By DR. LARRY MOSES
No one asked me but… These thoughts first appeared in a June 2, 2010 column. It is now 2017 and a new sheriff is in town, and while he promises to change the game the issues remains the same.
The Constitution keeps getting in the way. If we could only pick and chose which Amendments we like and which we don’t. The protectors of the Second Amendment don’t much like the Fourth and Fourteenth. The Fourth Amendment states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause…” One must wonder if a speeding ticket is probable cause for a policeman to question your citizenship?
I am an ardent supporter of the enforcement of our borders and the deportation of illegal aliens. However, the major problem is how you identify the illegal alien without violating the Fourth Amendment rights of American citizens to “be secure in their person, house, papers and effects…” Is a person really secure in their person if they are required to prove their citizenship? If you answer yes to this question, you must then ask; how do I prove I am an American citizen? Have you ever been asked to prove you are an American citizen? I was stopped in Texas and asked that question and when I said yes they took my word for it. Had they asked for proof, I don’t believe I could have provided it.
As I check my wallet today, I find nothing that would prove I am an American citizen. I have a card that says I am a lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Post 8336. That means I served in the American military. But so did many foreign nationals. I have a health card that says I retired from the Clark County School District, but I taught with a number of teachers who were Canadian citizens. I have a Golden Age Passport to the National Park system, but all that took was ten dollars, and all it proves is I am really old. I have a library card which I hardly use. I am not sure what that proves. I have two bank cards and one credit card but I never had to prove I was citizen to get them. All I needed was money in the bank and a willingness to pay a bill. In fact, I continually get credit cards that I shred. I have an AARP card that only proves I am really really old. I have a Social Security Card, but it says right on it that it is not for identification.
I do have a Nevada Driver’s License. I got my first Driver’s License when I was sixteen in Des Moines, Iowa, along with the rest of the juniors who took Driver’s Education. No one asked if I was a citizen. I traded it for a California License in 1960. The California Driver’s License was traded for a Utah License in 1964, the Utah License for a Nevada License in 1967. In procuring a license my citizenship never came into question.
The point is how do I prove I am a citizen when I am stopped for speeding if the question from the officer is, are you an American citizen? A better question is how does my speeding become probable cause to investigate my status as an American citizen? Are my blues eyes, light hair (white now), and fair skin verification of my yes answer? There are an estimated 50,000 Irish illegal immigrants in the U.S.
Another issue is the “equal protection” provision of the Fourteenth Amendment. If all persons stopped for a speeding are asked the same questions and are required to produce the same proof of the correctness of the answer, then the equal protection clause would be covered. If I am required no more than a yes answer to the question, then constitutionally that is the only proof that can be asked from any individual. If the Anglo American citizen needs only to answer yes, that is all that can be required of the Hispanic citizen. Those of us who defend the Constitution cannot pick and choose which part we will support and which we will ignore. If you demand a strict interpretation of the Second Amendment, you must also ask for the same for the Fourth and Fourteenth as unpopular as that may be.
The United States never defined citizenship until after the Civil War, and the Fourteen Amendment which states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State in which they reside….” This would seem to indicate that if you are asked to prove you are a citizen, you must either produce your birth certificate or a certification of naturalization. I have not been required to carry my birth certificate, and I am sure that once a person is a naturalized citizen, they are not required to carry their certificate. Maybe those of us who are so keen on rounding up illegal aliens should be pushing for a law that requires all American citizens to carry a document that verifies their citizenship.
If you can identify the illegal alien without violating the rights of the American citizen, I am all in favor of deportation. Let’s close the borders; 1200 new National Guards on the border are not enough. The fence is a joke. Every night on the news, they show illegals climbing present day fences as though they were not there. There is a major tunnel system that ferries drugs to America and guns to Mexico. Maybe we should bring our soldiers home from Iraq and Afghanistan and let the Middle East kill itself off and use our soldiers to protect our borders.
Thought of the week…. All the problems we face in the United States today can be traced to the unenlightened immigration policy on the part of the American Indian.
– Pat Paulsen