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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

GOP Immigration Debate Relied on False Premise

During the immigration give and take at last night's GOP debate in Las Vegas, CNN's Anderson Cooper somewhat patronizingly asserted that the 14th Amendment conferred US Citizenship upon anyone born in the US, clearly challenging the candidates not to question the absolute rightness of that well-established assertion. And, sadly, the candidates all dutifully and unknowingly fell into line like good little boys and girls.

Though it turned my stomach, I can't really fault the candidates for their ignorance on this issue. My guess is that neither they nor their handlers ever delved into the 14th Amendment to know any better. And, afterall, they can't be expected to be fully conversant on every possible topic that comes up.

But, the tragedy for me was that they proceeded with their immigration discussion utterly clueless to the reality that Anderson's premise was based upon incompetent and revisionist case law, totally at odds with the 14th's framers. Most disturbing of all is that the audience too fell victim to this misrepresentation as well.

For a very long time now, the conventional "wisdom" has been that, in fact and in law, any person born on US soil is automatically entitled to US citizenship. Well, folks, that's simply not true! It's a fanciful urban legend of the first order!

I can only hope the candidates and/or their staffers get up to speed on this subject before the next go-round and actually challenge that premise should it rear its ugly head again. How refreshingly sweet that would be. Of course, whether they would dare to knowledgeably challenge the premise at all remains to be seen. Sometimes it's more politically expedient to simply yield to politically correct assumptions so as not to ruffle feathers. But, who knows. Perhaps there is some spine and principle on that political stage afterall. We can certainly hope so anyway.

For those readers not interested in pursuing this topic, I will spare you a laborious rehashing of my research on this subject here. But, for those of you who wish to know the truth, I am referring you all to the following two posts at "Birthright Citizenship: Politics v Rule of Law" (8/14/10), and "Birthright Citizenship and Judicial Incompetence" (3/7/11). Both shed much needed light on this deliberately mangled and tragically misunderstood subject.

Constittution first! Information is power!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

States Must Take the Lead to Restore Constitutional Governance

"Are you serious? Are you serious?" a ruffled Speaker Pelosi disdainfully responded to a reporter when she was asked if Obamacare's individual mandate was constitutional.

Then there was Rep. Clyburn who dismissively asserted that "there's nothing in the Constitution that says the federal government has anything to do with most of the stuff we do." Wow!

And, not to be outdone, the especially offensive assertion by Rep. Pete Stark that "the federal government can, yes, do most anything in this country."

Like any American who respects the Constitution and heard these odious statements, I was incensed and, frankly, sick to my stomach.

I thought I was beyond being shocked and dismayed by the Progressives' arrogance and vacuity. But, like all determined leftist ideologues, their alien agenda and blind ideology ALWAYS trump the Constitution and common sense.

That said, in the interest of fair-and-balanced, what happened to the GOP's 2010 "Pledge to America"? Specifically, is the Pledge's requirement that "every bill contain a citation of Constitutional authority" being consistently and properly honored? Does anyone know? More importantly, are GOPers empty-headedly basing their citations upon murky and corrosive case law vs original meaning and intent? In short, has this portion of the Pledge turned out to be yet another charade or otherwise cynical ruse perpetrated on an unwitting American public routinelly afflicted with a debilitating case of attention disorder?

What that painfully ignorant Pelosi outburst and the shameless litany of other repellent statements from Progressives in Congress underscores is this: we've strayed dangerously far afield from the original meaning and intent of the Constitution. And unless we take meaningful and determined action to restore first principles, the statists which dominate our current ruling elite in DC will surely "fundamentally transform the United States of America" and consign our constitutional republic to the dustbin of history.

We can argue whether Obama and his Progressive cohorts are merely misguided Socialists, hardcore Statists or neo-Marxists, but the acutely disturbing reality is that for many years now the Progressives have been incrementally transforming the US into an authoritarian welfare state--or much worse--meaning that both our liberties and our economic well-being are being slowly destroyed.

