September 7, 2007
Bob Barr -- Locals Should Stay Out of Immigration
In "Immigration Belongs At The Federal Level," Bob Barr, a former Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia and a former U.S. Attorney, argues that the U.S. government, not local governments, should be dealimng with immigration. He views the ruling of the federal court invalidating the Hazleton ordinance as a cautionary tale to all cities thinking about passing an immigration ordinance.
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Mr. Barr's arguments presume that immigration is Constitutionally the sole purview of the federal government. While that might it may logically be preferable from the perspective of modern times, it is not how it is stated in our Constitution, and was not likely the intent of our Founding Fathers who lived in a much different nation than we have today. P.A. Madison has made a good case for states involvement in immigration, as perceived by the Founding Fathers. Read P.A. Madison's compelling argument below. Reference: Federalist Blog http://federalistblog.us/2006/07/delegated_powers_immigration.html
The Supremacy Clause is only valid if the federal government has plenary power to enact immigration law under the Constitution, which it does not. The Constitution does grant the federal government the sole right to enact naturalization rules, and if a state attempts to enact conflicting naturalization rules, the Supremacy Clause would come into play.
P.A. Madison also makes a great case against Munly's ruling here: http://federalistblog.us/2007/09/city_of_hazleton_munley.html#more
The US Constitution Only Delegates the Power Over Immigration or Asylum to the States
Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall on behalf of herself and several other county attorneys and sheriffs, recently said a Arizona proposed immigration provision is an unconstitutional intrusion by the state into immigration policies, which are solely the purview of the Federal Government. This struck me kind of odd because in order to come under the purview of the Federal Government the authority must be found delegated or, incidental to a delegated power granted to Congress under the US Constitution. There is a significant reason why Congress has no delegated power leading to jurisdiction under the US Constitution in matters of immigration or Asylum.
To better understand why this is so we need to go back to the founding of the United States of America and consider Article II of the Articles of Confederation that read:
Each state retains its sovereignty; freedom and independence, and every power, jurisdiction and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.
Prior to the adoption of the current Constitution, which was intended to correct for deficiencies found in the Confederation (hint: "to form a more perfect union"), States decided for themselves who could reside and later become citizens within their limits. This was simply a function of sovereignty each State enjoyed and had no intention of surrendering to the national government. During the Constitutional Convention of June 16, 1788, George Mason asked if the new Constitution would secure and guarantee the rights the States then currently enjoyed. Said Mason:
But I wish a clause in the Constitution, with respect to all powers which are not granted, that they are retained by the states. Otherwise, the power of providing for the general welfare may be perverted to its destruction.
Many gentlemen, whom I respect, take different sides of this question. We wish this Amendment to be introduced, to remove our apprehensions. There was a clause in the Confederation reserving to the states respectively every power, jurisdiction, and right, not expressly delegated to the United States. This clause has never been complained of, but approved by all. Why not, then, have a similar clause in this Constitution, in which it is the more indispensably necessary than in the Confederation, because of the great augmentation of power vested in the former? In my humble apprehension, unless there be some such clear and finite expression, this clause now under consideration will go to any thing our rulers may think proper. Unless there be some express declaration that every thing not given is retained, it will be carried to any power Congress may please.
It was this very apprehension that we find the Ninth and Tenth Amendment under the US Constitution today. The Ninth and Tenth Amendments taken together provide for interpreting the Constitution while also defining the sovereignty of the republic.
The Ninth was intended to preserve all rights under existing state laws as of 1791, and those rights, which States would later enact. The Tenth guaranteed to the States their ability to exercise their powers based on the sovereignty of the people to self-government. The Ninth Amendment looks to the past, the rights retained, or that will be retained by the states. The Tenth Amendment acts to prevent encroachment by the national government upon the States via the exercise of a non-delegated power.
