Arizona’s immigration law is constitutionally troubling

Arizona’s new immigration enforcement law, just days old, already is sparking challenges and extensive controversy.  Most Republicans, including many self-proclaimed “conservatives” who might otherwise oppose expanding government police powers, have lined up squarely behind this measure.  This is mystifying.

The law is fundamentally at odds with principles of federalism designed to reflect proper spheres of authority as between state and federal governments.  It also is in conflict with traditional notions that the police are not permitted to stop and detain individuals based on mere suspicion.

Many supporters of this measure appear to have concluded that, since the federal government has not been sufficiently vigorous or consistent in its enforcement of federal laws against illegal immigration, it is perfectly permissible for the states to step up to the plate and take on this responsibility.  Interestingly, this argument has rarely, if ever, been employed to justify states stepping into federal law enforcement shoes in any context other than immigration. 

Protecting our borders is in fact a singularly federal function; reflecting the fundamental responsibility of the national government to protect our sovereignty.  Traditionally, and appropriately, states have not been permitted to assume federal government functions; just as Washington should not be permitted to assert powers properly left to the states.  This split of enforcement authority – while in modern times often not honored by the federal government – is codified in the Constitution, including in the Tenth Amendment.

There are any number of federal laws and responsibilities that do not receive the attention many citizens and state governments believe they should; but this is hardly reason to jettison constitutionally-sound principles of federalism, and open the floodgates to states assuming federal functions. 

The vast and virtually unfettered power the new Arizona law grants local law enforcement to stop, question and detain individuals to determine if they are in the country lawfully, is even more troubling.  But here also, many citizens, state legislators, commentators, and of course, members of Congress, appear far too ready to grant police this broad power simply because it purports to address the problem of illegal immigration.

While a number of Republican supporters of the Arizona law claim that its provisions would come into play only after a police officer had lawfully stopped an individual for another offense, the clear language of the law says otherwise.  Under it, an officer need only have “lawful contact” with a person – which can be something as innocuous as passing them on the sidewalk – to provide the officer the justification to demand the person produce papers establishing their lawful status in the United States.  The only predicate then required, is that the officer have a “reasonable suspicion” the person is an unlawful alien – based on what, the statute does not say.

The new law includes many other provisions troubling because of their vagueness and breadth.  For example, a person is subject to arrest without a warrant if an officer has probable cause to believe the person has committed an offense that makes them “removable from the United States.” Determining exactly which offenses make someone “removable” is hardly an exact science.  But, insofar as being in the country unlawfully subjects one to “removal,” this provision in the law becomes completely circular.

Hopefully, the federal courts will quickly avail themselves of the opportunity to determine the constitutionality of this Arizona law.  And hopefully, they will find its exceptionally broad grant of police detention powers to be unconstitutional.  If not, it won’t be long before the same powers are sought and applied to other areas in which police agencies want to enhance their ability to detain and question individuals.  Once released, this genie will not easily be returned to the bottle

252 comments Add your comment

Dave Briggman

May 3rd, 2010
6:30 am

Respectfully, Bob, I must disagree with you on this one.

While the feds do have the responsibility to secure our federal borders, I see nothing wrong with a state “overlay”, codifying federal law, to enable the state (Arizona, in this instance) to secure its own borders.

tim2012

May 3rd, 2010
6:56 am

Go to youtube and check out – cost of illegal immigration – mexican gangs taking over america – new haven ct vietnam veterans memorial – what the local news doesn’t show you – do illegal immigrants help or hinder economic growth – border patrol.

Thom Bing

May 3rd, 2010
7:10 am

As a conservative I would think protecting the citizens of Arizona a States rights issue. When I am in another country I am required to have my passport on me at all times and produce it when asked for any reason. I don’t think that is too much to ask. If affimative action is constitutional, I don’t think there is any problem with this law.

LibraryJim

May 3rd, 2010
7:13 am

When the Federal Government WILL NOT act to secure our borders, the individual states MUST ACT to secure their borders. Arizona is doing this, and I hope other states follow their lead.

There is so much misinformation (and downright lies) around this bill, mostly from people who have NOT read it or just want to incite unreset and contribute to racial tension, that when one does read it, you have to wonder what all the fuss is about.

