they exported all the
manufacturing jobs to places like Cambodia, etc”


Jeez, I hardly know where to begin here. You sound more like the enabling
husband of an alcoholic wife. She continues to beat the kids, while you look the
other way and no one at church dares say anything to upset the community
applecart. How dysfunctional is that?

There were representatives from each and every party who during the last
election(s) expounded ad nauseam about the pitfalls of NAFTA and GATT, but
since weren’t the anointed ones, the corporate media muscled them off to the
edges of the debate stage. One by one, they were all led off, even though they
were all saying the same thing.

D - Kucinich
R - Paul
G - McKinney
I - Nader
I - Gravel
L - Barr

Cambodia, India, Thailand; these were all test cases to monitor the impact of
gradually shifting the manufacturing base. The real test is currently taking
place, to see if the country’s back can be broken before the peasants have a
chance to do anything about it.

Keep looking at the stars, my friend, because pretty soon you won’t even have
a ceiling for a change of scenery; at least not one you can call your own.

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Hollywood Russ's avatar

By Hollywood Russ, July 14, 2010 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment

I see that my post brought quite a bit of the crazies out of the woodwork and
into the light. On the other hand, each of them make points that can’t be
ignored. REDHORSE encapsulated the nightmare of the CHENEY/bush
administration with concise, poetic imagery. I agree with him on a visceral level.
The people, the 80% of us or so who are middle class, have been politically
raped. Yes, that’s very true. I’m disappointed with Obama too, but not enough
to abandon him and vote for the party of racial profiling, the party of divide and
conquer, the party of HATE, the Republican Party. I believe that 2012 will be a
milestone year in American history. If Republicans take control of all 3 branches
of government again, there will be rioting across the states, in every large city,
and I may be among them. To sit back and let morons, yes, morons like Ron
Paul (screw his M.D. plenty of doctors are morons) and Sarah Palin, who writes
stupid notes on her hand in a scrawl that resembles Charles Manson’s
penmanship. The GOP sucks. It’s the party of the past. They fought Child Labor
Laws, National Parks, anything that is good for the people, ever since Lincoln
was assassinated. tropicgirl - you are crazy. period. Jan, welcome, but you are
wrong. There is nothing on the books remotely like Arizona’s new law here in
California. Mr. Boyarsky is a celebrated author and journalist. And you are?
Cody, if you are going to try that “Oh, the Civil War was about more than just
Slavery” argument, then take it to your junior high civics class. New Yorkers
rioted because they “didn’t want to free slaves.” Uncle Tom’s Cabin was written
by a little lady who started a big war. I share leefeller’s frustration. Stick it out,
man. Things don’t change over night. Cheney didn’t start torturing enemies on
his first day in office. Thanks for the link Fat Freddy. Amazing that Fox News
would air it, but they did. Corporate America already drove down wages when
they exported all the manufacturing jobs to places like Cambodia, etc. They
don’t need a flood of illegals to do that. Immigration is what makes America
strong. The toughest, the smartest, sometimes the meanest, but mostly the
best of the best come to America to take advantage of the rule of law and
comparative prosperity. My wife and I along with another couple were sitting in
the desert under the stars. Economics being what they are, we still have the
highest standard of living in the U.S.A. But keep wringing your hands, it’s the
American way, a time honored tradition and in the words of Voltaire, a thinker-
humanist from France who strongly influenced our founding fathers in their
thinking, “I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death to
defend your right to say it!” THAT’S the American way.

Report this

By REDHORSE, July 14, 2010 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

Immigration, like health care, education, sane drug policy, social security (which they can’t wait to destroy), the financial fiasco, ANY AND ALL OF THE “—I just can’t wait to be shocked-who would think they’d do something like that, again—” ISSUES DISCUSSED HERE AT TRUTHDIG, are the continued “corporate bitch slap” intended to let you know you’re powerless and keep you afraid, hopeless, reeling and off center. Swine in silk, is still swine. PLEASE STOP projecting your decency, belief in American ideals and a progressive sucessfull American future on hogs!!

