Arizona's Immigration Enforcement Law: Florida's Stances on Both Sides of SB 1070

Categories: Broward News
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This week's issue includes a four-story special report from Village Voice Media about SB 1070, the Arizona immigration law that both casts criminal suspicion on anyone who looks Latino and transforms local law enforcement officers into immigration investigators. It's featured nationally because it is of national concern -- the U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule soon on whether the policies unlawfully step on federal toes, and Arizona isn't the only state looking to ask brown people for their papers.

Florida is one of 16 states that filed a joint amicus brief with the court supporting SB 1070 -- state Attorney General Pam Bondi joined the Michigan-led coalition of attorneys general in signing onto the brief, which says that "laws aimed at parallel enforcement of the federal scheme" are legit. It argues that the states have an "inherent right" to both enforce federal law and regulate employment. (If you're curious, the brief is included below.)

But there are Floridians on the other side of the issue too -- Gainesville, Hallandale Beach, and Miami Beach are three of more than three dozen cities including Boston; Washington, D.C.; Baltimore; and Dallas that have signed onto a brief arguing against the bill (PDF). It argues that the provisions of SB 1070 "impermissibly usurp scarce local resources that should be devoted to public safety," according to the National Immigration Law Center, and that the methods proscribed for verifying immigration status "impose vague and unworkable requirements that effectively compel local law enforcement officials to violate the Constitution."

A separate brief (PDF) from dozens of members of Congress claims the bill affords state and local officials enforcement abilities not allocated by the federal government. It includes an endorsement from South Florida Democratic Reps. Ted Deutsch and Frederica Wilson.

Yet another amicus brief (PDF) was endorsed by former Florida Attorney General (and South Florida state Senate candidate) Bob Butterworth. The National Immigration Law Center characterizes that brief as stating that the bill "impermissibly interferes with local law enforcement by damaging police and prosecutors' ability to effectively fight crime and undercutting their ability to establish enforcement priorities for their own jurisdictions."

Whether these "friend of the court" briefs have any sway in the decision is yet to be seen, but the fight against SB 1070 most certainly doesn't end with the Supreme Court decision -- numerous lawsuits were put on hold once enforcement of the law was blocked by injunction, lawsuits that will go forward if the law takes effect.

"It is just the beginning. We filed our lawsuit challenging 1070 on many constitutional grounds," said the Arizona ACLU's Dan Pochoda, to the Arizona Republic. "Essentially, we have a lawsuit that was always viable and well-lawyered. If the Supreme Court rules that that 1070 can go into effect, we will start with our suit, getting a schedule on discovery for all of our issues, along with motions, if any, for further preliminary injunction issues, as well as possible challenges of the law based on other issues."

He said the group is trying to get the word out that the Supreme Court ruling is not the be-all, end-all decision on state-level immigration enforcement.

"We've been waiting for our turn at making these arguments," Pochoda told me. "The Supreme Court will decide if that process can go forward."



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5 comments
Dave Francis
Dave Francis