LibraryJim

May 3rd, 2010
7:15 am

An alternative would be to just adopt Mexico’s immigration law as our standard. Now THAT would be an example of a troubling bill. Mexico wants us to treat ‘their’ citizens who cross our border illegally as ‘human beings’ and extend our constitutional right to them, but they do not do the same for immigrants who cross THEIR border illegally. Nor do we have the same rights of citizenship in their country if we emigrate legally (no rights of property ownership, no voting right, etc.).

will shetterly

May 3rd, 2010
7:18 am

USMC DAWG

May 3rd, 2010
7:24 am

Bob, I know you are “feeling” your new Libertarian “oats”, but you are going way too far with this article. Readers, please google Bob Barr’s article titled “Prez We Need on Illegals is Long Gone” dated 5/3/2006. It is one of the best articles that I have read (it hangs from my refrigerator). BUT now Bob Barr is flip-flopping on the subject. We can no longer allow the anarchy on the southern border to go on. Where is the government of Mexico in all of this? What happened Bob, has money and old age softened you up too much?

Jeff in ATL

May 3rd, 2010
7:24 am

As I understand the law, it mandates law enforcement officers in the State of Arizona to question people they reasonably suspect to be in the country illegally; it also states that determination can not be made based on race. If not by race, then how is an officer to reasonably suspect someone may not be in the country illegally?

stw

May 3rd, 2010
7:28 am

BB: Why don’t you and Jimmy Carter just go away. Far, far away.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

May 3rd, 2010
7:34 am

It shouldn’t take much to make “lawful contact” with a person you think is a illegal. If you’re a cop, you just follow him around till he does something that lets you pull him over. Then you ask for his papers, and when he don’t have none, you haul him off to jail.

Anyhow, we got to have laws to protect us from the Terrists. I been mostly hiding under my bed ever since Fox News showed that bomb thing in Times Square. Us godly Conservatives are mighty brave when we got about 200,000 troops we can send to fight the people out to get us. But when there’s no troops, hiding is the best thing to do. Besides, these illegal Mexicans don’t know how to take decent work breaks and sick days off and such. If we don’t get them out of this country, pretty soon we’ll be the ones mowing the yards and plucking the chickens.

So phooey on Bob Barr. We need that AZ law right here in GA. Have a good day everybody.

Javier

May 3rd, 2010
7:35 am

Bob Barr is off his rocker, he is wrong just as he has flip flopped to becoming a liberal. I now want to be a police officer. Maybe i will move to Arizona!!!!

Doug

May 3rd, 2010
7:46 am

This is easy…With all the protest going on about the new law just start rounding up all the illegals that go to the protests..As for the law only the illegals have something to fear.. If you are in this country lawfully then why would this law bother you at all.. Go AZ!!!!! show um how to take care of this plague…my fix is guard towers every 300 yards with guns and just shoot um and leave um to rot

RxDawg

May 3rd, 2010
7:47 am

Tough times call for tough measures. We have a large influx of populations that aren’t abiding by our laws, that are not assimilating and learning our cultures and languages, and are sending tax free money back to their home country. Something needs to be done and now.

Is every illegal allien bad? Of course not. Unfotunately some of them are and it’s giving them all a bad name. Regardless, a tough stance has to be taken and proper immigration reform needs to happen. This should of been addressed years ago.

Mike D.

May 3rd, 2010
7:54 am

Bravo Mr. Barr for speaking the truth. Racial profiling has no place in our society. All of these so called “conservatives” that want to expand the power of the police and local governments have lost it. This law goes against all of our true values.

Byron Mathison Kerr

May 3rd, 2010
7:54 am

Bob is right. This is the responsibility of the federal government. Arizona has just, unknowingly, upped the priority for national immigration reform — and that is a good thing.

Phil

May 3rd, 2010
7:58 am

Well Mr. Barr, you’re “troubled” that a law has been passed that you feel may not be constitutional. Are you at all troubled that we already had laws that were being openly and blatently broken by tens of millions of illegals? Are you troubled that Phoenix is now the home invasion capital of the country? The media seems so concerned with the rights of the people breaking the laws, but the American citizens who are being victimized by the criminals seems not to count at all.

