On Leadership
Video | PostLeadership | FedCoach | | Books | About |
Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti

Slade Gorton
Political leader

Slade Gorton

A former U.S. Senator and Washington State Attorney General, Slade Gorton served on the 9/11 Commission.

What constituents want

Q: No matter what you may think about the wisdom or legality of Arizona's immigration law, its proponents have succeeded in putting immigration enforcement back at the top of the national political agenda. Is this an example of "leading up," providing leadership on an issue where you have responsibility without authority?

The primary motivation of Arizona's legislators in passing its immigration law was intense constituent frustration with the failure of federal authorities to enforce the plain meaning of existing federal immigration laws. The validity of that feeling was dramatically illustrated last week by Attorney General Holder's statement accompanying his lawsuit challenging the Arizona law, stating that he was essentially uninterested in pursuing illegal immigrants unless they were suspected of other serious offenses.

Perhaps the legislators were also attempting to "lead up" and push immigration higher on the national agenda, though it is unlikely that the Arizona bill supporters will find much to applaud in any such proposals from the Obama administration.

I think we should treat the legislation at face value, as a sincere attempt to do something about a major threat to the lawful citizens of Arizona, and not just a disguised slap at the feds. In fact, while Holder's lawsuit raises serious constitutional questions, I am convinced that at least some sections of the Arizona law will be upheld.

By Slade Gorton

 |  July 13, 2010; 3:24 PM ET
Category:  Political leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: 'In the absence of orders, attack!' | Next: Cheap solutions to complex problems

Comments

Please report offensive comments below.



HERE'S THE POINT; THE REPUBLICANS SAY,"HOW ARE WE GOING TO PAY FOR THESE PROGRAMS?WELL THEN I ASK, HOW DO THEY EXPECT TO PAY FOR THERE THREE-PERCENT PAY-RAISE? THE BIG THING IN WASHINGTON RIGHT NOW IS, TAKING THE ARIZONA IMMIGRATION LAW THAT THEY PASTED,TO COURT. THEY SAY IT'S UNCONSTITUTIONAL. THAT IT'S RACIST. NO WAY, YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS IF YOU ARE HERE ILLEGALLY!SO UNDERSTAND, IF YOU BUMS, CAN'T REPRESENT WE THE PEOPLE,DO AS WE CALL ON YOU TO DO,LET ALONE, TREAT US WITH THE RESPECT WE DESERVE, AND UNDERSTAND WHAT OUR CONSTITUTION STANDS FOR,AND JUST HOW MUCH IT MEANS TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, YOU BEST JUST VAY-CATE YOU'RE SEATS! WE THE PEOPLE ARE TIRED OF THE SMELL OF THE CRAP YOU'RE TRYING TO SELL IS! I WOULD LIKE SOMEONE TO EXPLAIN TO ME,"HOW DO WE EXPECT TO COLLECT TAX REVENUE WHEN YOU LET CORPERATIONS SEND OUR JOBS TO OTHER COUNTRIES,AND ON-TOP OF THAT, GIVE THEM BIG TAX BREAKS?" THREE YEARS AGO,I WAS MAKING TWENTY-SEVEN DOLLARS AN HOUR, NOW FOR THE SAME WORK, I GET EIGHT-TO NINE DOLLARS AN HOUR! WE THE PEOPLE ASKED FOR FAIR TRADE, YOU SOLD US OUT TO FREE TRADE! WE PLEADED WITH YOU TO ENFORCE OUR IMMIGRATION LAWS TO PROTECT THE JOBS LEFT, YET YOU COME UP WITH ALL KINDS OF BULL CRAP! I WORN ALL OF YOU, TO DO YOU'RE JOB UNDER THE OATH YOU TOOK, WHEN YOU TOOK OFFICE WE THE PEOPLE VOTED YOU IN TO DO, OR LEAVE CAPITAL HILL! WILLING, OR BY FORCE! THIS GOES FOR BOTH PARTIES, DAMACRAPS AND RIP-OFF REPUBLICANS! AMERICA BELONGS TO WE THE PEOPLE, NOT YOU BREW-O-CRAPS! AMERICA, LOVE IT -OR LEAVE IT!

