Legal Policy Paper: The Constitutional Case for an Interstate Border Compact

Michael Harless Publications

Today, we authored a paper entitled “The Constitutional Case for an Interstate Border Compact” for the United States Justice Foundation.  Even though President Obama is hostile to national immigration law, the states could step in and take the lead.  One way that they could assume this responsibility is entering into an “interstate border compact” as authorized by the U.S. Constitution.

Sadly, the U.S. Supreme Court has badly misunderstood the source of the national government’s power to control immigration.  It is inherent in the sovereignty of a nation and also inherent in the sovereignty of each state — not sourced in the U.S. Constitution.  That document only empowers Congress to establish a “uniform rule of naturalization”  — which defines citizenship, not immigration.

Link to paper