USMC DAWG

May 3rd, 2010
8:04 am

Georgia needs to enact the same law as Arizona with regard to ILLEGAL immigration and install employer panalties for hiring illegals. We are LOSING our country as we sit back on our high and mighty duffs pontificating on social experiement and human rights. Bring the troops home and put them on the border! Then start monitoring the EMPLOYERS who are hiring these illegals. Come on Bob, just because you are old and have made money don’t throw our country away for the younger generations.

Karl Marx

May 3rd, 2010
8:07 am

Yes it is troubling but the law is not as troubling and the inaction of the federal government to stop the flow of Illegal’s across the border. We should adopt how Mexico handles that problem. Then let Mexico scream about how we mistreat those criminals.

Ron Bowman

May 3rd, 2010
8:08 am

Barr needs to grow a backbone. That is the problem with the federal government these days. No one on Capitol Hill seems to have the fortitude to speak their minds. We have been too concerned with political correctness. While I agree that not all illegals are “bad” the fact remains that each person that is here illegally has knowingly broken the law. I have many friends form different countries that came here legally and each one that I have spoken with agrees that we should crack down on illegals and deport them all. I think that if enough states join Arizona and enact similar legislation it will force the hand of the federal government and then something would be done.

IN THE KNOW

May 3rd, 2010
8:10 am

Healthcare is troubling. The people of arizona have the right to root out these people who come here illegal and then feel free to break the laws and kidnap, bring drugs and murder. It is already a federal law to not come into this country illegally! Why does the federal gov not enforce what already is a law? 70 percent of all people in arizona favors this law. The key word here for people to understand is ILLEGAL NOT IMMIGRANTS! We don’t mind immigrants who sign the guest book and do it the right way, but if you come here the wrong way then you ARE BREAKING THE LAW!! This is not rocket science. Arizona leads the country in kidnapping cases. Gee, big surprise… sounds alot like MEXICO where kidnapping leads in the world and it’s a business for thugs and killers! This is the united states and this country should not tolerate this garbage any longer. Not just in arizona but in california,texas and even florida! They estimate that there are 460,000 illegal immigrants in arizona alone. I bet not a damn one of them pay taxes like the rest of us and that is b.s….Would you treat one of your kids better than the other? no…

TREAT EVERYONE THE SAME AND ENFORCE THE DAMN LAWS THAT ALREADY EXIST! They are required by law to carry papers already in arizona if they are immigrants who got in the right way, so what’s the big deal if they are required to show this document? It’s like most of us show our license when we are pulled over anyway? I don’t cry racist crap when i get pulled over…Can’t wait to hear some liberal idiot put a spin on this post. Nothing wrong with immigrants who come here, but i repeat….ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ARE BREAKING THE LAW!!! YOU BREAK THE LAW YOU SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE!! THAT’S SIMPLE PEOPLE. IS THAT TOO DIFFICULT FOR SOME OF YOU TO GRASP HERE?? EVEN LIBERALs COULD UNDERSTAND THAT, BUT SOMETIMES YOU CAN’T FIX STUPID!

Baltimore Phil

May 3rd, 2010
8:14 am

In principle, I agree with this law. Nothing wrong with AZ wanting to secure its borders and do the job its taxpayers pay the federal government to do but won’t. I agree with BB that some of the language is a bit vague, but being that an AZ cop can’t stop someone based on their race or nationality and needs probable cause and lawful contact to ask them for their papers (i.e. a traffic stop where someone doesn’t have a driver’s license) I highly doubt that AZ police officers are just going to start arresting brown people at will.
At least, I thought that until I read the comments by Redneck Convert (swell name, by the way, way to make Republicans look educated), Javier and Doug. Apparently, that’s what these folks WANT from this bill: dead bodies, unlimited rights for the police and a facist regime. Way to go, boys!

