Thursday, June 16, 2011
The Bill of Rights and Illegal Immigrants
Gerard N. Magliocca
This week a divided panel of the Fifth Circuit held in United States v. Portillo-Munoz that illegal aliens are not part of the "people" protected by the Second Amendment and thus have no constitutional right to bear arms. Since the term "people" is also used in the First, Fourth, and Ninth Amendments, this decision has sweeping implications. I thought I'd make some preliminary observations about the case.
"If the Bill had been applied to the States through the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, then those protections would apply only to citizens."
Various people raised various ways around that sort of thing, including the Equal Protection Clause (alienage is a suspect class) or due process (that covers persons) for fundamental rights (which would cover at least most of the core BOR protections).
The ruling anyway doesn't seem to follow how Justice Kennedy treats the term "the people" and it is prime for reversal en banc.
It seems to me that illegal immigrants should, in fact, get a great deal of protection from the Bill of Rights. It's just that they should get it, upon their discovery, for the duration of their bus ride to the nearest border.
The only reason this is a matter of any concern is that we're not enforcing our immigration laws. Otherwise the relevant population would be comparatively small.
Well Brett, maybe that's because the immigration laws of this country are horrendously inhumane, racist, and any idiot knows they are unenforceable.
Or maybe it's because businesses which profit from a pool of cheap labor which dares not report abuse are buying our politicians. Yeah, I think that's it.
Perhaps Brett can explain his views on illegal immigration to his bride regarding Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and undocumented immigrant from the Philippines.
I thought that there were no laws governing immigration, as opposed to citizenship eligibility, until the late 19th century.
If so, it doesn't seem possible to draw Constitutional distinctions between illegal immigrants and non-citizens legally present in the country.
It seems to me that illegal immigrants should be really a lot to protect the Bill of Rights. It's just that should get it when they find them, for their bus ride to the nearest border. The only reason this is a matter of no concern is that do not comply with immigration laws. Otherwise, this population would be relatively small.
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Call me a glass half-full kind of guy, but it seems to me that with dumber lawyers, people are more likely to follow the law.
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