      Think I’m crazy? Well, I am, but I still remember the fascist Republican darkness that bankrupted us and the goose stepping little Bush boy who dressed up in daddy’s clothes, sat on Cheney’s knee, and screamed totalitarianism to the top of his lungs. I also remember, the sense of national unity we felt when we overturned the Republican Congress, and again experienced when we elected that cute Wall Street shill, President O.——Remember HOPE??

      The megalomaniacal psychopathic narcissist lives off the life force of others. They are what supernatural fiction calls a vampire. (Notice how popular vampires are in todays American psychic reality?)—-Here it comes, try to stay with me.—The vampire seduces his/her victim by first, robing itself in the beauty and power of its’ victims and then, turns them into the living dead.

      Did it not take our homes, jobs, industry, childrens future and the power of thought and education. How about those bank fees? Still paying that 30% credit card interest? What happened to the greatest economy in the world? Free elections?—-It was all aspects of the power you once possessed. Now,—-you are possessed.

      You are so in shock and disoriented from your recent political rape and betrayal that you clutch at the intellectual journalistic straws proffered by the MSM and drink at the neurotic well of hate and despair which pools at the bottom of the electronic well.

      Evil has come. Only American unity will remove it. They are shape shifters and skin walkers. Light is their enemy. TAKE YOUR POWER BACK!!

      Begin by accepting, that both yourself, and the poor Mexican “illegal”, are victims of insane pstchopathic thugs. When you allow exploitation of the weak, you ensure your own.


Report this

By Atilla, July 14, 2010 at 7:56 am Link to this comment

Hollywood Russ:

There seems me that you doth protest way too much about the possibility of “racial profiling” in making stops in AZ even though the law specifically prohibits it. If it happens, and can be proved, then start squalling. However; please chew on this for a while:

One man’s racial profiling, is another man’s common sense.

Report this

By Atilla, July 14, 2010 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

Hollywood Russ:

If the federal government is best equipped to deal with immigration, legal and illegal, why in hell are they doing absolutely nothing.? I’ll tell you why; politics plain and simple. The Dims want all of the illegals made legal because they know that since they are the party of providing monetary and other aid to those “who need it” they will get their votes. The Dimocrat party is despicable.

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BR549's avatar

By BR549, July 14, 2010 at 4:48 am Link to this comment

Hollywood Russ,

You’re, of course, assuming that the supreme court and the Obama
Administration are arguing in good faith, which they are not. This is a partisan
political issue, flat and simple. If you had bothered to read 1070, it would
become immediately apparent. And had you been following troop
deployments, you would have seen that we are expanding OUR global troop
saturation to both train or soldiers in urban warfare and enforcement, while at
the same time training thousands of other countries’ UN based troops to be
present just in case something goes wrong with the elitists’ timetable.

OF COURSE Obama wasn’t going to enforce even the current immigration
policy. If he had at least been doing that, we wouldn’t be here discussing this.
But since Bush41, every president and the Congress have systematically
avoided addressing the issue ....... because it conflicts with globalist plans for
removing all borders and putting in a police state.

So, keep thinking that way and in the near future I’m sure you’ll be the first
one scratching his head wondering what the hell happened and why didn’y they
see this coming.

Arizona crossed the line alright; they came out of the freakin’ darkness and
saw the light of reality.

Report this

By stevador39, July 13, 2010 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Federal government has not used its power to control illegal immigration.  Obviously, the states will have to.

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By AmishEcstasy, July 13, 2010 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well Hollywood Russ The last time I checked we were a Republic and NOT a democracy. A nation built on the rule of law. However Canada and most countries in Europe that HAVE a democratic form of government demand the foreign nationals carry some form of documentation.Is that SO bad?My point is NO other country has the open borders like we have.I would imagine you like myself are the ancestor of immigrants who came to this country legally. I find it very hypocritical to hear the so called leaders of our country trying to justify two wars in third world countries half way around the world in the name of national security while millions of illegal immigrants pour across our borders unchecked.

