When the law which people break is unconstitutional, are they lawbreakers? Are those who enact, enforce, and support the unconstitutional law law-abiding?
When a law is so foolish and unnecessary that everybody is ashamed of it, such as a 5 mph speed limit on the interstate which defines, as "lawbreakers", people who are doing nothing wrong by traditional, historical, and religious standards, can we hold up our own heads high as we point the finger at them?
Would it "undermine the rule of law" to fix an illegal, immoral, unnecessary, and stupid law? Is it "rewarding lawbreakers" to exonerate innocent people wrongly found guilty by an illegal law?
Are Christians innocent, who punish violations of immigration laws which violate their own Scriptures such as: "And if a stranger [immigrant] sojourn [Heb. come to live] with thee in your land, ye shall not vex [Heb. deport] him. " (Leviticus 19:33) "...Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: ...for...I was a stranger [immigrant], and ye took me not in: ..." (Matthew 25:41, 43) "...He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. " (Luke 3:11) "One law [equal rights] shall be to him that is homeborn, [natural born citizen] and unto the stranger [immigrant] that sojourneth [Heb. comes to live] among you." (Exodus 12:49) "Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers." (Luke 11:46 )
No, no, no, no, no, no, no!
Quotas on the rights of U.S. residents is unacceptable to the Constitution, and would be unacceptable to any citizen upon whom they were imposed. If only 1% of Americans had the right to speak freely, the right to drive to work, or the right to trial by jury, no one would say Americans still had "equal protection of the laws". The 14th Amendment, both in its plain language and in its interpretation by Plyler v. Doe (1982), gives the same “equal protection of the laws”, which citizens enjoy, to "undocumented resident alients" (popularly vilified as "illegals"). At least in theory. But because of quotas which only allow about 100,000 Mexicans per year to immigrate legally, only about 1% of our roughly 12 million illegals (largely Mexican) have a line they can get in. Or to put it another way, if no new immigrants apply for those 100,000 slots, our 12 million illegals will all be able to get in line within 100 years. Meanwhile, their “liberty” is that of a hunted man before the police find his address.
We're only talking about quotas on who is already here. As understood by our Supreme Court, the 5th and 14th Amendments only protect U.S. residents. Many will find it outrageous that immigrants who came here illegally have full Constitutional rights, while immigration applicants abroad who are legally "in line" have none, but this distinction will stand undisputed in Supreme Court opinions until we decide to amend the Constitution to replace "equal rights" for everybody with limited rights for those the majority doesn't want.
Many say any change in immigration law that allows illegals a place in the line for legalization will "reward" them for violating immigration law, which will "undermine the rule of law".
It rewards breakers of the old stupid law, to pass a new sensible law which they aren't breaking? That's like saying no legislature has the right to raise speed limits on freeways because that just rewards those speeders who broke the law before the limits were raised. The fact is, most laws, and revisions of laws, make legal, for some people, what was previously illegal, and no one (outside the immigration debate) says fixing a bad law rewards lawbreakers. The goal ever before lawmakers OUGHT to be the vision of better laws, not some sophistry about rewarding lawbreakers by "fixing" laws that everyone admits are "broke".
No wonder America is hamstrung with so many laws and regulations today! We always suspected it, but now we know: politicians believe it is some kind of immoral act, if not a crime, to repeal a regulation! And it is the ultimate crime, to a bureaucrat or politician, to repeal a particularly STUPID regulation which routinely jails people who aren't doing anything wrong by any traditional, historical, or religious standard!
The Rule of Law is not undermined by lawmakers changing a law. That is the only thing lawmakers do. When lawmakers consider raising the speed limit, or lightening a penalty, they do not talk about whether that will "reward" those penalized under the existing law. They debate, instead, whether the law itself is right: whether it strikes the right balance between competing interests.
America's Founders did not define "rule of law" as "obedience to every last legalistic human law, no matter how cruel, tyrannical, stupid, or in conflict with Higher Laws." In fact, they coined "rule of law" to distinguish freedom from the rule of a tyrant. "Law", to them, meant not a commandment imposed on one by another, but a restriction imposed upon everyone equally, including even the King. "No one is above the law" encapsulates their definition of "law". American history is tarnished by long cruel years of not practicing these principles, but the moments of moral progress we have seen were aided by these principles in our founding documents. They still aid us today.
America's Founders understood that obedience required by "rule of law", like their obedience to "higher powers" (plural), in Romans 13:1, means obedience to laws not in conflict, and obedience to the highest law, when there is conflict. That is how they could popularly quote Blackstone's "any law that violates the laws of God is no law at all."
For example, George Mason, in 1771, argued against slavery before the General Court of Virginia, saying, "All acts of legislature apparently contrary to natural right and justice are, in our laws, and must in the nature of things, be considered void. The laws of nature are the laws of God, whose authority can be superceded by no power on earth. A legislature must not obstruct our obedience to Him from Whose punishments they cannot protect us. All human constitutions which contradict His laws, we are, in conscience, bound to DISobey."
