Reality vs Practicality

Yesterday Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review about birthright citizenship. President Trump is considering ending birthright citizenship by executive order. Actually, it’s not so much a question of ending birthright citizenship as it is reviewing exactly what the 14th Amendment actually says.

The article explains:

My friend John Eastman explained why the 14th Amendment does not mandate birthright citizenship in this 2015 New York Times op-ed. In a nutshell, the Amendment states: “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.” The highlighted term, “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” was understood at the time of adoption to mean not owing allegiance to any other sovereign. To take the obvious example, if a child is born in France to a married couple who are both American citizens, the child is an American citizen.

If I am living in Britain on a work visa and have a child, that child is not automatically a British citizen. Why should America do things differently?

The article concludes:

Moreover, it seems to me that, because Congress has weighed in on citizenship by codifying the 14th Amendment, the courts will swat down any executive order on the ground that it exceeds the president’s authority. That is, the courts will not even have to reach the merits of what jurisdiction means for purposes of the 14th Amendment and Section 1401.

We have seen something like this in an area of more certain executive power. President Bush attempted unilaterally to set up military commissions in wartime under his commander-in-chief authority. Even though there was plenty of precedent supporting this, the Supreme Court invalidated the commissions and told the president he needed Congress’s statutory blessing. (Congress later enacted the Military Commissions Act.)

Consequently, if the president actually issues an executive order changing the birthright-citizenship policy, I doubt the sun will set before an injunction is issued. I am in favor of changing the current understanding of birthright citizenship, but I believe such a change must be done by statute to have any hope of surviving court-scrutiny . . . and even then, I give it less than a 50-50 chance.

Stay tuned.

Don’t Let The Truth Get In The Way Of A Good Political Attack

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about a recent article posted in The Washington Post. The Washington Post article dealt with a government policy choosing not to renew the passports of people born near the border, as they are skeptical that those people were actually born in the country.

The Daily Caller reports:

…It’s not until the ninth paragraph that the article begins to address that the policy began under the Bush administration and continued under Obama.

The article was titled, “U.S. is denying passports to Americans along the border, throwing their citizenship into question” and was written by Kevin Sieff.

The article addressed the problems faced by “a growing number of people whose official birth records show they were born in the United States but who are now being denied passports.”

The fourth paragraph referenced President Trump, saying, “The Trump administration is accusing hundreds, and possibly thousands, of Hispanics along the border of using fraudulent birth certificates since they were babies, and it is undertaking a widespread crackdown.”

The Daily Caller article concludes:

But five paragraphs later, the article clarifies, “The State Department during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations denied passports to people who were delivered by midwives in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley.”

So in spite of the fact that this informal policy began under previous administrations, the article first connects it to President Donald Trump.

If you are a never-Trumper reading this blog (I assume that occasionally happens), this is the kind of reporting that may have shaped your view of President Trump. In this instance, he is simply carrying out the policies of the prior two administrations, but is held responsible for the policy. I suspect that somewhere in The Washington Post article is a quiet accusation that President Trump is racist for carrying out this policy. Well then, what about President Bush and President Obama? Were they racists too?

I would just like to note at this point that during his second term, President George W. Bush was so beaten down by the press that he didn’t stand up to anyone. Because of that, very little was accomplished during his second term. Hopefully, the fact that President Trump seems to be able to ignore the relentless attacks from the media and the political establishment will allow him to accomplish the things that need to be accomplished to bring America back to its economic strength and leadership role in the world.

When Judges Don’t Read The Law

According to the Legal Information Institute, 18 U.S. Code § 611 – Voting by aliens states:

(a) It shall be unlawful for any alien to vote in any election held solely or in part for the purpose of electing a candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, Member of the House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, or Resident Commissioner, unless—

(1) the election is held partly for some other purpose;

(2) aliens are authorized to vote for such other purpose under a State constitution or statute or a local ordinance; and

(3) voting for such other purpose is conducted independently of voting for a candidate for such Federal offices, in such a manner that an alien has the opportunity to vote for such other purpose, but not an opportunity to vote for a candidate for any one or more of such Federal offices.

