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The Federal Government Verses The Border States

Written by | July 8th, 2010

As with many Americans, I have been thinking about Arizona, our borders, our immigration laws, and how this all relates to our most treasured, and necessary, United States Constitution.

Undoubtedly, for many years, under several administrations, and spanning both parties, there has been a failure to effectively secure our borders. Sadly, like many other things that are wrong in our country, failure to secure our borders is greatly due to political posturing; as opposed to doing what is morally, and judiciously, right for The American people. Most Americans would agree, our borders need to be secured, once and for all! And failure to have done so, after 911, is truly reprehensible!

Before proceeding, it is important to note: Article 1, Section 8 of The United States Constitution, gives Congress the explicit power to create the “uniform” naturalization laws of The United States: “To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws…” 
It is also important to know Article 6, which is often referred to as The Supremacy Clause:
“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any state to the Contrary notwithstanding.”  
From what I understand, The Supremacy Clause basically instructs, that any powers explicitly given to Congress, in Article 1, Section 8 of  The United States Constitution, has supremacy over state laws; and no state laws can be made that would conflict with, contradict, or obstruct a federal law. Often, that begs a much larger question as to what powers are explicitly federal, and which are not. That question goes beyond the scope of this post, and is a question that has been asked, and debated, since the days of our founders. For the sake of this post, it is pretty clear, the responsibility to create laws of immigration, were given, explicitly, to The Federal Government, by our founders.  
That being said, the polls are showing that most Americans do support Arizona’s SB1070 law, because we can see the chaos taking place on their southern border; and The Federal Governments’ failure to protect U.S. citizens from the harm that appears to be spilling over from Mexico. Therefore, if The Federal Government can not, or will not, protect the lives of United States’ citizens, most reasonable people would conclude, The Governor of Arizona, and the local officials, have a responsibility to protect their citizens. 
As far as SB1070 is concerned, it is very sad that our Federal Government would sue any fellow state; however, it is good that the court system can adjudicate the laws’ constitutionality. Therefore, until the courts make a ruling on SB1070, none of us know how this law will proceed forward. That being said, I am left with a few questions that I hope will be considered in the courtroom: 
1. Sovereign states, of course, have a right, and a necessity to protect their border and their citizens from any violence that may penetrate their borders. With that in mind, let’s suppose this was the east coast of New Jersey, or the southern coast of Florida, and hostile forces, from other countries, and via The Atlantic Ocean, were to attack our shores: would New Jersey or Florida have the right to take up arms and defend themselves from such incursions? Or, would they have to passively watch innocent citizens being injured or killed, while The Federal Government, casually, decides what to do? Unfortunately, it appears, such cases are not so cut and dry, as there appears to be, in such cases, a shared jurisdiction between the respective state and The Federal Government. (clarified) 
2. If The Federal Government, or more specifically, The Obama Administration, is calling into question a states’ right to mirror federal law, or to create a law to further protect themselves, then how can this administration explain the numerous, so-called sanctuary cities that other legislations have put into place around the country? Wouldn’t such laws also be in violation of federal law, if in fact, The Supremacy Clause does give The Federal Government sole authority over any and all immigration laws? Not to mention, according to The Constitution, all laws of naturalization are to be “uniform.”  
Lastly, I noticed, The Constitution makes no mention of the enforcement of immigration laws; therefore, unless otherwise stated, would there be any problem if a state were to merely enforce the federal laws that are currently in place? In fact, I think most of us would agree, that is what a prudent state would do. 
Whatever the case, there is no doubt, Arizona has a very valid and desperate situation on their hands, and The Federal Government needs to do more to protect the good citizens of that state. The absence of any viable solution, will only lead to further such laws, and perhaps, even militias of ordinary citizens stepping up and doing what is necessary to protect themselves and their families… which, at some point, may be necessary! 
Let’s pray a viable solution is found… And please pray for the good people of Arizona! They are fellow citizens, and they deserve our support! 

Further reading:
Supreme Court and lower Federal Court interpretations of The Supremacy Clause

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One thought on “The Federal Government Verses The Border States

  1. Barbara Ann

    Regardless of how this whole law suit plays out, I think it is fair to say that, SOMEHOW our borders must be protected. I also note that The Obama Administration, who seem to believe in open borders, have NOT opened the border to Canada. Could that be because Canadians would not be potential future voters??


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