Nullification and A Few Good Men

Jack Nicholson as Colonel Jessup #2

by Diane Rufino, June 22, 2013

I am an attorney. I studied the law. I studied Constitutional Law.  Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News Senior Analyst, was my Con Law professor and not only taught me constitutional law jurisprudence but taught me the passion in understanding how this great document defines our government and protects our individual rights.

Having said that, it should be noted that law schools teach Constitutional Law and not the Constitution. They don’t teach the Constitution from the Founders’ point of view, they don’t refer to the Federalist Papers, and they rarely even refer to decisions as “judicial activism.” The Constitution is taught not according to what it was intended to mean, but rather, according to the many landmark Supreme Court decisions which have interpreted it, defined it, and in almost all cases, broadened it. As one law student put it: ” I don’t know about the experience of other people who have attended law school, but I’d estimate that we spent perhaps only 0.5% of the time between two semesters of Constitutional Law learning about what the Constitution says and what the Founding Fathers intended. We spent no time on the Federalist Papers and the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia was only mentioned simply as a historical fact and no more was discussed on the matter. The intent of the Founders can’t be found anywhere in my Con Law book or any other books we read. In fact, the only time I recall reading about the Founder’s intent was when Justice Scalia wrote the opinion, the concurring opinion, or the dissent in cases.”

Considering that the foundation of government in our country is based on the Constitution, wouldn’t it make more sense to teach lawyers how best to preserve its integrity rather than inspire them to help dismantle it?  Wouldn’t it be exceedingly prudent to teach students what the Constitution means, why it was drafted and intended as it was, and what essential principles and ideals underlie it?

Unfortunately, although I attended public school before much of the current progressive agenda kicked in, I still never learned much about our founding history, our founding documents, or our founding principles. I know it has only gotten “progressively worse,” if you’ll excuse the pun. After high school, I went to college, then graduate school, then took post-graduate classes, and then finally went to law school. All the while I had to work while taking classes in order to support myself or, as in the case of law school, I had just gotten married and was giving birth to my four children (pregnant my entire time in law school). The point is that life was happening. I was just going with the flow, doing the best I could, and trying to get by. I had no extra time to read the Anti-Federalist Papers, the Federalist Papers, the Notes on the Debates of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, and the debates surrounding the state ratifying conventions. So when I left law school, I knew what judges have said about the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, but I didn’t know what our very Founders said or intended with that document.

Luckily (and I do mean “luckily”), I lost my job in 2010 when the economy tanked. When it was clear that I wouldn’t be able to find a job any time soon, I finally committed myself to study the documents I should have studied BEFORE going to law school and reading what judges have said. I can tell you that a study of our Constitution from the perspective of our Founding Fathers and the states who were initially were skeptical of it was one of the most eye-opening experiences for me. All of a sudden, things began to make sense. The story of our founding is inspiring, but no more inspiring than those men who used their brilliant minds to find the proper philosophy to explain the role of government, who used their debate skills to come up with the best design of government, who used their keen sense of intuition to include the proper procedural checks (and balances) to keep the branches of government within their respective spheres, and who used the proper words to draft a constitution that would most effectively and securely protect individual inalienable rights and right to have a government by the consent of the governed.  Never have I felt more proud or felt so lucky to be born an American. I have done my best to educate others ever since. I hope every American will find the opportunity to have the same epiphany that I did.

