Let’s be honest: this presidential administration is doing nothing to fight the illegal immigration problem. In fact, daily we are spoonfed bits of information from the media revealing NEW ways the “Biden Crime Syndicate” are breaking immigration laws and thumbing their noses at the American citizens who in the hundreds of thousands are working on their own to pushback against the lawbreakers flooding across our border.
Let’s be clear: not all who come here are criminals. We don’t have any desire to denigrate these immigrants, many of whom are honestly trying to find better living conditions for their families. But many of them have criminal records — often from committing felonies — before they get here. In fact, many have U.S. criminal records from previous trips across our border in which they committed crimes and were arrested and deported.
Here’s the conundrum for Americans that elevates in intensity daily: “Illegal” means “Illegal.” That means ALL who enter the U.S. without permission to do so (pursuant to federal law) is considered, by the law, an “Illegal Alien,” not “Illegal Immigrant.”
Why do we use the term “Illegal Alien?” Because that is the language used in federal immigration laws governing immigration. Democrats a few years ago changed the terminology to “Illegal Immigrant” to make American citizens feel warm and fuzzy about those whose very entry without doing so within U.S. immigration policy are breaking laws and are therefore technically “Criminals.” (That may not be politically correct, but it IS correct: it’s the law!)
Why do our federal law enforcement officials not stop illegal immigration? Why don’t they go after illegal alien lawbreakers like they do domestic criminals?
That’s the question of the day. I can (and will) answer that. But the answer is NOT a comfortable one and doesn’t justify the allowing of illegal alien crossings.
First, what does federal law say about illegals entering the country?
8 U.S. Code § 1325: (a) Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection; misrepresentation and concealment of facts
Any alien who (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
In other words, anyone entering the country somewhere besides ports of entry, by lying or cheating about purposes for coming, hiding their identities, or concealing other facts are considered to be breaking the law.
Secondly, what does federal law say about those who assist illegals entering the country?
8 U.S. Code § 1323 – Unlawful bringing of aliens into the United States
The bottom line is this: it’s illegal to enter the country illegally; it’s illegal to assist someone to enter the country illegally.
There’s one more entry on the “bottom line:” that little thing — an “oath” — that’s sworn by every elected public servant and by most appointed political public service that says:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
In other words, they each swore an oath to protect that Constitution “thing:” The Rule of Law. And the Biden Administration and most of the Democrats in Congress are NOT abiding by their sworn oaths.
What Can U.S. Citizens Do About the Government Lawlessness in Illegal Immigration?
It is “well settled,” says the U.S. Supreme Court, that it is the federal government, not state governments, that “has broad, undoubted power over the subject of immigration and the status of aliens.”Arizona v. U.S., 567 U.S. 387, 394 (2012).
But the “pervasiveness of federal regulation does not diminish the importance of immigration policy to the States,” which bear the many “consequences of unlawful immigration.”
States can legislate and act in this space to a limited — but crucial — extent as long as their actions are not preempted by federal law. For example, states can pass licensing and similar laws directed at those who employ, recruit or refer for a fee illegal aliens. There is no doubt, given the enormity of the problem and the limited resources of the federal government, that the assistance and support of the states is essential to comprehensive and effective enforcement of our immigration laws.
The federal government, despite its vast financial resources and expansive workforce, simply does not have the manpower to enforce every federal immigration law. That is where the states come in, as they are force multipliers in confronting the problem — and no one can rationally deny that we have an illegal alien problem in this country.
What States Can Do
What follows is a list of the major types of laws that states have passed to enforce immigration law at the state level, and a discussion about how they work, and why they make common sense.
Require Licensed Businesses to Use E-Verify. One of the major driving forces behind illegal immigration is our economy and the ability to earn money. That is where the term “economic migrants” stems from. Aliens from less prosperous areas of the world want to take advantage of our thriving economy and high standard of living. Aliens in the U.S. send over $54 billion per year back to their native countries. Mexico receives the most remittances, over $24 billion in 2015, making up 2 percent of the nation’s economy and nearly 20 percent of income in the poorest parts of the country.
But illegal aliens are not authorized to work for businesses in the United States. That is one of the major differences between being an illegal alien and a lawful permanent resident (LPR, or “green card” holder). The former are prohibited from working; the latter can be employed, just like American citizens. But as is obvious, many illegal aliens are working in the United States. Where else would the remittances come from?
States can pass laws that make it more difficult for illegal aliens to work, hold jobs, and earn salaries by considering requiring businesses, which are licensed by the state, to use E-Verify.
Target Businesses Who Knowingly Hire Illegal Aliens. The other aspect of the Arizona law that was upheld by the Supreme Court, above and beyond the use of E-Verify, is the part that provides that the license of a business can be suspended or revoked by the state if an employer “knowingly” hires an illegal alien. Willful ignorance of immigration status by businesses happens all too often.
