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Letters to the Editor • Immigration

King Kong Sues Arizona On Immigration Law

Obama is suing Arizona for passing this currently debated anti-illegal-alien law. This legal action is based on the doctrine of federal preemption. This simply means that State laws cannot amend Federal laws or render the latter inoperative in the State of Arizona. Arizona’s illegal alien law radically amends federal immigration laws and therefore under this doctrine, it is clearly preempted.

Lawyers who helped draft the Arizona law was gambling, hoping that the doctrine of preemption would be modified in their favor when the challenge reaches the U.S. Supreme Court. But neutral lawyers worth their salt knew that the odds are against them. Obama and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. are holding the aces to win this political poker game.

In U.S. jurisprudence, federal preemption is an established judicial law of the land that the U.S. Supreme Court had handed down long time ago and now firmly established as a doctrine in our legal system. Federal courts and circuit courts hardly ignore this judicial tenet on State preemption otherwise they face a reprimand from the highest court of the land.

So even if the angry enemies of the Arizona law argue that a "racist" federal judge would likely uphold the law that was recently signed by Gov. Jan Brewer (R), it would be unlikely that the U.S. Supreme Court would not dump it, making the argument simply moot and academic.

Arizona’s chance of winning against this federal suit rests on the landmark case of De Canas v. Bica where the U.S. Supreme Court "upheld a California law which made it a crime to knowingly hire an illegal alien[s]." It was described in the bench as a "cooperative" law to federal immigration legislations. On the other hand, the Arizona law confronts the Federal Government that "since you won’t police the borders, we will, and if you don’t like it, pass some new legislation." This of course is far more defiant if not outright condescending than the California law. It is confrontational, to say the least. The "cooperative" nature of the law is totally absent.

It is not that I do not like the Arizona anti-illegal-alien law. I wish this old federal thinking on how to enforce our national immigration laws against border-crossing illegal aliens is changed in such a way that hordes of fence-jumpers should not take over U.S. territories near the border. It makes the Federal Government look so inutile that it is so frustrating even just to think about it.

Arizona reflects our national frustration in a more serious and honest way; and in no uncertain terms has stated its intention in the law for the immigration reform we badly needed.

My only frustration about the Arizona law is that in this jungle of legalities inhabited by politically correct politicians and power-starved political opportunists, it gives Obama another opportunity to drum-beat his own ego like how King Kong beats its gigantic chest with those skull-crushing knuckles when announcing a kill after the U.S. Supreme Court declares the law unconstitutional.

But at least what I would like to see is a higher degree of human maturity and rationality when we view this problem, not like chimpanzees that just release their pain with a piercing jungle sound.