Friday, July 30, 2010

Why Arizona Immigration Law is Right - One Citizens Opinion

Arizona Capitol SB1070 Protest 4/25/2010Image by kevinbondelli via Flickr
Arizona is being overrun with illegal aliens crossing over the border. In an attempt to secure its cities and provide safety for its citizens, the State passed Arizona Senate Bill 1070 granting its law enforcement officers greater authority to assess the legal immigration status of those persons being detained during commission of a crime.

In opposition, the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit seeking to block the Arizona law by claiming that the Constitutions' supremacy clause allows Federal laws to supercede local law. Further, the suit claims that local law enforcement officers would be overly burdened (Justice Department sues Arizona over immigration law).

A U.S. District Judge ruled for the Justice Department, blocking 4 key provisions of the Arizona law (Arizona immigration law SB 1070 - Judge blocks some sections). She stated:
  • "Requiring Arizona law enforcement officials and agencies to determine the immigration status of every person who is arrested burdens lawfully present aliens because their liberty will be restricted while their status is checked," wrote Bolton, a Democratic appointee, who allowed other, less-controversial portions of the law to take effect Thursday as scheduled. 


Both the Justice Department and the Judge are wrong in blocking Arizona SB 1070. While their argument sounds valid to the layman, a review of the US Immigration Laws support the rights of Arizona and its citizens. Attempting to prevent Arizona from securing its border and enforcing immigration act could be against the law and subject to penalties.


The complete IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT is online and available to all. It was last updated on March 4, 2010 and posted in May 2010. This serves as the primary source of our argument. All references to this Act in the discussion below may be located by Section number. Hopefully, this document will remain posted for all U.S. Citizens to review.


Chapter 2, Sec. 212. [8 U.S.C. 1182] states that certain classes of aliens are ineligible for admission into the United States:
  • (a)(4)(A) In general.-Any alien who, in the opinion of the consular officer at the time of application for a visa, or in the opinion of the Attorney General at the time of application for admission or adjustment of status, is likely at any time to become a public charge is inadmissible. - Meaning if you can't support yourself, you cannot be here.
  • (a)(6) Describes Illegal entrants and immigration violators.
  • (a)(6)(A)(i) In general.-An alien present in the United States without being admitted or paroled, or who arrives in the United States at any time or place other than as designated by the Attorney General, is inadmissible. - Meaning, if you didn't arrive here through a designated location, you cannot be here.
My interpretation is that if you crossed the U.S. border illegally, and/or, you came here to be supported by the United States, you are in violation of the law.


Chapter 2, Sec. 271. [8 U.S.C. 1321] states:

  • (a) It shall be the duty of every person, including the owners, masters, officers, and agents of vessels, aircraft, transportation lines, or international bridges or toll roads, other than transportation lines which may enter into a contract as provided in section 238 , bringing an alien to, or providing a means for an alien to come to, the United States (including an alien crewman whose case is not covered by section 254(a) ) to prevent the landing of such alien in the United States at a port of entry other than as designated by the Attorney General or at any time or place other than as designated by the immigration officers. Any such person, owner, master, officer, or agent who fails to comply with the foregoing requirements shall be liable to a penalty to be imposed by the Attorney General of $3,000 for each such violation, which may, in the discretion of the Attorney General, be remitted or mitigated by him in accordance with such proceedings as he shall by regulation prescribe. Such penalty shall be a lien upon the vessel or aircraft whose owner, master, officer, or agent violates the provisions of this section, and such vessel or aircraft may be libeled therefor in the appropriate United States court.
  • (b) Proof that the alien failed to present himself at the time and place designated by the immigration officers shall be prima facie evidence that such alien has landed in the United States at a time or place other than as designated by the immigration officers.
This means that all persons, not just the Federal Government, are responsible for preventing entry into the U.S. at locations other than those monitored by immigrations officers. Failure to comply with the above regulations subjects violators to a $3,000 fine for each violation (or person).

Secondly, it states that aliens who cannot present proof that they entered at a location monitored by immigration officers are considered to be illegal.

