Saturday, May 8, 2010


While watching the hyperventilating over the Arizona law I was struck by the fact that if I lived in one of the four border states (California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas) affected most by illegal immigration, I would really want to sue the federal government. Too bad you can't sue the federal government very easily. The 1946 Federal Tort Claims Act, allows individuals to sue the federal government, but the doctrine of "sovereign immunity" is a tough nut to crack.

That said, let's dream. The four border states have been abandoned by the federal government which has abdicated its responsibility to secure the borders of the United States. This has gone on for over 30 years through the presidencies of Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Obama. I would submit that the federal government has failed in its duty to protect the security of the United States and it has done so for decades.

I have read the new law and I invite you to do the same. It mirrors the federal law and I invite you to read both.

It is my contention that Arizona passed the law in self defense. There is historical context for states taking the enforcement of laws into its own hands. The progressives, one of the most destructive forces ever unleashed on the country, understood this concept and most of the reforms were implemented by state and municipal governments rather than at the federal level. Laws against child labor, recall of candidates, referendum, and initiative are but a few. This blizzard of "reform" shows the necessity of local control over government. While some of the progressive agenda was well-crafted and needed, some was checked at the door and kept us from more harm than these progressives could have inflicted.

Once again, this fits into my narrative that federal government was purposely kept small and relatively weak in the constitution for a very good reason. The founders got it that the federal government is not able to understand the effects of its laws as it relates to state and local governments.

The states and local governments should be able to override most of the federal laws as it applies to their jurisdictions. While the supremacy clause may be brandished to back-up some arguments to the contrary, that argues even more emphatically for the federal government to limit its reach to that enumerated in the constitution.

The federal government has and continues to be nearly unchecked in its exercise of power over the states. Most appallingly, the federal government often resorts to monetary blackmail to implement laws that do little to enhance the life of its citizens.

After all, wasn't the American Revolution the ultimate statement of a people striving to gain local control over their lives? While their ruler was an ocean away, ours is, by their deaf ear, light years away.


tnlib said...

When you talk about the federal government, are you talking about Congress? In this case, that's where the problem is.

In 2005 (maybe 2007), Kennedy and McCain sponsored immigration reform with what I thought was a very good bill. It never got out of committee.

Now, you have McCain doing his usual two step and McConnell saying they have too much to do to consider it right now.

I agree that something needs to be done and that it should have been done a long time ago. But I think this law goes a bit too far and has a good chance of being declared unconstitutional. I also question the extremity of it when it is so clear that parts are in fact unconstitutional.

It's going to cost big bucks to fight it in a time when city and state budgets are suffering. This impacts on schools, hiring teachers, libraries, parks, hospitals, roads, city services, and so on. Money can only be spread so far.

I just want to mention one other thing. I lived for a time in Paradise Valley - a very ritzy glitzy place (I was married then and now I'm not, so I'm poor). Golf courses, home owners, horse barns, farmers/ranchers, state road crews, etc., hire illegal immigrants to maintain the courses and yards, to clean the monster mansions, muck the stalls, plant and harvest, pave the roads - a hot job at best and made hotter under the AZ sun. "We can't find anyone else to do this work." I dare say that it is also because they could and did pay half as much or less.

So, while I can understand the problems in the border states, I think it's a little disingenuous for them to cry foul.

By the way, crime has dropped steadily since 2006.

Have a very good day.

Brooke said...

" I would submit that the federal government has failed in its duty to protect the security of the United States and it has done so for decades. "


What sane person waits for someone else to defend them, not fighting back while they are taking a beating? In essence, that is what the Fed is asking.

Law and Order Teacher said...

I do not absolve either party from their responsibility to protect us. The Dems don't want to do their duty because these are potential voters. The Repubs spend their energy looking the other way because business likes cheap labor. Your point is well taken. I deplore both party's lack of action. As for the bill going too far, its the same bill as the federal bill. Nothing is changed. Thanks for the visit.


Your point is great. Why should a state be expected to wait around for something to happen. Thanks for the visit.

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

I concur. Arizona was up against the wall and running out of viable options. It is trying to survive against a federal government damned near mandating it to become a fiscal and societal failure.


Law and Order Teacher said...

Thanks for the visit. Back to the wall is a good way of putting it.

Caroline Kras said...

Great post and as usual spot on....stay well....

Law and Order Teacher said...

Thanks for this visit and the compliment.