About September 2018
Does the Constitution grant the federal government a power over immigration? If so, how, and what are its limits?
Libertarians view the U.S. Constitution as a document that establishes few and strictly enumerated federal powers. If it’s not found in the document in so many words, libertarians are apt to declare that it’s not a power of the federal government at all.
Where, though, is the enumerated power to regulate immigration? This month’s lead essayist, Ilya Somin, argues that there is no such enumerated power, and that immigration probably ought to be unrestricted apart from matters of wartime necessity.
This is a controversial opinion, of course, and we’ve brought in two other legal scholars of significantly divergent views, John Eastman of Chapman University and Gabriel “Jack” Chin of the University of California at Davis. Each will write a response, and discussion will continue through the end of the month. Comments from readers will be open for a similar time.