Immigration Front, Current Event That is an Example of Federalism

Federalism refers to a system of government in which entities such as states or provinces share and exercise power with a national government. Federalism explains why each state has its own constitution and powers such as being able to choose what kind of of ballots it uses , even in national elections, but each state controls its own voting procedures.

A current event that is an example of federalism is on the immigration front. The representative of Oklahoma, Randy Terrill, sponsor of Oklahoma’s stringent 2007 immigration law points out that  there’s no greater example of federalism in action of late than on the immigration front. He adds that it is always states that have stepped in to fill the voids left by the federal government.

In the year 2007, the last major push on immigration failed in the U.S. Senate, states have since then enacted hundreds of laws aimed at making life less comfortable for illegal immigrants and their employers.  The law restricts the ability of illegal immigrants to obtain IDs or public assistance. It also gives police authority to check the immigration status of anyone arrested which can lead to deportation. It also makes it a felony for U.S citizens to knowingly provide shelter, transportation or employment to illegal immigrants.

The above event is an example of federalism because as it is in the U.S Legal System, power is divided between the national government and the various state governments. States have, as has been seen in the case of Oklahoma, their own legislative branch, and judicial branch. The states are empowered to pass, enforce, and interpret laws as has been observed. The federal government determines foreign policy, makes treaties, declare war, and control imports and exports. It has the sole authority to print money. Most government responsibilities, however, are shared.(Vicky 2013)

As can be seen from the foregoing paragraph, the above issue of immigration has been dealt with by the state of Oklahoma. The responsibilities that are shared between the federal government and the states are taxation, business regulation, environmental protection and civil rights. Issues to do with illegal immigrants as it is is a federal government responsibility because by illegal immigrants entering a state they have first and fore most entered or crossed the borders which is a function of the federal government to protect its borders from illegal entry hence making the states and the federal government at large safe.

From the way it looks, it appears the issue as it is is state controlled because it appears the national government is unable to solve such a pressing issue hence the states are rushing in to fill the void. They have acted out of frustration at the federal government’s inability to address the issue.

A federal system divides authority between two levels, state and national. Any powers not specifically given to the federal government are reserved to the states. This are called enumerated powers. Dual federalism on the other hand is based on the relatively optimistic belief that a clear division between federal and state authority can, and does, exist. This theory states that authority between the two levels of U.S. government, national and state, could be treated equally, live together equally, and hold roughly equal authority. There is a reserved powers clause which sets a line between the two levels of U.S. government. Dual federalism therefore imagines that there is an obvious separation between state and federal duties. Therefore, for instance, since education isn’t mentioned  in in the constitution, it becomes a state obligation under dual federalism, and the federal government will steer unlike with federalism.

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