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Order to show cause in Taitz v. Johnson

US District Judge Andrew S. Hanen issued an order on August 1 to the Department of Homeland Security (Health and Human Services, Barack Obama and the Brownsville Station of the Border Patrol) to show cause why emergency relief requested by plaintiff Orly Taitz should not be granted. Taitz decided to intervene on behalf of people who are afraid of disease from Guatemalan children who arrived in the US without documentation and turned themselves in at the border. Taitz wants quarantine and other emergency measures as detailed in her complaint.

Certain conservative web sites (for example, Conservative Patriot) are very excited about the progress of this case, Taitz v. Johnson, taking the order to show cause as a strong sign that the judge is on the verge of ruling in Taitz’ favor. The government has until August 11 to respond.

And the winner is for best reason for dismissing a lawsuit (opening sealed envelope): lack of standing.

I returned from Mexico myself last week, and so I know that the time when I had to show my passport to American Immigration officials was after I was already physically in the United States. I understand that these kids are not sneaking across the border, but entering the country and turning themselves in.

Update:

The Government responds

The birther fear of death

When I say “death” I don’t mean physical death, but death of a way of life. Birthers are mostly old white people who are saying: “Obama is destroying the country.” Ignore the “Obama” part for a minute, and listen to the fear that they live in the midst of some kind of destruction. Some of them think that the world is about to end in the Biblical Apocalypse, but even if the world isn’t ending, it is passing them by.1 Change comes at what appears an accelerated pace (and even if the pace were not accelerated, it would seem that way to older people whose sense of time is different). Change scares them witless because it could mean the death of their way of life. And out of this fear, they seem to be grasping at straws: that Obama is ineligible and every law he signed can be made to go away, that the Tea Party can set the clock back to 1950, that all the immigrants can be expelled2.

“Immigration and people of color” is a big deal for the status quo because in the future the United States is going to populated and controlled more by non-white people, and that can be a source of anxiety for white people. The Southern slaveholder’s greatest fear was of a slave uprising in which they would be murdered in their beds, and revenge would be exacted on them for the cruelty they had inflicted on their slaves.3 The people of the United States have exploited immigrants from the beginning, whether it be the unwilling Africans, the Irish, the Chinese or the Latinos today who work for less than the minimum wage and in some cases in slave-like conditions. Those classes will share in the leadership in American. Even racial distinctions are becoming blurred by mixed-race families. What’s even scarier to some is that other countries like Russia, India and China (among others) are growing at tremendous rates and America must share world leadership to a growing extent. (I was just in Russia and was impressed by their potential in land area, natural resources and a well-educated population if they can stay at peace and maintain internal stability for a while.)

I’m 63 years old now and I am reconciled to the reality that each generation makes its own rules and has to solve its own problems (except that the next generation will have to solve its own problems plus the ones my generation left them). While I love my Country, I also believe in the equal value of all human life. If someone not like me does well, that’s a good thing too. My view is not that white people are in decline, nor that America is in decline, but rather that we are seeing the “rise of the rest,” to use a phrase borrowed from an immigrant with a funny name, Fareed Zakaria.4

It is a brave new world, but it’s not necessarily a bad one.

I’m really not sure what to say to the birthers. “Chill out” seems trite. My former pastor strongly recommended prescription drugs for anxiety. To the extent that you can, find constructive activities, delete those gloom and doom chain emails, and spend time with your family.


1Jesus said:

Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go. John 21:18

2Note this headline from an article on Orly’s site:

How to fight Soros pro amnesty thugs? We need bikers and truckers there, advising them that they are under citizens arrest and we need to call immigration and police immediately, demand deportation and have the call to immigration on loud speaker and on video. We need congressmen there talking to immigration on loud speakers. Maybe George Soros should be arrested for misprision of felonies, for inciting violence and violation of immigration laws? Is Soros a U.S. citizen, did he get his U.S. citizenship under false pretenses?

3The book The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory talks about paranoia over real and imagined slave revolt plots.

4I had a really hard time writing this article, and making it say something worth reading, instead of being a collection of platitudes. A great deal was written and deleted. I don’t think I succeeded beyond offering the idea to the reader that part of birtherism can be attributed to old white people’s fears of losing their way of life.

Sheriff Arpaio: guilty of racial profiling

The case of Melendres v. Arpaio was decided Friday with Judge Snow issuing a scathing 142-page decision describing misconduct at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, led by “America’s toughest sheriff ™” Joe Arpaio. A number of news organizations, including the New York Times, is covering the story.

ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project Director Cecillia Wang said in a press release:

Singling people out for traffic stops and detention because they are Latino is unconstitutional and just plain un-American. Let this be a warning to any agency trying to enforce the “show me your papers” provision of SB 1070 and similar laws—there is no exception in the Constitution for immigrant enforcement.

While immigrant rights is usually off topic for this blog, Sheriff Arpaio is such a central figure in the birther controversy that something of this importance, particularly as it relates to race issues, cannot be overlooked.

Arpaio’s attorney says they will appeal the decision.

SCOTUS cites Vattel: a shot over Obama’s bow?

I really enjoy making up sensational headlines, and then backing down in the article. In this case the Supreme Court is the current one (not Taney’s racist pre Civil War court) and the opinion was issued just yesterday in Arizona v. United States, a case deciding the authority of the states in regulating immigration.

Justice Scalia, “concurring in part and dissenting in part,” cited Emer de Vattel’s Law of Nations on state sovereignty. I don’t know if Vattel would have approved Scalia’s conflation of “state of the United States” with  “country,” but that’s beside the point.

What does this have to do with Obama? In practical terms, it will only excite the birthers who will go all hyperbolic about how important Vattel is. In practical terms, Justice Scalia is already on record saying presidential eligibility is jus soli (birth in the country) and so it doesn’t have any bearing on Obama’s eligibility.

Thanks to a commenter for the tip.

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“SCOTUS cites Vattel: a shot over Obama’s bow? (continued)“.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio vows to stop illegal immigrants

In a news conference earlier today, “America’s toughest sheriff” Joe Arpaio announced a new “no exceptions” policy designed to curb immigration abuses even further.

Under Arizona law (28-625) drivers of animal-drawn vehicles are “subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this chapter.” Arpaio has directed his deputies to begin stops of animal-drawn vehicles with checks of their proof of citizenship.

Civil rights and immigration advocates have responded saying that this new policy is no less than intimidation of the population who will now have to carry identification with them during recreational activities.

In an answer to a follow-up question, Arpaio explained that his action was not done on a whim, rather it was taken in an attempt to prevent a repeat of the rather notorious public embarrassment that happened as a result of a series of home invasions by an undocumented worker in the state around this time last year.

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