Some very interesting amendments relating to immigration have just surged down the Congressional pipeline. Last week, the House passed the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2013, and with it, eight amendments focused on increasing interior enforcement and securing the border were approved and added to the final bill.  This bill includes funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Services. HERE IS A LIST PUBLISHED BY NUMBERSUSA OF THE AMENDMENT PASSED: 1. Rep. Ted Poe's & Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.)an amendment that redirects funding from the bill to Border Patrol to pay for cell phone towers along the Southwest border with Mexico. The need for cell phone towers along the border came during the aftermath of the murder of Arizona rancher Robert Krentz who was killed by an illegal alien on his property that runs adjacent to the border in early-2011. Kretnz's wife, Sue, believes that her husband was trying to call for help when he encountered the illegal alien on his property, but he was in a cell phone dead spot. It was approved by the House on Wednesday night by a 302-to-113 margin with 81 Democrats voting with the GOP majority.   2. Rep. Steve King's amendment to prohibit funds from the bill from being used to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the ICE memos issued by ICE Director John Morton that offers an administrative amnesty to illegal aliens.  It would prohibit the implementation and execution of the Morton Memos. ICE Director John Morton wrote three separate memos in 2011 that instructed immigration agents to use prosecutorial discretion when they came in contact with illegal aliens. The memos prioritized criminal illegal aliens over non-criminal aliens and specifically protected illegal aliens that could benefit from the DREAM Act. The memos, in effect, offered an administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens. The amendment passed the House on Thursday by a 238-to-175 margin, which included, 10 Democrats.   3. Rep. Tom Price's amendment is to prohibit any funds from the bill from being used to circumvent or fail to enforce immigration laws. This amendment would prohibit funds from being used to circumvent the enforcement of immigration laws. This amendment was actually combined with two other amendments to create an En Bloc Amendment. These amendments are usually grouped together because they receive unanimous support from the House and passed.   4. Rep. Diane Black's amendment to prohibit any funds from the bill from being used to pay for the position of Public Advocate within Immigration and Customs Enforcement, to prohibit the funding for a Public Advocate position within ICE. In February, the Obama Administration announced plans for this new position that would speak on behalf of illegal aliens. We believe that funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement should be used to enforce immigration laws instead of being used to advocate on behalf of illegal aliens and passed.   5. Rep. Sam Graves' amendment to prohibit any funds from the bill from being used to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the rule "Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers of Inadmissibility for Certain Immediate Relatives" rule proposed by DHS. The proposed rule was entered into the federal register earlier this year and proposes to allow immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to remain in the country while they await a waiver decision from DHS. Because the process to receive a green card for immediate family members can often be a lengthy one, some family members decide to enter the U.S. illegally and wait it out, however, they must apply and get processed for their green cards outside of the United States. When their number is called, they risk being detected by immigration agents when they leave the country, and that could result in either a 3-year or 10-year bar from entering the United States. In special cases, DHS will offer a waiver to the 3-year and 10-year bar, but this proposed rule would make most illegal aliens that fall under this category eligible for the waiver and passed.   6. Rep. Lou Barletta and Rep and David Schweikert's, amendment that prohibits funds from the bill from being used by sanctuary cities. As the former mayor Barletta of Hazleton, Pa., one of the first cities to pass immigration-enforcement ordinances, ending sanctuary cities is a priority for Rep. Barletta and he also has offered legislation in Congress to prevent federal funding from going to sanctuary cities. It's important to note that this amendment would only prevent DHS spending from going to these cities of which the amendment passed. ] 7. Rep. John Sullivan's amendment to prohibit any funds from the bill from being used to terminate a 287(g) agreement would prohibit the Department of Homeland Security from terminating 287(g) agreements with local law enforcement agencies. The 287(g) program allows local law enforcement to partner-up with ICE and facilitates the training of agents so they can enforce federal immigration laws. In Pres. Obama's 2013 proposed budget, he removed all funding for 287(g), but the DHS spending bill added the funding back in. Rep. Sullivan's amendment was offered to prevent the Administration from ending the program by simply terminating all the contracts and passed.   Further to these amendments passing, is the ongoing fact that there are still the under mentioned bills that need urgent attention. Each American voter needs to insist that these bills get a reading in the House of Representatives. Resistance from GOP House speaker, John Boehner of Ohio and Dave Camp of Michigan, who is Chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, is not satisfactory to the TEA PARTY? Keeping these laws contained is unbeneficial to U.S. workers, as E-Verify for instance would open wide the job market, when illegal labor could no longer find employment.   H.R.100 - The CLEAR Act presented by Rep. Marsha Blackburn would augment interior enforcement by requiring federal immigration officials to cooperate with local law enforcement agents. It also provides full backing for SCAAP, which compensates states that incarcerate criminal illegal aliens.   H.R.140 - The Birthright Citizenship Act introduced by Rep. Steve King would end Birthright Citizenship, requiring that at least one parent of a child born in the United States be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. The U.S. is one of only two developed nations (Canada) to still offer Birthright Citizenship. This is a hundred billion dollar expenditure for taxpayers Smuggled children that inherit instant citizenship through misguided laws, which have not been tested in the Supreme Court. Another unfunded mandate, that is part of uncompensated mandates such as education through high school graduation, free health treatments from the common cold to expensive surgeries paid by YOU. An overcrowded prison system full of criminal aliens that is to blame for high percentages of wicked acts in the U.S. Then a kaleidoscope of welfare programs manipulated by both parties, giving access to programs, denied to our citizens and legal residents.   H.R. 692 - The Nuclear Family Priority Act introduced by Rep. Phil Gingrey would finish Chain Migration. The bill would reform the family preference visa categories to only allow nuclear family members (spouses and minor children) that are foreign nationals to receive green cards. The bill would also create a provisional, but renewable visa for the parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. Eliminating Chain Migration was a recommendation of the bi-partisan Barbara Jordan Commission issued in 1995 and would have the greatest impact in reducing overall immigration numbers.   H.R. 2885 - Already well sponsored is Mandatory E-Verify, which was initially sponsored by Senator Lamar Smith of Texas. The bill entitled ‘The Legal Workforce Bill’ (H.R.2885) has been blocked by House speaker, John Boehner of Ohio and Dave Camp of Michigan, who is Chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee. Americans must insist these lawmakers. E-Verify have gained a success rate nationwide, but is still only voluntary.  We must insist both parties place (H.R.2885) to be presented on the house floor without delay.  Millions of Americans that remain jobless would benefit highly from mandatory E-Verify. This computer based government application can detect illegal workers and reject them from every business—large and small—with heavy punishment for indifferent company owners. Farmers are just as incorrigible as they pay little or nothing towards the illegal aliens they employ, leaving the medical treatment, schooling and welfare benefits for the state taxpayer to cover. Years of intentional encouragement by both political parties, has erupted in a major response from anti-illegal alien organizations, including NumbersUSA, Americans for Legal Immigration (ALIPAC), The Heritage foundation, The Federation for Immigration Reform, Judicial Watch and thousands of more groups, blogs available to all readers across the Internet.   Employment visas should only be granted to professional people and STEM workers (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) workers to the U.S. in an expedited process. However the STEM workers must be of the highest order, not undermining the top experienced intellects here? The Constitutional TEA PARTY is gaining in power and will unseat liberal Democrat-Republican pro-illegal immigration politicians, derailing open border zealot ideologies. Lastly we must oversee all elections, as Democrats are indifferent to illegal aliens voting, which is carefully hidden; surf the Internet for information on voter fraud and ID theft that has been gaining momentum in the last two decades. Read the latest irregularities by checking Florida.  

