State Citizenship

      ~T.E. Sumner 

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” 

Constitution 14th amendment

Born in the USA

The 14th Amendment applies to citizenship.  When slaves who had been brought to the US prior to the Civil War were freed, some states moved to disenfranchise them by claiming they were not citizens of the very state they lived in.  The 14th trumped that false claim. 

Note that citizens of a state are by that fact citizens of the United States.  State citizenship implies and conveys US citizenship. 

Visitor and Immigrant US visas do not specify a place to live and work while provisional migrants.  No state coordination exists currently. 

Uniform State Immigration Laws

Each state can have its own methodology to naturalize aliens so long as the state law conforms to Congress’ law. 

Governors or their agents, like state judges, can perform naturalization ceremonies and issue Certificates of Citizenship in their state.  The conveyance of state citizenship also conveys US citizenship, not just state citizenship. 

Importantly, all state-issued records and identification cards and certificates should indicate citizenship. 

The “CITIZEN” label is added only for Texas citizens.  “DRIVER LICENSE” or “COMMERCIAL” is added for drivers, and if appropriate “VETERAN” can be added.  “CARRY” indicates situational weapons trained and approved.

Citizens arriving from other states to reside in Texas would have to prove up their actual citizenship before a state identification card could bear the notation “Citizen.” Non-citizens issued ID cards by other states would not automatically become citizens in Texas.

Applicants for an identification card also need to prove up their actual name, as they were born with or as decreed by a court – no nicknames, no abbreviations, no omissions – full legal name. Gender and sex are currently being hashed over by some people who believe their appearance and their feelings override biology. To minimize questions, the notations XX and XY (or as appropriate) according to a biological test, should be shown if Sex or Gender is to be shown.

© 2020, T. E. Sumner

In this practice the reverse may be blank, but it can be populated with other information as is illustrated.  Importantly, whatever data is shown anywhere on the card should also be stored on the chip, if embedded.

The storage chip could also hold important additional information, in addition to all the data on the card, such as change history, a personal public key, if issued, donor information, health basics for emergencies, etc.  The card user would have to decide what protections to place on non-public data.

Other form factors are possible, such as portrait versus landscape orientation.  Separate labeled cards could also be issued for valid reasons, rather than a single combined card.   

Under-21 Orientation

Non-Citizen Identifications

Notice that “Citizen” is absent from the top. 

Also note that the Real ID star indicates identity has been verified by the issuing agency and that the bearer is lawfully present in the US. This is not an indicator of citizenship. There is currently no differentiation between a status of admitted under parole and may be allowed to stay temporarily and to work, and previously admitted under parole but “lawful” status revoked.

Citizenship Transfers from other States

Since principal residency is an essential requirement of citizenship in a state, a person can have only a single state citizenship.  A person cannot be principally residing in two places.

Converting other state citizenships to Texas Citizenship needs better rules, revolving around principal residency established by what time, plus relinquishment of other citizenships.  A 30 to 180 day period would be minimal to change.  

Converting other state citizenships to Texas Citizenship needs better rules, revolving around principal residency established by what time, plus relinquishment of other citizenships.  A 30 to 180 day period would be minimal to change. 

It is important to “age” transfers to prevent, for example, voters from operating in multiple states, public assistance from being duplicated, and to allow at least some assimilation of the newly minted Texans into local issues, traditions and customs, plus voter integrity.  Registration to vote requires residency as of 30 days prior to the Election Day, but an “aging” period to gain “residency” is important, as well as surrender of residency in other locales.

Getting control of the invasion on our border is a multi-part problem that begins with identifying actual Texas citizens as opposed to having other states misrepresenting non-citizens as citizens through their identification cards.   


We Need a New “Ellis Island”

Ellis Island in New York opened in 1892 to house immigrant-applicants for long enough to vet them, before releasing them, typically into New York.  We don’t have an equivalent today, and we need one.

Normally, passengers arrived by ship in Manhattan and were ferried across to Ellis Island, about 13 miles away.  It closed in 1954 after some 12,000,000 immigrant hopefuls passed through there.  While Ellis is most notable for its role in immigration to America, serving as the main conduit, it also served as a prison, a Naval station, and a point of deportation, prior to its close.

Tijuana an entry point

Many points of entry into the US are used today.  The Tijuana entry point is especially well known after news reports showed Central American immigrants climbing on top of the wall that separates Mexico from the US.  Certainly millions of visitors come from all over the world by air mostly, but also by ship and some by foot along the southern border.

Each port of entry needs an international area, like all international airports have, to separate inbound items for Customs and to vet incoming passengers.  The areas must be large enough to house applicants who might arrive without sufficient documentation for immediate entry.  Cost will always be a factor, but it should be borne mainly by those who show up without prior authorization and to a lesser extent by others, including importers and exporters.

Temporary housing for applicants to immigrate is sorely needed in some places.  Tijuana is a good example.  Immigrants were subject to physical and mental exams to ensure they were fit for admittance to the United States at Ellis Island.  This is difficult to do at the San Ysidro crossing.  Some 90,000 or more entries occur every single day – that’s 70,000 vehicles plus 20,000 pedestrians.

Fortunately, only a small fraction of those entries necessitate holding the entrant for further checking.  But where would you put 10,000 people, if you had to?

Ellis boasted a 98% admission rate, typically completed in 3-5 hours, but occasionally stretching into weeks for those without sufficient paperwork.  You can read more of the history of Ellis here.

Islands off San Diego

Santa Catalina Island is well known for its beauty and nature’s setting.  It is somewhat developed and easily accessible from San Diego or even Los Angeles.

San Clemente Island is a military reservation, like Ellis once was, located a short distance from Catalina.  There isn’t a whole lot on the island some 40 miles from San Diego, except the Naval facilities.

Other islands are nearby, which also might be suitable for temporary housing, like Ellis.

Clemente Island

island off San Diego

Military island off San Diego

What would it take to put immigration facilities on San Clemente Island?  Several million dollars in development could result in adequate water, sanitation, and housing for thousands of applicants who need additional processing time.

The primary advantage of using islands is that they are isolated by water from mainland USA.  Easily reached by ferry, Clemente is a difficult place to swim from to get to San Diego or Los Angeles.  Clemente has the benefit of already being a Federal land and with little on it.  Making it into a new “Ellis Island” would just take some work.Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Power to Choose Educators & Schools

New Structure for Public Education

In this proposed re-structuring of public education the current school district concept is divided into:

  • Public School Infrastructure (school district)

  • Public Education Provider Organizations

In this proposal the State underwrites education, but local boards run assets, meaning the infrastructure, the buildings and grounds and other capital assets. Local boards maintain those assets from provider funds.

Education is paid for by local users of education primarily, but assisted by the state, by local residents and businesses and by other interested parties who may want to fund special curricula.

Power To Choose

Like competition in electrical supply to consumers, where the electrical generation and transmission to consumers is separated from the poles and wires of the electric grid, and competition is among electrical providers for consumers over a common infrastructure, educational competition is among teaching (educational) providers in the delivery of education to the student. Education providers compete for students to learn using the provider’s curriculum at the exact same location as all other providers. The school is still the school (and owned by the school district), but educational providers offer their learning programs inside the same infrastructure of buildings. Visit to see competition in action.

