What does it really mean to have a government shutdown? It means that the federal government does not perform its first duty of securing our nation. Our government shutdown continues as the unelected federal judiciary continues its bloodless coup against our national sovereignty, history, and tradition, and the legislative and executive branches do nothing to stop it.
Any federal court can now declare that freedom of speech and religion don’t exist for Americans, yet there is a First Amendment right to immigrate and to help other people illegally violate our sovereignty. Any federal court can say that states and even the federal government can’t ban sanctuary cities, but they are free to clamp down on gun rights of Americans. Our Constitution is twisted beyond recognition, yet we are told this is the law of the land. How much longer can we survive under the Orwellian legal profession? Moreover, if we keep agreeing to such a system, then even a border wall won’t help, because judges are erasing the recognition of the border altogether.
Because illegals are now considered a special protected class, courts are violating settled law by granting them citizen constitutional rights and even super-rights that citizens don’t have. Here’s the latest example.
Just days after the Ninth Circuit denied the government’s motion to overturn Judge Tigar’s unprecedented injunction on our border admission policies, the lawless circuit ruled that a statute prosecuting anyone who knowingly “encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States,” is unconstitutional because it “criminalizes a substantial amount of constitutionally protected expression.”
This ruling violates our long-standing laws of criminalizing such behavior and opens the door for lawyers and agitation groups to continue thumbing their noses at our most foundational sovereignty laws.
Evelyn Sineneng-Smith, a naturalized immigrant from the Philippines, operated a boutique immigration consulting business in San Jose with several other branches across the country to help illegal aliens obtain visas in the U.S. She was convicted in 2013 in the Northern District of California of two felony counts of violating immigration law in addition to two non-immigration counts of mail fraud for knowingly advising her illegal immigrant clients to take advantage of worker programs for which they weren’t eligible. In 2015, she was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
The 1952 INA (8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv)) calls for felony prosecution for anyone who “encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law.” At the trial, the Department of Justice under Obama presented significant evidence from five separate cases where Sineneng-Smith knowingly worked with unscrupulous employers to try to get work visas for those who overstayed their tourist visas and were living here illegally. Not only did she subvert our sovereignty by encouraging illegals to remain here illegally, she defrauded the illegal immigrants themselves by taking thousands of dollars to give them the impression she was working on obtaining their visas and even green cards. She then engaged in mail fraud to send them letters hoodwinking them into thinking they had earned legal status to remain here and were on a path to a green card. District Judge Ronald Whyte ultimately upheld the charges in two cases, a decision that was reversed yesterday in the Ninth Circuit.
Judge Wallace Tashima, writing for the panel of three Democrat-appointed judges at the Ninth Circuit, ruled that this entire statute is unconstitutional because it would criminalize “pure advocacy on a hotly debated issue in our society.”
This is utterly scandalous, because the law clearly refers to engaging in subversive and fraudulent activities to encourage or enable actual individual aliens to remain in the country, not mere political advocacy for liberal immigration policies in the abstract. It’s like saying that someone who hates high taxes and advocates against them is the same as a person who charges money to assist tax cheats and give them the impression that their activity is legal.
Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, told me that this ruling is “absurd” because “the key issue is not her speech, but the fact that she did it for financial gain, and this is spelled out in the statute.”
“This woman’s main business was assisting and covering for an illegal activity that is harmful to our society and harms Americans and legal immigrants,” wrote Vaughan in an email. “She was basically a white-collar alien smuggler, helping illegal aliens launder their immigration status through fraud. How can this be above the law?”
Judges can’t veto laws; they can merely grant or deny relief to individual plaintiffs. Even if the judge were correct that this law, in general, could possibly rope in mere advocacy and speech for criminal prosecution, that concern doesn’t apply to this case. Judges rule on cases, not on laws. To believe otherwise is to concoct an entirely new level of judicial veto that our Founders explicitly rejected. This is the difference between judicial review and judicial supremacy.
This is also part of a growing trend of judges tossing out not only long-standing immigration enforcement policies, but even long-standing immigration statutes for the first time in our history. This law had been on the books in some form since 1891. Section 3 of the 1891 Immigration Act made it a felony to “assist or encourage the importation or migration of any alien by promise of employment” through advertisements. Any alien who came in due to such advertisements was deemed inadmissible, and that law was designed to prevent people from encouraging them.
Disturbingly, modern judges have no concept of the power of the federal government to protect our sovereignty. The courts would never interfere with federal law if lawyers set up businesses to actively thwart our tax or health care laws, but illegal immigration has become a civil rights issue in their minds, thereby allowing them to create new First Amendment rights to break the laws. As Vaughan observed, despite the clear distinction in this case between speech and criminal activity, “to the Ninth Circuit, apparently all that matters is that illegal aliens were involved, so the criminal behavior must be excused and the law Congress wrote must be nullified.”
It also demonstrates that the legal profession is engaging in civil disobedience against our sovereignty. Last week, another New York federal judge declared sanctuary policies in seven states because, evidently, there’s now a constitutional right for states to obtain federal law enforcement grants even when they subvert federal law enforcement. Using absurd pretense of state powers, Judge Edgardo Ramos declared section 1373 of the INA, which requires local law enforcement to cooperate with immigration enforcement, unconstitutional and applied his ruling in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Washington, Massachusetts, and Virginia, He ruled this from Newton, Massachusetts.
Not all judges disguise their agenda in the written fog of legalese, either. ICE is looking into an allegation that a state judge allowed a criminal alien to slip out the back of her courthouse to evade apprehension.
What do we do with a court system that no longer respects the most basic maxims of international law governing sovereign nation-states or our own history and traditions? Well, RINO Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has shown us the way. He has defied multiple orders from state judges to restore the legitimate gun rights of citizens. Shouldn’t we be at least as aggressive when we have the law and the Constitution on our side in the face of judges concocting new rights for illegal aliens?
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.