Originally published with The New Americana.
I don’t care how you feel about illegal immigration. Whether you want open borders, a wall, mass deportations, path to citizenship, universal amnesty, or whatever else is the last of my concerns right now. What I find most troubling is that amid all the outcry, virtue signaling, and demagoguery “on many sides, on many sides,” disappointingly few seem to be considering the most crucial detail: the Constitution.
Americans’ indifference to the supreme law of the land isn’t unique to immigration reform; we just don’t seem to respect the Constitution, period. You either support the Constitution or you want it overthrown; I belong to the former group, and I would hope that most Americans feel the same. But no matter which portions you would like to amend (I have a few myself), let’s at least honor the law as it currently stands.
I don’t care if you support the programs enacted through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Can we just acknowledge that President Obama had no constitutional authority to legislate them? President Trump has now rescinded DACA and passed the buck to Congress. This is exactly as it should be — under Article I Section 8 of the Constitution, Congress holds jurisdiction over immigration law.
Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) have presented the bipartisan “DREAM Act,” effectively furthering Obama’s agenda in his stead. I think this is terrible policy. But does Congress have the authority to make that call? Absolutely. We can have a discussion about which strategy is in our country’s best interests, but there’s no denying that if Congress passes legislation like this, at least they did so legally.
And that is our country’s best interest: upholding the constitutional republican process. Respecting order and the rule of law. As Barry Goldwater said, “I was informed that [the people’s] main interest was liberty, and…in that cause I am doing the very best I can.”
Like I said, this applies to any political issue:
I don’t care how you feel about birthright citizenship. But can we accept the author of the 14th Amendment’s statement that birthright citizenship isn’t awarded to immigrants, aliens, and other non-nationals under the Constitution? Add an amendment by all means, but let’s not pretend the Constitution says something it doesn’t.
I don’t care how you feel about judicial review. Maybe it’s a good idea. But can we recognize that it’s not in the Constitution? Hamilton argued for it in The Federalist Papers, particularly #78, but the Founders didn’t end up supporting him. Honestly, I can see the argument. Maybe we need an amendment; maybe Congress can’t be trusted to honor the Constitution. But are we any better if we keep misrepresenting the powers granted to the judiciary?
I would love to have a conversation about abortion, civil rights, healthcare, and education. But can we first acknowledge that the Founders specifically outlawed abortion under the Constitution and that the other three powers aren’t afforded to the federal government at all? Let’s talk about it. Maybe we should amend something, maybe not. But talking about it is useless if we can’t respect the caveat that the Constitution must be upheld.
It’s one thing to philosophize about what the Constitution should be. It’s quite another to accept what it actually is.
I don’t care where you stand on these issues. Let’s just get power back to where it’s legally supposed to be, then we can talk.