Learning may be targeted at any age group, including mature adults, retirees, working people, high school graduates, middle-school aged teenagers, children and so on, on a variety of subjects and curricula.

Some education providers may have a laptop, desktop or tablet computer for each child and various other sophisticated technology, while other providers may rely solely on written materials and teaching on the traditional blackboard. They compete right next to each other in adjacent classrooms owned by the school district. The better methods and teachers win.

Generation, Distribution, Consumption

In electric competition, generators supply electricity on a synchronized basis to the grid over transmission infrastructure to the distribution grids that take the electricity down to levels that consumers can accept the electricity into their homes for use. Final electricity providers also supply other services to consumers to enhance their product offering, like hourly readings, time-of-day rates and so on.

Competition for consumers is available over the common distribution grid (poles & wires) and allows a consumer to select a provider of electricity to generate power, deliver it over the distribution grid, measure usage at the smart meter at the drop from the distribution grid to the consumer’s premises.

Generators (providers) operate off natural gas, diesel, nuclear, wind, solar and other raw energy sources to make electricity by companies like TXU, Reliant, and so on.

Poles & Wires (the distribution grid) are owned by Oncor, for example, and regulated by law.

Consumers decide what energy source mix they want to use and what price looks best for them. The pricing includes a charge for pass-through by the distribution grid (Poles & Wires) owner(s).

Students: Consumers, Schools: Poles & Wires, Providers: Generators

Similarly, in education the State supplies core educational goals and materials for a large chunk of the educational curriculum, that can be used for that purpose in a state-wide transmission-shipping network. Providers bring their own or state materials for all optional, supplemental or enhanced education. School districts supply buildings and infrastructure, and supply utilities and common services on a shared basis to all education providers in its buildings.

De-regulated education is enabled by dividing regulated educational institutions, which are buildings and other facilities funded and paid for by taxpayers that do not offer education itself from de-regulated education providers, who can bring their own methodologies, equipment, materials and personnel to provide education to the public. Providers divide their offerings by age group and subject matter and must meet educational goals and other standards set by the state if any.

Taxpayers are guaranteed not to have to pay more than 20 years on any facility the regulated school district entity builds, and education providers fund the maintenance of those same facilities through their fees.

Educational providers collect fees from students, donations from local businesses and organizations, vouchers from parents supplied by state and district, if available, and other sources, like PTA’s and volunteer groups. Some education providers will have all-volunteer staff or some mixture of paid and volunteer. We should let the local market and culture decide.

ERCOT and Facilities Planning for Education

Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) studies population movements, consumption, and economic trends to recommend changes to electrical suppliers and the Texas grid.

Any time the schools entity projects that capacity is insufficient to meet the needs of the community they can float a proposal to the taxpayers to modify or add on to existing facilities to provide a specified capacity that supports specified capabilities at a specified cost and estimated time to pay back the cost within 20 years. School planners can also propose multi-million dollar facilities to be shared across the whole district or wider, even.

The days of a handful of elected board members deciding to obligate taxpayers to tens of millions in future taxes to pay for a stadium that threatens to collapse a couple of years later needs to end, and end abruptly. No more indenturing future property owners with massive debt without an approval vote.

Using a ballot referendum revealing projected need, capacity and cost information, taxpayers can reject a proposal offered or can approve it to design and build additional facilities. When more than one option is available, the school district may present a choice of options to the voters or a straight up-or-down vote on the option it considers best. But we should be wary of take-it or leave-it and advisory votes.

Note that the buildings may need to accommodate a variety of body sizes in the toilets and other facilities, and that security may be a tricky subject to tackle. Age groups are often not mixed in traditional schools, although they may have been in the 19th century. It is not clear why age groups were segregated, except that security of younger students may be an issue.

Any time the school district projects that excess capacity exists or will exist, it may conduct a referendum to dispose of a facility and return the proceeds to the taxpayers after all debt is paid off.

Incumbents and Capital Accounts

A regulated school district may also be an educational provider if it so desires through a separate provider entity. A school educational provider entity must compete fairly with other providers and cannot undercharge or overcharge for its students. All providers who qualify are afforded the opportunity to use the regulated school district facilities by paying the appropriate operating costs and maintenance proportionate to its use.

Who pays what is important in this re-structuring of education. Taxpayers have been on the hook for both paying for buildings (now to be owned by the district) and teaching (now done by a separate education provider).

Initially, nothing should change, because re-organizing staff and finances is traumatic. As when TXU split into Oncor and TXU Electric, school districts need to split into School District and Education Provider. Their finances must be kept separated. Local taxes fund the amortization of school district bonds. All taxpayers in effect become stockholders in the school district. CoServ divided its capital assets and created funding for the infrastructure side of its business that consumers effectively owned. As “profit” accumulated each year, CoServ paid its consumers in proportion to their accumulated billing payments.

The school district will be paying down its debt over time, amortizing the amount borrowed, resulting in equity building up in the value of the facilities. Buildings are maintained by provider funding, keeping them fungible at a stable or increasing value. If a “profit” or return of equity situation occurs, those that paid in will be paid back. Return of capital can occur if a building is sold, for example.

Reduced Payback Period for Bonds

It is important that all bonds and borrowings issued are not of terms exceeding 20 or so years and voters get to approve of all bonds. No taxpayer can be expected to pay for his whole life with no prospect of relief. A family may buy a new house in a subdivision that just voted to add a school in a bond election, and after it’s built send their children to that building. But after 14 years or so, the family no longer needs the school, unless they have more children in their home. So, the fairness of paying for a building that they can make little use of comes to the front. Bonds should never be used for short-term assets.

If a building is put up using bond money and the bond is paid off after 20 years, then what is the taxpayer sending money to the school district for? The portion of taxes for paying off the bonds should end after a reasonable time. A family may finish sending its children to school after 20-30 years. We can plan on reducing the taxpayer’s load significantly after they have paid for at least 20 years and finished sending their children through the educational system. Typically, this 20-30 years coincides with normal retirement age, although it may occur later or earlier than 65.

The difference in monthly payments of a 40-year bond and a 30 is about 14%, while a 30 vs a 20 is 27% or 19% for 22. Shorter payback periods result in slightly or somewhat higher payments but massive savings.

Taxpayers need to be relieved of taxes to pay back bonds eventually if they have no school-aged children in the system and have already paid for decades. Education is not provided by the buildings themselves.

As to the educational portion of schools, not the infrastructure, a transition from paying a single amount to the school district to splitting the payment into district infrastructure and education provider payments is needed. Right now the state sends funds for education, but it is at least partially used to pay off debt for infrastructure. That funding of debt needs to end.

The state should continue paying a portion of education, and as part of the transition, vouchers should be issued to every registered family with a school-aged child.

