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IllegalImmigration,Arizona,andthe

FourteenthAmendment:TheCasefor
LimitsandEnforcement

JANC.TING*

ABSTRACT

The seemingly complicated immigration policy debate can be boiled


downtoasimplequestion:shouldwelimitthenumberofimmigrantswe
admitintotheUnitedStateseachyear?Iftheanswerisno,thenweshould
repeal our immigration laws and stop spending money on immigration
lawenforcement.However,iftheanswerisyes,thenwewillhavetorely
on Congress to both determine the number of immigrants annually
admittedtotheUnitedStatesandprioritizethetypeofimmigrantswewill
allow to fill the limit. We will have to adopt strategies to enforce those
limits and deter those not chosen for admission from attempting to enter
the country illegally. Those strategies should include not only prompt
detectionandremovalofimmigrationviolators,butalsodenialofbenefits
to aliens illegally present, both of which Arizona has sought to facilitate
throughtheenactmentofSB1070.Andamongthosebenefitsthatwemight
reasonably consider denying to aliens in the United States who are in
violation of the law is the benefit of conferring automatic citizenship to
theirchildrenbornonUnitedStatessoil.

*ProfessorofLaw,TempleUniversity,BeasleySchoolofLaw,Philadelphia,Pennsylvania.

J.D.,HarvardUniversity,1975;M.A.,UniversityofHawaii,1972;B.A.,OberlinCollege,1970.
The author served from 1990 to 1993 as Assistant Commissioner of the Immigration and
NaturalizationServiceoftheUnitedStatesDepartmentofJustice.TheauthorthanksCesarF.
Limon,Classof2012,TempleUniversity,BeasleySchoolofLaw,forresearchassistanceinthe
preparationofthisArticle.

449
450 NewEnglandLawReview v.45|449

INTRODUCTION

I
n the U.S. midterm election campaigns of 2010, illegal immigration
becameanissueasneverbefore.Itseemslikelythatitwillcontinueto
beacontentiousissueregardlessofwhatCongressdoesor,morelikely,
doesnotdopriortothepresidentialelectionof2012.
The hot button immigration issue of the 2010 campaign was the
Arizona antiillegal immigration statute, SB 1070,1 the constitutionality of
which was challenged in court by the Obama administration.2 However,
thedebateoverthisandotherimmigrationissueslargelyignorestheissue
attheheartofthedebateoverimmigration:howmanyimmigrantsshould
weallowintotheUnitedStateseachyear?
Ifwecanachieveconsensusonthiskeyquestion,theanswerstoother
more specific immigration issues will become much clearer, and the
passions over immigration will gradually diminish. Conversely, if we are
unabletoreachconsensusonthisbasicquestion,thenresolutionofspecific
immigrationconflictslikethatoverSB1070willcontinueindefinitely,and
passionsoverimmigrationwillcontinuetogrowanddividetheAmerican
people.

I. CurrentandProjectedU.S.Demographics

First,abitofcontext:asthisArticlegoestopress,thecompletedresults
ofthe2010censusarenotyetavailable.Buttheofficial2005estimateofthe
U.S.populationprovidedthebaselineforthePewResearchCenters2008
projectionofU.S.populationgrowthtotheyear2050.Oftheofficial2005
U.S.populationestimateof296million,thePewResearchCenter(Pew)
reportedthat36millionwereforeignborn.3Usingthecommonestimateof
roughly 12 million illegal aliens in the United States at that time would
meanthataboutonethirdoftheforeignbornpopulationwasillegal.4The
PewResearchCenterthenprojectedthatifpresenttrendscontinueifwe
do nothingthe U.S. population will grow to 438 million by 2050, an
increase over 45 years of 142 million or about 48% of the 2005 baseline
population.5
While dramatic, this projection of population growth is neither
obviously good nor bad. The fastest growing economies of the world,
China,India,andBrazil,allhavegrowingpopulations.Buteverycountry
with a growing population faces concerns over meeting the needs and

1S.B.1070,49thLeg.,2dReg.Sess.(Ariz.2010).

2UnitedStatesv.Arizona,703F.Supp.2d980(D.Ariz.2010).

3JEFFREY S. PASSEL & DVERA COHN, PEW RESEARCH CTR., U.S. POPULATION PROJECTIONS:

20052050,at9(2008),availableathttp://pewhispanic.org/files/reports/85.pdf.
4Seeid.at36.