Jameser

May 3rd, 2010
8:18 am

I don’t often comment, but ended up here on the conservative pages and I must…
The Constitution guarantees against illegal search and seizure. Pulling someone over FOR NO OTHER REASON than that they are suspected of being illegal is in itself illegal. Following them in a car until they do something wrong so that you then have a reason is just as dirty. I agree that illegal immigration is a problem, but laws like this erode the values given us by god and the constitution.
I find it to be ironic that the same conservatives who are supporting this law are the same people who’s fathers raped and pillaged this beautiful land from the first inhabitants, the native americans. How might you have felt if Sitting Bull had asked your great grand father for his papers. As a solution we killed him. Perhaps now that the shoe is on the other foot, it will be okay for them to kill us and simply assert their will? Perhaps not…
“THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

THEN THEY CAME for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

Gator Joe

May 3rd, 2010
8:20 am

Bob:
While we probably disagree on most everything political, you are at least reasonable and consistent, in your approach to most issues, as is the case with this issue. Regarding the Arizona law, undoubtedly some of the undocumented immigrants are engaging in criminal activity, however, most are honest and hard working and contribute to, rather than take from, the community. This issue could be, and should have been, addressed in a humane and constitutionally legal manner by Congress. However, much of the opposition is based on (though rarely admitted) racism. If the undocumented immigrants were white and English speaking, no matter the number, it would be doubtful this action would have been taken. Other states will surely follow Arizona’s lead, and those laws will be just as unfair, and unconstitutional. We are a better country, and a better people, than this law and others like it, would indicate.

Tomas

May 3rd, 2010
8:21 am

I wish the feds would actually enforce the law. Instead we get democrats writing laws that sound good but intentionally undercut enforcement mechanisms so that there is no effective control of our borders. While it might be good politics for them, it’s bad policy.

America needs secure borders.

This should be the central conversation about immigration reform at both the federal and state level. Mark my words though, for the democrats, if the AZ law is overturned, they will be just fine with the status quo until they think they can get amnesty through the congress

Mr. Hand

May 3rd, 2010
8:25 am

Barr is right about this, of course. We sacrifice our values and “our” country is truly lost. But this is another example of why it’s past time for a CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION. In this case to clarify the 14th Amendment’s citizenship provision which was intended for newly freed slaves not illegal immigrants.

Prof.

May 3rd, 2010
8:25 am

@ Tomas – pulease. enough of the “blame the democrat” crap.

Bush had 8 years to clean up this mess and DID NOTHING.

catlady

May 3rd, 2010
8:26 am

I would support amnesty for those who wish to immediately sign up for the armed forces. Ship their families home, let them serve for 4 years, then, upon leaving the armed forces with an honorable discharge, their wives/husbands and proven biological children can be put in line for legal immigration.

And change the law so that a child does not become a citizen of the US unless born to a parent legally here. Otherwise, you are condoning theft. US citizenship is a prize worth a great deal of money!

Byron Mathison Kerr

May 3rd, 2010
8:28 am

With all the problems facing our state — and legislators obsessed with implanted microchips and the ownership of road kill — I hope Georgia won’t waste valuable time and resources on a copycat immigration law until, at least, Arizona’s new law has a chance to face the scrutiny of the judiciary.

No More Progressives!

May 3rd, 2010
8:29 am

LibraryJim

May 3rd, 2010
7:13 am
When the Federal Government WILL NOT act to secure our borders, the individual states MUST ACT to secure their borders. Arizona is doing this, and I hope other states follow their lead.

Spot on. We don’t have an immigration issue here. We have a full-fledged invasion from another country, ordained by the Donkey’s in Congress. The hope is for instant Democrats that vote, and perpetual control of Congress. At our expense.

Jameser

May 3rd, 2010
8:33 am

Totally agree with you Gator Joe. Very reasonable and logical response. There is no doubt a problem with illegal immigration. This is also undoubtedly law that is already established – it is illegal to enter the country on a whim. My big problem with the law is how radicals jump on the bandwagon and want us to round up everyone at the protest rally’s (because everyone there MUST be an illegal) or follow them around until they don’t signal a lane change or whatever other wacky Brown Shirt technique they can come up with and then ship them off. We are a nation of laws, decided through rational, intelligent debate. Laws given us by god and written by men who take the time to understand the complexity of the issue before they build sniper towers to gun down other humans.
I don’t care how red your neck is, how blue or white your collar is or anything like that. Think before you rant.

Ivory

May 3rd, 2010
8:37 am

Long overdue, Touché, Arizona!

Ernesto

May 3rd, 2010
8:41 am

Even with the changes made on the Arizona new law, SB1070, it still can lead to racial profile. I liked the question made by Jeff in ATL:

“If not by race, then how is an officer to reasonably suspect someone may not be in the country illegally?”