Voucher Eligibility and Issuance

To register to receive vouchers a family or a guardian must apply to the state via the district where resident. Only citizens may apply or other lawful residents, such as military personnel posted in the district or lawful immigrants. The state must establish who is eligible, including how long a person must reside in the district or lawful exceptions, such as transfers from other eligible districts. The definition of citizenship and resident must be spelled out in the law to prevent arguments and possible judicial cases.

Initially, the vouchers can be used only for any captive (incumbent) school district educational provider to get people accustomed to paying that way. Over time, new non-incumbent, challenger providers will appear and vouchers can be used to fund those providers in the same school district facilities or to fund the incumbent provider.

Of course, the old school district needs to release parents from the obligation to use the school district’s incumbent provider. Basically, a parent can choose to use the voucher at any educational provider that meets state standards, including home-based education. We can expect chartered non-profit, profit, incumbent government (non-profit) education providers, all meeting state standards.

At the same time, the local taxing authority also collects taxes that in part fund educational providers. So, a second voucher will be issued by the local taxing authority for the education portion. Parents will initially be able to use the second local voucher only at the incumbent provider. After a transitional period, the second voucher will also be usable with other providers, including home-based schooling.


It will take some time for educational providers to plan for the next academic year and can do so after knowing the estimates of voucher amounts, market demand for their planned services at anticipated price levels, costs of providing labor and materials for their offerings

Hopefully by the time both vouchers are usable with alternative providers there will actually be other educational providers. We should expect some degree of disruption in the whole process as providers come on-line, compete and some fail. Failure is just part of competition. Right now we have major failures in some school districts, and they need to change. Some school districts are currently successful, and they will more than just survive competition, primarily because parents will elect to remain with successful incumbents.

Home schooling, alternative, charter and remote learning are all options that will flourish under a competitive system. As education transitions out of brick-and-mortar based school districts to more 21st century methodologies other learning approaches will become prevalent. Education will no longer be confined to K-12 and college. Costs are expected to drop significantly and choices grow exponentially.

Perhaps the state can enable the process of transition for every district, but allow parents to opt out of competition as a family decision initially. A transition period that lasts longer than the depreciation period of school-owned short-term assets would be unnecessarily long. Parents would, effectively, receive the state vouchers and district vouchers (and be notified), but they would be paid directly to the educational provider. Later, they should be able to join in competition, if they so desire, and actually receive the vouchers in hard form. Some districts will embrace competition readily and lead the way, while competition will effectively dismantle district schools that under-perform.

Security for vouchers would be a concern so as to prevent forgery and duplication. Electronic distribution should be enabled but secure. The Secretary of State can set up a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to facilitate secure delivery, receipt and accounting for vouchers, as well as other matters. Once signed over by the student’s guardian/parent, a voucher is redeemed by the provider from the issuing entity (state or district) and may be supplemented by the student’s guardian.

Splitting Short-term and Long-term Items

Currently, school districts have both short-term and long-term assets and liabilities. The objective is to separate the short-term items to the incumbent education provider and the long-term to the school district. As the short-term liabilities are paid off and assets, like books and computers, are depreciated off the books, the incumbents will be in the same position as competitive providers. The short-term debt is actually owed to the school district when separated. Competitive providers will owe their working capital or short-term debt to outside lenders. Of course, providers can negotiate sharing deals for short-term assets or buy and sell them. The school district should not be involved in these dealings.

Notably, some items in a school building are not short-term assets, but more correctly classified as fixtures in real property. Some examples in the school are toilets, drinking fountains, cafeteria fixtures, like stoves, ovens, counters and so on. In commercial real estate fixtures are the property of the renting tenants, not the property owner or landlord, but in some situations landlords provide Common Area Maintenance (CAM) for lobbies and property fixtures or common area utilities.

This concept can be carried forward into the new restructuring of school finance by allowing school districts to provide some common facilities to all or some providers and charge accordingly. This is not to be used as an excuse not to restructure assets and care must be taken by state authorities to review and approve all such proposed arrangements, especially if a competitive provider complains of unfairness in providing such facilities or the charges. The state by law should provide guidance as to what is appropriate to include in CAM and what not to, such as sanitary bathrooms or water fountains or even a library, a swimming pool, a weight room and the like, and to publish statewide statistics for comparison.

The Way Forward

The first step was accomplished long ago, separating I&S from M&O. Now to complete this step, all assets, charges and payments need to be reviewed to assure they are properly classified.

  1. Freeze all bond issues, limiting issuance to compliant plans to sell bonds
  2. Publish accounting standards and qualifying guidelines for districts and providers to use and rules for state audit of public educational entities, districts
  3. Negotiate a timeline with cognizant agencies for transition, specifying goals for each step
  4. Establish a PKI at the Secretary of State for state-wide use, set up officials
  5. Receive and review each district’s plan for transition
  6. Set timeline for beginning and ending transition, including elections if any
  7. Set up procedures for student voucher applications and registration
  1. State budgets per-voucher amounts by district prior to district budgeting
  2. Districts budgets local voucher amount plus sets I&S amount for tax purposes
  3. Incumbents budget student M&O amount for tax purposes
  4. Qualified competitive educational entities publish pricing to attend by district
  5. Families make choices, all providers finalize class sizes , curricula, etc
  6. Vouchers tendered and paid periodically, specifying procedures for changes


Gerrymandering and The Right to be Represented

We want government representatives to cover all viewpoints of their constituents fairly.

Advocates for racial representation try to segregate those of a particular color or race so that they can have their own representation.

How asinine!

A recent Democratic judicial panel in the US District Court of Western Texas ruled that Congressional boundaries were drawn so as to minimize relative numbers of a particular ethnic group, by spreading their bloc among adjacent districts and, thus, dilute their ability to elect candidates of the same ethnic persuasion in any of those districts. As if the identified group all thought alike and would want the exact same things…

Is it truly better to have a district with boundaries drawn so that a majority race or majority color can be constructed from adjacent districts that otherwise would claim those minorities?

Which groups or divisions of people are acceptable to create such a minority district from, and must it also be relatively contiguous geographically? Is it solely color of skin, or should all physical, mental, ethnic and cultural differences be accounted for separately in representation from districts?

If Italians and Irish are commingled in two adjacent districts, is it better to divide the two national-origin groups by gerrymandering the boundaries so that there is a more exclusively Irish district and a more exclusively Italian district? Or, should we simply draw compact and contiguous districts regardless of the relative proportions of Italians and Irish?

If Jews and Christians, similarly, are intermixed geographically, should we re-draw boundaries so as to give a district with primarily Jewish constituents in one or more districts while drawing the boundaries to concentrate Christians in the remaining districts?

How far should we take this objective of drawing boundaries to create a majority constituent group?

  • Should we segregate constituents by gender identity issues?
  • Maybe women from men?
  • Maybe English- from Russian-speaking from Chinese-speaking?
  • Maybe rich from poor?
  • Maybe smart from dumb?
  • Where does this divisiveness stop?

To unite people, we divide them. That’s logical.

We don’t try to see past differences – we focus on them.