5Id.at12.
2011 Illegal Immigration, Arizona, and the 14th Amendment 451

managingtheproblemsofpopulationgrowth.
IfthePewprojectionofanadditional142millionpeopleintheUnited
Statesby2050iscorrect,thepeopleoftheUnitedStateswillhavetoaccept
the challenge of providing good jobs, good schools, and good health care
forsomanyadditionalresidents,despitehavinghadonlymixedresultsto
dateinprovidingsuchbenefitstoourcurrentpopulation.
HowmanymoremillionsofbarrelsofoilwilltheUnitedStateshaveto
import every year from the Middle East to support an additional 142
millionpeople?Howmanymoredeepwaterwellswillithavetodrillinto
theoceanfloortoaccommodatetheirenergyneeds?Howmanymoretons
ofcoalwillithavetoburntogeneratetheelectricitytolightthehomesand
accommodatetheelectricalneedsof142millionmorepeople?Thecountry
can hope for technological and scientific breakthroughs which can
somewhatmitigatethegrowthofourfutureenergyneedsandtheimpact
ontheenvironmentandglobalclimatechangeofanadditional142million
U.S.residents,butnooneknowsifthosebreakthroughswilloccurasfast
aswewouldlikeorneed.
The punchline provided by the Pew population study is, however: of
thatprojected142millionincreaseinU.S.populationbytheyear2050,82%
is due to post2005 immigration to the United States;6 only 18% of the
increaseisduetothenaturalgrowthofthebaseline2005population.7

II. TheQuestionofOpenBorders

Iamnotopposedtoimmigration.Myparentswerebothimmigrants.I
grewupinanimmigranthome.Myparentsfriendswereimmigrants,and
the children I grew up with were the children and grandchildren of
immigrants.Ofcourse,Iadmireandrespectimmigrants,asallAmericans
should, because all Americans are either immigrants themselves or
descendents of ancestors who came here from somewhere else, including
NativeAmericans.
The question U.S. citizens must answer in the twentyfirst century is
whetherourrespectandadmirationforimmigrantsissogreatthatweare
willingtowelcomeeverysinglewouldbeimmigrantfromanywhereinthe
worldwhowouldliketocomehereinsearchofabetterlifeforthemselves
and their families. Or alternatively, do we want to set and enforce a
numericlimitation on thenumber ofimmigrants we are willingto accept
everyyear.Thatrequirespreventingwouldbeimmigrantsfromentering,
not because they have done anything wrong or because they are bad
people, but simply because their admission would exceed our numeric
limitation.Andiftheyenterinviolationofourlimitation,wewillhaveto

6Id.

7Id.
452 NewEnglandLawReview v.45|449

removethem,notbecausetheyarebadpeople,butonlybecausetheirentry
exceedsthenumericlimitation.
ThisisabinarychoicetheUnitedStateshastomake.Numericlimitsor
nonumericlimits?Tomeitisasimpleandobviouschoicethathastobe
made.Buttoelectedofficialsitcanbeadifficultchoicetomake,sodifficult
in fact that it is better avoided entirely. I believe that the failure of our
federalgovernmenttoclearlymakethisbinarychoiceisattherootofthe
socalled immigration crisis and is why so many individuals proclaim
that our immigration system is broken. American politicians are
reluctant to take positions that lose them votes in the next election. They
cannot support open borders without numeric limits on immigration
because the American people do not support open borders.8 But they are
alsoreluctanttosupporttheenforcementofnumericlimitationsbecauseit
isunpopularwithsomevotersandoftengeneratesstoriesofenforcement
actions against sympathetic immigration law violators with roots in local
communitiesandU.S.citizenrelatives.
Toomanyofourpoliticiansandourfellowcitizensclaimtobeagainst
open borders and in favor of enforcing numerical restrictions on
immigration but then want to facilitate the entry and presence of illegal
immigrants. They do not want to construct a border fence that may be
offensivetoforeignneighbors;theywillspendtaxpayermoneyonavirtual
fencethatdoesnotworkbutwillnotauthorizeareal,physicalbarrierthat
wouldraisethecostofillegalentry.9Theydonotwantanyworksiteraids
ordeportationsthatbreakupfamilies;theywanttoissuedriverslicenses
and identification cards to illegal immigrants.10 They do not want to hold
employersliableforemployingunauthorizedworkers;11theywanttooffer
instatetuitiontoillegalaliensatstateuniversitiesandcolleges.12Andthey

8STEVEN A. CAMAROTA, CTR. FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES, NEW POLL: AMERICANS PREFER

HOUSE APPROACH ON IMMIGRATION 1, 4 (2006), available at http://www.cis.org/articles/2006


/2006poll.pdf.
9SeeVirtualBorderSystemIneffective,OutofCash,HOMELAND SECURITY NEWSWIRE(July16,

2009), http://homelandsecuritynewswire.com/virtualbordersystemineffectiveoutcash?page
=1,0.
10TimKorte&ManuelValdes,IllegalImmigrantsFlockingto3StatestoObtainIdentification,

AZCENTRAL.COM (Aug. 14, 2010), http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2010/08/14/201008


14illegalimmigrantgettingdriverslicenses.html.
11See 8 U.S.C. 1324a(b)(1)(A) (2006) (considering employers to be in compliance upon

examininga document thatreasonablyappearsonitsfacetobegenuine);see,e.g.,Collins


FoodsIntlv.INS,948F.2d549,553(9thCir.1991)(findinganemployerincomplianceifata
glancethe[socialsecurity]cardonitsfacedidnotappeartobefalse).
12Daniel Wood, States Move Against InState Tuition for Illegal Immigrants, CHRISTIAN SCI.

