The three-judge panel from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals signaled that police can start enforcing what has been called the “show me your papers” statute within a few weeks unless the state or the plaintiffs ask for a rehearing by the full court. It was unclear as this was written as to whether either side planned to ask for a hearing by the full court. The panel thereby lifted an injunction on enforcement of that part of the Georgia law (HB 87) that had been put in place last year by U.S. District Judge Tom Thrash of Vinings.
The federal panel said it was guided in its “hands-off” ruling on Section 8 of the law by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that upheld parts of Arizona’s similar immigration law.
“In Arizona v. United States, the Supreme Court approved of a similar state provision, and in light of that holding we likewise conclude at this stage of litigation that Plaintiffs are not likely to succeed on the claim that section 8 is pre-empted by federal law,” the panel wrote.
One difference between the two laws is that Georgia’s law allows authorities to check immigration status in such cases, while the Arizona law requires police to check it. Another difference is that Georgia’s law specifically bars racial profiling in its application.
Meanwhile, enforcement of another part of the state’s 2011 immigration law, which punishes those who knowingly transport or harbor illegals while committing other crimes, will remain on hold for now, the panel unfortunately said.
The lower court had ruled in favor of the illegals, essentially saying it’s OK to ignore the law if the illegals you are hauling are your friends and neighbors. By that logic, “wheelmen” for bank robbers and home-burglary crews should go free, too.
But the overall ruling was saluted by Brian Robinson, spokesman for Gov. Nathan Deal.
“This ruling upholds the most important enforcement elements of our state’s immigration law,” he said.
And predictably, opponents of immigration reform predicted the law would ultimately be overturned.
Much credit goes to those who wrote and passed the law, and to Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens, who has successfully defended it. Only one of its 23 sections has thus far been invalidated, despite a year of well-funded efforts by those who would do just about anything to make it easier for people to sneak into this country and easier for the 12 million illegals already here to compete with U.S. citizens for jobs.
Again, we reiterate that Georgia, Arizona, Alabama and the other states that have passed such immigration laws did so because — and only because — Washington refused to do anything substantive to resolve the question. And now we see an unpopular president acting by executive order to open the door to millions of illegals already in this country in a transparent attempt to pander to Hispanic voters.
That, and this week’s court ruling in Atlanta, are two more reminders of what’s at stake for our country this November.