Posts Tagged ‘slavery’

Immigration won’t be found in the Constitution, but “Migration” will, in Article I Section 9 Clause 1:  “The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.”

The Persons whose Migration or Importation might be prohibited by the Congress were, of course, slaves.  Article I Section Clause 3 recognized free Persons, Indians and other Persons in the determination of “Numbers” used to determine Representatives and direct Taxes among the several States. 

The Constitution recognized the power of the States of the new Union to exclusively regulate the slave trade prior to 1808.  After that date, the Constitution contemplates that only slaves can or shall be regulated.  The Constitution contemplates that certain free Persons shall claim status as Citizens of the United States, stand election to Congress and other free Persons may subject themselves to the Power of the Congress “[T]o make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces.” 

Other free Persons are not properly subjects of Government, but they are expressly made the subjects of direct taxation, if they can be located within the several States of this Union, according to Article I Section 2 Clause 3:  “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.”

The power to impose direct Taxes is an attribute of the sovereignty possessed by the Congress over “the several States which may be included within this Union.”  That Union of States is much different than the original Union of the thirteen states under the Articles of Confederation.  “This Union” would be made up of such future “States” as Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and part of Minnesota, which were carved out of the Northwest Territory.  Just the States made up of government territory were to be administered by a President of the United States. 

George Washington was elected to the Office of President, which would, also, be President of the United States of America under the Articles of Confederation.  Washington, however, instead of taking the Office of President by taking the oath “to support this Constitution,” appointed himself to be President of the United States. The acceptance of George Washington, as President of the United States, by the Senate prevented the “Adoption of this Constitution,” and allowed Washington to rule like a dictator.  

The ratification of the first ten amendments to the Constitution confirmed a government of States of the new Union which consisted of territory owned by the United States of America.  There were two governments led by George Washington: one under the old Articles of Confederation, which he headed as President of the United States of America and the other the United States Government, which he administered using the proprietary power of the United States of America.

The Constitution of the United States in the oath of Office of the United States of America refers to the territory and other property belonging to the United States of America.  The current immigration laws apply to Persons seeking to make an entry into territory belonging to the United States of America. 

Dr. Eduardo M. Rivera


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