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PHOENIX -- Arizonans may get a chance to see who provided Gov. Jan Brewer some of the information for her book and what they told her.
Not even waiting until President Obama gave his speech Thursday night, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio filed suit in federal court seeking to block the announced plans to allow millions of people not in this country to remain and work here legally.
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner declared Friday that President Barack Obama was "damaging the presidency" with his unilateral action on immigration. He said the Republican-run House will not stand by, but gave no hint of what the response would be.
Disingenuous or dumb?
PHOENIX -- Hundreds of immigrants in this country illegally who are locked away on state charges will now be entitled to seek bail -- at least in Maricopa County if not elsewhere in Arizona.
Hundreds of immigrants in this country illegally who are locked away on state charges will now be entitled to seek bail — at least in Maricopa County if not elsewhere in Arizona.
A federal judge has voided one of the last remaining sections of the controversial package of anti-immigration laws approved by Arizona lawmakers in 2010.
Gov. Jan Brewer is asking a federal appeals court to rebuff efforts by the Obama administration to let “dreamers” drive here legally, saying the government is trying to void a valid state law with what amounts to little more than a federal policy.
PHOENIX -- Gov. Jan Brewer is asking a federal appeals court to rebuff efforts by the Obama administration to let "dreamers'' drive here legally, saying the government is trying to void a valid state law with what amounts to little more than a federal policy.
The governor, through her attorneys, is asking judges of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reject claims by the U.S. Department of Justice that Arizona has no legal right to deny licenses to those in the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Brewer is not challenging the right of the administration and the Department of Homeland Security to decide not to try to deport people who arrived in this country illegally as children and even giving them permits to work.
But she said the DACA program was not enacted by Congress and "does not have the force of law.'' And that means it cannot be used to preempt a 1996 Arizona law which says licenses are available only to those who can prove their presence in this country is "authorized under federal law.''
Brewer's filing is a last-ditch effort to get the full court to reconsider -- and overturn -- a decision earlier this year by a three-judge panel which found legal problems with the ban.
The judges ordered the state to start issuing licenses to the dreamers while the case makes its way through the legal system. But that order effectively remains on hold while the full appellate court considers whether to hear Brewer's appeal.
Hanging in the balance is the enforceability of Brewer's 2012 executive order regarding the DACA program. Based on that order, the state Department of Transportation concluded those in the program are not entitled to Arizona licenses.
Brewer argues the 1996 Arizona law allows licenses to be issued only to those "authorized'' to be in this country. More to the point, she contends the decision by the president and the Department of Homeland Security not to deport them does not make their presence "authorized,'' even if they are given work papers.
That argument did not convince the three-judge panel.
Judge Harry Pregerson noted the state has issued licenses to those who granted deferred action under other federal programs. He said that makes Brewer's policy to single out these individuals a violation of the Equal Rights clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Pregerson also said an injunction is appropriate because the policy can cause "irreparable harm'' to those affected. He said their inability to legally drive also makes it more difficult, if not impossible, for them to hold jobs -- a specific right they have in the DACA program.
When Brewer sought review by the full court, the Obama administration weighed in.
"Arizona may not substitute its judgment for the federal government's when it comes to establishing classifications of alien status,'' wrote Assistant Attorney General Lindsey Powell.
She said Arizona has shown no "substantial state purpose'' in crafting rules allowing some not legally in this country to have licenses while other are not. Powell said means Brewer's edict is "preempted by federal law.''
But Brewer, in her latest filing, said there's a flaw in that argument: DACA is only policy.
"The United States ignores the fact that no federal law is at issue here,'' wrote Douglas Northup, lead private attorney hired by Brewer to defend the license ban. Instead, he said, it is "an agency's policy memo, which was issued without notice and comment or subject to any formal rulemaking processes.''
And he said a mere agency policy cannot preempt the Arizona law.
Northup said statements by federal officials back up that contention.