So, how do we more assertively and effectively reverse the years of unrestrained government overreach and restore the dynamism and strength of our constitutional republic? Can we rely upon our enlightened political class to reverse our tailspin into authoritarianism?

Though there are some solidly conservative Constitution-first representatives in DC these days, their minority status in the DC power structure remains a nearly insuperable obstacle to real reform. So, something much more compelling, more vigorous is needed to turn the tide--and soon.

Short of open rebellion or secession--which, increasingly, remain real possibilities--I am hopeful there is another less tumultuous way forward. Toward that end, and like many other concerned Americans, I've been mulling at least the general shape of a solution to this problem. So, while the actual process to achieving this goal requires some further reflection and discussion, here's what I've come up with so far. Nothing profound, but it is, I hope, the beginning of a serious discussion:

1. An Article V Constitutional Convention (convened by the States) to repeal the 17th Amendment and to devise a joint federal-state constitutional process to rein in a runaway and dangerously politicized Supreme Court. (And with the majority of State houses currently in GOP control, chances are better than even that reason and probity vs parochial political agendas and liberal excesses would motivate the majority of participants.) Of course, a determined, well-organized and widespread grassroots effort at the State level would be required to move the state leadership in this direction.

2. A serious national campaign by grassroots patriotic organizations to urge States to reassert their co-equality with the federal government by unilaterally nullifying any and all unconstitutional federal encroachments, whether those excesses are well-established by errant case law or more recently imposed. This would necessarily require States' nullifying manifestly arbitrary judicial rulings, overreaching federal laws and executive orders A - Z. (Justification: the key to quickly achieving genuine constitutional order is by fully re-establishing co-equality between the States and the federal government and to strictly limit the feds to Art 1 Sec 8 powers as originally conceived. Nullification can easily accomplish that goal.) Again, a focused and determined grassroots effort would be needed to see this to fruition.

3. A "National Commission to Restore Constitutional Order"--not the same as a fullblown Article V Convention. A pre-Convention, so to speak.

Comprised of 50 respected luminaries drawn from the business world, constitution advocacy organizations, jurists, political scientists, constitutional scholars and historians, all of whom must be demonstrably independent of government influence, and, to provide clout and further credibility, one representative from each State in the union, a "Commission to Restore Constitutional Order" should be immediately convened to transparently and comprehensively review all laws, edicts, rulings, executive orders and government structures to objectively determine which do and do not fully comport with the original meaning, intent and scope of the Constitution as clearly understood by both the Constitution's framers and ratifiers.

To achieve this level of objectivity, the Commission would be enjoined to consult ONLY the original founding documents, the Federalist and Anti-federalist papers, founders' correspondence, as well as applicable dictionaries and relevant political discourses of the day in order to accurately shape their conclusions respecting the constitutionality of the various subjects before them! Those unwilling to faithfully submit to this restrictive interpretation requirement would be excepted from participation. Of course, for the commissioners already tainted by decades of errant case law and political bias, this constraint will, no doubt, pose the greatest challenge to the efficacy of the Commission; thus, luminary appointments must be carefully vetted by the Commission's State representatives to better ensure their single-minded commitment to this narrowly defined mandate. Most importantly, the People must be solidly behind such an effort.

Moreover, since the Supreme Court, its appointment process, rules of tenure and its very rulings, will also be under intense scrutiny, the Supreme Court will have absolutely NO authority, oversight or participation in this exercise. (Notably absent from the commission's composition will be practicing attorneys-at-law whose training and predispositions are generally more directed at simply winning legal arguments than to upholding the clear meaning of the Constitution.)

Fullest public access to these proceedings must be required, and feedback from the public should be continuously elicited, reviewed, and carefully considered for incorporation into the Commission's recommendations. A complete, unexpurgated record of Commission discussions and public feedback must be fully accessible to all Americans 24/7. Public education and engagement on steroids!

