Apparently there is an epidemic of constitutional amnesia/shameless pandering affecting state Attorneys General throughout the country. As I told you last week, first it was Virginia State Attorney Cuccinelli opining that local law enforcement officers
can arrest those they suspect of committing criminal violations of
immigration laws -- crossing the border -- but not those they think have
violated civil immigration statutes -- overstaying visas. Rather paradoxically, he added that that it is generally
"inadvisable" to arrest those suspected of committing civil violations.
"The ability to arrest lies clearly when there is a criminal offense and
it is decidedly unclear where there is a civil offense," he said. In other words..."HUH??" As if a police officer is trained to distinguish a civil immigration infraction from one which is criminal. And never mind the part about immigration being constitutionally reserved as a federal power, something affirmed instantly the minute the Arizona law was challenged in federal court.
Now it's Florida State Attorney Bill McCollum's turn at the podium of politicians pandering for votes: first he opposed the Arizona legislation; next he liked it. This past Monday he hinted that something like it would be revealed in several weeks...and unveiled it two days later. Detecting a pattern here? The truth is that the frustration with illegal immigration is an emotional hot button and like so many politicians who both understand the fundamental legal reasons why states are inherently unauthorized to enforce immigration and realize the arresting and deporting the core blue collar workforce of the economy is just plain stupid, Mr. McCollum has cashed in his karma and cranked out a really silly piece of legislation literally overnight.
The Miami Herald reported today that McCollum's proposal differs from the Arizona law in that it would
allow judges to consider immigration status when setting a bond. Illegal
immigrants would also face stiffer criminal sentences than legal
residents who committed the same crime. But here's one for the guys in the Home Depot parking lot: soliciting employment as an illegal
immigrant would also become a crime.
Something tells me all those unemployed law and architecture grads won't be lining up to install your sod. (-:
And finally, in the grandiose tradition of double talk nonsense with no plausible consistent way of enforcement, leaving Florida police as confused as those in Virginia, my favorite McCollum quote:
``It's not how you look, it's not what you say."
No, Mr. McCollum, it's how THEY VOTE, and you should be even more ashamed than the Virgina State Attorney given your experience with the reality of Florida's unique immigration issues.