Simply UNBELIEVABLE! Illegal aliens taken into custody will be given a phone number to call if they believe their civil rights have been violated. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano made that announcement to the House Judiciary Committee in written testimony on Wednesday, October 19, 2011. “The new detainer form also requires state and local law enforcement to provide the arrestees with a copy of the form, which includes a number to call if they believe their civil rights have been violated by ICE,” said Napolitano.
There is no word yet on the number of illegal aliens who believe their civil rights have been violated.
Regarding illegal alien rights, what does the U.S. Supreme Court say? The Supreme Court has ruled that these provisions apply to all persons in the U.S., without regard to race, or nationality. Therefore, U.S. residents – legal and illegal – have constitutional rights such as equal protection of the law and the right to due process. The Supreme Court, this source says, cites the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The 14th amendment, ratified in 1868, begins in section 1, “1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” The other four sections of this amendment are not relevant to this argument.
The United States did not limit immigration in 1868 when the 14th amendment was ratified. There were, by definition, no illegal immigrants. The 14th amendment was ratified in 1868 to protect the rights of native-born Black Americans, whose rights were being denied as recently-freed slaves. It was written in a manner so as to prevent state governments from ever denying citizenship to blacks born in the United States. But in 1868, the United States had no formal immigration policy, and the authors therefore saw no need to address immigration explicitly in the amendment. While many argue that “We the People of the United States,” refers only to legal citizens, the Supreme Court has consistently disagreed.
When the Supreme Court decides cases dealing with 1st amendment rights, it typically draws guidance from the 14th amendment’s principal of “equal protection under the law.” In essence, the “equal protection” clause extends 1st amendment protection to anyone and everyone covered by the 5th and 14th Amendments. Through its consistent rulings that the 5th and 14th amendments apply equally to illegal aliens, they also enjoy 1st amendment rights. Courts have ruled that, while they are within the borders of the United States, illegal aliens are granted the same fundamental, undeniable constitutional rights granted to all Americans. [emphasis mine]
Is this OUTRAGEOUS? The Supreme Court now interprets “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” to include illegal immigrants. And, IMHO, the Supreme Court continues to extend, through liberal and all-encompassing interpretations, the 14th amendment. The original intent of the 14th amendment was not to facilitate illegal aliens defying U.S. law. And the Obama administration continues to take advantage of every Supreme Court interpretation favorable to them.
In Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better Environment (1998) the Supreme Court said “jurisdiction is a word of many, too many, meanings.” Therefore, it is important to become aware of the operational meaning of “subject to the jurisdiction” as employed under the 14th amendment. Both Sen. Lyman Trumbull and Sen. Jacob Howard provide the answer, with Trumbull declaring: “The provision is, that ‘all persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens’.” That means ‘subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof.’ What is meant by ‘complete jurisdiction thereof?’ Not owing allegiance to any other country or person is what it means, but the Supreme Court doesn’t see it that way.
So, where are we and what can we do? Well, all “We the People” can do is elect presidents that will appoint Supreme Court justices that will put our country ahead of their own wishes, that will read the Constitution, that will not treat it as a “living document” that can be changed at will, and will make interpretations that will preserve the ideas that made this country great. As Rush Limbaugh says, “Elections have consequences.”
But that’s just my opinion.