SEARCH BLOG: LAWS and LEGISLATION
Let's take the issue of immigration since our president seems to believe that the laws are simply unfair. Sometime, someone got some others to consider the impact of unrestricted access to our country on our communities, states and national interests. They agreed to various restrictions that favored the national and ethnic origins of the people who were already settled over the national and ethnic origins not significantly represented. Was that fair and reasonable? Maybe; maybe not. Regardless of the "fairness," the result was a dynamic nation that quickly rose to the top of the pecking order among nations.
Like-minded people with similar aspirations and a "tough love" approach to anyone who wanted to join the club: bring some skills or knowledge of value and learn and adapt to our ways. The Germans did it. The Italians did it. The Irish did it. The Polish did it. They privately kept their heritage and publicly embraced the American heritage. A melting pot, perhaps; but more of a big pot of stew where there were different flavors and identifiable ingredients while an enhanced overall flavor.
Somewhere along the way, it became politically correct to say those laws did not work and that process of assimilation was bad... evil. People from all over the world were allowed into the country and the original restrictive quotas were changed, but that was not sufficient. The laws discriminated against Mexicans who didn't want to go through the process. Because they could simply walk across an undefended border, the laws were obviously not meant to apply to them. They should simply be able to take up residence, maybe work and maybe not, and have all of the rights and privileges of any other citizen... they were de facto citizens who were entitled to the support and resources of the communities in which they found places to live.
As a result of successfully ignoring U.S. immigration laws and processes, 12 million... maybe more... illegal aliens from Mexico and Central America are now receiving support from our president to ignore their ignoring. We certainly can't hold them accountable for the fact that they ignored our laws and processes some time ago and punish them now. Let's change the law ex post facto. Unlike evidence which is not allowed if obtained illegally... fruit of the poisoned tree... the children of illegal aliens who happen to be born in the U.S. become citizens and then form the basis for keeping their parents in the U.S. ... at least that's the theory.
Depending on who happens to be in power, it appears that laws will either be enforced or circumvented or ignored.
I have a better idea. Let's create sunsets for our laws. This is obviously not an original idea. But it does have merits. Consider this:
- Unfunded programs - implemented upon funding or rescinded after 2 years if not funded [including unfunded "mandates"]
- Funded programs - 4 years and must be specifically funded, not funded by diversion of funds collected for other purposes
- Commerce legislation - 15 years
- Criminal legislation - 25 years
- Treaties - 30 years maximum
- National security legislation - 30 years
The effect would be two-fold:
- Elimination of unnecessary or inappropriate laws
- Minimizing time spent on passing new unnecessary and inappropriate laws
This would create automatic reviews of all major programs, policies, and agencies to determine whether they should continue and in what form. This would also force legislators to put their names to any legislation they want to continue and would render Supreme Court decisions regarding any specific laws moot if the laws were not renewed.
For example, if the present immigration laws and policies were passed in 1980, then under the national security limitation those laws and policies would have to be renewed in 2010. Public debate and an official vote to either continue as before, radically change, or eliminate all laws pertaining to controlling access to the United States would occur. Disregarding current laws would not be an option. Ex post facto changes and applications to persons in violation of existing laws would not be an option.
The only specific, unchanging legal document would be the Constitution/Bill of Rights/Amendments. Legislation would be tested against those documents.
So, whether you are for immigration reform or tax reform, sunset requirements should please you. Perhaps it is time for a Constitutional Amendment.