The Corner

Disobeying Federal Laws Always Trumps Obeying State Ones?

Something is not quite right with this statement:

“If every state had its own laws, we wouldn’t be one country; we’d be 50 different countries,” said Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

In theory, Saenz is absolutely right; but his own credibility is questionable on this issue, since, if the federal government does not enforce its own laws protecting states’ international borders, then we most certainly will have 50 different countries.

In other words, what is surreal about the current Arizona illegal-immigration debate is that opponents of the new bill argue that we must respect the nation’s laws and its constitutional framework — even though they have for years been either advocating for or allowing the neglect of enforcement of federal statutes. Those who for years have been unconcerned with the enforcement of federal law can hardly now be taken as credible defenders of its sanctity.

In truth, the message of protestors is really something like the following — the disregard of federal statutes should always trump the enforcement of state laws.

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