That is the million dollar question. I would also remind every single one of you that illegal immigrants do not just come from Mexico and South America. Even when illegal immigrants mostly come from Mexico and South America, they also come from Canada, Europe, Asia, Africa, and many other parts of the world. It is such a hypocrisy that an undocumented immigrant from South African (white skin with blue eyes) who is pulled over is treated nice and let go. While an undocumented immigrant from Mexico or South America (Brown skin) who’s pulled over is questioned his/her legal status right away and later arrested.

While many will deny this, this laws do racial profile immigrants. The problem comes when a US citizen gets racial profiled as well. Most Ameicans want immigration enforced even if Constitutional Rights are violated, as long as Americans (not brown) are not directly affected.

Red State Fan

May 3rd, 2010
8:48 am

Heck, why don’t we do what the federal government did during World War II! They can set up concentration camps throughout the country and check everyone’s ID papers! Better yet, round up everyone you suspect is illegal and deport them immediately. That would open up a great deal of jobs in Georgia – carpet mills in North Georgia, and chicken farms, too. How many of you would like to pluck chickens or work in the toxic mills? How about cleaning fish in Brunswick or work as a roofer in the hot July sun in Georgia? Yes, all those folks out of work want these jobs back that the illegals are doing….

Reality

May 3rd, 2010
8:48 am

Mr. Barr! Wow! I am so pleased and shocked! You have hit the nail on the head with the hypocrasy of the republican right that I have been saying for years….

However, I fear that those ditto-heads will not listen to you.

For those WANTING less government, how can you support this law, a law prohibiting gay marrage, a law interfereing with abortion, and so on? All of those ADD to the power of government.

It seems that right wing doesn’t really mean less government. It simply means to “think how I think” and to support “government that promotes how I think.”

Dan

May 3rd, 2010
8:50 am

Easy for you to say, you, like most all other politicians, do not see the problems that face this country in real life. You see it as a game that the rich and sheltered play. This is not a game. This is real life. There are people involved. Where is McCain in all of this? Easy fix to the problem…secure the border, set harsh penalties for those trying to cross the border illegally, issure 3 year visas for those already here as long as they are crime free and working. Done. The federal government is not doing thier job. Not surprised really, how can they, they are too busy lining their own pockets and trying to decide how much each of is entitlted to. NOT their job. Secure the border…that IS their job. Do your job or we will do it for you… I don’t think AZ residents should have to pay federal income taxes…they are getting NOTHING

Richard

May 3rd, 2010
8:50 am

As written, the Arizona law does not allow profiling and does not allow a police officer to question someone’s status as a resident of this country unless there has already been a legal reason to detain that person. By now we should all be quite used to showing identification under many circumstances related and unrelated to law enforcement. This county is occupied by citizens, legal immigrants en route to full citizenship, and those here on temporary visa. A comprehensive immigration policy that allows for the presence of temporary workers would no doubt legitimize many of our “illegal” residents. Nevertheless, in the interest of national security and in order to properly manage our own society we need secure borders, and we must have knowledge of and control over who is here in this country. The time for national identity cards that describe residency status is overdue. Thank you, Arizona, for taking on even a small fraction of what the federal government has failed to do.

Bill

May 3rd, 2010
8:51 am

Phil’s comment is right on the money when he wonders if Bob Barr is troubled that we already have a law that is openly and blatantly being broken by TENS OF MILLIONS of illegals and the fact that Phoenix is the home invasion capital of the country.

As George Will stated in a recent column, since 1952, federal law has said: “Every alien, 18 years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him.”

Mr. Obama, the so-called constitutional scholar, apparently is not aware that this FEDERAL law exists, for if he did he would enforce it, which he does not.
Instead, we get from him such inane and irresponsible blather as this: “Now suddenly if you don’t have your papers and you took your kid out to get ice cream, you’re going to be harassed.” This obvious attempt to play on people’s emotions is exactly what I would expect from the liberal-in-chief, who’s party is particularly adept at demagoguery but not really that comfortable with reality.

Similarly, Mr. Barr seems so much more concerned with protecting the rights of the illegals than he does in allowing Arizona to solve the problem which Obama and his minions ignore.

jconservative

May 3rd, 2010
8:57 am

Number one, the Arizona legislature acted Friday to take out the most “offensive” parts of the original bill. Now waiting on the Governor to sign. Will she?