Thomas Jefferson forcibly tells us what the States retained under the US Constitution in regards to immigration:
Resolved, That alien friends are under the jurisdiction and protection of the laws of the state wherein they are; that no power over them has been delegated to the United States, nor prohibited to the individual states, distinct from their power over citizens; and it being true, as a general principle, and one of the amendments to the Constitution having also declared, that "the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the states, are reserved, to the states, respectively, or to the people," the act of the Congress of the United States, passed the 22d day of June, 1798, entitled "An Act concerning Aliens," which assumes power over alien friends not delegated by the Constitution, is not law, but is altogether void and of no force.
Because the States decided they would retain their own laws, customs, independence and sovereignty, the Federal Government was left with no powers to meddle within the States. James Madison explained the entire compact this way:
The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all 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 State.
Madison in the Virginia Resolutions further reminds us of the limitations imposed upon the Federal Government:
The committee satisfy themselves here with briefly remarking that, in all the contemporary discussions and comments which the Constitution underwent, it was constantly justified and recommended on the ground that the powers not given to the government were withheld from it; and that, if any doubt could have existed on this subject, under the original text of the Constitution, it is removed, as far as words could remove it, by the 10th amendment, now a part of the Constitution, which expressly declares, "that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."
The Federal Government was given popular national sovereignty over all external objects outside of the States, such as being able to speak in one voice on behalf of all the States in foreign matters, power to make treaties on behalf of the States (within the sphere of powers delegated), print money, etc. Because the States retained just about everything they had before joining the union, and the fact this is clearly enumerated in the Constitution, gives Congress no more authority to authorize entry of immigrants or asylum seekers within the individual States any more than it has the authority to direct another country to accept them.
After the current Constitution was adopted, it was the State governors or other local authorities who issued passports for foreign travel abroad and not the Federal Government because no such power was delegated to the national government. In 1856, changes were made for the issuance of passports by Congress not on Constitutional jurisdictional grounds, but because diplomatic agents of foreign governments in the United States required passports granted by the States to be authenticated by the ministers or consuls of the United States.
The above simply illustrates that no one was under any illusion that the US Constitution somehow magically made the issuance of passports for foreign travel of US citizens solely the purview of the Federal Government. Certainly then, if the power was retained with the States to issue passports for foreign travel they also retained complete control over foreign entry within their jurisdiction.
The same Congress that had passed reconstruction acts after the civil war, including the 14th amendment, required rebel State Constitutions to conform to the US Constitution before being re-admitted into the Union. Texas, like other States, had elected to form its own immigration bureau for managing immigration within State limits. Article XI of the pre-approved Texas Constitution of 1869 read:
SECTION I. There shall be a Bureau, known as the "Bureau of Immigration," which shall have supervision and control of all matters connected with immigration. The head of this Bureau shall be styled the "Superintendent of Immigration." He shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. He shall hold his office for four years, and until otherwise fixed by law, shall receive an annual compensation of two thousand dollars. He shall have such further powers and duties, connected with immigration, as may be given by law.
Congress could attempt to pull some implied authority over the migration of people within the jurisdiction of a State through the Necessary and Proper Clause, but this would require finding a delegated power that can breach the sovereignty of the State to do so. The power to make uniform rules of Naturalization will be of little use for a number of reasons. The principle reason is that it is simply a power to make rules for giving or withholding citizenship to an alien already residing within a State by permission of that State, and under the lawful requirements of that State.
Liberal construction of the Naturalization Clause is made difficult because it was introduced to the constitutional convention to specifically give the Federal govt. "the exclusive right of declaring on what terms the privileges of citizenship & naturalization should be extended to foreigners." Clearly then, it was never a power given over anything remotely dealing with the physical presence of aliens within a State, only deals with the citizenship aspect once they decide to seek citizenship after the migration to a State.
The Supreme Court held in both Smith v. Turner and Norris v. Boston that the power to make uniform rules of naturalization "has nothing to do with the admission or rejection of aliens, nor with immigration, but with the rights of citizenship."
