Sunday, February 10, 2008

Anti-Illegal Immigrant Laws Upheld

The New York Times has an article detailing the victories of states and municipalities to police illegal immigration in their communities.

On Thursday, a federal judge in Arizona ruled against a lawsuit by construction contractors and immigrant organizations who sought to halt a state law that went into effect on Jan. 1 imposing severe penalties on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. The judge, Neil V. Wake of Federal District Court, methodically rejected all of the contractors’ arguments that the Arizona law invaded legal territory belonging exclusively to the federal government.

On Jan. 31, a federal judge in Missouri, E. Richard Webber, issued a similarly broad and even more forcefully worded decision in favor of an ordinance aimed at employers of illegal immigrants adopted by Valley Park, Mo., a city on the outskirts of St. Louis.

And, in an even more sweeping ruling in December, a judge in Oklahoma, James H. Payne, threw out a lawsuit against a state statute enacted last year requiring state contractors to verify new employees’ immigration status. Judge Payne said the immigrants should not be able to bring their claims to court because they were living in the country in violation of the law.

Locally, Farmers Branch passed a city ordinance requiring tenants to show proof of residency to rent within the city limits. The law has been stuck in the courts ever since, where liberals consider it cruel to enforce our laws.

Those in favor of illegal immigrants tend to argue that immigration is a federal issue and states and cities are barred from creating laws to enforce the feds' job. But many courts are starting to see the futility of preventing states and cities from protecting themselves in a situation where the federal government has been willfully impotent.
Judge Payne of Oklahoma, ruling Dec. 12 on state laws that took effect in November, went furthest in questioning the rights of illegal immigrants.

"These illegal alien plaintiffs seek nothing more than to use this court as a vehicle for their continued unlawful presence in this country," he wrote. "To allow these plaintiffs to do so would make this court an ‘abettor of iniquity,’ and this court finds that simply unpalatable."

It makes sense to me that states and localities should be allowed to police their own borders, particularly when the federal government has determined it will not do so.