Hold up…wait a minute!

AZ Governor Jan Brewer may think she’s bad. She’s ready to rumble and turn the fight over immigration reform into a rap-style East Coast-West Coast full-on beef. She says in harsh language that calls Obama’s challenge “an assault”:

“I am pleased that President Obama and the Department of Justice did not pursue the baseless claims of illegal racial profiling in the lawsuit. When signing S.B. 1070, I said, ‘My signature today represents my steadfast support for enforcing the law — both against illegal immigration AND against racial profiling.’ Arizona’s law expressly prohibits unconstitutional racial profiling. However, words are not enough. For this reason, I ordered the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (AZPOST) to develop training on the new law for Arizona’s police officers.

Yeah, cuz that kind of police training really helped save Oscar Grant’s life from a poorly trained, racially profiling white cop. Not. She’s splitting hairs here — by human and civil rights, DOJ is facing the racial profiling aspect of the law head-on.

Ain’t no thang. Because this racist law will not stand. The mainstream media is glossing over it but let’s not forget that this law directs law enforcement to detain people who look like they might be undocumented residents or illegal immigrants. Whatever you want to call people who came to the U.S. from mostly worse places looking for a better life. Plus lots of other people who are U.S. citizens who might be the wrong ethnicity are now legally subject to harassment and unconstitutional search and seizure for Breathing While Brown.

I’ve made the point before, but Sandra Bullock’s movie The Proposal plays immigration troubles for laughs. Why does something tell me that the AZ law is not directed shaking down Canadian immigrants who look like Sandra but folks that look a little more like her newly adopted son.

From WaPo:

The lawsuit says the law illegally intrudes on federal prerogatives, invoking as its main argument the legal doctrine of “preemption,” which is based on the Constitution’s supremacy clause and says that federal law trumps state statutes. The Justice Department argues that enforcing immigration laws is a federal responsibility and says an injunction is needed to prevent “irreparable harm” to the United States.

But the filing also asserts that the Arizona law would harm people’s civil rights, leading to police harassment of U.S. citizens and foreigners. President Obama has warned that the law could violate citizens’ civil rights, and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has expressed concern that it could drive a wedge between police and immigrant communities.

“Arizona impermissibly seeks to regulate immigration by creating an Arizona-specific immigration policy that is expressly designed to rival or supplant that of the federal government,” the Justice Department says in its legal brief. “As such, Arizona’s immigration policy exceeds a state’s role with respect to aliens, interferes with the federal government’s balanced administration of the immigration laws, and critically undermines U.S. foreign policy objectives.”

It adds that the law “does not simply seek to provide legitimate support to the federal government’s immigration policy, but instead creates an unprecedented independent immigration scheme that exceeds constitutional boundaries.”

I’m not a lawyer, but I bet some of you are. I’d love to hear some good analysis of AG Holder’s case on this. In the meantime, I’d really proud of the Obama administration for standing up for what’s right. We do need stronger security at our borders — but Arizona’s law is not the way. And DOJ has lined up lots of law enforcement professionals who agree.

Disclosure: one of my clients at Fission Strategy is Reform Immigration FOR America — they didn’t ask me to post this however. I’m working on immigration reform because I think it’s the right thing for all Americans. I hope you agree.

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