MONITOR, Apr. 3, 2009, at 2, available at 2009 WLNR 6302231. At the time the article was
published,tenstatesallowedillegalimmigrantstopayinstatetuition,whilesixstateswere
consideringsuchapolicy.Id.
2011 Illegal Immigration, Arizona, and the 14th Amendment 453

wanttorepeatthemasslegalizationandamnestyforillegalaliensthatthe
United States adopted in 1986 in the mistaken belief that it would
somehowsolveillegalimmigration.13
Alloftheseeffortstoeasetheentryandpresenceofillegalimmigrants
wouldbeacceptableifthegoalisopenbordersandunlimitedimmigration.
However, the country has to decide: open borders or enforced numerical
limits?Thedecisiononthatpolicyquestionshoulddetermineourtacticsin
addressingillegalimmigration.
Herestheargumentforopenborders:First,itwillsavethetaxpayers
money.Allthosebillionsofdollarsspentonimmigrationlawenforcement
and border security?14 Save it, dont spend it. Second, open borders will
sparethecountryfromtheinterminabledebateoverhowmanyandwhat
kind of immigrants to allow. The technology industry says the United
States needs more highly skilled immigrants with science and math
degrees;15agribusinessinsiststhatwhatthecountryreallyneedsarelow
skilled,uneducatedimmigrantswhoarepoorenoughtoworkhard,dirty
jobsforminimumwage.16Andwhatevernumericformulaisproposedwill
beattackedaseithertoohighortoolow.Lettingeveryoneinissimplerand
satisfies every industry! Third, the economic stimulus of largescale
immigration will revitalize the economy by reducing labor costs for
American business and generate additional tax revenue to sustain Social
Security.17Fourth,itreturnstheUnitedStatestoitshistoricrootsasanation
founded on open borders and unlimited immigration18 and without
divisivedistinctionsofcitizenship.19

13The most recent comprehensive immigration reform bill included such a measure. See

ComprehensiveImmigrationReformASAPActof2009,H.R.4321,111thCong.(2009).
14Press Release, Dept of Homeland Sec., DHS Announces $12.14 Billion for Border

Security & Immigration Enforcement Efforts (Jan. 31, 2008), available at http://www.dhs.gov
/xnews/releases/pr_1201803940204.shtm.
15See Examining Strengthening American Competitiveness for the 21st Century: Hearing Before

theS.Comm.onHealth,Educ.,Labor,andPensions,110thCong.9(2007)(statementofBillGates,
Chairman, Microsoft Corp.), available at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgibin/getdoc.cgi
?dbname=110_senate_hearings&docid=33885.
16See Justin Rohrlich, Immigration Reform a Thorn in Agricultural Industrys Side,

MINYANVILLE(May4,2010,11:30AM),http://www.minyanville.com/businessmarkets/articles
/immigrationarizonaagricultureindustryforeignlabor/5/4/2010/id/28109 (noting that the
guestlaborprogramisakeyfactorinagriculturalrevenue).
17SeePhillipMartin&ElizabethMidgley,ImmigrationinAmerica2010,POPULATION BULL.

UPDATE,June2010,at2(arguingthatimmigrationmaydepresswages);AssessingtheEconomic
Impact of Immigration at the State and Local Level, IMMIGR. POLY CTR. (Aug. 18, 2009),
http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/justfacts/assessingeconomicimpactimmigrationstate
andlocallevel(analyzingofstaterevenuefromimmigrantsbothlegalandillegal).
18THOMAS ALEXANDER ALEINIKOFF ET AL., IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP: PROCESS AND

POLICY15861(6thed.2008).
19SeePeterJ.Spiro,DualNationalityandtheMeaningofCitizenship,46EMORYL.J.1411,1430
454 NewEnglandLawReview v.45|449

