Mailbag: Picture juxtaposes styles from 1960s with today

What a great picture on the front page of the Daily Pilot (“ ‘They’ll always be my kids,’ ” May 1).

It was nice to see students dressed like they were there to learn and not in the sloppy attire that is permitted in schools today. And how refreshing to see the girls with individual hair styles instead of everyone in the boring long hair look.

Now compare the scholarship pictures on page 10 (“49th annual Scholarship Awards Breakfast,” May 1), where every girl has exactly the same hairdo, with the front page photo.

How sad. Conformity rules the day.

Rhoda Friedman

Newport Beach

Law school dean must have been misquoted

I presume UC Irvine Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky was incompletely or inaccurately quoted in the Daily Pilot’s May 2 article “Lawyer: It’s not up to the city.”

Taken by themselves, the quoted statements “Generally, cities and states can’t enforce federal immigration laws” and “The general rule is it’s not the city’s or the state’s job to enforce federal laws” are inaccurate.

There is ample case law — both from federal appellate courts and the California Supreme Court — that holds that state and local authorities have inherent authority to investigate and make arrests for violations of federal law, including immigration law.

See the cases of Gonzales v. City of Peoria, 722 F.2d 468 (9th Circuit 1983); U.S. v. Santana-Garcia, 264 F.3d 1188, (10th Circuit 2001), Lynch v. Cannatella, 810 F.2d 1363 (5th Circuit 1987); In re Jose C. (2009) 45 Cal. 534.

U.S. Supreme Court authority also accepts that state law enforcement officers have authority to arrest for federal offenses. See U.S. v. Di Re, 332 U.S. 581 (1948), Miller v. U.S., 357 U.S. 301 (1958).

Gonzales v. City of Peoria stated in dictum, a portion of the court’s opinion not critical to the decision, and therefore given less precedential weight, that it “assumed” that state authorities were preempted from enforcing the civil provisions of the Immigration and Naturalization Act, as opposed to the criminal prohibitions against illegal entry into the United States, which were at issue in that case. However, other appellate circuits have rejected even this limitation.

The point is that it is nowhere near “generally” true that local authorities aren’t allowed to enforce federal laws.

In fact, the general rule is, with few exceptions, just the opposite. Although I had a different Constitutional Law professor at USC than Chemerinsky, my perception was that he was brilliant, highly knowledgeable — and extremely partisan.

Even so, I would be extremely surprised if the statements you quoted, which seem to misstate the law, are not missing some critical qualifying context.

Thomas Eastmond

Newport Beach

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