The Commission, headed by a chairperson chosen by and from the Commissioners themselves, would number 100 (2 per State) and its period of public service would be limited to one year unless otherwise extended with the approval of a majority of the Commission's State representatives. Learned witnesses from all walks of life representing a full range of political and economic viewpoints would be invited to testify before the Commission.

The Commission would be tasked with prioritizing and submitting their recommendations and supporting arguments to the State legislatures within 3 months following conclusion of their proceedings. (For example, when there exists general agreement among the Commissioners that the state appointment of senators should be restored, that the income tax amendment must to revised or repealed, that the Dept of Education must be phased out or summarily shut down, that the process of vetting/removing federal judges must be amended, or that a system should be established to enable the States to overrule federal judicial rulings and to weigh in on appointments, then the States must initiate an expedited Art. V amendment process within 30 days of receipt of the Commission's recommendations.

*Should any violations of the Constitution be regarded as especially offensive, then States, either individually or in concert, would simply nullify those offending items, thus effectively and more quickly eliminating them from further consideration.

Obviously, the overriding objective of this time-limited exercise would be 1) to ensure that all existing laws, rules and regulations fully comport with the Constitution and to quickly eliminate those which are clearly unconstitutional, 2) to restore "constitutional supremacy" over "judicial supremacy, 3) to reduce the size, scope, cost and inefficiency of the federal government, 4) to restore a clearly defined separation of powers within the federal government in keeping with original design, and 5) to restore co-equality of the States with the federal government.

Since not all can be remedied through nullification alone, some recommendations may require constitutional amendments. Thus, an Article V Constitutional Convention might well be unavoidable. Obviously, if improperly monitored and poorly led, an Art. V Convention runs the risk of corrupting ideological excesses. But, so long as the majority of States are NOT in Progressive hands, a healthy outcome may be reasonably expected. And though many progressive-dominated states may threaten to obstruct the Art V process by withholding their participation, the specter of the Commission's acting without their input might well incentivize their participation. But with or without those delegates, the Commission's work must proceed unencumbered and with all deliberate speed.

Too aggressive? Too far-reaching? Do-able? Overwhelming? Too onerous? Too bureaucratic? Fraught with peril? Or, in the minds of We the People and its representatives in DC and the various State capitals, is the Constitution already an irrelevant relic unworthy of our attention?

Obviously, this is but a rough outline, I know, and much massaging and clarifying are needed. But, I think we can all agree that we really do need to get deadly serious about drastically changing course and taking credible steps to restore first principles.

In any event, I am absolutely convinced that something serious must be done soon to get us back on track. To continue wringing our hands and fearfully sitting on our hands hoping for the best is not an answer. It's a recipe for failure and self-destruction.

Finally, this: if a peaceful return to constitutional order proves to be but an unachievable pipe dream, then all bets are off and less attractive and more...assertive and unsettling...alternative remedies may well be unpreventable. If the current union proves to be unwilling to commit itself to first principles, then it is a certainty that the union's dissolution is inescapable. And, in the final analysis, perhaps the union's break-up might well be in the interest of those Americans and States who are genuinely committed to restoring and defending first principles, leaving the remaining Progressive "living constitution" adherents to stew in their self-made political oblivion.

To my way of thinking, there is absolutely nothing redeeming about "unity at any price". Absent the lofty and congealing foundations of liberty and republicanism, a union by itself is but a habitat for fools and slaves. Time is running out.

"Where [the Constitution] thrives, everything thrives." Dr. Larry Arnn, President, Hillsdale College, 2011.

"The Constitution of the United States is to receive a reasonable interpretation of its language, and its powers, keeping in view the objects and purposes, for which those powers were conferred. By a reasonable interpretation, we mean, that in case the words are susceptible of two different senses, the one strict, the other enlarged, that should be adopted which is most consonant with the apparent objects and intent of the Constitution." Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Time to Re-Focus on the Eligibility Issue

I believe it's well past time for us all to re-focus like a laser on what could well be a constitutional issue of calamitous historical proportions. Toward that end, I have carefully written this post. And please note that this is not an Obama witchhunt. Not at all. It is nothing less nor more than a battle for the Constitution itself.

