Opinion

Federal court allows foreign governments to file briefs in SB 1070 case

Matt O'Connor Contributor

On Monday, the 9th Circuit ruled in favor of allowing eleven foreign governments to file friend of the court (amicus) briefs in the legal battle over Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law, SB 1070, which is almost identical to an existing federal law and was enacted to help Arizona combat its illegal immigration crisis.

One out of ten Arizona residents is an illegal immigrant.  The situation is simply out of control and has severely impacted Arizona’s ability to deliver social services — from hospitals and schools to law enforcement and welfare — to its citizens.

Despite the destabilizing effect illegal immigration is having on Arizona, and despite the fact that SB 1070 mirrors existing federal law, the Obama administration is using SB 1070 to promote cultural and economic divisions in the hopes of scoring political points.

The federal government has failed to secure the border. Moreover, the Obama administration does not appear to be willing to do anything beyond suing Arizona in federal court and regurgitating political rhetoric.

The foreign countries being allowed to file amicus briefs are: Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and Chile. By allowing these foreign countries to file amicus briefs, the 9th Circuit is effectively saying that these countries have: 1) a compelling legal interest in the Arizona case and 2) an indispensible expertise in the area of U.S. constitutional law.

Interestingly, I don’t recall there ever being anything in the Federalist Papers or the Constitution concerning foreign opinion of our laws.  But then again, these documents were written at a time when sovereignty really meant sovereignty. Perhaps we should query each of the 11 amicus brief countries on how their own immigration laws work. Maybe for starters we should consider adopting Mexico’s immigration laws. Wouldn’t that be fair?

Something tells me that when the governments of Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and Chile file their amicus briefs, they won’t be attaching copies of their own immigration laws. I suspect doing so would be far too embarrassing.

Matt O’Connor is a freelance writer and founder of Clarion Advisory, LLC, a media production company, and serves as the executive editor of Clarion Advisory.com, a website featuring political commentary and the continuous aggregation of national and international news covering politics and business. Prior to forming Clarion Advisory, Matt worked as a broker and vice president within a Fortune 250 company on the West Coast.