Is I.C.E. John Morton the 21st Century version of Justice Rose Bird?

Crossing the border into Arizona

 Do you recall the movie Apollo 13? “Houston, we have a problem.”

Is John Morton, assistant secretary of homeland security for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the 21st Century version of former CA Supreme Court Chief Justice Rose Bird?

Some background. Justice Rose Bird was appointed by the very same Jerry Brown currently running for governor of CA. She is the first Chief Justice in CA who was removed by the voters (in Nov 1986) for overturning the death penalty in 64 cases imposed at trial as she let her personal bias get in the way of carrying out her duties. I guess the appropriate word to define her is an ideologue.
Is history about to repeat? While I have not joined the debate on the recent action by the state of Arizona on the issue of proof of citizenship, FOX News is reporting that John Morton was interviewed by the Chicago Tribune and is quoted to having said: ”

“I don’t think the Arizona law, or laws like it, are the solution,” Morton told the newspaper. The best way to reduce illegal immigration is through a comprehensive federal approach, he said, and not a patchwork of state laws.

The law, which criminalizes being in the state illegally and requires authorities to check suspects for immigration status, is not “good government,” Morton said.

Gilbert comment. Do we see a parallel with that attitude? Neither party inside the beltway wants to deal with this hot potato policy issue. I agree with the remarks of  Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-AL, (who) said it appeared the Obama administration is “nullifying existing law” and suggested Morton may not be the right person for his post if he fails to enforce federal immigration law.

“If he feels he cannot enforce the law, he shouldn’t have the job,” Sessions told Fox News. “That makes him, in my view, not fulfilling the responsibilities of his office.”

Sessions said the U.S. government has “systematically failed” to enforce federal immigration law and claimed Morton’s statement is an indication that federal officials do not plan on working with Arizona authorities regarding its controversial law.

As I read the Office of the Press Secretary text of yesterday’s White House Rose Garden photo op with Mexico’s president Calderone, president Obama stated:

“For the sake of our shared prosperity and security, we discussed the need for immigration that is orderly and safe, and we acknowledged that both our countries have responsibilities.  President Calderón is working hard to create jobs so that more Mexicans see a future of opportunity in their country. 

To fix our broken immigration system, I reaffirmed my deep commitment to working with Congress in a bipartisan way to pass comprehensive immigration reform.  And comprehensive reform means accountability for everybody:  government that is accountable for securing the border; businesses being held accountable when they exploit workers; people who break the law by breaching our borders being held accountable by paying taxes and a penalty and getting right with the law before they can earn their citizenship.  We’ve been working hard to get this done.  There’s a strong proposal in the Senate, based on a bipartisan framework, and it can and should move forward.

We also discussed the new law in Arizona, which is a misdirected effort — a misdirected expression of frustration over our broken immigration system, and which has raised concerns in both our countries.  Today, I want every American to know my administration has devoted unprecedented resources in personnel and technology to securing our border.  Illegal immigration is down, not up, and we will continue to do what’s necessary to secure our shared border.

And I want everyone, American and Mexican, to know my administration is taking a very close look at the Arizona law.  We’re examining any implications, especially for civil rights.  Because in the United States of America, no law-abiding person — be they an American citizen, a legal immigrant, or a visitor or tourist from Mexico — should ever be subject to suspicion simply because of what they look like.”

In the same Press Release President Calderone is quoted to having said:

 “In Mexico, we are and will continue being respectful of the internal policies of the United States and its legitimate right to establish in accordance to its Constitution whatever laws it approves.  But we will retain our firm rejection to criminalize migration so that people that work and provide things to this nation will be treated as criminals.  And we oppose firmly the S.B. 1070 Arizona law given in fair principles that are partial and discriminatory.”

With all due respect, no head of state should express support for our Constitution yet criticize a law passed by one of our states trying to address this lingering illegal immigration issue which those in the beltway choose to ignore.

Following is the White House link followed by the FOX News account.

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