Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: Arizona


Congress has failed on immigration for far too long

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

Illegal immigration is a problem only the federal government can fix. America can’t have 50 states with 50 different immigration policies.

The U.S. Supreme Court was right Monday when it killed Arizona’s move to criminalize job-seeking by illegal aliens, arrest them without warrants and require all immigrants to carry papers.

Arizona usurped federal authority when it included those provisions in the hard-line immigration law it enacted in 2010. Most media hotheads have focused on another part of the law, the one that would allow police officers to check the immigration status of

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Keep eyes on the prize: Immigration reform

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Barack Obama has his heart in the U.S. Justice Department’s new lawsuit against Arizona’s hard-nosed crackdown on illegal immigrants. His commitment to comprehensive federal immigration reform is not so clear.

The Justice Department’s legal challenge is necessary. Superficially, there’s no conflict between Arizona and the federal government. The U.S. government is supposedly enforcing its own immigration laws; Arizona has given its law enforcement agents a mandate to enforce them, too.

On the ground, though, there’s a big difference between what the U.S. and Arizona governments want to do.

For starters, the feds have never gotten genuinely serious about illegal immigration. Too many powerful interests are vested in the status quo: Employers who like the cheap labor, libertarians who don’t like any identification scheme tight enough to screen out illegal aliens, and Democrats – like Obama – who want to cultivate Hispanic voters.

More to the point of this lawsuit, the federal government is now targeting the violent criminals and drug-traffickers among Arizona’s large illegal population. A state law that leaves peaceful illegal immigrants in fear of all law-enforcement officers will make them less likely to help federal agents get the bad guys.

The conflict has to be resolved in favor of the feds. They, not the states, are ultimately responsible for securing the nation’s borders. If they’re doing a bad job – which they are – the remedy lies in Congress and the executive branch.

The broad outlines of that remedy are fairly obvious.
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Mike Lonergan to council: Don’t rush to judgment about Arizona

Mike Lonergan may have left the Tacoma City Council, but he’s still got a lot to say about city affairs. Here’s some advice he emailed Sunday to the current council:

I’m just one of 208,000 residents of Tacoma now, but I do have a different perspective because of my recent Council work. So here goes:

It is important to restoring confidence that our City government is responsive to the citizens of Tacoma that you do not move to reconsider the Resolution condemning Arizona’s recent legislation on Tuesday. Instead, Council Member Boe was exactly right when he said that this deserves more study and specific recommendations as it relates to Tacoma, with no need even to mention Arizona. Read more »


On immigration reform, everyone’s an expert

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

Telling other governments how they should handle immigration issues is becoming politicians’ favorite pastime.

Seattle did it last week, pledging to boycott Arizona for its immigration-enforcement law. The Tacoma City Council didn’t go that far, but it’s considering still sending the border state a strongly worded reprimand.

Now Pierce County apparently wants in on the act.

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UPDATED: Council newbie David Boe getting schooled

Tacoma City Council freshman David Boe just can’t seem to get it right. He votes “nay” when he should abstain, and abstains when he should vote no. Or so it seems to the likes of editorial board members.

Boe, who goes before the city ethics board tonight on a complaint that he should have recused himself from a vote on the Cheney Stadium redesign, raised a few eyebrows again this week when he ducked taking a position on the Tacoma City Council’s attempt to denounce Arizona’s immigration law.

Boe abstained because he objected to the resolution as written. Sounds like a perfect reason to oppose the measure outright to me. Was this a case of a councilman simply not wanting to be on the record? No, Boe says. He explained in an email:

my abstaining on this issue was to remove my vote from consideration… because the resolution as revised … had no business coming before the Council.

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Tacoma council right to forgo hypocritical boycott

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

Neither the Tacoma City Council nor its Seattle counterpart emerged from their debates over Arizona’s immigration-enforcement law this week unscathed.

Both councils are due some lumps for presuming to counsel a border state overwhelmed by illegal immigration.
City leaders living 1,000 miles north of the Mexican border can’t possibly fathom the depths of frustration that led Arizona to take matters into its own hands after years of federal inaction.

But give the Tacoma council some credit. It may not have had any more right to stick its nose in Arizona’s business than Seattle did, but at least Tacoma council members have copped to the impotence of the gesture.

That’s more than can be said of Seattle. The council there voted 7-0 to stage a “boycott” of goods and services from Arizona.

Some boycott. The resolution “urges” Seattle city government to refrain from sending employees to Arizona and from entering into new contracts with businesses headquartered there – “to the extent practicable.”

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Tacoma council should stay out of Arizona’s business

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

The Tacoma City Council speaks for the city, not just itself.

The current crop of council members should bear that in mind as they debate Arizona’s immigration-enforcement law this week.

Councilmembers Ryan Mello and Lauren Walker propose that Tacoma help spank Arizona’s economy for what Arizona politicians – and a remiss federal government – have wrought. Their resolution would discourage city business with the state.

Tacoma wouldn’t be the first to pass a boycott. A small but growing bandwagon of cities is attempting to take a stand against Arizona’s tough immigration stance by taking their money elsewhere.

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Letter writers ding Arizona boycott, argue teacher seniority rules

What issues got letter writers writing this week?

No. 1, by far, is the Tacoma City Council proposal to boycott Arizona over its tough new immigration law. And there’s almost no disagreement among the contributors: All but one think a boycott is a really dumb idea.

No. 2 is the teacher seniority issue prompted by the article about a young, much-loved Mount Tahoma teacher who will be displaced to another school because of teacher union seniority rules. The letter writers were split on this one, with a couple seeing value in experience (one even said the young

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