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First blood in the immigration battle

By Lee Hockstader

It would be nice to think that Judge Susan R. Bolton’s decision to block the most noxious parts of Arizona’s immigration law from taking effect would spur Congress to fix the nation’s broken immigration system once and for all. Unfortunately, her ruling is more likely to generate more venom in the already poisonous national debate on immigration, and harden the positions of activists on all sides.

You can forecast the likely effects of the judge’s ruling already. Arizona will appeal. The case will wend its way through the courts, prompting talk show tirades and more of the online race riots that pass for this country’s conversation about immigration.

Other states, impelled by ideology or stressed (like Arizona) by real burdens imposed by illegal immigrants, will jump into the fray. In state legislatures, lawmakers -- mostly Republicans -- will push similar or even harsher bills. Those that pass will prompt more lawsuits, and an even messier patchwork of state-by-state immigration enforcement. Some Democrats, seeing a strategic chance to lock up Hispanic votes virtually forever, will fight back gleefully. Karl Rove, who knows long-term electoral suicide by the GOP when he sees it, will tear his hair.

If the Arizona law was a battle cry, Bolton’s ruling is the whiff of first blood. Cooler heads will not prevail; they won't be heard at all. The ruling will only attenuate the timeline for any Congressional compromise on the basic elements of immigration reform -- tougher enforcement in return for amnesty and a more realistic regime governing future legal immigration.

Sure, Congress may eventually step in once the dust settles, whenever that is. There will still be many millions of illegal immigrants in neighborhoods, restaurants, factories and fields, and forcibly removing them in large numbers will continue to be politically, economically and practically impossible -- not to mention morally distasteful given that so many have children and relatives who are American citizens. The rationale for a federal resolution will only grow stronger. But I’d hate to take bets on how long that will take.

By Lee Hockstader  | July 29, 2010; 10:12 AM ET
Categories:  Hockstader  | Tags:  Lee Hockstader  
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Comments

The Arizona law on employment has already reached the Supreme court. The appeals court has already upheld Rhode Island's enforcement policy in Estrada v Rhode Island. Hazelton has been waiting an appeals court ruling since 2008. The Arizona law as first blood, hardly. In addition, one can add the Flores has never been fully litigated, there is a challenge to Plyler out there, and, finally, it may well be that we are seeing a challenge to birth right citizenship based on an 1884 decision, Elk v Wilkins. Arizona has gotten a lot of attention and may have some political meaning, but as far as the courts are concerned, it is simply one among many many cases in the federal system.

Posted by: jeffreed | July 29, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Lee Hockstader is an idiot. Poorly worded and biased to boot. "The case will wend its way through the courts" don't quit your day job.

Posted by: inoc | July 29, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Even in its truncated version, the Arizona law is causing illegals to flee the state, which proves once and for all that ENFORCEMENT WORKS.

We do not have a "broken" immigration system. We have an immigration system that is not enforced, as was promised to us in exchange for the first amnesty in 1986.

Just enforce the law already!

Posted by: MaryJessel | July 29, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday was a great day for Arizona. The State doesn't have anything like the resources necessary for effective enforcement of this law. But this ruling guarantees that the law will be front and center in the news for at least eithteen to twenty four months before the Supreme Court upholds it.

According to the pro illegal Arizona Republica as many as 100,00 illegals have already fled the State, preumably to South LA to join their aunts, uncles and cousins. While the Arizona Republica does not know the actual number and is undoubtedly inflating the estimate for political purposes, there is no doubt the law is having an efffect much greater than enforcement could ever have. If we are lucky perhaps 100,000 to 150,000 more illegals will flee Arizona during the next two years.

But of course Obama will allow many more than that number of Mexicans to cross into Arizona during the same time. And that is the nut of it. As long as Obama sees Mexicans as the next great pool of Democrat voters this law will accomplish little whether or not it is effect.

Posted by: jdonner2 | July 29, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

No one has to forcibly remove the millions of illegal immigrants. If they can't be employed, can't receive health benefits, food stamps, they will go home. In any case, if we need to forcibly remove illegal, we can always hire the Israelis. They know how to do it effectively and practically.

Also, the issue is Illegal immigrants and not immigrants who have followed legal steps for immigrating.

Posted by: rs1952 | July 29, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

No one has to forcibly remove the millions of illegal immigrants. If they can't be employed, can't receive health benefits, food stamps, they will go home. In any case, if we need to forcibly remove illegal, we can always hire the Israelis. They know how to do it effectively and practically.

