Importation of Persons by any means

One of the powers given to Congress in the Constitution is not enumerated in Section 8, because Section 8 powers took effect immediately, and this power was limited in Section 9 for for 20 years (and then never expressly granted, proving implied powers exist in the framer’s minds.)* Sorry, Electric Strawberry has schooled me on this one before: Section 8 does grant naturalization and commerce powers, so the Section 9 limit just delayed prohibiting slavery and regulating immigration for 20 years. My bad. But the point still stands, and I added a link to the Evil Kirk episode 🙂

Article 1 Section 9

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

Each state continued to have immigration authority and increase its population however it saw fit, including people as slaves. The federal government wouldn’t have been able to take charge right away anyway. But in 1808, the limit on Congress expired and Congress took control of importation of Persons and banned Importation of Slaves.

The Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves of 1807 (2 Stat. 426, enacted March 2, 1807) is a United States federal law that stated that no new slaves were permitted to be imported into the United States. It took effect in 1808, the earliest date permitted by the United States Constitution.

It is not only “Slaves,” but all “Persons” that Congress has authority over arriving in this country. The federal government controls immigration at the borders, but what if that wasn’t the only way to import a person? What if someone invented a Star Trek transporter to beam persons into the country? That would obviously also be Congress’s authority to regulate, right? And what if the person didn’t come from somewhere else, some other country, but was beamed in from a copy? (This actually happened in the Evil Kirk episode). It wouldn’t matter to us where the person came from of if they existed before, it’s still someone arriving in the country. Congress, not the state where the transporter room is, has authority over that portal into the country.

And the same is true of growing persons in hatcheries, it would bring a person into the country. Marriages have a right to procreate offspring, and people have wide latitude to procreate however they want, but there is no right to create a person except by marriage of a man and a woman, and any intentional creation of people by any other way crosses the line into importation of persons and the purview of Congress.

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