Political Pistachio

Blog Home of the Writer and AM and FM Radio Host, Douglas V. Gibbs.
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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Immigration And The U.S. Constitution

By Douglas V. Gibbs

When asked about the U.S. Constitution and Immigration, I have to concede that the U.S. Constitution does not mention immigration anywhere in its text. However, in Article I, Section 8, Clause 4 the Constitution gives the power to Congress "To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization." While reasoning that Constitutional authority over naturalization exists, and is given to the U.S. Congress, it would make sense that the U.S. Constitution allows Congress to also determine how the immigrants can come into our country in the first place, therefore, making immigration a federal issue.

Further examination of the U.S. Constitution also brings into play Article IV, Section 4, which reads: "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence."

The question that arises, then, is whether or not illegal immigration is an invasion, and does the influx of illegal aliens lead to domestic violence in the states?

The American Heritage College Dictionary defines "invade" as: 1. To enter by force in order to conquer or pillage. 2. To encroach or intrude on; violate. 3. To overrun as if by invading; infest. 4. To enter and permeate, especially harmfully.

In the same dictionary the third definition of "invasion" reads: "An intrusion or encroachment."

By entering illegally, which means the potential immigrants broke American immigration laws, illegal aliens are entering by force, and are violating the laws to do so. In fact, illegal entry into this nation, especially by specific groups, falls clearly within the realm of invasion.

If Article IV, Section 4 tasks the federal government with protecting the states against invasion then once again it is not only a federal issue, but it is the duty of the federal government to protect the borders, and ensure only people who have properly navigated the immigration process enter this nation, and live among the American People.

Since, as established by Article I, Section 8 and Article IV, Section 4 of the United States Constitution, immigration is a federal issue, that would in turn mean that sanctuary cities, and sanctuary states, are not only unconstitutional, but under the provision of the Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Clause 2) the federal government must enforce the law of the land over the states. (Note that the federal government can only do this on issues of which the federal government is given authority by the U.S. Constitution. The Supremacy Clause does not enable the federal government to dictate to the states regarding state issues, as some would erroneously argue. To differentiate between federal issues and state issues one must make the determination based on the enumeration of powers in Article I, Section 8 as supported by Amendments 9 and 10.)

Sanctuary cities, and states, by harboring illegal immigrants, which by definition have broken federal law, are demonstrating contempt for federal laws, which ultimately threatens to undermine the cohesion of the Republic. In fact, such actions by cities and states could be considered treasonous since, if illegal aliens are indeed an invading force, making them enemies of the United States, the sanctuary cities and states are giving the enemy "aid and comfort" (Article III, Section 3). Remember, not all illegal aliens are citizens of Mexico coming to America in search of a free ride, or work that will make them more money than anything they can find in Mexico. Among those that cross the American border illegally are sleeper terrorists, and others whose purpose is to destroy the United States. And, since we are in a war against terrorism committed by the Islamic Jihad, it is obvious that people crossing the American border illegally who are associated with sleeper terrorist cells, or are connected to groups like al-Qaeda, are enemies of this nation.

Considering immigration is a federal issue, as supported by the U.S. Constitution, it is fair, then, to reason that U.S. cities and states that declare themselves to be sanctuaries for illegal aliens are not only "harboring the enemy," but are also acting outside of the U.S. Code, sections 1324 and 1325 which considers it a felony to be "concealing, harboring, or sheltering illegal aliens," as well as violating the Immigration and Naturalization Act sections 274 and 275 which reads similarly.

Illegal entry into the United States — entry without inspection — is a misdemeanor, according to INA section 275, (8 USC Section 1324). Repeated illegal entry is a felony.

Immigration, despite the word "immigration" not being specifically mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, is a federal issue and all immigration and naturalization activities fall under the authority of the federal government. It is the duty of the federal government to protect this nation against foreign invasion. "Amnesty" programs, as well as local government's complete disregard for the enforcement of immigration laws, run contrary to the original intention of the U.S. Constitution. I understand that we are all descendants of immigrants, and I believe that the strength of this nation is largely derived from the fact that we are a melting pot. However, immigration with the purpose of following the law, and going through the process because the immigrant wishes to assimilate into the American culture is one thing; purposeful violation of the law by crossing the border illegally is a federal crime no matter how you slice it, and the offenders must be treated accordingly. After all, the United States prides itself in being a nation that follows the rule of law, and to pick and choose which laws to follow, or to ignore the Constitutional authority given to the federal government to protect this nation against invasion is, in a word, irresponsible.

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