The Ratchet Effect And The Right To Immigrate—Will the Zeroth Amendment Trump the First Amendment?
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Ratchet Effect Christopher Caldwell semi-famously observed in 2009:
“One moves swiftly and imperceptibly from a world in which affirmative action can’t be ended because its beneficiaries are too weak to a world in which it can’t be ended because its beneficiaries are too strong.”
Of course, that’s even truer for immigration, which has a massive political Ratchet Effect.

It’s been evident for some time that the the dominant ideological logic is trending toward making it inevitable that all 7 billion noncitizens on Earth be assumed to have civil rights to move to America.

Call it the Zeroth Amendment.

And the Zeroth Amendment is death to the First Amendment. Notice how much of the reaction to Donald Trump’s proposal that we call an immigration time-out for Muslims until we can figure out how better not to let in jihadis is to respond: We can’t even talk about that because that makes the Muslims who are already here even madder, and then they’ll really kill us! In fact, what we Americans need to do is to stop exercising our First Amendment rights when it comes to immigration. No American citizen should be allowed to object to any noncitizen immigrating here. After all, so many of their cousins are already here.

The new Leahy Amendment is another small step in that direction:

It is the sense of the Senate that the United States must not bar individuals from entering into the United States based on their religion, as such action would be contrary to the fundamental principles on which this Nation was founded.
Even when hundreds of millions of pious followers of a faith believe that waging jihad against Christians, Jews, and unbelievers is a sacred duty.

From Powerline:


ARE DEMOCRATS TRYING TO ESTABLISH A RIGHT TO IMMIGRATE TO US? Foreigners have no right to emigrate to the United States. How many immigrants we want to take in, and who those immigrants should be, are issues decided by us in our sole discretion, through our political process. This has always been the law, and has always been the fact.

But there are ominous signs that the Democrats may be trying, surreptitiously, to effect a radical change in these basic principles of American sovereignty. Senator Pat Leahy proposed, in the Senate Judiciary Committee, an amendment to Title 18 of the U.S. Code, which provided as follows:

It is the sense of the Senate that the United States must not bar individuals from entering into the United States based on their religion, as such action would be contrary to the fundamental principles on which this Nation was founded.

Earlier today the Judiciary Committee passed the amendment on a 16-4 vote, with Senators Sessions, Cruz, Vitter and Tillis voting no. News accounts portray the vote as a symbolic repudiation of Donald Trump’s talk about excluding Muslim immigrants, and characterize the amendment as having little or no legal significance.

In fact, the amendment creates an extraordinarily dangerous precedent. If given legal effect, it would, for the first time, purport to create legally justiciable rights in foreign persons who want to enter the United States but are barred from doing so by our laws, or by a presidential proclamation under Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act. Jeff Sessions delivered a blistering denunciation of Leahy’s feel-good camel’s nose:

The adoption of the Leahy Amendment would constitute a transformation of our immigration system. In effect, it is a move toward the ratification of the idea that global migration is a “human right,” and a civil right, and that these so-called “immigrants’ rights” must be supreme to the rights of sovereign nations to determine who can and cannot enter their borders….

Fundamentally, foreign nationals living in foreign countries have no constitutional right to enter the United States. If they did, any alien denied entry could file suit to demand entry and claim damages for lost employment, lost welfare benefits, lost income…. The rules governing the selection of immigrants are, by definition, opposite the rules governing the treatment of citizens living or naturalized in the United States…. Our goal is to choose for admission those likeliest to succeed and flourish and, crucially, to support our Constitutional system of government and our values of pluralism and Republican governance.

In short, the whole point of an intelligent immigration system is to discriminate between beneficial and detrimental would-be immigrants. But intelligence is discrimination, so intelligence is racist.

In contrast, suicidal stupidity isn’t racist. So it’s better.

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