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Has Brewer gone too far with her latest executive order?

Yesterday Arizona Governor Jan Brewer issued an executive order that reiterates that state agencies are required to deny licenses and public benefits to undocumented immigrants. She has extended this stipulation to also include all beneficiaries of President Obama’s recent decision to grant “deferred action”:

The federal program prevents young people who were brought into the country illegally as children from being deported if they were younger than 16 years old when they got here, are younger than 30, have lived in the U.S. continually since June 15, 2007, and have no felony convictions.

Estimates are that roughly 80,000 kids would qualify in Arizona. The program provides safe harbor for two years.

You can read theGovernor’s Executive Order here.

This immediately caused an uproar amongst immigration supporters as they felt it was another showing of Brewer being anti-immigration and xenophobic. There is a lot of validity to this argument. Why should she do something like this, we might be asking ourselves, if not to be just plain mean? Her defense has been that this is simply reiterating existing laws, which she has sworn to uphold. So her basic defense is that this is simply holding to existing law.

The problem might be that she doesn’t completely understand the law.

The ACLU argues that:

This is yet another reason why Arizona has no business trying to regulate immigration matters,” said Alessandra Soler, executive director of the ACLU of Arizona. “Brewer is distorting federal law and inaccurately interpreting state law. This order conflicts with state and federal law because people who are granted deferred action will, in fact, have authorized presence in the United States and under Arizona law people who have authorized presence are eligible to apply for Arizona state identification. She is perpetuating the myth that deferred action applicants are somehow submitting fraudulent documents and that is completely false. Not only is she singling out young people who are eligible for deferred action, but she also is excluding other categories of non-citizens who are authorized to be in the country, including victims of domestic violence, from obtaining state-identification while their immigration applications are being processed.

So while Brewer’s argument of legal backing may sound convincing the reality is that it is murky at best and outright wrong at worst.

At the end of the day this probably means another lawsuit for the taxpayers of Arizona to pay for as our politicians play pretend law. Remind you of anything like say SB1070?

Arizona Senate President Pearce Faces Recall

Today David Michael Cantor, a Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer, talks about the upcoming recall election of Arizona Senate President Russle Pearce. David talks about how a Pearce supporter, Franklin Bruce, filed a notice of appeal in an attempt to call the election off. However despite these attempts to stop the recall Judge Hugh Hegyi of Maricopa Superior Court decided to throw out the case.

Here is more from CNN:

An Arizona judge ruled Friday that a special election to recall state Senate President Russell Pearce, the primary sponsor behind a controversial anti-illegal immigration law that a federal court struck down in April, can be held November 8 as planned.
In an 11-page ruling, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Hugh E. Hegyi rejected nearly all of the arguments alleging problems with the recall petition.
The suit was filed by Franklin Bruce Ross, who backs Pearce and who alleged problems in the way the recall petitions were filled out. The suit cited as an example the language in the oath sworn by the circulators of the recall petitions did not state that the signatures collected were “genuine” or the “functional equivalent.”
But Hegyi concluded that the legislation concerning recall elections does not mandate that the oath contain the word “genuine.” “It merely requires ‘an’ oath that the Petition signatures are genuine, but does not prescribe a specific oath that will accomplish that objective,” the judge wrote.
In this case, the requirements of the law — which he described as constitutional — have been met, he said.
“Obviously, I’m pleased,” said Thomas Ryan of Chandler, Arizona, a lawyer who represented the petition-drive organizers Citizens for a Better Arizona. “It’s a big victory for the 10,000-plus people who signed that recall petition to get rid of their senator.”
In an e-mail sent to Ryan, Lisa Hauser, the attorney representing Pearce supporter Ross, said she would appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court. She did not immediately return a call from CNN seeking comment.
In May, the group Citizens for a Better Arizona submitted petitions to Arizona’s secretary of state, defendant Ken Bennett, who certified that they contained 10,296 signatures — 2,540 more than the required number.
At the time, Pearce did not respond to requests to comment on the recall campaign, but said of his supporters: “I am so grateful that some of my friends have stepped forward to oppose this recall and defend the truth. The personal, hurtful attacks by people who don’t even live in Arizona must stop. Working together, we can bring Arizonans together and move our state forward.”
His supporters have formed their own group, The Citizens Who Oppose the Pearce Recall.
Pearce, a Republican, sponsored Arizona Senate Bill 1070. The measure would have required local police, while enforcing other laws, to question the immigration status of anyone they suspected of being undocumented. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit said the measure overstepped Arizona’s authority.
Before becoming a state senator in 2001, Pearce spent 23 years as a Maricopa County sheriff’s deputy. He is known for his tough stance against illegal immigration and continues to introduce such legislation.

