The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Friday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On Immigration and Customs Enforcement head John Morton telling the Chicago Tribune that his agency will not necessarily process illegal immigrants picked up under the new Arizona law:

I think it’s a perfect example of the arrogance and the near lawlessness of this administration. Look: The Constitution requires the federal government ensure that every state have a republican form of government. Last time I checked, Arizona does.

There is no allegation that the immigration law in Arizona was passed in any way other than legally. There were no procedural problems with it.

If the president doesn’t like it, well, he’s got an option. He can instruct the Department of Justice to go and have a judge strike it down. And if he likes, he can get an injunction in the meantime that will suspend it until the constitutionality is ruled upon.

In the meantime, it’s as legal a law as any other law in the land. And for the executive but to say we’re going to ignore it, or we’re going to un-enforce immigration essentially in this state on account of this, is – it’s lawless. We had a Civil War and a civil- rights movement over the claim of Southern states that they could ignore the federal laws on slavery and on civil rights, and that was struck down. Everybody from Abraham Lincoln on opposes that.

And now what we have is the reverse. The federal government, this guy [ICE director John Morton] says, well, you know, he doesn’t think the Arizona law is a good way to go about it. That’s not his business, it’s not his jurisdiction. Arizona decides on what it’s to do [about illegal immigration]. And his job is to enforce the federal law, which he is openly saying he wouldn’t do, simply because a referral comes out of the state whose laws he doesn’t like.

On the argument that ICE wants to focus on criminal elements among illegal immigrants:

Look, if immigration [service] has a set of priorities, as it should, looking into criminality, dangerousness, compassion, humanitarian concerns — all of those are relevant. But whether a person comes out of a state [i.e., Arizona] who’s got a law you don’t like — [that] is an irrelevant criterion, a high-handed one, an arrogant one, and I think probably an illegal one.

On the draft Security Council resolution allowing the Russians to sell their S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to the Iranians:

This is a huge loophole. This tells you how pathetic the resolution is. It has almost no effect on Iran. The U.S. had wanted a full arms embargo [but] because this administration always has to have an international consensus, so it negotiated it down with the Russians and Chinese to include only heavy weapons, which are irrelevant, like tanks.

But then it left out the only important weapon, because the delivery of the S-300 and the installation of that system would trigger a war in the Middle East.

The Israelis can wait to see if the world can stop Iran, it can wait on the development of nukes because it won’t happen tomorrow. But if the S-300 is in place it loses any option … of ever attacking because it [the S-300] will defend nuclear facilities.

On the American response to the North Korean torpedoing of a South Korean navy ship:

I think our inaction shows what the danger [is] when a rogue state acquires a nuke as Pyongyang has. It’s not that it will drop a nuke tomorrow on America or its allies. It’s that if you have a nuke you can then do the kind of [conventional] aggression that they have conducted, attacking a warship — and be immune.

And that would happen if Iran acquired a nuke. It would be immunity for all kinds of terrorism and non-nuclear action, because it would have a nuke. It would be invulnerable.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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