Immigration: Amnesty, Deportation, And Sanctuary Cities Part 4

Deportation is the lawful expulsion of an undesired alien or other person from a state or nation. Border Control is the measures adopted by a country to regulate and monitor its borders. Just as deportation and border control is toxic to democrats, it is a big vote getter if you are a republican. Democrats are quick to denounce deportation as inhumane and xenophobic, but deportation and border control has long been a law of nations throughout modern history. In fact one of the most heinous acts of deportation in American history came under Herbert Hoover, a democrat, attributed with helping to usher in the Progressive Era. The very nature of sovereignty is derived from a nation’s ability to govern its own land and control its borders. Much like the way democrats leverage amnesty, republicans love to talk up deportation and border control. Most tend to push border control more than deportation but they play hand in hand.

What state on the southern border wouldn’t want improved border control? No state wants to have people pouring over the border unimpeded. Residents in those states are clamoring for a tightly controlled border. Some states like Arizona see the failure of the federal government to act on border control, and pass laws to try to protect their residents and the state itself. It is an age old political trick to play on people’s experiences, and concerns, to gain political clout. When we hear the mention of wanting to give more money for border control the businesses line up to shop their wares as the solution. Anyone who owns a business who sells goods, and services that could help border control would understandably support those candidates because it is good for business. I personally have family and friends who work around the border in south Texas, and they bring back their first hand stories of the impact of the drug cartels on South Texas, and seeing countless immigrants wandering across the country side coming from Mexico into Texas. There have been plenty of reports in the news of ranchers finding leftover belongings from immigrants. As a US border control agent you would want to have access to the gear and equipment that would enable you to do your job with excellence as well as keep you safe. From time to time a story hits the news of a border patrol agent being killed in the line of duty. Border control is not just a hot button issue in the US, it is also an issue in our southern neighbor Mexico. Across the pond in Europe with the growing influx of migrants from Northern Africa, and the Middle East, European nations are rethinking the Schengen Zone experiment. European nations are starting to see the effects of having one’s sovereignty placed in the hands of a distant governing body isn’t all that it was made out to be. Some EU nations have even chosen to take back control of their borders to try to stem the tide of immigrants flowing into their countries. Until the day comes that their are no nations and no borders there will be people calling for deportation and border control. Self preservation in a base human instinct.


Sanctuary Cities has become the 3rd leg in the immigration battle not only in the US but in Europe. Currently there is no legal definition for a sanctuary city. Currently it is loosely described as a city that intentionally helps illegal immigrants to avoid deportation. Just this week the California Senate passed a bill to make the entire state a sanctuary state. The concept of a sanctuary city is nothing new. Sanctuary cities can be traced back throughout history. One such example is the bible. Numbers 35:6-15 refers to God telling Moses that the Levites were to choose 6 cities to be cities of refuge. The concept was that if a person killed someone by accident they could flee to one the 6 cities to avoid retribution for the act before they could stand trial. In 392 AD Roman Emperor Theodosius setup sanctuaries under church control, and in medieval England the church was given a general right of sanctuary but it was abolished in 1621. A fairly new situation that has started to emerge from current day sanctuaries is the concept of “No Go Zones”. No Go Zones area a highly debated subject in America and especially in Europe. No Go Zones are areas of heavy concentrations of immigrants to the point that they force out locals and even law enforcement. They become No Go Zones for Police, Ambulance, and outsiders. I will cover sanctuary cities more in a separate post as it is an emerging trend.
This issue is starting to become a polarizing matter in local politics. Let’s look at the social aspects first and then the legal ramifications. At first glance it seems reasonable to want to protect families and to insure that immigrants have access to basic assistance. This is no different than not want to just deport illegals. It is believed that by giving illegal immigrants a place of refuge it will allow to lay down roots and become a productive member of society. It is too early to determine if this concept will our hurt the communities who become sanctuary cities. It is also to soon to see what kind of impact it will have on the bottom line for cities as they have more people  seeing refuge and access to services provided for the public. There is an open debate on whether it is legal to declare a sanctuary city. The constitution does give the federal government the authority to set rules for naturalization, but it doesn’t give it the right to regulate immigration which stand in the face of the Immigration and Naturalization Act. My personal favorite president Thomas Jefferson wrote on this matter in 1798 about the Alien and Sedition Act. He pointed out that the Constitution gives the federal government the authority to set standards for naturalization for the nation as a whole. This means that States could pass their own laws on naturalization. However since the Constitution does give the federal government authorization to how immigration may occur that right falls to the states thanks to the 10th amendment. This obviously sets up a legal matter that will no doubt be fought out in the courts. By Jefferson’s Constitutional Calculus cities and even states could declare themselves sanctuary’s, but they could not give immigrants citizenship. Current legal standing is that immigration is a federal matter, but if states push the issue they could make a convincing argument that they alone have the authority to say who can enter the state. States could argue as Jefferson did that no federal power can be implied where none was delegated. The federal government has argued that the Commerce Clause, Article I Section 8 Clause 3, gives them some authority over immigration with the ability to define and punish offenses against the laws of nations. Jefferson would clearly argue that both States and the Federal Government have a seat at the table on this matter which in today’s world makes this a far more complicated matter than it once was.


“But are there no inconveniences to be thrown into the scale against the advantage expected from a multiplication of numbers by the importation of foreigners? It is for the happiness of those united in society to harmonize as much as possible in matters which they must of necessity transact together.” -Thomas Jefferson

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