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Thread: Does the Bill of Rights apply to non-citizens?

  1. #1

    Default Does the Bill of Rights apply to non-citizens?

    As a foreigner, am I protected by the Bill of Rights?

    For example, if I were stopped at an border patrol stop INSIDE the US, not at a border, and I identify myself as a foreign national, am I still covered by the 4th Amendment to not have my vehicle searched if there is no probable cause or warrant?

    Something like this:

    YouTube - Abusive Border Patrol Agents w/ Nun Chucks at NM Checkpoint
    YouTube - Papers Please Nazi "SS" Gestapo Check Point inside the USA,



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  3. #2

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    No ("People of the United States" has been "interpreted" to mean U.S. citizen), but you're still subject to our laws even when outside of the U.S., since the NSA was permitted to wiretap people outside the U.S.

    Edit: Harry Browne has an "ought to be" article on who the Bill of Rights ought to apply to ( http://www.lewrockwell.com/browne/browne27.html )

  4. #3

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    So foreign nationals are not protected by the 1st amendment for example? Are they entitled to any rights?

    The article you linked to states that the Constitution bars the federal government from unreasonable searches, per the 4th amendment. So does it mean its only barred from doing that to citizens or to everyone?
    Last edited by eduardo89; 04-17-2009 at 03:22 AM.

  5. #4

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    Once upon a time, the Supreme Court was in the habit of saying that the inalienable rights of the Constitution applied to everyone within our borders--at least to a degree. These days, the government seems determined to deny them to everyone but members of the Executive and Congress and their pet lobbyists...
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  6. #5
    Member nate895's Avatar
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    The Bill of Rights should apply to foreign nationals for criminal affairs at least, assuming they are not an active combatant in a foreign military we are at war with.
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  7. #6

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    What most people don't know is that the Bill of Rights actually comes with its own preamble. See http://www.billofrights.org/

    This preamble refers to the Bill of Rights as "declaratory." In other words, these rights are not given to us by the Constitution; these are natural rights and we are declaring that we have them regardless of what government says.

    That's how it's SUPPOSED to work. But in practicality, even U.S. citizens are often denied their rights by tyrants.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by acptulsa View Post
    Once upon a time, the Supreme Court was in the habit of saying that the inalienable rights of the Constitution applied to everyone within our borders--at least to a degree. These days, the government seems determined to deny them to everyone but members of the Executive and Congress and their pet lobbyists...
    Yep. It still does, but it is getting muddled.
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  9. #8

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    PEOPLE. A state; as, the people of the state of New York; a nation in its collective and political capacity.

  10. #9

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    The constitution has a clear definition of who is a citizen, but being a US person doesn't mean you are a US citizen. The bill of rights applies to all US persons and that applies even to "illegal" immigrants. After all, you are innocent until proven guilty, and until someone has proven you are here illegally, you are presumed to be a legal resident, whether temporary on a Visa, or permanent residency.

    Personally, I think the whole illegal immigration thing would not be an issue if it weren't for Welfare and other social programs. When my grandparents came to this country through Ellis Island there was no such thing as illegal immigrants. True, some people denied them jobs because they had accents, but they didn't ask for social assistance, and indeed there was none to be had. If we eliminate the social programs, there would still be people posting "We don't hire Mexican" signs just like the "We don't hire Polish" signs my grandparents faced. But if they didn't find work, they would either starve, or stowaway on the next ship somewhere else.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Njon View Post
    What most people don't know is that the Bill of Rights actually comes with its own preamble. See http://www.billofrights.org/

    This preamble refers to the Bill of Rights as "declaratory." In other words, these rights are not given to us by the Constitution; these are natural rights and we are declaring that we have them regardless of what government says.

    That's how it's SUPPOSED to work. But in practicality, even U.S. citizens are often denied their rights by tyrants.
    If our rights are are granted by our creator, then every person has those rights. The Bill of Rights merely declares those rights. The constitution is to establish a government to protect those rights while also restricting it from infringing on them. And those rights don't cost anyone anything to exercise them. Therefore health care, education, etc. is not a right. But that's just my opinion.

  12. #11

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    f the bill of rights. you have rights because you are a human being not because of some words on paper

  13. #12

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    Until proven that you are not a citizen, you have all the rights of any citizen. If we only applied the Constitution to citizens, then everyone would have to prove their citizenship before they were allowed their rights. That is clearly not the case as of yet.

