"Illegals who come here illegally are guilty of breaking and entering. It is like coming home and finding them on your sofa, surrounded by food from your refrigerator, and holding your remote." The correct analogy would be coming home and finding someone in your home who had been invited by someone else in your family, over your objections. Quite a number of Americans are not only glad these immigrants come, but they will pay them to stay and work. It would not even be a correct analogy to add that you are the head of the household, who makes the rules, and the other family members who have invited this house guest broke your rules. Because unauthorized immigrants are not just welcomed by a few employers, but indeed many legitimate lawmaking authorities, from the Supreme Court to Congress to the state legislatures to the local police, have been ambivalent about whether to welcome unauthorized immigrants. The Supreme Court, in Plyler v. Doe, 1982, requires states to educate unauthorized immigrant children; Congress has several times given "amnesties", as if suffering pangs of conscience that its oppressive quotas have made "criminals" of so many; and most social workers and police will not cooperate with the USCIS by reporting unauthorized immigrants they encounter.
But more critical to the determination of whether their guilt is like breaking and entering, than whether our lawmakers welcome them, is whether our Constitution welcomes them, and even more important than that, is whether God welcomes them. From the very beginning of the United States, there was never a citizen who was NOT an "illegal alien", in the opinion of many Native Americans. But God was with us, as demonstrated by many mighty miracles, and we should not think it irrelevant whether God may be with our Southern neighbors as they come to join us.
"There are 35 million illegals." (Position of Jan Mickelson) Who are you counting? That's the estimate I've seen for the total number of Hispanics in the U.S.! Do you think ALL Hispanics are here illegally?
(Source: the Hispanic population in the U.S. grew from 9.6 million in 1970 to 35.3 million in 2000, 58.5% of whom were Mexican. Pew Study: "Immigration and American Life Graphing Immigration Data", by Mary Elizabeth Jones. Also, http://www.homeaccentstoday.com/CCHispanics.PDF)
Amnesty Defined. Do you know the difference between "amnesty" and "passing a law"? "Passing a law" is what lawmakers do. It is the only thing they do. It is what they are supposed to do. Whenever they do it, the definition of who is breaking the law changes. Every time a law changes, it makes actions legal which used to be illegal, or vice versa. Do you understand the difference between that, and "amnesty"?
"Amnesty" is where the law isn't changed, but lawmakers say, "Our consciences are bothering us over you million decent folks being defined as lawbreakers by our stupid law, so to make it up to you, we will, in our mercy, forgive you; but we are going to keep the stupid law for those who come after you, because this quota law is kind of addictive. Once you've had it for a century, it's hard to kick."
The very word "amnesty" means that the offense is not criminal but political. Were it criminal, the correct word would be "pardon". But neither word means the repeal of any definition of an offense. For example, adultery used to be a crime. When people commit adultery today, we do not speak of them as being "pardoned" by police, or given an "amnesty". We just say the law itself has changed.
Therefore when Congressman Steve King continues to describe immigration reform as "amnesty", he is only confusing the discussion with words whose effect can be only emotional, since there is nothing in the world of reason to which they apply. There were true "amnesties" in the past, where large numbers of unauthorized immigrants were legalized, while the laws which had made them illegal in the first place remain on the books, continuing to make new unauthorized immigrants illegal. No amnesties are currently proposed in Congress. The only proposals now would change the law.
Border Patrol Effectiveness. Estimates vary widely -- I have heard it said that half of those who try, make it across -- but putting two particular reports side by side indicates only one in five who attempt to cross, succeed.
One report says over 200,000 illegals were stopped during the first 3 months of 2004, which is a 50% increase over last year. That projects to 800,000 a year. (Source: http://www.gopusa.com/news/2004/ april/0406_tancredo_immigration_bush.shtml, "Tancredo Pleads With Bush to Reverse Amnesty Plan as Illegal Immigration Spikes", By Jimmy Moore, Talon News, April 6, 2004. Border Patrol Public Information Officer Rob Daniels, who is stationed at the Tucson Sector of the Border Patrol, was quoted for the figure.)
Another report says the net gain each year is 200,000 to 300,000. IF 800,000 per year are stopped and turned back, but another 200,000 slip through, THEN one million TRY to get across each year, but only 200,000 -- one in 5 who attempt to cross, succeed. (Source: http://184.108.40.206/focus/f-news/770044/posts, October 15, 2002 "The Immigration and Naturalization Service does not have statistics on how many enter illegally. However, the the number who enter minus the number who leave -- is believed to be 200,000 to 300,000, according to the Cato Institute, a nonprofit public policy research foundation." The fact that news stories about dying would-be illegals are daily occurrences was told me by Joyce McCarthy, secretary of the Hidalgo County Republican Party, 956-630-4467)
The USCIS is so effective that there are daily reports in Texas newspapers of immigrants dying in their attempts to cross the border, according to Joyce McCarthy, secretary for the Hidalgo County Republican Party.