Naturalization used to be solely carried out by the States themselves but Congress had to pretty much federalize the Naturalization process because of massive fraud and bought State judges as a result of the Irish waves. The Irish decided if they wanted to continue flooding New York without being deported by the New York Bureau of Charities they had better quickly become United States citizens.
The Federal Government or the courts could claim immigration is an "incident of sovereignty belonging to the government of the United States as a part of those sovereign powers delegated by the constitution, the right to its exercise at any time when, in the judgment of the government, the interests of the country require it..." The problem with this line of reasoning is that the U.S. Constitution by design greatly limited the sovereignty of the Federal Government, leaving the government to exercise well-defined sovereignty, while the rest was left to the States to exercise.
For example, the U.S. Constitution granted the Federal Government sovereign power to make war, maintain armies, mint money, levy duties on imports, receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers, establish post offices, make treaties, etc. Nothing can be found that authorizes the Federal Government to exercise sovereignty over foreigners within a State, as the original 13 colonies did not intend to leave the Federal Government with a blank check when it came to defining sovereignty.
A State exercising sovereignty over internal domestic matters of the State cannot be ousted by the Federal Government under the supremacy clause. This is because supremacy is limited to only those objects defined for the national government to exercise, and which is also expressly withheld from the States. If the power is not delegated to the national government or withheld from the States, then States have supremacy over anything the Federal Government might decide to legislate upon within State jurisdiction.
Congress would be on firmer ground in guarding against unauthorized entry of aliens then they are in authorizing their entry. Consider for a moment that one of the few powers delegated to Congress is the power to "define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas." This means Congress could define as a crime the importation of unauthorized immigrants who are neither wanted nor needed within any of the several States of the Union.
Congress has no option of resorting to the already comically abused commerce clause in exercising any authority over aliens within the States as evidenced by the courts shift over the years in claiming national sovereignty gives them authority. This is mainly true because the power to regulate commerce with foreign countries, between the States and Indian tribes is identical. This essentially means then, if Congress wants to find immigration a thing of trade in commerce (slavery anyone?) between the States, they then could also conceivably find they have the same power with foreign nations as between States to flood any country on the planet with immigrants under the clause (all in the name of regulating commerce with foreign nations, of course).
As one might suspect, Congress has no constitutional authority to issue green cards to immigrants either. The States are the only authoritative entities that can issue green cards and offer residency within their limits. In a sense, there really is no such thing as a "legal immigrant" as a result of acts of Congress because Congress has no legal basis to make anyone a legal resident within the States - only the States do. Some might be alarmed to think the Federal Government could have no control over who enters or resides within a State, but really if our Constitution upheld and the principles of our republican form of government is followed, current problems associated with absorbing millions of immigrants would be limited.
Consider for a moment if California decided she wanted to have an open border policy, encourage and welcome millions of immigrants from Latin America to immigrate. California could then issue resident cards, make rules and regulations governing its foreign population, and most importantly, be stuck with all the costs because the Federal Government really would have no authority to raise and spend tax dollars to support California's foreign population (another non-delegated power). Wouldn't take long for Californians to begin questioning whether an open border is a good thing.
Consider also California would have no way of relieving itself of its own internal generated burden because other States could constitutionally refuse non-citizens from residing within their limits, making it harder for California's self-inflicted woes to migrate to other States. California would then be forced to withdraw the privilege of residency to foreign immigrants within the State - forcing the State to enact responsible laws governing foreign residency.
Congress then could apply checks upon California through naturalization rules, such as limiting the number of citizens to be naturalized and other conditions. Our form of government really would work well for us if Congress and the courts would let it work as intended under the great social compact in which established our republican form of government.
What is really lacking for Congress is an exclusive authority to "exercise exclusive legislation" within the States that could open an avenue in exercising powers over the migration of people and residency within the States. Unfortunately for the Federal Government, our Constitution only provided this authority over the District of Columbia, federally owned land and no where else.