Also, the issue is Illegal immigrants and not immigrants who have followed legal steps for immigrating.

Posted by: rs1952 | July 29, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

The guest workers program is the most important immigration legislation that America needs right now. It's almost harvest season and American agriculture industries need affordable workers now to do the jobs that most Americans are unwilling to do.

A Guest Worker "Border Protection Tax" could help pay for Border expenses. Documented Guest workers can help companies with low pay for the hard work of plucking chickens, harvesting cotton and crops, putting up drywall and digging ditches, and basically doing the hard jobs for less that Americans are not willing to do for themselves because they have better Jobs and Opportunities. Guest workers making $7~$10/hour with little to no benefits, and paying $2/hour of that for a "border protection tax" isn’t a great deal for them, but likely better than whatever jobs are available for them elsewhere and it helps American industries that are unable to find American workers to do the job.

5 Myths about immigration

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/30/AR2010043001106.html

“foreign-born workers who fill lower-paying jobs are typically first-hired/first-fired employees, allowing employers to expand and contract their workforces rapidly. As a result, immigrants experience higher employment than natives during booms -- but they suffer higher job losses during downturns, including the current one.” “…immigration also stimulates growth by creating new consumers, entrepreneurs and investors….U.S. workers without a high school degree experience wage declines as a result of competition from immigrants, but these losses are modest, at just over 1 percent. Economists also estimate that for each job an immigrant fills, an additional job is created.”

Beefing up border protection to the tune of 10,000 more national guards and law enforcement personal; paid for out of the guest worker program is a win-win for America and the workers and allows registration and documentation of immigrant workers that can provide a 5~10 year path towards a full-time work Visa for those that stick with the program.

Posted by: Airborne82 | July 29, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Lee Hockstader, spewing typical Republican bile. Hateful. Disengenous. Misleading. Will sell his soul for political power.

Posted by: elderbetty | July 29, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Enforcement works if actually used. Most citizens want the current law enforced, we do not want any form of amnesty.

Posted by: jeffreid1 | July 29, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Radical, anti-American groups like La Raza and CASA of Maryland continue to threaten Arizona citizens and Major League Baseball. Using their illegal alien clientele as protesters (see link) they are demanding the 2011 Baseball All-Star Game be moved out of Phoenix, Arizona as part of their state-wide boycott.

http://act.presente.org/go/movethegame_post/136?akid=158.106904.tB_LUv&t=4

It’s time for the citizens of Maryland and the Greater Washington Area to fight back!

On Sunday, August 15, 1:35pm, the Arizona Diamondbacks play the Washington Nationals at Nats Park in DC. Let’s use this game to show our support for Arizona’s crackdown on illegal aliens and increased border security!

Bring your U.S., AZ, and Gadsden flags (no poles), poster or sign (no wood backing) supporting AZ’s tough immigration law! No Amnesty! Enforce the Law!

Purchase a ticket to the August 15 game through the website link below. Tickets for this event are located in two nearby sections of Nats stadium so we can all sit together.

www.nationals.com/rockvillebaseball

Help Arizona in the fight against illegal immigration and support local Maryland youth baseball at the same time. The Nationals will make a donation to Maryland baseball for each ticket sold thru this link.

Posted by: pmendez | July 29, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

"There will still be many millions of illegal immigrants in neighborhoods, restaurants, factories and fields, and forcibly removing them in large numbers will continue to be politically, economically and practically impossible -- not to mention morally distasteful given that so many have children and relatives who are American citizens."

FIRST - there is no reason to "forcibly remove" any illegal aliens. Take away their jobs, their free health care, free education, and other social services and they'll willingly go home on their own. The "forced deportation" argument is a straw man.

SECOND - what is "morally distasteful" about punishing criminals with American children and relatives? We jail fathers and mothers all the time. If an American mother commits murder, we lock her up for life. Illegal aliens who are deported can always take their children with them.

Posted by: pmendez | July 29, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse


ICE has 19,000 employees, split between immigration and customs work. They dont have the manpower to fix this alone, state and local law enforcement has to play a large role.

Posted by: nuke41 | July 29, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Why would it be "election suicide" to pursue the enforcement of US law in the courts, and the passage of more-stringent anti-illegal legislation?

What kind of dreamworld are you living in?

You make it clear that this is a case of law-abiding US citizens vs a -let's face it: mostly Latino- culture that fosters and panders to lawbreaking illegal immigrants and their supporters. It's almost like you're writing this with a chip on your shoulder, or at least, pointing-out the chips on the shoulders of Latino voters.

