Monday, April 26, 2010


Arizona's recent passage of Immigration Law is not only contentious but possibly even unconstitutional, as only the Federal Government has power over immigration matters. However, that is for the courts to decide and it will not be surprising if constitutional petitions head the Supreme Court way in not too distant a future. The Supreme Court may have leanings in a certain direction, but when it comes to interpreting the constitution, the Justices are at their best.

Being a border state, Arizona no doubt has an illegal immigration problem. But, this law may be less to do with that and more to do with tempting President Obama and Democrats to bring about an immigration bill in a haste.

Republicans are still recovering from their failure to block the the Health care bill. They also know that Financial Reform Bill is likely to pass, so they cannot present President Obama victory after victory heading into mid term elections in 2010. An immigration bill before the US House of Representatives and the US Senate is sure to stir passions and anger against a Federal Government providing a route to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

With a strong opposition to such a move in the South and much more so in the border states plus the ire of nearly 10% Americans without jobs, it could create quite a strong anti-immigration lobby in the country, possibly far larger than all of the Latino votes combined. It could prove to be a costly and a high risk strategy for an Administration to bring an immigration bill before the Congress in an election year. Perhaps this is what the Republicans are hoping for. The Arizona Immigration Law could be a bait for President Obama and the Democrats. However, going by President Obama's strategic style so far, he is far ahead in these things than any Republican or Democrat. So, hopefully, he will weigh all options before initiating an immigration bill.

In the meantime, Arizona law could prove to be a good kicking opportunity for the Administration. They could take it to the Supreme Court, hopefully win and garner Latino support without alienating the white voters.

Arizona is already beginning to face the music as more and more people and corporations are planning to stay away from the State. American Immigration Lawyers Association has already canceled its convention in Scottsdale. Other organizations and corporations may follow suit. The hotel industry is complaining bitterly as they rely heavily on immigrants for their staff requirements. All this could have serious consequences for Arizona's economy and its tourist industry.


Mike's Common Sense said...

I agree that there are a lot of things wrong with Arizona's new immigration law, but I think what needs to be addressed are the causes that made such a law possible.
The murder of the family on the border was the last straw for many of the citizens of Arizona. They are the ones who watch their state being used as a highway for drugs and illegal aliens. They are the ones who have to pay the tax dollars to support education, health care and welfare for those who can not contribute their share because they are illegal and paying nothing into the "common" fund.
Now, rather than profiling, I think Arizona should have passed a bill leveling a million dollar fine on anyone or company employing illegal aliens. (A ridiculous figure I know, but the point is the fine has to cause pain to the guilty.)
You mentioned the hotels and resorts were upset with the law, no wonder, no more help receiving below minimum wage, no health care, Social Security or taxes to pay for "undocumented" workers.
The employers are the true guilty parties, taking advantage to avoid paying their share of taxes and other costs.
Punish the employers, send the illegals home and make it easier for them to receive a work visa.
When illegals are no longer profitable, things will change and opportunities will be available to those who truly want them.

Ajaz Haque said...

Your arguments are excellent and you are right that instead of a racial profiling law, stiffer penalties on employers could have stemmed the flow of illegal immigrants. Also, issuing temporary visas could solve some of the problems.

Regardless of all this, the US constitution does not allow its States pass a law dealing with immigration, only the Federal Government can.

Jeffrey Toobin (CNN) made an excellent comment on AC360 this evening. he said Arizona cannot decide to launch a war on Mexico, only the Federal Government can. Similarly, it cannot pass an immigration bill, which is clearly illegal and very likely to be struck down by the courts.

Mike's Common Sense said...

It appears that you and I with stiffer penalties on employers and easier access to temporary work visas have come up with a workable solution that is cost effective and controllable. Now we'll have to see how long it takes the windbags in Congress to arrive at a similar conclusion.
I will probably write my senators with the suggestion, just so our ideas are out there. It certainly can't hurt.

Ajaz Haque said...

The US Congress is a different kind of a political animal altogether. Power play and an eye on 2010 election appears to be the main concern at this time. Doing what is right is a low down priority.

California farmers need the immigrant labor, without whom there won't be anyone to sow or harvest the crops. They have been using illegal immigrants for years. Why not issue temporary work permits based on the need of employers, so they can hire properly documented workers legally on a need basis.

Once work permits are available, any employer hiring illegal workers should then penalised heavily.