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Peter Knopfler's avatar

By Peter Knopfler, July 13, 2010 at 5:17 pm Link to this comment

Obama is a big bluff artist,
yes 10 ammendment and
the 2nd to back it up.
ARIZONA challenge Obama agressively and watch him back down just like He did with Israel.
All is for show stall for next election.
Baskertball brain remember screens, give and go, kill the clock.
Time the only real whitness! HA HA! What a laugh watching the State devour the Feds!

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Hollywood Russ's avatar

By Hollywood Russ, July 13, 2010 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

Dear AmishEcstasy,

Did that fact that America is a democracy float across your mind, as you
compared it to the vast array of states and nations that comprise Mexico,
Central and South America? We are a nation of hand wringers and always have
been. Where else but the U.S. would the citizenry experiment with alcohol
prohibition, or still be hashing out what to do about abortion? Arizona’s
legislature spewed a draconian law to deal with immigration policy. The debate
that this move has engendered, in my humble opinion, just shows how deeply
ingrained in the American psyche is the need to be “fair.”

That’s the thing that pisses me off the most about the Cheney/Bush legacy.
Somehow, America became the standard bearer for torture and imperialism.
America is about liberty and justice for all! So let’s hash out a policy that is just
and fair to American citizens and to those who yearn to be free. Let’s cast aside
the past decade of abusive tirades and return to our roots of open hearted
debate that is based on the issues, not personal slights or insults.

Every state in the Union is effected by immigration policy, not just the border
states along the South (California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas). The
diaspora of Spanish and Portuguese speakers from Latin America has reached
states like Alabama and Delaware. Illegal immigrants enter every port in this
country now. Don’t try and say it is a regional problem. It’s not. It’s a national
problem and the federal government is best equipped to deal with it.—Russ

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By Rudolfo, July 13, 2010 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

Catch them. Deport them.  The people will rise up to smash Zionist stooges like Obama.

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By Justin Weleski, July 13, 2010 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Our nation’s appalling immigration problem has been able to persist because it
is exactly what Big Business wants: cheap, expendable labor with little to no
workplace rights.  If the workforce gets out of line, simply report them to the
authorities and ship them out of the country.  With the threat of deportation
constantly hanging over their heads, the illegal migrant workforce will accept
the few crumbs that get thrown their way with a smile on their face (particularly
when “home” is in the midst of a brutal and murderous drug war.

If you want to eliminate the illegal immigration problem, you need to fine and
sanction businesses.  Start with a minor slap on the wrist (everyone makes
mistakes, right?) and then steeply increase the fine/sanction with each
subsequent offense.  Based on the nature and number of these violations, a
business could eventually get shut down permanently.  We could even institute
a point-based system (e.g., if you reach 100 points, your business is shut
down and your own is fined/jailed) so that businesses could closely track their
violations and implement the necessary reforms/safeguards to end the

You *NEED* to target businesses in order to end the illegal immigration
problem.  So long as there is a shiny pot of gold awaiting illegal immigrants,
they will continue to pour across the border (regardless of how many walls we
erect and how many border patrol agents we hire).

Justin Weleski

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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By AmishEcstasy, July 13, 2010 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Someone please tell me in what other country on this planet could you run around illegally like people do in this country? Do you believe for one minute if you were caught in Mexico or some other Central or South American country without proper documentation you wouldn’t be thrown in prison or deported? I’ve got news for most of illegal alien proponents. US citizens now need a Passport to enter Canada.Is anyone protesting that move ? And wasn’t NAFTA supposed to fix all of this? Show me someone who thinks illegal aliens should receive anmesty and I’ll show someone who doesn’t live ANYWHERE near the problem !

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Hollywood Russ's avatar

By Hollywood Russ, July 13, 2010 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

Agreed with Hammond Eggs and JDMysticDJ! It’s something like the Portrait of
Dorian Grey. Except the portrait stayed young and she turned into the evil, mean-
sprited demagogue of the Right wing-nuts. Just screw it a little tighter, Jan! Funny
how nobody so far has address the CONSTITUTIONAL shortcomings of this law
except yours truly. It’s a bad law. Under normal circumstance with a Supreme
Court run by constitutionalists, rather than right wing-nuts, SCOTUS would have
acted immediately to strike it down. Such a sad state that SCOTUS is in. Well, we
have them to thank for the 8 year national nightmare that was the Bush/Cheney,
excuse me, I mean CHENEY/bush Administration. Before November, we need to
enact legislation that will counteract the harm done by their “free speech”
decision; that is, money = speech.