For example, he cited a memo issued by Janet Napolitano when she was the Department of Homeland Security who said that DACA provides no substantive rights, immigration status or a path to citizenship.
"Only Congress, acting through its legislative authority, can confer these rights,'' the memo states. "It remains for the executive branch, however, to set forth policy for the exercise of discretion within that framework,'' Napolitano continued. "I have done so here.''
Northup also is hanging his legal hat on the fact that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says DACA recipients are not "lawfully present'' in this country for purposes of participating in certain federal programs.
"The fact that there may be disagreement among federal government agencies about the import of the DACA memo underscores why one policy memo of one agency cannot preempt state action here,'' he wrote.
Northup acknowledged that the three-judge panel said the ADOT policy could result in DACA recipients being hampered in their legal ability to work.
But he said that was based on the court's assumption that a certain percentage of Arizona workers commute by car. Northup said that makes no sense, as it could mean that the Arizona policy might be legal in some other cities with a higher percentage of workers using mass transit.
However you like the year’s most frightful holiday — horror-heavy or heavy on candy only, please — keep reading for an event to satisfy your Halloween hankerings.
PHOENIX -- Calling it a violation of constitutional rights, a federal appeals court on Wednesday voided a 2006 voter-approved measure which denied bail to those not in the country legally who were arrested for other crimes.
Writing for the majority of the 11-member court, Judge Raymond Fisher said there is a presumptive right of those arrested to be released on bail. And he said the fact someone may have entered the country illegally is an entirely separate issue and irrelevant to the question.
"The Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments protect every person within the nation's borders from deprivation of life, liberty or property without due process of law,'' he wrote. "Even one whose presence in this country is unlawful ... is entitled to that constitutional protection.''
And Fisher said that, regardless of someone's status, there are "profound effects'' of pretrial detention, endangering someone's job, interrupting income and impairing family relationships. He also said it can affect someone's ability to assist an attorney in preparing a defense.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said he is studying the ruling. But he said the way it was argued in trial court by Andrew Thomas, his predecessor, may make it virtually impossible to convince the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the decision.
Proposition 100 makes bail unavailable to those charged with "serious felony offenses'' if they are in this country illegally and if "the proof is evident or the presumption great'' that the person is guilty of the offense charged.
It was crafted by former state Senate President Russell Pearce -- at the time a state representative -- who argued that anyone who has crossed the border illegally probably has few ties to this country. That, he said, automatically makes them at greater risk of fleeing before trial.
Voters approved the measure on a 3-1 ratio.
"We do not question that Arizona has a compelling interest in ensuring that persons accused of serious crimes, including undocumented immigrants, are available for trial,'' Fisher wrote. But the judge said there was absolutely no evidence in the record that those in the country illegally are more likely not to show up for trial than lawful residents.
In a dissent, Judge Richard Tallman said that ignores the statements made during the 2006 campaign by Thomas, then the Maricopa County attorney, that "far too many illegal immigrants accused of serious crimes have jumped bail and slipped across the border in order to avoid justice in an Arizona courtroom.''
But Fisher said his colleague is wrong to rely on that statement, saying it's not substantiated. Anyway, he said, Thomas "is not a credible source.''
"He was disbarred in 2012 for using his office to destroy political enemies, filing malicious and unfounded criminal charges, committing perjury and engaging in a host of other crimes,'' Fisher said of Thomas.
Judge Jacqueline Nguyen, in a separate opinion concurring with the majority, went even farther. She said it appears lawmakers put the issue on the ballot -- and voters approved it -- not to ensure that people remained for trial but simply to punish them for being in this country illegally in the first place.
For example, she noted that Pearce promoted the bill by saying that "all illegal aliens in this country ought to be detained, debriefed and deported.''
And Nguyen said that Pearce, in a speech on the House floor, opposed follow-up legislation designed to ease the measure a bit.
