Arizona SB1070 tries the ability of the federal government’s propaganda arm.
Few things are more detrimental to American liberty than the distortion of facts and history by the propaganda arm of the federal government, i.e., the mainstream media. With the avalanche of unconstitutional actions dumped on the American people since the Obama Administration came to power it is difficult to pick out one that is more egregious than another. A case in point is the media’s handling of the Arizona immigration law supporting federal legislation.
An article in USA Today provides a prime example of the subtle ways used by the media to shade facts and distort constitutional issues. In its opening paragraph it attempts to frame the debate as the ongoing struggle to enforce, “The right of the government to keep states from enacting laws that usurp federal authority.” This description is the exact opposite of the truth. The struggle, even preceding ratification of the Constitution, has always been to keep the federal government from usurping the authority of the states in matters that affect the welfare of their citizens.
Another example is the claim that the Arizona law “makes it a state crime for legal immigrants to not carry their immigration documents.” It is federal law that requires immigrants residing, working or visiting in the U.S. to carry documents identifying their immigrant status. Federal law requires all immigrants to have their immigration documents with them at all times, and to produce them when asked to do so by law enforcement. The Arizona law does not change that, it merely requires its law enforcement personnel to aid in the enforcement of federal law.
The statement by the writer that really gets to the heart of the matter is, “But courts have ruled that under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, any state law that conflicts with a federal law is pre-empted. Federal law, the framers said, ‘shall be the supreme law of the land‘.” I challenge anyone, including the writer, law professors, or anyone else to point to or quote any source where the Framers or the Constitution declares federal law to be “the supreme law of the land.”
It is true that courts have ruled, “that under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, any state law that conflicts with a federal law is pre-empted”. However, that is not what the Constitution says, and it is not what the Framers intended. Article VI, Clause 2, of the Constitution says “This Constitution, and laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof…shall be the Supreme Law of the Land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby.”
It is unconscionable that persons who earn their daily bread by stringing words together into coherent sentences could so misuse the English language, the primary tool of their trade. According to Article VI, federal law supersedes state law, only when the federal law is necessary and proper for carrying out a power delegated to it by the Constitution. (Art. I, Sec. 8). In all other cases, state law supersedes federal law. This is made clear by the Tenth Amendment, “The Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
The Constitution only gives the federal government the power to set uniform rules as to the qualifications for citizenship. It is silent on the matter of immigration, which is different from citizenship. Common sense and sound policy requires that federal and state governments cooperate in making and enforcing immigration law, but the Tenth Amendment gives the states the primary power.