Welfare. Education. Young unauthorized immigrants receive "free" K-12 education, demanded, not by citizens or politicians, but by our unelected Supreme Court in Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982). Some individual college adminstrators will admit them to state colleges -- though not for free, even though admitting them is against the law. K-12 education isn't free, of course; and all illegals contribute to it, through sales, income, and property taxes, just like the rest of us. And no immigration law change can make them any more eligible for education than they are now.
Food Stamps. If unauthorized immigrants ever get food stamps for themselves, they get it from government offices who are violating the law. However, parents may receive food stamps to feed their children who became citizens by being born here, by authority of 8 U.S.C. 1401. Many feel the law ought to treat U.S.-born children of illegals as illegals themselves. But the term "illegal aliens" is not defined as including U.S. citizens, unless we redefine it. (Food stamps applicants must present a valid social security number. If a false number is presented, caseworkers will know it in about a month, and will cut off the stamps. If benefits fraudulently obtained amount to very much, caseworkers will turn over the case to law enforcement for prosecution.)
Source: I called the Iowa Department of Human Services at 281-3147 and was transferred to 281-6899 where I talked to "Vicki". Vicki had a heavy food stamp case load for 3-1/2 years. She has heard all the news stories alleging illegals receive welfare, but she can't imagine it. She can't imagine anyone got by her. Food stamp applicants have to have a valid Social Security number. If a phony card were presented, "I would get a match in a month or so saying it wasn't valid." Surely the fear of exposure to the INS would discourage illegals from trying to get welfare with phony papers, she agrees; although "we don't report to the INS", they would report to local law enforcement if the fraud resulted in payouts of "large dollar amounts" for which there are criminal penalties. Vicki assumes the system is as tight in all states, since it is a federal program.
Emergency Care. It is true that hospital emergency rooms are required by USC Sec. 1395dd to "stabilize" "any individual...whether or not eligible for benefits". But the term "welfare" is not defined as covering hospital emergency room care, unless we redefine it.
"Stabilize" doesn't mean to provide care until the patient is well, according to the law. It means to treat emergency conditions until they can be transported safely to another hospital. Once a patient is "stabilized", then even if there is no other hospital to which the patient will consent to be transferred, federal law places no further obligation upon the hospital. Of course, individual hospitals and doctors may voluntarily give further treatment.
Over $200 million is spent by hospitals for such care, according to a 9/26/02 study of the Border Counties Coalition, mostly in the 24 border counties. California spent $79.6 million that year; Texas, $74 million; Arizona, $30 million; New Mexico, $6 million; and ambulances spent another $13 million in the four states. (Source: http://www.sierratimes.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard/topic.cgi?forum=23&topic=88, Atlanta Journal Constitution NEWS TODAY · September 27, 2002, "Study: Illegal immigrant health care costly", Julia Malone - Cox Washington Bureau, Friday, September 27, 2002.)
Although Congress can only guess how much emergency medical care illegal aliens receive, since most hospitals do not ask patients their immigration status, they reimbursed hospitals $250 million in December of 2003. (Source: "Federal Funding for Unauthorized Aliens' Emergency Medical Expenses", an unattributed article sent me by Senator Grassley's office, says how much emergency care illegals receive "is extremely difficult to ascertain...since most hospitals do not ask patients their immigration status." But "The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-173) signed into law on December 8, 2003" appropriates $250 million a year to reimburse states for emergency care for illegals, based on estimates.)
That's about $25 per illegal. This would seem small compared with the added revenues that would be generated by a Guest Worker program that brings up jobs to at least minimum wage, that rewards illegals for promotions and pay raises, and that gets all taxes paid -- all without making workers any more eligible for public services, depending on the bill details adopted.
(Source: "Federal Funding for Unauthorized Aliens' Emergency Medical Expenses", an unattributed article provided by Senator Grassley's office, says that under current law, "Although the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) barred unauthorized aliens from receiving most Medicaid benefits, they are eligible for emergency Medicaid services. Unauthorized aliens are also eligible for emergency medical services provided by the states.")
Social Security. Why does Congressman King mention "social security" as a fund hit hard by illegal aliens, when illegals pay into the fund without getting anything back? How can illegals "burden" social security any less than that? Under present Social Security law, illegals have social security (FICA) taxes deducted from their paychecks just like everybody else, but illegals only under special, rare conditions ever receive anything back from what they put in. According to "Social Security Benefits for Noncitizens, Current Policy and Legislation", "The Social Security Act does...prohibit the payment of benefits to aliens in the United States who are not 'lawfully present'." Bush's plan would make Guest Workers "lawfully present", but would send them back after 6 years not long enough to retire, and after they are across the border 6 months, current law bars SS benefits!
