SB makes it a state crime to be in Arizona illegally,(it is already a federal law that is not enforced by government officials). SB 1070 also allows police who have stopped an individual for a legal reason to check their immigration status and confirm they are here legally.
I believe it is a good thing that the Obama administration filed this lawsuit because now that they have, information that is available but was not spotlighted publicly is now having a bright light shined on it.
For example, the Boston Globe recently reported that Rhode Island has already been been enforcing such a law on a regular basis.
Rhode Island State Trooper Nuno Vasconcelos was patrolling Interstate 95 a few months ago when he came upon a two-car accident in heavy traffic. The trooper pulled up, stepped out of his cruiser, and asked one of the drivers for his license.
The man said he did not have a license, and under questioning, confessed that he was here illegally from Guatemala.
If the accident had happened 15 miles north in Massachusetts, the man would probably have been arrested for driving without a license, which carries a fine of up to $1,000 and 10 days in jail, then released pending an appearance in district court.
But in Rhode Island, illegal immigrants face a far greater penalty: deportation.
I wonder if the Obama administration will now be filing a suit against Rhode Island?
If so, they should also start preparing themselves to file lawsuits against Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah because reports show that lawmakers in those three states believe there is a good chance that similar laws will be passed in their states by 2011.
Lawmakers in Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah, which have already taken steps against illegal immigration, say that Arizona-style measures have a realistic chance of passing when their legislatures reconvene in 2011.
Even more information is making it to the light of day publicly, all because Obama is trying to make a public showing of fighting against AZ for protecting their state when he is doing nothing to enforce the federal laws and secure our borders.
Example there is NRO who points out that the issue of local police checking immigration status has already been through the courts and an appellant court and been found to be perfectly legal.
If, as President Obama and Attorney General Holder claim, there is a federal preemption issue, why hasn’t the administration sued Rhode Island already? After all, Rhode Island is actually enforcing these procedures, while the Arizona law hasn’t even gone into effect yet.
Could it be because — as we’ve discussed here before — the Supreme Court in Muehler v. Mena has already held that police do not need any reason (not probable cause, not reasonable suspicion) to ask a person about his immigration status?
Could it be that just this past February, in Estrada v. Rhode Island, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld the Rhode Island procedures, reasoning that, in Muehler v. Mena, the Supreme Court “held that a police officer does not need independent reasonable suspicion to question an individual about her immigration status...?
Here is another little tidbit, via Phoenix Business Journal, in a piece titled "Illegal immigration cost US $100B, Arizona $2.6B":
The Federation for American Immigration Reform estimates that illegal immigration costs federal and local taxpayers $113 billion a year.
The group’s report, Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on U.S. Taxpayers estimates costs based on an analysis of federal, state and local spending data related to the estimated 13 million illegal aliens and their U.S.-born in the U.S.
The report also notes that undocumented workers pay about $13 billion a year in taxes, resulting in a net cost to taxpayers of about $100 billion. The $113 billion total translates to $1,117 per household.
Federal spending on illegal aliens amounts to $29 billion, according to the Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on U.S. Taxpayers report. That leaves an estimated $84.2 billion for state and local citizens. Of that total, Arizona shoulders $2.6 billion in costs, the fifth highest total in the nation behind California at more than $21 billion, New York, Texas and Florida.
How much does illegal immigration cost your state?
The 104 page PDF report titled "THE FISCAL BURDEN OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION ON United States Taxpayers, can be found here.
You can keep up to date with the costs American taxpayers pay out each year because of illegal immigration, at FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform)
As a sidenote, it is interesting to see that after all the bluster from Obama and Democratic politicians and the liberal blogs about how AZ's new law would somehow lead to racial profiling, the actual papers filed against AZ by Obama's DOJ, do not mention it.
Jake Tapper reports for ABC:
As widely anticipated, Attorney General Eric Holder today filed a lawsuit against Arizona and Gov. Jan Brewer over the state’s immigration law. The suit seeks a preliminary injunction to stop the law from being implemented.
The court filing states that Arizona law is pre-empted by federal law and therefore violates the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution.
The filing makes no assertion that the law is discriminatory or risks being applied in a discriminatory fashion, as the president and other officials said they feared would be the case. Interestingly, this suit makes no civil rights charges against the Arizona law.
So, let us recap:
The Obama administration, who is well aware of the federal costs of illegal immigration, as well as the massive cost to taxpayers in every state, has filed a lawsuit that legal precedent has already been established on and not in favor of the administration's arguments, doing so against the majority of Americans who are supportive of AZ's new law and believe their state should pass one similar, has filed a lawsuit that is doomed to fail.
Why would they do this?
Politics. Democrats are looking at potentially the biggest loss of seats since 1994 in the House, they are bleeding support from almost every demographic bloc of voters, presidential disapproval is at an all time high, congressional approval at an all time low and they have absolutely nothing left to "rally their troops" so to speak.
If this is all they have left, November is going to brutal for them, even worse than originally projected.
[Update] 56 Percent Against DOJ Suing AZ Over Immigration; 61 Percent Want A Law Just Like It In Their State.