A key part of the Justice Department case against Arizona, which Judge Bolton seems to have swallowed, is that, as Andy put it below, “Arizona can’t ask the federal government for verification of the immigration status of arrestees . . . because that would tremendously burden the feds.” Specifically, the claim is that too many legal-status requests will be submitted to ICE’s Law Enforcement Support Center (LESC); in the words of the ruling:
Thus, an increase in the number of requests for determinations of immigration status, such as is likely to result from the mandatory requirement that Arizona law enforcement officials and agencies check the immigration status of any person who is arrested, will divert resources from the federal government’s other responsibilities and priorities.
The judge based this on the declaration of the guy who runs the LESC, David Palmatier. Sounds plausible, but my colleague Jessica Vaughan, in her own declaration, demolished Palmatier’s logic about the LESC somehow being overwhelmed (see paragraphs 40-62). Of course, the judge seems to have simply ignored math she found inconvenient.