A Modern Day Form of Nullification

It is no understatement to say that the de facto amnesty approach now taken among leading Democrats is a modern form of “nullification” theory — that states have the right to refuse or undermine federal laws they do not like — a theory that the South urged as a basis for pre-Civil War arguments in defense of slavery and in opposition to restrictive tariffs.

The order just signed by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg pertaining to aliens held at Rikers Island states that the city will not respect any ICE detainer requests unless the alien fits the priorities of the city — and by extension, Obama’s ICE says it will no longer deport anyone who isn’t within its own narrow band of priorities. The net effect is that Congress is no longer deciding who may come to the U.S. and who may not. A politicized federal executive and a rogue mayor have made that decision. Meantime, New York City citizens are left to fund the services and education for an illegal alien population that has become a huge burden to the community.

In response to the pressure FAIR has mounted at the state level, the Administration’s allies, including the ACLU, MALDEF and the SPLC, have sued to counter this populist movement by working in league with the Department of Justice and DHS. Given the social friction soon to be sustained by impending severe budget and service cuts, this is an explosive and risky path. Troublingly, the nation is destined for a sluggish mediocrity unless we eliminate the labor market effects of illegal immigration and low skill immigration. The skills composition of the immigrant stream must also be improved while the aggregate numbers should be capped at responsible levels. The political stability generated by a secure middle class can only be restored with dramatic increases in labor productivity and curtailing immigration would be one place to start. Reversing the disastrous dismantling of the nation’s immigration controls must be the first order of business.

About Author


Dan is the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s President after joining the organization in 1982. He has testified more than 50 times before Congress, and been cited in the media as "America's best-known immigration reformer." Dan has appeared on virtually every significant TV and radio news/talk program in America and, in addition to being a contributing editor to ImmigrationReform.com, has contributed commentaries to a vast number of print media outlets.


  1. avatar

    We sure live in na sick country! Everyday it goes down a little bit more.It has been going down since Jan ,of 2009. It seems that nothing matters any more. To some people you can do whtever you want and that STINKS! Where is the pride in this country? It seems that you can lie and get away with it how sad! Time for some democrats to leave office . In fact quite a few should take a hike !!!!!Send all the illegals back and take care of our peopleDon’t give them SS Give it to the people that paid into it and stop all the B S . Leave our laws alone and read them the way they were written years ago. !!!!!! Stop some people from doing what ever he wants. without permission !!!!!!!!!

  2. avatar

    Our forefathers were perhaps more uneducated than our current leaders, however, they were wiser and more efficiently organized with wisdom. Only 3,000 immigrants were allowed per year to enter our country and they had to have some money when they arrived and a trade to earn money for their families.
    Also, these immigrants worked very hard to set up stringent guide lines and laws, plus free education for their children, worked long hours, six days a week, learned the English language, helped each other, and had a goal to make this undeveloped country a very successful one.

    Because of this immigrants from every nation has longed to make the United States their permanet home. The wisdom of our forefathers allowed a specific number from each country who applied for immigration to the USA to come here and live.

    Why in this successful country earned by our forefathers, has our current government foolishly and stupidly let anyone in the world come here to live who do not learn English, are not trained in any profession, are poor with large families and want us taxpaers and citizens to support them with free education, hospitalization, shelter, food stamps, etc.

    Yes, of course we have large unemployment with our American born citizens, as these illegal immigrants from one country will work for cheap labor and our obsolete government irresponsibly does nothing to stop them.

    We citizens must work and bind together and do what we can to overcome this damage that has occurred to our citizens and great country.. A new President and Congress would be a good beginning.
    Wake up citizens or you may not have the great nation your forefathers died and fought to give you.

  3. avatar

    ICE, John Morton and top managers – to include Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), is/are enforcing a very strict and narrow (verbal) policy on arrests of Illegal Aliens. Enforcement officers frequently enter a premises to find multiple Illigal Aliens, but unless they all fit the criteria currently being enoforced by ICE management, few if any of them will actually be arrested and taken into custody. As a taxpayer I am outraged by this “selective” and politically-motivated enforcement. They put out great press releases, stating that deportations have never been higher, but they’re leaving out the part that this is only in one category (i.e.: Illegal aliens categorized as “Criminal Aliens” versus “Over-stays” or “Voluntary Returns” that didn’t actually leave the US). Politics has corrupted the enforcement of US Immigration law and the American taxpayers (the common folk) are paying the very costly price (overburdened public services, crime, fewer jobs for US Citizens, etc.). Salaries for ICE officers responsible for the enforcement of Immigration laws can be between $45,000 and well over $100,000 a year. Where else do Law Enforcement officers get full pay for only doing half (or less) of their assigned duties? If they’re not going to actually enforce the law to the fullest extent possible, which the American taxpayer (their ultimate employer) expects, then maybe their pay can be cut accordingly – starting at the highest levels of the agency.