Many confuse early American immigration legislation as a sign Congress had always exercised absolute jurisdiction over the subject. This is plainly false because early legislation dealt with encouragement of immigration into the large territories that were not yet formed into statehoods with their own laws, courts and constitutions. In other words, Congress had complete monopoly over the territories under its jurisdiction.
During the nineteenth century Congress never attempted to legislate over immigration matters within the States because they recognized the Constitution gave them no power over forcing foreign migration into each of the State jurisdictions. Once the territories were carved up into States the Federal Governments control over immigration into the country decreased proportionately.
President Grant was sympathetic to the treatment of immigrants once they reached the shores of this country, but told the House in a memo that national legislation over the subject would be unwise because the Federal Government was prohibited from interfering with immigration matters within the limits of the States. Said Grant: "[R]esponsibility over immigration can only belong with the States since this is where the Constitution kept the power."
President Andrew Jackson said the "Constitution, which was established for the benefit of our own, not of a foreign people: if in the latter, then, like other citizens or people resident within the limits of the States, they are subject to their jurisdiction and control."
This all leads to several big questions for the U.S. Supreme Court: When did the States surrender their power over immigration to the Federal Government? Where can this surrender be found documented in the US Constitution? The judiciary is neither a legislative body nor does it have the authority to transfer sovereignty from one political body to another without either’s consent.
The great Chief Justice John Marshall reminds us that the "Constitution of the United States is one of limited and expressly delegated powers which can only be exercised as granted, or in cases enumerated." For Congress, there is no expressed or implied grant of power over the approval of foreign asylum seekers or immigrants to enter State limits - no more then is there the power for them to insist upon Tokyo to accept one million refugees. As Jefferson would say of today's laws over immigration, "is not law, but is altogether void and of no force."
P.A Madisons v Judge Munley:
City of Hazleton: Judge Munley v. U.S. Constitution
In striking down Hazleton, Pa.'s 'Illegal Immigration Relief Act' on July 26, 2007, federal Judge James Munley, with the support of twisted and outright erroneous federal precedent, invalidated Hazleton’s ordinance under the doctrine of federal preemption (Supremacy Clause). In addition, plaintiffs asserted that Hazleton violated the United States Constitution’s Due Process Clause and exceeded its Police Powers. Below I will discuss each of these claims under the letter of the United States Constitution. Federal Preemption The doctrine of federal preemption as allowed to be practiced today is, frankly, hogwash. In order to give the doctrine of federal preemption any validity, one is required to close their eyes and pretend Congress was clothed in unlimited powers, while also pretending there is no such thing as either reserved rights belonging to the people or any concept of independent self-government.
Judge Munley said that “Congress has in fact enacted a comprehensive legislative scheme with regard to the employment of unauthorized aliens and occupies the field to the exclusion of state law.”
Hamilton said the Supremacy Clause so far from being ipso facto exclusive, never ousted the power of the States previously existing, unless “where an exclusive authority is in express terms granted to the Union, or where a particular authority is granted to the Union and the exercise of a like authority is prohibited to the States.”
The court had consistently laid down the same rule as Hamilton outlined. In the License Cases for example, the court effectively said if you want invalidate some State law under the preemption doctrine the burden is on the plaintiff to point to the clause in the United States Constitution that exclusively delegates Congress the authority to make the law, and point to the express prohibition against the States to touch it. Simply having two conflicting laws is not enough; the burden is on the Federal Government to show its law is in pursuance to the Constitution and that it is an area expressly prohibited to the States to act upon, and thus, giving the law national supremacy. Scenarios for which the Federal Government can claim supremacy is very limited by design under our form of republican government. James Madison Jr. explained local “inviolable sovereignty” this way:
[T]he local or municipal authorities form distinct and independent portions of the supremacy, no more subject, within their respective spheres, to the general authority is subject to them within its own sphere. In this relation, then, the proposed government cannot be deemed a national one, since its jurisdiction extends to certain enumerated objects only, and leaves to the several States a residuary and inviolable sovereignty over all objects.
