by Nick Smith
As the afternoon wears on, more and more politicians are submitting statements concerning SB 1070, which a federal judge blocked several parts of earlier today. Here's the latest spin:
Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall:
"Prior to this decision my Office had engaged in significant planning and training for the implementation of S.B. 1070 and stood ready to enforce the law. We are prepared to uphold the decision handed down today by the United States District Judge Susan Bolton."
Arizona GOP Chairman Randy Pullen:
While we are disappointed in the federal court's decision to issue a temporary injunction, it is often the case that a judge will initially approve a temporary injunction until they have an opportunity to hear and read arguments and legal research from both sides. Our expectation is that Judge Bolton will rule in favor of SB 1070 as we believe that SB 1070 is constitutional.
Based on my prior experience with Proposition 200, I expect this case will go to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The federal government's argument that SB 1070 would have placed and undue burden on them is as absurd as it is a complete dismissal of the tremendous burden placed on Arizona by the federal government not doing its job. The mere fact that they would rather sue the Grand Canyon state than allow us to protect ourselves is patently ridiculous and completely out of touch with needs of Arizonans.
Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives Kirk Adams:
We’re disappointed with Judge Bolton’s decision and we respectfully disagree. She was willing to find an ‘inference of preemption’ where Arizona’s sole purpose is to enforce existing law. Congress has not forbidden states from helping to enforce immigration law, in fact it has welcomed the help. We wish the Obama Administration were as welcoming. Arizonans and all Americans deserve leadership that is committed to both securing the border and protecting the Rule of Law.
While the federal government claims that SB1070 interferes with its “enforcement priorities” it is the federal government’s unwillingness to secure the border and enforce its own laws that have created the immigration crisis in Arizona. The Obama Administration’s desire to selectively enforce federal immigration law is no legal reason to find fault with SB1070.
CD 5 Rep. Harry Mitchell:
There are no victors today, except those who want to use this protracted litigation as a means to grandstand and score political points, instead of actually rolling up their sleeves and getting to work to help fix the problem.
Illegal immigration affects our state more than it does any other — more than half of all illegal crossings over the U.S.-Mexico border happen in Arizona. The federal government has a responsibility to secure the border and fix our broken immigration system, but hasn't done so, and Arizona continues to shoulder the burden.
I believe that if the new state law spurs Washington to act, then it is a good thing. But make no mistake: neither the state law, nor the lawsuit to overturn it — nor today’s temporary injunction - will fix the problem, secure our border, or fix a broken immigration system.
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu:
Incredibly, even though there is not one person who can legitimately claim to be harmed by a law that has not even taken effect, the result of an injunction is de facto amnesty through non-enforcement of laws against illegal immigration.
The federal government refuses to secure the border and leaves it to states like Arizona to bear the costs of its inaction. Yet, when we try to do the job they won't do, in a manner consistent with federal law, they stop us. You couldn't make up something this ridiculous.
It's a sad day in America when our own president has directed his attorney general to provide terrorist Miranda rights, yet fights to deny law enforcement the very tools needed to determine if an illegal is in America legally. Why has the President not come to Arizona to personally inspect the threat that our citizens face?
This is our most serious public safety issue and a national security threat to America. President Obama seems to have won the initial legal battle on the basis of the supremacy clause, saying it is inherently his job to enforce immigration law. We in Arizona could not agree more that is it his job and we demand that he do his job and protect our state, rather that continuing to fight us in court.
ADL is gratified by today’s decision, which recognizes that key provisions of Arizona’s new immigration law place an unacceptable burden on Arizona residents, including non-citizens lawfully present in Arizona.
Border security is a legitimate concern, but we must find ways to improve our immigration system without increasing the probability that legal resident aliens will be wrongfully detained. SB 1070 is seriously flawed in this regard, and could deter many potential victims and witnesses of crimes from coming forward and talking to the police.
The court also correctly concluded that the federal government has broad responsibilities and priorities in terms of immigration enforcement, and SB 1070 would inappropriately interfere with and divert resources from those priorities. Today’s injunction — which should be made permanent — once again highlights the urgent need for comprehensive immigration reform.
As a nation of immigrants, we must strive to promote diversity, not punish it. Today’s ruling is an important step toward eliminating a discriminatory policy that would fan the flames of anti-immigrant sentiment.