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Team Obama’s Immigration Hypocrisy


Team Obama’s left hand does not know what its far-left hand is doing.

On the left hand, the Obama administration is trying to overturn a Grand Canyon State statute via Arizona v. United States. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in this case is expected as soon as Monday morning and no later than SCOTUS’s Friday, June 29, adjournment. President Obama’s Justice Department has sued Arizona over Senate Bill 1070, a 2010 law that requires police officers to ask the immigration status of anyone whom they arrest for other reasons.

Addressing S.B. 1070, Attorney General Eric Holder told NBC’s Meet the Press on May 9, 2010: “I think it has the possibility of leading to racial profiling.” Despite this bold declaration, when Representative Ted Poe (R., Texas) asked Holder about this 16-page bill at a House Judiciary Committee hearing four days later, Holder confessed, “I’ve glanced at it. I have not read it.”

Directly refuting Holder and other leftists who equate Arizona’s law with racial profiling, Obama’s solicitor general, Donald B. Verrilli Jr., admitted in his April 25 oral argument before SCOTUS, “We’re not making any allegation about racial or ethnic profiling in this case.”

Nonetheless, DOJ and their Obamaite brethren are praying that SCOTUS kills Arizona’s law, which they consider Jim Crow with Joshua trees.

On the far-left hand, oddly enough, the State Department’s “consular notification” regulations read as if they were drafted in Phoenix, the Left’s current definition of Hell.

#more#The State Department’s September 2010 rules aim to assure that foreign nationals from 57 specific countries receive diplomatic assistance if they run afoul of American law-enforcement personnel. State wants local law-enforcement agencies to help America obey the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. These requirements could help aliens, legal and illegal, receive diplomatic help from their home governments when, in some cases, they should be deported.

As Heritage Foundation legal fellow Hans A. von Spakovsky explained in a op-ed, these rules are “in complete conflict with the Obama Justice Department’s litigation strategy against state immigration laws.” These regulations are delineated in a 113-page document titled “Consular Notification and Access: Instructions for Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement and Other Officials Regarding Foreign Nationals in the United States and the Rights of Consular Officials to Assist Them.”

While the anti-Arizona lawsuit condemns any cop who asks about a suspect’s nationality, page 13 clearly insists that “it is the arresting officer’s responsibility to inquire about a person’s nationality if there is any reason to believe that he or she is not a U.S. citizen.”

Unlike Arizona, the State Department wants cops to confirm everyone’s immigration status.

“Routinely asking every person arrested or detained whether he or she is a U.S. citizen is highly recommended,” State explains. It adds that “asking everyone this question will reduce concerns about discrimination based on national origin or ethnicity.”

While State’s sensitivity to bias is truly touching, one of this document’s Frequently Asked Questions wonders, “Short of asking all detainees about their nationality, how might I know that someone is a foreign national?” Answer: “Unfamiliarity with English may also indicate foreign nationality . . .”

This instantly opens the door to linguistic profiling.

If an arrestee is from “any of 57 countries that have agreed to special rules with the United States,” page 104’s directions are simple: “Notify the nearest consulate of the foreign national’s country via fax immediately or as soon as reasonably possible . . . Notify the consulate even if the foreign national does not want notification . . .” Never mind that individuals from such garden spots as Algeria, Belarus, and Zimbabwe might have very good reasons for avoiding those governments’ radar screens.

Next, on page 105, “Make the consular notification by fax if possible, and by telephone if not. Place a copy of the fax and fax confirmation receipt in the foreign national’s file.”

So, to recap, the State Department’s policy is: “Do ask. Do tell. Do open a dossier.”

Von Spakovsky observes that State’s regulations kick in whenever federal, state, or local law-enforcement personnel have “any reason to believe” that someone is a foreigner. This is less strict than Arizona’s “reasonable suspicion” criterion.

The State Department’s looser standard means that the warm, caring Obama administration would require all levels of American law enforcement to cast a wider net than would the alleged bigots and racial profilers behind Arizona’s narrower law.

So, imagine that you are a cop. You are standing on a corner in Winslow, Ariz. You just arrested someone with a foreign accent for drunk driving. If you do ask the DUI suspect if he is an American citizen, you risk the Justice Department’s wrath. But if you do not ask, the State Department could hunt you down.

What do you do? 

Unlocking the suspect’s handcuffs and sending him on his merry way suddenly seems the path of least resistance. What about public safety? Whatever.

Barack Obama’s hyperactive, hypocritical, self-negating government does not know up from down. At the very least, the Obama administration’s left hand should stop suing states for doing what the far-left hand demands.