Following in the shadow of President Obama, who recently made public statements about how the Supreme Court should rule in the challenge to the “Obamacare” law, Schumer said, “The Supreme Court should find the Arizona law unconstitutional, but if it doesn’t, Congress will be ready.”
There is plenty of disagreement about the provisions of immigration laws passed by states. In our own state we have seen residents inconvenienced by long lines to renew vehicle registrations, business owners inconvenienced by requirements to register in the e-verify program, government agencies inconvenienced by requirements to verify that everyone they do business with is registered in the e-verify program, and high-profile traffic stops of Mercedes and Honda managers who were inconvenienced because they didn’t have state-mandated paperwork with them at the time. Other aspects of state laws also have their critics.
There doesn’t seem to be any disagreement that the federal government has failed to prevent millions of people from entering and remaining in the country illegally, and states are responding to problems the feds aren’t trying to fix.
If the Supreme Court doesn’t invalidate Arizona’s law, Schumer wants to introduce legislation that would prohibit the states from passing their own immigration laws, saying this has always been a role of the federal government. He offered no hint that anything would be done to improve the federal government’s performance in protecting borders or enforcing federal immigration laws.
Only one other senator showed up for Schumer’s hearing, and he didn’t get much response from Arizonans, either. Gov. Jan Brewer didn’t even bother to show up.
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange attended the Supreme Court hearing Wednesday, and said he is “cautiously optimistic” the court will recognize that the states can play an important role assisting the federal government with immigration enforcement.
We hope he’s right about that.
If Schumer thinks the nation’s immigration laws need to be changed, he is certainly welcome to make his case.
But right now, it looks like the federal government is battling the states over who should be in charge of closing the gate while leaving it wide open.
If the feds aren’t going to do the job, the least they can do is get out of the way.