I’ve written before about the 10th Amendment — an essential but now mostly overlooked part of the Bill of Rights that makes clear where the bulk of authority lies within the federation known as the United States:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”
A number of years ago there was a vocal national debate about “unfunded mandates” — Congressional legislation that requires States to fund the activity. Several States (rightly) considered this encroachment on their State’s sovereign right to spend its tax revenue as it wishes. The 1990s-era “Contract with America” produced legislation to curb the practice, but in reality it has continued unabated.
But passing laws may not be the costliest burden the Feds impose on the States:
Can states just say “no” to foreign refugees? Tennessee is testing that proposition in federal court.
During the Obama regime, the Federal government dumped tens of thousands of ‘refugees’ across America. The term ‘refugee’ itself is misleading in this context. True refugees are expected to return home at some point when the immediate crisis has passed. But we find that hasn’t really been the case here. Bringing refugees to the U.S. isn’t even the most cost-effective way to “do something,” as the emotional cry goes. The Center for Immigration Studies suggests 12 refugees could be supported in countries adjacent to a crisis for what it costs to bring over and sustain ONE in the U.S.
Then there is the issue of what the American people want. Since World War II, the U.S. has been incredibly generous and compassionate toward others by historical standards. But even that big heart has limits when the public starts to perceive their leaders putting foreigners ahead of U.S. citizens. A contributing factor in the election of Donald Trump was increasing resentment of the number of immigrants (legal AND illegal) and ‘refugees’ pouring into America.
It’s good to see the 10th Amendment being cited in a challenge. But here’s another angle that might not be as obvious: at a time when the ballooning national debt already threatens the contractual obligations the government has to various citizens through programs like Social Security, etc, how much tolerance should there be for the government to spend scarce resources on non-citizens? As it now stands, the country’s fiscal resources are a zero-sum game (excessive printing of currency notwithstanding); every dollar spent on foreign and refugee aid is a dollar taken from Americans — and largely against their will, as current polls show.
The States are the final bulwark against the Federal Government. Only acting in concert can they tell Uncle Sam “you’ve exceeded your mandate — get back in your box.” Here’s hoping the current lawsuit, along with the progress toward a Convention of States, brings that reckoning a little closer.