The Power to Restrict Immigration and the Original Meaning of the Constitution’s Define and Punish Clause

46 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2022 Last revised: 3 Oct 2022

Date Written: October 2, 2022

Abstract

The Supreme Court and constitutional commentators have long struggled to identify the provision in the Constitution, if any, that grants Congress authority to restrict immigration. This article demonstrates that authority to restrict immigration is included within the Constitution’s grant of power to Congress to “define and punish . . . Offenses against the Law of Nations.”

Keywords: Define and Punish Clause, Constitution, Original Meaning, immigration, inherent sovereign authority, Commerce Clause, Foreign Commerce Clause

JEL Classification: k19, k30, k37

Suggested Citation

Natelson, Robert G., The Power to Restrict Immigration and the Original Meaning of the Constitution’s Define and Punish Clause (October 2, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4212472 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4212472

Robert G. Natelson (Contact Author)

Independence Institute ( email )

727 E. 16th Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
United States
303-279-6536 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://i2i.org/constitution/

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