District 7 Representative Raul Grijalva made clear Friday that he represents neither Arizona nor the United States by requesting that Federal officials ignore US immigration law, despite increased violence along the border in other states.
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today sent a letter to President Obama calling on him to exercise his “authority to limit [federal] cooperation with Arizona officials in their enforcement of SB 1070,” a bill signed into law earlier today by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer that forces local police to question anyone they “reasonably suspect” to be an illegal immigrant.
By making the request, Grijalva does more than protest state law, he asks federal officials to violate federal law by not assisting state officials who hand over illegals in the course of their duties. With thousands of Border Patrol agents in Arizona trained to do just that, Grijalva's request is both politically motivated and impossible to enact. It furthermore jeopardizes the safety of Arizona citizens, both Hispanic and Anglos, to drug cartel violence like that which took the life of Robert Krentz and today erupted in Juarez again.
“SB 1070 would exacerbate the problem of racial profiling . . . and would continue to compromise the civil rights of citizens, legal residents, tourists and foreign visitors,” the letter says.
Grijalva writes as if a situation already exists that "compromises the civil rights of residents in Arizona." Not so. In 2005 DPS made major changes in policy to end "racial profiling," aligning their procedures to those of Border Patrol and coordinating efforts with BP for picking up illegals when encountered. Grijalva wants this coordinated effort to stop, and he is using the law as an excuse to end the successful cooperation between local law enforcement and Border Patrol:
The letter also asks Obama to cut off any further potential Memorandums of Understanding between the Department of Homeland Security and state law enforcement officials regarding immigration enforcement. Such agreements, the letter says, “have been subject to serious concerns as local law enforcement agencies have used the new powers to target communities of color, including a disproportionate number of Latinos for arrest.”
Violent gang members, drug smugglers, and sex offenders overwhelmingly reside in these areas. this week, two suspects from "communities of color" attacked and raped a Yuma resident. One can only hope they will be "targeted for arrest" and whether illegal or not prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Coordinating efforts between agencies is the right thing to do for everyone, despite Grijalva's outrage. This law is a restatement of that effort.
“This law will put every policeman in the state on notice that their main duty from now on is to question Hispanics about their citizenship,” Grijalva said. “This is a discriminatory policy that cannot be enforced without committing grave breaches of due process and equal protection. The law will not withstand legal scrutiny, and I call on the president immediately to reject it in the strongest possible terms.”
No. this law is ridiculously redundant and unnecessary in asking law enforcement to simply do their job when the Obama administration has backed away from theirs. Due process and equal protection have experienced a broad range of interpretation over the years, Mr. Grijalva. Whether or not the Arizona stands, the fact is that Arizona law enforcement has, and will continue to identify illegals and turn them over to Homeland Security officials unless those officials are instructed by the administration to violate standing rules to enforce our nation's borders, which would further alienate this administration from legal citizens, both Anglo and Hispanic.
Grijalva questioned Brewer’s priorities in signing the bill, saying that her focus “should be on working with federal officials – who have sole authority under the Constitution to create and enforce immigration policy – to achieve comprehensive reforms that protect the rights of border communities, recent immigrants, hard-working families and law-abiding businesses. This bill is nothing more than an unfunded mandate that will lead to mistrust between citizens and law enforcement. It has already made Arizona a pariah among state governments, and I am concerned that our great state’s credibility will only suffer further damage if the president does not cut it off at the knees.”
Brewer has already attempted to work with the Obama administration on this. They have ignored her. Former governor Janet Napolitano has literally snubbed her former attorney general over calls for assistance. Grijalva for his part, has stood in the way of any attempts to secure the border, from his silence over the murder of Robert Krentz, to his outrage at Gabrielle Giffords for her requests for aid. In Grijalva's mind the murder of a white landowner citizen or law enforcement agents is fine, but the arrest of an illegal is an outrage.
So, in fear, because of an alleged angry phone call from an American citizen, Grijalva closes his doors to constituents and calls on federal help in the dismantlement Arizona's borders.
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