Buthereistheargumentforenforcingaformulawhichsetsanumeric
limitationonthenumberofimmigrantsweadmitlegallyeachyear.First,
whatever the costs are of trying to enforce immigration laws and secure
borders, those costs are significantly lower than what they would be
withoutnumericlimitationonimmigrants.Thesecostsincludeadditional
health, education, and welfare expenditures; additional criminal law
enforcement and detention; additional highway and infrastructure
construction; and additional environmental, wastedisposal, and energy
importationcosts.20
Second,inoursystemofrepresentativedemocracy,electedmembersof
Congress are paid to set the categories and the formula for numeric
limitation on immigration and to decide the number of immigrants to be
admitted in each category.21 Whether citizens agree with what has been
enacted or not, the laws of the United States must be respected, obeyed,
and enforced. Congress can amend or finetune the formula as necessary,
taking special interests into consideration. Representatives should not be
excused from making hard choices by instead passing serial sweeping
amnestiesforallillegalentrants.
Third, every challenge facing the country would be made much more
difficult by removing the numeric limitation on immigration. Providing
jobsandhealthcareforallAmericanswouldbemoredifficult.Providing
good schools and infrastructure would be more difficult. Protecting our
environment and reducing our dependence on imported oil would be
muchmoredifficult.
Fourth,theUnitedStatesisnolongerthefrontierrepublicthathadthe
capacity to welcome unlimited numbers of immigrants. We live in a
globalized world threatened by terrorism, where travel and immigration
areeasierthaneverbeforeandwhereremovingimmigrationlimitswould
haverapidandpredictablyadverseconsequences.
I cannot make the argument for the politicians fantasy of
comprehensive immigration reform, which always includes a slew of
additional enforcement hiring and spending to make the politicians look
tough, but in actuality calls for minimal enforcement except against the
most serious convicted criminals. Most importantly, it calls for another
acrosstheboardlegalizationoramnestyliketheoneCongressenactedin

31(1997).
20See STEVEN A. CAMAROTA, CTR. FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES, THE HIGH COST OF CHEAP

LABOR: ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AND THE FEDERAL BUDGET 1820, 26, 37 (2004), available at
http://www.cis.org/articles/2004/fiscal.pdf(suggestingthatthenetannualfederaldeficitcould
beraisedby$18.4billionifundocumentedalienswerelegalizedandgivengreencards);The
CostofImmigration,FEDN FOR AM. IMMIGR. REFORM,http://fairus.org/site/News2?page=News
Article&id=16980&security=1601&news.iv.ctrl=1017(lastupdatedJuly2003).
21SeeU.S.CONST.art.I,8,cl.4.
2011 Illegal Immigration, Arizona, and the 14th Amendment 455

1986.
How did that 1986 amnesty work out, by the way? Did it solve the
problemofillegalimmigrationaspromised?Despitethemagicbulletof
employersanctions,the1986amnestyactuallyacceleratedtherateofillegal
immigrationintotheUnitedStatesfromthenearly3million22whoactually
claimedthe1986amnestytothe11or12million23currentlyestimatedtobe
intheUnitedStatestoday.Legalizationoftheillegalimmigrantsprovedto
be a magnet attracting even more illegal immigrants for perfectly
understandablereasons.Thisisfineifunlimitedimmigrationistheideal,
buttheUnitedStateshastomakeupitsmind.
WhydoforeignersimmigratetotheUnitedStatesinknowingviolation
of its immigration laws? When he taught at Temple University, the
economistWalterWilliamsobservedthatalthoughthepoorpeopleofthe
worldarepoor,theyarenotstupid.Theyareascapableasanyoneindoing
multifunctionalcostbenefitanalysestodeterminetheirownselfinterest.24
If enforcing a numeric immigration limitation is the solution, the United
States needs to raise the costs and reduce the benefits for wouldbe
immigrationlawviolatorsbymakingtheirillegalentryintoandpresence
intheUnitedStatesmoredifficultanduncomfortable.Ontheotherhand,if
open borders and unlimited immigration are preferable, the country
shouldmakeillegalimmigrantsmorecomfortableandsecurehere.Whatit
cannotdoislowerthecostsandincreasethebenefitsofillegalimmigration
andthenthinkthatillegalimmigrationissomehowgoingtogodown.

III. TheCaseforEnforcement

IstheU.S.immigrationsystembroken,astheproponentsofanother
legalizationdisguisedascomprehensiveimmigrationreforminsist?The
United States issues more green cards for permanent residence to legal
immigrants with a clear path to full citizenship every year than all other
similarly situated nations combined.25 Does that sound like a broken

22StevenA.Camarota,NewINSReport:1986AmnestyIncreasedIllegalImmigration,CTR.FOR

IMMIGR.STUD.(Oct.12,2000),http://www.cis.org/articles/2000/ins1986amnesty.html.
23Jeffrey S. Passel, The Size and Characteristics of the Unauthorized Migrant Population in the

U.S., PEW HISPANIC CTR. (Mar. 7, 2006), http://pewhispanic.org/files/reports/61.pdf; Tara


Bahrampour,IllegalImmigrantPopulationinU.S.Drops,ReportSays,WASH. POST,Sept.2,2010,
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2010/09/01/AR2010090106747.html.
24ThisisapersonalrecollectionofminefromsittinginonProfessorWilliamsslecturesat

