Sunday, November 27, 2011

Why do we make immigration more complicated

If we are going to have a line for people to come to this country, you can't reward those that bypass the line. They need to be sent to the back of the line. That doesn't mean you should stop treating them like people.

Do you remember when you had to wait in line to buy tickets to a movie, and then wait in line before going in? If you came to the theater and the show was full, you could buy a ticket to a later show. That was before you could order them at home, and know then where your seat was and what time to come to the theater.

You can't let everyone show up for the same movie or there would be no place to sit, and you do need some reasonable security and rules.

Why do we make immigration more complicated?

We have a new law. Lets use it. The sponsoring principle of 2011 HB 469 provides a limiting factor of how fast immigrants can come, makes sure they do not place a larger burden than we can handle, and is more like co-signing a friends car loan.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

National Popular Vote Compact

The US Constitution provided for a balance between small population states and large ones. This is one of the reasons for the Senate having 2 per state and the House being divided based on population.

The current US Presidential Electoral System keeps part of that concept so that voters in California, New York, and a few others do not decide who is elected, ignoring the rest of the country.

The original system was designed so that the electors nominated two candidates, one not from their state, and unless there was a candidate nominated by the majority of electors, the voting for president out of the top 5 nominees was done by the US House of Representatives, one vote per state. If two candidates received a majority of electors, the House would decide between just the two. Basically, the loser of the top two became the Vice President, who would take over if something happened to the President. The elector college system protected every state from being ignored.

By 1796 and 1800, partly due to political party influence, and because the public didn't want the US House to decide the election a movement to change happened and under the 12th amendment this was changed. One reason was to make sure the President and the Vice President could run together. The change made it so the electors would almost always reach a majority and therefore cast the final vote, and because of that, most states have now required that the elector vote based on which party they represent. Utah requires that an elector be replaced if they do not vote per party. See

Under the current system, Utah having 6 votes instead of 4 gives us a slight edge over population. Utah has decided to have a winner take all system. If Utah were to split our vote, it would carry less weight in the national election.

If the National Popular Vote Compact proposed were to happen, (states making up over 270 electors were to join) the group would all have their electors match the popular vote of the entire country. So the group's electors would match the popular vote, meaning if Utah joined the compact, it could end up voting for Pres. Obama, even if most of the voters in Utah voted against him.

While the current system doesn't work as originally intended, there is still some balance favoring smaller states, just barely enough to encourage candidates to campaign throughout most of the country. If the Popular Vote Compact were to succeed, I believe that would be eliminated and I also believe the cities with the most population would be the locations where campaigning would occur, making the situation of ignoring parts of the country even worse.

I disagree with some of my colleagues. I believe this National Popular Vote Compact is a bad idea. A bill for Utah to join is expected to be voted on for the 2012 Legislative Session.

Some information:

A copy of the bill that was submitted in the 2011 Session

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


OK, I voted for 2011 HB 497. The feds are filing suit. Some comments:

The Constitution of the United States grants authority to the federal government to regulate foreign commerce and to adopt a uniform rule of naturalization. [Citizenship not Immigration].

Repeat, there is nothing in the constitution that says the Feds can regulate immigration, and certainly nothing that says the states can't.

"The Constitution of the United States grants authority to the federal government to regulate foreign commerce and to adopt a uniform rule of naturalization. The United States Supreme Court has also found inherent federal authority to regulate immigration on the basis of federal sovereignty and the power to engage in foreign affairs: this is sometimes referred to as the "plenary power," which in more recent years has been made subject to certain constitutional limits. See, e.g., Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678 (2001); Fong Yue Ting v. United States, 149 U.S. 698 (1893); Hernandez-Carrera v. Carlson, 547 F.3d 1237 (10th Cir. 2009)."

There is NOTHING in the US Constitution that grants the Federal Government power over Immigration and prior to the Case Law noted above, the States had that Power.

The Federal Government to needs to protect our borders, create rules for granting citizenship, but as the State of Utah, we can take care of immigration, thank you very much. (Pretty obvious the feds are not doing it).

HB 497 was changed enough before it passed to avoid the huge financial impact some of the cities were worried about. If we are going to have a line to come into this county, there needs some enforcement. Add HB 469 and it solves the legal immigration aspect and makes it self limiting. Can we get a better bill than HB 497, perhaps, but I haven't see a better bill than HB 469.

Under the Articles of Confederation, the states had different naturalization requirements which is why naturalization was included in the constitution.

"Under the Articles of Confederation, the question of citizenship and the naturalization of immigrants remained with the individual states. Pennsylvania allowed any foreigner of 'good character,' who took an oath of allegiance to the state, to acquire property and after one year's residency become a citizen entitled to 'all the rights of a natural born subject of this state.' New York followed Pennsylvania's model and added a requirement for foreigners to renounce all allegiance to any foreign prince. Maryland's naturalization law required a declaration of 'belief in the christian religion' and an oath of allegiance. In South Carolina, full naturalization required at least two years of residency and a special act of the legislature."

Under the US Constitution the Supreme court ruled in 1837 that the states had immigration powers and it wasn't until about 1875-1880 that really started to change based on case law and not amending the constitution.

The articles of confederation were in place when the constitution was created and provide the argument and framework as to why naturalization was a power provided to the federal government under the US Constitution. It is my contention that while naturalization requirements were specified as a federal power, immigration requirements were purposely not a power granted to the federal government. It was a power the federal government later assumed, without constitutional modification after 100 years of the states having that power.

While you may argue that both the federal government and the states have power over immigration during those hundred years, I believe one can say that the states have power over immigration, based on the US constitution and not case law. That power was required under HB 469, but not under HB 497. There isn't even a constitutional note for HB 497 and I don't believe the federal government has constitutional arguments to win.

"do solemnly swear that I will support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this State and that I will discharge the duties of my office with fidelity."

There is nothing in that oath that says I would swear to support, obey and defend Case Law, or any existing laws, especially those without US Constitutional standing. for example: FLIPMA.

For a copy of the 2011 HB 497 law, see: