Immigration Laws

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Updated on March 9, 2008

Immigration Laws

The 14th Amendment of the US Constitution explicitly prohibits each state from "deny[ing] to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Constitutional amendments are supreme law, and trump all other law. So, it is explicitly against the law for any state to discriminate against aliens, contrary to popular belief.

Our government derives its authority from the Declaration of Independence which reads: "...We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, - That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government..." So, as fascism, racism, and/or nationalism is promoted, the foundation for our government's authority is undermined and destroyed, and the supreme law of our land is violated - as our Declaration of Independence states.

In the pledge of allegiance, people in the United States pledge to support the United States as a "nation under God, ... with liberty and justice for all". Do immigration laws which keep aliens out provide liberty or justice for those aliens? Is it just to declare illegal all of those who exceed 5'7" in height? Or those who were born south of I80? or those who were born outside of the US boundaries? Such a declaration is further exasperated by a quota policy that does not allow all of those who have been discriminated against to obtain residency or naturalization, even if the hoops are jumped through. Do such laws provide liberty for anyone? If I, as an American citizen choose to follow my conscience, providing jobs for the victims of this discrimation, will I find liberty and justice, or will I find punishment? And so it is clear that injust laws threaten the freedom of even the citizens.

More significantly, God's laws are broken by immigration laws. Consider:

Lev. 19:17-18 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

Lev. 19:33-37 And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure. Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt. Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: I am the LORD.

Lev. 24:22 Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God.

Deuteronomy 10:17-19 For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 24:17-18 Thou shalt not pervert the judgment of the stranger, nor of the fatherless; nor take a widow's raiment to pledge: But thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee thence: therefore I command thee to do this thing.

Exodus 12:49 One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.

Exodus 22:21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Numbers 9:14 ... ye shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger, and for him that was born in the land.

Numbers 15:15-16 One ordinance shall be both for you of the congregation, and also for the stranger that sojourneth with you, an ordinance for ever in your generations: as ye are, so shall the stranger be before the LORD. One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you.

Matt. 22:36-40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Matthew 25:41-45 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For ... I was a stranger, and ye took me not in ... Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

Mosiah 29:32 And now I desire that this inequality should be no more in this land, especially among this my people; but I desire that this land be a land of liberty, and every man may enjoy his rights and privileges alike, so long as the Lord sees fit that we may live and inherit the land, yea, even as long as any of our posterity remains upon the face of the land.

3 Nephi 20:14-21 (The Lord gives this land to the Hispanics) And the Father hath commanded me that I should give unto you this land, for your inheritance. And I say unto you, that if the Gentiles do not repent after the blessing which they shall receive, after they have scattered my people- Then shall ye, who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, go forth among them; and ye shall be in the midst of them who shall be many; and ye shall be among them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, and as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he goeth through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. Thy hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off. And I will gather my people together as a man gathereth his sheaves into the floor. For I will make my people with whom the Father hath covenanted, yea, I will make thy horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass. And thou shalt beat in pieces many people; and I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth. And behold, I am he who doeth it. And it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that the sword of my justice shall hang over them at that day; and except they repent it shall fall upon them, saith the Father, yea, even upon all the nations of the Gentiles. And it shall come to pass that I will establish my people, O house of Israel.

2 Nephi 1:5-7 But, said he, notwithstanding our afflictions, we have obtained a land of promise, a land which is choice above all other lands; a land which the Lord God hath covenanted with me should be a land for the inheritance of my seed. Yea, the Lord hath covenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever, and also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord. Wherefore, I, Lehi, prophesy according to the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord. Wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever.

Mal. 3:5  And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.

Historically, immigration laws of the US and other nations played a key role in the deaths of millions of Jews, preventing them from escaping Hitler's death sentence. Hitler asked that they leave German territory, and the US denied them the ability to leave to come to freedom and life in the US (I believe 10-20 thousand were allowed to come). At one point, a ship loaded with hundreds was not allowed to unload, so the people were then taken back to Europe, to most of their deaths.


I have heard the argument that poor treatment and/or punishment of "illegal aliens" is justified because they broke the law. The idea that one can label a person "illegal" because they were born in a certain place seems very evil to me. In addition, it is illegal under the 14th amendment. Does that justification instead, implicitly argue for the severe punishing of the biased? For it is the biased that violated the 14th amendment, and threaten the US government as noted by the Declaration of Independence. Furthermore, the justification is dishonest because the latter US laws effectively do not allow people in. They do this by allowing a very small proportion in relationship to demand, by requiring high prices, and by requiring a very long time to get through the process. This effectively shuts out the oppressed, who have neither time nor resources to get through and (sometimes) to survive.

I think about Patrick Henry's anthem of "Give me liberty or give me death!" Have Americans fully rejected the idea? Or do they believe only they should have liberty? And so, I am left to conclude that Illegal Immigrants are not illegal in the United States, but rather those who would attack our (the citizen's and the alien's) liberty are illegal.


Abraham Lincoln: Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.

John Stuart Mill: The only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it.

Benjamin Franklin: Those willing to give up a little liberty for a little security deserve neither security nor liberty.

Thomas Jefferson: Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add "within the limits of the law," because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.

George Bernard Shaw, Liberty: Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.

Martin Niemoller, 1892-1984: They came for the communists, and I did not speak up because I wasn't a communist; They came for the socialists, and I did not speak up because I was not a socialist; They came for the union leaders, and I did not speak up because I wasn't a union leader; They came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak up for me.

Thomas Paine: He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself.

Robert J. McCracken: We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls.

Author Unknown: No one is free when others are oppressed.

Author Unknown: Men fight for freedom, then they begin to accumulate laws to take it away from themselves.

Harry Emerson Fosdick: Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have.

Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759: They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Frederick Douglass, speech, Civil Rights Mass Meeting, Washington, D.C., 1883: No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.

James Madison, speech, Virginia Convention, 1788: I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.

Edward R. Murrow: We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.

D.H. Lawrence, Classical American Literature, 1922: Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks. Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools. And their grandchildren are once more slaves.

Edmund Burke: The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.

Thomas Macaulay: Many politicians are in the habit of laying it down as a self-evident proposition that no people ought to be free till they are fit to use their freedom. The maxim is worthy of the fool in the old story who resolved not to go into the water till he had learned to swim.

Patrick Henry: Give me liberty or give me death!

God Bless America!