As mentioned in this post yesterday, the battle over the Arizona immigration law, SB1070, has intensified, with folks on both sides girding for a tough fight.
But with this fight, we start to see the how some of the players really think. Take the guy at the left, California Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA42). He was asked at a Tea Party rally about whether he backed the deportation of natural-born citizens if their parents were illegal immigrants.
“I would have to, yes,” Hunter said.
Hunter said in the video that some of his critics believe his stance is mean-spirited.
“And we’re not being mean. We’re just saying it takes more than walking across the border to become an American citizen,” he said. “It’s what’s in our souls.”
Even if we put aside the whole idea of someone having an “American soul”, this Representative seems to have forgotten the US Constitution he took an oath to uphold. The 14th Amendment:
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
So, Rep. Hunter seems to be advocating a violation of the Constitution. But that shouldn’t be surprising. He backs SB1070, which is a violation of the 4th Amendment in and of itself.
But he doesn’t win the contest for nutjobs yet. No, that one we’re going to award to Rep. Steve King, R-IA5. In an interview with Fox News, King was asked about AZ Rep. Raul Grijalva’s call for a boycott of his own state to protest the immigration law:
LAURA INGRAHAM: This boycott is intended to do, what? I would imagine to intimidate people from supporting this law which, as far as I can tell, is wildly popular, but to intimidate because they’re using dollars. Is there anything wrong with that?
REP. STEVE KING: Well, it looks like the case is that, that he’s trying to scare the businesses out of Arizona, or he’s trying to get the businesses to change their position and press the legislature to reverse the law that was just signed by the governor the other day. I’m wondering if we look at the map of Congressman Grijalva’s congressional district if we haven’t already ceded that component of Arizona to Mexico judging by the voice that comes out of him, he’s advocating for Mexico rather than the United States and against the rule of law, which is one of the central pillars of American exceptionalism.
So he’s suggesting that what Grijalva is supporting – peaceful protest by boycott – is the equivalent of advocating giving the land back to Mexico. Another guy who apparently doesn’t remember his Constitutional lessons from school. Like the 1st Amendment, which protects peaceable assembly and free speech. Which of course, also protects King’s right to speak as well. Sigh.
On another front, a Tucson police officer is suing to have the law overturned. From CNN:
Officer Martin H. Escobar claims in the suit that the law will “seriously impede law enforcement investigations and facilitate the successful commission of crimes.”
He also says there are no “race-neutral criteria or basis to suspect or identify who is lawfully in the United States,” including a person’s proximity to the Mexican border, linguistic characteristics and capabilities, skin color, clothing worn or the type of vehicle driven.
So, there’s at least one law enforcement front-line officer who thinks this is unrealistic. Expect to see more and more of these in the days and weeks to come. One of the big knocks on this law, beyond it being unconstitutional, is that it has a good chance of breaking the bank in Arizona. Until the law is either overturned or upheld at the US Supreme Court, there will be legal challenge after legal challenge, which of course will have to be defended by the state, and paid for by the taxpayers. Not to mention the flood of wrongful detention suits, whether of merit or not, that will also be filed.
Arizona might take a lesson that is being learned in Oklahoma. Over the past few years, lawmakers trying to make a statement have passed, then upheld after veto a number of laws that then end up being taken to court, and finally stricken down. In most of these cases, the lawmakers could see from the beginning that the law would not hold up, but decided to push it through anyway. Recently, these include laws requiring doctors to show a pregnant woman an ultrasound before she can have an abortion, the death penalty for child rapists (which the US Supreme Court already struck down in Louisiana), and a law to restrict how much control the federal government can have over the sale of guns in Oklahoma.
These laws end up costing millions of dollars to defend, then end up losing. And in Oklahoma, these kinds of cases can result in the loser paying the attorney’s fees for the winner. And where does that money come from? The taxpayers. So while they try to make a point, the taxpayers pay. The same is going to happen in Arizona. And we’ll see how happy those folks are going to be about that.
This is going to get more an more interesting over the next few days, with Cinco De Mayo around the corner. Stay tuned for more mayhem…