(EDITED TO ADD: See the update at the foot of the article.)
I note that yesterday, after the Supreme Court upheld a core component of Arizona's anti-illegal-immigrant legislation (while striking down most of it), the Obama administration appeared to retaliate against the state.
The Obama administration said Monday it is suspending existing agreements with Arizona police over enforcement of federal immigration laws, and said it has issued a directive telling federal authorities to decline many of the calls reporting illegal immigrants that the Homeland Security Department may get from Arizona police.
Administration officials, speaking on condition they not be named, told reporters they expect to see an increase in the number of calls they get from Arizona police — but that won’t change President Obama’s decision to limit whom the government actually tries to detain and deport.
“We will not be issuing detainers on individuals unless they clearly meet our defined priorities,” one official said in a telephone briefing.
. . .
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Arizona may not impose its own penalties for immigration violations, but it said state and local police could check the legal status of those they have reasonable suspicion to believe are in the country illegally.
That means police statewide can immediately begin calling to check immigration status — but federal officials are likely to reject most of those calls.
Federal officials said they’ll still perform the checks as required by law but will respond only when someone has a felony conviction on his or her record. Absent that, ICE will tell the local police to release the person.
There's more at the link.
This is merely the latest expression of contempt by the Obama administration for the rule of law. Don't like a Supreme Court decision? Withhold the Federal law enforcement assistance needed to implement it. Don't like an entirely legitimate Congressional inquiry into a program that's caused the death of at least two federal law enforcement officers and over three hundred people in Mexico? Slap an 'executive privilege' stamp on critical documents and refuse to hand them over. Need votes? Appease part of the electorate by implementing a de facto amnesty for certain illegal immigrants by instructing a Federal law enforcement agency not to apply certain laws that affect them. Want to please your union backers? Award the unions almost everything they ask for whilst victimizing other stakeholders in a massive bailout program.
I'm beginning to wonder how to distinguish the Obama administration from a gang of white-collar criminals. The RICO statute certainly appears relevant to both organizations! On the other hand, the same could be said for many other administrations from both parties. I fear neither Democrats nor Republican occupants of the White House can be trusted to always put the nation's interests ahead of their own partisan political positions. Unfortunately, that means we all lose.
EDITED TO ADD: Jim March added a very interesting comment to this post. I've known Jim online for many years. He's a solid citizen, and has a long track record of fighting for voting rights and against electoral manipulation. He's provided a completely different perspective on the Arizona issue, which is new to me (and, I'm sure, to many outside Arizona). I honestly don't know if he's right, particularly because his perspective hasn't been documented by many of the sources I trust and respect: but I do trust and respect Jim. If he says this, I'm willing to listen. Here's a sample of what he has to say (I've added links to the names for more information).
There is a major trend towards anti-Latino racism in Arizona law enforcement. It comes from the top - meaning Joe Arpaio (aka "the waddling civil rights violation"), AG Tom Horne (previously banned from the stock market for life) and former top legislator (Senate Majority Leader) Russell Pearce.
Pearce is...extra special, even by AZ standards. He was recently recalled and fired from the legislature by popular vote. Why? He was Mormon and represented a strongly Mormon area (Mesa, a very right-leaning suburb of Phoenix). Pierce brought his best friend into the Mormon church, a guy name of JT Ready. He then got Ready promoted to Elder. And then the Mormon leadership in that area found out Ready was a full-on Nazi - I mean complete with wearing swastikas, stiff-armed salutes, the whole nine yards. So the Mormons abandoned Pierce and sided with the "lefties" doing the recall drive...weirdest political alliance EVER.
There's much more in Jim's comment. Go read, and judge for yourself. If other AZ residents or those knowledgable about it will please add their views in Comments, I'll be grateful for your input.
Peter, I'm sorry but you don't know what's going on around here and are speaking from ignorance.
There is a major trend towards anti-Latino racism in Arizona law enforcement. It comes from the top - meaning Joe Arpaio (aka "the waddling civil rights violation"), AG Tom Horne (previously banned from the stock market for life) and former top legislator (Senate Majority Leader) Russell Pierce.
