On this blog I have had a recurring series called “Deport the Criminals First.” The idea is that, unless you are in favor of a complete open border policy, you would want to see the most undesirable illegal immigrants deported first: criminals, starting with violent criminals. I have therefore advocated checking the immigration status of every person arrested for a crime, especially violent crimes, and ensuring that we have sufficient resources to identify and deport violent criminals once they have served their sentences.
I see this as a completely noncontroversial and bipartisan proposal. I have repeatedly highlighted the tragic and often fatal consequences that visit victims when law enforcement fails to take this very basic step.
Professor William Jacobsen notes that, in the most startling portion of yesterday’s outrageous decision blocking implementation of most of Arizona’s immigration law, law enforcement officials are now apparently prevented from running such basic, common-sense immigration checks:
The inability of a state to implement a policy of checking the immigration status even of people already under arrest for some other crime is remarkable.
. . . . [S]tates already routinely run searches for a variety of statuses, including outstanding warrants, child support orders, and non-immigration identity checks. Each of these checks potentially could delay release of an innocent person or burden some federal agency.
The Judge’s reasoning, particularly that the status check provision violated the 4th Amendment even as to persons already under arrest, applies just as easily to these other status checks.
With a federal government which refuses to take action at the border until there is a deal on “comprehensive” immigration reform, meaning rewarding lawbreakers with a path to citizenship, this decision will [e]nsure a sense of anarchy. The law breakers have been emboldened today, for sure.
Understand clearly what is happening, according to Professor Jacobsen. Officials who arrest illegal immigrants for crimes, even violent ones, are apparently blocked from checking the immigration status of those suspects, under the reasoning of a decision that invalidates as unconstitutional a policy requiring such checks.
I have not read the ruling myself to verify this, but if this is true, it is stunning.
This can’t get to the Supreme Court fast enough. Let’s hope it gets there before Obama packs the court with more liberals who would turn a blind eye to common sense.