TempleUniversityinthelate1970s.
25CompareRANDALL MONGER, OFF. OF IMMIGRATION STATISTICS, U.S. DEPT OF HOMELAND

SEC., ANNUAL FLOW REPORT: UNITED STATES LEGAL PERMANENT RESIDENTS: 2009,at1(2010),
available at http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/statistics/publications/lpr_fr_2009.pdf (noting
thattheDHSreportedthat1.13millionaliensweregrantedlegalpermanentresidentstatusin
2009), with CITIZENSHIP & IMMIGRATION CAN., FACTS AND FIGURES: IMMIGRATION OVERVIEW
PERMANENTAND TEMPORARY RESIDENTS 4 (2009), availableathttp://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/
456 NewEnglandLawReview v.45|449

system,oristheproblemsimplylackofenforcement?
John Morton is President Obamas appointee to head the Bureau of
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the Department of
Homeland Security, which is responsible for enforcing U.S. immigration
laws against violators within the United States. He has been quoted as
saying that his agency would no longer seek out immigration violators
without criminal records, and that it was focusing its resources on
identifying and removing the most serious criminal offenders first and
foremost.26 In June 2010, the union representing ICE agents and
employees unanimously adopted a motion of no confidence in John
MortonandhisassistantICEdirectorforhavingabandonedtheAgencys
core mission of enforcing United States Immigration Laws and providing
forpublicsafety,andinsteadhavedirectedtheirattentiontocampaigning
forprogramsandpoliciesrelatedtoamnesty.27
In2010,publishedreportsconfirmedthatinsteadofprosecutingillegal
aliens,ICEdismissedchargespreviouslybroughtagainstillegalaliensand
allowedthemtoremainintheUnitedStatesillegally.28Thisfailurebythe
federal government to enforce its own immigration laws alters the cost
benefit analysis of foreigners contemplating illegal immigration to the
United States. It forces states and localities to undertake their own
enforcementofexistingU.S.immigrationlaws.
President Obama could, if he chose to, issue an executive order to all
federalemployeestoenforcetheimmigrationlawstothemaximumextent
oftheircapacityandabilityattheborder,intheinteriorofthecountry,and
at worksites. Congress could stop holding enhanced border security and
enforcementanditsfundingcaptive;itcouldalsoremoveitsdesiretokeep
these initiatives tied to mass legalization, as part of its wishedfor
comprehensive immigration reform. When President Obama belatedly
ordered1200NationalGuardtroopstotheborderinMay2010,toheadoff
requests for even more troops at the border, his action was strongly
criticized by advocates of comprehensive immigration reform who
wanted to condition any effort to secure the border to the enactment of

researchstats/facts2009.pdf, Immigration New Zealand Statistics, IMMIGR. N.Z., http://www.


immigration.govt.nz/NR/rdonlyres/4441CE541F964C87B9E3524BEE486050/0/R1Residence
DecisionsbyFY07Mar2011.pdf(lastupdatedMar7,2011),andKeyFactsinImmigration,AUSTL.
GOVTDEPTOFIMMIGR.& CITIZENSHIP,http://www.immi.gov.au/media/factsheets/02key.htm
(lastvisitedApr.8,2011).
26Nina Bernstein, A Wifes Plea to Obama Led to an Immigrants Arrest for Deportation, N.Y.

TIMES,June19,2010,atA15.
27Press Release, Natl Council 118 Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Vote of No

Confidence in ICE Director John Morton and ICE ODPP Assistant Director Phyllis Coven
(June25,2010),availableathttp://www.cis.org/articles/2010/259259votenoconfidence.pdf.
28SeeSusanCarroll,ImmigrationCasesBeingTossedbytheHundreds,HOUS. CHRON.,Oct.16,

2010,2010WLNR20851094.
2011 Illegal Immigration, Arizona, and the 14th Amendment 457

amnestyofillegalaliens.29
The country needs to decide whether it wants open borders or an
enforced numerical limit on immigration. The only third choice is
continuingbydefaulttoleaveimmigrationpolicytostatesandlocalitiesto
fashion mutually inconsistent laws which they deem appropriate to their
particularcommunities.
Isupportenforcednumericallimits,thoughIrespecthonestimmigrant
advocates who argue for open borders. There is a respectable economic,
philosophic, and moral case to be made for allowing unlimited
immigration.Theadvocatesofopenborderscouldberightthattheworld
wouldbebetteroffwithunlimitedimmigration,butIamnotreadytobet
therepublicthattheyare.Iseenocasetobemadeforanotherservingof
the incoherent, inconsistent, and illogical political sausage of socalled
comprehensiveimmigrationreformbywhichwewouldspendmorefor
enforcementbutgetlessofitandinviteevenmoreillegalimmigration.