But more critical to the determination of whether their guilt is like breaking and entering, than whether our lawmakers welcome them, is whether our Constitution welcomes them, and even more important than that, is whether God welcomes them. From the very beginning of the United States, there was never a citizen who was NOT an "illegal alien", in the opinion of many Native Americans. But God was with us, as demonstrated by many mighty miracles, and we should not think it irrelevant whether God may be with our Southern neighbors as they come to join us
"Rule of Law" as understood by America's Founders"Is it lawful to do good...or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace [they shut up]" - Jesus, Mark 3:4
(In other words, the only legitimate purpose of any human law is to do good. Human laws must have at least a pretense of having some legitimate purpose - doing good, or stopping bad - or they cannot even continue to exist. Oppression thrives on the backs of laws which sound justifiable but have a wicked ulterior motive, or which have good intentions but a bad grasp of reality, or which are good laws which are legalistically applied in situations where they do harm. No tyrant could introduce a law which he plainly tells people has evil for its purpose. That would awaken people to their moral duty to oppose it, as explained by the following quote.)
"Find out just what the people will submit to and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." - Fredrick Douglas (1857)
George Mason, in 1771, argued against slavery before the General Court of Virginia, saying, "All acts of legislature apparently contrary to natural right and justice are, in our laws, and must in the nature of things, be considered void. The laws of nature are the laws of God, whose authority can be superceded by no power on earth. A legislature must not obstruct our obedience to Him from Whose punishments they cannot protect us. All human constitutions which contradict His laws, we are, in conscience, bound to DISobey."
"Any law that violates the laws of God is no law at all."
"Any law that violates the laws of God is no law at all."-- one of the most popular quotes of Blackstone, a law professor in England, who wrote his Blackstone's Commentaries a generation before the Revolutionary War. He meant it only to summarize his lectures, but his way of making sense of English law and showing the Scriptural foundations for them animated Americans, who made it their second most purchased book after the Bible. The book, along with the "First Great Awakening", the revival led by Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), prepared the hearts of our forefathers for the Revolution which replaced tyranny with Christian-based freedom over much of the world, partially fulfilling Daniel 2:34 "Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image (representing the greatest tyrannies of human history) upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. " (Another aspect of the fulfillment is the martyrdom of Christians who have gone all over the world since the time of Jesus, giving their lives to set people free.)
John Quincy Adams Sixth President of the United States "The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code; it contained many statutes . . . of universal application-laws essential to the existence of men in society, and most of which have been enacted by every nation which ever professed any code of laws." (Source: John Quincy Adams, Letters of John Quincy Adams, to His Son, on the Bible and Its Teachings (Auburn: James M. Alden, 1850), p. 61.)
On the emptiness of any "Rule of Law" administered by people who will not "love their neighbor" (civil and criminal law summarized, according to the Lawgiver Jesus, Matthew 22:40): Samuel Adams Signer of the Declaration of Independence "[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt." (Source: William V. Wells, The Life and Public Service of Samuel Adams (Boston: Little, Brown, & Co., 1865), Vol. I, p. 22, quoting from a political essay by Samuel Adams published in The Public Advertiser, 1749.)
To those who advice us, for the sake of our security and freedom, to ignore God's commandments to love immigrants, treating them by the same laws we treat ourselves: Charles Carroll of Carrollton Signer of the Declaration of Independence "Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime & pure, [and] which denounces against the wicked eternal misery, and [which] insured to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments." (Source: Bernard C. Steiner, The Life and Correspondence of James McHenry (Cleveland: The Burrows Brothers, 1907), p. 475. In a letter from Charles Carroll to James McHenry of November 4, 1800.)
Describing how a vicious spirit forges one's own chains: Benjamin Franklin Signer of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence: "[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." Source: Benjamin Franklin, The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, Jared Sparks, editor (Boston: Tappan, Whittemore and Mason, 1840), Vol. X, p. 297, April 17, 1787.
On leaving God out of our immigration debates: "I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that "except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from tis unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest. I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one of more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service." Benjamin Franklin's speech that turned a squabbling Constitutional Convention into an efficient Constitution-producing machine. (Source: James Madison, The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, Max Farrand, editor (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911), Vol. I, pp. 450-452, June 28, 1787.)
Supreme Court is very explicit about wanting to protect the Constitutional RighThe same crowd that invokes the "rule of law", to say no one who came here illegally should ever be able to stay here legally, is against any "rule of law" that gives citizenship to anyone born here to a mother who is here illegally. But the laws which the "rule of law" crowd are against include the U.S. Code, the Constitution, Supreme Court rulings, and our laws since our ancestors first immigrated here.
Many of these "illegals" are children who have no power over where they live, and no capacity for "criminal intent". Plyler v. Doe (1982) says 14th Amendment "equal protection of the laws" protects the fundamental rights (like liberty) of "illegals", and that "illegal" children, especially, can't be blamed for where they live, over which they have no power. "Illegals who come here illegally are guilty of breaking and entering. It is like coming home and finding them on your sofa, surrounded by food from your refrigerator, and holding your remote." The correct analogy would be coming home and finding someone in your home who had been invited by someone else in your family, over your objections. Quite a number of Americans are not only glad these immigrants come, but they will pay them to stay and work.
It would not even be a correct analogy if we add that you are the head of the household, who makes the rules, and the other family members who have invited this house guest broke your rules. Because unauthorized immigrants are not just welcomed by a few employers, but indeed many legitimate lawmaking authorities, from the Supreme Court to Congress to the state legislatures to the local police, have been ambivalent about whether to welcome unauthorized immigrants. The Supreme Court, in Plyler v. Doe, 1982, requires states to educate unauthorized immigrant children; Congress has several times given "amnesties", as if suffering pangs of conscience that its oppressive quotas have made "criminals" of so many; and many social workers and police will not cooperate with the USCIS by reporting unauthorized immigrants they encounter.
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