Of all the principles and ideals that our country was founded on, my greatest passion is States’ Rights and Nullification. Perhaps it’s because those two concepts are the ones which have been most vilified and eroded over our history, and most certainly since the time of the Civil War. Or maybe it’s perhaps because Thomas Jefferson is my favorite Founding Father and aside from the fact that he drafted the Declaration of Independence and the Northwest Ordinance, and gave us our Right of Religion, he clearly expressed the viewpoint that in order to keep the federal government limited in scope, the States would have to be willing to defend their sovereignty.  I’ve been writing about Nullification for years. Nullification, in short, stands for the principle that any law passed without proper authority is not a valid law and is not enforceable on a people. In the US, the Constitution lists what authority the federal government and acknowledges that whatever powers were not delegated expressly to the government are reserved by the states. Article VI, Section 2 (the Supremacy Clause) states that the Constitution and all laws passed in pursuance to it are supreme law.  The reverse is therefore implied and true – that all laws NOT passed in pursuance to powers delegated by the Constitution are not supreme. The states therefore have no obligation to recognize or enforce them. This is the concept of Dual Sovereignty which is the unique and most brilliant feature of our government system. Since both the States and the federal government are sovereign over their respective powers, each will forever act as “jealous guardians” over those powers and prevent each other from encroaching into their domain. The Sons of Liberty, in effect, “nullified” such Intolerable Acts passed by the British Crown/Parliament as the Tea Act, the Stamp Act, and the Quartering Act when they engaged in simple acts of civil disobedience which prevented their enforcement. The Sons of Liberty harassed colonial Stamp agents so thoroughly that they resigned and the British could not collect the tax on paper goods. The reason they protested those Intolerable Acts was because they knew their rights as colonial British subjects and knew that they were being violated. The King was acting outside his authority to rule the colonies.  As most people are unaware, nullification (although not known by that term until Jefferson coined it in the Kentucky Resolves of 1799) is a firmly-entrenched constitutional principle. It was discussed at every stage of the drafting and ratification of the Constitution..  again, not by that term, of course. In the Constitutional Convention, delegates roundly rejected James Madison’s version of a strong centralized government. (He was initially a Nationalist). Madison called for a centralized government that was not limited in its powers. As if that wasn’t enough, he called for a “government veto” whereby the federal government could veto any action by any state that it did not approve of. The other delegates, mostly Federalists, quickly rejected that part of the Plan (the Virginia Plan). If there would be any “veto,” it would be a “state veto” which would be the power of any state to  declare when the government had overstepped its limited, constitutional bounds, and encroached into the states’ sovereign powers. A state veto is the same as Nullification. The Senate branch of the Legislature (pre-17th Amendment) was a direct “state veto” power within the structure of government. If the states felt that any piece of legislation was without proper authority or in abuse of authority, its Senators would simply vote it down. (That’s why we need to abolish the 17th Amendment and re-establish the Senate as a body devoted to States’ interests). The states’ ratifying conventions also spoke about the right and duty of states to exercise its “veto” power.  It was always assumed that under the “compact nature” of the Union (ie, the states signing the Constitution, agreeing to equally delegate some of their sovereign power to the federal government and to be commonly bound… thus, the “united” States), the states had the power to remind the government of what powers it had and did not have.

Nullification is based on the federal nature of our government, on the Supremacy Clause, and most strongly, on the compact nature of the Constitution. Americans are not taught their founding history and are certainly not taught the principles that underlie their government. They talk about “checks and balances” but only the simple ones – the president’s veto power and the federal courts. But the most important of checks and balances is indeed this notion of Dual Sovereignty and the WILLINGNESS OF STATES to STAND UP TO UNCONSTITUTIONAL CONDUCT BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT !!

The problem, at least in my state of North Carolina, is that state officials are too afraid to assert state sovereignty. It’s offensive to hear the reasons they give. Here are a few of the explanations that GOP leaders in our state house and senate have personally given to me: “It is not our place to second-guess the actions of the federal government.”  “We will never use strong language against the federal government. It’s just not going to happen.”   ”Nullification is an out-dated, racist doctrine that was used to perpetuate slavery. It has no basis in the constitution and is illegitimate.”  “The Tenth Amendment no longer means what it used to. In fact, the Constitution in general no longer means what it used to.” When I asked why that is so, the senator answered: “It’s simple… We lost the Civil War.”  It’s morons like this who will sit back and watch as this government treats its citizens worse than King George treated the colonists. The only difference is that the colonists were intensively protective of their human rights and had a backbone.

This past Wednesday, I traveled to Washington DC to attend the “Audit the IRS” rally.  My husband tried to discourage me from going. He said it would end up being like all the other rallies – exercises in futility. He thought I shouldn’t waste my time and energy (as well as my monthly allowance for books !!) on the trip and just stay home with the kids. Maybe when it’s all said and done, the rally will end up just being a feel-good event. But I told him the real reason I enjoy making the trips to DC to protest. I enjoy seeing Americans all fired up and willing to stand up for the Constitution and for the ideals that made this country great. It does my heart good. I’m always humbled at all the people who travel great distances and at great inconvenience. The folks I stood next to on Wednesday were from Washington state. It just shows me that if things were to get more serious – if they were to get really bad – there still are a lot of patriots in this country who are willing to pick up where the Sons of Liberty left off. The spirit of the Revolution is not dead. It lives on. In fact, I’m positive that it is growing. And when I go to these rallies, I’m reminded of that. And I’m reassured.  Also, I’m always so happy to spend the day with folks who use words like Constitution, Founding Fathers, Declaration of Independence, Limited Government, Inalienable Rights, States’ Rights, and Consent of the Governed.

It reminds me of that movie A FEW GOOD MEN, with Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise. Nicholson, as Colonel Jessup, takes the stand and delivers that famous dialogue:

Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? ….. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. My existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.”

We use words, as I just mentioned, like Constitution, Founding Fathers, Declaration of Independence, Limited Government, Inalienable Rights, States’ Rights, and Consent of the Governed… as the backbone of the liberty that we seek to defend. Our opposition, while enjoying the very freedom that is protected by our founding documents and founding ideals, uses those very same words as a punchline and even as a means to target us for government intimidation and to label us as potential domestic terrorists.