Despite my 22 years of immigration counseling experience, trying to accurately, briefly and clearly summarize the issue of Obama's eligibility--or ineligibility--for the Presidency has been especially challenging and time-consuming. Though I have managed to compact much within this summary, I apologize in advance for the unavoidable length. I hope it proves to be a useful exercise and that it will stir wider, fearless and more objective discussion of the subject. Why? Nothing less than what remains of our Constitution is at stake.

CONTENTION: Obama, born in 1961 of a US Citizen mother and a British Citizen (born in Kenya), was born a "US Citizen" by virtue of his mother's US Citizenship; however, since Obama's father was not a US Citizen, thus not "attached to the US", Obama, even if born of a US Citizen mother within the jurisdiction of the US, is not, by definition and Constitutional intent, a "natural born citizen" as is specifically required by Artile II, Sec 1 (Presidential Clause) of the US Constitution, and is, therefore, ineligible to assume the Office of the President.

British citizenship was conferred to Obama at birth by act of British law. Thus, he is born of dual citizenship.

Art II, Sec 1 of the Constitution, the so-called Presidential Clause, stipulates that "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of the President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

Within the context of the Framers' actual meaning (letter of the law) and the Framers' express purpose (intent of the law), being a "natural born citizen" requires that citizenship must be passed on by the constitutionally pertinent principle of natural law (see Law of Nations by E. Vitel-1758 which which profoundly influenced the Framers' intent when fashioning the Constitution) which assumes that citizenship is inherited from one's father's citizenship. To wit, Vatel stated that "natives", or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country of parents who are citizens", and that "as society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their right." Again, the accent is on the father's citizenship status at the time of the child's birth.

The intent of the Framers with respect to the meaning of "natural born citizen" (vs "born in the US" or US Citizen") within the context of the Presidential Clause specifically takes into account the father's allegiance and citizenship at the time of a child's birth. Thus, the father's citizenship and, thus, his "attachment to the US" at the time of the child's birth, carried more weight than merely the geographic location of the child's birth. Why? Still reeling from British rule, the Framers, as represented by the words of John Jay in a July 1787 letter to George Washington, who presided over the Constitutional Convention, wanted to avoid dual citizenship or dual loyalties of any future Commander-in-Chief by declaring expressly "that the Commander-in-Chief...shall not be given to nor devolve on, any but a natural born citizen", this to insure future leadership's freedom from foreign influences.

This correspondence directly influenced how Art II, Sec 1 was subsequently written, which holds that "no person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States at the time of the Adoption of the Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of the President." (Notice the distinction.)

The first Nationality Act in 1790 declared that "the children of citizens [plural]of the United States, that may be born beyond the sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States." (Notice what appeared to be the central importance of the father's statu--even if both parents were US Citizens at the time of the child's birth.)

However, the Naturalization Act of 1795 stated that children born to citizens beyond the seas are citizens of the United States but are not legally considered "natural born citizens" of the United States. ( A more exclusionary definition which adds the geograhic requirement as well.)

Also, we should note that the primary author of the citizenship clause in the 14th Amendment, Sen. Jacob Howard, declared that the citizenship clause of the Amendment was, again, by virtue of "natural law" and not by "act of law." (This would mean that a child born to a US Citizen father was "natural born.)

In 1871, Rep. John Bingham, a Framer of the 14th Amendment, stated that a child is a US Citizen if born of naturalized parents inasmuch as a naturalized father as part of the naturalization oath "absolutely renounces and abjure all allegiance and fidelity" to other sovereignties, thus establishing his firm "attachment to the United States" as well.(So, born of US Citizen parents within the jurisdiction are the overriding factors in determining "natural born citizenship.")

