I wrote this many years ago now. Immigration isn’t the issue du jour at present, but just wait…we haven’t fixed anything yet…
Laws are words; let’s get them straight. “Immigration” is when somebody lawfully moves from one place to another. “Illegal aliens” are those who cross borders in violation of laws. Tens of millions of illegal aliens are, what; is “invasion” too strong a word? Whatever it’s called; when it goes on for decades while we wait for federal action, it’s called stupid.
This July 4, let us remember that a truly federal government is allowed only a few powers. Each state is otherwise just as sovereign as other states around the world such as France or China. Article 4, Section 16 of the Indiana Constitution reserves for the Indiana legislature all necessary powers of “a free and independent state.” Article 5, Section 12 says, “The Governor shall be commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and may call out such forces, to execute the laws, or to suppress insurrection, or to repel invasion.” Most people have no idea that states legally have so much might.
The U.S. Constitution’s Article I, Section 8 grants the U.S. Congress power, “To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.” The 14th Amendment to that contract says, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside,” because through the War Between the States it was assumed that each state had the right to determine who had rights of citizenship and who didn’t. Of course, the proviso, “ . . . and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” means that some are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States; but the U.S. Constitution says nothing else about aliens, other than they can’t hold federal office.
Article I, Section 10 details the powers prohibited from the states, yet nothing limits any state’s authority over illegal aliens within its borders. In fact, this section’s prohibition against states declaring war is restrained by, “ . . . unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”
Arizona’s S.B. 1070 has made news, but in fact Article II, Section 35 of the Arizona Constitution already specifically denies illegal aliens citizen rights. Article XVIII, Section 10 actually denies illegal aliens any employment rights.
So, by the existing laws (paying special attention to the federal 10th Amendment), states already have both the authority and power to maintain constitutional rights and order within their borders. No new laws, no new powers are needed.
That said, our illegal alien problems aren’t about illegal aliens, their crimes or even the Reconquista nationalism of many.* Our problems are more fundamentally with socialism.
Even without its inevitable corruption and political oppression, socialism makes each citizen pay for others’ lifestyles, accidents, schooling and healthcare. The collectivist hooks we stick into each other, even with the best of intentions, will tend to make us want our fellows to stay out of our wallets, cough up money from theirs, and die quickly, before retirement.
The hooks make us care about what others eat, drink or smoke. Hooks make us care about who others date, how others live and what others can and cannot own. Socialism is inherently, demonstrably, antisocial.
The whole point of our constitutions is to prohibit this cold, jealous existence, thank God.
But what most people gripe most about illegal aliens is that we have to pay for them! That’s not their fault, that’s ours.
And the overwhelming majority of the people pouring across our borders are doing so to find a better life. They’re escaping war-torn, corrupt, drug-war-disrupted nations in hopes of raising their kids in peace and prosperity. Wouldn’t you do the same?
And…isn’t that how this country started?