So many people buy into the government’s indoctrination that they must be good stewards of the state and obey laws without questioning them. They regurgitate views of state sovereignty and nullification that would make Abraham Lincoln and the post-Civil War government proud.  They think that states have no rights and certainly that they themselves, as individuals, have no power to make a difference in the policies and dealings of government. In reality, the answer to all of the problems associated with a large, centralized, unconstitutional government lies with the States and the People. Nullification has always been in the arsenal of constitutional remedies. It is the most viable remedy at this point. Furthermore, We the People, have power as well. The power over government has always resided in the People. We just have to be reminded of that, become educated, learn how to use that power, and most of all, be willing to step up and use it!!

For those who would like to learn more about Nullification and how it can be used to fit the federal government back within the boundaries of the Constitution, please consider attending the Nullify Now! event in Raleigh, NC on Saturday, October 19th at the Raleigh Convention Center, 500 S. Salisbury St.  The event, organized by the NC Tenth Amendment Center, is part of a nationwide tour to educate and engage people as to this doctrine, which Thomas Jefferson termed “the Rightful Remedy.”  Tickets are available athttps://www.facebook.com/events/471571826264409/?fref=ts.

Audit the IRS Rally - June 19, 2013

by Diane Rufino (who attended the rally)

On Wednesday, June 19th, a protest event, termed “Audit the IRS” Rally, was held on the front lawn of the US Capitol to demand accountability for the actions of the Obama administration, in particular the IRS and Homeland Security for using the powers of government to intimidate, harass, and silence conservative organizations and ordinary Americans who have done nothing wrong. The actions of government have amounted to gross civil rights violations – the violation of the fundamental rights of free speech/expression and assembly (1st Amendment), conscience (1st Amendment), and privacy (4th Amendment), as well as interference with the right to vote. It’s ironic that Voter ID laws must be cleared by the DOJ so that the government can make sure minorities are not harmed in any way in the exercise of their right to vote but the same government can directly stand in the way of conservatives trying to vote and get involved in the election process.

The protest event featured about 20-30 Congressmen, FreedomWorks activists, Restore America’s Voice, Americans for Prosperity, Patriot Action Network, Brent Bozell, authors, Tea Party leaders, victims of IRS inquisitions, and groups such as the ACLJ (American Center for Law & Justice; Jordan Sekulow) who are defending the rights of approximately 50 conservative groups which have been targeted by the government. The event’s featured speaker, however, was none other than Glenn Beck, who delivered a riveting speech outlining exactly what is at stake in the government’s concerted scheme to shut down political opposition. In a nutshell, Beck alleged that what is going on today is about the encroachment on American’s civil rights from an abusive tyrannical government and outlined how we need to get back to our founding principles to win this battle against the progressive agenda which ultimately seeks to transform our system from one that protects the rights of the individual to one that seeks to govern for the best of the collective.

Audit the IRS Rally (Glenn Beck) - June 19, 2013

In part, Beck delivered the following comments:

      “Today, inside, they dedicated a new statue of another American giant, Fredrick Douglas – a man born into slavery, but who knew instinctively that he was not born a slave. No man is.

      To keep a man a slave you do much the same as the cruel circus masters did to the elephant around the turn of last century. Clamp heavy chains around their legs and stake them to the ground. Then beat and terrorize them. After a while you no longer even have to stake the chain; the elephant gives up and just the mere rattle of the chain convinces the elephant there is no hope, so they give up and do whatever it is the circus requires.

      Fredrick Douglas was lucky enough to live in a house where he was taught to read, write and think. He knew God did not make men masters over others. Nor did he ever intend any man to impose unrighteous dominion over another man or beast.

      It is time we remind ourselves of this truth again, and begin to rise up against the intimidation before the handful of peanuts from our new political circus masters is considered a kindness and not the symbol of evil cruelty.

      In the building behind me, they are now excusing storing all data, phone calls, financial transactions, geotracking on every American for our “safety,” while allowing anyone to cross our borders either on foot or in underground tunnels without any worry or consequence. They have not suspended or fired but promoted those at the IRS who rattled the chains of control to any group that disagreed with their policies. Whatever the reason, too many are no longer willing to call evil by its name.

      Someone has always been on the losing end of the stick of power. Blacks are the most obvious, the Chinese, the Native Americans, but let’s not forget the Irish, the Catholics, the Mormons, the Jews, and now it seems that all those of faith who will not conform are the targets. Man doesn’t vanquish hatred or bigotry. The target keeps moving. From the blacks to the Irish. Atheists to Christians.