The bottom line here is that Federal law is the basis for the Arizona law, many states have similar laws in the works for similar reasons. You can complain about where the water is flowing but you're not going to stop water from flowing downhill. There are too many illegals out there with more on the way and something has to be done. It's that simple.

Posted by: dubya1938 | July 29, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100729/ap_on_re_us/us_arizona_immigration

...let's go march, wave flags, chant, sing, dance and cry, it's SO much easier than just obeying the law.

THAT is where the problem is coming from. Admittedly the states aren't exactly responding properly, I would much prefer that they focus more on enforcing US immigration law than they are now, but as a whole, through Congress, instead of in terms of individual states

BUT

Who is to say that they can't have ANY immigration-related laws on their books? I really don't see how at least checking the immigration status of suspected illegals is all that bad. I don't see the states setting Federal immigration policy. I don't see them deporting illegals. I simply see them "checking".

And I don't see why people don't understand that if you are in the USA without ID or even any plausible excuse for why you are here, then you're quite liable to be arrested. Why should this not be the case, "because it would strike fear in the hearts of citizens on the streets"?

Where in the world do you get to wander around without ID and just tell the police "I don't know how I got here or why I am here, sorry" and just move on?

Hell no, aside from the fact that if you were caught by the police in Moscow or China or many places on the planet without the *PROPER* ID, they would lock you up in a minute. Hell, even *Russian* citizens require a special registration to enter Moscow. All we are asking for here is that most of the Latinos in Central & South America do not treat the US as their own country and just "move in", "hey, the land's free, the water's good and the air's fine, set up your pupusa stand on the corner and make some money".

That can't be allowed to happen. It's that simple. And what is your problem with the court system and the democratic process in the US?

What part of this do you NOT have problems with? The Federal government not enforcing US immigration law, or at best sitting in DC and relying on employer self-reporting in order to determine how much to fine them?

I hear "complaints". I don't hear valid, workable *effective* solutions from you...that wouldn't have many if not all of the same problems that you mention here. Maybe we should just do nothing?

Posted by: dubya1938 | July 29, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I think "election suicide" awaits those people who advocate treason. The great soap-salesman, RR, hoodwinked the American people once in 1986, and I doubt if he would try the same act again.

The issue is clearly drawn now: which side are you on?

Posted by: rusty3 | July 29, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

If employers paid a decent, living-wage those jobs which, suposedly, "American's won't take" would go to citizens of this country.

Personally (I guess I am special, right?), I have held many of the jobs people refer to (dry-cleaning, landscaping, shirt-presser, auto mechanic) as being the jobs people won't do. I can tell you now, citizens will take those jobs.

Those companies that have been exploiting illegal's, if they can't hang in there and do things legally, deserve to fold! They have been using people far too long - let them close their doors! This is America, and people will open more doors - legally - as the others are closing.

I am for both legalized immigration (every 20 years, or so) and strict border enforcement. What I am not for are politician's which, in order to further their agenda (that is, being reelected), sacrifice the good of the country for their own personal greed and gain.

I sincerely hope the day is coming when we, the American people, get off our asses and away from our T.V's and other electronic gadgets (including this computer - you have to be SEEN to be HEARD) and bring our elected officials (those accountable) down from thier thrones of power and decision-making.

Peace

Posted by: SLCoode | July 29, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

well informed citizens will not accept any immigration reform package unless it contains some form of national identity card and stiff fines/jail time for employers who hire illegals knowingly and willingly.

We could build a twenty foot wall all along our southern border and all it would do is increase the sale of twenty two feet ladders. This issue is all about jobs and economic opportunity here for illegals. Dry up that pool and you will stop the flow of illegals. Refuse to address the issue and after we give amnesty to the fifteen million already here, we can get ready to welcome the next fifteen million.

Posted by: bobfbell | July 29, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

This Article is wrong in indicating the District Court's ruling yesterday was the "First Blood" in Arizona's battle to protect its citizens.

The true First Blood will be when an illegal alien kills a citizen of Arizona after getting a ticket or having another interaction with Arizona law enforcement or after release by Federal officials. In such circumstances, where enforcing Arizona's law could have prevented the death by jailing or deporting the killer before the death, the Federal Government will pass from mere negligence and incompetence in failing to enforce the law to culpability for premeditated murder of an American citizen.

That "First Blood" will unleash a wave across the Land that holds the Obama Administration and illegal aliens protectors in Congress accountable for their part in the murder(s).