Pierce is...extra special, even by AZ standards. He was recently recalled and fired from the legislature by popular vote. Why? He was Mormon and represented a strongly Mormon area (Mesa, a very right-leaning suburb of Phoenix). Pierce brought his best friend into the Mormon church, a guy name of JT Ready. He then got Ready promoted to Elder. And then the Mormon leadership in that area found out Ready was a full-on Nazi - I mean complete with wearing swasticas, stiff-armed salutes, the whole nine yards. So the Mormons abandoned Pierce and sided with the "lefties" doing the recall drive...weirdest political alliance EVER.
A few months after the Pierce recall the bad PR seems to have driven Ready to a murderous rampage within his own family, after which he (thankfully) killed himself.
Back to Arpaio, one of Pierce's strongest political allies. Sheriff Arpaio at one point had almost 300 of his deputies cross-trained as federal immigration officers, and federally cross-deputized. Arpaio used that as the spearhead to go on a hunting rampage against anybody brown. The harassment and deaths in the jail got to be so extreme the Mesa Latino community was basically wiped out because even if you were legal (green card or US citizen) you were at risk.
It was so bad the US-DOJ stripped Arpaio of that cross-deputization program. SB1070 was a state-law response to try and give Arpaio back some of the authority that the feds very correctly stripped from him.
Lunatic AZ sheriffs like Joe Arpaio, Pinal County's Paul Babeu (major right-winger recently forced out of the closet after abusing his boyfriends) and the murderous Sheriff Dupnik in Pima (see also the Jose Guerena slaughter) cannot be trusted with federal immigration control authority. Those are the sheriffs of the three largest AZ counties and they're all bughouse nuts and virulently racist to boot. The recent movie "Machete" parodied this mob (including "border militiaman" and total psycho JT Ready) and seriously didn't do the insanity full justice.
Obama called this one right, sad to say.
@ Jim March; Jim, if what you are saying is true, why have'nt the lame-stream media been screaming it to the rafters? As bad as they've got it for anyone opposing Teh One, or Arpio, why wuold they be quiet about authentic neo-nazis involved in state or county affairs? I follow this stuff, and this is news to me. Sheriff Arpaio has survived various investigations, are you sure on these allegations? JohninMd(help)
I'll second what Jim March said, though I have not lived in AZ in awhile, I did grow up there, and Arpaio's reign of terror was in place before I left. Political corruption is a state spectator sport in Arizona much the way it is in Louisiana, only it ends to lean right more often than left. (Far from always, though.)
There was nothing wrong with the law in concept. In terms of who's in place to enforce it? There's a lot of things wrong.
I have lived in Arizona over 40 years and have seen the problems caused by illegal aliens both as a private citizen and a police officer. They have been a drain on public resources such as hospitals and public school systems for years. If you go to routes used by them coming from Mexico it looks like a landfill with discarded clothing, water jugs, and food containers. Many illegal aliens have fled to Mexico after committing crimes to escape prosecution because they have no ties such as family to keep them here. One example is the murder of border rancher Robert Krentz. His murderer fled to Mexico and is believed to have been an illegal alien. This led Russell Pierce to introducing SB1070. Sheriff Joe has been zealous in apprehending illegal aliens. What Mr March didn't mention that many of those "illegal aliens" arrested by Sheriff Joe's deputies were using stolen identities. I don't doubt that there has been some problems involving involving MCSO (Sheriff Joe's Office) and not all illegal aliens have been a problem. But citizens who have had to deal with the problems created by some of the illegal aliens are tired of it and what is occurring in Arizona is backlash for failing to control the borders and address problems illegal aliens create in the state.
Let's start with understanding Joe Arpaio. (I have more time tonight so you'll get links...lots'o'links.)
If nothing else will get your blood boiling over this clown, it would have to be his attempted jailing of reporters critical of him and his office in 2007 - go here for a starting point:
This was about a story in the Phoenix New Times about how Arpaio and his wife owned far more property (remember the housing boom?) than could be easily explained by their official income.
