By Jon Dougherty, editor-in-chief
As the partial government shutdown stretches into its fifth week and Democratic leaders continue to refuse even to sit down with President Donald Trump an immigration and border wall funding compromise he offered a week ago, it occurred to me that this isn’t POTUS’ biggest border security issue or even his biggest immigration issue.
Article IV, Paragraph 2 of the Constitution is generally referred to as the “Supremacy Clause.” According to the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School, when we say, ‘The Constitution is the law of the land,’ that is more than just hyperbole:
It establishes that the federal constitution, and federal law generally, take precedence over state laws, and even state constitutions. It prohibits states from interfering with the federal government’s exercise of its constitutional powers, and from assuming any functions that are exclusively entrusted to the federal government. It does not, however, allow the federal government to review or veto state laws before they take effect.
It would be nice if more federal judges read and, importantly, followed that mandate, but when judicial activism gets in the way of constitutional interpretation, we get rulings contrary to Article IV, Paragraph 2. But this is why putting constitutionalists on the Supreme Court is all-important.
In any event, contrary to rulings at the liberal 9th Circuit Court and despite the positions taken by Democratic city and state officials around the country, the establishment of “no immigration law enforcement zones” is illegal, period, and no amount of screaming, yelling, or courtroom virtue signaling can change that.
The federal government — yes, Sacramento and New York City, including the Trump administration — reigns supreme when it comes to immigration. President Obama had the same authority, he just chose not to use it.
The Institute on the Constitution explains this further:
The word “immigration” does not appear in the U.S. Constitution or any of its Amendments. Article I, Section 8, Clause 4 does read, “… To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, …”. The 14th Amendment, Section 1 addresses the protection of “All persons born or naturalized in the United States,…” which extended citizenship through the States to the former slaves. The rules of immigration were reserved to the States through the 10th Amendment until the first Federal law was enacted in 1875. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the following year that immigration regulation was an exclusive Federal responsibility.
Congress established the Immigration Service in 1891, which was the first time the Federal government took an active role. Congress enacted additional quota systems after World War I in the years 1921 and 1924. The laws remained largely unchanged until the passage of the “The Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of 1965.” Changes to admittance were made again in 1976 and 1978. “The Immigration Act of 1990″ added a category of admission based on diversity and increased the worldwide immigration ceiling.
“The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986” addressed unauthorized immigration creating two amnesty programs “legalizing” about 2.7 million people who illegally entered the country. Because illegal immigration remained a problem, “The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996” was passed to provide greater controls on the borders and reduced benefits. The last change occurred with “The Homeland Security Act of 2002” which now has consolidated authority for border protection, naturalization, customs and immigration.
So it seems clear that the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause combined with duly-passed and enacted legislation gives the federal government — not East and West Coast city governments — the exclusive power to regulate and enforce all immigration statutes.
And yet, at this very moment in time, scores of American cities and at least one state are in open defiance of federal law. You could say open rebellion. And at any other point in our history, we would call this what it is: Insurrection.
Because of Left-wing militant advocacy over the issue immigration and open borders, all Americans — not just Democrats — are being harmed or put at risk of harm. There is hardly a day that goes by when we don’t see a headline pertaining to a crime committed by an illegal alien, very often in cities where local officials have declared themselves above the law.
Upon taking office, the president took a sworn oath to enforce all laws of the United States, to protect all Americans, and to defend against insurrection. Under Article I, Section 8, Clause 15, Congress has the authority “to provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.”
But the president has emergency powers too, thanks to duly passed and enacted laws (the Supremacy Clause) and is commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
POTUS Trump has threatened in recent weeks to declare a national emergency in order to secure funding to build key sections of border wall or border fence. Border Patrol officials have saidtime and again that such barriers are needed to help staunch the flow of illegal crossings, drug smuggling, and other crime associated with border lawlessness.
Mexico’s new president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has offered some assistance in combatting illegal immigration into the U.S., but as a new migrant caravan is now making its way through Mexico, it’s hard to take him seriously. And besides, our border security isn’t necessarily his problem.
As obstructionist Democrats continue posturing for their Leftist buddies in the mainstream media, all the while content to allow Americans to continue being killed, harmed, and abused by illegal immigrants and their sanctuary city allies, it’s become obvious the president must act:
— He should declare a national emergency as he has threatened to do, bypassing Democratic obstructionists, so he can begin making good on his pledge and his oath to protect and defend our country and our people;
— He should have his Justice Department sent letters to every single state legislature warning them that unless they act against local officials and reverse sanctuary city policies, he will declare those jurisdictions to be in rebellion/insurrection (he must use these words) and then take appropriate enforcement measures aimed at holding local officials legally liable (as in arresting them), while he instructs federal agents and immigration officials to begin enforcing all immigration laws — with the backing of the U.S. military if states and cities actively resist.
Extreme? The Left will say so. But tens of millions of Americans, especially those harmed by illegal immigration in some way or another, will counter by saying that sanctuary cities are extreme; rebellion against the supremacy of federal law is extreme; insurrection against the rule of law is extreme.
The longer this rebellious behavior is permitted, the more it will spread — to other areas of federal law (like ‘legalizing’ pot though it remains against federal law — a subject for another day).
It’s become glaringly obvious that POTUS Trump is the only commander-in-chief who has come along in decades with the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the militant Left and its rebellious factions who openly flout federal immigration laws to further their political objectives.
Either this gets handled now, or it will continue to fester like an open wound until the infectious nature of insurrection spreads throughout the body politic and Washington loses all ability to govern.
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