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Opening Shots Fired… July 28, 2010

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The first ruling has come down in the case of SB1070.  In her ruling today, Judge Bolton found that portions of the law were indeed superseded by Federal authority.  Additionally, she ruled that enforcement of the law as written would place too great a strain on existing resources.

I actually have no problem with these findings.  They both support the assertions that have been made for far too long.  Namely, that our Federal government hasn’t taken an active role in enforcing the laws that already exist.   If there is no disagreement that Federal institutions SHOULD already have the authority to act on laws as they exist, then I think its logical to follow with the question “Why aren’t they?”.  And that, really, is what lies at the crux of the matter.  This is what the law was meant to do make no mistake about that.  It is intended to focus attention on the fact that our Federal officials already have the laws in place to do exactly what SB1070 intended… they simply weren’t/aren’t doing anything about them.

Unfortunately, that’s the frustrating aspect of all of this for residents of Arizona.  Its like having a stretch of road where speeding routinely takes place.  There is already a speed limit in place and anytime someone calls for law enforcement to follow through on prosecuting speeders, officials eagerly point to the signs on the side of the road and proclaim the issue is “already covered”.  Yet the speeding continues.  So when local citizens ask their local sheriff’s office to begin enforcing the limit State officials jump up and scream and point out that there is, again, a law already in place.  Yet the speeders carry on.

The point being, no one is disputing that there is already the legal precedent.  What remains to be seen, however, is the enforcement side of things.  To date, that has been the issue.   There seems to be very little will to actually enforce/carry out laws on the Federal level.  States are beginning to recognize this and address their concerns as best they know how.

This is going to become an issue that will go to the Supreme Court for sure.  There is simply too much at stake to allow rulings at any lower level stand.

As an addendum:  I do find it curious that this administration continues to pursue policy that flies in the face of national sentiment.  There is overwhelming support for the law as written.  There was overwhelming opposition to the Health Care Reform bill as it was written.  Virtually all polls show that the issue highest on everyone’s agenda can be summed up through one word… J-O-B-S.  And yet so much attention has been given to these side “projects” while job growth has continued to stall.  In my opinion, this translates into very poor results for anyone attaching themselves to this administration come November.  I think we are going to see some distancing between Democrats running for office and the White House.  Should be interesting.

A Law In Name Only July 7, 2010

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So the U.S. Government has decided to legally challenge Arizona’s SB1070.  I don’t believe the move was unexpected at all.  In fact, I suspect that when the law was written it was done in such a fashion as to anticipate any legal challenge.

In its defense, the U.S. Government has taken the only viable option open to it.  It isn’t challenging the law on its merit or its legal position as such (despite the many cries that the law is subject to profiling that is NOT what the legal challenge is based on).  Our Government, instead, has challenged the law on the basis that there is already an existing Federal law that should legally supersede state laws.  It’s a valid point and one that I suspect will end up in the Supreme court before all is said and done.

Again, I find it interesting that the legal challenge has nothing to do with the objections voiced by so many opposed to the law to this point (including many within the administration itself).  Time after time we have heard how unjust and evil this law is… how it will lead to stereotyping and abuse by law enforcement officials.  And yet none of that is represented by the legal challenge.  The law, as it is written, mirrors the Federal law so closely that those objections would have likely found little traction in court.  Those who have read the law very closely can find nothing substantive wrong with it.

It should be interesting to see how our Government can bring such a suit against the state of Arizona while pointing to its own law as the basis for conflict with SB1070 while it simultaneously supports “illegal” harboring of illegals in cities and counties across the nation.  In other words, the Federal law is indeed in the books and yet has not been enforced…and as I have so often pointed out before, laws are completely and totally useless without effective enforcement.  Now, we have a state that because it was directly affected by growing problems directly attributed to the problem of illegal immigration (mostly through drug/people trafficking) has taken steps to do exactly what the Federal law indicates should be done… and they are being challenged on it. It’s honestly a bit surreal.  It’s certainly very hypocritical.

This administration has paid this issue plenty of lip service and yet has taken virtually no steps to effectively address the issue in a meaningful manner.  Make no mistake, previous administrations have similarly failed to address illegal immigration.  Yet this administration ran on a platform touting “change” and “hope”… for the people of Arizona those words seem particularly hollow today.

Why is the federal government suing Arizona instead of enforcing its own laws against illegal immigration?

