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Immigration Daily October 5, 2010
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Comment: Fighting Words - All parts of the Constitution are NOT equal to all other parts. Some are special, here's why. Let's begin with the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights was the price of ratification for the constitution. We would argue that regardless of the text of the Constitution, the normal amendment process CANNOT apply to the Bill of Rights, since an amendment to the Bill of Rights negates the very basis of the adoption of the constitution. Such power is beyond the reach of ordinary legislatures (even when 3/4ths of the states concur), and that only a Constitutional Assembly would have the authority to alter the Bill of Rights. Analogously, we would argue, that the Reconstruction Amendments are also unalterable, even through a constitutional amendment, since such an amendment would, in essence, seek to challenge the result reached in the Civil War. The Reconstruction Amendments were the price of reaching a lasting peace between the States, and anyone who tries to disturb the balance thus achieved risks a reprise of the events of 1861-65. This has particular relevance to amnesty - and we are not talking about the undocumented here. In our country's history, there have been three, and only three amnesties by the Federal Government. The first two, in 1868 by the President, and in 1872, by Congress, were to pardon Confederates for treason and armed rebellion against the Union, and to restore their right to vote and hold federal office. The connection of our argument to the current efforts by some Republicans to question the 14th amendment is clear. The plain language of the 14th amendment gives us a bright line test of who is and who is not a US citizen at birth - the Jus Soli doctrine. Jus Soli is an ancient common law principle, older than our Republic. If the circumstances of the 14th amendment are to be re-examined, we would urge a re-examination simultaneously of the Amnesties of 1868 and 1872. If some Republicans suggest that the bright-line, time-honored test of Jus Soli is to be abandoned, then we would urge a simultaneous abandonment, nay reversal, of the Amnesties of 1868 and 1872. In particular, we would argue for the deportation from the United States of all the descendants of the beneficiaries of those Amnesties. We believe that much of the Republican Party in Congress would then be deportable, not just from power, but also from the country of their birth. The Civil War resulted in the deaths of 1 out of 10 fighting-age males in the North, and 1 out of 4 fighting-age males in the South - it was unquestionably the greatest catastrophe our Nation has ever suffered. Those Republicans who are contemplating a discussion questioning the 14th amendment should pause before lightly embarking on a venture that may, if history is our guide, risk bloodshed. The Reconstruction amendments cemented the cessation of hostilities between the North and the South, much blood, Northern and Southern, supports the hard-earned meaning of the Reconstruction amendments. Reopening that discussion might portend reopening Civil War wounds. We urge patriotic Republicans, and indeed patriotic Americans of all political stripes, to impress upon the mis-guided Republicans these two facts: (1) the meaning of the 14th amendment is in its plain language which could not be plainer, and (2) the proceedings on which the 14th amendment is based were terminated at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. Unless some Republicans want to be extra-ordinarily foolish at extra-ordinary risk to the country, they should refrain from fighting words.

Article: Senator Hatch Offers Another Non-Solution to the Immigration Mess by Charles H. Kuck

Article: Meg Whitman's Housekeeper Controversy by Pamela Hartman

Article: The Eleventh Circuit Rules on Impermissible Gay Stereotypes by Jason Dzubow

Article: Deportation Hearing more like a War Crimes Trial by Matthew Kolken

News: USCIS Updates H-1B Cap Count

News: USCIS Updates H-2B Cap Count

News: CRS Report On Guantanamo Detention Center: Legislative Activity In The 111th Congress

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Headline: A Christian Reframing of Whitman's Immigration Hypocrisy: "all of us enjoy their labor"
Headline: RT @passportsfast Passports, please - Texas Immigration Lawyer Blog
Headline: A not-so-funny message to Congress
Headline: USCIS continues CNMI (the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands) form I-9 Webinars to help employers
Headline: Whitman vs. the DREAM Act
Headline: U.S. policy fails to meet needs of immigrants, Americans
Headline: Disillusioned Hispanics May Skip Midterms, Poll Suggests. Dems not getting the protest they had hoped for
Headline: CLE Seminar on October 7: Foreign National and Employment Law. Sign up now at
Headline: The Immigration Compliance Book: Understand I-9 concepts, I-9 advanced topics and E-Verify. Get your copy today at
Headline: India Shuts Out Foreign Law Firms

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ComingsNGoings: Immigration Book
Neighbor: Christian Encounters With 'Illegal' Immigration By Ben Daniel, Westminster John Knox Press, 192 pp., Paperback, ISBN: 0664236510, $13.57,

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Publisher:  Sam Udani    Legal Editor:  Michele Kim                        ISSN:   1930-062X