Note too that US Title 8 Sec 1401 provides that US Citizenship alone is not sufficient to qualify one for President or Vice President, the clear inference being that he or she must be natural born.

In 1800, Charles Pinckney, a Framer of the Constitution and, later, the S.C. Governor, said that the Presidential Clause was designed to firmly "insure attachment to the country." (No dual loyalties on the part of either parent.)

Art IV, Sec 2 provided that no act of Congress was required to make citizens of the individual states citizens of the US; only State Legislatures had authority to grant State citizenship which, in turn, conferred upon them US Citizenship.

Further, in Savage vs Umphries (TX) 118 S.W. 893, 909, the court ruled that "as a man is a citizen of the country to which his father owes allegiance, it is incumbent on one alleging in an election contest that a voter is not a citizen of the US to show that such voter's father was not a citizen thereof during his son's minority."

In 1820, Rep. A. Smith (VA), stated that "when we apply the term citizens to the inhabitants of States, it means those who are members of the political community. The civil law determined the condition of the son by that of the father. A man whose father was not a citizen was allowed to be a perpetual inhabitant, but not a citizen, unless citizenship was conferred on him."

And what does the 14th Amendment have to say about this?

The primary author of the citizenship clause in the 14th, Sen. Jacob Howard, declared that the citizenship clause of the Amendment was, again, by virture of "natural law" and not by "act of law". This would mean that a child born to a US Citizen father is, therefore, "natural born".

In 1866, per the 14th Amendment, the terms "subject to the jurisdiction of the US" was defined as meaning "not owing allegiance to any other sovereignty." In the same year, Sec 1992 of US Revised Statutes declared that "all persons born in the US and not subject to any foreign power, exluding Indians not taxed, are declared to be citizens of the US."

In 1871, Rep. John Bingham, a framer of the 14th, stated that a child is a US Citizen if born of naturalized parents inasmuch as a naturalized father as part of the naturalization oath "absolutely renounces and abjures all allegiance and fidelity" to other sovereignties, thus establishing his firm "attachment to the United States" as well. So, it would seem that born of US Citizen parents within the jurisdiction of the US are the overriding and defining factors in determining "natural born citizenship".

On Sec. 1992, Rep. John Bingham, stated that "every human being born within the jurisdiction of the US of parents [plural] not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of the Constitution itself, a natural born citizen." (Very definitive for purposes both of the 14th Amendment and the Presidential Clause.)

*See Perkins vs ELG, US 325 (1939) ruling which provides the two criteria expressed by Rep. John Bingham must exist before one can be called a "natural born citizen."

On June 22, 1874, Congress issued a joint resolution that stated the "United States has not recognized a double allegiance."

Of contemporaneous interest is that according to the US State Department's Foreign Affairs Manual (7 FAM 1131.6-2 Eligibility for Presidency), "the fact that someone is a natural born citizen pursuant to a statute ["natural born citizen" and "by statute" is incongruous) does not necessarily imply that he or she is such a citizen for Constitutional purposes." The incongruity created by the statement's use of "natural born citizen" and "by statute" notwithstanding, it appears that a naturalized citizen (by law/statute) is not eligible to assume the office of the President, but it seems to be generally agreed that children born within the jurisdiction of the US of naturalized parents are considered to be "natural born citizens" since that child's parents are, as part of the naturalization process, required "to renounce and abjure any allegiance or fidelity to any foreign sovereignty" and, thus, are, at the time of the child's birth, "attached to the US." Similary, and more obviously, a child born within US jurisdiction of two US citizen parents is also considered a "natural born citizen".

So, it appears that there is no better way to insure "attachment to the US" then to require the President to have inherited his American citizenship from his US Citizen father or, at the very least, from both his parents. The Framers' rationale for this would be that any child born in the US of an alien father, or a father of dual allegiance, can be removed by their father to be raised in another country only to be returned later in life bringing with him/her foreign influences. Thus, for purposes of complying with the Presidential Clause, a person born of dual citizenship/allegiance cannot be said to be a natural born citizen. Again, and within the context of the Presidential Clause, the child inherits natural born citizenship from the father alone because, through the laws of nature, the child inherits the condition of the father.