Moving from passive tolerance for illegal aliens to taking active and aggressive action to prevent Arizona's self-defense of its citizens will not go unpunished.

There can be no defense that the results of the Obama Administrations' interference with Arizona's self-defense were not foreseeable. The resulting murder(s) are both foreseeable and inevitable - only the time and circumstances of the murder(s) are in question. I hope Arizona maintains meticulous records of all police interactions to prove the Obama Administration's guilt when the murder(s) occur.

The President will have American blood on his hands. God may be merciful on his soul, but the American People will not be merciful on him and his political allies who endanger Americans to buy votes.

Posted by: jfv123 | July 29, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I was just watching the demonstrations in Phoenix. My initial reaction is that these people are deserters. They've deserted their own country rather than staying there to affect positive change. They have no country. They've deserted their own, and they don't, as yet, own mine. Do you think a true American would pack up and leave when things aren't going well? No! We stay, we fight, we make our voices heard at the polls, and we affect change. That is what being an American is all about. These people don't deserve citizenship to this great country. These deserters. This judge had a real opportunity, lost, to make a statement for the rule of law in this country. Had she done so by upholding AZ's right to protect its citizens, then maybe we could have had a rational discussion of guest worker programs for those here illegally. Since she did not, she has added fuel to the fire on both sides. Foreign nationals demonstrating in our streets will just polarize those legal citizens who have had enough. Enjoy your minor victory. It's not over by a lot shot.

Posted by: 78vette | July 29, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

...There will still be many millions of illegal immigrants in neighborhoods, restaurants, factories and fields, and forcibly removing them in large numbers will continue to be politically, economically and practically impossible...


...not only possible, but do-able, and soon to be done. And if you think that these criminals and these traitors and their illegitimate f@rts are going to cow the rest of us, then you better find a good and sturdy helmet, and buckle it tight...

Posted by: hared | July 29, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

"If employers paid a decent, living-wage those jobs which, suposedly, "American's won't take" would go to citizens of this country."

Why would they pay a decent, living wage when they can pay $4/hour for an illegal immigrant to do the same job ?

Employers will pay decent, living wages when they are forced to hire American citizens.

Posted by: princeps2 | July 29, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

American don't believe in equality and there is always a need for cheap labor for capitalists. But too much cheap labor leads to economic crash as the economy is made up of 70% of comsumers.

If consumers have little money than demand is reduced and this requires a reduction of inventory. If the cycle contiunes you have deflation. Those who are old remember the last depression and the cycle of layoffs and deflation.

These capitalists may be creating there own death. But short-term things look fine and long-term the capitalists may be dead. No need to worry about the long-term future as main language may turn out to be spanish. Maybe Mexico will get back the land they lost in the war. Vivo Zapata!

Posted by: artg | July 29, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

The comments here certainly back up the theme of the main post. Yeesh.

Posted by: jbritt3 | July 29, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

No one has to forcibly remove the millions of illegal immigrants. If they can't be employed, can't receive health benefits, food stamps, they will go home. In any case, if we need to forcibly remove illegal, we can always hire the Israelis. They know how to do it effectively and practically.
Posted by: rs1952
***

First, Obama is doing more enforcement than any president in history, so would y'all (not necessarily rs1952) drop the BS about that?

Yes, terrorism turned Palestinians into refugees. But they were living in separate villages, not dispersed among the general population.

Even documented migrants are barred from most forms of welfare. Do some undocumented migrants get food stamps on behalf of their US citizen children? Yes. Which is more a testimony on how poorly they're paid than a mark against their work ethic.

Now employment is a different matter. They come to work; if there is no work they would stay home rather than undertake a dangerous and expensive journey. However, unless we make provisions to import enough workers for our jobs with comprehensive reform, two things will happen.

First, our economy will shrink - until citizens get desperate enough to go out picking lettuce and tomatoes. Slaughterhouse wages may increase a bit and McDonald's hamburgers increase in price a buck, but we'll also find we're outsourcing slaughterhouse jobs and importing boxed beef.

Second, other jobs will go into the underground economy - untaxed, unregulated, and fertile grounds for criminal enterprise.

Prohibition was going to cure all our social ills, too. It was so obvious, no one bothered to think it through. Locking criminals up longer and longer was going to solve crime - no one anticipated that it was going to starve our schools.

So how about it? Tone down the certainty and righteousness, and think it through? Have a real debate, not just a shouting match?

Fat chance. Which is why, in the brave new 21st Century, we are our own worst enemy.

