2006 June 25 Sunday
Court Rulings Ease Immigration Law Enforcement

The US Supreme Court has issued a ruling that makes it easier to deport illegal aliens.

The Supreme Court endorsed a tough application of immigration law to certain longtime illegal immigrants, clearing the way for summary deportations of perhaps thousands who have been living in the United States for a decade or more.

By a vote of 8 to 1, the court ruled that the U.S. government properly sent Utah truck driver Humberto Fernandez-Vargas back to Mexico in 2004 because he returned to the U.S. illegally in 1982 after having been previously deported.

A new local court ruling in Arizona also makes immigration law enforcement easier. Maricopa County Arizona (encompasses Phoenix) Superior Court Judge Thomas O'Toole ruled that Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas's practice of prosecuting illegal immigrants for engaging in a conspiracy to violate US immigration laws is constitutional.

PHOENIX -- A judge upheld an Arizona law Friday that created the state crime of immigrant smuggling, rejecting arguments that it was an unconstitutional attempt by the state to regulate immigration.

The ruling was a victory for a prosecutor who has used the 9-month-old law to target not only smugglers but also their customers as conspirators to the crime.

The interpretation led to scores of prosecutions against immigrants in Maricopa County and drew a sharp response from immigrant advocates and the law's author, who said it was intended to apply only to smugglers.

This ruling opens the door for far more extensive state-level creation and enforcement of laws regarding illegal immigration.

He said state law makes it clear that when two or more people are involved in a plan to break the law, that constitutes a conspiracy.

The judge also said federal immigration laws do not pre-empt states from imposing their own regulations.

That part of the ruling has potential implications beyond the specific questions of the law in question. It also goes to the ongoing fight at the Capitol over whether the state has the power to enact various laws dealing with illegal entrants and specifically whether it can punish companies that hire undocumented workers.

Prosecutor Andrew Thomas has teamed up with Sheriff Joe Arpaio in a policy to arrest and prosecute illegal aliens.

Following the legal advice of Maricopa County's tough on crime prosecutor Andrew Thomas, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio began arresting illegal immigrants under the new law and referring them for prosecution. Since the enforcement began, 272 illegal immigrants have been arrested and charged. Twenty-three illegal immigrants and one coyote have pled guilty, and will serve jail-time before being deported. With a felony on their record, they will have a slim chance at ever entering the U.S. legally or obtaining U.S. citizenship.

National and local level enforcement of immigration laws has the potential to send the illegals running back to their countries of origin.

The Governor of Massachusetts wants to join the list of jurisdictions whose police can arrest illegal aliens.

Governor Mitt Romney is seeking an agreement with federal authorities that would allow Massachusetts state troopers to arrest undocumented immigrants for being in the country illegally.

...

If the proposal is approved, Massachusetts would join a handful of states and localities that have entered into such pacts since they were first authorized in 1996. That list includes Florida, Alabama, and a few counties in California and North Carolina, where a limited number of officers have been trained to enforce immigration laws.

The US Senate and President are out of step with the rest of the country on immigration.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2006 June 25 02:11 PM  Immigration Law Enforcement


Comments
Russ said at June 25, 2006 3:28 PM:

Supreme Court ruling only applies to immigrants who arrived here before 1996. Not a big deal.

John S Bolton said at June 26, 2006 2:22 AM:

Conspiracy to report false identity is a serious offense which all sorts of businesses routinely get involved in.
Employers have forms to fill out for employee records, and they should not be exempt from the legal requirement not to conspire to report false identity.
These are not victimless crimes when the net taxpayer is subject to increased aggression from the dropping-off of illegal employee's costs on to the public.

Russ said at June 26, 2006 4:29 AM:

No one seemed to notice that earlier in June the Supreme Court sent the Mohawk carpet case back to the appeals court for reconsideration. The mohawk carpet case was questioning whether employees who lost their jobs to illegal immigrants can sue employers for conspiracy to recruit the illegal immigrants. A ruling in the other direction would have made every company who hired illegal aliens or used subcontractors who did liable. The impact would have been enormous. Instead, no ruling at all. They just sent it back and asked them to reconsider based on another obscure ruling on a similar matter.


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