Jim Kouri
Obama threatens Arizona with Justice Department investigation
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By Jim Kouri
April 23, 2010

On Friday, President Barack Obama revealed his disdain for a new law in Arizona that would require police in the state that borders Mexico to determine if people are in the United States illegally.

The law, signed by Governor Jan Brewer, requires state and local police to determine the status of people if there is "reasonable suspicion" that they are illegal immigrants and to arrest people who are unable to provide documents proving they are in the country legally.

"If we continue to fail to act at a federal level, we will continue to see misguided efforts opening up around the country," Obama said.

Obama also said that the Justice Department will monitor enforcement of this new law, a statement many believe is a threat aimed at Arizona cops.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs later said if the Arizona measure became law in that state, Obama has asked that the Justice Department look into any civil rights implications.

While the pleas from American citizens in Arizona and other states fell on deaf ears in Washington, DC, the violence and crime at the U.S.-Mexico border continued unabated.

In yet another example of violence spreading north of the border, a deadly Mexican gang is actively plotting to kill U.S. law enforcement officers and their families in Texas, according to a Department of Homeland Security alert that warns U.S. cops to wear body armor and vary routes to avoid being tracked.

The U.S. government has spent billions of dollars to fight Mexican drug cartels yet they continue to be the nation's largest supplier of illicit narcotics and violent Mexican gangs have expanded into every region of the country, including idyllic rural areas.

"This is hardly earth-shattering news since Mexico has long represented the single greatest drug trafficking threat to the U.S., despite Uncle Sam's multi billion-dollar effort to halt the northbound flow of narcotics. The costly investment has failed miserably, according to a federal report that reveals Mexican heroin production has actually doubled in the last year," state officials from the public-interest group Judicial Watch.

In the absence of federal enforcement a Mexican border state — Arizona — drowning in an illegal immigration pandemic has passed legislation that bans "sanctuary city" policies and makes it a state crime to be in the U.S. without proper documentation.

The law marks an unprecedented effort by an American state to take immigration matters into its own hands since immigration offenses are currently violations of federal law that cannot be enforced by local police. But lawmakers in Arizona are fed up with the enormous toll that illegal aliens are having on their state as the feds sit idly by and fail to secure the southern border, according to a Judicial Watch report obtained by the National Association of Chiefs of Police.

In the past few years they've chipped away at the crisis with other measures, though this is by far the most hard-hitting and definitely among the country's toughest immigration enforcement laws. The measure, passed this week by the Arizona House and previously approved by the Senate, grants police the power to stop and verify the immigration status of anyone suspected of being illegal and requires foreign nationals to carry proof of legal residency. This includes the man known as "America's sheriff" Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix.

Sheriff Arpaio has been targeted by the Obama Justice Department and Democrats in his own state because of his tough immigration enforcement policy.

Illegal aliens will be charged in state court with trespassing and anyone — documented or undocumented — seeking work from a road or sidewalk will also be criminally prosecuted. Drivers who pick up illegal alien day laborers will also be punished when the law kicks in.

Predictably, immigration advocates are incensed and have called on Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to veto the measure which they assert is racist. The legal director of an influential national group La Raza that represents day laborers calls it an "unconstitutional, unwise and odious bill" created by "demagogue leaders" who have become folk heroes for "white supremacists" throughout the country.

Arizona lawmakers have long searched for ways to curb the colossal impact that illegal immigration has had on their state. A few years ago they enacted a law that punishes businesses that hire illegal immigrants, though the state has not penalized a single employer. Legislators allocated the sufficient funds (about $5 million) to enforce the law but a chunk of the money remains largely unspent by counties throughout the state, according to the JW report.

© Jim Kouri

 

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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)

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