IV. ArizonasSB1070

Oncethehardchoicebetweenenforcingorabolishingnumericallimits
ismade,thepolicychoiceoverspecificimmigrationissues,likeArizonas
SB 1070, becomes clear. If the United States should not have or enforce
numerical limits, then SB 1070 is clearly bad policy, and the Obama
administration is correct in challenging and attempting to overturn the
newlaw.Butifenactingandenforcinganumericallimitonimmigrationis
the correct basic immigration policy, then Arizonas attempt to cooperate
withthefederalgovernmentintheenforcementofexistingU.S.numerical
limitsonimmigrationissimplycooperationbetweenstateandfederallaw
enforcement,whichshouldbeencouraged.
This Article does not intend to repeat what has already been written
andsaidaboutSB1070.30However,thefollowingpointsarerelevanttothe
discussion of whether or not SB 1070 survives the challenge of federal
preemption, and whether Federal District Judge Susan R. Bolton is
sustainedinherinjunctionagainstenforcementofpartsofthenewlaw.31
First, while the issue of preemption will ultimately be decided by the
U.S.SupremeCourt,ithasbeennearlythirtyfiveyearssincetheSupreme

29Josh Gerstein & Jonathan Allen, Barack Obama Orders Guard to Mexican Border, POLITICO

(May25,2010,11:53PM),http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/37759.html.
30See generally Christina McMahon, Amidst Controversy over Federal 287(g) Immigration

Program, Arizona Approves Immigration Trespassing Crime Under New Law, 15 PUB. INT. L. REP.
141 (2010); Nicholas D. Michaud, Note, From 287(g) to SB 1070: The Decline of the Federal
ImmigrationPartnershipandtheRiseofStateLevelImmigrationEnforcement,52ARIZ. L. REV. 1083
(2010); Editorial,ArizonatoObama:DoYourJob,WASH. TIMES,Apr.27,2010,atD2;Editorial,
StoppingArizona,N.Y.TIMES,Apr.30,2010,atA24.
31UnitedStatesv.Arizona,703F.Supp.2d.980,986,1008(D.Ariz.2010).
458 NewEnglandLawReview v.45|449

Court last addressed the issue of immigration preemption in De Canas v.


Bica.32 In that case, Justice Brennan, writing for a unanimous Supreme
Court, upheld as not preempted a California statute prohibiting
employment of an alien who is not entitled to lawful residence in the
UnitedStatesifsuchemploymentwouldhaveanadverseeffectonlawful
residentworkers.33
Justice Brennan quoted from an earlier opinion, [f]ederal
regulation...shouldnotbedeemedpreemptiveofstateregulatorypower
in the absence of persuasive reasonseither that the nature of the
regulatedsubjectmatterpermitsnootherconclusion,orthattheCongress
hasunmistakablysoordained.34Hestatedthatwewillnotpresumethat
Congress, in enacting the [Immigration and Nationality Act], intended to
oust state authority to regulate the employment relationship. . . in a
mannerconsistentwithpertinentfederallaws.35
Justice Brennan distinguished cases where state statutes were held
preemptedbecauseofconflictwithfederallawbynoting,therewouldnot
appeartobeasimilarfederalinterestinasituationinwhichthestatelawis
fashionedtoremedylocalproblems,andoperatesonlyonlocalemployers,
and only with respect to individuals whom the Federal Government has
alreadydeclaredcannotworkinthiscountry.36
Second, pertinent federal law already requires every alien fourteen
years of age or older who remains in the United States for thirty days or
longertoapplyforregistration;failuretodosoisacriminalmisdemeanor
subjectingthealientoafine,imprisonment,orbothifconvicted.37Pertinent
federallawalreadyrequireseveryalienwhohasbeenlegallyregisteredto
at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession the
identificationissuedtohimuponregistration.38Again,failuretodosoisa
criminalmisdemeanorsubjectingthealientoafine,imprisonment,orboth
if convicted.39 Therefore, any state statute authorizing a request for
identification upon a legal stop, detention, or arrest for the purpose of
verifying immigration status would be consistent with federal law. And
anystatutecriminalizingwhatisalreadyacriminalactunderfederallaw
wouldnotbeviewedasanautomaticorperseconflictwithfederallaw.
Third, federal immigration law currently reflects congressional intent
that state and federal law enforcement cooperate in the enforcement of

32424U.S.351(1976).

33Id.at352(quotingCAL.LAB.CODE2805(a)(West1971)).

34Id.at356(quotingFla.Lime&AvocadoGrowersv.Paul,373U.S.132,142(1963)).

35Id.at357.

36Id.at363.

37See8U.S.C.1302(a),1306(a)(2006).

