The Open-Borders Crowd’s “Imaginary Constitution” Says Everywhere Must Be a Sanctuary City



In one lawsuit after another, the hypocritical and upside-down vision that the open-borders crowd has of the U.S. Constitution becomes clear.  States and local governments, they assert, have an absolute choice to adopt sanctuary policies, but they have no choice not to.  That’s not much of a choice, is it?  But it’s the absurd inescapable logic of what’s been called the “Imaginary Constitution.”  Disregarding federal immigration law isn’t just permitted—it’s actually mandatory.

Under the Imaginary Constitution, the Tenth Amendment means California or Oregon can be sanctuary states, but Texas or Arizona can’t be anti-sanctuary states.  States are apparently absolutely free to ignore and even interfere with federal law, but absolutely not free to support or cooperate with it.

Under the Imaginary Constitution, immigration detainers violate the Fourth Amendment.  State and local law enforcement aren’t just allowed but actually constitutionally required to ignore them.  From suburban Long Island to South Florida and from rural Colorado to Nashville, the anti-detainer suits are always essentially the same.  They say someone can never be held in state or local custody except with probable cause of the commission of a crime.  Never mind that even U.S. citizens are routinely held in custody for other civil matters, like non-payment of child support.  Never mind that the Fourth Amendment says nothing like this, but only that searches and seizures have to be “reasonable.”  And never mind that the only court to directly address this issue, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in upholding Texas’s anti-sanctuary law, specifically held that detainers do not violate the Fourth Amendment.

Under the Imaginary Constitution, sanctuary jurisdictions are entitled to federal taxpayer money to subsidize their willfully breaking federal law.  Never mind that the federal government put conditions on that money saying otherwise.  And never mind that the Supreme Court has said for decades that such “strings” can be attached to federal money.  According to the Imaginary Constitution, that’s outrageous “coercion.”

Under the Imaginary Constitution, we can probably only imagine what might be required next, but we can be pretty sure it will enshrine the policy preferences of the people pushing it.  And that’s despite little to no resemblance to the actual Constitution’s text, history or intent.  Curiously convenient how that works.

Unfortunately, not just open-borders activists but too many legislators and judges have themselves come to believe in the Imaginary Constitution, and done all they can to impose it on the rest of us.  But as the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said “[t]he Constitution is not a living organism … It’s a legal document, and it says what it says and doesn’t say what it doesn’t say.”  If he was right, the open-borders crowd should find themselves out of luck sooner rather than later.  If he was wrong, then evidently the rule of law no longer means anything.

About Author

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Dave joined FAIR in 2017 after more than ten years as an Assistant State Attorney in Broward County, Florida. His prosecutorial experience covered trial litigation at the misdemeanor and felony levels, drug court and mental health court, and two years as an intake attorney in the juvenile division working closely with law enforcement. Before this, he was a legislative analyst/staff attorney with the Judiciary Committee of the Florida House of Representatives, where he assisted state legislators in ensuring the effectiveness and constitutionality of legislation on a wide variety of subject matter. In both capacities, he often dealt with the interaction of state law and immigration. Dave holds BAs in History and International Relations from American University and a JD from Tulane University Law School.

6 Comments

  1. avatar

    From The Crime Report:

    Mexican Drug Cartels, Officials Collude in ‘Crimes Against Humanity’: Report

    May 15, 2018

    Government and police officials in the Mexican state of Coahuila, on the U.S. border, have colluded in massacres by narco-cartels that constitute “crimes against humanity,” according to a new report by the Open Society Justice Initiative.

    The report singled out two separate examples between 2009 and 2012—the killing of approximately 300 men, women and children in the northern municipality of Allende and nearby towns, and the disappearance, torture and murder of 150 individuals inside a prison that served as de facto headquarters for the Zeta drug cartel—to underline what it called the “systemic” problems of drug corruption, violence and official impunity in Mexico.

    “These (two examples) bear the hallmarks of crimes against humanity, given the scale and systematic nature with which they were carried out,” said the report, which called for the establishment of an independent international body to investigate the “corrupt networks between public officials and organized crime” across Mexico.

    “Such international participation and support will be essential to combatting the political obstruction and partisan interests that currently impede Mexico’s troubled justice system.”

    The Open Society report, based on research and interviews with victims and officials with the support of a number of Mexican human rights organizations, said the evidence suggested that police and government officials at senior levels were involved in the planning and cover-up of the incidents in Coahuila, as well as similar “atrocities” elsewhere in Mexico—including the torture and murder of journalists and human rights workers.

    A similar study published last month in Spanish by the United Nations Subcommittee to Prevent Torture found “corruption and collusion between criminal groups and penal authorities and personnel” and concluded that “impunity in cases of torture is the rule” in Mexico’s prisons.

