By David A. Black, Sr.
On Friday, Governor Brewer, from Arizona, signed SB1070. Instantly, the critics went ballistic.
President Obama used the swearing in ceremony of new citizens to criticize Arizona legislators saying, “Our failure to act responsibly, at the Federal level, will only open the door to irresponsibility by others, and that includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona.”
Brian Williams, on NBC Nightly News, said on Friday, “A central question in the news tonight, ‘is it legal, is it right, for a police officer to come up to you and ask you to produce I.D. if you’re suspected of entering the country illegally? This is playing out tonight in the State of Arizona.”
Jose Diaz Balart of TeleMundo in Phoenix reports, “Late this afternoon, Governor Jan Brewer signed the controversial Bill, the toughest State Law against illegal immigration in the country. With her signature, Arizona is in direct conflict with the White House… The law makes illegal immigration a State crime and requires local police to check the status of anyone they believe is here illegally.”
Actually, if any of the critics had taken five minutes and read SB1070, instead of simply adopting liberal talking points, they would have found that, contrary to the ‘leftist’ talking points, Law Enforcement Officers may only inquire about an individual’s immigration status during “lawful contact”. Additionally, any complaint of illegal immigration status, levied by one person against another and found to be frivolous, is punishable by monetary fines against the accuser.
Does potential questioning of an individual’s immigration status invite racial profiling? It could, although the Bill contains specific language banning ‘racial profiling’. Then again, most of those opposed to SB1070 support affirmative action which is based on racial profiling. Why is it, that the practice is welcomed on one hand, and demonized on the other?
To solve for this, if Law Enforcement Officers adopts a ‘standard operating procedure’ of simply using the same line of questioning with every person, of whom they request identification, questioning legal immigration status becomes just another question. No prejudice, no malice, no racial profiling. Regardless, Governor Brewr is calling for additional training of Law Enforcement to ensure against racial profiling and to maintain respect of the peoples rights.
Of course, President Obama, who can never pass up on an opportunity for societal divisiveness, instructed the Justice Department to ‘closely monitor’ activities in Arizona for ‘Civil Rights Violations’.
Governor Brewer emphasized, “Racial Profiling is illegal. It will not be tolerated in America, and it certainly will not be tolerated in Arizona.”
“This Bill,” Governor Brewer continued. “The ‘Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act’, strengthens the laws of our State. It protects all of us, every Arizona citizen, and everyone here, in our State lawfully, and it does so while ensuring that the Constitutional Rights of all, in Arizona remain solid, stable, and steadfast.”
Nonetheless, cries of the Bill being unconstitutional rang out from almost every protest. Is this the same Constitution they were willing to throw under the carpet, as if hiding dust and debris from visitors, when backing the passage of the Healthcare Reform, or bailing out the financial, housing, and auto industries?
Why is it, every time legislation to protect our country and our citizens is passed, it is immediately deemed unconstitutional, yet laws and programs that clearly are not in accordance with the Constitution receive accolades?
So the question arises, is Arizona SB1070 constitutional?
We all know Article I, Section 8, Clause 4, states, “Congress shall have Power… To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.”
However, Section 13 of SB1070 refers to the Bill’s ‘Short Title’ as the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act”. There is no reference in the title, nor anywhere in the Bill, to “Rule of Naturalization”. That makes SB1070 a “Public Safety Law”, not an “Immigration Law”.
Upon reading the Bill, the language of the Bill does not even allow the State’s Legislature, Law Enforcement, or any member of the State’s Judiciary the Authority to determine any individuals ‘immigration status’. Rather, all questions, regarding immigration status, are immediately deferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The last time I checked, ICE is a Federal Agency.
Arizona SB1070 does not even give the State the Authority to deport anyone. Any person found to be in the country illegally, is to be transported to Federal Custody, and if said transportation includes removing an individual to a location outside the boundaries of the State, the State must first receive a Court Order to do so.
Clause 15, of Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution says, “Congress shall have Power… To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.”
All enforcement activities in SB1070 defer to existing Federal laws. One could argue that Law Enforcement is the ‘active duty branch’ of the ‘State Militia’, and that the constant flow of illegal immigrants could be considered a form of societal invasion.
Furthermore, Article VI, Clause 2, stipulates, “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the Law of the Land.”
Because SB1070 consistently defers to Federal Authorities, it should be deemed as being “in Pursuance” of the Constitution, where we have established Congress has a duty to create “Rules of Naturalization”.
Article VI, Clause 3, clarifies that, “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution.”
That means that, by passing SB1070 into law, the Arizona Legislature is actually executing their duties under the Constitution. I am willing to bet you are wishing we could say that about Congress. Instead, Congress is too busy taking over the financial industry, the auto industry, the housing industry, the healthcare industry, increasing taxes, passing laws that do not pass constitutional muster, and spending our way into oblivion, to actually perform the duties obligated to them by the Constitution.
In fact, we should applaud the Arizona Legislature. Now residents, and those of us who are asked for our I.D. while visiting their great State, can announce with great pride,
I AM AN AMERICAN!