While the Declaration of Independence establishes our God-given rights of, "life, liberty and the
pursuit of happiness, " the Constitution by the rule of law ensures that those rights are protected
even from the federal government.
When I posted the series the amnesty bill which thankfully failed in Congress was in full swing
and I felt it necessary to include in the series what the Framers and our Constitution established
on the hotbed issue of illegal immigration. Following is that post and in light of the legal and
the needed bill which is now law for the State of Arizona, knowing what our Constitution establishes
concerning immigration is even more prudent now than it was in 2007.
“We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice,
insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and
secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this
Constitution for the United States of America."*
Amendment 14, Section I - *All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to
the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside
Whenever a question arises concerning an important issue such as immigration, the best and
the most reliable source for finding what this Nation should do in solving any problem that we face
is to look to the Constitution.
While there are only two specific references in the Constitution to immigration, stated in this
most important of documents as, *naturalization, " there is clear evidence by the Framers as to
what they intended concerning the rights of the people who live in this country and how those
rights affect immigrants both legal and illegal.
The two references in the Constitution that specifically mention, *naturalization, * are found in
Article 1, Section 8 in creating the authority of the Congress, "To establish a uniform Rule of
Naturalization." Thus from a Constitutional standpoint, it is the responsibility of Congress to
establish all laws and rules of naturalization or immigration.
The second reference is located in the 14th Amendment shown above stating, "All persons
born or naturalized in the United States," are, *citizens of the United States and of the State
wherein they reside."
The key thought in the 14th Amendment which along with several other provisions established in
the Constitution shows that the intent of the Framers was that only citizens of the United States
whether born or naturalized are granted the rights and privileges that are available in America.