Non-Constitutional Crisis

As far as I know, the President has the Constitutional authority to admit anyone to the United States he wants to admit. Nevertheless, 25 Republican governors plus one Democrat means that more than half of the top elected officials of the states have said that they want nothing to do with this program.

Now, even if the governors lack final authority to bar Syrian refugees from their states -- as they well may -- they can suspend cooperation with the Federal government in the resettlement efforts. Of course, the Federal government has lots of money (as much as cares to spend, in the opinion of the current administration).

It's not a constitutional crisis, but when the Federal government sets out to override the will of a majority of the states, it's a crisis of some sort. Given that our enemy has specifically and repeatedly announced its intention to use this refugee flood as a vector for infiltration and recruitment, it's not exactly insane to think that this is a questionable idea. Perhaps permanent resettlement in the United States is not the right option. Perhaps victory in Syria, so they can return home, is the better way.


E Hines said...

It easily can become a Constitutional crisis. One path that I'd support involves the Refusing States locking up the "refugees" or rounding them up and shipping to the other side of the State's border, perhaps to a State that accepts the "refugees."

Then force the Federal government to enforce the settlement in the Refusing States at gun point.

Eric Hines

Texan99 said...

Would you call it a Constitutional right? There's a 1965 federal statute that gives the President the right to set the number of refugees the U.S. will accept, and a 1980 statute controlling how refugee resettlement programs and costs will be administered. I think this is a statutory issue that Congress could address, if it had the will and could override a veto. As it is, I suspect the President will simply lose some more votes for his party in 2016, especially if even one Syrian refugee gets into trouble.

Grim said...

I think the Constitution intends the Federal government to look out, and state governments to look in -- that's how Jefferson described it in his letters. Congress has Art I Sec 8 powers to govern naturalization, and has granted the executive branch the right to issue visas. Once you have a visa, you can be admitted to the USA; once here, you can travel to any state you choose.

So I don't take it to be a Constitutional issue. How strange, really, given his numerous violations of the 10th Amendment that his greatest overstepping of the spirit of the Republic might be in a case where he actually happened to have the lawful authority.

Anonymous said...

Recall the response of this President and his CDC in the ebola epidemic, which I think is the pattern for foreign threats, for this administration.

Neither the President nor the CDC was prepared for a potential threat that had been known for twenty years. Instead, individual action was key.

Also, the threat overseas was not contained until the local governments applied the rules they already knew from past experience: quarantine people in place, bring them food and supplies at a neutral area, and let it burn out.

The Western model of carrying sick people to a clinic (instead of quarantine) turned into a disease vector, in this instance.

One of the blessings of this country is that power is divided in many different ways, to limit the impact of overwhelming stupidity, or more charitably, mistaken theory, that may take over any given portion of our government, on any given day.


douglas said...

I'm still trying to understand why they're still refugees when they're coming from a safe place like Turkey, instead of Syria itself. I'm all for sending supplies to the camps in Turkey like it's the Berlin airlift, if that's whats needed, but there's no sense exposing ourselves to that kind of risk.