Posted by: j3hess | July 29, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Progressives: We Told You So

As Bush Sr. once said, "This Will Not Stand"...

- Balkingpoints / www

Posted by: RField7 | July 29, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

If the good Christians of Arizona don't want illegal immigrants, why do they keep offering them jobs?

Posted by: areyousaying | July 29, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I am a native Arizonan and DO NOT support illegal immigration. Pearce and Kobach co-authored a shoddily written bill which is why Bolton put a temporary halt in effect. Should Peace and Kobach ( wanna be FAIR advocates) stopped their publicity stunts and wrote a good bill such laww would be enforced. BTW Kobach has written or co-authored (5) pieces of legislation and ALL have been deemed unconstitutional.

Posted by: neec13 | July 29, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

The true First Blood will be when an illegal alien kills a citizen of Arizona after getting a ticket or having another interaction with Arizona law enforcement or after release by Federal officials. In such circumstances, where enforcing Arizona's law could have prevented the death by jailing or deporting the killer before the death, the Federal Government will pass from mere negligence and incompetence in failing to enforce the law to culpability for premeditated murder of an American citizen.

___________________________________________

A legal US citizen is killed by an known-illegal almost every day. Dozens in California each year alone. Many of these illegals have avoided deportation (and sometimes even prosecution) in San Francisco. Nancy Pelosi's little haven for illegal criminals.

Posted by: fritz101 | July 29, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Lib lies either reach the Supreme Court or start there.

Posted by: OldAtlantic | July 29, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Need to change the definition of legal citizenship in this country.
Simply because one drops a baby on the US side of the bridge/border should not convey US citizenship. The US is one of a very few countries that so simply grant citizenship.

Posted by: joy5 | July 29, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Once again the radical liberal criminal illegal alien supporters are rioting in the streets and being arrested in droves.

Tea Party arrest in last year: 0

Posted by: hunter340 | July 29, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

This will all end when a terrorist attack comes from individuals entering through the southern border. It is just a matter of time. Advocates should take what they can get while they can.

Posted by: EFDTN | July 29, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

If the good Christians of Arizona don't want illegal immigrants, why do they keep offering them jobs?
Posted by: areyousaying |
--------------------
I don't know for sure but there is no monolithic group of Christians. Rich Arizonans clearly benefit by having a cheap source of labor and the poor Arizonans are losing their jobs.

Next question!

Posted by: rohit57 | July 29, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

The massive wave of ILLEGAL ALIENS committing crimes, including murder, rape, robbery and drug dealing is the first blood in the immigration battle.

Read em and weep hocksucker.

http://www.immigrationshumancost.org/text/crimevictims.html

http://www.voiac.org/

Plenty more where they came from.

This is WAR

Posted by: rcubedkc | July 29, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Quite simply, this ruling just gave the Republicans the fall election. 70% in Arizona want better regulation. 60% nationally want better regulation. Unfortunately for the Democrats, there are just not enough legal hispanics to overcome the landslide negative reaction to this ruling.

Posted by: sportsfan2 | July 29, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Arizona cracks me up. It's mainly desert. Nobody should be living there. I'm sure many Arizonans won't complain if they go to poach water from another state. If they want to stay contained, they should stay contained. If they go cross border for something, maybe they should be more understanding of the idea that a border is just a line.

Posted by: camasca | July 29, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Watch tonight's "Nightline" about illegals crossing the border into Ft. Hunt, Texas. All the US citizens are armed; they watch homes being burned across the river in Mexico by drug gangs. The American children hear gunfire across the border. There's a border fence but it just stops. The Americans don't know what's coming but they know the US isn't enforcing the border. One rancher asks, if we retreat 20 or 50 miles in, what's next? How far do we retreat next time? A bold look at the problem, well worth seeing.

Posted by: AdventurerVA | July 30, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

to all,

imVho & that of MOST "border state citizens" of EVERY sort, we want:
1. the state/federal immigration LAWS enforced,
2.ALL the ILLEGALS deported,
(when so identified by any otherwise lawful means)
3. those who, once deported, return UNLAWFULLY to the USA be IMPRISONED fom at least a year,
4. those, who UNLAWFULLY hire ILLEGAL aliens, to be indicted/convicted/imprisoned/fined
AND
5. ALL public services/benefits be provided ONLY to citizens & to LAWFUL immigrants.

it's really NO more complicated than that!

just my opinion.

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | July 30, 2010 1:46 AM | Report abuse

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