Immigration, The Preemption Doctrine And Nonsequitors
At NRO, Andrew McCarthy writes:
Well whaddya know? It turns out that Rhode Island has long been carrying out the procedures at issue in the Arizona immigration statute: As a matter of routine, RI state police check immigration status at traffic stops whenever there is reasonable suspicion to do so, and they report all illegals to the feds for deportation. [. . .] If, as President Obama and Attorney General Holder claim, there is a federal preemption issue, why hasnít the administration sued Rhode Island already? After all, Rhode Island is actually enforcing these procedures, while the Arizona law hasnít even gone into effect yet.
Could it be because ó as weíve discussed here before ó the Supreme Court in Muehler v. Mena has already held that police do not need any reason (not probable cause, not reasonable suspicion) to ask a person about his immigration status?
As to why the Justice Department has not sued Rhode Island, I can not say, but whether such procedures violate the 4th Amendment has nothing to do with the preemption issue. It does raise an important point however, one that was stated by the NYTimes in an editorial today:
In the meantime, there are steps President Obama can take. He can deny Arizona access to federal databases of immigration status and refuse to allow the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to cooperate with state officials in handling people detained under the law. The government should end the misguided program allowing local deputies to enforce immigration law after taking an educational course.
If the Obama Administration is really serious about stopping Arizona-style abuses, it should take these steps immediately.
Speaking for me only
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