Welcome to the newest edition of The Why. “Why did a federal judge trash a state immigration law?” you ask? Good question. Very timely too. (Besides, it beats answering the question: “Why aren’t analgesics taken rectally?”)
According to the Los Angeles Times U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton just “struck down a 2005 Arizona immigration law that made smuggling immigrants a state crime.” The judge claimed “it conflicted with federal laws governing immigration.”
Bolton “preempted” the state because the U.S. government has the authority to enforce immigration laws thus dealing yet “another legal blow” to Arizona’s efforts to give local and state law enforcement “more muscle” to fight illegal immigration.
The smuggling law in question was passed in 2005. The law was specifically drafted to prosecute people illegally trafficking others into the United States. It was later modified by what some call the “controversial SB 1070”, which strengthened and broadened the authority and power of state and local authorities to stop anyone “suspected of being in the country illegally.”
According to SF Gate, the smuggling law was heavily criticized following the apprehension of over 2,000 illegal immigrants who paid to be smuggled into the country being charged with “conspiring to smuggle themselves across the border.” Critics claim the law was meant for the smugglers and not for their “customers.”
According to Bolton’s Friday ruling, the state immigration law “imposes additional and different state penalties than federal law; it divests federal authorities of the exclusive power to prosecute these specific smuggling crimes; and criminalizes conduct not covered by (federal law) because it does not contain a safe harbor exception for religious activities like the federal statute does.”
Why did a federal judge trash a state immigration law? Now you know.
You ask the questions. We provide the answers.
American Live Wire . . . Listen and be heard.