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Diana Thorn: Federal Abuse of Power on Ugly Display in Arizona Lawsuit

Obama administration again turns to politics rather than enforcing laws it doesn't like

Today, there is chaos along the southern U.S. border. States bordering Mexico, especially Arizona, are besieged by drug cartels, increased crime, kidnapping, murder and massive illegal immigration. It is a disastrous, dangerous and unbelievable scene, and getting worse.

What is the Obama administration doing about it? Very little. Unfortunately, it has hit an all-time low, by filing an outrageous lawsuit against the state of Arizona over its legitimate efforts to protect its border and citizens — a right guaranteed under the 10th Amendment.

The Arizona law, Senate Bill 1070, due to take effect July 29, seeks to enforce federal law, which makes it a crime to enter and be in the United States without proper immigration papers. President Barack Obama’s lawsuit seeks an injunction to stop the Arizona law from being implemented.

While leaving out the falsely alleged racial profiling that the administration has used to incite anger, near riots and fear about the new law, the lawsuit focuses narrowly on the power of the president and the Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Section 2 of the Constitution). Simply stated, the suit alleges that Arizona is pre-empted by “policy” set by the president and federal law and therefore is unconstitutional. The suit further asserts that states are not permitted to set their own independent immigration policies or enforce state laws in a manner that interferes with federal laws.

Are these points in the lawsuit valid? According to many legal experts, Arizona’s SB 1070 was designed to help federal immigration laws, not make state policies. Steven Camarota, research director for the Center for Immigration Studies, says the pre-emption and supremacy arguments won’t hold up, because the courts have already ruled that local authorities have the right to enforce immigration laws. In 1983, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a similar case in Arizona’s favor that “Yes, states and local police have the authority to make immigration arrests and to assist the federal government in enforcing federal immigration laws.”

Why did the Obama administration file this “selective enforcement” lawsuit? Why isn’t it going after sanctuary cities — a clear violation of immigration laws? The answer: POLITICS. Once again we see the Obama administration abusing its power. This time, the abuse is aimed at U.S. citizens, who need protection, as Obama advances a nonenforcement agenda to benefit noncitizens. As usual Obama is playing the race card, by trying to turn Arizona’s reasoned reaction to a real crisis of murder and mayhem by illegal immigrants into winning over the Hispanic vote in November.

Why is this lawsuit so dangerous? Because the president is using the full power of the federal government, like a dictator, for political gain, to enforce, or not enforce, whichever laws he wishes. This is abuse of power and shows this administration cares little about the plight of average Americans.

It is time to speak up, America. Fight for your freedoms, safety and state’s rights. Work to vote out corruption and power-hungry politicians at all levels of government.

— Diana Thorn is a Carpinteria resident.

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