The Fork in the Road

The Fork in the Road
Vol: 106 Issue: 30 Friday, July 30, 2010

On Wednesday a federal judge ruled that the federal government struck down most of the provisions of Arizona’s state immigration law, demonstrating that there is more than one way to get around the will of the people.   

Among other things, Judge Susan Bolton ruled that the State of Arizona could not make being an illegal alien a state crime or require aliens to carry proof of legal status.   She ruled that authorities cannot ask for verification or for immigration papers. 

She ruled that it is not illegal for an illegal alien to solicit for a job and finally, she implied that the law was nothing more than ‘a scheme’ to keep illegal aliens out of the workplace. 

Interestingly, she did NOT rule on either of the two bones of contention being advanced by the government – the evidently inherent racism of Arizona cops and the issue of federal supremacy.

United States Government lawyers argued that the federal government trumps state laws and that if Arizona’s law stands, then we’ll end up with a ‘patchwork’ of different laws, varying from state to state, and the federal government says that would be bad. 

To her credit, Judge Susan Bolton agreed at least a little bit with the state’s argument, allowing that part of Arizona law that prohibits ‘sanctuary cities’ to stand.  “Sanctuary cities” are cities that have done the same thing as Arizona, but in reverse.  

In 1996, Congress specifically banned sanctuary cities.  But Congress doesn’t have the authority it used to, evidently.   The real authority now rests in the hands of activist federal judges.

In sanctuary cities, law enforcement officers are forbidden to cooperate with state or federal officials in handling, processing or deporting illegal aliens.

In Arizona, that means Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler and Tucson can no longer thumb their noses at the law with impunity.

One of the other provisions Judge Bolton allowed to stand will allow legal residents of Arizona to sue any state official, agency or political subdivision that refuses to enforce immigration law to the full extent permitted under the law.

THIS is the only part of the Arizona law that actually was controversial.  Everything else that the judge threw out actually mirrored federal immigration law. 

But the right of individuals to sue government officials over issues of policy is virtually unheard of at the federal level and few states have left themselves vulnerable to such suits.   The fact Arizona’s legislature would create such a vulnerability underscores the desperation of Arizona lawmakers to fix the problem.

Judge Bolton also allowed the provisions that make transporting or harboring an illegal alien a state crime and permits the state to impound vehicles illegally transporting illegal aliens while in the process of committing another crime.  

That provision, specifically aimed at drug dealers, was opposed by the DoJ on the grounds that drug smuggling fell under the jurisdiction of the Interstate Commerce Commission!     Noted Heather MacDonald in the National Review:

“You’d hardly know from reading U.S. v. Arizona that there was a single illegal alien in the country. Judge Bolton’s ruling, like the Justice Department’s brief, is couched exclusively in terms of how SB 1070 will affect legal aliens. But her reasoning in finding that SB 1070 would impermissibly burden legal immigrants, and would thus allegedly conflict with federal immigration law and policy, would make it impossible to ever enforce immigration law. It is her reasoning, not SB 1070, that conflicts with clear congressional mandates.”

A headline in the LA Times sort of summed up the problem when questioning the intent of the law:  “Arizona’s Immigration Law: Aimed at Criminals or at Workers?”  

The headline highlights the confusion.   What makes a foreign national inside the United States an ‘illegal alien’ isn’t his presence – it is living and working here without papers that is the crime.

Lawbreaking is what defines the lawbreaker as ‘criminal’.   


What makes this story important is the fact that it is the United States Federal Government that stands in opposition to Arizona’s enforcement of United States federal law.   I am trying to think of an equivalent absurdity.

The best I can come up with would be leasing you a furnished house, making you financially responsible for the contents in the written lease, but forbidding you verbally from installing a front door or otherwise securing the premises.   

Even that isn’t as absurd as the federal government suing the State of Arizona for enforcing a federal law.  It is a federal law.  Here’s how the separation of powers is supposed to work. 

The Congress (legislative) passes federal law, the Executive (administration) is required to enforce federal law and the judiciary (courts) are required to ensure federal law is enforced justly under the Constitution.   

America’s strength is rooted in the fact that America is a nation of laws and not men.   No individual is above the law.  No identifiable group is above the law.  The American system provides a process whereby unpopular laws can be changed, but there is NO legal way that any elected official can refuse to obey existing law.