Posted by: loveitorleaveit | July 25, 2010 3:28 PM
Report Offensive Comment

A NATION OF LAWS? that's a joke!In my time that ended with KING REAGON! Remember him? The one who put the tax on you're unemployment check, taxed you're inheritance money left to you by you're loved one's! And don't forget the profit gains tax! While giving the wealthy there big tax cut? We the people of the UNITED STATES need to rise up, and say NO MORE! Then' under KING GEORGE,and DARK VADER, They get us into a war with a country that DID NOT ATTACK AMERICA, by B.S.ING US WITH WEAPONS OF MASS DISTRUCTION! That KING REGAN GAVE IRAC TO WAGE WAR WITH ARAN! Seams people forgot all about that one!They fed us with the fear of terrisum as they did with the VIETNAM WAR! To stop the spread of COMMUNISN! When will it end? ALL OF THE ABOVE WAS PAID FOR BY THE RISE OF TAXES TO THE WORKING LOW INCOME TO THE MIDDLE CLASS WORKERS OF AMERICA! They can spread our blood and steal our money for their gains! Enough I say! Yet we have no say to anything.WRONG,NO TAXATION WITH OUT PROPER REPRESENTATION! THAT'S WHAT THIS COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED ON! Let no man ever take our right to FREE SPEECH THE RIGHT TO EXPRESS OUR FEELING'S
AND TELL CAPITAL HILL, THAT WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH! ENOUGH OF THERE LIES THERE CRAP THEY TRY TO SHOVEL DOWN TO US!ENOUGH OF THEM DENING US THE RIGHT TO LIFE LIBERTY AND THE RIGHT TO HAPPINESS!Stand up for the fact that ARIZONA.

Had the BALLS to enforce the federal law already on the books! If the great leaders of our country can't stand that, THE GO TO MEXICO WITH ALL THE DEPORTED TACO HEADS. WE DON'T WANT YOU ON CAPITAL HILL SELLING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OUT ANYMORE! LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: loveitorleaveit | July 23, 2010 7:53 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Arizona should not merely defend against the lawsuit.

Arizona should initiate a strong counter claim against the Administration.

Article IV Section 4 of the US Constitution says that the Federal Government "shall protect each [of the States]against invasion." The word "shall" doesn't mean the Feds can decide to protect or not protect as they please. "Shall" requires protection.

Since Mexico actively supports its people entering the US illegally (they print brochures about how to sneak across the border and what to do when people get here), Arizona should seek an injunction ordering the Obama Administration to fight the invasion. Arizona should also seek damages for failure to protect against invasion as required by Article IV Section 4.

If the Administration claims there is no "invasion," Arizona should request discovery of all documents relating to the question of whether an invasion is occurring and what actions are being taken to defend against the invasion.

That will put the Obama Administration on the defensive.

Who's side is the Obama Administration on the States or the invaders?

Posted by: jfv123 | July 15, 2010 1:42 PM
Report Offensive Comment

infinity555: FIRST! Build the REAL DOUBLE FENCE. Second! Fine and imprison all employers who have knowingly hired illegal workers.

lets reverse that - FIRST: Fine and imprision all employers who knowingly employ illegal workers.

SECOND: If no jobs, perhaps we won't need a fence

Posted by: leespencer | July 15, 2010 12:07 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Here's a question for the peanut gallery:

Why is Arizona's law racist? And if it is racist, why is the US immigration law (which is mirrored by the AZ law) not racist?

In any event, just about anyone who has ever lived in AZ would surely support the AZ law. The crime and the expense of millions of illegal immigrants should not be born by the AZ taxpayer.

Posted by: John991 | July 15, 2010 11:39 AM
Report Offensive Comment

I'd like to see the enforcement statistics regarding Employers of Illegal Aliens.

How many have been prosecuted?
How many have been arrested?

Cheating is behind the influx.

Are you willing to stop it?

or is the money too good?

