By: Kenneth Lloyd
In the wake of the threat that has been made by the moderate/liberal Republican leadership in the United States’ House of Representatives to pass “immigration reform”, I think that it’s important for libertarians and conservatives to understand the effect that such a law would have on the sovereignty of the people of the United States. In this article, I will discuss the importance of a nation’s sovereignty, the history of the idea of the sovereignty of the American people, and my thoughts about the ways in which the proposed “immigration reform” legislation will undermine our way of life, if it becomes “the law of the land”.
First, it is important that we understand the meaning of the word “sovereignty”. According to dictionary.com, “sovereignty” refers to “the status, dominion, power, or authority of a sovereign; royalty”. In other words, when someone refers to a country’s sovereignty, they are discussing the source of power that controls the affairs of a given territory. Prior to the founding of the United States, most, if not all nations of the world had established governments in which their sovereignty was vested in a King, Emperor, or some other title for an individual or a group of individuals, who ruled over their subjects. In these societies, either an individual or a group of individuals held the power to make laws and to impose them on the people who lived in their countries. This means that the people of these societies did not possess sovereignty, and therefore, they were forced to live their lives as their sovereigns demanded. When one begins to examine the impact that “sovereignty” has on the character of a country, from that point of view, they are able to understand how important it is to a people’s way of life.
After winning the Revolutionary War, America’s Founding Fathers presented their answer to the following question: Where does the sovereignty lie in this new nation? This question was answered in the Declaration of Independence. In that document, Thomas Jefferson wrote: “they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”. First, let’s look at the following part of that passage: “they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights”. This phrase means that Jefferson and other like-minded Framers declared that the “Creator” possesses sovereignty, because of the fact that He is responsible for granting each and every human being with “unalienable rights”. The following quote indicates that Jefferson, along with the other Founders of his mindset, believed that a second source of sovereignty also existed in America: “to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”. Although, they understood that the sovereign God grants rights to each and every human being, they also reasoned that governments are only legitimate and can only be justified, if it has the consent of the governed. This means that, the American people have sovereign authority over their government. Each American receives his or her rights from God, and while standing on that foundation of natural law, they grant powers to the government to protect those rights. Now that I have discussed the nature of American sovereignty, I want to express my concerns about the ways in which it relates to the current “immigration reform” proposal.
Many people on the political Left constantly point out that America is “a nation of immigrants”. They use this observation as an excuse for implementing policies that grant American citizenship to illegal immigrants, who have unlawfully entered the United States. Although, it is true that America has benefited from people who have immigrated to the United States from foreign countries, it is also true that we have almost always maintained some sort of a naturalization process for those immigrants who want to enjoy the privileges of American citizenship. The “immigration reform” legislation that has passed the United States Senate, and that is being considered by the House Republicans, contains no serious enforcement mechanisms, in terms of assimilating the very same illegal immigrants that it confers American citizenship upon. It is very important for immigrants who seek to become American citizens to be properly assimilated into American society. This is important because of the necessity to preserve that aforementioned notion of “American sovereignty”. Most of the people who have illegally entered the United States were born in countries where the sovereignty rests in the hands of a powerful, elitist few. In those countries, people are accustomed to depending on and working for their “superiors”. As a result, non-assimilated, illegal aliens do not understand the principles that must be adhered to, in order to maintain a free America.
If the American people allow the United States House of Representatives to pass a law that grants citizenship to non-assimilated illegal immigrants, it is very easy to imagine that those new “American citizens” will eventually be granted the right to vote. The problem with such a situation is the following: the ability to vote in frequent elections is the mechanism through which the American people exercise their sovereignty. Ignorance and apathy is already epidemic within the voting population. Few care about freedom and most only care about securing themselves more of the largesse extracted forcibly from the taxpayer by big government. That bad situation will only become worse if so-called immigration reform is passed.
Adding more voters to the rolls who don’t understand the Constitution does not bode well for the Tenth Amendment. By participating in frequent elections, the American people, as a whole, are able to decide the future course of their country. However, if we fail to prevent the RINO House leadership from sending this proposed amnesty bill to President Obama for his signature, our sovereign authority will be undermined. It would be undermined, because these newly “American citizens” will not be learned in American principles, and therefore will not understand the importance of voting for candidates for public office who are dedicated to preserving and perpetuating our free way of life. As a result, America will continue its fall from a country that was dedicated to human liberty to a country in which the elitist few will continue to dominate the lives of the body politic.