A Transient Victory: The Road Is Fraught With Uncertainty

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The summer of 2010 has rollicked and rolled, both personally and worldwide.

Since May 17th, I’ve been steeped in the life-depriving-but-giving act* of studying for the New York Bar exam.

And while I was cloistered up in the cubicles of a law library, the world whirled by at a blistering pace. The United States, my homeland, almost teetered over the edge into an abyss of hate–this time under the color of law.

I am cautiously proud of the last-ditch preliminary injunction that cut down, for now, the blackness of a law that criminalizes for simply being.  The summer of SB1070 illuminated the fragility of the basic liberties imbued within the soul of the United States; so many, in fact the majority of Americans, were more than willing to forsake the protections of our Constitution for the expediency of the moment. A moment brimming with evil.

Any elected official that supported SB1070 was guilty of treason to the principles we as a nation ostensibly adhere to–our constitution.  No one more so than Senator John McCain.

The highest level of culpability lays with those we elect.

John McCain, purportedly a  moderate conservative but another rotten politician at heart, lied from the beginning on SB1070. He called the law  a “good tool” and an “important step forward”. But he knew that SB1070 was a “good tool” and an “important step forward” only insofar as it would carry him to re-election if he supported it and doom him if he did not.

He  lied afterwards, too. In response to Judge Bolton’s decision to preliminary enjoin SB1070, McCain, along with fellow Az. Sen. John Kyl, issued a press release for placating the angry horde which is Arizona’s population:

We are deeply disappointed in the court’s ruling and disagree with the court’s opinion that the Arizona’s law will unduly ‘burden’ the enforcement of federal immigration law.

Instead of wasting taxpayer resources filing a lawsuit against Arizona and complaining that the law would be burdensome,the Obama Administration should have focused its efforts on working with Congress to provide the necessary resources to support the state in its efforts to act where the federal government has failed to take responsibility.(emphasis added)

The following is what McCain and others have forsaken, from Bolton’s decision:

…all arrestees will be required to prove their immigration status to the satisfaction of state authorities, thus increasing the intrusion of police presence into the lives of legally-present aliens (and even United States citizens), who will necessarily be swept up by this requirement…

Certain categories of people with transitional status and foreign visitors from countries that are part of the Visa Waiver Program will not have readily available documentation of their authorization to remain in the United States, thus potentially subjecting them to arrest or detention, in addition to the burden of “the possibility of inquisitorial practices and police surveillance.”

Bolton did not mince words; SB1070, and thus all those who supported it,  was willing to subject wholly innocent individuals to arbitrary detention for the so-called higher goal of “attrition through enforcement”.

Or perhaps no one is lying, and the Constitution and basic notions of human rights are but mere “tools” to be used or not at the convenience of re-election, or to soothe a soul for what’s wanting in one’s own life.

A Transient Victory

The roots of a monster have taken hold; those behind SB1070–the Federation for American Immigration Reform(FAIR)–have the edge. Stopping legislation such as SB1070, especially on preemption grounds, is wrought with vulnerability. The Federal government has plenary power over matters of immigration. Put differently,  immigration is a field of law that can be radically altered at any time.

In creating SB1070, the U.S. populace has been whipped into a sorely misinformed,  fanatical frenzy on  the exigencies of “securing our border” and “illegal immigration”. There is a foul stench in the electoral air amongst politicians, aided by the constant rubbish emanating from Arizona and other places. Even in a place like law school, my colleagues lap up the soundbites eagerly, not bothering to actually use their brain to analyze why SB1070 is pure evil.

To put it bluntly:  if Republicans take over congress and/or the presidency, it is foreseeable that laws like SB1070 will be endorsed through new legislation. The latter will be far more firm in its ability to withstand a constitutional challenge, and our country, our world, will have opened the door to what is a recognized trait of tyranny: systemic arbitrary arrests under the color of law.

A Battle Cry

Alfredo Gutierrez, a former state senator of Arizona and staunch opponent of SB1070, was arrested for civil disobedience on the day SB1070 was to go in effect.* Gutierrez was asked by Phoenix New Times’ Stephen Lemons why he was protesting, despite the preliminary injunction. Gutierrez’s response encapsulates how fraught the road ahead of the injunction really is:

We’re not protesting the law…We’re protesting the climate of hate in Arizona. That’s going to proceed. The people who proposed this law are still governing us. And they are still at this very moment meeting in some dark cellar, concocting new schemes…to oppress our community.”

Indeed, the roots are firmly embedded and their grasp is only getting stronger. It will take you, me, and all those that believe in a society free from the tendrils of tyranny to ensure that those roots are torn out and destroyed. Be careful, and more importantly, be resolute.

*Law in its basic form is dry, dull, and lifeless. But when one applies law, life is breathed in, enabling concrete power to do both good and bad, or just make $$$.

*The preliminary injunction issued by Bolton did not stop all of SB1070, yet it stopped its nucleus. Further, the other parts may be struck down by the 9th circuit, or later on in the Supreme Court.

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2 Responses to “A Transient Victory: The Road Is Fraught With Uncertainty”

  1. Tweets that mention A Transient Victory: The Road Is Fraught With Uncertainty « El Gringo Gigante -- Topsy.com Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bryan Johnson, Bryan Johnson. Bryan Johnson said: New Post at El Gringo Gigante; an uncertain road ahead of the injunction of #sb1070 http://bit.ly/c4QqqI #immigration […]

  2. The GOP: Kings of Political Pandering « El Gringo Gigante Says:

    […] El Gringo Gigante A unique perspective on life and politics « A Transient Victory: The Road Is Fraught With Uncertainty […]

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