Within the meaning of the Presidential Clause, one can accurately say that there are essentially two types of citizenship: 1) "natural born citizenship" meaning one who, by operation of nature (descent), was born of an American citizen father, or, as further expanded upon in successive legislation and opinion, was born of two US Citizen parents, and 2) a "US Citizen" meaning one who, through operation of law (statutory) was granted citizenship through naturalization, either automatically at time of birth or voluntarily some time after birth. (See John Bingham opinion above.)

The recent Wrotnowski vs Bysiewica stay request which was denied by SCOTUS on 12/15/08 asserts that Pres. Chester A. Arthur's father was a British citizen at the time of Chester's birth--and the facts appear to clearly substantiate that assertion--and that, therefore, Chester A. Arthur was ineligible under Art II, Sec 1 to assume the office of President. And since the facts of the Arthur case were very similar to that of Obama's, it was plantiff's hope to force the Court to review Obama's eligibility to be President as well.

So, even if Obama verifies his birth within the jurisdiction of the US, he is a US Citizen by virtue of his mother's American citizenship, but he is not a natural born citizen because he was born of an alien father and is, therefore, not, by definition and intent of the Presidential Clause, a natural born citizen.

And if Pres. Chester A. Arthur was ineligible to be President because his father was a British citizen at the time of Chester's birth, should the Supreme Court rule Chester Arthur's breach of law a defensible precedent for granting Presidential eligibility to Obama since his father too was a British citizen at the time of Obama's birth in 1961? On this question, the Framers' method for repairing the breach is per constitutional amendment. Clearly, the Framers did not want a President at birth to be born of dual citizenship. As someone much smarter than I said, "making errors in the past does not mean that we need to repeat them in the future."

From this summary of law, I think it can be most reasonably concluded that since a child derives his attachment to the US from his US Citizen parents, a child born of US Citizen parents within the jurisction of the US, inclusive of those US parents who were naturalized US citizens at the time of the child's birth, is very clearly a "natural born citizen".

Finally, this form Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Judge Wm. Johnson in 1823: "On every question of construction of the Constitution, let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it, conform to the probably intent in which it was passed."

And this from Pres. George Washington in his Farewell Address in 1796: "If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular way wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by ursurpation; for through this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governements are destroyed."

Absent the Electors' denying Certification of the Election or individual lawmakers demanding verification of a presidential candidate's eligibility, it is properly left to SCOTUS or the amendment process to determine the constitutional eligibility of anyone who wishes to assume the Office of the President. Allowing this constitutional issue to fester will surely have unintended and very unsettling consequences for our country in the future. For if the Constitution is to be ignored or cavalierly misinterpreted, our Republic is irretrievably doomed.

Despite the fact that the political elite and our politicized judicial system have, so far, effectively dodged this issue and Obama devotees and fearful media talking heads on the left and the right have successfully shut down honest public discussion of this issue by their dismissive and derisive attacks on the so-called "birthers", this issue is simply not going away. Nor should it. From my perspective as a retired INS-accredited immigration counselor, it is a serious, fundamental constitutional issue which screams for objective and judicious scrutiny and resolution. And until this issue is authoritatively, constitutionally and satisfactorily resolved, the very soul of this constitutional republic remains in serious jeopardy.

Finally, this: if my analysis is correct--and I sincerely believe it is--then I ask that we not exacerbate this constitutional quandary or otherwise further muddy the waters by our urging Sen. Rubio to run for either the Presidency or Vice Presidency. While Mr. Rubio is a stellar and principled patriot and leader for whom I have nothing but the deepest of respect and admiration, it is my understanding that he was born on US soil, yes, but born of permanent resident alien parents--not of US citizens. So, unless SCOTUS renders a ruling--God-willing in keeping with the clear meaning and intent of the framers for a change--that "natural born citizenship" does, indeed, apply to children born of non-citizens on US soil, then, sadly but properly, Sen. Rubio is clearly ineligible. And unless someone has better information than I, I believe Gov. Jindal of Louisiana is likewise ineligible.

