Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mike Delph's Immigration Bill Will Fail

State Senator Mike Delph (R-Carmel) recently had his immigration bill pass out of the state Senate. And even though it overwhelmingly passed both in committee and in the full body, the numbers deserve a closer look.

The GOP overwhelmingly controls the Senate, so much so that the Democrats can not attend and there will still be enough of a quorum to conduct business. Yet, the bill only passed 31-18. That means five Republicans joined a handful of Democrats in voting against this bill. When a conservative body like the Indiana Senate can't agree on something, it probably means it's doomed in Indiana's House of Representatives.

This whole immigration business, on the state level, is ridiculous. Judge Andrew Napolitano, a strong advocate of state sovereignty, believes that if the states gave up any authority when forming the federal government, it's the ability to deal with foreign powers and foreign people. Add on to that that the proposed bill has so many similarities to the infamous Arizona immigration law that Indiana will likely join Arizona in federal court after the feds file a lawsuit. Even winning that lawsuit could cost millions of dollars which Indiana can't afford doesn't have.

Our immigration system is clearly broken, but the proper place for reform is at the federal level. We need both increased enforcement at the borders and to make legal immigration easier for those without millions of dollars and a ton of time to kill. I came across this flow chart which shows how difficult it is to legally enter this country. Short of having a spouse to marry, the odds are stacked against you. Any potential employer will have to wait, so your skills better be worth waiting for or they're going to settle on someone who lives in the country.

Of course, the difficulty in enforcement at the borders is that our troops are fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we have bases all across the world. Individual states could call up their National Guard units for border protection, but I bet a good chunk of them are deployed in the aforementioned wars. This is why we need a discussion at the federal level, because no one state can do this alone, and we can't have 50 different immigration policies.

So President Barack Obama, Speaker John Boehner, what are your ideas?


  1. First, a disclaimer. I am not in favor of the enforcement only approach in Delph's bill.

    But if what you said about Andrew Napolitano's views are accurate, he'd be wrong.

    In the U.S. Constitution, states have whatever powers are NOT explicitly denied to states. Thus unless Napolitano can point to something specific in the U.S. Constitution whidch prohibits states from legislating on immigration, states can legislate on immigration. That's a general rule...which can be modified as follow.

    Clearly the national govenrment has the power to regulate immigration. Thus in the areas where the national gov't is allowed to regulate and the states are not prohibited, both the national and state government can regulate.

    This is an area of overlapping powers that is governed by the Supremacy Clause That clause says the national government laws are supreme when there is a conflict with state (and local) laws. But there has to be a conflict between the national and state laws before the Supremacy Clause kicks in. Also, there can be other overlapping areas where the natinal government regulation is so pervasive that the national govenrment is said to have preempted (taken over) the area and ANY state (or local) law is invalid.

    So for national law to be supreme and the proposed state law invalid, you have to show that 1)the national government has preempted the area of immigration; or 2) that there would be a conflict between the proposed state law and the a national law.

    I don't know if the Indiana law would be held unconstional but if it is, it will be #1 or #2, not what Andrew Napolitano is allegedly saying.

  2. To me its very simple. You are not suppose to come here illegally. Pass laws and emforce them. And yes, even send them home. Its all about cheap labor for republicans and votes for democrats. May

  3. Paul, if you read up a bit on Judge Nap, he cites a 1939 Pennsylvania law that was intended to catch Nazi sympathizers. It required all immigrants in the state to register with Pennsylvania. The feds sued, saying the state can't do it, it went to the Supremes and they ruled in favor of the feds. Ultimately, the feds passed a similar law of their own.

    Now if that's literally unconstitutional, or there's more to it, is beyond my expertise. I'm just noting Judge Nap particularly because of his strong support for state's rights. Then again, he is a pundit, and he might be boiling it down to make a simple argument and leaving a lot out.

  4. Anon 10:15, I would be more than glad to join in with your position if you would just join me in arguing that we need to fix our screwed up immigration system. But of course you won't.

    Anyone who has worked in immigratiion law knows how broken the system is. Let's fix the immigration system and enforce the laws. There is no reason for fight compromise on this issue.

  5. May (and thanks for reading), I agree to an extent. The troublemakers of the bunch, get them out of here. Don't even try them for crimes, just deport them.

    The next portion is how to stop people from coming here. Hit the employers, and hit them hard. Take away the jobs, and that'll be a large part in preventing people from coming here.

    Another part is, we should let the current illegals who are here, give them an "amnesty" period to let them go back to their home country. I bet a large chunk of them would willingly choose to go back if they weren't afraid about getting caught by border police.

    Then we can have a healthy discussion on what to do after all that is complete.

  6. Paul, I support legal immigation... You don't know me or what I support so don't make assumptions.....I also would support new rules if our lazy politicians would get to work......

  7. Delph is pure evil, in so many ways

  8. There is something good coming out of a bad bill in the State Senate. The good is that many people is talking about an issue that's very importnat for a large segment of America. Now it's time to come up with a bill that make sense but at the Federal level. There is talks of enforcing laws that local Police is not trained nor interested in enforcing for the lack of resources at this time. Others talk about taking real people and dump them accross the border like live stock, others complaint about the cost it take for the state to take care of the illegals. No one is talking about the human cost. The latter is the sad of all of this. America is a blessed Nation, not because its people is superior to others but because it is a chosen place for people to leave and grow in peace.


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