       But as always, there are a few leaders: Ben Franklin, John Quincy Adams, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Abraham Lincoln, Fredrick Douglas, Booker T. Washington, Gandhi and Martin Luther King. They know that the march toward freedom never ends; man must be ever-vigilant and pray less with his lips and more with his legs. They never forget that truth, justice, and freedom are the wellspring from which the waters of man’s civil rights come. And so they must be upheld for all men – those you know, those you do not, and maybe more importantly — they must be upheld for those who you do know but do not like or agree with at all. If they are lost for one, in the end they are lost for all.

      In the past, these historic stands which we now call civil rights movements were done by a small but dedicated portion of our citizens which led to great shifts in our culture. The rights that so many Americans ignorantly preach about so often are not really their rights. They belong to God and they are given to us for stewardship. They are pretty important and obvious. So obvious that we used to say they were “self-evident,” meaning that humans don’t need to be taught; you instinctively know that you have a right not to be executed without a trial, held without charge, searched without warrant or spied upon without cause.

     The government is no longer the protector of those civil rights, and so we must be. When we are told that it is okay for the IRS, EPA, ATF, FBI or anyone to hassle, threaten or intimidate others because of their skin color, religion or political belief, we stop being the country that we all want to build, and start being the country the world should fear.

      Men may make progress, but man never changes. Man loves power and money. No matter the skin color, religion or income level. These symbols of our nation make men drunk with power, who then justify their lust for more by claiming they are public servants. The only difference between Las Vegas and Washington, D.C. is that at least Vegas has the decency to admit the town is full of hookers and crooks

      The long train of abuses regarding these rights are the same MLK marched against, and the very same our dusty Founders warned us about losing.

      We must sober up and admit that too many of the Republicans and the Democrats have played us, lied to us and stolen from us, while the getaway car was driven by the media. A media that can no longer claim with a straight face the role of journalist. Journalists print the things the powerful don’t want printed. What they do is public relations. Those PR firms will not print the truth about the average American who finds himself concerned with the direction of our country today.  So we must.  We are not violent.  We are not racist.  We are not anti-immigrant. We are not anti-government.  And we will not be silent anymore.

      We come today to declare our independence, to reaffirm our founding principles. We, as a nation, acknowledge a creator. We acknowledge that he gives certain natural, guaranteed rights to man. We declare that government exists primarily to protect these natural, God-given rights. He has established right and wrong. He is just and therefore, man must pay for his mistakes either now on Earth, or through God’s justice later.

      Those who wish to use unrighteous dominion over mankind are not enemies of ours; they are enemies of God, and He will not be silent much longer either. There is no such thing as social justice. Only God can balance things out, and we are not God. But honest and decent men can fight for and establish equal justice.

      We will no longer accept the lies, the corruption, or the information and data gathering. It is evil. And we come here today to send a message that we will surround all of those who wish to stand and break the cycle of corruption. We will use ourselves as shields to protect those in the system, the elected officials or whistle blowers with the courage to stand.

      We come here today to respectfully, but with the power of the spirit, demand to be treated as an equal members of society. I answer to only one King and His kingdom will come, His will be done. We have chosen sides and we choose God. America as a nation must do the same, as well.”

To hear the entire content of Glenn Beck’s speech, go to http://savingtherepublic.com/blog/2013/06/glenn-beck-rocks-at-the-audit-the-irs-rally-is-this-country-even-worth-defending-anymore-full-speech/

Brent Bozell asked: “Do you want a federal investigation?” He said: “I am sick and tired of not getting answers from my government when my government is abusing my freedoms. It is time to fire Eric Holder.”  And Steve Lonegan, former GOP candidate for Governor of NJ and current chair of the NJ chapter of Americans for Prosperity, led the crowd to chant: “Don’t Tread on Me!”

The speakers reminded the crowd of what the Founders wrote in the Declaration of Independence –  (i) that power was delegated to government by sovereign individuals, by a “consent of the governed,” (ii) for the primary purpose of protecting and securing their God-given inalienable rights, and (iii) when any government becomes destructive of those ends, the people have a right and a duty to alter and abolish that government and establish a government that better protects their “safety and happiness.” The clear message of the afternoon was that our current government has become destructive of the purpose and end of government and it needs to be altered, and specifically, by abolishing the IRS.

For example, Rick Morlen of the NM Tea Party, spoke:

“Our Founding Fathers weren’t acting on behalf of a political party when they wrote the Declaration of Independence. They were simply trying to secure individual liberty by creating a limited government that would stand for certain principles and stand the test of time. They wrote that that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights and that governments deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed must secure those rights. They wrote that people must, infrequently, consider altering their government whenever it becomes destructive of their rights. The Declaration listed a series of grievances against the King of England which propelled the colonies to seek their independence. Listen while I remind you of some of those grievances: for refusing to pass laws of immediate importance, for invading the rights of the people, for suspending our legislatures and himself with the power to legislate for us, for denying our citizens the benefit of a trial by jury, for erecting a multitude of new offices, and sending forth swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance, for keeping among us – in times of peace – standing armies without the consent of our legislatures, to render the military independent of and superior to civil power, for subjecting us to the jurisdiction of law that is  foreign to our constitution, and for taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments.