However, Bush said January 7, 2004, "I will work with foreign governments on a plan to give temporary workers credit, when they enter their own nation's retirement system, for the time they have worked in America." S 1387 proposes a trust fund that would take the SS taxes paid by the nonimmigrant and create a retirement fund. But no scenario ever considered by Congress contemplates taking one penny more out of the SS fund, for the benefit of any nonimmigrant or illegal, than they have paid
"Illegals" cost the U.S. treasury
(Des Moines WHO Radio talk show Host Jan Mickelson forwarded me, March 17, 2005,, this note from Rep. Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas, to a newspaper:) "Your March 10 editorial "The Old and the New" asserts that immigration is good for our Social Security system. This is misleading. An increased number of immigrants today means an increased number of beneficiaries tomorrow. Studies show most immigrants tend to be less educated and earn lower wages than U.S.-born citizens. These individuals will receive about $100,000 more from Social Security than they paid into it. This will only worsen the financial problems Social Security faces. There are ways to strengthen Social Security, but increasing immigration is not one of them. Also, in your March 11 page-one article "As Border Tightens, Growers See Threat to 'Winter Salad Bowl'," it is not accurate to imply that there are jobs that Americans won't do. The Labor Department reports that, in fact, half of the jobs are being done by legal immigrants and citizens. Furthermore, if we believe in the free market, why not let wages rise to attract more legal workers?"
My reply to Jan: Thanks for the opportunity to continue this conversation. (From our March 11 discussion on his show)
Your note makes two assumptions: first, that any conceivable immigration reform that would increase immigration would increase the welfare drain which "illegals" currently create; and second, that the welfare drain which they currently create exceeds the amount they pay in taxes.
Could any kind of reform lessen the current welfare drain caused by "illegals"? The primary reason "illegals" become a significant welfare drain when they finally become legal and can qualify for welfare themselves, not just for their citizen children, is that they are uneducated, according to the Center for Immigration Studies published August 24, 2004. They are not more dependent upon welfare than citizens with the same education, and indeed not all of them have little education and much welfare dependence. But the average legal immigrant is less educated than the average citizen, and proportionately more dependent upon welfare.
What details could be included in a welfare reform package that would correct this problem? The point system proposed in S1387 in 2004. To qualify for LPR, Legal Permanent Residence, applicants enrolled in the temporary work program would have to get educated, and stay off welfare! LPR is like a precious diamond to virtually every "illegal". Offer it for any price within their capacity to pay, and they will pay the price. You can bank on it. Make staying off welfare a condition for LPR, and speed citizenship for those who stay off, and they will try harder to help each other (which is the way citizens should live too) rather than rely on it, which by the way will create a block of voters who understand how inefficient welfare is, who may help us throw off Roosevelt's burden completely some day.
Does the welfare drain of "illegals" exceed their contributions in taxes?
Summary of the details which follow: If you just count the actual benefits received directly by "illegals", their average value of services received is $900, compared with the $4.200 which the average illegal contributes in taxes, for a total windfal to the U.S. treasury of $33 billion, based on figures from the Center for Immigration Studies report published August 24, 2004. If Congress writes a wise immigration reform bill with incentives to keep the welfare drain from increasing as "illegals" are legalized, the estimated 55% of "illegals" whose paychecks currently have taxes deducted will increase to virtually 100%, increasing the windfall to $60 billion. (Figures based on the Center for Immigration Studies report, "The High Cost of Cheap Labor", August 24, 2004.)
(This counts only the effect on the federal budget. A thorough study of the effect on state budgets would have to be done for each state, because lawmakers have varying sympathy for "illegals". Which brings up the point that the higher you can make the case that welfare is being drained by these people, the deeper a hole you dig for yourself if you think "deporting them all" is a realistic political solution. The fact is the amount of welfare taken fraudulently by "illegals" is almost nil; their access to welfare is often euphemistically called "loopholes", but those "loopholes" are deliberately in place because lawmakers want them there. Why? Because whether you think tender hearts are criminal or not, lawmakers elected by voters want them provided for at about the levels at which they are. Which means that to that degree, it is politically unrealistic to publicly advocate deporting them all. If Americans are tender hearted enough towards "illegals" to want them to have emergency medical care rather than to just die on the sidewalks, milk for their citizen babies, etc. etc., how realistic can it be for you to ask Americans to ship them all South where they will not only have any of these minimal benefits, but will not be able to work either?)
Then how does the Center for Immigration Studies reach the conclusion that "illegals" caused a net fiscal deficit of $10.4 billion last year, and that legalizing them would triple that figure?