We don’t try to find common ground – we seek confrontational divisive politics.

Melting pot, shmelting pot.

Those district judges “know” that if you have the same skin color as someone else, you want the same things and you vote the same way. They’re not prejudiced at all. And their views unite us all.


Interpreting and Following the Law

Words Mean Something

Legislators write laws.  Usually they write laws after something bad happens, not before.  Since ex post facto laws cannot be used to punish crimes that weren’t originally crimes, they have a preventive effect on future activities, not on what already occurred.  But words have meanings at the time they’re written.

Language evolves and “must needs” isn’t part of English any more (at least in modern English), and slang is often adopted into everyday usage, like “gay” changing from “happy” to “homosexual” or some words that have taken on connotations, both positive and negative. The “Good Samaritan” was actually a sarcastic epithet, but it has evolved to just “samaritan” and connotes good behavior.  “Aggression” actually meant physical force in practice, but a newer terminology of “micro-aggression” has emerged to show feelings too subtle to register as anything other than speech that someone might be offended by.

So, what exactly did legislators mean when they said “examine” or “privacy” or “secure” in their legal writings?

Only Congress Legislates

Our Constitution grants the House of Representatives and the Senate the sole power to write laws.  Of course, the President is charged with implementing the laws and enforcing them, and the Supreme Court may ultimately be responsible for determining if the law was followed or not.  But neither the function of Executing the law or Adjudicating the law involve “interpreting” or “extending the law via regulatory power” as you know.

NOTE:  Only the House may originate spending bills, but the Senate may offer amendments (only germane ones we have learned).

These functions of “interpretation” and “extension” are truly not what was envisioned by our Founding Fathers.  The Law is the law, not subject to interpretation.  Regulations are not the law, but they were originally believed to fill in the blanks, gaps and details missing from the laws, as written.  Now, regulators have the judicial power of “administrative law” as judges of whether the regulations are being followed.  And judges can change the scope of law to make it consistent with what they believe is right, regardless of how it’s written.

These non-existent powers to interpret and extend are simply wrong.

Overlooked Provisions and Unintended Consequences

None of us is perfect.  When writing a law, some things may slip by that are slightly off, or some consequences of laws may be unpalatable to particular people, especially those in the judicial system, but the cure is not to allow Executive power to usurp the Legislative function, nor to allow Judicial power to usurp Legislative function either.

The “Living” Constitution

Judges may find that a law was not violated because the law itself violates some other law or a constitutional provision, but they cannot change the law.  If plants can’t be brought into a geographic area without first having been vetted by agricultural inspectors for diseases, a judge can’t say that the law applies only citizens or only to foreigners or only to certain situations when it is convenient for compliance.  Judges can, however, say that a violation by a person in a particular case did not occur because the Constitution does not include a power to submit objects for inspection, hypothetically.

The Constitution, like the law itself, isn’t “flexible”; it isn’t alive.  It doesn’t change with each new generation of political thinking, even if some new words come into vogue or others leave the vernacular.  Does “No Parking” change in meaning because cars are smaller?  Does a firearm change its lethality because we invent a new word to it label with?

Executive Power

Presidents and executive administration officials under him may not like that every single person entering the US must show valid identification papers or else be sequestered until a determination of identity can be made, but it is the law.  I may not like being the one detained at the border crossing, but to ignore the law for expediency or to interpret the law according to an arbitrary set of rules that is not passed by the legislators is simply wrong.

NPRM (notice of proposed rule-making) is a prime example of how Congress is bypassed in its legislative role.  Regulators call in industry and interested parties to determine what rules the agency will implement – no, Congress is not consulted.  After the rules are published, they have the effect of law, but Congress never ratified them, and may not have even been aware of the process, at least until published in the Federal Register.

Executive Orders and Regulations

If only Congress can write the laws, how do we get regulations done?  Not by Executive Orders and not by Administration-written Regulations.  If the administration wants a particular wording for rules empowered by public law, then the administration must submit its proposed writings to Congress for approval.  The Legislative branch needs to be in charge of the writings that make up our law.  They must approve every teensy-weensy bit of writing that is law.

The Executive is restricted to Enforcing the Law as written by Congress, not as the President feels it should be.

If only Congress knows what they meant in writing a law, how do we get judicial decisions that conform to the law?  Not by interpreting the written word of law according to a judge’s set of prejudices and beliefs.  When a judge misinterprets the law, Congress needs to be able to correct that misdeed.

The Judiciary is restricted to deciding if a law was violated or not.  It cannot un-write laws or re-write them to suit its political agenda.

Amendment 36

Bill of Disapprobation

Amendment 36: Bill of Disapprobation by Congress

In Congress’ Oversight Authority we discussed the need for oversight by Congress, our legislative branch, and Amendment XXXII was proposed to codify that role to limit the Executive from legislating.  But if the President takes action via an Executive Order, we need a mechanism by which that Order can be disapproved, either by Congress.  The several States need also to be empowered to exercise similar power over the Federal Executive, when a super-majority of States pass similar Bills of Disapprobation.

States' Bills of Dissapprobation

Amendment 39: States’ Bills of Disapprobation

In neither case using Amendment 36 or 39 does the President sign or approve in any way the disapproval of what he has already done.  Obviously, he would never approve of disapproval of his works.  Note that the Senate alone may disapprove “deals” or what normally would be called a Treaty for Constitutional purposes.

In both Amendments the President by not complying with Disapprobation is conducting himself in Misdemeanor (as mentioned in the Constitution, grounds for Impeachment).

Amendment 35

The Amendments above might address and out-of-control Executive, but how can we rein in an out-of-control Judiciary?  Similar to the Bill of Disapprobation, we can have a Constitutional clause by amendment to disapprove what the Court has ruled.  We could also do that in advance if we’re worried they’ll misinterpret either a law or the Constitution itself.

Bill of Verity

Amendment 35: Congress’ Bill of Verity to correct Judiciary

A Bill of Verity is similar to amicus curiae only stronger in that it carries the Constitutional weight of directing and correcting the Judicial branch.

As with the Bill of Disapprobation, if the Judiciary ignores the Bill of Verity, they’re conducting themselves in Misdemeanor.  Impeachment applies to Federal officials charged with High Crimes and Misdemeanors.

States also need the power to correct the Judicial branch in case they have overstepped their bounds.  Amendment 38 provides a Constitutional mechanism for a super-majority of States to correct the Court on judicial matters, in effect to rein them in when necessary.

Bills of Verity

Amendment 38: States’ Bills of Verity

With the power of Congress to rein in the Executive or the Judiciary plus the power of States to do the same via Bills of Disapprobation and Bills of Verity, we can expect the Federal officials to behave themselves with respect to legislating from the bench or in the oval office.

The last piece of the puzzle is to rein in the power of Congress itself when the States have observed that Congress needs to be corrected or constrained.  Term Limits may provide some fear factor, but we also need to power to recall and the power to disapprove Congressional actions from The People or the States.Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Beliefs, Creeds, and Religion


…on the basis or race, color, creed or national origin…

What is the difference among these “prohibited” bases and religion for discrimination?

