Immigration, the 10th Amendment, and What’s Good for the Goose

Detroit “Zombie” House

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder gets what many in his party do not: Immigrants bolster economies:

The Republican governor has routinely touted immigration as a powerful potential force for growing Detroit’s economy, saying immigrant entrepreneurs start many small businesses and file patents at twice the rate of U.S.-born citizens.

Detroit’s reaction to their governor’s plan seems negative. The most popular comment on yesterday’s announcement over at the Detroit Free Press suggests,

How about the Governor looking out for his own people and get 50,000 Detroiters jobs. [sic]

Unfortunately for Gov. Snyder (and to the consolation of “Detroiters” crying “They took our jobs!“), the State of Michigan needs DC’s permission to invite immigrants to come work in their state.

Or do they?

When the State of Arizona passed SB 1070 back in 2010 requiring law enforcement officers to detain and question suspected illegal immigrants, the Right cheered “Tenth Amendment!” as the Left cried “Unconstitutional!” The Supreme Court eventually upheld what came to be known as the “Show me your papers” provision of the law, but the ACLU has continued to challenge SB 1070 on constitutional grounds.

The question is this: Will the Right allow the 10th Amendment to cut both ways, or will they deprive the Gander of that freedom they so ardently afforded the Goose?

If 10th Amendment Center founder Michael Boldin has anything to say about it, it will be the former. Mr. Boldin wrote this piece back in 2010 discussing states’ rights on the issue of immigration, specifically outlining the constitutional distinction between “naturalization” and “immigration”. While agreeing that Arizonans were within their right to handle their immigration situation in their own way, he rather consistently admitted,

At the same time, if my state of California (or any other state for that matter) were to then pass a law allowing more immigration than what Arizona or D.C. or anyone else has allowed, this would also be acceptable under the Constitution – and then would need to be scrutinized for compliance under the State Constitution of that state.

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