Do you ever, at the end of a long day at Volunteer Voters, hang your head in shame for America?
Because, I have to tell you, I read the comments on this post, read the post and comments over at Oatney’s, and I had to put my head down on my desk and wait for the feeling of being too close to stupid to pass.
People of Tennessee! I behoove you to familiarize yourself with the documents that make up the basis for our legal system and our cultural heritage before you start shooting off your mouths.
But since some of you won’t, I’m totally calling you on it.
David Oatney, Republican mastermind and future political office holder (if, indeed, those are still your plans), you think you should hold public office AND/WHEN you believe that, and I quote,
Someone who is in this country illegally has no protection under a Constitution that was intended for those who are in this country legally, living under the law by their legal residence here. If you are not in the United States in a legal capacity, you have no constitutional protection, nor any right to expect any such protection unless or until you take the necessary steps to become a legal resident of the United States. Once you obtain legal status, you then have every right to expect full constitutional protection, but not before.
Shoot, you’ve got folks supporting this nonsense. Over at Volunteer Voters we can read:
Craig T. said,
on July 11th, 2007 at 1:35 pm
I think he is exactly right. Every person is entitled to basic human rights, but not Constitutional rights. Only those that play by the rules get the protection of the rules.
Donna Locke said,
on July 11th, 2007 at 2:00 pm
Illegal and legal aliens in this country do not have all the constitutional rights that American citizens have.
And we can see that Craig joins you back at your place to reiterate “Only those that play by the rules get the protection of the rules.”
I’m sorry that you can spout such nonsense and have no one challenge it. I’m sorry that the challenge couldn’t come from a source you find more credible. And I’m sorry that I didn’t see this sooner to do it sooner, but better late than never.
So, here goes.
David Oatney, Donna Locke, Craig Thomas, prove it.
Show me where in the Constitution it says that Constitutional protections for people recognized as legal persons (let me be clear, not people who are here legally, but people who are recognized as people under the law) extend only to U.S. citizens.
I’ll wait right here.
Ha, now maybe I’ve been too deeply influenced by the Libertarians (Sarcastro did make me read a bunch of their propaganda), but when I flip through the Constitution, I’m struck by the nineth and tenth amendments.
Shall we look at those together?
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
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.
You see, there are two important things going on here. In Amendment Nine, we see that the Constitution is not claiming to outline all of the rights of the people. It’s only spelling out some specific rights and warning us not to assume those rights “deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
In other words ALL rights are inherent in people, even if certain ones are enumerated in the Constitution–not inherent only in legal citizens, but in the people.
Amendment ten again reinforces this notion that Constitutional power is not inherent in the Constitution, but is “delegated to the United States” by the people. The people hand some power over to the government, but keep for themselves the powers they have not delegated to either the Feds or their local governments.
Two amendments that say that rights and powers are inherent in the people and retained by the people unless delegated to the Feds.
This seems to me to be in direct contradiction to your notion that “If you are not in the United States in a legal capacity, you have no constitutional protection, nor any right to expect any such protection unless or until you take the necessary steps to become a legal resident of the United States.” and “Every person is entitled to basic human rights, but not Constitutional rights.” and “Illegal and legal aliens in this country do not have all the constitutional rights that American citizens have.”
I will grant you that we may not have always lived up to that ideal (in other words, I wholly expect that you can find court rulings that are in conflict with the 9th and 10th amendment), but it seems clear to me that the United States Constitution recognizes all people as having inherent rights, all rights, not just basic human rights.
Then, if we peruse the 14th Amendment, it says, “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Note that the 14th amendment makes a distinction between “citizens” and “persons.” A citizen has privileges and immunities which shall not be abridged. But a person (a state separate from being a citizen) cannot be denied by the state “the equal protection of the laws.”
Again, completely disproving your idea that Constitutional rights only apply to citizens.
Maybe back in the olden days when folks couldn’t just pull up a copy of the Constitution on their computer and see for themselves what it says, you could get away with espousing the idea that only U.S. citizens have rights, but we live in the computer age.
Did you think that no one would think to check and see if you were full of shit?