Representatives Esquivel and Nearman have a bill that could cost us plenty

Rep. Sal Esquivel, R-Medford, and Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Independence, have introduced a bill (House Bill 2921) that would require Oregon’s cities and counties to comply with federal immigration detainer requests. This bill is contrary to the Fourth Amendment and the equal protection clauses of the United States Constitution and could cost taxpayers plenty.

Every single Federal Court that has reviewed this matter has found that an immigration agent does not have the authority to have a person jailed absent an arrest warrant or probable cause. And if they do so improperly, Not only does it violate a persons Constitutional rights, but both the federal agent and the jail that detains the individual will be subject to liability for wrongful imprisonment. Because of this, most Jails in the United States no longer detain individuals simply because an Immigration officer requests they be detained. There is nothing stopping an immigration officer from obtaining a warrant of probable cause and properly detaining anyone they want.

Nearman and Esquivel apparenlty don’t understand the US Constitution. Or, they do understand it but ¬†believe that the Constitution SHOULD be violated if it helps in deporting more people. Or perhaps they believe that Courts no longer matter and their reading of the US Constitution is more informed than numerous Federal Judges and that immigration authorities should have the unilateral right to detain or order the detention of anyone they like without that power being reviewed by neutral magistrates as the US Constitution requires.

A strict Constitutionalist would never read the Constitution as allowing certain law enforcement officers to bypass the Constitutional process or demand that the Constitution be totally ignored in practice.  A strict Freedom Caucus Republican would never cede this type of authority or power to any federal agent. Even if you overlooked the unethical intentional violation of constitutional rights, it sets a scary precedent.

Ends does not justify the means when the means requires violating the Constitution. Representatives Esquivel and Nearman should immediately withdraw this bill. Strict Constitutional constructionists and Liberty lovers should join with progressives in this instance and demand it. If they did, Justice Scalia would smile down on them.

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