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Obama administration and labor union allies proclaim victory in Arizona immigration ruling

by Christopher A. Guzman, published

With a federal judge striking key provisions of Arizona’s immigration law, the Obama administration proclaimed victory along with labor union allies.  Labor unions have been some of the staunchest opponents of the Arizona law and strongest advocates of a fast track legalization process. 

Among these unions would be the UFCW and SEIU.  And their strong opposition to the Arizona law would seem to make sense from a political perspective.  Slower influxes of immigrants to the states would stunt membership growth, and slower membership growth equals a thinner cash flow for political causes, which typically leans democratic. 

The SEIU also recently released a video comparing television pundits and supporters of the Arizona immigration law to dictatorial-like oppressors. 

For an administration whose stated goal was to end partisan politics, its credibility may have been tarnished as it has seemingly aligned itself with groups demonizing the majority of Americans who support the law.  But, this also makes political sense in light of the fact that President Obama easily won the labor vote in 2008. 

Arizona governor Jan Brewer vowed that the fight isn’t over concerning this recent defeat in court.  "Illegal immigration is an ongoing crisis the state of Arizona did not create and the federal government has refused to fix," Brewer said. "SB 1070 protects all of us, every Arizona citizen and everyone here in our state lawfully." 

Arizona will seek an appeal on the ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The court, based in San Francisco, is considered among the most liberal-leaning in the nation.  One way or another, the case was going to be headed in that direction as both parties involved in the lawsuit would have appealed the case had their respective side lost.  It could be a year or more before the case possibly reaches the Supreme Court. 

While comprehensive immigration reform might be necessary to some extent, the way the Obama administration is handling the matter doesn’t appear to be consistent with the general welfare clause in the U.S. Constitution, a clause often cited in its justification for national healthcare reform.  

It would appear that the current administration is playing the special interest political game, a business as usual approach that many hoped would change.

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