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JDmysticDJ's avatar

By JDmysticDJ, July 13, 2010 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

Jan Brewer has long been a typical right wing ideologue, un-caring and mean spirited, but no elaboration is necessary. The picture included with this article says it all. As they say, a picture is worth more than 4000 characters.

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By Hammond Eggs, July 13, 2010 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment

Brewer looks like the Madam of a whorehouse in a neighboring state.

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By REDHORSE, July 13, 2010 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

I’m not happy about the Arizona law but, I understand why it was passed. I appreciate CARLS “labor post”. The American “illegals” issue benefits those who want cheap labor and the destruction of labor unions. Mexico’s financial failure is the result of Clintons NAFTA program and the impact of our so called Drug War on Mexican financial politics. American Federal nor Mexican politicos care two cents worth about the economic effects of the crisis or the poor Mexicans and Americans caught in its’ catastrophe. Indeed, IT IS the capitalist intent, to reduce American wage labor and living standards, to that of Communist China and other exploitative governments. “Tweet Jebus”, look at Detroit, Pittsberg, New Orleans or, the crisis in the Gulf.——-Gutted.

      Mexican drug cartels now control Mexican politics and openly murder viable political candidates. The death toll for border violence is the statistical equivalent of war. Phoenix is second only to Mexico City in for profit kidnapping. Human trafficking (slavery) and the sex trade are growing concerns. Violent blowback, organized gang crime and financial strain from the problem affects every state in the Union. The cartels have established armed pot operations in our National Forests. The money is huge and our Washington thugs have their fingers in the pie. Bank of America and the like now knowingly launder cartel money. Christ, what would happen if our middle eastern terrorist friends placed armed camps on American soil? It’s a rich boys club, they’re all gettin’ some ($$$$$) and they’ll kill you out of hand if you get in the way. We ignore Mexican drug corruption and U.S. government thugs who profit from it the same way we choose to belive the heroin trade in Afghanistan has nothing to do with us or the C.I.A. involvement in the VietNam era Golden Triangle wasn’t happening. Remember Ollie North and the CONTRA’S. Good Republicans all!!

      You don’t have sane drug laws or immigration policy for the same reason you don’t have sane health care. It’s the $$$$$$!!!

      Nobody likes to mention the world explosion of population, GCC and the failure of natural resources that will begin mid-century and the millions of starving refugees who will be forced north as equatorial resources fail. Our borders will be mined and arrest will be the least of an “illegals” problems.

      We all want to believe that the boys/girls in D.C. are just asleep at the wheel and the problem can be fixed. Wrong!! They are in over their heads with world cut throats a lot smarter than they are. They are desperately trying to cut a deal to save themselves by dealing away our lives, wealth, nation and future. Here’s your reality check!! They spout belief in competent free enterprise but destroyed the greatest economy in the world. YOU had to go bankrupt and lose your home to save THEM!! Of course, the purpose of many of our journalistic friends is to distract us while the people who they work for continue the destruction. We’ll survive, but it won’t be because of any help from Washington.

      The bottom line for this discussion is simple. We have effective Federal Immigration Law on the books. Why isn’t it being enforced and who benefits and, who loses because it isn’t?  As in every other issue discussed on this site: THEIR CORRUPT INCOMPETENT ASSES WIN—YOUR HARD WORKING ASS AND YOUR CHILDRENS FUTURE LOSE.

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By NABNYC, July 13, 2010 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

I disagree with this analysis.  Essentially the author is saying that there is an argument of preemption that can be raised to challenge the Arizona law.  And there is an argument that the law likely will be applied in a racially-biased manner.  The fact that there are arguments that can be raised does not mandate filing a lawsuit.  When we think of the issues destroying this country, I would respectfully suggest that the AJ’s thought process of which suits to file is faulty.  First, the AJ will devote national energies to trying to bust up Steve and Ken’s wedding and support the DOMA.  Honestly.  Second, this case.