    • avatar

      All illegal aliens are, and do commit felonious acts by evading arrest, and deportation. It is a federal crime to flee federal officers, and NOT ANSWER QUESTIONS, or lie to them. Obama, Morton , Natpolitano, and the felon Eric Holder who also choose to lie to the Congress rather then admit his knowledge of the Fast, and Furious operation. The American people need to exercise their rights, and power to remove this criminal scam our nations capital, and the low-life invaders of the United States all of them.

    • avatar

      We should absolutely cut their pay or their job. If the job isn’t being done then it should be eliminated.

  4. avatar

    All of the tax payers should leave New York and without tax payer money the illegals would have no where to live. Bloomberg and obama are destroying New York.

    • avatar

      Since most undocumented workers pay taxes, assuming their employer will allow it, I guess NYC would be nearly vacant. It’s silly solutions like yours that prevent logical discussions.

      • avatar

        Susan thinks that most undocumented workers pay taxes??? Where is this recorded? And what difference does it make if they pay their self regulated taxes, when they are costing us $220 billion per year? If they were such a boon to the economy, California would be the most wealthy state in the nation instead of one of the most in debt. The illegals that do pay taxes, pay a pittance and do so only to collect the Earned income tax credit and steal another $4 billion from US citizens. It is the uneducated people like Susan who need to wake up and do the math to see that a country with 32 million unemployed and underemployed Americans do not need ANY illegal aliens in this country.

  5. avatar

    It’s an usurpation from Congress. The constitution gives congress the mandate of creating “an uniform rule of naturalization”. Congress has the sole power to create laws on immigration & citizenship, it has to be such because the constitution states they are to create an “uniform” law. There can be no uniform law when Obama or governors of states effectively write their own law.

    Federalist Papers 32 [2] (Hamilton) Congress will “establish a uniform rule of naturalization throughout the United States.”
    He goes on to say; “Where it grants an authority to the federal government, to which a similar authority in the States would be absolutely & totally CONTRADICTORY and REPUGNANT; as in Art. I, Sec. 8, clause 4, which declares that Congress shall have power “to establish an UNIFORM RULE of naturalization throughout the United States.” This must necessarily be exclusive; because if each State had power to prescribe a DISTINCT RULE, there could not be a UNIFORM RULE.”

    James Madison, father of the U.S. Constitution illustrated in the Federalist Papers [42] 17th paragraph why the power to confer citizen rights to aliens MUST be an EXCLUSIVE authority given only to congress

    It really can’t be anymore clear…..

    Congress is charged with and has the exclusive authority to make citizenship law; the states DO NOT have the right to enact laws that confer any citizen rights to aliens. The writers of the Federalist Papers are the EXPERTS on the meaning & intent of U.S. Constitution; Madison & Hamilton were VERY CLEAR on this issue. The states are NOT allowed to enact law that gives citizen rights & privileges to aliens. It is prohibited by Article 1 Section 8 Clause 4 of the U.S. Constitution.

    • avatar
      Conservative Political Rage! on

      Spense, Then the fault lies with the congress for not SCREMING to the top of their lungs and actually enforcing the law. We are Doomed because we have Managers in office not Leaders! We have political whores instead of men and woman of character. The Melt down is on it’s way!……Prepare and Pray!

    • avatar
      Pathfinder0100 on

      Spense–You really don’t think that Holder and Obama really give a d@#$ about the constitution do you?

  6. avatar

    It is imperative that the States take over stopping the illegal immigration flow to our country. The federal government has fail at all points. It needs to be top priority. Each State has the RIGHT to say who can and who cannot enter their State by virtue of protecting the citizens right to reserve social services that were paid in advance by working Americans. This concept is the way it has always been but it was hijacked by rich and ruthless politicians for the last 60 years who are totally out of touch with the people. The pander to illegals for votes. It is time that we turned America around and make it America again. In Jesus’ name.

    • avatar

      If we leave it up to the states to determine who can and cannot enter those states, what’s to stop states from passing laws to admit more aliens, as Utah has done, or to legalize illegal aliens, as California is proposing to do? Yes it may seem like an “effort in futility” to get the federal government to enforce the immigration laws, but getting all the states to pass good immigration enforcement laws seem even more futile to me.