Who’s Responsible for Lawbreakers’ Kids?

 

The latest outrage du jour from the left is the separation of the children of illegal aliens from their parents if those adults are put into detention after being caught sneaking across the border.

Is it sad? Of course it is. No one likes the idea of kids being separated from their parents. But who’s actually responsible for it occurring?

When parents are arrested for other crimes – let’s say embezzlement, for the sake of discussion – what happens to their kids when the parents are locked up? Are the kids sent to jail, too, so that they’re not “taken away” from their parents? Of course not. The idea’s frankly absurd.

Those kids are placed in some form of foster care pending the outcome of the legal proceedings, and any incarceration that might follow. That’s exactly what takes place with the kids of these illegal aliens: the kids are placed in the care of agencies whose function is to take care of them.

This policy and practice isn’t “Trump’s fault”, though the left and the Never Trumpers seem to relish trying to make that argument. It’s the law, plain and simple, and it’s also good practice as far as the welfare of the kids goes, considering the circumstances.

Just like the hypothetical embezzlers I mentioned above, the illegal alien parents made the decision to break the law and cross the border illegally. That’s indisputable. Therefore, if anyone’s at fault for their kids being taken away and put into foster or institutional care, it’s the parents themselves.

What are the alternatives being proposed by those who oppose this practice? As far as I can tell, the silence is pretty deafening, other than some vague idea that Trump must “do something” to change this practice. But do what?

The law requires this practice. So is Trump supposed to ignore the law? We all know that Obama did that all the time, legislating by fiat with his “pen and a phone”, but that certainly doesn’t make it proper or legal. Trump isn’t Obama (thank God).

Is this yet another emotional hook the illegal alien lobby can hang their open borders agenda on? You bet it is. The American left and the cheap labor advocates, along with the Never Trumpers, are tugging the heartstrings of the country, hoping to advance their cause.

The net effect would be to once again turn illegal aliens into even more of a special class that’s immune to the regular order of law, granting them more special privileges that don’t apply to American citizens, such as our embezzlers. Let’s be honest here. The real, though unstated, goal of all this noise is to stop the practice altogether of detaining border jumpers.

Well, then, maybe we should just stop incarcerating all lawbreakers who have kids. Why not? If that separation is unbearably cruel for the kids of illegal aliens, is it any less cruel for the kids of other lawbreakers?

If people want this practice to end, the proper way to do that is to enact some legislation to that effect. Unless and until that happens, current law defines the practice.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2018

(Also published today in  The Signal)

 

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“Sanctuary State” Nonsense

On May 8th our City Council is going to be discussing the issue of joining several other California cities and counties in opposing this state’s declaration of “sanctuary state” status for illegal aliens.

I plan to be there, and address them on this issue.

Having spoken before the Council before I know there’s a time limit of three minutes per person, and I don’t think I can say all I want to in that time frame, so I’m going to put some of my thoughts here.

In 2010 Arizona enacted a law authorizing their police to enquire into the immigration status of people with whom the cops were in contact. That law was challenged in the case of Arizona v. United States “…on the theory that Arizona was trying to move in on the federal government’s superior power to enforce federal immigration laws”, and the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) held that several provisions of the Arizona law were unconstitutional because “…they either operated in areas solely controlled by federal policy, or they interfered with federal enforcement efforts.” (Link)

When SCOTUS issued their ruling in 2012, the illegal alien lobby jumped for joy. How come now, all of a sudden, they think it’s okay for this state to do the very same thing that Arizona did, namely “move in on the federal government’s superior power to enforce federal immigration laws” and “interfere with federal enforcement efforts”?

Got hypocrisy much?

I have little doubt the Council will hear a litany of illegal alien sob stories. In anticipation, I’ve got a little sob story of my own.

Kate Steinle was strolling along the pier in San Francisco with her father when she was shot down and killed by an illegal alien named Jose Inez Garcia Zarate. Zarate had already been deported five times; he was on probation in Texas; and had already been convicted of seven felonies. But because of San Fran’s “sanctuary city” policies, Zarate had been released from the San Francisco County Jail to roam free and ultimately kill Steinle.

Some others: Edwin Jackson killed by Manuel Orrego-Savala; Jamiel Shaw Jr. murdered by Pedro Espinoza; Sheriff’s Deputy Danny Oliver murdered by Luis Enrique Monroy Bracamontes: our own Sheriff’s Deputy David March was murdered by Armando Jose Arroyo Garcia; and there are a host of others, not only those murdered, but victims of other crimes, too.

We hear politician/cops (who shouldn’t be confused with actual street cops who work for a living) talking about “sanctuary” – meaning the refusal to enforce the law – allowing people to “come out of the shadows” and somehow help them enforce other, more palatable (I suppose) laws.