Contrary to your statements, this is not a clear case on either ground.  First, case law acknowledges that states may pass and enforce laws based on state-level concerns, and that is not considered to violate any preemption claim.  As I recall, Arizona’s law is based upon the local concern of trespass.  They have decided that anyone not legally present in their state (and country) is trespassing.  I think they may succeed on the preemption claim.

As far as the racially-suspect claim, this is the type of case that should not have been brought in advance of the law’s enforcement.  The better move would have been to wait a few months, gather information, see how it is enforced, then decide if it is being enforced in a racially-suspect or prohibited manner.  I say “prohibited” because if the INS was trying to intercept Mexicans illegally crossing the border, no one would suggest they are obligated to ignore racial and language characteristics in deciding who to question.  We can’t get too carried away with this. 

We shall see how it is enforced.  But in advance, to say that on its face it would be impossible for it to be enforced other than by violating the constitution, I disagree.

An equally important issue is that illegal immigrants have no constitutional rights, according to case law, other than due process before deportation—the right to a hearing.  Illegal immigrants cannot raise a racial-bias constitutional claim.  Only legal residents could do that.  The issue for them will be to show that any questioning of them constituted an illegal arrest or a legal violation.  We all have been stopped and questioned by the police at different times.  It may make you uncomfortable, but they’re allowed to do it under well-established case law.  So I’m not sure who your complainant will be in this aspect of the case. 

As for the politics, the national government is charged with the responsibility to represent the lawful residents of this country.  Period.  It is not their place to devote energies to passing laws to help Mexicans.  If they want to represent Mexicans, they should move to Mexico.  Our government cannot provide a rational basis for changing our laws and allowing businesses to import unlimited foreign workers, so they go the indirect route by ignoring the borders then periodically granting amnesty.

I’ve got a better idea:  help the people of this country, the citizens, the voters.  We need jobs, school funding, health care, we need the wars ended, we need Wall Street busted up. 

The focus on the non-existent “rights” of illegal immigrants is a really stupid move by the Democrats, one I suspect designed to increase the bribes from the Chamber of Commerce, a business group pushing for amnesty and a change in the laws to allow unlimited import of foreign workers.

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By wildflower, July 13, 2010 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

Re Tropicgirl” “Lots of us admire you, Jan. You’re the only one doing anything to stop the killing.”

Say what? The last time I checked Govenor Jan had done nothing to help Arizona’s children in urgent need of healtcare, but maybe the lives of children don’t count in Governor Jan’s and/or your world.

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By Hollywood Russ, July 13, 2010 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

The Arizona law is crosses the line on the Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the
U.S. Constitution. Probable cause for searches is based on skin color. (4th) and
“oath and affirmation” sounds like an alarm bell for informants to operate in
this new Nazi state where one must be forced to show their “papers,” to a
cop/gestapo on demand. I thought we were supposed to be secure in our
papers, and other possessions! So probable cause and oath = racial profiling
and lots of snitching. 5th Amendment is all about “due process of law.” That
means everybody should be treated equally, but if I get a break because of my
fair skin and blue eyes, while my friends with brown skin and brown eyes get a
shake down, that’s not due process, again it is racial profiling. No, no, no! But
the current makeup of SCOTUS seems ready, willing and able to shred the
Constitution into its bitsy pieces. Don’t get me wrong. There is a lot about
immigration that pisses me off. A woman working at the U.S. Post Office didn’t
realize that Alaska was part of the U.S. the other day. She was clearly an
immigrant. She made it clear that U.S. history was the least interesting thing in
the world to her. When I started talking about Seward’s Folly, she cut me off and
said sarcastically, “Well, you’re just full of information, aren’t you?” The Arizona
law feeds that anger and frustration I felt at that moment. It caters the lowest
denominator, rather than appeal to the better angels of our nature, to
paraphrase the Great Abraham Lincoln.