When existing law is enforced according to popularity or politics rather than enforced according to the Constitution, then the law is whatever those in power say that the law is.  

For example, possession, use or sale of marijuana is illegal anywhere in the United States under federal law.  The Constitutional federal supremacy laws forbid states from passing laws in conflict with federal law. 

But in Venice Beach California, you can walk into a clinic next door to a medical marijuana shop on the boardwalk and get a prescription for pot for $150 and then go next door and buy yourself some weed in complete violation of existing federal law.

They seem like small violations in the grand scheme of things.  So San Francisco doesn’t mind footing the bill for their illegal alien population?   So what if California would prefer to tax pot instead of arresting pot smokers?   

The problem lies in accepting the premise that one need only obey certain laws and that other laws exist only to be broken.   Who decides?  

And that is where this is relevant to Bible prophecy.  According to the Bible, one of the hallmarks of the Tribulation Period will be that of lawlessness.   It was among the first signs, (after deception), that were outlined by Jesus when asked to give the signs of His coming at the end of the age.

“Because iniquity (anomia – lawlessness) shall abound, the love of many will wax cold” – Matthew 14:12)

The antichrist is called “the lawless one” because his administration will enforce laws arbitrarily based on whether or not someone is part of his religious and economic system.   He will come to power on the force of lawlessness, promising to change the laws and the seasons, otherwise disrespecting all that has gone on before him.

I don’t believe Barack Obama is the antichrist – at least not yet.   He fits perfectly in almost every respect, and for that reason alone I would have to withhold recognition.   He is too obvious.  And too soon.  

The antichrist works with a partner, The False Prophet.    We’ve no such candidate around today.  The antichrist presides over a lawless government, true enough, but he does so through his control of an economic system so centralized that no man can buy or sell without being a part of the system.

Obama is in the process of tearing down the system.  The main bone of contention are the illegal aliens that exist outside the system, buying and selling illegally with no way for the government to track (and tax) those transactions, including employment transactions.

Ultimately, the road we are on forks into two possible directions.  In the first, the system collapses and is replaced by a new system more in line with the needs of the coming antichrist.  In the second, the backlash will result in major efforts to fix the system.

The best way to fix illegal immigration, not to mention most drug crimes, is to eliminate the motive.  There is but one way to accomplish that in the 21st century.   Eliminate cash and replace it with easily trackable electronic funds transfer technology.

So before the system can be either be crashed and rebuilt or fixed in place, the problem of anonymous, untraceable cash transactions will have to be dealt with.  Illegal immigration and drug crime both scream for that exact solution.

So, too does the economic meltdown that the administration seems determined to make worse.The antichrist isn’t the one that creates the system – the system is already in place when he arrives on the scene.

It isn’t here yet – but it seems clear we’re well into the pre-construction/demolition phase already.  The only thing holding back the complete collapse is the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit through His indwelling presence in the Church.

And THAT barrier will be lifted in the ‘twinkle of an eye’.   I don’t know when.  But the signs seem to say soon. 

Very soon.

Note to the OL Family:

It is with both joy and sorrow that I share the news of the promotion of one of our OL family members to Glory.  I was informed that OL member Cindy Miller’s mom passed away last night after a battle with brain cancer.  Praise the Lord that her suffering is past and she is now safely Home. 

Faith Pauline Hass Wilkes passd away yesterday at aged 82 in Pasadena.  She is survived by Paul Wilkes, her husband of nearly 64 years.   While as Christians, we celebrate the passing of a saved loved one as a promotion to Glory for them,  for us that are left behind,  it is also a time of great sorrow. 

Especially when dealing with the loss of one’s spouse and lifelong companion.  My heart breaks for Mr Wilkes.

Please join me in prayer for Mr. Wilkes that the Lord will comfort him in his grief, and for the rest of Mrs. Wilkes’ family that the Lord will turn their sorrow to gladness.  

We cannot be dogmatically certain about the timing, but one thing we can be certain of is the comfort of the Promise. We will see our loved ones again.

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. 

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Wherefore, comfort one another with these words. (1st Thessalonians 4:13-18)

May the Holy Spirit and the Word be a comfort to the Wilkes family as they go through their time of grief. 


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About Pete Garcia

Christian, father, husband, veteran, pilot, and sinner saved by grace. I am a firm believer in, and follower of Jesus Christ. I am Pre-Trib, Dispensational, and Non-Denominational (but I lean Southern Baptist).

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