Immigration, and the Unconstitutional President
By Douglas V. Gibbs
Thanks to the Democrat Party, racial politics has become a full blown weapon. As deconstructionists, who wish to show America as being a racist nation so that they may better be able to put into place their own liberal agenda, the image of Trayvon Martin laying on the ground with a bullet in him has created a racial divide that is doing wonders for the liberal left agenda. As race hustlers, who have made that case much larger for their own agenda, it is inevitable that the effects of the case will spill over into other issues, such as immigration.
Racial politics is a very destructive weapon, and the opponents of the U.S. Constitution are doing whatever they can to create an environment of rage in relation to race in America. The “race card” tool is also one that the Left is using in regards to illegal immigration. The issue of immigration, however, has little to do about immigration with these people as much as it has to do with changing America at its foundation, adding new voters to their cause, and betraying the Constitution of the United States.
One only needs to travel through the text along the pages of the Law of the Land to recognize how unconstitutional the push for amnesty truly is. From the Preamble to the Fourteenth Amendment, we find that the liberal left’s angle on this issue places in danger our national security, the sacrosanct nature of citizenship, and the importance of the rule of law. Though the word “immigration” is not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution, the issue exists throughout the pages of that document.
The need for a Constitution was realized when Shays’ Rebellion proved that the United States Government was not strong enough to protect the union. When Revolutionary War veterans blocked the steps of courthouses over financial troubles that grew while they were serving the new nation, the government under the Articles of Confederation were unable to quell the insurrection. It took the merchants in Boston putting together a mercenary force to resolve the problem. Through the States needed to protect their State Sovereignty by ensuring the central government was limited, the new country also needed a government strong enough to dispatch the necessary options for protecting the union, and ultimately the sovereign States.
We the People, through our States not only wished for a more perfect union, but one that followed the rule of law, existed with domestic tranquility, and was defended against external enemies, be they military invaders, or invaders of another kind.
In Article I, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, the United States Congress is granted the legislative powers of the United States Government. This means the federal power to make law, modify law, or repeal law rests in the halls of Congress. The concept of “Separation of Powers” means that no other branch has this power, meaning they cannot act legislatively from a constitutional point of view. What this means is that all Executive Orders that creates law, modifies law, or refuses to enforce law, are unconstitutional. When Barack Obama signed executive orders putting in place the Dream Act, for example, it was against the Constitution, which is the law of the land. . . which makes his executive actions that attempt to legislate illegal, and void.
The current democrat president’s way around this issue has also been to refuse to enforce immigration laws that are on the books – and action that is once again unconstitutional. Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution states that the president “shall take care the Laws be faithfully executed.” Enforcing current immigration laws are important because, as it states in Article IV, Section 4, the federal government is tasked with guaranteeing that each of the States are protected against invasion.
Originally, the States had full authority over immigration. They decided for themselves who they would allow in, and who they would prohibit. The goal was to attract immigrants that were more beneficial to the State’s growth, while also ensuring that the immigrants desired to be fully loyal to their new home.
Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution inserted the federal government into immigration by enabling Congress to pass laws prohibiting who could migrate into the States. It is important to note that the clause does not enable Congress to dictate to the States who they have to accept.
In the lawsuit by the federal government against the Arizona immigration law, the federal government was not only trying to stop the State of Arizona from enforcing immigration laws on the books, but to force Arizona to accept illegal aliens that the law says are unlawfully in their State. In the process of filing the court case the Department of Justice went against the Constitution by filing the case in one of the inferior federal courts. Article III, Section 2 is clear, “all Cases. . . in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction.” In other words, Eric Holder should have filed the case directly with the Supreme Court of the United States, for that was the only court that had the jurisdiction to hear that case.
Even the idea that anchor babies are citizens just because they were born on American soil is unconstitutional, and in direct violation of the original intent of the Founding Fathers when they formed our federal government through the writing of the Constitution.