"They are here illegally, they have no business being released no (matter) what the charge in reality because they're a flight risk,'' he said. "They need to be turned over to ICE.''
Pearce, now working at the Maricopa County Treasurer's Office, called the ruling "absurd.'' And even in the face of Nguyen's criticism, he would not back down from his contention there is a legitimate reason for Arizona to have separate rules on bail for those without papers.
"We know that a large proportion of crime is committed by those out on bail or bond,'' he said Wednesday.
"They have no business being in the country in the first place,'' Pearce continued. "How can you release them back onto the street for a country they're illegally in to commit more crime?''
Pearce also called the ruling a violation of states' rights, citing approval by 78 percent of the voters.
"That a super majority virtually of every demographic,'' he said.
But Fisher said that vote does not substitute for proof that Arizona had a problem with people not in this country legally skipping out.
"At most the vote shows that voters (ITALICS) perceived (ROMAN) a problem, not that one actually existed,'' the judge wrote.
Montgomery said his own experience prosecuting felony drunk-driving cases convinces him that those not in the country legally are less likely to show up in court. But he conceded that Thomas, in mounting the initial defense of the law, never provided such data but instead sought to argue that Arizona was legally entitled to enact such a policy.
That, said Montgomery, was probably the weakest argument that could have been made. And what's worse is that it's too late in the legal process to now seek to introduce new evidence.
Montgomery said that hamstrings any ability to successfully defend the law, a factor he will consider in deciding whether it's worth the time seeking Supreme Court review.
The lack of data was only part of the reason for the 9th Circuit ruling.
Fisher said the crimes that voters said should mean bail denial to undocumented individuals goes far beyond what can be considered extremely serious.
"Instead, they encompass an exceedingly broad range of offenses, including not only serious offenses but also relatively minor ones, such as unlawful copying of a sound recording, altering a lottery ticket with intent to defraud, tamper with a computer with intent to defraud and theft of property worth between $3,000 and $4,000,'' Fisher wrote.
The court also said the state constitutional amendment is flawed because it does not require prosecutors to prove that a specific defendant is a flight risk but instead lumps all undocumented individuals into a single category.
As proof, Fisher noted there were undocumented individuals who had been arrested prior to approval of Proposition 100, granted bail or released on their own recognizance, and later showed up for court hearings -- only to then be ordered into custody under the terms of Proposition 100.
And to show the illogic of the claim the measure ensures people remain for trial, Fisher pointed out the measure covers foreign citizens who have no legal right to return to their home countries.
"Conversely, Proposition 100 (ITALICS) excludes (ROMAN) from coverage individuals who would seem (ITALICS) more likely (ROMAN) to flee -- such as foreign citizens who are in this country lawfully as tourists and persons having dual citizenship,'' the judge wrote.
Finally, he disputed presumption that being undocumented means few ties to the community, citing national research that found nearly 50 percent of those in this country have been in the country more than 10 years and more than 17 percent of household heads are homeowners.
Calling it a violation of constitutional rights, a federal appeals court on Wednesday voided a 2006 voter-approved measure which denied bail to those not in the country legally who were arrested for other crimes.
As a registered Republican one of the biggest things that worries me about Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Ducey is his climbing into political bed with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Why would a guy seek out the support and endorsement form a sheriff who is under federal scrutiny and court ordered regulation, has been shown to be an ineffective sheriff who blew off hundreds of cases involving rapes and child molests, has cost the taxpayers of Maricopa County well over $100 million dollars in misspent jail tax funds, has 30,000 unserved felony arrest warrants in his files, has cost us tens of millions of dollars related to lawsuits stemming from prisoners being abused and killed in his jail and who spent the last decade alienating Hispanics on both sides of the border?
Eleven years ago, screenwriter Margaret Nagle began a script about the Lost Boys of Sudan — the colloquial term used to describe the more than 20,000 Sudanese boys who were left homeless or orphaned as a result of the Second Sudanese Civil War.