So, let's keep it simple, on point and void of emotions. No matter how we want to slice and dice, no matter what our political leanings may be, one plus one must always equal two. SCOTUS, we need a rigidly constitutional ruling.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Feds Usurp State Immigration Authority

Being an 'ole immigration counselor, and having perfunctorily accepted the general notion that the feds are, in fact, pre-eminent in the area of immigration, I decided to research the matter for myself. Lesson learned yet again: ALWAYS question the feds ANY TIME they claim primacy on ANY issue. Why? Chances are they've overstepped their Art 1 Sec 8 enumerated powers. And, indeed, on the matter of immigration law they have grossly violated the constitution with impunity, proving once again that all the feds require in order to expand their powers is a submissive State and an uninformed citizenry. But, a ray of hope: on the matter of immigration, and illegal aliens specifically, Alabama is successfully reasserting its rightful constitutional authority over immigration. The lingering concern for me, of course, is whether or not Alabama will eventually back down if the imperious and overreaching federal judicial system once again thwarts the Constitution by trampling on State sovereignty.

On September 28th, US District Judge Sharon Blackburn upheld most of Alabama's recently enacted immigration law, arguably the toughest immigration law passed by any State to date. Horror of horrors!!! And, of course, the bleeding hearts and open border simpletons among us are in an uproar! Oh, the indignity!!!

Essentially, Blackburn ruled that Alabama's law enforcement officers may check the immigration status of those they suspect may be illegal entrants. Shocking!!! Unbridled tyranny!!! Fascism!!!

The ruling also upholds the law's requirement that all businesses use E-Verify, a national database operated by the US Citizenship & Immigration Services that allows employers to check potential employees' Social Security numbers to determine if they are work-authorized. Sedition!!! Shameless racism!!!

Also upheld is the requirement that all school enrollees must present a birth certificate within 30 days of enrollment, this to determine the legal status of their parents. (Note: the law does not prohibit an illegal alien's attendance.) Oh, the humanity!!! Have we no heart???

On the flipside, the Judge blocked the law's 1) prohibition against an illegal's applying for a job, 2) imposition of civil action against employers who knowingly hire illegals, 3) criminalizing the harboring and transportation of illegals, and 4) prohibiting businesses from claiming deductions on wages paid to illegals. A confident and appropriately assertive Alabama plans to appeal these negative portions of the ruling straightaway. My sense is that Governor  Bentley has no intention of continuing to obediently yield Alabama sovereignty to an overweaning federal government. Not this time anyway--I hope.

My research into this subject quickly and manifestly shows that federal primacy relates only to matters of naturalization, but that immigration still remains very much a State power.

We must remember that the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution clearly reserve those powers and rights not specifically granted by the Constitution to the federal government to the States or to the people. Simply put, if a power is not specifically granted to the federal government (Art 1 Sec 8), that power falls within the sole purview of the States. The Ninth was intended to preserve all rights existing under state laws as of 1791. The intention of the Tenth was to prevent future federal encroachments upon the states via its exercise of non-delegated powers.

As the federalistblog points out, "because the States retained just about everything they had before joining the union, and the fact this is clearly enumerated in the Constitution, gives Congrss 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." In fact, before and after the 14th Amendment, most States actually had their own immigration commissioners to supervise state immigration activities as well as state immigration representatives in various foreign countries to encourage legal entries into their states of specially qualified persons. But, by slow erosion of the Constitution over the years, the feds have pretty much usurped nearly all authority over immigration matters. Willfully negligent or otherwise financially dependent, aka bought-off, States have, by their silence over the years, stupidly and irresponsibly consented to this--and countless other--federal encroachments.