Arizona Immigration Law SB 1070 Still in Legal Limbo

Today’s video from David Michael Cantor, a Phoenix DUI Defense Lawyer, is about the infamous Immigration Bill known as SB 1070. This bill was set to go into effect this month, April of 2011, but has been held up in Federal Court on Appeal after U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton halted key provisions of the bill in Nov 2010. At this time it is not clear when the Appeal will be heard and decided on leaving the controversial bill in limbo.

In April of 2010 Governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 into law and became an immediate lightning rod for the debate concerning Illegal Immigration. Many people felt that this law was unconstitutional as it required the police to ask for identification from anyone they suspected to be an illegal immigrant. The people who felt this way include the President of the United States, Brack Obama, and his administration filed a suit against the bill.

A new wrinkle in the debate is Arizona Senator Russel Pearce’s request to be added to the lawsuit so that he can make his voice heard. Pearce is the author of SB 1070 and feels he can best describe the bill’s intent. He cites a new Arizona law that was passed this year which would allow him to be added to this type of lawsuit. Others point out that this action would be unprecidented in legal history.

What do you think about SB 1070? Is it a good law? Should Russel Pearce be added to the lawsuit simply because the Arizona legislature passed a law saying its okay?

Here is more from the Arizona Republic:

The future of Arizona’s controversial Senate Bill 1070 will remain in limbo until the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issues a ruling, a federal judge decided Friday.

And there’s no telling when that will be.

The court heard arguments on Nov. 1 regarding U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton’s decision to halt most of the key provisions of SB 1070 from going into effect. The immigration bill was signed into law last April.

Bolton said Friday that she had been waiting to move forward with a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, which challenges the law’s constitutionality, until there was a ruling on her injunction. It now has been five months, she said.

“I had anticipated that we would have had a decision. I was betting for February, and now, March has come and gone,” Bolton said, adding that she gets no advance notice on when a ruling might come.

Bolton said that she was reluctant to continue to wait but that she and attorneys representing the federal government on one side and the state and Gov. Jan Brewer on the other agreed that they couldn’t move forward with the underlying case until they had an appeals-court decision.

Bolton said once a ruling does come down, the two sides will have 30 days to let her know whether they will appeal again, which could take the case as high as the U.S. Supreme Court.

But there are some things that will happen while they continue to wait.

Bolton said they will move forward with a countersuit that Brewer filed in February alleging that the federal government has failed to secure the border.

Varu Chilakamarri of the Justice Department said it will file a motion to dismiss the countersuit within the next couple of weeks.

Bolton also will make a decision on a request by Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce, author of SB 1070, to join the lawsuit as a defendant. She had initially denied Pearce’s request, but the Legislature passed a measure earlier this year authorizing Pearce and Speaker of the House Kirk Adams to intervene on behalf of the Legislature.

Brewer supports Pearce’s request; the Justice Department opposes it. On Friday, Bolton heard arguments from all the involved parties.

Pearce said he needs a seat at the table because he can best explain the intent of the Legislature in writing and passing SB 1070.

“I think we would enhance the debate,” he said. “This impacts the entire nation, and we need to be at the table.”

Attorney Paul Orfanedes of Judicial Watch, a conservative non-profit, is representing Pearce at no cost to the state.

Orfanedes admitted to Bolton that it is unprecedented for a legislature to ask to join a lawsuit in which state or gubernatorial attorneys are already defending a state law. But, he said, passing a law saying that the state wants the legislature to be represented in such a case also has never happened.

“This is the Legislature’s baby,” he said. “It knows this very controversial legislation better than anybody else.”

Chilakamarri said it would be unwarranted and unprecedented for Bolton to allow Pearce to intervene just because the state passed a law saying he could.

Bolton said she will rule on the matter later. She said she is concerned that adding another party to the case would mean more lawyers, more documents filed and more time.

“You are really not offering me anything that says the interests of the state Legislature are not being adequately represented,” she told Orfanedes.

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