      We are not here to set up a new government. We are here to bear witness that we need to alter the government of this great country and to bring it back under the control of the people. And one way is to abolish the IRS. We acknowledge that there is a need to tax the people for the constitutionally-limited purposes of government, but that taxation should be fair and borne by all the people who enjoy living under this republic.”  

Audit the IRS Rally #3 - June 19, 2013

Ken Hoagland, chairman of Restore America’s Voice, spoke after Glenn Beck, Senator Rand Paul and Senator Mike Lee.  Hoagland attended the event first to deliver 2 million petitions to Repeal Obamacare that his organization collected from citizens (with the help of Mike Huckabee) and also to speak. He quickly became a crowd-pleaser with his words:

“I want you to remember this name – Bob Bauer.  Bob Bauer, who was the top lawyer for the Democratic National Committee, Senator Barack Obama’s mentor, the White House’s counsel, and then the General Counsel for the Obama-Biden re-election campaign, sent memo after memo to the Justice Department, the IRS, and ‘all interested parties,’ urging them to go after all law-abiding citizens who wanted to end voter fraud and exercise their rights of free speech to stop an out-of-control federal government. This abuse of Americans was directed by Washington at the very highest levels of the Obama administration and campaign. Bob Bauer.

      No natural disaster or foreign enemy has hurt us as much as our own government. The economic collapse that still has 12 million citizens unemployed was caused by the government insisting that all Americans are entitled to a home and then disastrously insisting that the marketplace not be purged of the toxic mortgages provided for those homes. We didn’t do that; the government did.  Adding insult to injury, the government then forced taxpayers to use their hard-earned money to bail out the guilty parties and give them bonuses. Then it passed Obamacare – ramming it down our throats. As if this wasn’t enough, Obama recently appointed the same woman who oversaw the abuse of Tea Party groups to be in charge of Obamacare at the IRS. All of this was done without the consent of the governed, as guaranteed in the Declaration of Independence. We didn’t consent to the bail-outs, we didn’t consent to Obamacare, and we didn’t consent to be spied on.

      Our Founding Fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence, remembering the actions of a King who swept up citizens and held secret hearings to condemn them. The true traitors are those self-important brutes in our government who work behind closed doors and in session to dismantle the Bill of Rights and other constitutional protects without the consent of the governed.

     We will never be free until we abolish the IRS and close its doors forever. We will never be free until we rid the government of that power over the People.” 

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) reminded those who attended the rally of the abuses of the IRS:

  “I believe that trust in government is vital in a free society. and I believe that trust in our government has been violated. Nowhere is that trust more important and more violated than with the IRS, an agency that access to personal information about your finances and associations.  We’ve learned outrageous things about what the IRS has been doing since 2009.  The IRS has targeted your groups. The IRS has tried to extort money from you in order to shut you down because you are proven organizers of opposition. The IRS has leaked information about your donors and then targeted those donors. This is different than anything we’ve seen before because it’s not the government going after Republicans or Democrats. It’s the government going after just plain folks – just plain ‘ol folks like you.  We all know that the IRS is the enforcement arm of Obamacare. Do you want the IFS involved in your healthcare?  Do you want the IRS knowing about your healthcare?  I certainly don’t.”

Two bills have been introduced which address the abuse at the hands of the IRS.  One was introduced by Rep. Tom Price and the other by Rep. John Fleming (R-LA), who also spoke at the rally. Rep. Price introduced H.R. 2009 on May 16, termed the “Keep the IRS Off Your Healthcare Act of 2013,” which would prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury from enforcing Obamacare. Specifically, it says that the IRS may NOT enforce or implement any portion of Obamacare. Rep. Fleming introduced H.R. 2045 on May 17, termed the “Halt the IRS Act,” which would prohibit officers and employees of the Internal Revenue Service from initiating any new audits for 180 days (to give the House the opportunity to get to the bottom of the scandal). To track these bills, go tohttp://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr2045 and http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr2009

One has to be concerned that an organization that has become the gestapo arm of the Obama administration will be in charge of implementing Obamacare. Will elder conservative leaders be denied life-saving health services because they happen to belong to a Tea Party group, teach about the Founding Fathers, attend Tea Party rallies, promote the Right to Life, criticize President Obama, or support the limitations set forth in the Constitution?  Of course, the surest way to abolish the IRS is to push for the Fair Tax, a national consumption tax, or a Flat Tax. A tax that requires that the burden to fund the government be shared among every American will eliminate the “progressive income tax” that was ushered in with the 16th Amendment and which resulted in the establishment of the tax code and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  A Fair Tax or Flat Tax will render the 16th Amendment useless (so we can abolish it) and will eliminate the IRS.  Americans will be able to file their taxes by simply filling out a postcard. As Ken Hoagland said: “Repeal of the Income Tax will do more than anything to shift the power from Washington back to the People!”