Posted by: vigor | July 15, 2010 10:57 AM
Report Offensive Comment

It will be difficult to enact meaningful immigration reform when the vast majority of statements made on the subject are either, inaccurate, from the perspective of objective statutory/legal analysis, or hate speech masquerading as pursuit of law.

Posted by: quiet1 | July 15, 2010 10:38 AM
Report Offensive Comment

A majority of the people like SB1070. Yawn.

The issue the Feds are raising against SB1070 is that it is unconstitutional. Are they correct? I don't know. But a very conservative Supreme Court may eventually get to make a decision that will decide the matter. Which is the way such matters are handled in the U.S.

Posted by: ad9inaz | July 15, 2010 10:21 AM
Report Offensive Comment

There one easy step to start the immigration "reform" process. Pass a law that says that if you enter the country illegally you forfeit the posibility of ever becomming a citizen with no exceptions allowed. This removes the amnesty issue completely and ends forever the Democrat party hope of picking up millions of votes through such a program. Then we can rationally discuss guest worker programs, guest worker ID's, employer sanctions and deportation systems.

Posted by: Tuerke9 | July 15, 2010 9:45 AM
Report Offensive Comment

Eric Holder is SHOCKED to find that whites aren't cowards on race and ethnicity issues.

They'd been silenced.

Posted by: WmarkW | July 15, 2010 9:05 AM
Report Offensive Comment

Let's deport Eric Holder as an undesirable!

Posted by: battleground51 | July 15, 2010 6:56 AM
Report Offensive Comment

At least Eric Holder is being truthful, this time. He has NO interest in enforcing America's, immigration laws, NONE. Barack Obama has NO interest in enforcing America's, immigration laws. Most liberal Democrats have NO interest in enforcing America's immigration laws, PERIOD!

There we have it. The truth finally. It's what we knew all along. These people are less than worthless to most, law abiding, patriotic Americans.

Let's shove them all through the OUT door in November.

Posted by: battleground51 | July 15, 2010 6:51 AM
Report Offensive Comment

. . of the people, by the people and for the people . .
Article IV, Section 4 of the U. S. Constitution says that the U. S. will protect states against invasion. Arizona has been invaded by more than 400,000 disease carrying illegals. The U. S. response: U. S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the ACLU, illegals, terrorists, a Muslim loving attorney, the Mexican Government and Barach Hussein Obama launched a jihad against Arizona. With friends like that mob, what state needs enemies? None of them respect the Federal Immigration and Nationality Act.
California Attorney General Jerry Brown refuses to enforce California Penal Code 834b as he panders for Hispanic votes as he allows sanctuary cities to violate state and federal immigration laws.
Do any Democrats with IQ's above room temperature understand that Obama and Jerry Brown want U. S. cities to become like filth holes like Mexico City where just breathing the air is like smoking two packs of cigarettes a day? Do Democrats want the U. S. to become a third world country where less than two percent of kids go to high school? Do you understand that open immigration would cause every public high school to be turned into a prison to handle criminals? Even some very stupid Republicans would destroy our public school system if they could. But, remember that beginning with WWI 98% of our military officers, including fighter and bomber pilots and ship commanders came from public schools.

Posted by: hurleyvision | July 15, 2010 12:58 AM
Report Offensive Comment

The moneyed elite wants that cheap illegal labor to keep on flowing in. It not only depresses American wages, but employers profits are increased as the cost of this labor is subsidized by the American taxpayer who pays all the social benefits.

We are being ripped off.

That is why they are refusing to enforce our democratically enacted immigration laws.

Isn't it strange... AG Holder says he has to sue Arizona over their support of Federal immigration law as it is an invasion of a federal domaine... .yet, he has not sued the sanctuary cities who are underming federal immigration policy!

Americans have had it with our politicans putting the interest of the rich and foreigners before that of the American people.

