No Such Thing As An "Illegal" Immigrant

mrjarrell

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At least that's what Tom Knapp posits, since there's, (according to him) nothing in the Constitution that grants the government power to control it. If he is correct in his assertion, which it appears on its face he is, then this argument is moot and any "law" formed by activist courts or legislators is null and void and unConstitutional on it's face. Supporters of adherence to the Constitution have to get their act together. Either it means something or it doesn't. I'm sure Knappster would love to hear your opinions on it.

via Knappster

Smitty detects a "dissonance ... when the word 'illegal' is used with respect to immigrants."

As well he should, since there's no such thing as an "illegal immigrant."

A law repugnant to the Constitution is void, the Constitution reserves powers not delegated to the United States to the states or to the people, and the Constitution delegates no power to the United States whatsoever to regulate immigration.

None. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Bupkus. It ain't there.

The anti-Federalists noticed it wasn't there and *****ed about it (citing the lax moral climate of immigration-unrestricted Pennsylvania -- see the letters of "Agrippa," a/k/a John Winthrop) before the Constitution was ratified. The Federalists, favoring large-scale immigration from Europe, had no answer for them.

Congress operated for the first 89 years of the Republic on the assumption that since the framers hadn't seen fit to write such a power into the Constitution, they hadn't intended for Congress to exercise that power.

They passed naturalization laws, which the Constitution provided for.

They also passed a few laws which had the effect of making state immigration laws binding on ships entering federal ports in said states (and assessing fees/fines for enforcing those laws on behalf of those states).

But federal regulation of immigration as such was non-existent.

It wasn't until 1875 that an activist Reconstruction-era Supreme Court utilized its magical powers to "discover" a federal power to regulate immigration (a power that Madison, Hamilton, Jay et al had apparently somehow put in there without knowing it or noticing it or ever even once mentioning it), and it wasn't until 1882 that Congress exercised that newly discovered power with the Chinese Exclusion Act.

The subsequent 128 years of American history have been a living demonstration of why the framers left a federal power to regulate immigration out of the Constitution -- because it was, and remains, one of the f***ing stupidest, most destructive ideas imaginable.
 

CarmelHP

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If the authors thought that Congress did not have an inherent power
to regulate migration, why would they put in a temporary limit?

Art. 1 Sec 9
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.
 

mrjarrell

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If the authors thought that Congress did not have an inherent power
to regulate migration, why would they put in a temporary limit?

Art. 1 Sec 9
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.
That would appear to apply only to the states and forbids congress from getting involved. Unless the english language no longer applies. Implies that the feds may levy a tax of $10 dollars on someone, but goes no further than that.
 

PatriotPride

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Why bother? If freedom of movement is a right then it applies to all mankind, as Jefferson said in the Declaration.

:dunno: You try that crap with any other country. Try waltzing across the border to Canada. :rolleyes: It's a ridiculous line of thinking that we shouldn't bother having a border. What would be the point of having a Sovereign country? Why not just be one country with Canada and Mexico? :n00b:
 

CarmelHP

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That would appear to apply only to the states and forbids congress from getting involved. Unless the english language no longer applies. Implies that the feds may levy a tax of $10 dollars on someone, but goes no further than that.

How does it "appear to apply only to the states?" It's in Article 1, as a limit on Congress' power to prohibit migration of "Certain Persons" until 1808, (after which, btw, they did limit such migration on January 1, 1808). "Unless the english language no longer applies," indeed.
 

Ramen

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Ah!

The 2nd Amendment only applies to a "well regulated militia." There is no way the Founder's could possibly have foreseen people running around with automatic weapons. Plus, that thing is like a hundred years old, times have changed! Living document! You can't take it literally!

:popcorn:
 

mrjarrell

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How does it "appear to apply only to the states?" It's in Article 1, as a limit on Congress' power to prohibit migration of "Certain Persons" until 1808, (after which, btw, they did limit such migration on January 1, 1808). "Unless the english language no longer applies," indeed.
It still doesn't grant them any powers to regulate it and even then it was used only to prohibit the importation of slaves, not freemen.
 