To support federal preemption in matters of immigration, federal court’s enjoy quoting without question DeCanas v. Bica that said the “[p]ower to regulate immigration is unquestionably exclusively a federal power.” At first blush, that would appear to make a strong case for the Federal Government to claim preemption. The trouble though is it is entirely made up. The DeCanas court relied on the old passenger case of Henderson v. Mayor of City of NY to support this above conclusion. However, anyone who bothers to study that case will find the court made no such determination at all. The opinion of the Henderson court was not directed towards the question of internal regulation of immigration within State jurisdiction, or their right to do so, but commerce.
Attempting to link “immigrants” themselves as something of commerce would require treating them as imported commodities that can be bought and sold, something only the most ill-informed justice would contemplate. It would also go against the defined meaning of the language before the constitutional conventions and later Supreme Court rulings, which held persons, are not articles of commerce.
The authority over the migration of people was strictly withheld from the Federal Government. Even in the Constitution itself, words strictly prohibit Congress from any interference with the migration of people to and from the States.
The Migration or importation of such persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person.
What does that mean? We will let James Wilson (second only to James Madison in importance in the framing of the U.S. Constitution) explain it:
The gentleman says that it means to prohibit the introduction of white people from Europe, as this tax may deter them from coming amongst us. A little impartiality and attention will discover the care that the Convention took in selecting their language. The words are, 'The migration or importation of such persons, &c., shall not be prohibited by Congress prior to the year 1808, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation.' It is observable here that the term migration is dropped when a tax or duty is mentioned, so that Congress have power to impose the tax only on those imported.
What Wilson makes clear is Congress' only limited power over the migration of people are those who are imported as articles of trade to be bought and sold. The migration of people, who are not imports of trade, cannot be taxed by any authority of Congress, and thus, eliminating the only known delegated power Congress could exert over them in attempt to prevent their entry.
On the other hand, the States did not surrender their absolute authority over persons within their jurisdictions, and unlike the general government, could impose stringent rules and taxes on aliens entering their respective limits. Even post Fourteenth Amendment adoption, John Bingham acknowledged the States inherent right to impose head taxes or banishment laws in regards to aliens.
I will let Alexander Hamilton have the final word here:
But it will not follow from this doctrine (supremacy) that acts of the large society which are not pursuant to its constitutional powers, but which are invasions of the residuary authorities of the smaller societies, will become the supreme law of the land. These will be merely acts of usurpation, and will deserve to be treated as such.
Judge Munley suggested Hazleton’s IIRA ordinance is unconstitutional because “the IIRA does not provide notice to challenged employees or tenants, does not inform the employers and owners/landlords of the types of identity information needed, and provides for judicial review in a court system that lacks jurisdiction, it violates the due process rights of employers, employees, tenants and owners/landlords. It is therefore unconstitutional.”
It has always amazed me how the courts in modern times can misapply such an ancient, well-understood principle as due process, for which has been part of the U.S. Constitution for over 200 years. For which the same identical language had been imported into the Fourteenth Amendment, and made clear that it carried the same operation as it had always, could be applied by the courts to operate in an entirely different manner then had always before.
This is not justice or judgment, but tyranny against the people.
The terms 'due process of the law' and 'by law of the land' has always been recognized as being identical imports from Article 39 of the Magna Carta (1215). The Fourteenth Amendment’s primary drafter of the first section, Rep. John A. Bingham (OH), said the amendment changed nothing in regards to whom the phrase inhibits under the first section of the fourteenth article of the U.S. Constitution. Due process is only a limitation upon the executive officer or the courts, not any legislative body.
The Fourteenth Amendment does not prohibit any State legislature, or municipal government from operating under their own laws of due process, nor gives any power to Congress or the federal courts to impose their own idea of procedures of due process as they please. Instead, the language is simply a declaration that whatever those general laws of the State may be, they cannot be denied before depriving anyone of their life, liberty, or property.