    The authors of the Open Society study, which followed an earlier report on Mexico’s drug violence three years earlier, singled out systemic corruption as the driving force behind the two incidents in Coahuila, which they said illustrate the transformation of a largely rural state with a population of less than three million that occupies a 318-mile stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border into a “narco state” over the past decade.

    During a three-day period in 2011, some 300 individuals were murdered in apparent revenge killings throughout northern Coahuila by assassins from the Zeta cartel. Local officials, including the mayor and police commander, were informed in advance “to ensure they would not intervene,” the report said.

    Between 2009-2012, the CERESO Piedras Negras prison, just across the border from Eagle Pass, Tx., was used by the Zeta leadership as “an extermination camp and a base of operations to extend its reign of terror” in Coahuila, with the apparent knowledge and involvement of local authorities, according to the report.

    “Further investigation is required to answer the questions [raised by the incidents], and to expose the formal (and informal) networks that appear to exist between Coahuila’s political and economic elite and organized crime,” the report said.

    “Indeed, despite numerous cases of embezzlement and money laundering involving public servants in Coahuila’s last three administrations, little has been done to investigate and prosecute such corruption.”

    The two incidents were only the most egregious examples of the “complicity” of officials in all areas of the country with human rights abuses committed by powerful cartels, added the report.

    “[There are] increasing signs that corruption, and the violent crime it enables, are widespread across a number of states in Mexico—from Veracruz to Tamaulipas, from Guerrero to Chihuahua,” said the report.

    “Indeed, there are compelling reasons to believe that the complicity of corrupt public officials in cartel-led atrocity crimes may be a widespread, recurrent pattern.”

    The report also comes as concern is rising about stepped-up cross-border heroin trafficking by Mexican cartels in the wake of the U.S. opioid crisis.

    Although the U.S. is not mentioned, the researchers’ implicit condemnation of the failure of Mexico’s ruling party—the Partido Revolucionario Institucional—to reign in the corruption of military, police and political officials, indirectly raises questions about Washington’s long-standing financial support and military aid to the Mexican government’s war on drugs.

    • avatar

      That’s exactly what Amnesty International has been saying for many years. They say that government officials “turn a blind eye” to killings by cartels and gangs and many times are an active part of it. But you notice how these reports get almost zero coverage by the media. It’s another reason why we need a wall, barrier, fence, whatever they want to call it. We need e-verify definitely, but these criminal gangs that have established a presence here are not working minimum wage jobs, so e-verify is meaningless in their case.

      The Mexican government blames drug use by Americans for the violence in that country. One, if they wanted to reduce that violence then they should be supporting a wall that would greatly reduce the flow of drugs across the border. Two, the reason government officials don’t want to reduce the flow of drugs is because a great many of them are profiting from it. The very few politicians who do dare to take on the cartels are lucky to live a week.

      • avatar

        People in the media will spend all of this time focusing on what is happening in say the Baltics and Ukraine on the other side of the world which matters little in terms of how it affects the lives of Americans, but ignore what the Mexican drug cartels are doing along with Mexico’s government. How pathetic.

  2. avatar

    When the Libtards don’t have the law on their side, they just go JUDGE SHOPPING for some tyrant wearing a black robe who will make crap up!

  3. avatar

    All the commentary since Kavanaugh has been nominated by Trump to the Supreme Court proclaims that it will ensure a conservative court for decades. Wrong. So far it’s been the replacement of two conservative judges. It will still be a 5-4 court. A lot could happen under that scenario in the future. All you have to do is look at the “Muslim ban” decision which was narrowly decided. The constitution and several prior high court decisions all said the same thing, that the president has the authority to keep out who he designates.

    Sanctuary cities actually cost the federal government money. Instead of safely turning over those they have in jail to ICE, they release them and then they have to be tracked down on the streets, which is both a big expense and an actual danger to both agents and the public.

    Trump is saying he is going to start “getting involved” in the matter of documents being slow released by the FBI. The FISA application that led to the spying on his campaign has been released only to the extent that about 90% is still redacted. When a few documents were finally released unredacted up to this time, it was with howls from Democrats in Congress and the “intelligence community” that “sensitive information” was being released. But then it turns out to be far more embarrassing than sensitive.

    For instance, lead FBI agents Peter Strozk and Lisa Page. They were the ones texting about how to “stop” Trump from being elected and the need to have an “insurance policy” {likely the Steele dossier} if he was. If THAT is not a conspiracy to interfere in our electoral process what is? But let’s hyperventilate over some payments to a couple women.

  4. avatar
    Nihad Mohamed on

    What about Asylum cases !!??

    They are illegals but have money,
    have a USA viza ,,enter through airports,
    and then ask for Asylum !!!

    Isn’t this ** bias _ unfair**

    NO BODY MENTION ASYLUM CASES ,,WHY !!??

    MOST OF THEM ARE LIERS

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