(b) Any person who violates this section shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(c) Subsection (a) does not apply to an alien if—

(1) each natural parent of the alien (or, in the case of an adopted alien, each adoptive parent of the alien) is or was a citizen (whether by birth or naturalization);

(2) the alien permanently resided in the United States prior to attaining the age of 16; and

(3) the alien reasonably believed at the time of voting in violation of such subsection that he or she was a citizen of the United States.

That is the law. Judges are supposed to uphold the law. However, that does not always seem to be the case.

Last Monday The New York Times posted an article about a ruling by U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson.

The article reports:

A federal judge ruled Monday that Kansas cannot require documentary proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote, finding such laws violate the constitutional right to vote in a ruling with national implications.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson is the latest setback for Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has championed such laws and led President Donald Trump’s now-defunct voter fraud commission. The 118-page decision came in two consolidated cases challenging a Kansas voter registration law requiring people to provide documents such as a birth certificate, U.S. passport or naturalization papers.

The decision strikes down the Kansas proof-of-citizenship registration law and makes permanent an earlier injunction that had temporarily blocked it.

The article explains the history of non-citizens attempting to register to vote in Kansas:

But the decision drew criticism from Steve Watkins, the Republican candidate for Kansas’ 2nd Congressional District, who called it “the latest example of unelected judges replacing their wisdom for that of voters.”

“There is nothing controversial about requiring United States citizens to show identification when they register to vote; it protects American citizen’s right to free and fair elections. Instead of mocking or playing politics with the integrity of our electoral process — the judiciary should be protecting it,” Watkins said.

Kansas has about 1.8 million registered voters. Kobach has told the court he has been able to document a total of 127 noncitizens who at least tried to register to vote. Forty-three of them were successful in registering, he says, and 11 have voted since 2000. Five of those people registered at motor vehicle offices, according to Kobach.

In the first three years after the Kansas law went into effect in 2013, about one in seven voter registration applications in Kansas were blocked for lack of proof of citizenship — with nearly half of them under the age of 30, according to court documents. Between 2013 and 2016, more than 35,000 Kansas residents were unable to register to vote.

I have a question. If the law says non-citizens cannot vote in national elections, doesn’t it make sense to ask people who are registering to vote to prove they are citizens? This is another really bad example of a judge making a ruling that goes against established law. When this occurs, judges who do this need to be impeached and removed from the bench.

Nothing Was Posted On Election Day – I Was Working The Polls

Yesterday was spend working the polls (and unfortunately getting a sunburn). Some of the candidates I supported won, and some lost. However, I learned a few things. If the American voter really wants to get rid of the political class, there are three steps they can take that will get results. It will take a year or two, but it can be done.

The first obvious step is to get informed. You need to know when you are being lied to. Until we have informed voters, we will have a political class. When people begin to pay attention two weeks before an election, a lot of what they hear is simply distorted or not true. There was a situation locally where a candidate’s party affiliation and ethnic background were misrepresented in a flyer aimed to get the votes of a particular ethnic group. Because the lies were believed, the man got the votes. The voters involved were not informed enough to know that they had been lied to. It will be interesting to see what happens if they ever meet the man. First hand information is always the best, and since change will begin at the local level, being locally informed is fairly easy. Go to the meetings of the various official boards in your community. If you can’t go, talk to the people who do go. Don’t believe everything you read in your local paper or hear on the news–investigate for yourself.

The second step is to share your knowledge with your friends. Your immediate circle of friends may not be as informed as you are, and there is nothing wrong with telling them the things you have learned. I had a number of friends come to me with questions about the primary election, particularly the state offices that are somewhat under the radar. I had information that was useful to them and in one case changed someone’s idea of how to vote on a particular issue.

The third step, which I saw in action yesterday, is the most effective. There were a few private citizens at my precinct handing out information about the conservative candidates. In that precinct, all those candidates won. It is possible that all my neighbors think like I do, but I find that highly unlikely (and not necessarily a good thing). It is also possible that many of my neighbors went to vote for President and saw a bunch of other offices on the ballot that they had not planned to vote for. Those that wanted conservative candidates had the information in their hand about the candidates, and the voters looked at their papers and voted accordingly. Those voters who did not want conservative candidates also had the information–they simply voted for the people not marked as conservative.