Audit the IRS Rally #4 (with Rand Paul) - June 19, 2013

The protest also addressed the Immigration Reform bill (AMNESTY, in short!) and the Cornyn Amendment, which was co-sponsored by our very own Senator Burr), which are currently being pushed by Congress. The legislation and the amendment are simply BAD and will grant amnesty to approximately 15-20 million illegal immigrants who have chosen to enter our country illegally and take advantage of our welfare, Food Stamps, healthcare, and education, to name a few services (without providing a fair proportion of federal income taxes). With the passage of this legislation, the democrats will be assured of millions of additional voters who like this country for its benefits rather than liberties. The greatest legal objection to the immigration bill and Cornyn Amendment is that they propose amnesty without addressing immigration reform or ENFORCEMENT!!  There is talk of securing the border, but only AFTER illegal immigrants are granted amnesty and immediate voting rights. Proponents of the bill try to divert attention from this fact by claiming that it is not an amnesty bill because it “has plenty of penalties and hurdles for those here illegally who seek citizenship.”

For anyone who wants to understand the gravity and the likely consequences of this bill, just review what happened when the government tried this very thing back in 1986 under Ronald Reagan.  To be clear, the 1986 Immigration Reform bill also offered the same “roadblocks” to citizenship.  But the roadblocks were effectively in ink only.

The Reagan administration passed the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act to address the massive immigration of Hispanics. That law essentially told those in the US illegally that if they had arrived in the U.S. prior to 1982 and wanted to become citizens, all they had to do was simply raise their right hand.

The 1986 act didn’t turn illegal immigrants into citizens on the spot. It granted temporary resident status only to those who could prove they had resided continuously in America for five years. After 18 months, their status could be upgraded to permanent residency, and only after another five years could they become U.S. citizens.

But advancement to citizenship was not automatic. Immigrants had to satisfy various requirements along the way. They had to pay application fees, learn to speak English, understand American civics, pass a medical exam and register for military selective service. Those with convictions for a felony or three misdemeanors were ineligible.

If these “roadblocks” sound familiar, that’s because they are all in the current immigration bill. It’s pretty much the same “penalties and hurdles” set forth by the Senate’s Gang of Eight (including NY Chuck Schumer, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham) and the House’s Gang of Eight. In their bill, they call it a “roadmap to citizenship.”  Ronald Reagan called it “amnesty.”

The ’86 reform bill also had supposedly “rigorous” border security and immigration law enforcement provisions. So how did that pan out? On the day Reagan signed “comprehensive” reform into law, only one thing changed: Millions of unlawful immigrants gained “legal” status. The promised crackdowns on security and enforcement never happened. Only amnesty prevailed.

Since the 1986 amnesty, the number of illegal immigrants has quadrupled. That should teach Congress a very important lesson: Amnesty “bends” the rule of law. And bending the rule of law to reach a “comprehensive” deal winds up provoking wholesale breaking of the law. Ultimately, it encourages millions more to risk entering the country illegally in the hope that one day they, too, might receive amnesty.

On legislation as important as this, lawmakers must take the time to read the bill, not rely on others’ characterizations of what it says. We can’t afford to have Congress once again “pass the bill to find out what’s in it.”  And we can’t have Republicans once again compromise on principles that define what it means to be a “constitutional republic.”

The entire “Audit the IRS” rally can be viewed at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB8JLMJV_iM

Please contact your representatives in DC and let them know that you DEMAND a complete and comprehensive investigation into the conduct of the IRS and any other branches that potentially were used to harass and target conservative groups (such as Homeland Security and its Report on “Rightwing Extremism”) and that you OPPOSE this type of irresponsible Immigration Reform.

Audit the IRS Rally #2 - June 19, 2013

For those who are not familiar with the immigration bill or Cornyn Amendment, it is probably one of the most important items that the Congress is taking up this year and it is worthy of at least a cursory review. This immigration initiative is a top priority of President Obama – now that Obamacare has been passed.  Conservative talk show radio hosts such as Glenn Beck believe that this initiative is an attempt to increase the voter support for the Democratic party and to make sure that Republicans don’t win another presidential election in the near future.

The Immigration bill was proposed by the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” – John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, Chuck Schumer, Mike Bennet, Dick Durbin, Jeff Flake, and Bob Menendez – and is more the attempt to deal with the 15-24 million illegal immigrants currently in this country (the 11 million figure that has been cited repeatedly by the government is simply a sharp under-representation). Ron Paul estimated the number of Illegals at 21 million back in 2008.

