On social media a friend has asked:
“Is the City of San Francisco acting within the US Constitution when it refuses to turn over an illegal to the Feds? I’m not endorsing their actions… just pondering states rights.”
I try to approach these difficult issues by asking two questions:
1. Is the law just? (“Everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.” –MLK)
2. Who has jurisdiction?
On the first point, I find immigration law unjust and a violation of the individual right to freedom of association, which a just government must uphold. Without the freedom of association guaranteed in the First Amendment, then free markets, property rights, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are being encroached.
As for the second point, we refer to the U.S. Constitution and the eighteen enumerated clauses found in Article 1, Section 8. There is no mention of immigration. Therefore, a State’s rights issue. We don’t see immigration law in the United States until the post-war economic decline of the 1870s when labor unions first used the law to eliminate competition coming from Chinese immigrants.
These things become difficult because we have become progressive and turned away from “the laws of nature and Nature’s God.” We have exchanged natural law for progressive law.
Law was meant to be understood by the common man. That’s what trial by jury was about — leaving the administration of law to the common man, allowing him to make judgements on the law, not just on the accused.
“It is not only [the juror’s] right, but his duty…to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court.” –John Adams
When I quoted Adams in a Federal Court during voir dire, it generated an immediate meeting of both groups of attorneys at the corner of the Judge’s bench. I was summarily dismissed.
Just law is meant to operate for the benefit of the victim (such as San Francisco’s Kate Steinle, pictured above), not the collective or State. See restitution. The departure from this standard has resulted in crowded jails, release of criminals and higher taxes. Ideas have consequences.
In the Bible we see a group of men, the Pharisees, who corrupted God’s law and were confronted by Christ for their error.
We have done to our law as the Pharisee did in the time of Christ, made it difficult and burdensome. Law should be about restitution and restoring the victim. That is what Biblical law is all about. The State wasn’t encroached upon in San Francisco, Kate Steinle was. Her family was.
Murder falls under the jurisdiction of the State, not the Federal government. Our highest court made the same mistake with abortion, where State laws had previously been in place against murder and defending one of weakest minorities, the unborn.
Sanctuary Cities: The immigration status of an individual is immaterial to me. All men are equals under the law. I believe there is adequate evidence to support the contention that immigrants are not only less criminal but also less likely to abuse welfare than the status quo.
Of course, if we took our eyes off immigrants we would have to focus on the real problem, the “welfare state” and an economy that has “no room” for them. That would force Americans to confront their lawmaker who has repeatedly violated these ideals. That would force Americans to confess conservatism, the conserving of our great ideas about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Alas, it’s easier to focus on the immigrant.
Eric Andersen is a member of the Central Committee of the San Diego County Republican Party and Co-Founder of the Republican Liberty Caucus of San Diego County. He is a Co-Founder of im2moro.com, former Rock Church Citizen of the Year and former Caucus Chair for the 71st Assembly District.