  14. #13

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    I would guess no, because BoR and Con are government documents that only apply to US government, those who participate and those defined by the government as to who it applies to (in this case, citizens). The same reason our laws do not apply overseas, they do not protect non-citizens who have not consented to it, however, with respect to the government as an authorized protector of land & borders, people who trespass are subject to jurisdiction no less.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by bill50 View Post
    Until proven that you are not a citizen, you have all the rights of any citizen. If we only applied the Constitution to citizens, then everyone would have to prove their citizenship before they were allowed their rights. That is clearly not the case as of yet.
    Can we change the word citizen to "guilty"? Who has the burden of proof?

  16. #15
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    How about this? Lead by example.
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  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Icymudpuppy View Post
    Personally, I think the whole illegal immigration thing would not be an issue if it weren't for Welfare and other social programs.
    That and having the border secure. If the border were secure, and if two of the magnets that draws them here (free handouts) were eliminated, it would be a lot less of a problem. However we don't fix the problem by turning the US into a police state.
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  18. #17

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    rights aren't given to us by the constitution, but by our creator.
    If all humans are created by this Creator, then all humans have the same rights.

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  19. #18

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    So, we can't put the national guard on the border and shoot whover comes across illegally? We have to arrest them and give them all trials?
    At what point can the government use force to defend the country then? This thread isn't sounding right to me.

    It makes more sense if only citizens are covered. Otherwise invaders can't be delt with with force. Mexico orders it's citizens and military across the border and brings us to our needs by demanding trials for everyone.

  20. #19

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    So let me get this straight...if I'm a foreign citizen in the US, even if I'm there legally, I have no rights, because the Constitution doesn't count me as a person??

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kludge View Post
    No ("People of the United States" has been "interpreted" to mean U.S. citizen)
    The Framers chose their words carefully. When they said people, it meant "people" citizens and non-citizens alike. When they meant "citizen" they said citizen. This has been reaffirmed consistently by the courts, etc.

    http://www.cdt.org/security/usapatri...s.shtml%20copy

    The proposals to suspend the Constitutional protections of non-citizens in this country under Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act procedures threaten all of us [see US v. Verdugo-Urquidez (1990)]. The Bill of Rights guards the rights of all "people" here, citizens or not. If the holdover Clintonistas think they can suspend some people's rights here, they would have that prerogative to suspend the rights of all of us.
    Last edited by Bradley in DC; 04-27-2009 at 08:47 PM.
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  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by eduardo89 View Post
    So let me get this straight...if I'm a foreign citizen in the US, even if I'm there legally, I have no rights, because the Constitution doesn't count me as a person??
    No. ALL people here, citizen or not, "illegal" or not (where does the Constitution grant the Feds any power over immigration?!), are protected by the BoR.
    My review of the For Liberty documentary:
    digg.com/d315eji
    (please Digg and post comments on the HuffPost site)

    "This political train-wreck Republicans face can largely be traced to Bush’s philosophical metamorphosis from a traditional, non-interventionist conservative to the neoconservatives’ exemplar of a 'War President', and his positioning of the Republicans as the 'War Party'."

    Nicholas Sanchez on Bush's legacy, September 30, 2007.

  23. #22

    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by Bradley in DC View Post
    The Framers chose their words carefully. When they said people, it meant "people" citizens and non-citizens alike. When they meant "citizen" they said citizen. This has been reaffirmed consistently by the courts, etc.
    What's also interesting is that until the 14th Amendment was "passed" there was no such thing as a US citizen! Everyone was a resident of a specific state. When the Constitution spoke about citizens prior to the 14th Amendment it was not referring to US citizens, it was referring to state citizens because US citizens didn't exist.



    On a second note, I wonder if anyone sells passports from the Republic of Texas? I know the Conch Republic has passports but the Conch Republic's sovereignty is questionable.
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  24. #23
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    The constitution has a clear definition of who is a citizen
    What's also interesting is that until the 14th Amendment was "passed" there was no such thing as a US citizen!
    Article I, section 2: "No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States"

    Article I, section 3: "No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States"

    Article II, section 1: "No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President"

    Clear references to US citizenship existed in the constitution before the 14th amendment. All the 14th did is clear up some of the confusion (although judging by McCain's campaign, there is still cleanup to do).


    Now, as far as non-citizens not having rights, I think it's up to those of you claiming this to prove how that's not crazy talk.

    The word "citizen" doesn't occur in the bill of rights. It occurs in other parts of the constitution, but not in the BOR. The aforementioned preamble says "in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers... further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added".

    That means that the purpose of the BOR (original intent) was to declare rights of the individual and also to bind the actions of the government. Citizenship doesn't enter into that equation.


    Now let's jump straight to a stellar example: the guns. Why not let illegal immigrants defend themselves? The specious reasoning we employ to deny them firearms is the same that we use when passing and enforcing drunk driving laws. If the potential to kill others doesn't stop an individual from engaging in an activity, then additional slap-on-the-wrist laws won't, either.