PHOENIX -- Arizona's policy of denying thousands of Arizonans in a deferred-action program access to drivers licenses is contrary to federal law, the Obama administration said Tuesday.
In a court filing, attorneys for the Department of Justice told federal appellate judges that Arizona has no legal right to decide that some people the federal government allows to remain in this country are "authorized'' to be here and that others are not. The lawyers said that as far as the federal government is concerned, all are equal under the law -- and all are entitled to the same rights and privileges, including licenses.
"Arizona may not substitute its judgment for the federal government's when it comes to establishing classifications of alien status,'' wrote Assistant Attorney General Lindsey Powell for the administration.
She said Arizona has shown no "substantial state purpose'' in crafting rules to decide that some people not in this country legally are entitled to licenses and some are not. And that, said Powell, means Brewer's edict is "pre-empted by federal law.''
Tuesday's legal brief, made in a lawsuit filed by immigrant-rights groups on behalf of "dreamers,'' does not end the matter. It remains up to the full 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which had asked the Department of Justice for its views, to decide whether Arizona must start issuing licenses to those allowed to remain in this country under the administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. But it puts the federal government on record as telling the court to void the 2012 executive order issued by Gov. Jan Brewer directing the state Department of Transportation not to give licenses to DACA recipients.
Tuesday's filing drew an angry reaction from Andrew Wilder, the governor's spokesman. "Rather than secure U.S. borders or enforce existing federal immigration laws, the Obama administration continues to afford preference and privileges to people who enter our country illegally and whose presence is unauthorized,'' he said in a prepared statement. And Wilder said the fact that Obama has agreed on his own to let certain people not here legally remain and yet challenge Arizona's authority to deny them licenses "demonstrates how unhinged and lawless this liberal administration has become.
Wilder also said Arizona is not going to change its policy without a fight.
"States, not the Obama administration, have the right to determine who is issued a driver's license,'' he said.
Powell, in her legal brief, does not disagree with that basic premise.
She admitted that states can have laws which make access to a license contingent on how the federal government classifies someone's presence in the country. And Powell even said states have "significant discretion'' in deciding what documents are necessary to prove eligibility. But what Arizona is doing, Powell told the court, is manufacturing its own artificial classification "not supported by federal law.''
The DACA program is available to those brought to this country illegally as children but who had not yet turned 30 when the president announced it. They are allowed to stay and work for two years, permission which is renewable if they meet other conditions.
To date, more than 24,000 Arizona residents have applied for DACA status, with 21,000 already accepted into the program. But Brewer, in her 2012 edict, directed ADOT not to make licenses available to DACA recipients. She cites a 1996 state law that states licenses are available only to those whose presence in the country is "authorized by federal law.''
The governor takes the position that the DACA program confers no legality on those in it but simply says they will not be pursued or deported.
Powell points out that nothing in state law defines what it means for someone's presence to be "authorized.'' In fact, she told the court, there is not even a classification of "authorized presence'' under federal law.
Yet Powell said ADOT has decided on its own that the documents provided DACA recipients allowing them to remain, are not sufficient. But she said the state does accept similar documents given to other aliens, such as those who are applying for cancellation of being removed from the country.
"By drawing such distinctions, the state has impermissibly assumed for itself the federal prerogative of classifying noncitizens,'' Powell wrote. She said the state has not shown a legitimate reason for the distinction.
"It is not apparent why, if such documents are sufficient to establish that some bearers are currently authorized to be present in the United States, they are not adequate to make that showing for all bearers,'' Powell told the court. She suggested to the judges that the only reason for the distinction ordered by Brewer is her personal disagreement with the Obama administration about the entire DACA program.
"A state may disagree with the federal government's enactment or implementation of federal law -- as Arizona has made clear it does,'' Powell said in her filing. "But a state may not respond to that disagreement by conditioning eligibility for driver's licenses on its own notions of 'authorized presence' and distinguishing among holders of federal authorization documents for that purposes, at least not without a substantial state interest.''