The “Gang of Eight” bill would allow undocumented immigrants to gain provisional status, which would let them remain in the country legally and work. It would later create a path to citizenship – first a green card and then eventual naturalization, but only if there are certain border security measures. That is, the bill would require the Department of Homeland Security submit a plan within 6 months of its adoption. In other words, under the Immigration bill, immigrants who are here illegally are given temporary legal status before the border security conditions are met, which, in essence, is amnesty.

The Cornyn Amendment was proposed by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) to help the bill pass in the Senate by supposedly addressing some of the concerns of the Republican members. Cornyn promised that if his amendment was included, he would vote for the bill. The Cornyn Amendment, in its 134 pages, calls for enhanced US security and requires certain laws to be enforced more aggressively. The most notable addition is a requirement that DHS implement a biometric entry and exit program, but even there, the amendment only applies that requirement to air and sea ports of entry, but not land ports of entry.  Moreover, it does not require the implementation of a biometric exit program at land ports of entry any time in the future.  Furthermore, it requires no fencing or physical barrier along the southern border nor does it set any money aside to construct such fencing or barrier.

Despite its provisions, the Cornyn Amendment does nothing to alter the general spirit of the law, which is Amnesty first and then addressing border security maybe or at best, later on. Many are skeptical of the Amendment, claiming that it doesn’t do enough to make the U.S. more secure. It uses weak, arbitrary benchmarks that can be manipulated by DHS and do not guarantee future security or enforcement. Additionally, it says nothing about new flows of illegal immigration. Under the Cornyn Amendment, there could still be a sizable number of illegal immigrants entering the U.S. every year, but DHS would still be able to certify that the border is secure, thus allowing LPR status to be given out.  Despite these concerns, several GOP Senators have signed-on as co-sponsors to the Amendment, including Sens. Lamar Alexander (TN), John Barrasso (WY), Roy Blunt (MO), Richard Burr (NC), Saxby Chambliss (GA), Mike Crapo (ID), Orrin Hatch (UT), Johnny Isakson (GA), Mike Johanns (NE), Mark Kirk (IL), Rob Portman (OH), Pat Roberts (KS), and Roger Wicker (MS).

Amazingly, despite the fact that the Cornyn amendment still does not place a single obstacle in the way of illegal aliens gaining amnesty plus work and travel authorization, some Gang of Eight Senators are opposing it, calling the amendment a “poison pill” aimed at taking down the bill. John McCain, a gift to the Democratic Party, said: “It’s not possible for us to support Senator Cornyn’s amendment as it is presently written. It’s a poison pill.” Senator Schumer called it a “deal killer.”

The National Review calls describes the proposed legislation as: “an amnesty-first, enforcement-maybe program drawn up mainly to reflect the priorities of 11 million citizens of other countries rather than the concerns of more than 300 million citizens of the United States.”  Needless to say, the National Review, as well as conservative leaders all over the country, have been urging Republican Senator Rubio to vote against the bill that he helped craft.  (They know McCain and Graham are lost causes).

Today, GOP Senators John Hoeven (ND) and Bob Corker (TN) introduced a bi-partisan compromise amendment, hoping to ensure Senate passage of the immigration reform bill by increasing Republican support for it. The amendment would call for a border agent every 1,000 feet, every hour of every day, supported by 700 miles of fencing along the Mexican frontier. Furthermore, it would provide that no green cards be issued for the “11 million immigrants living illegally in America” until those steps and others to enhance border controls are taken. (Of course, it would take a couple of years to train and deploy the new agents in an expansion that would almost double the current force). The compromise amendment still doesn’t address the fundamental flaw of the immigration reform effort, which is that it is an amnesty measure and not a security measure. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said the compromise means “amnesty will still occur” and Roy Beck, president of Numbers USA, a group that opposes the immigration reform measure, called the compromise “a desperate political move by pro-amnesty forces to provide cover to pass a bill that would otherwise not pass.”

The Immigration Reform effort does nothing to address the serious concerns surrounding the massive immigration of low-skilled Hispanics over the past 20 years or so. For one, it will cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars in welfare benefits. Granting amnesty to millions of low-skilled Hispanics sends the message that the United States only enforces immigration laws against those who are educated and can offer the country professional skills, something we are in need of.  It also ensures that law-abiding American citizens will continue to suffer from unemployment and salaries will decrease. Speaking today on the Rush Limbaugh, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said that the Senate immigration bill “sets up affirmative action – a strong preference in hiring – for those who are here illegally.” Cruz argued that because illegal immigrants who are granted legal status would be exempt from Obamacare, it would be cheaper for employers to hire them than to hire native-born workers. “If you’re a small-business owner,” said Cruz, “if you hire an American or if you hire a legal immigrant, you’re subject to a $2,000 dollar fine per employee if you’re not providing health-care under Obamacare. It’s a massive economic incentive for employers to not hire Americans.”