Maybe we should consider letting drug dealers “come out of the shadows”, too. Or embezzlers. Maybe thieves and shoplifters. In fact, we can refuse to enforce all kinds of laws and let the offenders all “come out of the shadows” if we want. Why limit it to just illegal aliens?

One other thing. The illegal alien apologists try to obfuscate this issue by conflating legal immigrants and illegal aliens. It’s intellectually dishonest. The vast majority of those of us who oppose “sanctuary” or regularization of illegal aliens is perfectly clear about the distinction between the two, and view legal immigrants as an entirely separate and distinct group. This issue is unrelated to them.

They also talk about this country being a “nation of immigrants”, as if American Indians are the only people “native” to this continent. But that’s also specious. The term “native Americans” is generally, and incorrectly, applied to American Indians, who are the aboriginal – the original inhabitants of any region – people of this continent, but even they were “immigrants” in that they got here from Asia. So just like those Indians, anybody born here is a “native” of this country, simply having arrived later. Any person born here is a “native American”, by definition.

So there we have it. I’m certainly urging the City Council to move forward in opposing this “sanctuary state” nonsense. We’ll see what happens at the meeting.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2018

 

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal)

 

 

Naked Judicial Activism and Overreach

On March 15th, for the second time, a federal district judge – this time in Hawaii – issued an injunction against President Trump’s executive order restricting immigration from several specific countries. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson, in the case of State of Hawai’I and Ismail Elshikh v. Donald J. Trump, had the temerity to order that “Enforcement of these provisions in all places, including the United States, at all United States borders and ports of entry, and in the issuance of visas is prohibited, pending further orders from this Court.” In other words, this judge in the district of Hawaii issued a restraining order that supposedly has nationwide enforceability.

The only problem is, he has no authority to do so.

Article III of the US Constitution establishes the Judiciary, and defines its powers, authority and limitations. Section 2, Paragraph 2 clearly states that: “In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction.”

What that means is that, barring a constitutional amendment, any case in which a state is a party must be heard by the Supreme Court, the only court with the authority and jurisdiction to hear such cases. Since one of the plaintiffs in the case at issue is the state of Hawaii, District Judge Watson had no jurisdiction, nor authority, to even hear the case. The same holds true for the several other District Courts that have heard and/or issued rulings on cases of like kind.

That paragraph goes on to state that: “In all the other Cases before mentioned (in Paragraph 1), the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.” Under that authority Congress went on to enact the Judiciary Acts of 1789, 1801, 1865, and 1925. These various Acts established the judicial system we have today, consisting of nine Supreme Court Justices, the various Circuit Courts of Appeal, the various District Courts, and their various jurisdictions, responsibilities and powers.

Part of that structuring defined court power to establish that the only court with national jurisdiction is the Supreme Court. For example, any ruling handed down by the Ninth Circuit Court only has enforcement power within the geographical boundaries of that Circuit, which are the nine Western states, including California. That’s why it’s not unusual to see different Circuits hand down conflicting rulings on the same issue, with the Supreme Court then stepping in to address and resolve the conflict by issuing a determinate ruling with national authority, thereby assuring a consistent application and rule of law across the nation.

The geographical jurisdictional and enforcement power of a District court is even smaller, as it’s a subset of the Circuit Court. So, just as the authority of a ruling by a Circuit Court is constrained by its geographical boundaries, so is the authority of a District Court’s ruling constrained to its own.

From this it’s easy to see that, in addition to hearing a case over which he had no jurisdiction, District Judge Watson issued a ruling and restraining order that he unlawfully attempts to apply outside the geographical borders of his own limited authority.

This is beyond unacceptable; it’s a repugnant attempt to usurp and arrogate power.

Were I Trump I’d instruct the State Department and other involved agencies to ignore these illegal rulings by this, and other, District judges who have far overstepped their legal authority. If these tin pot local judges want to set up a confrontation between the Judiciary and the Executive branches, then let’s bring it on.

Thomas Jefferson expressed his concern that the federal judiciary was potentially “the most dangerous branch” of government because, once seated, judges were installed for life and not accountable to the electorate. Unfortunately, particularly in recent decades, we’ve been seeing those fears realized as arrogant activist judges have taken to regularly exceeding their authority in order to facilitate their own political agendas, as facilitated by the cynical practice of “judge shopping” by litigants eager to promote and achieve their own political ends, goals they generally can’t achieve through the regular political process.

This must come to a halt, even if that has to be done through a constitutional confrontation.

 

 

 

©Brian Baker 2017

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal)