by: the Common Constitutionalist
So the Supreme Court, or should I say 5 of them, in conjunction with King Barack, Janet “Big Sis” Napolitano and Eric “The Red” Holder, have granted defacto amnesty to those who invade the state of Arizona and most likely, the rest of the country. What’s to stop them now? Like a Christmas sale at Walmart, they will rush the gate. Once they are here, as long as they don’t commit a felony, they’re home free.
Which way to the voting booth?
The wizards of smart who criticize state and local government action on immigration fail to keep in mind one simple but critical point: The states have these rights.
It is preposterous to take the position that, short of federal action or the commission of a crime, governors and mayors are constitutionally powerless to deal with illegal immigrants within their states and cities. The argument that state and local governments must incur enormous fiscal and societal costs, asserting that all aspects of immigration (legal or illegal) are entirely the purview of the federal government, is constitutionally suspect, if not absurd.
The Ninth and Tenth Amendments firmly established the federalist system of government by first stating that the rights contained in the Bill of Rights should “not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people” and adding the corollary limiting provision that “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution…are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
The power delegated to Congress, in this matter, seems to me, quite clear. Article 1, Section 8, paragraph 4 states, “Congress shall have the power… to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization”. Plain English; no more, no less. Naturalization and Immigration are not synonymous and must not be construed as such.
The legal definition of Naturalization: “The act by which an alien is made a citizen of the United States of America.”
The legal definition of Immigration: “The removing into one place from another. It differs from emigration, which is the moving from one place into another.
You know James Madison, the father of our Constitution. If he wanted immigration to be the sole purview of the federal government, he would have put it in there.
He did, however state the following in Federalist 45: “The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all (emphasis added) the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the States.”
I’d say immigration is encompassed in Madison’s statement and I’m not a Supreme Court Justice.
As the U.S. Supreme Court found more than 100 years ago in Manigault v. Springs, 199 U.S. 473, 480 (1905), state and local police power is “an exercise of the sovereign right of the Government to protect the lives, health, morals, comfort and general welfare of the people.” This decision followed Sturges v. Crowninshield, 17 U.S. 122, 193 (1819), in which the Supreme Court found that those sovereign powers “proceed, not from the people of America, but from the people of the several states; and remain, after the adoption of the constitution, what they were before.”
In my opinion, the Constitution, which was ratified by a razor thin margin in the first place, would have never been, if the states knew they would had to surrender their sovereignty on this issue.
If immigration is indeed the sole responsibility of the feds, are not sanctuary cities then illegal? After all, these cities took it upon themselves to grant favorable immigration status to some, outside federal jurisdiction.
Arizona was simply trying to affirm already existing federal law.
What about other things, like the fact that some states have emission standards that are higher than the federal. Is that not illegal? How about local or state minimum wage laws that exceed the federal. Why is that legal?
I could continue to demonstrate the absurd by being absurd but I think I’ve made my point.
My frustration stems from incredulity. How is it that a clear majority of Americans agree with Arizona, yet congress does nothing? A nation of well over 300 million people could be ruled by so few. 5 in this case.
Buckle up. It may get worse come Thursday! Our lives literally hang in the balance.
Attribution: Matt Mayer at Heritage