Well, of course, regarding the second conclusion, CIS assumed legalizing them would come with no incentives to become educated or to stay off welfare. Indeed such plans are out there. The plan last year that got 110 House sponsors didn't have any such incentives. President Bush speaks of education as a goal, but refuses to link it to the LPR incentive. Without this most powerful of incentives, it is hard to imagine what would motivate "illegals" to work as hard towards this goal as we need them to. This underlines the importance of including these incentives in any immigration reform package. They will cause the welfare drain to drop, and the windfall to our U.S. treasury to mushroom.
Regarding the first conclusion, the CIS study counted, as part of the "services" "illegals" receive, $3,115 which is the cost of our federal "infrastructure" divided equally between every human being within our borders.
That's not "brick and mortar" infrastructure, like roads, sewers, electric lines, etc., which are paid for by "illegals" as well as by citizens through property taxes, gasoline taxes, and utilities bills. That's federal bureaucracy.
You and I know 50% of our federal bureaucracy is waste, and another 40% is for projects our federal government has no constitutional business doing. There is no "need" for it which increases the more people are added within our borders! It creates its own "need"! Its cause is voter apathy, a crime for which "illegals" cannot rationally be held responsible. We cannot rationally say "OK, another 200,000 'illegals' have joined us this year, so now we are going to have to soak taxpayers for another $10 million to pay for research on the mating habits of gunga frogs."
Yet even by adding this phantom $3,000 per "illegal" to the welfare drain they cause to the federal budget, the CIS figures still add up to $78 more in taxes which the average "illegal" contributes in taxes, than the services he consumes. So what ELSE did the CIS do, to justify its conclusion that the average "illegal" costs the U.S. treasury $2,700 per year?
They added services to citizen children!
Yes, that's right, in order to reach their conclusion that the average "illegal" costs the U.S. welfare treasury $2,700, they counted services to citizens!
Now, I understand there are many who think babies born here to "illegals" ought not be accorded citizenship. But can we agree that our laws -- the same laws which we accuse them of breaking"-- say that they are, and have said it for a lot longer than they have said "illegals" are breaking them?
Can we agree that it is not helping the public to understand the immigration problems, by counting welfare payments to U.S. Citizens as welfare payments to "illegals"?
Even the Supreme Court, in Plyler v. Doe, 1980, agreed that "There is no evidence in the record suggesting that illegal entrants impose any significant burden on the State's economy. To the contrary, the available evidence suggests that illegal aliens underutilize public services, while contributing their labor to the local economy and tax money to the state fisc."
The importance of the CIS study is that it is the most recent, and the most thorough. Only once every few years does anyone even attempt to compare the welfare costs with the tax contributions of "illegals", and this study even compares those studies with its own findings.
Its press release summary said "Households headed by illegal aliens imposed more than $26.3 billion in costs on the federal government in 2002 and paid only $16 billion in taxes, creating a net fiscal deficit of almost $10.4 billion, or $2,700 per illegal household." The CIS said "amnesty" would make it even worse: "...the estimated annual net fiscal deficit would increase from $2,700 per household to nearly $7,700, for a total net cost of $29 billion." (p. 5 of the report)
Now for the intellectually curious, here are the figures for my own evaluation of the CIS data, which brought me to my conclusion that "illegals" create a $33 billion windfall to the U.S. treasury, if we don't count the cost of bureaucratic waste, or the cost of welfare payments to citizens:
$6.949 is the total average welfare cost of "illegals", CIS concludes. The figure counts these services to citizen children, according to its chart on page 32: Social security, SSI, TANF payments, food stamps, Medicaid, energy assistance, higher education assistance, federal unemployment compensation, Medicare, WIC, child care subsidies, school lunches, Stafford Student Loan, TANF social services, and means-tested programs for children of migrants. I assume the Earned Income Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit are likewise available only for citizens, since social security numbers must be listed on the tax form to receive them. By subtracting this from CIS's total "illegal" cost of $6,949, the bill drops to $4,945.
The study listed two benefits which are available for citizen as well as illegal children, without offering any breakdown: federal funding for public education, and for English Language Acquisition. If we arbitrarily guess that half of that is for citizens, and just subtract half the amount from our bill, we decrease our bill by $171, for a total of $4,774.
Next we may consider discounting the costs which are the direct result of keeping these workers illegal, which would disappear were they given the rights of the rest of us. $415 is down as the cost of "federal prison and court systems". There is no explicit breakdown between those incarcerated for traditional crimes, and those incarcerated only for the "crime" of breathing our air without authorization, but the study estimates that were illegals legalized, this figure would drop to $120, so taking $295 off our bill would better reflect the cost of illegals to our prison system which is not caused just by making it illegal for them to work.