    Illegal immigrants who are here merely to try to provide for their families have every bit as much right to defend themselves and their families from predators as I do. The majority of them are also as likely to fire randomly as I am. Moreover, the bad ones who are likely to actually fire on other law-abiding citizens or INS officials are likely to have guns to do it with despite our current draconian firearms laws. If citizens can get them illegally, why can't illegal immigrants?

    So the only effects denying illegals their human rights can possibly have is to 1) needlessly endanger their lives, 2) make the entire issue more confusing for everyone, as the law applies only to a privileged caste of individuals (citizens), and 3) the unintended effects nobody will contemplate - such as the slippery slope question of who the BOR really applies to.

    Our work should be to get it to apply to everyone. Anything less is a reduction in liberty.

  25. #24

    Default bingo

    Quote Originally Posted by torchbearer View Post
    rights aren't given to us by the constitution, but by our creator.
    If all humans are created by this Creator, then all humans have the same rights.
    was going to post something similar but he beat me to it. your rights are inherit to you and do not turn on/off with a switch

    when you enter "Yuckystan" and they take away your freedom of speech, freedom of self incrimination, etc., then you have decided to travel somewhere that does not respect your rights -- you stilll HAVE them... they are just not being acknowledged by the regional power structure (govt, militia, etc)

    remember, nobody in North America had "American rights" until someone declared it so but the rights were always there.

    to deny the existence of an individual's rights until some EVENT happens is the exact opposite of our founder's intentions - the public acknowledgement of those rights is all the founders did initially followed by setting up the rules for government

    {however, i will concede that the execution of that intention was poor - see slaves, native americans, etc. had the founders signed the documents to form this country and immediately set slaves free and honored agreements with the native americans then I wonder where we would be now????)

  26. #25

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    edwardo89,

    no... because most americans dont have the protection of the bill of rights anymore.

    if you accepted a visa... then its a contract between you and the Federal government, meaning you must obey their 66 million laws.

    If you have social security.. same thing... contract.
    bank account.. same thing.. contract.
    federally regulated insurance... contract.
    etc..

    only an american born here, has those rights.

    Which he lost... if he has any of the above, and if he has a birth certificate.. etc.

    because they are all contracts which the courts use to justify convicting people in statute courts, rather than in a common law court.

    if.. however.. your an illegal... with no papers.. no contracts... nothing..

    then.. they are suppoed to try you in a common law court..

    but since 99% of illegals dont know... it doesnt matter because you have to object, and you can only object if you know what your talking about.. and LAWYERS.. WONT TELL YOU.

    MOST LAWYERS DONT KNOW.

    -memat

  27. #26

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    if your read the original 10 amendments you will notice that they are written to apply to the federal government, not to the people.
    Government shall make no law abridging...

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  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by torchbearer View Post
    if your read the original 10 amendments you will notice that they are written to apply to the federal government, not to the people.
    Government shall make no law abridging...

    ABSOLUTELY..

    but since, there is an emergency declared in 1933, by FDR.. in place, using the war and emergency powers act of 1873..

    the Fed is no longer limited to any of the rules of the constitution...

    WHICH IS WHY THEY WRITE LAWS FOR EVERYTHING NOW A DAYS..

    because legally.. they can.. during an emergency.

    only by ending the emergency, can the Federal government again be limited to the rules of the constitution.

    The supreme court knows this.. which is why they let it happen.


    now you know..

    -MEMAT

  29. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kludge View Post
    No ("People of the United States" has been "interpreted" to mean U.S. citizen), but you're still subject to our laws even when outside of the U.S., since the NSA was permitted to wiretap people outside the U.S.

    Edit: Harry Browne has an "ought to be" article on who the Bill of Rights ought to apply to ( http://www.lewrockwell.com/browne/browne27.html )
    Not true, because it's "under the jurisdiction of" that counts. My mother was a legal resident alien that had rights just like you or I.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by eduardo89 View Post
    So foreign nationals are not protected by the 1st amendment for example? Are they entitled to any rights?

    The article you linked to states that the Constitution bars the federal government from unreasonable searches, per the 4th amendment. So does it mean its only barred from doing that to citizens or to everyone?
    The Constitution is not applicable to a U.S. citizen either (they are Statutory 14th Amendment citizens), rather only state Citizens. U.S. citizen rights come from the Civil Rights Act and 14th Amend.

    State Citizens rights come from their Creator and may not be taken away by man.

  31. #30

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    The bill of rights doesn't apply to anyone. Every single one of the "rights" given in the bill of rights has been violated countless times.

    Furthermore, none of us ever signed the constitution. How can a contract be valid between two people or a person and a government if neither of them have signed it or agreed to its terms?

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