If you are happy with the political class continuing to grow the government and demand more of your money, then there is no reason to get involved or informed–they will continue to run things until the voters stand up and say ‘no.’ If you are ready for change, the three steps above will bring change.

Losing Our Country Legally

Yesterday The New York Times posted a story about efforts to help new immigrants become citizens quickly so that they can register to vote. I think the idea of new immigrants registering to vote is a wonderful idea if they have some understanding of how American works. In the past, American Presidents have paused immigration in order to allow new immigrants to assimilate. At the present time, we have a very large number of immigrants, some of which are not at all interested in assimilation.

The article reports:

The influence of the Latino voting bloc has added impetus to the drive. According to Latino Decisions, a polling and research firm, 80 percent of naturalized Latino citizens voted for President Obama in 2012. In New York State, there are approximately 915,000 legal permanent residents, more than 317,400 of whom are Latino, according to the Center for Migration Studies.

Do you think that if these immigrants were voting Republican the Democrats would be so anxious to have them here?

To illustrate my point about assimilation:

In the end, though, only 38 of the day’s applicants were able to move forward (with the process of becoming an American citizen), Mr. Frugone said. Most of the others were not proficient enough in English to pass the citizenship exam, which requires an applicant to answer basic questions orally, write a sentence and pass a civics test.

Some older immigrants who have not learned English wait for the precise moment when they have lived in the United States for 20 years and are older than 50; at that point, they can take the test in their own language.

Jose Miguel Toledo Madera, 53, a resident of Washington Heights in Manhattan, said he had been too busy working as a custodian to learn English. After six hours at the Unite Here citizenship drive, he finally finished his application by taking photos.

The article further states:

“I want to vote so that we can have a better situation in the country for all the immigrants, for all the people we actually need in this country,” Dinelsa Quezada Martinez, 70, said in Spanish in the organization’s offices. “I want a president that’s really going to worry and take care of our country and all the people in this country.

Note to Ms. Martinez: It is not the President’s job to take care of the people in this country–it is the President’s job not to interfere with the success of the people in this country. Dear lady, your attitude is part of the problem.

Huh????

Yesterday The American Thinker posted an article about a recent decision by the Supreme Court not to hear a case regarding proof of citizenship for voter registration.

The article reports:

In a commonsense decision, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a case that decided that people registering to vote in federal election don’t have to prove their citizenship.  That means that people registering to vote won’t be bullied into proving citizenship, which now seems to be an irrelevant criterion for voting.

“I am very pleased, obviously,” said Dolores Furtado, president of the Kansas chapter of the League of Women Voters. “It’s a good feeling because we’re truly trying to help” people get registered to vote.

Furtado said the league’s main interest is in increasing participation in the democratic process “rather than trying to make more hoops, more steps, to go through.”

It would have been nice if the Supreme Court had ruled on this; however, there is an interesting consequence of this decision that will give Kansas a more honest election on the state and local level.

On Monday, Roll Call posted an article explaining how the decision of the Supreme Court not to take the case would impact elections in Kansas and Arizona.

The article reports:

The Kansas and Arizona laws stand, meaning that people wishing to register to vote with state forms are required to show proof of citizenship. Kobach said more than 99 percent of Kansans use the state forms. “But because of the Supreme Court decision not to review the case,” he added, “we do have a small limited loophole.” The slim majority that uses the federal form can “refuse to provide proof of citizenship,” he said, “but that will only suffice for federal elections.”

Article I Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution states:

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

Basically that means that each state can set the standard for who is allowed to vote. Obviously, because there is a federal form people can use in Kansas, there is a way of circumventing that law by using the federal form. However, using the federal form only allows people to vote in federal elections. This is another example of the federal government overriding the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

I really wonder who came up with the bright idea that non-citizens would be able to vote in American elections. That is totally ridiculous and seriously undermines the integrity of our election process.

Another Glitch In ObamaCare

There has been another glitch in ObamaCare. Actually, it is considerably more than a glitch. Yesterday the Daily Caller reported that more than 300,000 people who signed up for ObamaCare are in danger of losing their coverage if they do not provide more information about their citizenship and immigration status.

