Among the comments that came in while I was in Arizona was this one, sent by a reader supportive of the state's position on illegal immigration, in response to a post about a federal judge's ruling last Wednesday blocking parts of the law from being implemented. Here's an excerpt:
I just finished reading the first 22 pages of the 36 page “Order” at issue. It seems to be a well-balanced and well-reasoned legal opinion. Frankly, I am in support of Arizona's efforts to get serious about enforcement of laws against illegal immigrants. However, I am very disappointed in Arizona law-makers and lawyers for having drafted the law in such a manner that a facial challenge can invalidate certain key aspects of it. It goes to show the incompetence of state government officials and lawyers. Frankly, and if I was a Arizona resident, I'd be furious with the incompetence of the law-makers and lawyers who wrote this law as they did and even tried to amend it later so as to make it “bullet-proof” against the anticipated challenge.
I am also very disappointed with the federal government for not taking a tough initiative about this issue, which, in turn, prompted Arizona to pick up the slack. -- Artooor
Also, on an incidental note, the Arizona Republic reports today that Lady Gaga, she of the face paint and "Gaga, ooh, la, la," put in her own two cents about SB 1070 during her Phoenix show last night, slamming the measure as creating a "state of emergency."
As demonstrations by opponents of Arizona's controversial anti-illegal immigration law wound down and out-of-town protesters began leaving, supporters of the measure took to the state Capitol for a rally Saturday and a vigil Friday night.
The battle over the measure, portions of which were implemented Thursday, will now continue in court: The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has set a November hearing date for the state's appeal to a federal judge's ruling last Wednesday that blocked the most controversial parts of the law, including a requirement that local law enforcement attempt to determine the immigration status of people stopped or detained if there is "reasonable suspicion" they are in the country illegally. The state has asked the court to lift the judge's injunction blocking this and other parts of the law. Reuters reports that the appeals court has set an August 26 date for the state's opening brief.
If Temecula were a state, given the attention it is drawing lately, it could well be Arizona, albeit with wineries. In mid-July, the city drew clashing protesters when it adopted an anti-illegal immigration ordinance requiring businesses with more than one employee to screen workers using E-Verify, an otherwise voluntary online program provided by the federal government that allows employers to screen for immigration status and check Social Security numbers. It became the third city in the inland region, along with Lake Elsinore and Menifee, to adopt an E-verify policy as the region embraces anti-illegal immigration measures.
During a small protest that took place there this afternoon, however, the anger was not over undocumented immigrants or the rule of law, but over Muslims. In particular, those building a planned new Islamic mosque and cultural center near a Baptist church.
Back from Phoenix, to a new story out of Washington that’s generating a buzz: A leaked internal memo from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, whose contents Republican critics are saying suggest a “backdoor amnesty.” Here’s a story from Politico and a copy of the memo from ProPublica.