That brings our bill to $4,479. Finally, the CIS adds $345 as the cost of INS enforcement caused by the average illegal family; this figure would disappear if illegals were given a front door to legal status. Taking $345 off our bill leaves us $4,134, which is $78 less than the average illegal household is estimated to pay in taxes. This $345 off closer to what their cost will be, if Congress writes a bill right.
$3,115 of the cost is not for anything anyone has received personally, but is the cost of federal "infrastructure" which this study divides equally between all households, whether of citizens, legal immigrants, or illegals. (This study considers only federal expenses compared with federal taxes; not state or local benefits or taxes.)
This leaves only $1,019 which, this study estimates, the average illegal household personally "receives" for the illegals in the family. This includes rent subsidy, $86; public housing, $40; energy assistance, $8; education subsidy, $172 (by guessing that 1/2 of the amount given here is for non-citizens); the cost of crime, $120; and $591 for "medical care for the uninsured", whose meaning is not given, so I do not know what it includes or whether any of it really goes for illegals. (This gives a result only $2 off, which is the amount the total on the chart is off, if you add up all the items in the column.)
Drivers' Licenses will make it easier to vote. This was the reported concern of Senator Stewart Iverson. But there are already many non-citizens who are here legally, who qualify for legal driver's licenses, who may not vote; and no ID is required, anyway, to register to vote. A social security number or a license is requested, but if the applicant refuses, a computer generated "voter ID number" is entered. (At least in Polk County.) Starting January 2006, a license number or the last 4 digits of a social security number will be required, but 4 digits aren't enough for computers to validate. It is hard to imagine unauthorized immigrants caring so much about voting that they will risk federal prosecution by checking "I am a U.S. Citizen" on the voter registration form, but the point is that not having a driver's license doesn't make it any harder.
Definition of "illegal" <> Constitutions <> Scripture.
To say someone's presence is "illegal" requires the assumption that the law violated by his presence is legitimate, and not itself unconstitutional. The constitutionality of quotas is very arguable, according to the plainest reading of the 14th Amendment, which is in profound agreement with the Iowa Constitution, and even with Scripture.
14th amendment says
The Fourteenth Amendment provides that
[n]o State shall . . . deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
(Emphasis added.) Appellants argue at the outset that undocumented aliens, because of their immigration status, are not "persons within the jurisdiction" of the State of Texas, and that they therefore have no right to the equal protection of Texas law. We reject this argument. Whatever his status under the immigration laws, an alien is surely a "person" in any ordinary sense of that term.
....In appellants' view, persons who have entered the United States illegally are not "within the jurisdiction" of a State even if they are present within a State's boundaries and subject to its laws. Neither our cases nor the logic of the Fourteenth Amendment support that constricting construction of the phrase "within its jurisdiction." [n10] We have never suggested that the class of persons who might avail themselves of the equal protection guarantee is less than coextensive with that entitled to due process. To the contrary, we have recognized [p212] that both provisions were fashioned to protect an identical class of persons, and to reach every exercise of state authority.
The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution is not confined to the protection of citizens. It says:
Nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
These provisions are universal in their
application, to all persons within the territorial jurisdiction, without regard to any differences of race, of
color, or of nationality, and the protection of the laws is a pledge of
the protection of equal laws.
... we reasoned from the understanding that the Fourteenth Amendment was designed to afford its protection to all within the boundaries of a State.
....The Equal Protection Clause was intended to work nothing less than the abolition of all caste-based and invidious class-based legislation. That objective is fundamentally at odds with the power the State asserts here to classify persons subject to its laws as nonetheless excepted from its protection.
....Indeed, it appears from those debates that Congress, by using the phrase "person within its jurisdiction," sought expressly to ensure that the equal protection of the laws was provided to the alien population. Representative Bingham reported to the House the draft resolution of the Joint Committee of Fifteen on Reconstruction (H.R. 63) that was to become the Fourteenth Amendment. [n13] Cong.Globe, 39th Cong., 1st Sess., 1033 (1866). Two days later, Bingham posed the following question in support of the resolution:
"Is it not essential to the unity of the people that the citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States? Is it not essential to the unity of the Government and the unity of the people that all persons, whether citizens or strangers, within this land, shall have equal protection in every State in this Union in the rights of life and liberty and property?" Id. at 1090.
Senator Howard, also a member of the Joint Committee of Fifteen, and the floor manager of the Amendment in the Senate, was no less explicit about the broad objectives of the Amendment, and the intention to make its provisions applicable to all who "may happen to be" within the jurisdiction of a State: [p215]
"The last two clauses of the first section of the amendment disable a State from depriving not merely a citizen of the United States, but any person, whoever he may be, of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or from denying to him the equal protection of the laws of the State. This abolishes all class legislation in the States and does away with the injustice of subjecting one caste of persons to a code not applicable to another. . . . It will, if adopted by the States, forever disable every one of them from passing laws trenching upon those fundamental rights and privileges which pertain to citizens of the United States, and to all person who may happen to be within their jurisdiction."
