Dean Johnson, Faculty Comment on Ariz. Immigration Law for National, Local Media
Dean Kevin R. Johnson, Associate Dean Vikram Amar, and Professor Holly Cooper commented for national and local media on the anti-immigration measure signed into law last week by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, with interviews appearing in media outlets including the Associated Press, National Public Radio, the San Francisco Chronicle, Mother Jones, local television stations CBS-13 and Univision 19, and others.
The law, set to take effect this summer, would make the failure to carry immigration documents a crime and give the police broad power to detain anyone suspected of unlawfully being in the United States. While proponents have said the law gives police the tools they need to deal with an immigration problem that federal authorities have been unable to address, critics have charged that it gives police license to harass Latinos and violates the U.S. Constitution.
Dean Johnson commented on the law for an Associated Press article that has been published by Forbes, the Sacramento Bee, Houston Chronicle, MSNBC.com, and numerous other media outlets. Dean Johnson said that the state law will be vulnerable to legal challenges because it gives local law enforcement the authority to enforce immigration law, which is something only the federal government can do. In addition, it could violate Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure, he said.
Dean Johnson also commented on the Arizona law for the National Public Radio program To the Point, the nationally syndicated radio talk show The Thom Hartmann Program, Mother Jones magazine, and local television station CBS-13. "California legislators know that this kind of law is not going to float here, and I don't really see any other state wanting to invite the constitutional litigation or the costs and expense of a lawsuit that will probably last years before it's resolved," Dean Johnson told CBS-13.
Associate Dean Amar also commented on the new law for newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle. He told the Chronicle that the law seems even more vulnerable to attack than California's Proposition 187, the measure limiting non-citizen access to benefits passed by state voters in 1994 but found unconstitutional in a federal court challenge, in that the Arizona law targets the immigrants themselves and not their eligibility state benefits. "Congress decides how it wants to enforce limits on people who are in the U.S. illegally," he said.
Professor Cooper commented on the constitutionality of the Arizona law and prospects for the inevitable federal court challenges in an interview with the Spanish-language television station Unvision Sacramento. She will be a guest on an upcoming broadcast of the Univision program Voz y Voto.
Associated Press article "Furor grows over Ariz. law against immigrants" with Dean Johnson
National Public Radio report with Dean Johnson (audio at end of broadcast)
CBS-13 report with Dean Johnson (video)
San Francisco Chronicle article with Associate Dean Vikram Amar