Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Obama's spite

After the Supreme Court gave the Obama administration a partial victory in striking down parts of the Arizona's law and a unanimous defeat on the most controversial part of the Arizona law, the Obama administration struck back. The Department of Homeland Security has announced that it will not cooperate with Arizona law officials when they receive calls about suspected illegal immigrants.
By Monday afternoon, the Department of Homeland Security had pulled back on a program known as 287(g), which allows the feds to deputize local officials to make immigration-based arrests. According to a Homeland Security official, the administration has determined those agreements are "not useful" now in states that have Arizona-style laws. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has since rescinded that agreement in Arizona -- with the state itself, and with three local law enforcement agencies.
The move means that even if local police step up immigration checks, they'll have to rely on federal officials to make the arrests.

And federal officials made clear that ICE would be selective in responding to the expected rise in calls from Arizona and other police agencies about immigration status. Officials said ICE will not respond to the scene unless the person in question meets certain criteria -- such as being wanted for a felony.
So now we have the Obama administration is so spiteful against law officials in Arizona that they're not going to do anything to help the state enforce federal laws concerning immigration.

Now the Obama administration has given a clear message to anyone who wants to come to the United States legally, they should head to the Arizona border since, unless they have a felony record, the federal government doesn't want to know that they're here. Think of that, in retaliation for losing a Supreme Court decision, the Obama administration has publicly announced that they will not aid state officials trying to respond to the numbers of undocumented immigrants coming into their state. It was one thing for Obama to unilaterally announce that his administration wasn't going to deport people brought here as children. Those are the most sympathetic of all the undocumented immigrants here. But now they're singling out one state to say that the federal government will not be taking action against those who might be detained in the law the Supreme Court unanimously upheld and said was not, on its face, unconstitutional and that we have to wait to see how it's enforced by Arizona officials. Obama doesn't want to wait to find out how it's being enforced there; he's already decided that his administration won't cooperate with state and local officials. And those other states that have passed similar laws can expect similar abandonment by Obama's administration.

As Paul Mirengoff argues, the Obama administration's response to the decision should be a sign to Republicans that they shouldn't bother negotiating with Obama to pass comprehensive immigration reform. How can they trust Obama to enforce whatever reform was passed?
Given all of this, it’s quite clear that the Republicans should say “hell no” to Obama’s call for comprehensive immigration reform. Republicans must not permit themselves to be coerced into writing a new immigration law by Obama’s refusal to enforce the law we have.

Moreover, what is the point of legislating with a lawless administration? Legislation on an issue like immigration requires compromise, and that’s fine – I have no objection in principle to compromising. But suppose a compromise is reached. This president has demonstrated that his response would likely be to ignore the provisions the Republicans insisted upon – because ignoring them is “the right thing to do.”
Immigration reform, if it is to occur, must await the election of a president who, unlike Obama, is willing to enforce the law as written, not just the portions of the law he finds palatable.
Once a president demonstrates that he will not enforce the laws that he doesn't like, how can anyone in Congress trust him to negotiate a compromise. A compromise by any definition requires each side to accept provisions they dislike and now Obama has made it clear that he feels he can take unilateral action to choose which laws he will enforce. And if there is a crucial voting bloc that Obama wants to win, forget about the federal law. This is not the behavior of an honest actor in any compromise deal. But Obama will blame Republicans for being the ones to fail to reach a compromise.