Here’s why Justin Amash became the only Republican to vote against Kate’s Law, but it’s not silencing his critics

Kate’s Law, the much publicized bill that would increase penalties for deported illegal aliens who try to sneak back into the United States, passed the House on Thursday with a vote of 257 to 157. Even in the age of #RESISTANCE to all things Trump, 24 Democrats managed to find the testicular fortitude to vote yes on this common sense bill.

And of course, all Republicans supported it … right?

Well, not quite. One actually voted against the bill – Michigan Congressman Justin Amash.

https://twitter.com/TrumpTrain45Pac/status/880634458948239361

He also voted against HR3003, a bill that would withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities.

Anyone who has followed Amash to any degree, however, will understand that the Michigan congressman is an ideological purist, and his votes, right or wrong, reflect that purity. In other words, the reasons Amash lay out for his “no” votes are entirely different from Democrats.

Here’s Amash’s reasoning as laid out in a lengthy Facebook post, as the Congressman is prone to do on especially controversial votes:

I voted no on #HR3003, No Sanctuary for Criminals Act.

This bill increases the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) detention of suspected illegal aliens, defunds sanctuary cities, and limits the ability of state and local governments to direct their law enforcement resources. In doing so, the bill violates at least five constitutional amendments.

The bill violates the Tenth Amendment by prohibiting any state or locality from doing anything which would restrict the ability of their law enforcement officers to “assist” federal immigration enforcement, giving state and local governments legal immunity for providing such assistance, and limiting transfers of aliens to sanctuary cities for criminal prosecution.

I have voted in the past to defund law enforcement grants to sanctuary cities that prohibit information sharing between their law enforcement and federal immigration officials (including #HR3009 in the 114th Congress), but this bill also prohibits any actions or policies that may restrict local law enforcement’s cooperation with, or assistance to, federal immigration enforcement. This goes far beyond just facilitating the exchange of information that local law enforcement may already come across in the course of their own activities; this bill unconstitutionally enables the federal government to coerce states into helping with actual enforcement of immigration laws. Plus, it gives immunity to states for assisting with immigration enforcement, and it affirmatively punishes states for noncompliance.

Congress has no authority to direct state and local officials in this way. Our Constitution establishes a system of dual federalism. In Congress, the laws we make are to be executed by federal officials; we may not commandeer nonfederal officials.

The bill violates the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable seizures and the Fifth Amendment’s due process requirements by increasing DHS’s use of, and authority for, warrantless arrests and detention of suspected illegal aliens. As their text makes clear, the Fourth and Fifth Amendments apply explicitly to all “people” and “person[s]” within the United States. The Constitution uses the word “citizen” in other provisions whenever that word is intended. This interpretation of the Constitution’s applicability is shared by the U.S. Supreme Court, including among the conservative justices.

The bill violates the Eleventh Amendment—which largely prohibits Congress from unilaterally permitting lawsuits against states—by allowing the victims of crimes committed by an illegal alien to sue a state that declines to fulfill a request from the federal government to detain the alien.

Lastly, the bill violates the First Amendment by likely interfering with the ability of state and local officials and other individuals to make statements regarding immigration enforcement policies and priorities.

I support securing the borders, and I have voted to defund sanctuary cities, but I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution, even when it means I must oppose bills aimed at policy goals that I support.

It passed 228-195.

Amash is undoubtedly a good person and a pure Constitutional conservative, but his reasoning for not supporting Kate’s Law is similar, in a way, to why he didn’t support, and remains a vocal critic of, President Trump. If you expect such a high degree of perfection in every candidate you support and every bill you vote for, how on earth can anything possibly get done?

But thankfully, most of us, including every other Republican House member, are much more pragmatic than the purist libertarian from Michigan.

Needless to say, Amash drew plenty of criticism from the right for his non-support of the popular bill:

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.

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Scott Morefield is a news and opinion columnist for BizPac Review. In addition to his work on BPR, Scott's commentary can also be found on Townhall, TheBlaze, The Hill, WND, Breitbart, National Review, The Federalist, and many other sites, including A Morefield Life, where he and his wife, Kim, share their marriage and parenting journey.
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