The article reports:

Obamacare administrator the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Tuesday that the agency sent letters notifying 310,000 customers who have failed to fix errors in their citizenship or immigration data that their coverage will be terminated Sept. 30 if they don’t submit proof by Sept. 5.

The customers are part of close to 1 million Obamacare sign-ups who submitted applications with citizenship and immigration information that didn’t square with federal records. CMS claims 450,000 of those cases have been resolved, but it’s not clear how many of those “closed” cases resulted in more canceled policies.

CMS claims it reached out to customers between five and seven times, through mail, phone and e-mail, to try to straighten out the citizenship and immigration errors. They’ve pledged to reach out again with two more phone calls and one more e-mail before Sept. 5.

The article also explains that applications with income verification issues will be addressed at a later date. This means that people who have had their premiums subsidized by the government may be faced with an unexpected hefty tax bill.

What a mess!

The Statistics Are Consistent

Hot Air is reporting today that crime rates have dropped in Detroit since the population started arming itself. Detroit PD chief James Craig has spent the past six months encouraging locals to arm themselves.

The article quotes Chief Craig:

Detroit has experienced 37 percent fewer robberies in 2014 than during the same period last year, 22 percent fewer break-ins of businesses and homes, and 30 percent fewer carjackings. Craig attributed the drop to better police work and criminals being reluctant to prey on citizens who may be carrying guns.

Criminals are getting the message that good Detroiters are armed and will use that weapon,” said Craig, who has repeatedly said he believes armed citizens deter crime. “I don’t want to take away from the good work our investigators are doing, but I think part of the drop in crime, and robberies in particular, is because criminals are thinking twice that citizens could be armed.

“I can’t say what specific percentage is caused by this, but there’s no question in my mind it has had an effect,” Craig said.

This is not a unique situation. Generally speaking, civic minded citizens are the people who obey gun laws–criminals do not. The stricter the gun laws the more defenseless the citizens are. The thought of an armed victim does actually discourage some criminals.

 

You Can’t Fix A Bad Bill By Making It Worse

Breitbart.com reported today that the Corker Amendment, added to the immigration bill to make it more palatable to those people worried about border security, actually makes the bill worse for those Americans worried about a drastic influx of instant citizens.

The article reports:

Current law states that those applying for green cards are ineligible if they are either “illegally present” at any point or overstay the terms of their work visa. Such an immigrant, in current law, would have to return to their home country and restart the immigration process. The Corker Amendment wipes away that enforcement mechanism. 

In the current draft of the Corker Amendment, any worker in the country on a legal work visa for 10 years can get a green card, even if they overstay their visa. The Corker Amendment allows immigrants to break the law in the future and still be eligible for citizenship. It absolves prospective behavior, not simply past mistakes.

The Amendment is 1,000+ pages long. Frankly, I think any law or amendment more than 50 pages should be voted down until it is put in short, easy to understand language. One aspect of the transparency we are currently lacking in our government is foot-high laws that no one reads before voting on them.

The article concludes:

Prior to the Corker Amendment, the 4.5 million immigrants outside the country on a visa waiting-list were subject to laws restricting their presence in the US. The Gang Senate bill would offer them immediate green cards, as long as they hadn’t violated current US Law. 

The language in the new Corker Amendment referenced above, however, would remove this restriction. They would become immediately eligible for a green card, even if they lived illegally in this country. The Corker Amendment wipes away any immigration enforcement. It is designed to maximize the number of individuals who qualify for citizenship. 

The Corker Amendment is an obvious attempt by the DC GOP establishment to find a path to vote for the Senate bill. It throws a lot more money at the border, but it also weakens internal enforcement and controls. The Corker Amendment actually stipulates that, in perpetuity, you can break the law, overstay your visa, and still be eligible for citizenship. 

Our immigration system is broken, Congress is attempting to break it further. We need to oppose any immigration bill that does not secure the border,  keep track of the people who are here, and do what we can do to help the people who are here illegally become citizens without slighting the people who have been waiting in line legally for years. We need a simple, well-written bill that considers both the interests of the people who want to come here and the interests of the Americans already here.

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