Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Thu, April 25

Editorial - SB 1070 decision: a litigator's dream

With Monday's Supreme Court decision on the controversial-from-birth SB1070 immigration law, it is safe to assume that all sides are gearing up for the next legal go-rounds.

Gov. Jan Brewer said as much when she called the decision a victory for all Americans but tempered that statement by saying, "It's certainly not the end of the journey."

The sweet smell of victory for those who applauded the decision quickly soured when, within hours of the decision, the Obama administration flexed its muscles and rescinded training and incarceration agreements with several Arizona law enforcement agencies, including the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office.

Now, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers will come to Arizona jails only to relieve those often-crowded facilities of illegal immigrants who are known to be criminals above and beyond the infraction of entering the country illegally.

Speaking with The Daily Courier, Sheriff Scott Mascher said he doesn't believe the decision will affect the day-to-day operations of the department, even amid warnings that folks who believe an agency is not following the law and not questioning suspected illegal immigrants could sue that agency for failing to provide legally mandated protection.

On the other side of the coin, it's easy to foresee lawsuits flowing like bitter wine from legal citizens and residents who find themselves targets of questioning and even arrest under the now-unleashed provision.

That possibility becomes even more real when considering that the Supreme Court struck down the sections of the law that would have required all immigrants to carry registration papers. Eliminating that provision - which too easily brought to mind the tactics of enemies of freedom from days gone by - was a sound decision, but one that almost seems at odds with the scraps of the original law that remain.

After all, you can't ask someone for papers that don't exist.

Arizona has spent millions defending the law, and it seems a wonder why that defense should continue, especially since a law is already in place that, in combination with a depressed economy, has effectively diminished the presence of illegal immigrants hereabouts.

That would be the Legal Arizona Workers Act, a 2008 measure that puts the issue of illegal immigration right where it belongs, in the laps - and on the laptops - of employers who seek to enhance their own profits while disregarding the real or imagined damage undocumented workers cause.

With e-Verify in place, law enforcement can arrest the people who are truly a danger to society and let the workplace take care of those who came looking for jobs.

But that all makes too much sense.


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