As Andy McCarthy pointed out over at National Review Online, Attorney General Eric Holder seems to be profiling Arizona. Holder said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” two weeks ago that the Justice Department was “considering” filing a lawsuit opposing Arizona’s immigration enforcement law. Yet a week ago he admitted in oversight hearings in the House of Representatives that he hasn’t even read the bill he so freely criticizing.
President Barack Obama has directed the Justice Department to “examine the civil rights and other implications of this legislation.” Of course, the problem with having Eric Holder’s Justice Department “investigate” Arizona, is that this administration already has been accused of using its law enforcement authority for political purposes … to oppose policies that President Obama does not like … particularly those having to do with illegal aliens.
Both Holder and Obama cite federal civil rights laws as a basis for their actions. That means any Justice Department investigation of Arizona will be carried out by the notoriously partisan and often lawless Civil Rights Division. As I previously outlined, the Division has already launched what seemed like a politically-motivated witch hunt against Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio almost as soon as Obama got into office.
The administration’s allies in the radical civil rights community, and Reps. John Conyers (D-MI) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), have demanded an investigation because they were angry over Arpaio’s arrest and detention of illegal aliens through the 287(g) program (a federal program in which the Department of Homeland Security works with local police departments to enforce federal immigration laws). Organizations like La Raza hate this program and want it ended. The lawyers in the Division who are conducting this “investigation” have acted so questionably (and arguably unethically) that they are now the subject of an investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility at Justice.
This is the same Division that cited Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act to object to Georgia verifying the citizenship of newly registered voters. The law provides no legal basis for that objection. Indeed, both state and federal law require you to be a citizen to vote and another federal law, the Help America Vote Act of 2002, requires states to “verify the accuracy of the information provided on applications for voter registration.” But given who Obama nominated to head the Civil Rights Division, it is no surprise that such an invalid objection would be made to Georgia’s perfectly lawful (and wise) policy.
Obama’s political appointee, Thomas Perez, has an obvious conflict of interest that prevents him from providing objective advice to the President and the Attorney General on any issue involving illegal aliens. Prior to his nomination to Justice, Perez served as the president of Casa de Maryland, an extreme advocacy organization that opposes enforcement of our immigration laws. This is a group that has:
- encouraged illegal aliens not to speak with police officers or immigration agents;
- fought restrictions on illegal aliens’ receiving driver’s licenses;
- urged local police not to enforce federal fugitive warrants;
- advocated giving illegal aliens in-state tuition; and
- actively promulgated “day labor” sites, where illegal aliens and disreputable employers openly skirt federal prohibitions on hiring undocumented individuals.
As I wrote for National Review Online, it is stunning that someone affiliated with an outfit that displays such contempt for federal law would even be nominated, let alone confirmed, as the nation’s top civil-rights law-enforcement officer. But Perez has gone even farther.
When he was a local councilman in Maryland in 2003, Perez tried to force local governments to accept matricula consular ID cards issued by the Mexican consul as a valid form of identification. He insisted that individuals with such cards should not have to show any U.S.-issued documents to prove their identities, despite the fact that it is well known that the matricala consular IDs are rife with fraud. No major bank in Mexico accepts the cards to open an account and the majority of Mexico’s 32 states and districts reject the cards as IDs. But Perez was seemingly not concerned over their use to evade federal immigration laws.
Assistant Attorney General Perez and any members of his staff who share his bias against enforcing immigration laws have an ethical obligation to recuse themselves from this issue. Meanwhile, Holder and other outspoken Administration critics of the Arizona law should hold their tongues and stop their reckless charges until they either read the Arizona law themselves or receive detailed briefings from unbiased legal authorities that can demonstrate actual (as opposed to imagined) violations of federal law.