Race, Color (skin color) and National origin are rather obvious in their meaning, but what about Creed and Religion?

Beliefs” are hypotheses that are:

  1. provably true,
  2. possibly true or
  3. not provable (or provably false),

but they are things that an individual holds to be true. These beliefs may coincide with the beliefs of others, or they may be completely at odds with others’, or they may be matters that others hold no opinion in conflict and so feel neutral about or ignore.

Some beliefs:

  • The Moon is Made of Cheese
  • Guns cause Murder
  • Women are Inferior
  • Large Soda Drinks cause Obesity
  • Men are Insensitive
  • Everything was Created in 7 Days
  • Embryos and Fetuses are just Meat
  • Carbon Emissions will Melt the Polar Icecaps
  • Killing non-Believers is Acceptable

Obviously, beliefs are part of any religion.  But believing in something doesn’t make a person religious.


A group may subscribe to a set of beliefs without believing in the creation by or control of a superior being, such as a god. This set of beliefs is often described as the “creed” of the group.

A religion has a creed but also some beliefs concerning the creation of the universe or its control.  Religions all have creeds plus a belief in God or gods.  Creed inside Religion

Obviously, creeds are also part of any religion.  They are, however, separate and distinct from beliefs about a supreme being or beings and beliefs in an afterlife.

While a creed can be a part of a religion, it is not necessarily the whole of it.

Should our laws prohibit religions?

Beliefs that do not revolve around a deity and require no action that conflicts with law are not a valid area to enact prohibitive legislation. The principle of tolerance is a good basis for all religions to be treated equally so long as the portion of the religion’s creed not dealing with actionable beliefs is benign, and the portion requiring or advocating actions would violate no law.

For example, if a creed or religion demanded that all children upon reaching age 9 be sexually assaulted by a neighbor, we would be justified in prohibiting the practice of that belief, since it so contravenes our sense of the moral and lawful way to bring up children.  By extension we can categorically state that any belief that violates the law should be proscribed and followers of the creed must swear to abrogate that portion of their creed or religion.

Oath to Place Law above Creed

President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802, reaffirming that as a matter of democratic principle that no one should be denied participation in the War Department.  From 1947 through 1949, Congress adopted a series of laws renaming and reorganizing the American national military establishment to a more politically correct set of nomenclature, including renaming the War Department as the Department of Defense.

This concept of non-denial on the basis of Race, Color, Creed, or National Origin has stuck in the vernacular of political correctness.  Some states, like Wisconsin, have expanded the list of protected classes to include “race, color, national origin, ancestry, creed, age, sex, disability, arrest or conviction record, marital status, sexual orientation, military status and use or non-use of lawful products away from work” in the name of egalitarianism.

On the face of it this state’s prohibition against considering any aspect of a person that might reasonably be used to indicate whether a potential employee could present a later threat, based on this lengthy list, might be short-sighted.  “Creed” (belief) that violating our laws is justified might be something we should check for, especially in employment and even admission into the United States.Belief Systems simplified - rights & law

One could also argue that an arrest record or conviction record might reasonably indicate a more than a fleeting possibility of repeating past transgressions.  But egalitarianism, the belief that none of us is any better than anyone else, and we’re all completely interchangeable, is a prime example of Belief Perseverance, a common affliction of Socialists.  Belief Perseverance occurs in the face of irrefutable evidence to the contrary and often precedes vociferous emotionally charged accusations of bias.

Countering Unwelcome Beliefs

Joining any group from a volunteer group to a much larger society of a nation should involve more critical examination of beliefs than the cognitive bias demonstrated in FDR’s executive order 8802.  We pledge allegiance to the flag and swear to protect and defend the Constitution, but no one wants to inquire into the creed of foreigners applying to live among us, because to do so would deny the value of multi-culturalism and abridge the rights of Americans to practice their creed, no matter how diametrically opposed to the principles in the Declaration, and specifically to current law.

We should and do welcome anyone who adopts the American way of life.  Work Hard, Be Honest, Succeed – all solely on your own efforts.  It may be tempting to believe that no one is any different from anyone else, that “you didn’t build that” or all cultures are the same, but reality belies these beliefs.  The Socialist credo stands discredited and should be discarded.

If a foreigner wants to immigrate to live and work here, then he must want to adopt our culture, abandoning any creed that violates our laws or would reasonably engender an environment that destroys our culture of hard working, law-abiding, successful America.

There is nothing at all incompatible with American principles to ask and to verify of applicants for admission if they hold beliefs (whether they’re from a holy book they subscribe to or from the mouth of an ideologue) that are in opposition to American principles.  Some creeds believe it is acceptable to deceive other creeds about their true beliefs.  (So interviewers should belong to the same creed.)

If their creed advocates violence against others creeds, they don’t belong here.  If their creed celebrates the subjugation of a class of people, then they don’t belong here.  There can be no egalitarian society when one gender must follow behind the other, or when one religious group has to pay another group some special tax, or when martyrdom is more important than anything else, especially when it occurs in the act of murdering innocent people.

We Don’t Need a Religious Test – We Need a “Creed” Test


Votes – the Currency of Democracy

In democratic government power is wielded by those voted into power.  Changes in the law, like Constitutional amendments and plebiscites also are voted on. Voting is a crucial element of practicing democracy in a republic.

Plurality Rules vs Majority Rules

Decisions are bought into by the voters primarily by majority voting.  Counting ballots usually reveals that only a small portion of citizens eligible to vote actually show up to vote.  The fact that many voters disenfranchise themselves is appalling.  It is also appalling that, although eligible to become voters, many citizens simply fail to register to vote.  Between these two appalling facts of failing to register and failing to vote we find that only a small fraction of the voting-aged population actually exercises their right to vote.

Worse, decisions are almost always determined by the largest number of votes received on an issue.  A plurality is a pitiful way to decide things, especially considering the appalling facts above.votes 40-30-25

With 3 choices available, if 40% favor choice A, 35% favor B and 25% favor C, A will win.  Even though A has only a plurality, it will be the official outcome.

Voter Fraud & Low Turnout

To put this in perspective, typically only 60% of the voting-aged population bothers to register to vote. In a typical election only 20-40% of those registered show up to vote.  This means that tiny fraction of voters (12-24%) can determine the outcome, perhaps only 40% of 20% of 60% of voting age people.  In a close race only half of 12% wins, maybe less.  How can only 5% or less determine an election?

Registration to Vote

Sometimes it’s just laziness: the voter moved and didn’t re-register in the new voting precinct.  Sometimes it’s to avoid jury duty, since often jury pools are selected from voter registries.  Often eligible citizens don’t know the process or the place to go to register, and then it takes a while to get around to it.

Low Information Voters

What do we imagine the 5% or less that vote for choice A B or C know about the 3 choices and how informed they are to choose?  Are they party-line voters, do they recognize the name of a candidate, or did they see a political advertisement that swayed them?