In that story you'll find a cross-connection with Andrew Thomas, another long-term Arpaio ally and for many years the Maricopa County Attorney. (In AZ each county's "Attorney" combines the role of criminal prosecutor (a "DA" anywhere else) and the county's civil litigator.) Thomas filed scads of junk lawsuits against various Arpaio critics in and out of government and was eventually disbarred over it. The disbarment report is an eye-opener because all this crap happened with Arpaio's active involvement:
This is the most important document I've posted here because Thomas is simply the first one to seriously fall - not only has Thomas been disbarred but criminal charges may soon follow. You'll flip when you see what these clowns have been up to.
We have an AZ Supreme Court ruling that you can ask for public records that haven't been created yet, but are scheduled to be created. This was in response to Arpaio's office withholding crime report bulletins from local newspapers who were critical of his office. This paper asked for the reports ahead of time, Arpaio said "no, when you find out another one went out go request it days behind every other news outlet".
Want more? Try some of the source links in his Wikipedia entry for a starting point:
...or just take a gander at the level of civil rights violation payouts during Arpaio's tenure: $50mil:
Arpaio's powers to enforce Federal immigration laws were stripped from him with good cause in two phases, 2009 and 2011:
Widespread racial profiling was a major factor in the decision.
Peter, I had an interesting personal experience with that. I had to take a Grayhound bus to San Diego and back, passing through three Border Patrol checkpoints. They got on the bus and gave anybody brown or black the 3rd degree, while completely ignoring mostly-Scots-Irish me. I didn't have to "show papers" or even speak, just nodded my head when then asked "US Citizen?". An elderly black gent across the aisle got the full monty papers check despite having an obvious American accent. I actually intend to do that again soon with my newest toy on:
Here's a starting point for the ties between JT Ready and Russell Pierce:
As an aside: JT Ready's youngest victim in the massacre was two years old.
Russell Pierce was the sponsor of the AZ law (SB1070) that gave Arpaio back the immigration enforcement abilities the feds stripped from him.
Yeah...I'd say there's a problem down here, no?
Oh yeah. I forgot to mention the time Arpaio loaned actor Steven Seagal a tank for use in a REAL police operation, with cameras rolling, who promptly rolled it right through a brick wall, a chicken coop, the side of a house and came to rest on a flattened puppy.
Another out-of-control use of a tank, another dead dog and an entire house burned down over a misdemeanor warrant:
Do I need to keep going here, or do y'all get the picture?
Sheriff Joe has some issues. But he has been re-elected five times to sheriff because he is doing something the Federal Government is failing to do, address the illegal alien problem. If the Federal Government would implement an effective policy regarding illegal aliens Sheriff Joe would lose a lot of his support. Instead Obama is implementing policies that allow illegal aliens to stay in this country. If the Federal Government wanted to get rid of Sheriff Joe the best thing they could do would be to implement an effective illegal alien policy not give them amnesty.
@Jim, thank you for the links. I always knew Sheriff Joe was a nut. I didn't know he was a thug.
Bill N, I'm going to be harsh here.
Arpaio has not "done something" about illegals. He has *appeared* to do something.
Let me use as an example another truly horrible politician: Dianne Feinstein. Ghastly individual I think you'd agree. She is pro-war, pro-banks, pro-corruption, hell on most issues she might as well be further to the right than the average Republican. But why does she keep getting elected in Liberal strongholds like San Francisco where she came from?
Because she uses "left wing" issues like gun control and pro-choice to *appear* touchy-feely lefty to her hardcore constituents, while in reality being a creature that they should by all rights despise.
She's made a 40+ year career out of that...longer than Arpaio's tenure.
Joe Arpaio is exactly the same way but from a right-wing direction, appealing to a right-wing base on the "immigration issue" while in fact being pro-corruption and the single worst top cop in America on basic civil rights. He has arrested reporters who criticized him for God's sake. You don't get more un-American than that.
He is a beast - human filth who defrauds voters in exactly the same way DiFi does, except he defrauds "right wing" voters while she cons "lefties".
It's - the - same - Goddamn - con.
Stop falling for con artists. Just...stop.
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