Only in the Obama administration does it make sense to spend millions of dollars for the privilege of spending billions more on non-citizens, yet that is precisely what the administration is doing. The Obama administration’s civil rights division is investigating whether states that deport illegal immigration are violating illegals’ civil rights or making them less likely to live off welfare in an effort to paint their opponents as “racists” and further eviscerate the law.
In the latest in a series of high-profile lawsuits designed to stop state and local law agencies from deporting illegal immigrants, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) voted unanimously on November 18 to investigate several states that have passed immigration enforcement acts for potentially violating the civil rights of illegal aliens. The announcement was held until last Tuesday, when the holiday news dump assured it went largely unreported amidst Thanksgiving plans, stories of Occupy Wall Street protests, and brawling Black Friday shoppers. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the commission “will study laws in several states, with emphasis placed on Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.” Another report specifies, “In particular, the commission will examine whether the state-level immigration laws foster discrimination or contribute to an increase in hate crimes; cause elevated racial and ethnic profiling; affect students’ rights to public primary and secondary school education; and compromise public safety and community policing. ”
The chairman of the USCCR, the appropriately surnamed Martin R. Castro, said, “I believe that the enactment of these state immigration enforcement laws presents a pressing national civil rights issue that affects immigrants and U.S. citizens alike.”
That is, the Obama civil rights division is concerned states are violating illegal aliens’ rights by denying them the “right” to education. Its members will use the tried-and-true tactic of “disparate impact,” claiming since most of those deported are Hispanic, the laws must be racially motivated and thus unconstitutional.
The civil rights kangaroo court comes after the administration has filed lawsuits against every state attempting to control its exploding illegal alien population. The most recent defendant is Utah, which the Obama administration targeted last Tuesday. The state’s Republican governor, Gary Herbert, signed a tough enforcement bill in March.
These federal nuisance suits cost the taxpayers, who must pay to defend themselves against “their” own government.
Arizona became the test case with its S.B. 1070. The Arizona Republic reported on November 11th that it has cost Arizona taxpayers more than $2 million to defend themselves against Obama’s lawsuit. The cost since last December was $486,657. (Interestingly, the report added, “Most of the expenses have been paid with donations into a legal defense fund established by Gov. Jan Brewer via executive order in May 2010.” In fact, the fund has a $1.74 million surplus.)
South Carolina has no estimate of its costs, which continue to mount. Columbia taxpayer Pierre Ravenell notes the Palmetto State taxpayers are actually hit twice, being forced to pay taxes both for the Obama administration to prosecute its case and for the state to defend itself. “We’re paying for both sides,” said Ravenell, “so, I mean, we’re losing money all the way around, money that could be put back into our communities.”
Obama’s lawsuits are as unpopular as they are costly. A miniscule 21 percent of Alabamians want to see their state’s immigration enforcement law repealed. Only 49 percent of Americans nationwide are concerned enforcement will violate civil rights. Most oppose public benefits, including public school education, for illegals. Fully 63 percent of Americans support “automatic” citizenship checks at traffic stops. Less than half buy the amnesty lobby’s claim that illegals perform jobs Americans won’t do. Some 60 percent of respondents believe sealing the border must be the nation’s top immigration priority and that the federal government encourages illegal immigration. In fact, Americans support immigration enforcement and restriction measures not currently on the political table. A Rasmussen poll found a new record high of 65 percent of Americans oppose “birthright citizenship.”
These massive, costly, and unpopular lawsuits might be defensible if they had some purpose — but their lone goal seems to be the privilege to spend ever-greater sums of federal money. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in its publication “The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on United States Taxpayers” calculated that illegal immigration costs U.S. taxpayers $113 billion a year after subtracting the economic “benefit” illegals allegedly make to the economy. That totals $1,117 for each American household. In Arizona alone, the cost of caring for illegal immigrants tops $760 billion. The Department of Homeland Security estimates Georgia is home to 480,000 illegal immigrants.
Even these costs ignore non-profit organizations that use taxpayer dollars to join pro-amnesty lawsuits.
The nation is broke, and Obama is forcing taxpayers to pay the price for overturning laws that are fully constitutional and legally necessary, because illegals give the Democrats warm bodies for voter fraud and an eventual 7-15 million new registered Democrats if amnesty ever passes.
To force this indefensible measure through, he has decided to sue on the grounds that enforcing the law hurts illegals’ feelings. It ought to drive home precisely whom the Obama administration is working for — because it is not American taxpayers.