Hit & Run

ICE Trashes the First Amendment to Suppress Immigrant Activists

The Trump administration is violating the rule of law in the name of upholding it.

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ICE
Jetta Disco Zuma via Newscom

The undocumented problem in this country is entirely a function of bad immigration policies that scrapped the bracero guest program with Mexico in 1965 and erected a gazillion obstacles that, ever since, have prevented willing American employers from hiring willing foreign workers. The totally predictable consequence of such labor prohibitionism is a black market in labor where these foreigners fill the demand for their services without obtaining proper authorization.

But instead of fixing the law, hard-line restrictionists have been demanding a crackdown against the "law breakers" for violating the "rule of law." We are a country of laws, say these patriots. But a country of laws, above all, expects its government, the only entity in society that has a monopoly on force, to behave lawfully. That's why the Bill of Rights exists—as a way to constraint the awesome power of government—right?

Apparently not.

In its zeal to go after the foreign "lawbreakers," every administration—Republican and Democratic—has been eroding the checks on its power. But the Trump administration is taking matters to a whole new level.

It has quietly started cracking down not just on undocumented immigrants but also on legal immigrant rights outfits and activists. As I write in The Week,

In a bid to stifle the backlash against its harsh enforcement policies, federal agents are now targeting high-profile immigration activists in addition to the immigrants themselves. This is an affront to the First Amendment; by targeting lawful citizens for speaking out, the administration shows that in its zeal to uphold the "rule of law," it is willing to degenerate into lawlessness itself.

Go here to read the piece.