Fraud Affects Outcome

It should be obvious that having a cadre of informed voters who show up is essential to having good election outcomes.  When a few votes out of 5% are fraudulent, it can alter the election outcome to become fraudulent, too.  We cannot allow votes to be bought, to be stolen or in any way to be fraudulently or forcibly cast.  We simply cannot afford to waste even a single vote.

Theft, Loss, & Counterfeit Votes

Since the democratic process runs on votes, the notion that votes are the currency of democracy is correct.  Counterfeit currency steals value from other currency-holders.  Counterfeit votes steal outcome from real voters.  A voter’s wishes are diluted by the presence of fake ballots in the ballot box.  Fake ballots are those created by someone without counting them as coming from a legitimate voter. In the past this illegitimate practice was called ballot-stuffing.

Currency stolen from its proper owner, whether the owner is aware of it or not, is still theft.  Stealing a vote is a matter of attributing a ballot to a particular voter (who didn’t vote).  These stolen votes are based on fraudulent identity, and steal the power of the legitimate voter, even though the voter may not know about the theft.  When ballots are accounted for and handed out only to registered voters, only fraudulent identification of a registered voter will result in theft of vote.  Election Code 63.0101

Integrity from Start to Finish

Theft and loss of votes can also occur later during the canvassing of ballots.  Ballots could be miscounted, could be discarded unintentionally or intentionally, or could simply be misreported.  Trusting officials to safeguard ballots and to count them all properly forces us to design voting systems that can be trusted, typically by re-counting by separate mechanisms and different people and cross-checking the result or allowing audit of votes afterwards.

In an ideal voting system ballots would be intact from casting to canvassing with the ability for audit by officials and for voters to verify their individual ballots were counted and no others recorded in their names.

Single Vote vs Authenticating a Voter

But all systems rely on authenticating a person claiming to be eligible as a voter.  It’s one thing to force everyone issued a ballot to dip their hand in indelible ink so we know only one ballot was issued, but how do we know if they’re eligible at all?

We adhere to the principle “One Man, One Vote” meaning you can’t vote twice for Governor or twice for President and so on.  But, we also mean that Green Party members can’t vote in the Socialist Party primary election, and citizens in one county can’t illegitimately vote for county issues in another county.  Proving that a voter is actually eligible to vote is crucial.

We have these 2 important points:

  • You must be eligible to vote
  • You must not vote more than once

Eligibility to Vote

Today only citizens may vote and residence is used to determine where they vote.  Registering to vote allows an agency of the government to vet the person for citizenship, record any identifying information, confirm their taxpayer status, and issue a voter card.  In an ideal voting system every citizen eligible to vote would be able to register to vote nearly instantaneously.  This would allow the ‘green’ eligible area to be equal to the ‘blue’ registered area show in the graphic above.

Double Voting

Voting more than once can be detected by tracking when a person votes and having all other places or methods to vote precluded by that detection.  If I vote for President in precinct 123, as soon as I cast a ballot for President, all other precincts know about it and I cannot go to another precinct and vote for President again.  My vote is tied to my identity.  If I can be uniquely identified, then duplicate votes can be stopped for me (if my identity is confirmed every time I attempt to vote).  mexico-voter-ID-card-91115061883

Of course not only must other precincts be allowed to see I have already voted but other methods, such as early voting and voting by mail, should be checked before issuing a ballot to me and they should also be allowed to see that I have voted.  Those other locations must be allowed to see the issuance as quickly in real time as possible – if there is a delay, then before allowing the ballot(s) to be cast, the issuance and casting at other locations must be checked.

Poll Book of Registered Voters

Each voting location, including mail processing, must confirm identity of the applying voter.  The voting system will be no more secure against fraudulent and duplicate votes than the methods used to confirm identity of voters and verify uniqueness of ballot issuance.  dallas 3045 pollbook p16

The polling location that has a book of only names and addresses of eligible voters is probably the least secure.  Identity confirmation based on names and/or birthday and/or address are common methods.  Any of these methods are actually not very secure.  Internal processes at the polling station should preclude such a possibility of ballot theft or duplicate voting, but with collusion it is still very possible.

No ID Required

If no ID is required, any person can come up to a clerk and claim to a name in the open book without an indication that the voter already voted.  In fact poll-workers can simply issue themselves or their confederates ballots in the names of any people that have not already voted.


Part of the ballot issuance process, then, should include a method of leaving a trace by the voter that it was she and not someone simply claiming to be the voter that can be audited later.  A signature of the voter might work.  However, very few people are expert enough to recognize whether a signature is a forgery.


No poll books have photos of voters – so comparing the person’s face to a photograph in the book would not work for identification.  But taking a photo (as the trace) would be a change a substantial number of voters would object to.  However, almost all voters have pictures on their driver licenses or other government-issued ID card.  A poll-worker could take a photo of the ID card itself to act as trace that the voter appeared to get a ballot.


Fingerprints, such as a thumbprint, are useful to establish a verifiable trace of the voter’s appearance at the polling station, but comparing fingerprints is probably a difficult job for ordinary poll-workers unless they’re aided by machinery.  And where would the source print come from to compare to?  Driver licenses are often issued by the state department of public safety or motor vehicles, who also take fingerprints as part of the licensing process.  This government source of fingerprints would be a good one.

Capturing biometric data at the time of registration and making it easy to verify at the time of issuing a ballot (or casting it) will add to the security and integrity of the voting system, but will also add some labor and storage needs for the data and the checking.  Machinery to assist poll-workers in verifying could also add to the equipment cost of elections.

Voting Systems We Can Bank On

To safeguard votes, the currency of democracy, we need a voting system that

  • Allows near-instant registration to vote
  • Utilizes existing government identity systems as appropriate
  • Captures needed biometric data on the registered voter
  • Securely stores and distributes registration data and ballot data
  • Assists poll-workers in verifying voter identity data and detecting duplicate ballots
  • Minimizes the possibility of collusion in credentialing and issuance of ballots
  • Securely accepts and transports ballots to a canvassing location for secure storage
  • Permits a voter to confirm her ballot was counted and not altered
  • Permits poll-watchers to confirm a total visual count of voters appearing against the number of ballots cast
  • Permits a non-voter to confirm that no ballot was accepted in his name
  • Permits any citizen to see a list of who voted in which election and confirm each was verified by an official before a ballot was issued
  • Permits the public to confirm that total issued ballots matches total votes
  • Enables auditing of each of the various stages of the voting process

Clearly, verification of voter identity requires an ID card that provides some biometric data, such as a photo or fingerprint, that poll-workers can verify a voter’s identity.  Further, the process must include capturing the same data at the time of ballot issuance and casting.Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Immigration is not a Federal Power

[see the first companion article on State power over Immigration and the third companion article on States’ Actions on Immigration]

Supreme Court Basis

In 1875 an key case in immigration law was reviewed by the Supreme Court.  Chy Lung v Freeman essentially established Federal supremacy over immigration issues.  The Court’s reasoning was that a state could not supersede Federal power in regard to relations with other countries.  Article I Section 8 enumerates powers of Congress, including

