By FAIR, Special for US Daily Review.
Today’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel enjoining key provisions of a South Carolina’s immigration enforcement law subjugates federal statutes to the politically driven policies of the Obama Administration, charges the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
Although federal courts have repeatedly held that it is the intent of Congress that is paramount in determining whether a state law is preempted by federal law, Judge Gergel’s abandoned this well-settled principle. When examining whether South Carolina police may act when they reasonably suspect an individual is illegally in the United States, Judge Gergel sides with the Obama administration citing a series of memos written by John Morton, director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Those memos reveal the administration’s policy of selective enforcement when it comes to broad classes of immigration law violators. As such, the judge gives greater weight to the politically driven policy decisions of the current administration than to statutes enacted by Congress.
“Judge Gergel blatantly ignores the fact that neither John Morton, nor even President Obama, has any constitutional authority to make our immigration laws. Congress, and Congress alone, is vested with that responsibility by our Constitution,” stated Dan Stein, president of FAIR. “Congress, over many years, has designed immigration laws that are intended to govern the terms under which aliens may enter and reside in the United States with the objective of protecting the interests and security of the American people. Inexplicably, Judge Gergel chose to block provisions of South Carolina’s law that conform to federal immigration law because they conflict with the politically driven priorities of this administration.”
The judge also blocked two other provisions of the South Carolina law which replicate existing federal provisions. The first pertains to harboring and transporting illegal aliens for unlawful purposes, while the second requires noncitizens to carry their immigration documents with them.
“It is disappointing that an unelected federal judge has chosen to disregard not only the clear intent of laws written by Congress, but the right of the people’s elected representatives in South Carolina to protect the interests of citizens of that state,” said Stein.
“We look forward to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling next year defining what role states may play in enforcing federal immigration laws. We expect that the Supreme Court will examine the law and the intent of Congress, not the political whims of the administration in power, in rendering its decision. In recent decisions, the Supreme Court has given states broad latitude in the area of immigration enforcement and we expect that they will support the right of states to carry out laws that conform to federal statute,” Stein concluded.
Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country’s largest immigration reform group. With over 250,000 members nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced. Visit FAIR’s website at www.fairus.org.