Guest Blog by: Jack Keller
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It was the Fourth of July and I was blurfing (blog surfing), skimming entries quickly to cover as much ground as I could while time permitted. Suddenly, I was stopped by the following:
“A new fever is sweeping across the country, a divisive, toxic reaction to the presence of undocumented, unauthorized workers among our ranks. Arizona and Texas are just two of the states promoting draconian legislative solutions to the strangers in our midst, their governors falling over themselves to formulate the most un-American rhetoric.”
I watch and read the news carefully, but do not find the rhetoric of the two governors to be “most un-American.” In fact, Governor Rick Perry of Texas has stated that Arizona’s tough new illegal immigration enforcement law would not be right for Texas. He further supported the state’s long-held tradition of rejecting harsh anti-immigrant policies. Of course, you’d have to visit Fox News to learn this as none of the liberal media wonks seem interested in reporting the truth. So I ask, where is the un-Americanism in Governor Perry’s rhetoric?
As for Arizona, the state simply enacted legislation requiring state, county and local law enforcers to enforce existing Federal immigration laws. I see nothing draconian about that.
In fact, it should be instructive that on this, the 234th anniversary of our Declaration of Independence, we turn to the very text of that august document and read the very beginning of a long list of charges against King George III that were cited by our Founding Fathers as justifying the separation of the 13 colonies from Great Britain:
“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
“He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.”
“He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.”
In the first two grievances cited above, replace the word “He” with “The Federal Government” and you arrive at the crux of the problem today. There are Federal laws on the books. The Federal Government is not enforcing these laws, although it is duty bound by the to do so by Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution of the United States:
“Section 4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”
Further, the Obama administration is not only not enforcing the existing Federal laws, it is preparing to file litigation to stop Arizona from enforcing its law to enforce Federal law. How “American” is that?
Those who criticize Arizona’s law the loudest are the first to admit they haven’t read the short, 16-page law. Arizona’s law begins:
“A. No official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state may adopt a policy that limits or restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law.
“B. For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person. The person’s immigration status shall be verified with the federal government pursuant to 8 United States Code Section 1373(c).
“C. If an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States is convicted of a violation of state or local law, on discharge from imprisonment or assessment of any fine that is imposed, the alien shall be transferred immediately to the custody of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement or the United States Customs and Border Protection.”
I see nothing draconian about these provisions, which demand no more nor no less than what existing Federal laws already demand. Indeed, I think the Founding Fathers would most certainly be on the side of Arizona and would describe the inactions of the Federal Government to enforce its own laws as falling under the first grievance against King George III. Further, they would almost certainly find the attempt by President Obama and his administration to contest Arizona’s law as falling under the second cited grievance against King George III.
One could well argue that by refusing to enforce laws that protect the sovereignty of the national and state border, the Federal Government is abdicating an important aspect of government. The people who would be protected by the laws the Federal Government refuses to enforce are therefore, through the malfeasance by design, placed outside the protection of the law to which they are entitled. Further, by litigating against the state the Federal Government is litigating against its own citizens. This is paramount to legal warfare. Consider the Founders’ 23rd grievance against their King as listed in the Declaration of Independence:
“He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.”
As previously noted, Arizona’s law is only 16 pages long, and half of that quotes already existing Arizona law and simply inserts the provisions to enforce the applicable Federal law. Compare this measly bill, which anyone can read in 8-12 minutes, with the 1900- to 2700-page monstrosities that are called to vote in the middle of the night by Madame Pelosi before anyone can even read them.
I wrote the author of the offending blog that sparked this discussion. I essentially stated the arguments above. I repeat them here to gain a readership greater than one.
Note to Reader: The opinions expressed in this blog article do not necessarily represent the opinion(s) of Tessler. They are the author’s own viewpoint.
[Jack previously published "Its Time for a 28th Amendment" on ProgressiveThinker.com on February 18, 2010]