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Pro-con on judge's action on Arizona immigration law

The decision by U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton to block the enforcement of several provisions of a controversial Arizona immigration law is a good first step toward reversing a discriminatory measure that should never have been adopted. Bolton was right to prevent state law enforcement officers from demanding immigration papers from those they "reasonably" believe are in the United States illegally. The judge noted that such stops would probably mean that legal residents and U.S. citizens would be "swept up" by this obnoxious and patently xenophobic requirement. We would have preferred a broader ruling striking down the law in its entirety, but Bolton issued a thoughtful and well-reasoned decision that merits respect. There is little doubt that some on the right will find reason to use her decision as political fodder to stir up anti-immigrant, anti-court and anti-federal sentiment. This would be wrong. What is needed is not more vitriol but increased cooperation in crafting a comprehensive federal immigration reform bill to address the legitimate concerns of states such as Arizona. — Washington Post

The federal court's issuance of a temporary injunction against enforcement of the major provisions of the Arizona immigration law appears specious. Judge Susan Bolton bought the Justice Department's claim that the federal government has broad and exclusive authority to regulate immigration, and therefore that any state measure that is inconsistent with federal law is invalid. The Arizona law is completely consistent with federal law. In effect, the court is saying that if the feds refuse to enforce the law the states can't do it either, because doing so would transgress the federal policy of nonenforcement — which is nuts. This decision tells Americans that if they want the immigration laws enforced, they are going to need a president willing to do it, a Congress willing to make clear that the federal government has no interest in pre-empting state enforcement, and the selection of judges who will not invent novel legal theories to frustrate enforcement. They are not going to get that from the Obama/Reid/Pelosi Democrats. — Andy McCarthy, National Review Online

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