Immigration Reform Debate

July 19, 2010

The 400,000 member American Bar Association (ABA) filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the United States' motion for a preliminary injunction in the USA vs Arizona lawsuit.

The ABA stated in their brief:
The ABA has long opposed initiatives such as S.B. 1070 that, by their plain language, can only be implemented by usurping the federal government’s exclusive authority to make immigration law and set immigration policy. While the ABA believes, as discussed in the ABA Commission on Immigration 2010 Report, that the federal immigration system must be reformed, and while the ABA appreciates Arizona’s desire to tackle the problems faced by that state, the ABA also urges that our Constitution does not allow for unilateral state action in the formulation of immigration law. Immigration matters are and must remain federal, and states should not be permitted to enforce immigration law independently of specific federal authorization; the practical result of the contrary would be the undermining of uniformity in immigration law and immigration law enforcement. S.B. 1070 should be ruled invalid because it attempts to establish policies at the state level for immigration law enforcement, management and supervision, all of which have been exclusively entrusted to the federal government.
The brief recognizes that "although citizens are not required to carry identification, S.B. 1070 will necessarily result in the detention of citizens – even if a police officer has already determined that they have committed no criminal offense – solely because they are not carrying identification."

Additionally, the ABA states that racial profiling will be used to enforce the law.  The brief stated, "The detained individuals may include asylum seekers, those who have been victims of human trafficking, those who appear to be out of status because information in a federal data base is not accurate, and those with valid immigration appeal rights."

The brief stated that the law will result in the detention of citizens and alleged "even though this law has not yet become effective, wrongful detention has been documented in Arizona." From the brief:
Further, as noted by the ABA Criminal Justice Section in a 2008 report to the ABA House of Delegates, there already exists “‘new evidence of possible racial-profiling by the Arizona Department of Public Safety’ showing that Highway Patrol officers were ‘more than twice as likely to search vehicles driven by Hispanics and Blacks than those operated by Anglos during 2006.’”
Read the ABA brief here. It's arguments are strong and clearly stated.

In May the ABA held its annual ABA Equal Justice Conference in Arizona, focusing on immigration issues.

President Carolyn B. Lamm said that the Arizona law is unconstitutional and won't solve problems. Watch the video:

Last week CNMI Attorney General Buckingham joined Republican AGs of 9 states in filing a brief to support the Arizona law. There will be a hearing on the lawsuit this week.

Dreamers in Washington, DC
Best wishes to the children of undocumented immigrants and their supporters who have travelled to Washington, DC, some by  by foot, to bring attention to the need to pass The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. The time to pass the DREAM Act is long overdue.

The DREAM Act would give children of undocumented immigrants the chance to earn conditional permanent residency and eventual citizenship if they have resided in the U.S. for five continuous years before the enactment of the bill, graduated from an American high school and attended college or enlisting in the military.

The dreamers (people who support the DREAM Act) will spend several days in the nation's capitol lobbying members of Congress, rallying and speaking to the media to help push the bipartisan legislation through Congress.
"We should not punish children for their parents' mistakes. That is not the American way. The DREAM Act says to these kids: America will give you a chance. We will give you the opportunity to earn your way to legal status if you work hard and play by the rules," said Sen. Richard Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, in a statement after proposing the legislation last year.
Photo from AP


Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting the brief of amicus American Bar Association (Doc. 35), plus that of the 9-state plus CNMI amici (Doc. 32) filed by the Michigan AG.

Interestingly, the CNMI signing on to the latter will limit the arguments the CNMI can make if the U.S. ever sues about N.M.I. Pub. L. 17-1. Taking inconsistent positions to what it is adopting now (through Michigan) would weaken its legal arguments significantly.

A big part of the 9 states' argument is that they assert no right to alter the conditions under which aliens reside in their boundaries, and are simply exercising the concurrent jurisdiction intended by Congress.

Here, the CNMI is claiming the right to alter the conditions pursuant to the residual authority of the CNRA. But this will have no force after November 28, 2011, or if DHS USCIS implements inconsistent CW regulations.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, the Nine States and the CNMI rely upon Title 8, United States Code, Subsection 1373(a):

“Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal, State, or local law, a Federal, State, or local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.”

8 U.S.C. §1373(a), available at .

Someone should point out this federal law to Deanne C. Siemer and Jacinta M. Kaipat!

Captain said...

I am assuming that this "rally" on "DREAM" is about the children that were NOT born in the US, ones that came across the border years ago. The ones that have been schooled and have no legal US status. I am assuming this because the ones that were born in the US would have automatic Citizenship.

On another note about ID being carried. Most if not all states, have/had requirements that people carry ID's. (this is from when I was a child) or you could be arrested for "vagrancy". An ID is/has been required for almost anything in everyday living. I do not understand why so much fuss about having to carry and ID.
It has been required all of my life. Even new born are required to get SS cards upon registering of birth and for the follow up on post natal care. (But this was Hawaii, not so familiar with US mainland))
Other places around the world we are required to carry a host country ID and/or our passports at all times.
Even NMI,Guam makes a big deal if a cop asks for an ID and you do not have one on you.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Captain, it is rather confusing. They must have been born outside the US. Strange, why not just give the amnesty or whatever to the parents? Using the kids as a "Illegal Alien Shield" is rather disturbing. Now the unauthorized workers are throwing up their seed corn. What's next?
Oh, as for the sign "We are Workers, not Criminals". Well, some of you are criminals. Sorry, but that's a fact. Of course, we have citizen criminals also. If you are an American Citizen Criminal you go to jail. If you are an illegal Alien you go to jail then you go home. Or you just go home. I don't see any problem. I guess I could hold up the same sign. I am a worker and not a criminal. The message is: Don't be a criminal because the Arizona law is going to catch you in a criminal act and send you back to Nogales.

Wendy said...

Anonymous 11:30

I know some of the children of undocumented immigrants. I have helped them and their supporters to promote the DREAM Act and to educate people on the issues. I met some of these students through a Catholic center that assists the migrant farm workers.

These are innocent children who were brought to the U.S. by their parents who took jobs here, most working in the fields to put food on our tables. These children attended U.S. schools and some graduated at the top of their classes. Once they graduate they cannot attend college unless they pay out of country tuition.

One such person is Eli. Eli came to Florida from Mexico when she was 11 years old. The daughter of migrant workers, she did not know any English when she arrived. At first she struggled in school, but she set her educational goals, studied hard, and became the first of her generation’s family members to go to college. She is studying at Seminole State College where she is working towards accomplishing her dream of becoming a psychologist. Eli is an advocate for the DREAM Act. She is an amazing young woman. There are thousands of Elis in the U.S., who given the chance, will be valuable and contributing members of our communities.

As for the sign. The U.S. needs to address the entire situation. Should just the illegal immigrants be deported or arrested, or should the employers, especially in the agricultural businesses, be sent to prison for hiring them? Illegals do not risk their lives crossing the border if there is no work.