Powell told the court that the state's claims do not rise to that level.
The lawsuit originated with a filing by civil rights organizations who challenged Brewer's order.
Last year U.S. District Court Judge David Campbell refused to order Brewer and ADOT to start issuing licenses to DACA recipients while the case makes its way through the courts. He said there was no evidence they were being irreparably harmed in the interim.
Earlier this year, though, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit said there is evidence of harm and directed Campbell to tell ADOT to issue licenses. But Campbell refused, noting Brewer is now seeking review by the full 9th Circuit.
But the full court said it first wanted the input of the Department of Justice on the administration's position on the legal arguments. Tuesday's filing gives that to them, along with Powell's argument on why they should not disturb the order of the three-judge panel and order the licenses issued while the case drags on, a process that could take years.
One issue for the full court, at least at this point, is that question of "irreparable harm'' to dreamers while the state is denying them licenses.
In writing earlier this year for the three-judge panel, Judge Harry Pregerson said the inability to legally drive makes it more difficult, if not impossible, for them to hold jobs -- a specific right they get being in the DACA program.
Pregerson, like Powell, said Brewer's decision may be based less on law and more on personal feelings. "Defendants' policy appears intended to express animus toward DACA recipients themselves, in part because of the federal government's policy toward them,'' he wrote. "Such animus, however, is not a legitimate state interest.''
Arizona's policy of denying thousands of Arizonans in a deferred action program access to driver's licenses is contrary to federal law, the Obama administration said today.
The Father of our Country on the Gilbert School Board? George Washington?
The Obama administration is asking a federal judge to void another of Arizona's laws aimed at illegal immigration.
When I first moved to the Valley of the Sun in 2000, the PBS TV channel, KAET, was a “powerhouse.” The best TV programming on local television. “MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour” gave the best (unbiased) analysis of the day’s news events. “Masterpiece Theatre” and “Masterpiece Mystery” were “must watch” week in and week out. Wonderful foreign films were shown that could be seen nowhere else on the Valley of the Sun’s TV channels. We viewers didn’t know it be we were seeing the “beginning of the end” for KAET.
Every Sunday morning we showcase a classic comic cover, complete with compelling commentary, for your cordial contemplation. It’s the Classic Comic Cover Corner!
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Every Sunday morning we showcase a classic comic cover, complete with compelling commentary, for your cordial contemplation. It’s the Classic Comic Cover Corner!
I have to admit that when Marvel Studios first announced that they were making Guardians of the Galaxy one of their next films, my befuddled reaction was, “Huh?” I don’t think this secondary comic book title was on anyone’s radar, and I would have been less surprised to hear they were going to remake Howard the Duck (which is actually not a bad idea – especially given today’s motion-capture technology and the right script.) But somehow they have made this relatively unknown and offbeat team of losers into some of the coolest movie heroes ever.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” is the 10th film set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and also probably the silliest. The good news is that director James Gunn’s film is silly in all the right ways. It’s never insultingly silly like “Batman & Robin” or unknowingly silly like “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” Rather, “Guardians of the Galaxy” basks in its silliness and has a blast with its outlandish premise. Since the film never takes itself too seriously, the audience is ironically able to take it more seriously than most straight-faced science fiction epics. In a summer of a lot of dark, gritty blockbusters, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is the life of the party.
"Guardians of the Galaxy” (PG-13) is the 10th film set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and also probably the silliest. The good news is that director James Gunn’s film is silly in all the right ways. It’s never insultingly silly like “Batman & Robin” or unknowingly silly like “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” Rather, “Guardians of the Galaxy” basks in its silliness and has a blast with its outlandish premise. Since the film never takes itself too seriously, the audience is ironically able to take it more seriously than most straight-faced science fiction epics. In a summer of dark, gritty blockbusters, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is the life of the party.