Robertoatesbronx
Robertoatesbronx

illegal is not a race---------a new poll out that has only bee on two sites says 75% of Americans want all illegals deported --one story just gave the facts but the huntington report changed every thing around so it would not look so bad they said 45 % of Americans want illegals deported but thay also said another 30% feel really strong that all illegals schould be deported

Joel Wischkaemper
Joel Wischkaemper

 and Arizona isn't the only state looking to ask brown people for their papers. -------------------------------------- Crashing bigotry to say the least. SB 1070 deals with illegal aliens.  Nothing else really, and in fact, it mirrors the Federal Immigration Law.  In addition, in order to be in this country if you are a foreign national, you do have to show your papers, and illegal aliens cannot do that can they.  Yes they ask ALL colors for their papers and that protects us from really bad customers.  Illegal aliens have tended to be Mexican Nationals from the get go.  While some are brown, they come in white, blue, red, black and gold.   So give the racism a rest and if you can avoid glaring racism and spin right out of the moldy old box, maybe I will read the story.

Robertoatesbronx
Robertoatesbronx

TICK TICK TICK TICK ITS ALMOST TIME FOR THE SURPREM COURT TO LOWER DA BOOM   ON ALL ILLEGALS OBOMA CANT HELP YOU KNOW

Robertoatesbronx
Robertoatesbronx

WHY CANT THE ILLEGALS TAKE A HINT --we the American people do not want you here cant you take a hint -its been real fun but now you must go back home -or you dont have to go home but you cant stay here                          

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