Hey Obama, Sue Rhode Island, Not Arizona

Police there already have a similar immigration policy
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2010 1:50 PM CDT
Hey Obama, Sue Rhode Island, Not Arizona
Surrounded by members of the Rhode Island General Assembly, Governor Don Carcieri signs an executive order that includes a series of steps to combat illegal immigration, March 27, 2008.   (AP Photo/Stew Milne)

(Newser) – It’s odd that the Obama administration is suing Arizona over its immigration law—because Rhode Island cops have been carrying out the same basic procedure for years, writes Andy McCarthy in the National Review. Rhode Island cops routinely check for immigration status during traffic stops, reporting any illegals they find to the feds. Critics argue that such checks will be a burden for cops, but in Rhode Island, the police insist on doing it.

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So if there’s a preemption issue here, why hasn’t the Obama administration sued Rhode Island? Well, maybe because the Supreme Court case Muehler v. Mena already stated that police could ask about a person’s immigration status without so much as probable cause, because questions don’t constitute search or seizure. And because Rhode Island’s already come out on top in one lawsuit, with a federal appeals court ruling that, based on Muehler v. Mena, the policy was fine. (Read more illegal immigration stories.)

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