388U.S.C.1304(d)(e).

39Id.
2011 Illegal Immigration, Arizona, and the 14th Amendment 459

federal immigration laws.40 Congress provided a procedure for state and


local authorities to request verification of immigration status of any
individual from the federal government, and required the federal
government to respond to such requests.41 As the Tenth Circuit Court of
AppealsconcludedinUnitedStatesv.VasquezAlvarez:
Congress passed a series of provisions designed to encourage
cooperationbetweenthefederalgovernmentandthestatesinthe
enforcement of federal immigration laws.... This collection of
statutoryprovisionsevincesaclearinvitationfromCongressfor
stateandlocalagenciestoparticipateintheprocessofenforcing
federalimmigrationlaws.42

Ifthiscountryintendstoenforcethenumericallimitsonimmigration
enacted by Congress, Arizonas SB 1070 should beviewedas cooperating
ratherthanconflictingwithfederallaw.NooneknowshowtheSupreme
Court will ultimately decide the preemption issue, but the case for
upholdingtheArizonastatutewillnotlacklegalauthority.

V. ReexaminingtheFourteenthAmendment

AccordingtothePewHispanicCenter,eightpercentofthebabiesborn
in the United States, one out of every twelve, have at least one parent
whose presence in the United States is illegal.43 The Washington Post and
othernewssourceshavereportedGOPconcernsofwidespreadbirthright
tourism,bywhichpregnanttouristscometotheUnitedStatestogivebirth
inordertoprovideU.S.citizenshiptothechild.44Thecurrentinterpretation
of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allows all such children,
whether born to illegal aliens or to temporary tourists, automatic U.S.
citizenshipatbirth.45
Electedofficialshavebeguntoquestionwhetherthatinterpretationof
the14thAmendmentiscorrectandwhetheritcanbechanged.46Whatthe
14th Amendment says is: All persons born or naturalized in the United
States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United
States....47 The 14th Amendment does not say or mean that all persons

40See8U.S.C.1357(g)(10)(2006).

418U.S.C.1373(c)(2006).

42176F.3d1294,1300(10thCir.1999).

43JEFFREY S. PASSEL & PAUL TAYLOR, PEW HISPANIC CTR., UNAUTHORIZED IMMIGRANTSAND

THEIRU.S.BORNCHILDREN1(2010),availableathttp://pewhispanic.org/files/reports/125.pdf.
44Sandhya Somashekhar, GOP Push to Revise 14th Amendment Not Gaining Steam, WASH.

POST, Aug. 8, 2010, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2010/08/07/AR


2010080702605.html.
45SeeUnitedStatesv.WongKimArk,169U.S.649,702(1898).

46SeeSomashekhar,supranote44.

47U.S.CONST.amend.XIV1.
460 NewEnglandLawReview v.45|449

bornintheUnitedStatesarecitizens.Thereareinfactmanyexamplesof
personsbornintheUnitedStateswhoarenotautomaticallycitizensunder
the14thAmendment.Ineverysuchcasethedenialofbirthrightcitizenship
isbecauseofthestatusoftheparents.
For example, the children of foreign diplomats, even if born in U.S.
hospitals,arenotconsideredcitizensoftheUnitedStatesbecausetheyare
notsubjecttothejurisdictionthereof.48ChildrenbornonU.S.soiltoalien
enemies in hostile occupation are not citizens for the same reason.49 The
Japanese military occupied two of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska during
WorldWarII.AJapanesechildbornthereduringhostileoccupationwould
notbeaU.S.citizen.
Children born in the United States to Russian spies recently
accompanied their parents back to Russia when they were exchanged for
Russian prisoners.50 Are those children entitled to return to the United
StatesascitizensaftergraduatingfromRussianspyschool?Shouldntthey,
too,beregardedasborntoalienenemiesinhostileoccupation?
For many years after the adoption of the 14th Amendment, children
born to Native Americantribes were not considered U.S. citizens because
oftheirallegiancetothesovereigntribes.51Thefactthattheexceptionfor
children born to Native American tribes was later overturned by
congressionalenactment52suggestsaroleforCongressindeterminingthe
properinterpretationandapplicationofthe14thAmendment.
If Congress has the power through statutory enactment to interpret
whoisandisnotsubjecttothejurisdictionoftheUnitedStatesunderthe
14thAmendment, whatinterpretation shoulditadopt? Shouldit legislate
thatchildrenbornintheUnitedStatestoillegalalienswhoarecitizensof
another country are not in fact subject to the jurisdiction of the United
States?OrshouldCongresslegislatethatchildrenoftemporarytouristsare
not born U.S. citizens for the same reason? The answer depends on
whetherwewanttoencourageordiscouragethevariouscategoriesofnon
citizenswhocometotheUnitedStates.
The United States has the most generous legal immigration policy in
theworld.Itgivesoutmoregreencardseveryyeartoforeignnationalsfor

48Id.;WongKimArk,169U.S.at658.