Rep. John Bingham, co-author of the14th Amendment, argued that while States may not deny entry of US Citizens, States may forbid entry of aliens and to deny their right to acquire property in the States. Surely, 'ole John must have been a crackpot. Huh?

Justice Taney argued Congress has no right to authorize the introduction of aliens without the express consent of the States involved. He also cited Holmes v Jennision, Groves v Slaughter, and Prigg v Pennsylvania to demonstrate that the States alone had the power to expel and exclude. Another Constitution-first troublemaker!!!

In a note to Congress, Pres. Grant asserted that the federal government was prohibited from interfering with immigration matters and that "responsibility over immigration can only belong with the States since this is where the Constitution kept the power." And all this time I thought Grant was a nice guy!!!

The challenge for the feds over the years has been to prove that immigration somehow directly relates to  foreign affairs, thus incident to its exercise of delegated powers under Art 1 Sec 8. However, because the federal government has been unable to constitutionally or cogently demonstrate that relationship, it has simply usurped state authority. And, as said, up to now States have routinely submitted.

While Art 1 Sec 8 specifically grants Congress the power "to establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States", nowhere in the Constitution is Congress granted authority over matters related to immigration. NOWHERE!!! (Note: by definition, "immigration" relates to the movement of people while "uniform rules of naturalization" relate solely to citizenship requirements.) Again, the Constitution's enumerated federal powers say absolutely nothing about immigration; thus, if immigration/asylum authority is not expressly granted to the federal government, it is, therefore, expressly withheld from it. (Note: the only allusion to immigration, per se, is Art 1 Sec 9 which prohibits the "migration and importation" of slaves after 1808, a deal which the States agreed to as a condition of ratification.) Fullstop.

In a nutshell, for the feds to rightly claim constitutional primacy in immigration--or in any other matter--two conditions must be met: 1) that power must be expressly delegated to the feds, or be "incidental to a delegated power granted to Congress",  and 2) that power must be expressly withheld from the States. On this subject, the Constitution very clearly places primacy with the States. But, constitutional  primacy is utterly irrelevant if the several States are inclined to ignore or otherwise duck that primacy.

None other than Thomas Jefferson unequivocally stated that States retained jurisdiction and authority over immigration matters: "Alien friends (as opposed to enemy aliens) are under the jurisdiction and protection of the laws of the state within they are; that power over them has been delegated to the United States, nor prohibited to the individual states, distinct from their power over citizens..."

James Madison succinctly explained that "the powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State govenrments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce with which 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."

The short of it is this: since the Articles of Confederation, the sovereign States--not the feds--have had exclusive authority over immigration matters, and that authority was carried over into the Constitution itself. Clearly, the culprits here are the States themselves who have cavalierly and gratuitously surrendered their sovereignty. Well, up until now that is.

However, to checkmate further federal violations of the Constitution and to reverse the litany of violations already committed, I urge all readers to do their own research on this and a whole host of related subjects. You may be surprised and very much appalled by the extent of federal overreach perpetrated on the Republic over the years. In short, take nothing for granted. Accept nothing at face value. Challenge long-held assumptions, court rulings and popularly held notions about the Constitution which simply don't square with the Constitution. Don't expect to be properly educated by the media's agenda-driven talking heads and political elites, most of whom have already bought into the myth of federal supremacy in nearly all spheres of our lives. Don't routinely acquiesce to your own State's shortsighted failure to properly assert their constitutional powers. Finally, on ALL constitutional matters scrupulously question with boldness and probity.  Leave no stone unturned. As the final arbiters of what is and what is not constitutional, it is encumbent upon We the People--not a gaggle of dopey self-serving attorneys--to be the experts. Research!!!! To determine what is and what is not constitutional, rely on the Founders, your own integrity, resourcefulness and objectivity, and most certainly NOT on the feds--and not even on your own lackadaisical State authorities who, by their own negligence, have conspired to cede so many of our rights to an increasingly unbridled national government.