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Jul. 28 2010 - 1:41 pm | 258 views | 1 recommendation | 9 comments

Judge blocks controversial sections of new Arizona immigration law

Well this is tentatively good news:

A judge has blocked the most controversial sections of Arizona’s new immigration law from taking effect Thursday, handing a major legal victory to opponents of the crackdown.

The law will still take effect Thursday, but without many of the provisions that angered opponents — including sections that required officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws. The judge also put on hold a part of the law that required immigrants to carry their papers at all times, and made it illegal for undocumented workers to solicit employment in public places.

Mind you, these provisions are only on hold. They haven’t been struck down entirely. I’ll cross my fingers on that front. Meanwhile, Sheriff Joe continues to break the law in order to enforce it:

The hardest-line approach is expected in the Phoenix area, where Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio plans his 17th crime and immigration sweep. He plans to hold the sweep, regardless of any ruling by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton.

Arpaio, known for his tough stance against illegal immigration, plans to send about 200 deputies and volunteers out, looking for traffic violators, people wanted on criminal warrants and others. He’s used that tactic before to arrest dozens of people, many of them illegal immigrants.

“We don’t wait. We just do it,” he said. “If there’s a new law out, we’re going to enforce it.”

He said that the space he made in the complex of military surplus tents can handle 100 people, and that he will find room for more if necessary.

Must be nice to sit so far above the law. Then again, the people in Maricopa County just keep electing Arpaio time and time again. The law must not be as important as the fear.

It’s interesting to me to hear all the misrepresentations of the border problem. My parents were up in Montana visiting family recently when SB 1070 came up in conversation. “We hear there’s just a slaughter on the border down there,” my relatives told them. They were under the impression that the drug gangs – which compose almost 100% of all illegal immigrants according to Arizona governor, Jan Brewer – are just murdering good, decent hard-working Americans right and left down here. There’s this bizarre vision of mayhem and death along the border that simply isn’t true.

Then again the widespread public opinion that immigration hurts the economy is even more troubling than these outrageous tales of death and violence. Immigration is overwhelmingly a net gain to any economy, and the freer the movement of labor the better for everyone. Then again, I’m a crazy open-borders type. That radical amnesty-granting president, Ronald Reagan, understood this. I wish Americans could come around to his way of thinking.

And perhaps they will. Free trade faced similar obstacles, but Americans have become much more open-minded on that front. Free movement of labor is a very similar concept, and is similarly beneficial to the well-being of people across the globe. These things take time. Hearts and minds change.


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  1. collapse expand

    I couldn’t agree with you more on immigration. I think the culprit is that to the extent that economics is taught to people in America I don’t think teachers have figured out a way to make the subject matter come alive: all I remember is class-long discussions on real vs. nominal GDP and generally just a long laundry list of concepts instead of a comprehensive way of thinking. Half a semester right before graduating high school just isn’t enough, and there really needs to be some new thinking about how to approach the subject.

    If we were turning out students who could intelligently analyze, say, supply-side idiocy and could understand what the Fed is and what it does, and how free trade helps us rather than hurts us (hint: inflation) we’d be a lot better off.

  2. collapse expand

    Erik,
    It’s nice to see some sanity from your part of the country. I work with undocumented folks here in Virginia and they can’t fathom the anger and xenophobia directed at them. They want to work here, live here, raise their children here and become citizens so they can fully participate in our economy and culture. There must be some Brewer bogeymen out there, but not among the dozens of undocumented folks I know. Open borders is what the American Union is all about.

  3. collapse expand

    The judge should be thrown off the bench for judicial malpractice….

  4. collapse expand

    another idiot sheriff does anyone care what these rascist fools think or say

  5. collapse expand

    So-called progressives have great trouble grappling with this issue. Reagan, Bush, Cheney, McCain, the whole American oligarchy, supports open borders because it means bidding down the cost of labor across the board and it means new consumers, a larger economy. Progressives should be about creating a sustainable American economy. And that means stabilizing and slowly shrinking our population, reducing (really, redefining) affluence, and using better technology. President Obama says that controlling immigration is the job of the federal government–so let’s insist he get to it. Meanwhile, for the first time in my life, I’m voting for moderate Republicans who stand for enforcement of laws against illegal immigration. Third World peoples whose lands are decimated for our beef and patio furniture, palm oil and rubber, would thank me for it if they could.

    • collapse expand

      I’m not disagreeing with what you wrote, but could you please explain how closing the border will support sustainability on a global scale?

      Wouldn’t we just be transferring the sustainability problem to another part of the globe?

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        The Mexican, Central American, Filipino and Chinese immigrants who make up the bulk of the immigrants go from an ecofootrprint of about 4-5 acres to an ecofootprint of about 25 acres very soon after becoming USAmericans and exact 5 times or more the carbon footprint. Our nation can only support about 150 million people at our current level of consumption (Cornell’s Pimentel). We expropriate ( economically and often militarily) a land area equal to Brazil to support our overconsumption. We need to either cut our population in half or cut our consumption in half or a combination of both. Currently we are track for a population of 440 million by mid-century, adding about 40% to our overpopulation. That population growth requires the expropriation of another Brazil. Technological improvements alone will not make us sustainable with anything near the standard of living of, say, France, by 2050.
        Another way to look at the question is to compare the ecofootprint of China vs. the US. China, even serving as it does as factory to the world, has a national footprint of about 6.5 billion acres. The US has a footprint of about 7.4 billion acres. We are more overpopulated than China.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
  6. collapse expand

    The current oratory immigration law in Arizona is an atrocity to human rights and dignity with two bigots at the helm. They have blamed mexicans crossing the border for carrying drugs across ans slaughtering US citizens. I would say this is an extreme overstatement and one that is merely used to terrorize the Arizona citizens. A form of brain washing. Though this does happen, I think most mexicans are crossing the border to get out of the crap that is going on their, major corruption and killings by various drug cartels. It’s ironic how they can try to enforce this policy when we have provided guns and logistics to one of the major drug cartels just to try and capture another. This was done on Arizona land under the current Governor’s watch. Do we need to watch our borders, yes. Do we need to make sure those responsible protecting our borders are properly equipped to handle a rough situation before the fact, yes. But to set up tents and farm illegal immigrants into them like cattle is cruelty and against what the current sheriff apparently believes in believes in. Apparently he is a Christian. He should read the New Testament again and think what would Jesus do….Hmmm,interesting thought. Currently this country is on a fear factor agenda, akin to terrorism, as terrorism is about placing fear into the fearful.

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