Number two, getting a bill through congress will be difficult. The Democrats see votes in pandering to the Latino vote. The Republicans fear losing the financial support of the American business community as the Latino workforce is their never ending pool of cheap labor. Bottom line, no immigration control bill.

Number three, the costs of securing the Mexican border will be in the hundreds of billions. Bottom line, no immigration control bill out of Congress.

Number four, the only way to control illegals crossing the border is to eliminate the ability to get jobs. The only way to do that is to lock up in jail any employer who hires an illegal. But that will not happen because employers are the ones who finance the political campaigns of politicians. And employers are the ones who hire the great majority of lobbyists who assist YOU, the American voter, in forming your political opinions. Bottom line, no immigration control bill.

Sorry to be so gloomy but it is a gloomy day.

Thomas

May 3rd, 2010
9:00 am

Wow, a lot of you guys are really missing the point. I don’t know what “facts” you guys are pulling from, but Mr. Barr and I are looking at the language of the bill itself. Oh, and that there Constitution.

If Arizona wants to protect its citizens, then go after the people that are actually causing problems. Not every illegal is in a gang or drug cartel. Get a clue.

Dan

May 3rd, 2010
9:02 am

Any outrage at this law is fabricated nonsense, the people complaining about it aren’t even quoting it correctly. It simply codefies that which a competent officer does all the time. On any traffic stop or interaction with any citizen the officer should be seek to detect and be aware of any other potential crimes or infractions that may be apparent. This simply confirms that to do otherwise simply projects that you have nothing to fear from being here illegally.

Gary

May 3rd, 2010
9:02 am

I have seen many who have asked how this can be enforced without profiling and the answer is simple. Everyone has to carry some form of ID if they operate a motor vehicle or work at a job. If an officer pulls you over and you fail to provide proper identification, then you most likely get arrested. At this time, the arresting officer has to validate your identification for arrest purposes. If you come back identified as an illegal, then you get deported. No profiling is used here because this happens even if you are white or black and don’t carry ID. If you have proper ID – drivers license, green card, etc….then you go to court for the infraction, pay a fine, and then released.

Also, this law is nothing more than Arizona saying they support the current federal law on the books and will enforce it. Nothing unconstitutional about it at all.

R PAGE

May 3rd, 2010
9:03 am

What the H— do you not understand about obeying the law?? Get away from your computer-be a real “reporter” go visit the border.

Marie

May 3rd, 2010
9:07 am

Illegal immigration is not the problem, it is the symptom. The problem is hiring of people who are not in this country legally, renting and selling housing and automobiles to people who are not in this country legally. Use the laws already in place. Go to construction companies, packing plants, restaurants, even the GA DOT work sites and conduct I9 audits, make them prove that they checked the status of their workers. Conduct Sit down audits with each worker and match documents to faces and fingerprints. It would take 5 minutes a person. Fine people who hire illegal immigrants. Fine them heftily, by the worker and by the day. Require landlords to provide proof that the are renting to legal immigrants. Close dealerships that sell vehicles to people who cannot prove they are in this country legally. And we have to take responsibility too on a personal level. Everytime we allow our contractors to work on our yards, our houses, maid services, any services where we want cheap labor and decide to “hire a Mexican” WE are providing the incentive for the illegal person to stay here. Refuse them work, refuse them housing, refuse them services (that includes hospital care and schooling), change the laws so that you must be born to parents legally in this country to be a citizen and you remove the attactiveness of coming here. Give visas for necessary farm labor and that is it. Homeless, unemployed people will move on. Solve the hiring issue and you solve the immigration issue. And if that doesn’t work, take a hard stance. The National Guard should be home guarding the nation. Put them on border patrol with orders to shoot. Let other countries know that we consider a breach of our borders an act of agression, a serious breach of our national security and our troops will shoot all crossers on sight. Take away the incentive, the issue will go away.

THE LAW

May 3rd, 2010
9:08 am

I read Federal Law yesterday about aiding, hiring, transporting of illegal aliens. IT IS A FELONY! So since it it a felony to give them a job, what are they supposed to do for a living one they get here? Go on welfare and food stamps? Many of them are good people just needing work. But we don’t have enough jobs for American taxpayers. Especially since American corporations keep sending them (jobs) overseas. Protect ourselves. Send the illegals back home.

jconservative

May 3rd, 2010
9:10 am

Bob, you are again referring to the 10th Amendment:

“Amendment 10
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.”