Posted by: Bettybb | July 13, 2010 8:12 PM
Report Offensive Comment

VOTE ALL THE PRO-AMNESTY LAWMAKERS OUT OF OFFICE. WE THE CITIZENS HAVE THE POWER?
FIRST! Build the REAL DOUBLE FENCE. Second! Fine and imprison all employers who have knowingly hired illegal workers.
Until the politicians in Washington, uphold a serious commitment to building the--REAL--fence(s), and not half-hearted attempt in misleading the American public.There will not be any form of immigration reform, if anti-amnesty organizations can stop its course? That first and foremost should be the THE REAL BORDER FENCE(S).That's plural as two fences? Beyond the gap of a thousand yards a second chain-link fence, used typically in the prison system topped with razor wire for the whole 2000 miles. Tracks between fences for the use of the border patrol. Instead the politicians who started the construction of the fence lied. They drafted the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations bill, that specifically eliminated the main funding mandate of the Secure Fence Act of 2006 as a two layer fence. We spend 43 cents in every dollar fighting obscene wars in foreign countries, but the American people remain unprotected. Arizona has been under a relentless attack. Overrun with criminals of every category and uncountable illegal alien swarms. The state like many others are sliding towards bankruptcy because of the liberal doctrine of spreading Federal and state welfare to everybody. The feds hardly ever compensate states for money bled-off by foreign national entitlements as seen in the downward financial spiral of California.

The real fence can be viewed in San Diego, covering just 50 miles and it has been successful in controlling both illegal immigrants and criminal activity. Our legislators have completely ignored our constitution that states, " The United States shall protect each of the states from invasion,” according to Article IV, Section 4. THAT IS THE TEXT OF THE US CONSTITUTION. And if 20 to 30 million illegal aliens occupying our soil, doesn't constitute an invasion--then pray tell me what does?Which instead the morons in the Capitol, have been intimidated by the President South of the border. Remember that those politicians in Washington and state level, along with Governors, Mayors and officials must be driven out of office, beginning with pro-amnesty Sen.Reid in the November mid term election. Call your Representative at 202-224-3121 and demand their support of the state of Arizona or see the door in coming elections. NumbersUSA to join the amnesty battle that is coming soon.

Posted by: infinity555 | July 13, 2010 7:48 PM
Report Offensive Comment

The politicans in Washington need to realize the tide has turned on this issue and will only become worse for them if they delay doing something about the illegal immigrants in this country. For many the final straw was the ovation for Calderon when he criticized Arizona. The middle class of this country is giving support to the very wealty of Mexico who do not share any wealth. They can dump their poor on this country. Harry Reid will not implement the E-verify alone and, therefore, it is probable that many stimulus jobs are going to illegal immigrants. I have had it with standing behind obvious illegal Hispanics at the checkout at the grocery store and seeing them use WIC and food stamp cards. It is obvious all of the children they have were born using Medicaid. If Harry Reid does not want to do reform piece meal does that mean he does not want to pass the Dream Act?

Posted by: EFDTN | July 13, 2010 4:54 PM
Report Offensive Comment

It is painfully obvious that Washington doesn't have the will nor leadership ability to enforce immigration laws. I never want to hear any so-called leader ever again to say "we are a nation of laws". The American public is tired of being lied to. It is also painfully obvious that foreign citizens (illegals in America) have a major say in our domestic policy. Millions more will enter illegally knowing our gov't will make a weak attempt of controlling them, if even that. Obama meeting with the Hispanuc caucus demonstrates that immigration decisions will in part be based on race. This is further proved when Congress applauded Calderon of Mexico when he bad mouthed Arizona. Also proves Congress condones racist policies since Mexcios' immigration laws are blatantly racist. Washington again is turning a deaf ear to American voices. They are more concerned about garnering and keeping votes. Might as well say citizen rights no longer exists. We have cities and states against each other. Washington will do what is best for illegals and their families, blatantly putting aside decisions that would be best for American families. We have shown the countries below our southern border that we don"t have the stomach to stop them from crossing the border. Even the English language is going by the wayside.God better bless America because the devils who masquerade as our leaders are destroyin America. Outside our valiant troops fighting for America, we can no longer say "Land of the Brave" . Wasdhington has no backbone.

Posted by: baz987 | July 13, 2010 4:12 PM
Report Offensive Comment

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company