Legislation imposing special disabilities upon groups disfavored
by virtue of circumstances beyond their control suggests the kind of "class
or caste" treatment that the Fourteenth Amendment was designed to abolish.
Dissent: The Equal Protection Clause guarantees similar treatment of similarly situated persons, but it does not mandate a constitutional hierarchy of governmental services.
"The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits states from 'deny[ing] to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.' U.S. Const. amend XIV, § 1." The part before that is good too: "...nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; ..."
So how did the Court find this irrelevant?
Because there are different kinds of rights. There are "fundamental liberty interests", the really important stuff; and then there is just the little piddly stuff that legislatures can trample if they have a logical-sounding reason. (I'm not making this up.)
The list of "fundamental rights" is rather short: "the rights to marry, to have children, to direct the education and upbringing of one's children, to marital privacy, to use contraception, to bodily integrity, and to abortion...[and] the traditional right to refuse unwanted lifesaving medical treatment."
(The plaintiffs would have won had they said they were forced to drive to an abortion clinic without a driver's license. But to give the Court credit, at least they did not declare that "illegals" are not "persons".)
Alongside the "fundamental rights" to die, kill your baby, and share STD's with strangers, the right to travel is just a "little right". When laws restrict "fundamental rights", courts may examine them with "strict scrutiny" to see if they reach "legitimate state interests" with the minimum disturbance of rights. But "little rights" may be freely trampled by lawmakers as long as their laws sound rational!
The Court acknowledged that Iowa Code 321.182(1)(a) is not the least rights-restricting means to a legitimate state purpose. (The example the Court gave was that unauthorized immigrants could have been given a license with a disclaimer saying that proof of citizenship had not
1. Denying driver's licenses to "illegals"
The Iowa Supreme Court (in Sanchez & Doe vs. State of Iowa, Iowa Department of Public Safety, and Iowa Department of Transportation, No. 14 / 04-0176, February 18, 2005)residents of this state, shall enjoy the same rights in respect to the possession, enjoyment and descent of property, as native born citizens.'"
Are "illegals" not "foreigners"? Are those who live here not "residents of this state"? Are the rights to possession and enjoyment of cars and homes not impaired by making it illegal for 24,000 Iowa residents to drive to work?
But the Court specifically declined to rule on whether any of that mattered!
The Court said the plaintiff had not bothered to explain what the right of foreigners residing in Iowa to possess and enjoy property had to do with a law keeping foreign Iowa residents from driving legally and safely to work.
The justices actually had such difficulty seeing the connection between these two thoughts that they said "However, the [concerned Iowans] ... fail to address any specific application of the language of section 22 to this case. ...
Average Iowans may more clearly see the connection between the Constitutional right of all foreigners residing here to possess and enjoy their cars, and a law making it illegal for them to drive their cars. Average Iowans may expect their elected lawmakers to see the connection, too.been presented.) But the Court didn't care! Voters, however, might.
Ia Const says
Jesus nailed the very purpose of law when he asked, rhetorically, when a crippled man would have remained crippled had Jesus obeyed the Sanhedrin's twisted rulings on Sabbath law that prohibited healing on the Sabbath, "Is it lawful to do good..., or to do evil? to save life, or to kill?" (Mark 3:4.)
When Jesus asked this, the Supreme Sanhedrin judges "held their peace". And so must all lawmakers in all times. It is obvious that it is always lawful to do good, and to save life. The only logical purpose of law is to protect doing good, and restrain doing evil. A law whose very purpose is to do harm is a contradiction in terms. To the extent there is public consensus that a law has no good purpose, but causes harm, people do not regard it as legitimate law. They avoid obeying it, and regard, as corrupt threats to the Rule of Law, police and judges who enforce it.
That's why America's founders, who assumed God is the supreme expert on what constitutes Good, quoted Blackstone's declaration that "any law opposed to the laws of God is no law at all." Though Judge Myron Thompson dismissed such a notion in ruling against Judge Roy Moore over the Ten Commandments, our founding fathers considered this a pillar of "the rule of law". According to our forefathers' understanding of "the rule of law", when a law of man requires disobeying God, it is the law of man, and obedience to it, which undermines "the rule of law". Disobeying a legalistic rule of man, in order to obey God in doing good, strengthens the Rule of Law, and only undermines the Rule of Legalism.
(Source for the statement about one of the issues of Judge Moore's trials: Thomas Moore Law Center email, April 11, 2004.)