49Id.at65758.

50DavidB.Caruso,RussiaSpiesKids:SomeMayStay,OthersToGo,HUFFINGTON POST(July

8, 2010, 11:38 PM), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/08/russiaspykidsdeportation


_n_640301.html; Russian Spies Children Sent to Moscow, TELEGRAPH (London), July 11, 2010,
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/7884456/Russianspieschildren
senttoMoscow.html.
51Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94, 109 (1884) (denying the birthright citizenship claim of an

AmericanIndiandespitethebirthoccurringintheterritoryoftheUnitedStates).
52See25U.S.C.163(2006).
2011 Illegal Immigration, Arizona, and the 14th Amendment 461

legal permanent residence than all the rest of the nations of the world
combined,typicallyaround1millioneveryyear.53IthasalwaysbeenU.S.
policy to encourage the assimilation and naturalization of legal
immigrants, and clearly their children born in the United States should
enjoybirthrightcitizenshipunderthe14thAmendment.54
But what about tourists who enter legally on tourist visas, but who
havenotiesorloyaltytotheUnitedStatesotherthanwantingthebenefit
of U.S. citizenship for their child born in the United States? The United
Stateswantstoencouragetourism,andmostbirthrighttouristsareinfact
fairly affluent. However, does the country want to encourage persons
raised entirely in a foreign country by foreign parents to be able to enter
theUnitedStatesascitizensbecausetheirparentswerebirthrighttourists?
If Congress decides otherwise, this opportunity could be limited by
makingtouristvisasunavailabletopregnantforeignerswhointendtogive
birth in the United States. Discussion of the genuine and complex legal
issues surrounding the 14th Amendment should be encouraged and not
arbitrarilycutoff.PeterSchucksthoughtfulcontributiontothediscussion
suggested that Congress might make citizenship for those born in the
UnitedStatestoillegalortemporaryresidentparentsconditionalonsome
numberofyearsofphysicalpresence.55
The issue of the children of illegal aliens is part of the larger issue of
illegal immigration. If the economist Walter Williams was correct in
asserting that poor people do multifunctional costbenefit analysis to
determine what is in their own selfinterest, just like everyone else, we
need to decide whether to encourage or discourage more of them to
immigrateillegallytotheUnitedStates.56
If the United States wants to encourage more of those considering
illegal immigration to the country to try to come here, all it has to do is
lower the costs and increase the benefits. Conversely, if it wants to
discourage illegal immigration, the United States must increase the costs
anddecreasethebenefits.Whatthecountrycannotdoislowerthecostsof
illegalimmigrationthroughlimitedenforcementandincreasethebenefits
throughamnestyorliberalinterpretationofthe14thAmendment,andthen
expectthenumberofillegalimmigrantstodecrease.

53Seesourcescitedsupranote25andaccompanyingtext.

54See generally JACOB L. VIGDOR, MANHATTAN INST. FOR POLICY RESEARCH, CIVIC REPORT

NO. 53, MEASURING IMMIGRANT ASSIMILATION IN THE UNITED STATES (2008), available at
http://www.manhattaninstitute.org/pdf/cr_53.pdf (describing trends in immigration
assimilationratesoverthelastcentury).
55PeterH.Schuck,OpEd,BirthrightofaNation,N.Y.TIMES,Aug.13,2010,atA19.

56Seesupranote24andaccompanyingtext.
462 NewEnglandLawReview v.45|449

CONCLUSION

This Article was written out of concern that the debate over
immigration policy in the United States has too often been reduced to
whether Americans like or dislike immigrants. At the very center of the
immigration debate is the simple question of whether or not the country
wants to enforce a numerical limit on immigration. Even if we like
immigrants and appreciate their enormous contributions to the country,
and acknowledging our own personal immigrant heritage, we can, and
most Americans do, still support enforcing a numerical limit on
immigration. Once that choice is understood, the specifics of our
immigration policy become clear. Immigrants in excess of our numerical
limitmustbeturnedawayeveniftheyarenicepeople.Andiftheyenterin
violationofourimmigrationlimit,theymustbedeported.
Enforcing immigration limits is always going to be difficult and
expensive as long as demand exceeds the supply of immigrant visas we
choosetomakeavailable.Federalimmigrationenforcersneedallthehelp
theycangetfromstateandlocalgovernment.Thejobismadeeasierifthe
costs of illegal immigration are increased, and the benefits of illegal
immigrationarereduced.InitiativesinthenewCongresstodojustthatare
welcome, including reconsideration of the meaning of the 14th
Amendmentlanguageaddressingbirthrightcitizenship.