Blackhawk2001

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Quoted by knappster in the 1st Post: It wasn't until 1875 that an activist Reconstruction-era Supreme Court utilized its magical powers to "discover" a federal power to regulate immigration (a power that Madison, Hamilton, Jay et al had apparently somehow put in there without knowing it or noticing it or ever even once mentioning it), and it wasn't until 1882 that Congress exercised that newly discovered power with the Chinese Exclusion Act.

This is apparently the camel's nose in the tent that began the slide away from the guarantees of the Bill of Rights as envisioned by the Founders.
 

CarmelHP

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It still doesn't grant them any powers to regulate it and even then it was used only to prohibit the importation of slaves, not freemen.

And that has what to do with it? The authors apparently thought it a power of Congress to regulate "migration" or they would not have felt any need to limit such power in regard to "Certain Person" until 1808. "Unless the english language no longer applies," of course.
 

downzero

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And that has what to do with it? The authors apparently thought it a power of Congress to regulate "migration" or they would not have felt any need to limit such power in regard to "Certain Person" until 1808. "Unless the english language no longer applies," of course.

The federal government doesn't have any power that was not explicitly granted to it. You cannot infer any power from a clause in the constitution that restricts government power in some other area. Any act of Congress must be connected to an enumerated power in Article I.

Why have a border at all? :dunno::rolleyes:

The border is merely a political line that determines over which area Congress has any authority. The presence of the line does not, itself, give Congress any particular power.

If the authors thought that Congress did not have an inherent power
to regulate migration, why would they put in a temporary limit?

Art. 1 Sec 9
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.

You are attempting to find "intent" of a constitutional provision, which is not a typical method of constitutional construction. It is usually the original meaning that has any power. Trying to infer the intent of the large group of people who wrote the constitution is an exercise in futility. All that is relevant is the original public meaning of the words that were ultimately enacted--not the intent of the authors.

This post makes an interesting point, actually. I already knew that for most of the 19th century, immigration to the United States was basically unrestricted and unregulated. I never dug deeper into the methods by which Congress seized the power to regulate immigration at all. Perhaps I mistakenly assumed that it came from the overly broad and expansionary views of the commerce clause, which when combined with the necessary and proper clause, have been almost single-handedly responsible for the expansion of government over the last 70-80 years. If it is indeed true that Congress lacks any authority over restricting immigration, it'd make for an interesting court case to see how courts would wrestle with that.

I would imagine that securing the border (as in, assuring that the people who enter are not criminals or wanted) would be a legitimate exercise of commerce clause power. I'm not entirely convinced that it would follow that deciding who and how many non-criminals, non-terrorists, etc., would fall within that same clause.
 

Panama

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That would appear to apply only to the states and forbids congress from getting involved.

Then if that "is" the case, the feds can not stop Arizona from protecting its own border and enforcing state law!

That is GREAT news for AZ!

However, I seriously doubt that the Obama [STRIKE]aministration[/STRIKE] thugs will see it this way.
 

mrjarrell

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Then if that "is" the case, the feds can not stop Arizona from protecting its own border and enforcing state law!

That is GREAT news for AZ!

However, I seriously doubt that the Obama [strike]aministration[/strike] thugs will see it this way.
Actually, in reading the Arizona law it appears to be Constitutional to me, (as repugnant as I find it). Their borders, their problem.
 

Panama

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Actually, in reading the Arizona law it appears to be Constitutional to me, (as repugnant as I find it). Their borders, their problem.

Just curious, what part of the law as written, do you find to be "repugnant"?

The reason I ask is, I have read it also, and to me it really seems reasonable.
I am not trying to change your mind, or say you are incorrect, just asking your opinion.

As I understood from reading it myself, police can only check legal status AFTER a probable cause occurrence, (ie) speeding, jaywalking, auto accident, etc.
Now I may have missed whatever it was that you saw, which is why I ask.

In my own personal experiences, anytime I have had an "encounter" with any LEO, it really was because I had brought attention to myself through a violation of some sort, and every single time I have been asked for my I.D.

Maybe I was the victim of Swiss profiling, and just didn't realize it?
 

PatriotPride

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Haven't you heard? There should be no borders, and persons should be allowed to enter and leave our country at will. How dare we ask for ID to see if someone is an illegal invader?
 

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