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By Carl, July 13, 2010 at 9:11 am Link to this comment

Read Part I below first.

Immigration Reform is Amnesty - Part II

Let me propose a simple solution to many of America’s problems. A national ID, which we already have, its called a passport. In Europe, you can’t even get a hotel room without showing your passport. Just pass a law saying people must show their passport or alien “green” card, which the employer can verify with E-verify. They can use the Internet to check within seconds, so that is no real burden. Employers need to verify the identity of job applicants anyway, to prevent fraud and theft. Bush, Obama and most other corporate sponsored politicians oppose E-verify, claiming “it doesn’t work” or “its a burden.” They promise to discuss improving border security and employer compliance, but only if their main demand is enacted first—amnesty.

Amnesty would result in another national disaster. First, it would require billions of dollars to process the 30 million applicants. Yes, 30 million, because the 20 million illegals here now have no passport with a entry date stamp, and they can’t be interviewed in one day. Congress would have to allow at least two years to apply, so all deportations would halt, including anyone caught crossing the border who claims they live here and were just returning from a visit. Meanwhile, another 10 million illegals would surge into the USA within two years from everywhere to secure their visa. After each application is accepted, they are now here legally, so off to the welfare office to sign up for everything poor Americans deserve. Keep in mind that most illegals are children, non-working mothers, disabled, elderly or unemployed, and they need help! Millions more will pour across the border in the future knowing that a third amnesty is likely.

Employers would be thrilled that dozens more desperate foreigners show up every day seeking work, even for minimum wage. Who would another amnesty hurt most? The American worker, mostly the poor and especially minorities. Even upper middle class workers would be hurt because taxes must soar to accommodate the expansion of social services for this surge of foreign refugees. More schools, more roads, more hospitals, more police, and more jails. Most Americans agree amnesty is wrong, but many have been browbeaten by the corporate media into silence with one word—racist. If you discuss these things, its not because you care about the USA or America’s poor, its because you are a RACIST!  So shut up and allow the flood of cheap labor to pour across our borders to drive down wages and maximize corporate profits. Just ask Lou Dobbs, who is married to a lady from Mexico, what happens to famous commentators who step out of line and openly oppose mass illegal immigration.

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By Carl, July 13, 2010 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

This is from a pro-worker website. Truthdig will never publish such logic, lest their corporate donors object.

Immigration Reform is Amnesty - Part I

A key goal of the billionaires who control the USA is to push through another amnesty to encourage more mass illegal immigration to the USA. They did this successfully in 1986 with President Reagan’s promise that it would solve the illegal immigrant problem and that tighter border enforcement and employer sanctions would stop the flood. They lied, and another 20 million illegals have pushed across, driving down wages and overwhelming cities with poor, desperate economic refugees. Note that those who cross the USA border illegally are called “illegales” in Mexico, an accurate word that was adopted into English. They are not “undocumented.” They are not animals, they have documents, just not the ones needed for legal entry and work in the USA.

Driving down wages is a key goal of corporate America, whose executives believe this is needed to remain profitable in face of “free trade” with slave labor nations, like China and India. This is clearly expressed by their official political organization, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. With unemployment at over 20%, their political position on this issue remains:

“Continue to push for comprehensive immigration reform that:  increases security; has an earned pathway to legalization for undocumented workers already contributing to our economy, provided that they are law-abiding and prepared to embrace the obligations and values of our society; creates a carefully monitored guest or essential worker program to fill the growing gaps in America’s workforce recognizing that, in some cases, permanent immigrants will be needed to fill these gaps; and refrains from unduly burdening employers with worker verification systems that are underfunded or unworkable.”

They know that another “amnesty” is politically impossible, so they call it “reform” that allows amnesty. Since illegals have broken our laws, none are “law-abiding” and certainly don’t deserve visas ahead the millions of foreigners who have properly applied, paid fees, taken physicals, and waited for years for their quote number. The Chamber of Commerce continues the absurd argument about a “gap” in America’s workforce. Congressmen brag that the USA is the greatest nation on Earth with the best educational system, so why must we import millions of “skilled” workers? If the nation truly suffers a shortage of skilled workers, true patriots and progressives would demand training programs needed to produce skilled workers from our unemployed. If employers are unable to find workers for difficult low-paying jobs, they need to obey the law of supply and demand and offer higher wages.

