As a proud supporter of SB1070, I was glad to see the Court uphold the most important aspect of the law—allowing local law enforcement to question someone’s immigration status during a lawful stop. I was saddened to see the Court strike down several other provisions of the law that made certain immigration-related activities state crimes.
To me and other policymakers concerned with the federal government’s total failure to protect our border, the issue boils down to whether states have the ability to protect their citizens. On this issue, I agree wholeheartedly with Justice Scalia, whose opinion pointed out that Arizona is dealing with:
“A Federal Government that does not want to enforce the immigration laws as written, and leaves the States’ borders unprotected against immigrants whom those laws would exclude. So the issue is a stark one. Are the sovereign States at the mercy of the Federal Executive’s refusal to enforce the Nation’s immigration laws?” (p. 21)
The real winners of the federal government’s failure to protect our border are the violent billionaire cartels, the drug-and-human smugglers, and the “open border” advocates. Criminal drug and human smuggling networks reach throughout our state and nation with dirty money. These networks build criminal corruption and destroy the lives of our citizens and their families. There are even concerns about terrorism spilling over our southern border.
As Chairman of the Border Security, Federalism, and State Sovereignty Committee, I understand how critical and urgent it is for the federal government to secure the Tucson sector of the border as they have the Yuma sector. If I and many others know where the smuggling routes are located, then it only stands to reason that the federal government knows also. It’s time to get the resources on the border needed to stop these criminal invaders. We have the technical ability. We have the knowledge. We have the manpower. We just need the political will. Upholding provisions of SB1070 is a great start. I fully agree with Justice Scalia:
“… to say, as the Court does, that Arizona contradicts federal law by enforcing applications of the Immigration Act that the President declines to enforce boggles the mind.” (p. 21)