27 June 2007
Think tanks occasionally provide information which lawmakers may use in making policy decisions. As a think tank of one I humbly offer the following simple explanation for any and all senators (in your own language) of why many of your constituents don’t believe you about the present immigration bill.

Let us symbolize all present immigration laws as {L}, and any arbitrarily selected stipulation of such law (i.e., a subset of {L} as S.

Here’s our problem:

(1a) Presently {L} requires, among other things, that S.
(2a) But {L} is not presently enforced in its entirety; and one of the provisions not enforced is S.
(3a) Therefore (and oddly enough) S does not occur.

Let us now symbolize the new immigration law as {N} and any arbitrarily selected stipulation of such law as P.

Here’s what we are intended to believe:

(1b) The new law {N} requires, among other things, that P.
(2b) Whereas {L} was never fully enforced in its entirety (including the provision that S), we may rest assured that {N} (including, among other things, the provision that P) will be enforced in its entirety.
(3b) Therefore P will occur.

Right. Sure. Great. No problem.

Surely, senators, you jest. You tell us that we desperately need {N} as the only alternative to {L} because {L} (i.e., the “status quo”) is not working. You have yet to explain just how, given the facts as stipulated in (2a), above, we are to have any confidence that {N} will work. Given the uncontested truth of (2a), above, we are sceptical of (2b). Can you blame us?

You all seem to be under the impression that legislation is sufficient to correct a problem. In our system (which admittedly can be difficult to understand), legislation is only one-third of the operation of the laws, the other two-thirds being execution (see Art. II of the Constitution for more on this) and adjudication (see Art. III of the Constitution). (Your own powers and responsibilities are discussed in Art. I, incidentally.) When you find a way to assuage our fears about those other two-thirds you be sure and let us know.

In the meantime, please stop talking as if the simple act of passing legislation fixes anything.


About Me

James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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