Based on the above law, it is difficult to justify why the Justice Department and Judge would not enforce the laws that they are sworn to uphold, but instead act and rule in manners that violate the provision of the law.


Section 236 deals with the apprehension and detention of aliens. This section is most applicable to the enforcement of Arizona Law SB 1070. It covers an illegal aliens rights to continue working once detained and that the Attorney General must provide support to Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies in identifying criminal aliens.

  • Sec. 236. (a) Arrest, Detention, and Release.-On a warrant issued by the Attorney General, an alien may be arrested and detained pending a decision on whether the alien is to be removed from the United States. Except as provided in subsection (c) and pending such decision, the Attorney General-
  • Sec. 236(a)(3) may not provide the alien with work authorization (including an "employment authorized" endorsement or other appropriate work permit), unless the alien is lawfully admitted for permanent residence or otherwise would (without regard to removal proceedings) be provided such authorization.
  • Sec. 236(d) Identification of criminal aliens.- (1) The Attorney General shall devise and implement a system-
  • Sec. 236(d) (A) to make available, daily (on a 24-hour basis), to Federal, State, and local authorities the investigative resources of the Service to determine whether individuals arrested by such authorities for aggravated felonies are aliens;
  • Sec. 236(d) (B) to designate and train officers and employees of the Service to serve as a liaison to Federal, State, and local law enforcement and correctional agencies and courts with respect to the arrest, conviction, and release of any alien charged with an aggravated felony; and
  • Sec. 236(d) (C) which uses computer resources to maintain a current record of aliens who have been convicted of an aggravated felony, and indicates those who have been removed.
  • Sec. 236(d) (C) (3) Upon request of the governor or chief executive officer of any State, the Service shall provide assistance to State courts in the identification of aliens unlawfully present in the United States pending criminal prosecution.
Most importantly, the Attorney General must devise a system to identify criminal aliens and to make it available to State and local law enforcement agencies on a 24-hour basis. Further, the Attorney General must provide assistance to State courts when requested by a Governor.

From the actions of our U.S. Justice Department and District Judge, all of these provisions in the law are being ignored and dismissed.


Who is responsible for enforcing the Immigration Act? The Attorney General is.

Sec. 103. [8 U.S.C. 1103] (a) (1) indicates that the Attorney General is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the act.
  • Sec. 103. [8 U.S.C. 1103] (a) (5) He shall have the power and duty to control and guard the boundaries and borders of the United States against the illegal entry of aliens and shall, in his discretion, appoint for that purpose such number of employees of the Service as to him shall appear necessary and proper. - This means the AG must protect our borders.
  • Sec. 103. [8 U.S.C. 1103] (a) (5) (10) In the event the Attorney General determines that an actual or imminent mass influx of aliens arriving off the coast of the United States, or near a land border, presents urgent circumstances requiring an immediate Federal response, the Attorney General may authorize any State or local law enforcement officer, with the consent of the head of the department, agency, or establishment under whose jurisdiction the individual is serving, to perform or exercise any of the powers, privileges, or duties conferred or imposed by this Act or regulations issued thereunder upon officers or employees of the Service.
Here we learn that the Attorney General is responsible for enforcing the Act, protecting our borders, and enlisting assistance from the States. Arizona has a problem, so why not support the Arizona law?


After reading the above IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT, it seems clear that the Attorney General and the U.S. Justice Department are charged with the legal responsibilities of controlling immigration, supporting states, assisting states in identifying illegal aliens, deporting illegals, and protecting our borders.

However, their responsibilities are contrary to their political agenda. Does the Attorney General have the right to enforce what he wants or wishes? Or, does he have the obligation to serve the Country by obeying and upholding the laws of our nation?

Illegal immigration is a hot issue, but that does not give our officials the legal authority to ignore their charges and disobey the laws.

So, Yes, Arizona does have a problem and it will be resolved in their favor. It's time Americans understood our laws and demanded that they be obeyed and enforced.
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