DeSantis Abbott Migrants Martha’s Vineyard NYC

Andrew P. Napolitano

Seeing the unprecedented forced deportations of immigrants from Texas to New York, Martha’s Vineyard and the District of Columbia, I thought my grandparents were lucky to have entered the United States at one time, although only xenophobic towards those in Southern Europe, who do not condone the use of government assets to trick and kidnap them.

I am writing, of course, about the deeply unconstitutional and blatantly illegal public assault by the governors of Florida and Texas who used public funds and state force to deceive and coerce immigrants from Latin America and Central America to board state-chartered flights and bus routes out of Texas. .

All the trafficked immigrants were here legally. All ask for political asylum; each has been properly channeled through the immigration process; and all were awaiting court dates in Texas.

Fleeing either dictatorships that deny individual freedom, or corrupt governments that tolerate gang lawlessness that denies the right to live, everyone has the right to apply for asylum.

Until their hearing date, every immigrant is legally free to move or stay put, and everyone enjoys the protections of the Constitution. Among these protections are the natural and fundamental right to travel or not to travel, and the right to due process guaranteed by the Constitution.

This column recently touched on natural rights. A right is an individual personal claim against the world that does not require a government license slip or public approval to exercise. Natural rights flow from our humanity. It is their only source; and, as such, these rights are not tempered by the geographical location of the mother at the time of birth.

Whence the right to think as one wishes, to say what one thinks, to publish what one says, to associate or not, to adore or not, to defend oneself, to travel or not, to owning possessions and being left alone flow from one’s humanity. The Bill of Rights does not create rights; rather, it prevents the government from interfering with them.

The relevant protection clauses of the Bill of Rights protect every “person” and all “peoples,” not just Americans. In fact, the courts have ruled that these protection clauses are so broad and powerful – based on natural rights – that they compel the government to recognize the basic rights of even those who are here illegally.

Under due process, the Constitution requires the government to hold a jury trial in which it must prove wrongdoing before it can take away anyone’s life, liberty, or property. Forcing or tricking a person into a plane or bus by the government constitutes a material interference with a person’s liberty and is illegal in the absence of due process.

In a famous 1969 case called Shapiro v. Thompson, the Supreme Court called the right to travel — which encompasses the right to leave a political or geographic entity — fundamental. He did it again in Plyler v. Doe in 1982. The essence of both cases is that basic human rights – here, interstate and international travel – are fundamental, must be respected by the government and, therefore, the place of origin of the person whose the rights are infringed is irrelevant.

Under our constitutional framework, fundamental rights enjoy the highest protection against government interference.

Any governmental behavior that offers the belief that natural rights are based on geography is oxymoron, un-American, unconstitutional, and rejects the truisms of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. If the government takes rights seriously, it will respect and rely on their individual exercise.

Now back to the public behavior of the governors of Florida and Texas, who are both running for re-election in November. Their forcible expulsion of lawfully present immigrants with a carrot or a stick is an exercise of power not granted to them anywhere and which is expressly contrary to prevailing Supreme Court jurisprudence. In the case of Florida, it is simply inconceivable that its governor can control the fate and movements of people who have never had even minimal contact with that state.

The use of government assets and power to transport immigrants to remote locations – 1,000 miles from the sites of their asylum hearings – for the political benefit of governors and certainly not for the benefit of immigrants, are acts trafficking or abduction or both.

Federal laws that prohibit trafficking and abduction define as criminal the forcible removal or forcible restraint of innocent persons for the benefit of those who caused the removal or restraint.

Force can be exerted by violence, deception or the threat of violence. Either way, the governors have engaged in acts of aggression against people who are as legally present in the United States as the governors.

The behavior of these governors shows their antipathy not only to natural rights but also to the Rothbardian principle of non-aggression. This moral rubric absolutely prohibits all people – individually, collectively, or through government – ​​from engaging in or threatening to use force or deception against anyone.

I am surprised and disappointed with my friends in small government who have praised this abuse. It’s illegal to the core, and it’s dangerous.

If you continue unchecked, where will it stop? Can this extraterritorial use of state force hit ordinary Americans whose constitutional protections are equivalent to those of legally present immigrants? Can the Governor of New Jersey ship me to Texas because I’m an unpopular thorn in his side in the Garden State? Of course not. So the governors of Texas or Florida can’t do the same either.

Andrew P. Napolitano

If we continue unchecked, this constitutionally aberrant treatment of the unpopular and political powerlessness as if they were cattle will repeat itself in another form. As the great lawyer Clarence Darrow once told a Chicago jury, “We can’t sow the wind without reaping the storm.” Who will these governors target next?

Former New Jersey Superior Court Justice Andrew P. Napolitano has published nine books on the United States Constitution.

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