Just a few days ago District Court Judge William H. Orrick put a temporary block on President Trump’s move to cut federal funding to cities that declare themselves to be sanctuaries for illegal aliens. I am sending this letter to him stating my position on the subject.
Olivehurst, CA 95961
District Judge William H. Orrick
San Francisco Courthouse
450 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102
Re: Your recent block of President Trumps move to cut federal funding to sanctuary cities
Recently you put a temporary block on President Trump’s plan to deprive cities which declare themselves to be ‘Sanctuary Cities’ from any federal funding; declaring that only Congress could place such conditions on spending.
I find it somewhat refreshing to find a District Judge who actually applies the Constitutional limits to the various branches of our federal government. Now, if only judges such as yourself would also apply those same limitations upon the Executives use of military force without a formal declaration of war by Congress… However, that is neither here nor there as it pertains to the subject that caused me to sit down and write this letter to you.
I know quite a few people who support any effort President Trump takes towards curbing the influx of illegal aliens into this country, and his efforts to enforce existing law as it pertains to those already in this country illegally. The fact is that we have a Constitution which grants each branch of our government certain specific powers, and it is not among those given the Executive to cut funding to any State which refuses to cooperate with the federal government.
But at the same time nowhere is it within the specific powers found within the Constitution for the federal government to provide ANY form of aid to the States in the form of funds from the federal treasury. So in effect, President Trump’s actions are constitutional, albeit they are not for the right reasons. Instead of him cutting federal funding to the States because the Constitution does not authorize it, he is doing so because certain cities and States have declared themselves to be sanctuaries for illegal aliens.
I have never attended a single law class, nor have I passed the bar or been appointed to sit on a bench and dispense law as I interpret it; such as you have. However, for the past 2 decades I have devoted almost every moment of my spare time to trying to learn and understand our nation’s Constitution and how certain powers were given to the federal government, while others remained with the States. I think it is fair to say that I have a better understanding of these matters than do most Americans.
This is how I see this whole mess, and after reading my views I would find it an honor if you would explain how and why you disagree with my views.
Before our Constitution was even ratified and put into effect, James Madison attempted to explain the distinction between the powers given the federal government and those which were reserved to the States. In Federalist 45 Mr. Madison wrote, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”
The powers given to the federal government are, in fact few, and our found in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. If there be any power not found within that Article and Section of the Constitution, it does not belong to the federal government; it belongs to the States. This distinction, or separation between two distinct sovereignties, is affirmed and protected by the 10th Amendment, which states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
However, if a specific power is found amongst those listed in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, all federal laws in regards to that power are superior to those passed by the States due to the Supremacy Clause found in Article 6 of the Constitution. Article 6 states, and I have emphasized the pertinent parts, “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”
Among those powers given our federal government by the Constitution is the power “To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States…” Therefore federal immigration law should be applied to the immigration and naturalization of foreigners in the United States; and any law, or desire for that matter, of the States takes second fiddle to the laws passed by the federal government in regards to immigration.
Title 8 of the United States Code is where we find our country’s immigration laws. Any alien who enters this country without the proper documentation, at any location other than a specifically designated border crossing station, or has entered this country legally but overstayed their visas, is in violation of Title 8 of the United States Code, and is therefore subject to deportation. Section 1227 of Title 8 declares this to be the law, “Any alien who is present in the United States in violation of this chapter or any other law of he United States, or whose nonimmigrant visa (or other documentation authorizing admission into the United States as a nonimmigrant) has been revoked under section 1201(i) of this title, is deportable.”
Furthermore, the federal Immigration and Nationality Act, INA 274A(a)(1)(A) states,
A person (including a group of persons, business, organization, or local government) commits a federal felony when she or he:
-assists an alien s/he should reasonably know is illegally in the U.S. or who lacks employment authorization, by transporting, sheltering, or assisting him or her to obtain employment, or
-encourages that alien to remain in the U.S. by referring him or her to an employer or by acting as employer or agent for an employer in any way, or
– knowingly assists illegal aliens due to personal convictions.
Finally, Title 8, Chapter 12, Subchapter II, Section 1324 of the U.S. Code states that harboring illegal aliens is a crime.
Bringing in and harboring certain aliens
(A) Any person who—
(iii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation;
(iv) encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law;
Title 18 of the United States Code lists the penalties for violating immigration, as well as many other, federal statutes. The penalty for violating the abovementioned statutes is a fine, and imprisonment for no more than 10 years.
So, I am all for your temporary block of President Trumps attempts to cut off the flow of federal funds to mayors of cities who declare their cities to be Sanctuary Cities, and governors who declare their State to be a Sanctuary State. That said, I would fully support the United States Department of Justice if they were to bring criminal charges against these individuals for violating federal law by providing places of sanctuary to those who are in this country illegally.
The United States is under no obligation to any country to open our doors to their citizens. Immigration is a privilege than should be earned by those who love this country and are willing to uphold our laws. In an 1804 letter to Hugh White, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Born in other countries, yet believing you could be happy in this, our laws acknowledge, as they should do, your right to join us in society, as I doubt not you will do, to our established rules.”
How can anyone, be it a mayor, a governor, or a District Court Judge, believe that by the very nature of their having entered our country by anything other than legal means, they are worthy of residing in America? All political correctness aside, if they violate our laws, they should be deported and forced to go through proper channels to obtain entry to the U.S. My wife is/was a citizen of the Republic of the Philippines. Upon becoming a naturalized citizen she petitioned her sister to come and live with us here in America. That was 18 years ago and we are still awaiting a visa for her.
It infuriates me to no end that the people of this country are willing to forgive the crimes committed by those entering the United States illegally while those who have gone through proper channels have to wait decades before their relatives are granted permission to enter the US legally. It infuriates me to no end that our elected representatives would choose to shield and harbor those who have violated our laws by sneaking across our borders or overstaying their visas.
One of the jobs of the President is to see that our laws are faithfully executed. How can a president do this when, at every step, he is met with resistance and blocked by District Court Judges who disagree with his policies?
Are you aware that in a 1968 lecture at Columbia University, Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black said the following, “The public welfare demands that constitutional cases must be decided according to the terms of the Constitution itself, and not according to judges’ views of fairness, reasonableness, or justice.”
Therefore, as a staunch supporter of our Constitution as ratified in 1789, and a citizen who feels that a majority of our nation’s problems stems from our not adhering to the Constitution, I ask you, why have not these elected representatives; mayors and governors, who declare their little domains to be sanctuaries for illegal aliens, been indicted for violating federal immigration law?
If you can answer that question, then maybe I’ll support your decision to block President Trumps efforts to do something about the problem of illegal immigration. While I am no fan of, nor supporter of Donald Trump, at least he, unlike his predecessors, is trying to do something significant in solving our problem with illegal immigration.
That’s more than can be said about the likes of all those who seek to check him every step of the way; including you.