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Between Federally owned land and Illegals in Arizona Dem's will do all they can for the Latino Vote.


Arizona House votes to demand return of federally owned lands

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Arizona lawmakers on Monday passed legislation demanding the U.S.government relinquish to the state millions of acres of federal territory, in the latest rekindling of a "sagebrush rebellion" over control of public lands in the West.
Without debate, the Republican-dominated Arizona House of Representatives easily passed a measure seeking the return of roughly 48,000 square miles of government-owned acreage in the Grand Canyon state by 2015.
The bill, approved on a 35-15 vote, now goes to the state Senate for final passage. Republican Governor Jan Brewer would then have five days once the bill reaches her desk to sign or veto it. Otherwise, the measure becomes law automatically.
Arizona would be the second state in the nation to enact such legislation. Last month, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed a bill seeking to reclaim some 30 million acres of federally owned land in his state, shrugging off warnings from state attorneys that the measure was likely unconstitutional and would lead to a protracted yet futile legal battle.
The moves cap years of rising indignation among political conservatives in big Western states over that fact that vast tracts of their land mass are owned by various federal agencies, much of it by the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management. In Arizona, the U.S. government controls 42 percent of the land mass, compared with some 60 percent in Utah.
Proponents of the Arizona bill have complained that federal control puts too much land off-limits to commercial development such as mining, logging and livestock raising -- limiting the state's potential tax base for schools and other public services.
They see the government as too closely aligned with environmental groups, which largely oppose efforts by the so-called sagebrush rebels to loosen federal controls. Conservationists say less federal management would lead to degradation of the land and its wildlife while allowing a virtual giveaway of publicly owned natural resources.
"All of these federal agencies have been infiltrated by extreme environmentalists and have almost killed off what Arizona was built on - lumber, mining and ranching," said Republican state Senator Al Melvin, the bill's chief sponsor. "It's wrong and it's happening all over the West. We are bound and determined to put it to an end to this."
Under the bill, the state would seek title to most of the state's federal acreage, including national monuments, national forests and national wildlife refuges. Military bases and national parks would be exempt, as would Indian reservations.

Arizona’s illegal-immigration law heads to Supreme Court. Will justices strike it down?

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the country's toughest illegal-immigration bill into law two years ago, setting off a long legal battle with the Obama administration and inspiring half a dozen states to emulate Arizona and pass similar laws. On Wednesday, the federal government and Arizona will face off at the Supreme Court, where Justice Department lawyers will try to convince the court that the law is an unconstitutional invasion into the federal government's turf.
A federal judge blocked four major aspects of the law before they ever went into effect, including the provision that local police officers check the immigration status of people during stops if they have reason to suspect they lack legal status. Provisions making it a state crime for illegal immigrants to seek work, or for any immigrant to fail to carry immigration papers, were also blocked. Last year, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's decision and shot down most of the law.
Although public opinion polls showed that most Americans supported the law's provisions after it passed, the minority opposition was passionate, and it set off a national debate about illegal immigration that has permeated the presidential elections. Opponents argued that the law would encourage racial profiling and branded Arizona the "show me your papers" state. More than 100 different parties, including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and dozens of states, have filed friend-of-the-court briefs weighing in on the law.
Three interesting twists are likely to make this case even more high-profile—and political—than it already has been. First of all, Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates for the presidency have blasted the Obama administration for suing Arizona in the first place, using it as a way to paint the president as soft on illegal immigration and intrusive on states' rights. Secondly, a familiar face will represent Arizona's case: Paul Clement, the lawyer who argued against Obama's health care law before the Supreme Court earlier this month, will once again take center stage. Lastly, Justice Elena Kagan has recused herself from the case because she was solicitor general when the government first filed suit against Arizona.

Democrats plan to force vote on Arizona immigration law if it’s upheld by court

Senate Democrats are making plans to force a floor vote on legislation that would invalidate Arizona’s controversial immigration statute if the Supreme Court upholds the law this summer.
Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) will announce the fallback legislation at a hearing on the Arizona law Tuesday, a day before the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in a suit to determine whether Arizona had the authority to enact the 2010 state crackdown.
The legislation would have little chance of passing in a stalemated Senate or being approved by a GOP-held House, but it would allow Democrats to push their electoral advantage with Latino voters just as the presidential campaign heats up in July.
The plan is to allow Democrats a route to express displeasure with the Arizona law if the court allows it to stand, and it would force Republicans to take a clear position on the law during the height of the presidential campaign. The immigration law is deeply unpopular with Latino voters,
“If the court upholds the Arizona law, Congress can make it clear that what Arizona is doing goes beyond what the federal government and what Congress ever intended,” Schumer said in an interview.
He called the Arizona law an “assault on the domain of the federal government” that Congress will need to address if the court allows it to stand.

U.S. Supreme Court immigration case weighs states' powers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A clash over immigration law will go before the U.S. Supreme Court this week, pitting the state ofArizona against President Barack Obama in a case with election-year political ramifications for him and Republican rival Mitt Romney.
In its second-biggest case this term, the court - fresh from hearing the Obama healthcare overhaul case - will consider on Wednesday whether a tough Arizona immigration crackdown strayed too far into the federal government's powers.
A pro-Arizona decision would be a legal and political setback for Obama, who has criticized the state's law and vowed to push for immigration legislation if re-elected on November 6.
A decision against Arizona would deal a blow to Romney, who has said the government should drop its challenge to the law.
Americans generally support immigration laws like Arizona's and are ambivalent about the federal and state roles at the core of the case, a new Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll found.
About 70 percent of those surveyed favored state laws that let police check a person's immigration status and make it a crime for an illegal immigrant to work in the United States; about 30 percent opposed such measures.  

thank you  battleskin88


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