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;” and

“To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;”

The President is empowered in Article II Section 2

“He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur;”

States are also prohibited in Article I Section 10

“No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin” and

“No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection Laws:” and

“No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”

However, in addition to these Constitutional provisions about Treaties, Alliances and to regulate Commerce that the Federal government does control with some exceptions, the Constitution leaves States with other powers, like the inspection of goods and persons entering into their states.  The purpose of these inspections is two-fold:

  • Taxation, including inspection fees, the remainder for Federal coffers, and
  • Safety of things and people being imported so that they might be excluded (sent back)

The Supreme Court has reiterated the authority of states to protect its citizenry from unsafe people and things in Chy Lung v Freeman, and to prevent undue burden on the local communities and the state of those persons who might become a public charge:

“If a state law, in the absence of congressional legislation, is enacted to protect itself by necessary and proper laws against foreign criminals, it may be constitutional as long as it arises from a vital necessity.

and in Henderson v Mayor of City of New York the Court did not rule, instead

“Whether, in the absence of such action, the States can, or how far they can, by appropriate legislation, protect themselves against actual paupers, vagrants, criminals, and diseased persons, arriving in their territory from foreign countries, we do not decide”

… but in Smith v Turner the Court clearly laid out for public health reasons

“9. That the States of this Union may, in the exercise of their police powers, pass quarantine and health laws, interdicting vessels coming from foreign ports, or ports within the United States, from landing passengers and goods, prescribe the places and time for vessels to quarantine, and impose penalties upon persons for violating the same; and that such laws, though affecting commerce in its transit, are not regulations of commerce prescribing terms upon which merchandise and persons shall be admitted into the ports of the United States, but precautionary regulations to prevent vessels engaged in commerce from introducing disease into the ports to which they are bound, and that the States may, in the exercise of such police power, without [48 U.S. 283, 415]   any violation of the power in Congress to regulate commerce, exact from the owner or consignee of a quarantined vessel, and from the passengers on board of her, such fees as will pay to the State the cost of their detention and of the purification of the vessel, cargo, and apparel of the persons on board.”  and in addition on paupers, vagabonds etc.
“examine whether any of them are lunatics, idiots, maimed, aged, or infirm, incompetent to maintain themselves, or have been paupers in any other country, and not permit such persons to be put on shore, unless security shall be given that they shall not become a city, town, or State charge. This is the exercise of an unquestionable power in the State to protect itself from foreign paupers and other persons who would be a public charge; “

The Supreme Court has reiterated “in the absence of legislation by Congress, to protect herself by necessary and proper laws against paupers and convicted criminals from abroad


As previously described in another [article], the Congress is limited by Article I Section 9 when it comes to making Federal laws that override States’ ability to decide whom to admit (and limits their involvement to imposing a tax on bringing in such Persons):

“The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.”

While the intention of this clause in the Constitution was obviously directed at slaves, temporarily or more permanently brought into the US, for 20 years after the signing, it did introduce the precedent that the several States have a right to determine who would be proper to admit to their state.  State laws, then, establish who would be properly admitted.

It can easily be seen that this restriction on Congress does not apply to apply to States admitted to the Union at the time of the signing.  But does this mean that those new States could never be overridden by Congress or just that they could be prohibited before 1808 from importing slaves or others?  The contentious question of slavery, even at the time of the signing, was not resolved, and would not be resolved for several more decades.

Indentured servitude, including to the state by convicts, was a recognized status for persons, but the egregious practice of treating the offspring of slaves as slaves and turning free men in other countries into slaves in the US, not by choice (indentured servitude) eventually led to the Presidential edict that slavery was over without compensation.  Of course, this ignited the Civil War.  If only Congress could have banned involuntary slavery from the inception of America.

All this discussion of States’ rights versus Federal powers in light of Supreme Court opinions leads us to conclude that while taxation of foreigners entering the US is strictly within the purview of Congress and that foreign dignitaries defined by Congress would be exempt from vetting or that treaties could override state laws for certain foreign persons meeting specific conditions, states do have the otherwise unrestricted right to inspect people to protect themselves from the unhealthy, criminals, and paupers or those who might become a public charge.

States may also claim compensation (charge those arriving) for these inspections, except of course for those persons exempted Constitutionally, although any excess “profit” must go to Treasury.  If the State performs these inspections as an agent of and under authority of the Federal government, it is clear that the Federal government must compensate States for any functions the State performs on its behalf, if authorized.

Becoming a public charge is related to the economy and the job market as well as the capabilities and skills of the person under consideration.  So, these employment factors must be considered in the location the person expresses his desire to be located.  If the applying person immigrating or visiting is to be employed in an area where unemployment is high or the expressed skills of the person do match enough to make employment likely, the person may become a public charge.

A similar consideration should also be given to the health threat factor.  It is not only about the current condition of the person but also the healthcare facilities in the geographic area the person expresses a desire to relocate into.  A family or potential employer can commit to warranting that the person (or his charges and wards) will not become a public charge.

Lastly, in similar fashion housing and education, especially of the person’s charges or wards, should be considered in light of whether the person or his charges would become a burden on the public.  While a family can commit or warrant they will give housing or needed education to the person and his wards, an employer can, too.  This would deal with concerns about the person or his wards becoming a public charge.


This Court-recognized power to inspect arriving visitors and immigrants leads us to the conclusion that States have the power to reject and eject those found unsuitable, although those rejected may cure the reason for rejection by, for example, posting bond or having others post bond for them or commit to support the person and his wards otherwise.

Counting heads, determining ethnicity or race, allocating available places to nations or other interfering in claimed Federal powers is not necessary or proper for States, but the above-mentioned conditions that might lead to an admitted person becoming a public threat or public charge are legitimate State powers and supported by case law.

Note that sole Federal power over “an uniform rule of Naturalization” means that States still grant Citizenship (which in turn makes them US Citizens), but only according to the rules Federal law authorize which must be uniform, as described in the related [article].

On the other hand, Federal power cannot override these legitimate areas of State power, simply by claiming that sole power to regulate international relations lies with Federal authorities.  Actually, in case of those exemptions that Federal authorities legitimately lay claim to: consuls, diplomats, etc., that sole power brings the sole responsibility for them not becoming a public threat or public charge.

If a diplomat should become criminal, Federal authorities must protect the public, not State authorities, for example, even though it may entail 24-hour surveillance on their part.  This is not an optional obligation, although the Federal authorities may delegate such power with just compensation to the States.  The same is true for health threats from exempted (diplomatic) foreigners, as well as housing and other areas of intercourse of those exempted classes with the State.

A gray area will remain in employment for family members or others accompanying a diplomat.  If Federal authorities claim exemption for that party, State authorities cannot regulate them in employment, but Federal authorities must not interfere in proper effective operation of local laws.  In effect, Federal agents become enforcers of State and local laws and regulations over their exempted individuals.


Immigration is a State Power

[see the companion article on Federal power over Naturalization & Immigration]

Processing Time vs Waiting Time

I don’t think it should take more than 90 days to decide if a state is going to accept an immigrant-applicant. Why does it take years?