The court in Hurtado v. California described due process under the Fourteenth Amendment this way:
In the Fourteenth Amendment, by parity of reason, it refers to that law of the land in each State which derives its authority from the inherent and reserved powers of the State, exerted within the limits of those fundamental principles of liberty and justice which lie at the base of all our civil and political institutions, and the greatest security for which resides in the right of the people to make their own laws, and alter them at their pleasure.
Due process, or “by law of the land,” protects individuals from being deprived of life, liberty or property by arbitrary acts unsupported by existing laws. No arbitrary deprivation or penalties are sanctioned by Hazleton’s ordinance in question.
What Hazleton has done is simply enacted summary procedures that have always existed under statute laws, and extended to private parties. For example, landlord's have long enjoyed summary procedures authorized under law in taking possession of demised premises and property within by the prompt dispossession over tenants who hold over after default in paying rent.
Do such summary proceedings as approved by statute violate anyone’s 'due process'? No because the proceedings are sanctioned by law. Some tenants might not like it, but they have no constitutional grounds to invalidate the statutes in question under some twisted ruse of violating due process.
Under plaintiffs' ninth cause of action, they alleged Hazleton’s ordinance exceed its legitimate police powers. Hazleton responded the ordinance was a legitimate exercise of its police powers.
Judge Munley concluded that because Hazleton had violated the Constitution elsewhere, they in return exceeded their police powers because “enacting an unconstitutional ordinance is in itself a violation of the defendant's police powers.”
Police powers used to be held sacred and beyond encroachment under any pretense – even after the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment. So when did the people surrender their authority over local order and security, or more importantly, where can it be found documented through consent of the people?
It is this “inviolable sovereignty” that Madison spoke of is why all leading statesmen of this nation and Supreme Court went to great pains to make clear that all internal domestic concerns, especially those of internal security (police), were beyond approach of federal encroachment under any pretense. Prigg v. Pennsylvania:
To guard, however, against any possible misconstruction of our views, it is proper to state, that we are by no means to be understood in any manner whatsoever to doubt or to interfere with the police power belonging to the states in virtue of their general sovereignty. That police power extends over all subjects within the territorial limits of the states; and has never been conceded to the United States.
Justice Grier's affirming opinion in a much-cited case in recent immigration case law (The Passenger Cases, 48 U.S. 283, 7 How. 283) wrote:
This right of the States has its foundation in the sacred law of self-defense, which no power granted to Congress can restrain or annul. It is admitted by all that those powers which relate to merely municipal legislation, or what may be more properly called the internal police, are not surrendered or restrained.
One doesn’t need to look for Supreme Court rulings to come to the same conclusion as Justice Grier did, for this inviolable principle shines as a bright beacon due to the fact of being deeply embodied in events of our history and expressed throughout the U.S. Constitution. The same Congress who introduced, debated and adopted the Fourteenth Amendment firmly shared the same conclusion as Justice Grier after it was made part of the Constitution.
Austin Blair (MI), a strong advocate for the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment and human rights activist, had this to say about federal encroachment on local matters on April 19, 1871:
If gentlemen say that the powers of the General and State governments for the protection of life, liberty, and property are concurrent and that we can go everywhere throughout the United States and do by the General Government everything that can be done by any State government, then I grant this power might exist; but until I am shown that, I am unable to see it. As I have said, I have always supposed that there were certain powers and certain rights that belong to the States that the General Government has no right to interfere with. This right of local self-government, as I supposed, it was not the intention of the Constitution of the United States in any case to take away from the States, and I cannot see how it is possible that this power could exist without taking it away.
The chairperson of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Lyman Trumbull in the same year: “I do not know where in the Government of the United States gets the constitutional authority to go into the States and establish police regulations.” James Garfield went on to add:
These systems of local government by counties and cities are adopted by the States as instrumentalities to aid them in the wise and judicious regulation and protection of the local and domestic interests of their citizens. It will never do to say that they may be tampered with, impeded, or arrested in the discharge of their duties, as this bill proposes. It would be fatal to the success and very existence of local self-government. It has many times been solemnly decided by the Supreme Court that these agencies adopted by the States to aid in local administration are above the touch or control of any power, are subject only to the exclusive regulation of the States.
John Farnsworth, member of the Committee on Reconstruction said:
The Supreme Court of the United States has decided repeatedly that the Congress can impose no duty on a State officer. We can impose no duty on a sheriff or any other officer of a county or city. We cannot require the sheriff to read the riot act or call out the posse comitatus (sic) or perform any other act or duty. Nor can Congress confer any power or impose any duty upon the county or city. Can we then impose on a county or other State municipality liability where we cannot require a duty? I think not.
Jefferson wrote from Monticello on June 12, 1823, “Can it be believed that under the jealousies prevailing against the General Government at the adoption of the Constitution, the States meant to surrender the authority of preserving order, of enforcing moral duties, and restraining vice, within their own territory?”
All the above simply demonstrates that there was never any recognized authority before or after the adoption of the 14th amendment for the Federal Government to oust local municipal authorities in administering laws for the security, welfare and social order under their respective jurisdictions.
If a local municipal is exceeding its police powers, then the only known authority to interfere is the State judiciary under State laws.
What these charges against the City of Hazleton boils down to is this: Plaintiffs sought relief from the consequences of a lawfully enacted regulation, not any deprivation of due process contrary to any existing general law of the State.
Judge Munley’s ruling, aided by past divisive, unsanctioned precedent, exceeded federal jurisdiction into the affairs of the people in exercising their solemn right to self-government under the United States Constitution. The ruling is simply, repugnant to our form of constitutional government and finds no support in the spirit and letter of the great compact that forms our Union of States.
Posted by: George | Sep 8, 2007 4:15:56 AM
Immigration law is properly dealt with at the federal level. A recent barrage of local immigration ordinances in our area have caused lots of unnecessary trouble.
Posted by: Phil | Sep 8, 2007 6:54:27 PM
Immigration law is properly dealt with at the federal level. A recent barrage of local immigration ordinances in our area have caused lots of unnecessary trouble.
Posted by: Phil | Sep 8, 2007 6:55:36 PM
Actually, Phil, just because we believe it to be most efficient to deal with immigration at federal level, doesn't mean that the federal government has the sole legal right under our Constitution to do so. Accordingly, the Supremacy Clause does not apply. Also, the fact is that the federal government does not and may never have the resources to become the sole enforcer of immigration law, especially with the numbers of illegal aliens coming across our borders. Unless the federal authorities use state resources, we'll never have control, and that's exactly why these immigration lawyers and advocacy groups are adamant in their legal actions to prevent local and state authorities from passing ordinances and laws. Their agenda is to prevent control of our borders and to prevent the deportation of their constituents. One would have to be naive or stupid not to recognize this.
Ultimately, illegal immigration injures every citizen through unintended use of scarce resources, potential tax increases as the result of the importation of poverty, and increase in crime and gang activitiy, which means it is the local communities through the only tools that they have available to them to take action to protect themselves. Anyone who tells you that this country will not lose by importing poverty is likely to be an idiot liberal. Anyone who tells you that drug dealers, gang members and just plain felons are not coming across our border at a higher ratio within the illegal immigrant population than State Department vetted immigrants is blowing wishful smoke. Think about it. Under immigration law, these communities have the right to be free from illegal immigrants, period. Again, one would have to be a fool to think that these local and state governments are going to standby and ignore the destructive affects of illegal alien while waiting for the federal government to do something. What if the prosecution of murder crimes were the sole responsibility of an understaffed, underfunded federal government? Would any community await action by the federal government before enacting laws and using its police?
Posted by: George | Sep 8, 2007 11:38:42 PM