The reform bill undermines our rule of law, is a slap in the face to everyone who entered the country legally and had to wait and follow the mandates of the law, continues to impress upon law-abiding American citizens that there is no such thing as “one set of laws for everyone,” and will be an enormous drain on those who pay the bulk of taxes.

One must ask: “Shouldn’t border security and upholding the immigration laws be a priority regardless of other immigration reforms?” Regrettably, the President and some in Congress seem to be treating security and upholding the law as an afterthought or a bargaining chip, not as one of the core purposes of government. In fact, the President appears to be intentionally ignoring his role as our head Enforcer and refuses to enforce the laws already on the books. We see this in sanctuary cities, we see this in repeat offenders who are here illegally being turned loose on the streets, we see this in the appeasement policy the current administration has with the President of Mexico and other Mexican authorities, and we see this in the refusal of government to enforce laws that make sure that illegal immigrants are not able to avail themselves of our welfare programs.

Before 1996, legal immigrants were eligible for public benefits on similar terms as citizens, while illegal immigrants were NOT eligible. The 1996 Welfare Reform Act, officially titled “The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act” (PRWORA), restricted access to TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), Medicaid, and SNAP for many legal immigrants. In other words, it was supposed to make it difficult for immigrants after 1996 to live as wards of the state and to burden law-abiding taxpayers. The 1996 law states that “self-sufficiency has been a basic principle of United States immigration law.”  In particular, it reads: “aliens within the Nation’s borders should not depend on public resources to meet their needs,” and “the availability of public benefits should not constitute an incentive for immigration to the United States” (U.S. Congress 1996).  The Welfare Reform Act established two categories of immigrants for eligibility purposes (qualified and nonqualified immigrants) and restricted eligibility for qualified immigrants based on time of arrival into the United States (pre-enactment versus post-enactment immigrants), and length of U.S. residency (more than five years versus five years or less). Stated most generally, welfare reform allowed benefits for qualified immigrants, most of whom are legal permanent residents (LPRs), who arrived in the United States prior to the enactment of PRWORA (on August 22, 1996), and it restricted benefits for most immigrants who arrived after enactment for their first five years of qualified residency in the United States.  As a result of these reforms, eligibility for public benefits can vary within families based on each family member’s citizenship, immigration status, time of arrival, and length of residence in the United States.

Over the past 20 years, the foreign-born population in the United States has more than doubled. In the 20 years from 1990 to 2010, the population increased from 20 million in 1990 to 40 million in 2010 (US Census Bureau 2011). Immigrant families include nearly 17 million children, more than 15 million of whom are U.S.-born citizens. It is estimated that one in every 2 or 3 Hispanic immigrants is here illegally. While foreign-born adults have high employment rates and many do well economically, they are also more likely to work in low-wage jobs and less likely to have health insurance coverage from their employers than native-born adults. Several of our public assistance programs are available to them. Despite the instructions outlined in the 1996 Welfare Reform Act, several major public programs, including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) are available to all low-income immigrants. The problem is that federal public benefits include a variety of “safety-net services” which can be paid for by federal funds  But the welfare law’s definition does not specify which particular programs are covered by the term, leaving that clarification to each federal benefit granting agency.

For anyone wanting to know what immigration to the United States was like when many European immigrants came here, look at the “Ellis Island and Immigration Experience” at http://freepages.family.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gregkrenzelok/Ellis%20Island.html

The Immigration Reform bill, even including the amendments, does nothing to alter the fundamental truth that amnesty will be granted before any meaningful security measures are put in place. The bottom line is that this very same effort was tried once before and was a dismal failure. It sent the message to our neighboring countries and others around the world that the United States is not interested in taking any strong measures to effect a sensible immigration policy that furthers important national interests. Immigration has become political. Instead of a furthering important national interests, immigration is being used to further political interests.

One thing is certain: If we subsidize them, they will come. We have rolled out the social services red carpet, so it is no surprise that many from other countries are eager to come take advantage of our very generous system. The magnet used to be our unlimited freedom and a government that would leave people alone. Today that magnet is free stuff.  Today that magnet is social pandering – in order to advance a progressive agenda and tear down traditional American norms. We must return to the Rule of Law and the American principle of personal responsibility. We must expect those who come here to respect our laws and to take care of themselves. Not only is this the right thing to do for our overtaxed citizens, but it sets a standard that should define all Americans, including those who have recently immigrated here. We simply have no choice. We can’t afford our relaxed, “politically-correct” policies anymore.

Again, please contact your representatives in DC and let them know that you oppose any immigration reform effort that includes amnesty. The primary objective of immigration reform should be border security and enforcement of an immigration policy that serves legitimate national goals (and not political goals). And don’t forget to demand an investigation of the IRS and Homeland Security.