The American Revolution was only supported by a third of the population. The second third was ambivalent, unconcerned over who won the war, as long as their lives continued on no different after it was all over. The final third of America’s population were against the push for independence, and considered themselves to be loyal to the British Crown. As far as they were concerned, those that supported independence from Great Britain were traitors to the Crown. After the war ended, most of the “Tories” went to Great Britain, unwilling to live in a place that had broken ties with Mother England, and unwilling to live in a place where they could become targets because of their attitudes against American independence. Not all loyalists went to Britain. Many of them remained in the United States, and it was because of these people that the importance of “full allegiance” to the United States resided in the minds of the Founding Fathers. As far as the founders were concerned, there could be no divided loyalty. Even a hundred years after the Revolutionary War, President Theodore Roosevelt understood the importance of full allegiance to the United States:
“Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language … and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.” — Theodore Roosevelt, 1919.
Despite the defeat of the Confederacy in the American Civil War, after hostilities ended the emancipated slaves were not receiving the rights and privileges of American citizens as they should have been. The former slaves were present in the United States “legally,” and because they were here legally they were “subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” but they were still not receiving any assurance of equal protection under the law.
The Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, written primarily by Senators Howard and Trumbull, aimed to ensure the emancipated slaves, and their children, received citizenship, while also guarding against divided allegiances as intended by the founders. Therefore, the language used is very specific.
“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.”
The term “subject to the jurisdiction, thereof,” is the key, here. If you go to the debates on the congressional record of the 14th Amendment, “full jurisdiction” means in part “full allegiance to America.”
Since illegal aliens are not subject to the complete jurisdiction of the United States, their children born in the U.S. are not automatically American citizens.
Michigan Senator Jacob Howard, one of two principal authors of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment (the Citizenship Clause), noted that its provision, “subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” excluded American Indians who had tribal nationalities, and “persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers.”
Mr. HOWARD: I now move to take up House joint resolution No. 127.
The motion was agreed to; and the Senate, as in Committee of the Whole, resumed the consideration of the joint resolution (H.R. No. 127) proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
The first amendment is to section one, declaring that all “persons born in the United States and Subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the States wherein they reside. I do not propose to say anything on that subject except that the question of citizenship has been fully discussed in this body as not to need any further elucidation, in my opinion. This amendment which I have offered is simply declaratory of what I regard as the law of the land already, that every person born within the limits 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 in the jurisprudence and legislation of this country.
He even went out of his way to indicate that children born on American soil of foreign citizens are not included.
Clearly, the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment had no intention of freely giving away American citizenship to just anyone simply because they may have been born on American soil.
The second author of the Citizenship Clause, Illinois Senator Lyman Trumbull, added that “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States” meant “not owing allegiance to anybody else.”
The full quote by Senator Trumbull reads:
“The provision is, that ‘all persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens.’ That means ‘subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof.’ What do we mean by ‘complete jurisdiction thereof?’ Not owing allegiance to anybody else. That is what it means.”
Trumbull continues, “Can you sue a Navajo Indian in court? Are they in any sense subject to the complete jurisdiction of the United States? By no means. We make treaties with them, and therefore they are not subject to our jurisdiction. If they were, we wouldn’t make treaties with them…It is only those persons who come completely within our jurisdiction, who are subject to our laws, that we think of making citizens; and there can be no objection to the proposition that such persons should be citizens.”
Senator Howard concurred with what Mr. Trumbull had to say:
“Mr. HOWARD: I concur entirely with the honorable Senator from Illinois [Trumbull], in holding that the word ‘jurisdiction,’ as here employed, ought to be construed so as to imply a full and complete jurisdiction on the part 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 now.”
Based on these explanations by the writers of the clause, then, it is understood that the intention was for those who are not born to American citizens to have no birthright to citizenship just because they simply were born inside the borders of this country.
Then there is amnesty, the elephant in the room of all immigration debates. Not only does it conflict with all of the other constitutional concepts we have been discussing in this article, but it also flies in the face of Article I, Section 9, Clause 3, which prohibits the federal government from passing ex post facto law (retroactive law). Amnesty makes previously illegal behavior retroactively legal, which is directly in opposition to the Constitution.
What we have here is an unconstitutional president, pushing unconstitutional immigration actions in an unconstitutional manner. . . and to make sure you disregard the illegality of his actions, he is creating a racial divide in this country, and will accuse any opposition to his unconstitutional immigration policies as being racist against the illegal aliens.
We must all be active in the fight.
Douglas V. Gibbs
Doug is a longtime Internet radio host, conservative political activist, writer and commentator; he is the host of Constitution Radio and teaches weekly classes on the Constitution in Southern California. Follow him @douglasvgibbs.