United They Stand… June 22, 2010

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Events are shaping up to provide some rather interesting scenarios in the near future.  Apparently Mexico has filed its own lawsuit against the immigration reform law in AZ. This brings up a rather interesting possibility.  Namely, we could, potentially, see a foreign government and our own government united in opposition to one of our own states laws.   Imagine THAT visual.  Representatives from the U.S. AG and the Mexican equivalent taking the stand and giving testimony against officials from AZ.

I mean, looking beyond the absurd notion that another country can sue a particular state in another nation (how is Mexico going to show that this law hurts them?… has anyone been able to answer that?), the fact that Mexico and the U.S. Government would have more in common on this issue than AZ is comical/tragic/horrific all at once.  I sometimes feel like our nation has slipped into another dimension or alternate timeline…  it just feels like something out of the Twilight Zone.  What is happening to us?  Why can’t our government stand up for its own citizens rather than those of other nations?  When did we become secondary citizens in our own country?

“In filing the brief, Mexico said it was upholding its duty to protect its nationals in the United States and ensure that they are not discriminated against based on their ethnicity.”

I had to reread that paragraph several times.  My mind simply could not grasp what it was reading.  Mexico has a duty to protect its own citizens in the United States?… really?!  Never mind the fact that they are here… what’s the word I’m looking for? Oh yeah!…. illegally.

At Least He’s Consistant June 1, 2010

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So Jesse Jackson has finally come out with his opinion regarding AZ SB1070.  I can’t say that I’m surprised but this is getting really old.  Will someone against this law please actually READ it before forming an opinion?

It is a punitive, negative, unconstitutional law, which presumes guilt and selectively punishes Latinos,” Jackson commented.

How, exactly, does this law “presume guilt”  Mr. Jackson?  The law very clearly states that subjects may only be questioned or detained after being apprehended carrying out a crime.  And as far as “selectively punishes Latinos”… I got news for you Jesse, if a crime is being committed I don’t believe law enforcement is asking themselves if the perpetrator is black, white, grey, green or plaid.  They are going to apprehend him or her and THEN begin the process of identifying them.

If that person happens to be of Latino descent but has a valid U.S. drivers license then, for immigration purposes, the process stops (the criminal charges are another matter entirely, of course).  Let me re-emphasize that point, because it is an important one… if a person of Latino descent gets pulled over (for a traffic stop, as an example) and can produce a valid drivers license/registration, then that person will be issued a citation for the traffic violation and that is all.  Just like anyone else in this nation.  Conversely if the apprehended individual were white with blond hair and blue eyes and yet could produce no valid forms of identification, then he/she would be subject to further review and potential deportation (again, criminal charges are a separate issue entirely)… JUST LIKE ANYONE ELSE UNDER THE LAW.

So yes, it is possible to read into the law that profiling will take place and Latinos will be unfairly scrutinized.  Doing so, however, completely ignores the law as written and assumes that our law enforcement officers have nothing better to do than cruise around looking to round-up any/all wayward illegals.

Here is a link to the law… I’d welcome anyone who can point out where in the law it says that consideration of race, color or any other physical criteria  can be used to detain or prosecute someone.

Basketball…a game of political chess May 12, 2010

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When I first heard about this story, I thought it must be a joke.  Surely, nobody would be so insensitive… so illogical…as to mix girls basketball with AZ state legislation.  I was, apparently, mistaken.

Highland Park

Allow me to introduce District 113 Superintendent George Fornero and District 113 Assistant Superintendent Suzan Hebson.  Voicing their displeasure with Arizona’s recent law through the only means at their disposal, they justify their decisions by emphasizing “security concerns”.   Strange then, that these same District 113 personnel would have no problem at all sending this same girls basketball team to other locations.

“The school has sent children to China, they’ve sent children to South America, they’ve sent children to the Czech Republic, but somehow Arizona is more unsafe for them than those places”  – Michael Evans, a father of one of the players

So, apparently, the folks at District 113 would rather send their team to China, South America or the Czech Republic before sending them to Arizona.  That is quite a statement in terms of where they feel security is at.

Mr. Fornero and Ms. Hebson should be ashamed of themselves for injecting politics where it has no business.  These young ladies had put forth a lot of effort and it was crushed beneath the heels of a bureaucracy that wanted to make a statement.

Fornero

Dr. George V. Fornero
Superintendent
Administrative Center
1040 Park Ave West
Highland Park, IL 60035

Phone: (224) 765-1000
email: gfornero@dist113.org

Suzan Hebson #224 765-1000