This is why immigration laws, today, on both sides of the border, against helping the helpless, are serious threats to the Rule of Law and why no one should demand obedience to them. The duty to help the helpless is no small matter. In Christianity, the faith of 84% of Americans, it is the expression of "loving your neighbor as yourself", which is Christianity's Second Greatest Commandment. (Luke 10:27-37, Matthew 22:39.)
Many say any change in immigration law that allows illegals a place in the line for legalization will "reward" them for violating immigration law, which will "undermine the rule of law".
Rewarding lawbreakers? It rewards breakers of the old law, to pass a new law which they aren't breaking? That's like saying no legislature has the right to raise speed limits on freeways because that just rewards those speeders who broke the law before the limits were raised. The fact is, most laws, and revisions of laws, make legal, for some people, what was previously illegal, and no one (except "send 'em South" types) talks about rewarding lawbreakers just because the legislature decided to change a law.
The goal ever before lawmakers OUGHT to be the vision of better laws, not some sophistry about rewarding lawbreakers by "fixing" laws that everyone admits are "broke".
No wonder America is hamstrung with so many laws and regulations today! We always suspected it, but now we know: politicians believe it is some kind of immoral act, if not a crime, to repeal a regulation!
The Rule of Law is not undermined by lawmakers changing a law. That is the only thing lawmakers do. When lawmakers consider raising the speed limit, or lightening a penalty, they do not talk about whether that will "reward" those penalized under the current law. They debate, instead, whether the law itself is right: whether it strikes the right balance between competing interests.
Wouldn't border patrol agents "uphold the law" just as much, if their orders were to interdict hundreds of real drug criminals, but no longer the hundreds of thousands whose "crime" is seeking steady work?
¿No "desatarían" los agentes de la patrulla fronteriza la ley tanto, si sus órdenes fueran atrapar cientos de auténticos criminales, pero no tanto para los cientos de milos cuyo "crimen" es buscar un trabajo estable?
Obeying a normally good law in situations where obedience does harm is not "the rule of law", but "legalism". Speeding laws are normally good, but if a passenger in your car is bleeding profusely, it is not good to obey the speeding law on your way to the hospital. In fact, the Necessity Defense was created for just such situations. It sets aside laws when they interfere with saving life.
Obedeciendo una ley normalmente buena en situaciones en donde la obediencia daña no es "la norma de la ley", sino "legalidad". Las leyes de velocidad son normalmente buenas, pero si un pasajero en su carro está sangrando profusamente, no es bueno obedecerlas durante el camino al hospital. De hecho, la Necesidad de Defensa fue creada para tales situaciones. Las leyes se hacen a un lado cuando interfieren al salvar una vida.
Historical Quotes RE 14th Amendment "jurisdiction"
On June 25, 1997, at the hearing of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims of the Committee on the Judiciary in the House of Representatives. HR 7 was debated, which would have stripped babies born to unauthorized immigrants of any right to U.S. citizenship.
The American Council for Immigration Reform told the 1997 hearing, "In a precedent, powerfully argued and never overturned, the Court ruled that" Elk, born on Indian land but who later lived with non-Indians, and who now wanted to vote, was not automatically a U.S. Citizen even though he was born on land which later turned into the state of Nebraska. He still had to go through the naturalization process and meet its requirements. "Naturalization, the Court further asserted, meant not only formal renunciation of his old allegiance but 'acceptance by the United States of that renunciation....' In effect they ruled that the citizenship of a child at birth depended on the allegiances of the parents. Though Elk's parents had far greater claims than any illegal alien (try deporting an American Indian), their allegiance to their tribe meant that their child was not born a U.S. citizen."
"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. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." -- from the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, passed by Congress June 13, 1866, ratified July 9, 1868.
The Supreme Court case that ruled on Elk's right to vote was Elk v. Wilkins 112 U.S. 94 (1884). The American Council for Immigration Reform's interpretation of the case was countered at the 1997 hearing by Dawn E. Johnson, acting assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice:
Indians born within the territorial limits of the United States, members of, and owing immediate allegiance to, one of the Indian tribes (an alien, though dependent, power), although in a geographical sense born in the United States, are no more 'born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,' within the meaning of the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment, than the children of subjects of any foreign government born within the domain of that government, or the children born within the United States, of ambassadors or other public ministers of foreign nations."
She attacked the view that "jurisdiction" means, not the power which an authority has over you, but your loyalty to the authority:
"Wilkins cannot be interpreted to mean that children born in the United States of aliens are not 'subject to the jurisdiction' of the United States because their parents may owe some allegiance to their own country of birth. Indeed, were the contrary to be true, [if partial allegience to another country prevented a U.S. citizen from being subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S.], dual nationality would be prohibited. Legal and illegal aliens alike simply enjoy no jurisdictional immunities from any laws of the United States as long as they are not part of the diplomatic personnel of a foreign country, and neither do their children. The denial of citizenship to tribal Indians was later corrected by statute."