Pass Vehicle Laws Aimed at Thwarting Day Labor. One obvious outward sign of aliens who are in the country illegally is the proliferation of day laborers. llegal immigrants choose the day-labor route precisely because it avoids official work verification tools, such as E-Verify.
The Arizona legislature decided to do something about the day laborer phenomenon by passing three criminal laws aimed at this practice. None of those laws were preempted by federal law, and none has been struck down by the courts, so each is available for states to pass. In general, the Arizona vehicle law makes it unlawful to hire or pick up passengers for work under certain circumstances:
Under the first provision is a state law crime for the occupant of a motor vehicle that is stopped on a street to attempt to hire or hire and pick up passengers for work at a different location if the motor vehicle blocks or impedes the normal movement of traffic.
- Notice that the statute does not mention the word immigration at all, and applies to legal and illegal immigrants alike, as well as citizens. It also applies to the “occupant,” which would include both the driver and non-driver occupants in the vehicle.
- The second provision is focused on the day laborer. It is unlawful for a person to enter a motor vehicle that is stopped on a street, roadway, or highway in order to be hired by an occupant of the motor vehicle and transported to a different location if the motor vehicle blocks or impedes the normal movement of traffic.
- The third provision applies to illegal aliens. The statute reads: “It is unlawful for a person who is unlawfully present in the United States and who is an unauthorized alien to knowingly apply for work, solicit work in a public place or perform work as an employee or independent contractor in Arizona.”
Each of these provisions was part of the controversial and much larger Arizona statute called the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, or as it came to be known, Arizona S.B. 1070 (S.B. because it was passed in Senate Bill 1070).
The Obama Administration sued the State of Arizona, challenging many provisions of S.B. 1070, claiming that they were unconstitutional, and moved for an injunction to prevent Arizona from enforcing the statute. The Obama Administration did not seek to enjoin the first two sections. The district court refused to enjoin the entire act, and instead evaluated the constitutionality of individual provisions.
Require State and Local Law Enforcement to Determine Immigration Status. In 2012, the Supreme Court upheld another section of Arizona S.B. 1070, which required state and local law enforcement officials to make a “reasonable” attempt to determine the immigration status of any person they stop, detain, or arrest if “reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien and is unlawfully present in the United States.”
Any person arrested “shall have the person’s immigration status determined before the person is released.” But officers may not consider “race, color or national origin…except to the extent permitted by the United States [and] Arizona Constitution[s].
State legislatures can require law enforcement officers to verify the citizenship status of anyone who is stopped, detained, or arrested on state and local matters. Moreover, “no formal agreement or special training needs to be in place for state officials to ‘communicate with the [Federal Government] regarding the immigration status of any individual, including reporting knowledge that a particular alien is not lawfully present in the United States.”
Prevent Sanctuary Policies in Counties and Cities. We have discussed this extensively. States have the authority to pass legislation preventing any municipality of any kind from creating Sanctuary status.
Empower Legal Residents to Sue Officials Who Thwart Immigration Law Enforcement. Another provision of Arizona’s law that was upheld is a prohibition on local officials implementing any policy that limits the enforcement of federal immigration laws.
U.S. v. Arizona, 703 F.Supp.2d 980 (D. Ariz. 2010). This provision was upheld by the federal district court, and the U.S. Justice Department did not appeal that particular holding, nor a number of other holdings in that decision.
This statute allows any legal resident of Arizona to bring an action in court against any official who adopts or implements such a policy—and provides for the recovery of attorneys’ fees and costs if he or she prevails. A violation is also punishable by a civil penalty of up to $5,000 a day “for each day that the policy has remained in effect” after the lawsuit is filed.
Pass Laws Making It a Crime to Transport, Conceal, or Induce an Alien
Make It Illegal to Provide Illegal Aliens Licenses, Automobile Plates, or In-State Tuition
Publish Crimes Committed by Aliens
The bottom line is simple: the Federal Government is NOT acting to stem the flood of illegal aliens into the U.S. But states have numerous rights AND the responsibility to pass laws that have already been tested at the Supreme Court as valid that can help do just that!
Though the Constitution is clear that immigration law and enforcement are chiefly the responsibility of the federal government, every state has the legal right to attack their own individual illegal immigration problems in the ways detailed above.
EVERY State — including YOUR state — should be abiding by the oaths of office each legislator and governor swore and craft ways to protect YOU from the ills of ALL criminal actions to first prevent them from occurring. Then, of course, offenders need to be held accountable under the law for their abuses.
The only way this can happen is if YOU engage personally in this process. It starts with “You,” then to someone with whom you share your concerns regarding this and who will commit to working to get YOUR state engaged in fixing these problems.
Don’t say it cannot be done! It has already been done. It’s not necessarily easy and takes much work. But it is a job in which we ALL must engage!