If an applicant to visit or immigrate has a clean background (which doesn’t take years to verify) and has a guarantee of support (aka Affidavit of Support) from a relative or perhaps a business, the applicant’s application should be granted immediately.

The Federal Government inserted itself in Immigration

Yes, the Feds have imposed limitations on how many people from each country can come in to work and live here and (if it were their responsibility) they should verify the identity of the applicant and confirm that someone will keep them from being a burden on the local economy where they’re going to live.

So, not all of the 7 years now required to approve an immigrant visa is from processing.  Instead, the queues for some countries are actually that long.  If only 4,000 immigrants from some obscure place are allowed each year to enter the US per Federal law and 100,000 are on a waiting list, we can pretty well know it will take around 20 years for a visa to be approved.

This delay is despite the fact that a family may be able and willing to support a brother, a mother, a sister, a father or a cousin with housing, money, and social support.

[see also the companion article on Federal power over Naturalization and Immigration]

The Local Community has an Impact

So, the state where the person is planning on immigrating to should also look at housing to see if sufficient housing is available in the local market, to see if employment is feasible in the local market, and to see what government services would suffer adverse impact by the immigrant’s arrival in his desired target community, such as education.

But other factors also play a role like availability of healthcare and commercial businesses to provide goods and services and infrastructure for communication and transportation.  It is the government’s job to provide this information to prospective applicants, but it is not the government’s job to solve any problems, unless the government accepts the applying immigrant.

The State writes the laws, publishes the regulations and administers these for the benefit of its citizens.  It is solely responsible for advising communities if an applicant has a driving record, a drinking record, an employment record and so on that might bear on his integration into the community.

On the other hand the local employer knows if he has positions open and what skill sets he needs, the schools know if they’re at capacity or could handle 2 more elementary or secondary students, and so on.  So, the locals have the responsibility to advertise when local conditions are conducive to immigration or not.  This information belongs in the hands of the applicant, too.

Federal Bureaucrats vs State & Local Bureaucrats

Of course, so many people believe that the Constitution grants Congress the power over Immigration – it doesn’t. The Constitution lists an enumerated power to make all State naturalization laws uniform.

This shows where Congress has that power A(n) Uniform Rule of Naturalization but you won’t be able to find in the Constitution the word “Immigration” or “Immigrant” or any other variation of those or other terms for those who want to come to America to live, anywhere.  That’s because Immigration has always been a State power.

Back in 1789 Washington didn’t have Border Patrol agents located all along the newly independent colonies to administer an Immigration code. States were expected to decide whom they would allow in, whether they were criminals, whether they would be a burden on the local society, and so on.

States Grant Citizenship under Uniform Federal Rules

So, while the Feds could force all States to have uniform rules for turning an immigrant into a citizen, they didn’t ever have the power to grant admission to the US.

Even the oft-cited 14th Amendment makes it clear US Citizenship is a consequence of State Citizenship.

” All persons born or naturalized in the [several] United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. “

Being a citizen of Arizona makes a person a citizen of the United States, no matter where they move to, for example.  But note that being a resident does not make one a citizen.  And “just visiting” isn’t being resident, either.

So, how long must a visitor be present to be considered “resident” and how long must he be resident to become a “citizen”?  States decide the former and the Feds can write a law for the latter.

Road Trip through Alabama

For example, if someone drives through Alabama on their way to Florida, they’re just visiting Alabama (and maybe Florida, too).  Visitors are accorded equal protection under the law, the local law, but they obviously can’t vote.  Visitors may also have less access to things, like borrowing books from the library.

If these visitors want to work, can the state restrict their employment?  Legally, yes, but usually states don’t interfere in right to work states, if someone shows up from out of town and wants to wield a broom, so be it.  What if the visitor is not a US citizen but someone from another country?  Are they afforded the equal opportunity of employment of citizens?  A Federal Attorney General has claimed they do.  But that’s absurd.

At some point a US citizen residing in Alabama will become resident, and in the process gain the right vote, perhaps gain borrowing rights at the library and so on, but normally he must claim that bundle of rights by turning into an Alabama citizen.  He surrenders his other worldly license to drive, say, Montana, and gets a shiny new AL driver license.

He may also get a voter ID card or other government identity card, like concealed carry permit.  There is a peripheral issue here that one state may grant a concealed carry permit, while the adjoining state won’t recognize it, despite Constitutional assurance that legal actions in one state will be Honor other States' Actionshonored by other states.  Guns in particular are a sticky matter since they may fall under the purview of the 2nd Amendment, where the right to bear arms shall not be infringed.

Concealed Carry is a State Law

Some 45 states (maybe more now) provide for open carry of firearms by citizens, but concealed carry is usually more restricted.  This may cause some problems carrying a weapon across state lines, especially if concealed.

Immigration vs Naturalization

This means States decide on Immigration issues and can later naturalize that resident according to uniform rules prescribed by Federal law.
Who, then, protects borders from unfettered immigration?

Can the Feds take a busload of border-crossers from El Paso, Texas, to San Diego, California, in the process crossing New Mexico and Arizona without getting permission from the 4 states involved to bring those “children” in?


This is a gross over-stepping of Federal power.

State Immigration Crossing Centers

States have the right and power to set up Immigration gateways anywhere they like inside their state to enforce state immigration laws, including inside the US Border Station to stop ICE buses carrying illegal immigrants and force them to alight and return to the border.

At International airports if a passenger arrives who is not welcome because his visa is invalid, expired or perhaps non-existent, the common carrier who brought the passenger to the terminal is financially responsible for returning the passenger to the point of origin.  This is why gate agents may ask a passenger to show not only their passport but also the visa for entering the country where they’re headed.

For walkers deportation involves passing them from the state transit area back to the border crossing they walked across.

State Processing of Deported Individuals

Similar to current Federal processing border-crossers one flow will spin off rejected individuals into a transit area sequestered from free exit.  It is possible while in transit for a border-crosser to communicate with the outside world and rehabilitate his situation, but more than likely those rejected will be deported.

Assured Identity through Biometric Data Storage

However, it is critical that each and every person crossing have biometric identification data gathered.  Whether the crosser is admitted or deported, that data will be stored.  If the crossing person is advised not to cross until some condition has been met and then attempts crossing again, the biometric data will provide proof of prior warning not to attempt crossing.

Biometric data can also be stored not only in the network for immigration enforcement but also on a secure card issued to visitors and immigrants.  Whether such cards are issued upon first entry to the US or prior to departure by US State Department personnel on behalf of a state granting a visa to visit or immigrate, a high-security counterfeit-resistant technology should be used.

As most 8th graders know the 10th Amendment last of the Bill of Rights reserves all powers not specifically granted to Congress and the Federal government to the States individually and if they exercise no authority the power is retained by the people.

This catch-all retention of states’ power embedded in the 10th Amendment is crucial to understanding the limitations of our Federal government.

Of all people an Attorney-General should clearly grasp the meaning of the words written into our Constitution.Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail