Courtesy of Migra Matters, we learn that, if you testify in front of Congress about the DREAM act (which, as you recall, provides a way for kids who are here illegally–through no fault of their own–a way to change their status and start down a path towards citizenship) you and your family will be arrested.
Better yet, Tom Tancredo will insist that there should be more arrests.
I’ve been thinking a lot about just how anti-American this is, on two fronts. One is that, even though these folks have broken the law to get here, I’ve never heard a single one of them claiming that our laws shouldn’t apply to them. You know, when a Mexian national has been living in this country illegally for three years and he gets drunk and kills someone, his defense is never “I’m not a U.S. citizen, therefore I don’t have to follow your laws.”
In other words, there seems to be implicit consent to be governed by our government. You may recall that “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” So, regardless of an immigrant’s status, if he or she consents to be governed, if he or she has granted the government that power over him or her, he or she has entered a relationship with that government and that government now has a responsibility towards that person.
And once the government has a responsibility towards the governed, the governed have rights, whether or not they are citizens. And one of those basic rights is the right “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Congress cannot make a law that prohibits that. So, it seems to me clear that, if a law has the effect of interfering with the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, it cannot, at that moment, be enforced.
So, no, you shouldn’t be able to arrest kids before they can testify before Congress (which seems to be what Tancredo was hoping for). But it seems to me that, if there’s any danger of sending a message that people who testify before Congress–seeking a redress of grievances–will be arrested by arresting folks who have testified before Congress, then we need to put our collective foot down to stop that nonsense as well.