I noticed on the news earlier that the federal government was preparing to file a lawsuit against Arizona over their immigration law that has garnered so much attention. Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air has the scoop and notes the thrust of the federal argument:
The Department of Justice will file a lawsuit this week, perhaps as early as today, against Arizona to block its new immigration-enforcement law. They plan to use the weakest argument possible, that of pre-emption, which amounts to a surrender on the grounds that the Obama administration has claimed in the previous three months of debate:
Why might they be skeptical of this approach? The argument relies on a position that claims that the federal government is the only sovereign with jurisdiction to enforce immigration laws. They may need to explain, then, the DoJ effort to train state and local law enforcement on immigration law and enforcement. The program, called Basic Immigration Enforcement Training (BIET), offers the following training:
It seems rather clear that the DoJ intended to get state and local law enforcement involved in immigration efforts. Arizona’s law doesn’t set up the state as an adjudicator of the complaints, but merely requires police to check status and refer suspects to ICE when circumstances warrant. It doesn’t violate federal prerogative at all, but instead forces the federal government to act responsibly to enforce the law.
More importantly, the lawsuit filed makes absolutely no mention of a discrimination approach to challenging the law. Morrissey notes that ABC’s Jake Tapper reports on this and asks why, if the law is as discriminatory as the president and the AG have been saying it is for the past several weeks, did the government not make that part of the case? Indeed, shouldn’t it be the primary argument?
Unless, of course, they know that it’s not.
As I mentioned here the Arizona law isn’t attempting to regulate immigration. There’s nothing about the process that’s changed with the application of this law. It’s about locating and apprehending people who have explicitly not adhered to the federal immigration laws. The only way I can see that the Arizona law could be preempting federal action is if the federal government were actually enforcing the immigrations laws that are part of their mission. They’re not. I fail to see how one preempts actions that another is not and appears to not want to undertake.
Should be interesting.