Finally, the federal government recently developed a simple and accurate worker identification system called E-verify, but its use is voluntary. It simply checks if a Social Security number is valid and that it matches the last name and date of birth. Problems have been reported with the system. But the only problems are complaints from illegals who insist their bogus IDs are valid.

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By Carl, July 13, 2010 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

This is absurd. Arizona is not setting immigration policy. It just instructs its officers to help enforce it, just like drug laws and all the others. This is really a fight between democracy and the imperial masters in DC. The citizens are revolting, squash them!

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By Jan Keiderling, July 13, 2010 at 8:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Today was my first visit to your site. I was really dismayed to read Mr. Boyersky’s totally untrue comments on the Arizona immigration law. It sounded like canned rhetorical propaganda from the administration! Mark Levin, attorney with the Reagan administration, best selling author, and conservative radio talk show host, has researched the law and stated that California and Missouri have had very simular laws on the books for quite a while. The Arizona law was very carefully crafted so as not to be in conflict with Federal law.
How did this article get published?

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By tropicgirl, July 13, 2010 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

The Feds will have NO power if we simple cut off their money and kick them out
of our states. Simple.

Then send in the troops and we will see where we are at with O-Stupid’s New
World Order. If that is what he wants, then maybe we should see what will
happen, at this point. From ruining our environment to ruining our economy,
for the world banks, this administration proves over and over again that his
brand of socialism is dangerous, incompetent, deadly.

FOR ALL. I don’t think they expect to win or EVEN CARE TO WIN. They just need
the coyote money to keep flowing. Even if it takes down the entire party. THEY
DO NOT CARE. Neither does Boyarsky. Another Weisel, or Weigel, sorry. Lies to
the left of us, lies to the right of us. Stuck in the middle with the BIG LIE.

I’d rather have a lawmaker who is truly concerned about the people, than a
fake who plays too much golf and a Cinderella with a million pairs of big, fat,
expensive, Depression shoes. The Obama brand is dead and so is the
progressive brand. And the Democrat brand also, thanks to the King of False

Lots of us admire you, Jan. You’re the only one doing anything to stop the

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By AmishEcstasy, July 13, 2010 at 6:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lot’s of comments about Gov Brewer’s appearance. Not so many about people entering our country illegally. It makes me believe her critics have run out of arguments

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By Tobysgirl, July 13, 2010 at 6:01 am Link to this comment

I don’t like commenting on women’s personal appearance, but really! She looks like a disinterred corpse, partially rotted.

For general information, I believe Germany still has blood citizenship. The only other country I am aware of that has it is Israel. This mean that I could technically return to the country from which at least a couple of my ancestors emigrated during the 1750s (one maternal, one paternal, both shipping out on The Two Brothers from Hamburg), if I am able to PROVE I have German blood.

Unbelievable. I find the concept of blood citizenship barbaric. All this stuff reminds me of Hannah Arendt’s idea that the rise of totalitarianism in Europe had a lot to do with all the “displaced persons” created by WWI. “I’m a REAL German!” “I’m a REAL Frenchman!” Kind of sounds a whole lot like the U.S.A., except exactly WHO is a REAL American?

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By wildflower, July 13, 2010 at 6:00 am Link to this comment

Wonder if Arizona’s Gov Jan Brewer has papers to show she is legally blond?

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By cwbystache, July 13, 2010 at 5:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We would “cease to be a single nation”?  My reaction to that is, “well that could only benefit the greater world!” even though I have come to despise Arizona, my home, over this issue and plan to enact my own extreme boycott by moving out of this irredeemable State.

