Unable to seize on hard evidence that deferring deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants would produce a domestic crime wave, a federal appeals court threw out a lawsuit by Maricopa County, Az., Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The U.S. awaits a more substantial ruling from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on whether President Obama overreached in writing executive orders designed to allow millions of otherwise law-abiding immigrants with deep roots to remain legally in the United States. Friday's ruling in Washington, D.C., cuts to a central problem for immigration critics like Sheriff Arpaio as public thinking evolves on the best way to deal with otherwise law-abiding immigrants who are in the U.S.without papers.
Assertions that municipalities will see crime rise and prisons fill up because of Obama's actions “fail to allege an injury that is traceable” to the president's orders, as Judge Nina Pillard wrote. She added that Arpaio’s allegations “rest on speculation beyond that permitted” by court precedents. The ruling comes as the impact of illegal immigration has become a winning issue for a broad field of Republican presidential candidates. Some have embraced anti-illegal immigration as a powerful political stump issue, especially given frontrunner Donald Trump's commentary about Mexico sending its criminals to the US. It is also the party's most vexing issue when it comes to national relevance, given the growing voting power of Hispanics, many whom find such stereotyping offensive. Friday's ruling also comes amid a heated national debate over so-called “sanctuary cities” where local police don't enforce immigration violations.