But I never see you refer to the 9th Amendment, which as a small government conservative, I find much more appealing than the 10th Amendment.

“Amendment 9
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

Just saying.

Silverchief

May 3rd, 2010
9:11 am

Well Bob, Now you know why you are no longer in congress…..

Ralph Emerson

May 3rd, 2010
9:13 am

“There are any number of federal laws and responsibilities that do not receive the attention many citizens and state governments believe they should…”

This is the 3rd or 4th time recently I’ve seen a Conservative politician/journalist complain that the federal government has not/is not taking care of some responsibility that constitutionally or morally belongs within its purview. At the same time, every one in this wide country is aware these same people represent a huge movement within it that wants lower taxes and therefore a smaller, less potent government.

You’re probably expecting me to follow that up with some statement about hypocrisy and multiple personalities. But I’m not. I understand as I will show below.

I am going to introduce a novel insight into an idea that has been under our noses for thousands of years but has seldom been fully appreciated or understood, especially by Americans.

Probably since before recorded history, if a group of human beings were thrown together for any given purpose or enterprise, and provided with the resources to accomplish that purpose, a certain proportion or fraction of those people would either malinger in their duties, squander the available resources, or outright steal them.

The magnitude of the proportion might vary from locale to locale and over time, but as far as I can determine, corruption is universally a fact of life. I would wager that even in the Vatican you could find some sand baggers, or maybe I should have said “Especially.”

As I said above, I understand the conservative theory. It states that if this corruption were reined in, then the federal government could do its assigned tasks with fewer of our tax dollars. All we need to do is enforce the laws we now have on the books, institute term limits, every now and then hire a special prosecutor, etc., etc.

The first part of novelty here is that, even though we periodically are willing to devote taxpayer funded resources to root out corruption, corruption will always return. Oh, we may succeed for a couple of years or so, but eventually corruption will return.

The second part of the novelty is that many countries have come to terms with this phenomenon. They have recognized that the human animal is capable of only so much order, compliance, and effort on behalf of the common good. The rest gets devoted to corruption and waste. Jesus was surely a fool to have expected us humans to take care of each other, completely ignoring our own greed and self interest, but that’s a subject for another day.

Conservatives only partially understand the paradox that has been forced upon us by modernity and a burgeoning human population. Under present conditions, a certain amount of government is simply indispensable if we are to sustain current standards of living for very long–right or wrong. Again, a subject for another day.

So, Bob. If you want the feds to take care of such constitutional responsibilities as securing our borders, you cannot avoid it. You and your devoted readers are going to have to pay enough taxes, kicking and screaming, to cover the corruption and have enough left over to accomplish those things that we all know must get done.

And if you want fewer people to come into this country from Latin America, write a bunch of articles opposing the Catholic Church’s stand on birth control and promoting Planned Parenthood.

nelsonhoward

May 3rd, 2010
9:13 am

The Supreme Court sharply limits the 1st Amendment rights of illegal immigrants, that people here unlawfully cannot shield themselves from deportation simply because of their political views. The Court’s holding bars anyone who is subject to a deportation hearing from trying to defend himself by saying he was singled out because of political beliefs or activities that any legal resident would be free to express.

That is straight forward to me, that illegal immigrants can be deported and not requiring to hear the illegal immigrants reasons for staying here.

Morrus

May 3rd, 2010
9:14 am

Vote out the incumbents and start over

retiredds

May 3rd, 2010
9:15 am

Bob, I hope you sent a personalized copy of this well written piece to Nathan Deal and Tom Price, not that they care a hoot about the Constitution when it comes to their agendas. The far right is driving the Republicans these days, with few exceptions. The Gov. of Arizona had no choice but to do this to save her political skin. Look at what is happening to John McCain and Senator Grassley. These moderates have had to go far right or be pilloried. To get a reasonable and bi-partisan immigration bill passed is almost an impossibility in the current toxic political climate, so we are left with stupid and unconstitutional state fragmentation. This is what happens when adults regress to adolescent bickering because they can’t manage their emotions of the moment.