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By Fat Freddy, July 13, 2010 at 4:34 am Link to this comment

A staunch defender of state sovereignty, Fox News Senior Analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano:

Arizona Statute is UnConstitutional

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By AmishEcstasy, July 12, 2010 at 11:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ive always seem to notice there are two kinds of people opposed to Arizona’s immigration policy
A. The people who profit from hiring illegal aliens or
B   The people who live nowhere near the problem

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By Leefeller, July 12, 2010 at 10:09 pm Link to this comment

All of a sudden the Constitution means something? Lets see
bile outs, wars, lobbyists, no jobs, unemployment seems a
tad high, miners killed, the Gulf made into an oil slick.
I can carry my gun into church, Corporations are people
too, seems like Palin has already become president!

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By Cody, July 12, 2010 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

NO, the feds do not have sole power regarding immigration.. read the tenth amendment.  The constitution merely grants them jurisdiction over the method of NATURALIZATION, which is different than immigration.
The 10th reserves immigration to the states.

“The Southern states invoked nullification in the first half of the 19th century in their efforts to preserve slavery.”  This is a very misleading statement.  The civil war was not merely about slavery, but about a state’s right to exit a constitution they entered when the other party breaks contract.
Further, tying nullification to slavery is intellectually dishonest.  Nullification is a crucial foundational block for the original American idea, and the essence of states’ rights in what is supposed to be a group of united states—it can be used for bad causes just as it can good.  Nullification was also invoked in moral resistance to the fugitive slave act, which forced Northerners to return slaves to their “owners” in the South.  It was invoked against child military service.  It was invoked against the curtailment of free speech in the Alien and Sedition Acts.

You really want to dig behind the headlines?  The truth of the matter is that nullification is the way to fight back against tyrannical government in DC, and is a legitimate legal action that has been VERY successful on the left and the right (medical marijuana, for example).  Strong states that stand up for their citizens’ rights—rights which the people never gave away to the Feds—are going to be a crucial guarantor for our liberties going forward.

But don’t take my word for it.. if you doubt the nullification is an American idea independent from the derisive attempts to irrevocably attach its name to slavery, check out

You see this side all over the media crying racism and backwards thinking—check out the arguments of the opposing viewpoint, and make up your own mind.

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By moonravenisdumb, July 12, 2010 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

moonraven that made no sense.  you are mad at Brewer for doing something that potentially harasses illegal immigrants….and then you want her to be an illegal immigrant somewhere?....but for the same reason you are trying to defend illegal immigrants?

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By moonraven, July 12, 2010 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment

That stringy old bleached blond bigot Brewer should pack HER bags and go back to whatever Eurotrash cesspool her folks came from.

She can take her chances there as an illegal immigrant.

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By jean gerard, July 12, 2010 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama was elected by Democrats and other sympathizers on typical
Democratic issues:  To get out of present unpopular, expensive and illegal wars
of exploitation, to improve public health care, to control excessive corporate
robbery and Wall Street gambling, and to do something meaningful to curb
global warming—all problems about which Republicans couldn’t care less.

Obama is our first President from the historically “second-class” Black race,
called African-American (as opposed to the vaunted but frequently criminal
“white” race).

Republicans would do almost anything to defeat Obama and the Democrats,
not only on the race issue but on the social agenda issues (welfare, education,
medical care for all, etc. etc.)  Republicans by nature tend toward
“exclusionism.” As exclusionists, they tend to resist immigration from Mexico,
especially when the issue can be linked with “the drug war”, and/or to
historically non-Protestant, religiously “loaded” issues.

One tactic that may succeed for Republicans is to frustrate all policies which
Obama approves, not on the basis of merit but on the basis of “defeat Obama.”
Enough of a majority of Americans are ignorant enough not to recognize
subversive tactics like this.

The ultimate subversion is state-by-state movements to secede, to disunify, to
play the abused child of the over-powerful Big Daddy Government.  Armed
revolt is just under the surface in this strategy as a silent persuader.

Using “terrorism” to keep “fear of non-whites” running high augments efforts
to sustain the perceived-to-be necessary “power” of force and violence,  and
prevents the majority of people from being able to think straight.

The need for people to discuss some of these under-cover issues is obvious,
but there are apparently no or too few venues for such discussion. Without
awareness of what is happening the people perish.

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