...."Aliens, in contrast, whether temporary or permanent, legal or illegal, do not enjoy any comparable claim of not being subject to the full jurisdiction of the United States. To the contrary, as the Supreme Court said in Wong Kim Ark, and I quote: ''It can hardly be denied that an alien is completely subject to the political jurisdiction of the country in which he resides ... [and] owes obedience to the laws of that government and may be punished for treason, or other crimes, as a native-born subject might be, unless his case is varied by some treaty stipulations.'' As Wong Kim Ark further explains, the alien's, ''allegiance to the United States is direct and immediate and, although ... continuing only so long as he remains with in our territory, is yet ... strong enough to make a natural subject, for if he has issue here, that issue is a natural-born subject.''
"Thus, in determining whether one is ''subject to the jurisdiction'' of the United States for purposes of the 14th amendment, the relevant question is whether that person owes obedience to the United States, not, as some have suggested, whether the person or his or her parents in fact obeyed or violated U.S. law.
"The Supreme Court's exhaustive analysis in Wong Kim Ark makes clear that the only exceptions to the constitutional rule of birthright citizenship are the three common law exceptions and, the ''single additional exception,'' of children of members of Indian tribes. The 14th amendment guarantees U.S. citizenship to all other children born in the United States."
Congressman Watt, at the 1997 hearing, to quote Senator Conness, one of Howard's contemporaries. Here is the quote, with Congressman Watt's introduction to it:
"For hundreds of years, our nation has subscribed to the common law precept of jus soli, which recognizes that citizenship is based on the place where a person is born. This rule was accepted as the law for our new democracy and ultimately codified in the Fourteenth Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1866. These congressional actions were in response to an anomalous and infamous Supreme Court decision, Dred Scott, which denied citizenship rights to freed slaves.
"In 1866, during Senate debate on the Fourteenth Amendment, one legislator, Senator Conness, proclaimed, ''I voted for the proposition to declare that the children of all parentage whatever, born in California, should be regarded and treated as citizens of the United States, entitled to equal civil rights with other citizens of the United States.'"
A little more history came to the 1997 hearing from Dawn Johnsen, Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ:
"The Civil Rights Act of 1866 provides: '[A]ll persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States.' During the debates on the 1866 Act, the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Representative Wilson, stated that the provision defining citizenship is 'merely declaratory of what the law now is.' He cited, among other authorities, a quotation from William Rawle, whose constitutional law treatise was one of the most widely respected antebellum works: 'Every person born within the United States, its Territories or districts, whether the parents are citizens or aliens, is a natural-born citizen in the sense of the Constitution, and entitled to all the rights and privileges appertaining to that capacity.'"
Still more history from Dawn Johnsen: The framers intended the amendment to resolve not only the status of African Americans and their descendants, but that of members of other alien groups as well. This is reflected in the exchange between Senators Trumbull and Conness, supporters of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and Senator Cowan, a strong opponent of both. Senator Cowan expressed his reluctance to amend the Constitution in such a way as would ''tie the hands'' of the Pacific states ''so as to prevent them from [later] dealing with [the Chinese] as in their wisdom they see fit.'' The supporters of the citizenship clause responded by confirming their intent to constitutionalize the U.S. citizenship of children born in the United States to alien parents:
"Senator Cowan.... 'I am really desirous to have a legal definition of 'citizenship of the United States.' What does it mean? ... Is the child of the Chinese immigrant in California a citizen? Is the child of a gypsy born in Pennsylvania a citizen?'
"Senator Conness.... 'The proposition before us ... relates ... to the children begotten of Chinese parents in California, and it is proposed to declare that they shall be citizens. We have declared that by law; now it is proposed to incorporate the same provision in the fundamental instrument of the nation. I am in favor of doing so.'"
Even Howard's single paragraph by no means makes a clear case for reversing the Supreme Court. Here it is; read it, and see if you can find, in it ,evidence of whether Howard meant babies born here, of unauthorized immigrants, should receive citizenship:
"[E]very person born within the limits [borders] of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons. It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States. This has long been a great desideratum [something needed and wanted] in the jurisprudence and legislation of this country."
(For the record, here is another Howard quote made much less of: "The word 'jurisdiction,' as here employed, ought to be construed so as to imply full and complete jurisdiction on the part of the United States, coextensive in all respects with the constitutional power of the United States, whether exercised by Congress, by the executive, or by the judicial department; that is to say, the same jurisdiction in extent and quality as applies to every citizen of the United States.")
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