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of the clause, “migration or importation,” were, from their very terms, a sufficient refutation: and he believed, if they were to seek the reason why this clause was inserted in the Constitution, they should find, that the Southern States insisted upon it, not only to secure their right of continuing the abominable slave-trade, but that they might also have it in their power - to encourage and effect the settlement of their back lands. The gentleman, he said, had urged no reason of his own, in support of the opinion which he gave, but read to the committee parts of the speeches of Mr. Mason and Mr. Madison, delivered in the Virginia convention, when the Constitution was under discussion. But, said Mr. Daniel, when this document was examined, it would be found that those gentlemen, in the parts of their speeches to which the worthy member referred, did simply state, that the right of continuing the slave-trade was secured by this clause to the Southern States, and that they did not advance any sentiment or idea, which could, in the remotest degree, maintain the opinion, that this clause related to the “importation of slaves only, and did not relate to the migration” of aliens into the several states. With respect to the objection of the member from Prince George, (Mr. G. K. Taylor,) that although this clause secured the right of admitting aliens to the several states, yet it did not deny the right of Congress to send them away, it might be observed, that the objection itself admits the sovereign power of the states to permit strangers to enter their respective territories. He said he had before endeavoured to prove that this power involved, necessarily, the rights of prescribing the conditions upon which aliens might enter, and of controlling them after they had entered the territory of any particular state. But to meet the objection more pointedly, he would take a view of the powers of any particular state, unconnected with and separated from the other states. Virginia, for instance, independent of her federation and union with the other states, would be completely sovereign, and have all possible power and right on this subject to admit aliens into her territory, and to control and send them away at pleasure, regarding only the rules prescribed by the law of nations. He would now ask what power and right Virginia had given up on this subject, in her connexion with the other states, by the Federal Constitution? It was yielded by the gentleman that she had power and right to admit aliens into her territory. He again demanded, had she granted the power and right of sending them away, to the general government? But, said he, it is declared by the twelfth amendment to the Constitution, that “the powers not delegated to the states by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the United States, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people;” therefore, he insisted, this power of sending away aliens from the territories of the particular states, not being delegated to the United States by the Constitution, remained with Virginia, as it respected the limits of her own particular territory. But, said the gentleman from Prince George, Mr. Daniel continued, this article of the amendments must be understood that whatever is not expressly reserved to the states is given up to the Federal Government, if necessary. Besides the perversion of the plain meaning of this article, by this construction, said Mr. Daniel, the gentleman should have remembered that he stated in his argument that a construction which leads to absurdity was not true. This construction would make this article of the amendments answer no purpose; it was, therefore, he joined with the gentleman, absurd and untrue. The powers of the federal government being expressly defined, “it was true as a general principle,” that powers not granted were retained by the states, said Mr. Daniel; but so jealous were they of their rights, and so fearful of the greedy doctrine of implication, that this amendment was recommended and annexed to the Constitution, for the purposes of security and safety. The gentlemen, he said, finding it impossible to maintain their ground by the aid of any clause of the Constitution, wherein power was expressly delegated, had sought the assistance of several general phrases and expressions, such as, “to provide for the general welfare,” “to repel invasions,” “to make laws necessary to carry the foregoing powers into effect,” by which they endeavoured to maintain that the general government has other powers than those expressly given by, and enumerated in the Constitution, and unlimited power as to all subjects of a general nature. If this be true, said he, if these general expressions and clauses give general and unlimited power, the special enumeration of power in the Constitution was absurd and useless. Those sage and patriotic politicians who formed the federal plan of government, puzzled themselves to no purpose in defining, enumerating, and limiting power: they had nothing to do but to organize the government; say there should be an executive, judicial, and legislative body; prescribe the mode in which the members of the several departments should be brought into office; and declare that “they should have power to provide for the general welfare.” This would be precisely such a Constitution as gentlemen contended was our Federal Constitution, in which the powers of the several branches of the government were so specially enumerated, limited, and defined. And it was, Mr. Daniel said, a wilful and studied design that misapplied these general terms and clauses of the Constitution, for they are necessarily explained by the special grants of power: they must be understood, that “Congress shall provide for the general welfare,” according to the Constitution of the United States, and the powers therein granted. “Congress may repel invasions,” according to the Constitution, and the powers therein granted. “Congress shall have power to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing enumerated powers:” not to increase and extend their authority, but to carry into effect those powers which are enumerated in the Constitution. He said, he presumed enough had been said in answer to the gentleman's arguments in favour of the rightful power of Congress to legislate on this subject: he would now proceed to examine the arguments which had been urged with an intent to maintain the opinion that the “trial by jury” was not violated by the “alien-act.” The gentleman from Prince George had said, that aliens were not entitled to a trial by jury, because they were not parties to the Constitution, were under no obligations to the government, and that no duties could be demanded of them. That citizens alone had a right to a trial by jury, because they were parties to the Con
stitution, which secured that right, and on account of their obligations and duties to the government.
Mr. Daniel said, if the worthy member had been as attentive to the authority of Wattel on this point, as he was when he hoped to draw something from it to support him, he would have found the reverse of almost everything he stated relative to aliens, to be true; he would have found that they had rights to be protected, and duties and obligations to discharge; that they were bound to obey the general laws of the land, and that they a right to be tried according to the general laws of the land. He would have found that, “in countries where a stranger may freely enter, (as in this,) the sovereign is supposed to allow him access only upon this condition, that he be subject to the laws, I mean the general laws made to maintain good order, and which have no relation to the title of citizen or subject of the state. The public safety, the rights of the nation, and of the prince, necessarily require this condition; and the stranger tacitly submits to it as soon as he enters the country, as he cannot presume upon having access upon any other footing. The empire has the right of command in the whole country, and the laws are not confined to regulating the citizens among themselves, but they determine what ought to be observed by all orders of people throughout the whole extent of the state. In virtue of this submission, the strangers who commit a fault, ought to be punished according to the laws of the country.” Wattel, book 2d, chap. viii. p. 267, sect. 101 and 102. And again, page 268, section 104, he would have found that, “the sovereign ought not to grant an entrance into his state to make strangers fall into a snare: as soon as he receives them he engages to protect them as his own subjects, and to make them enjoy, as much as depends on him, an entire security,” according to the general laws of the land. He trusted that the committee were suf. ficiently satisfied that aliens have rights which are under the protection of the laws of that state wherein they reside; that they have duties and obligations to discharge to that state, and that if they commit a fault, they have a right to be tried and punished according to the general laws of that state. The worthy member from Prince George, as if he foresaw his defeat on this ground, took refuge under that clause of the “alien-act,” which provides that “an alien may prove the falsity of the charge.” Mere mockery of justice, said he, to prove the falsity of suspicion | Prove the falsity of being suspected of what he did not know, of what he was not informed ! There was no rule established, by observing which he could avoid suspicion: there was no rule directing what shall be done, and what shall be avoided by the alien: he could only know that it was dangerous for him to become suspected by the President of what he did not know, and that he might, if he could, prove the falsity of a suspicion to which some conduct of his, but what particular conduct he could not tell, may have given birth. He then observed, that the same gentleman, quitting all constitutional principles, appealed to the doctrine of necessity, and insisted that it was absolutely necessary to compel dangerous aliens to depart from our country, and that the President of the United States ought to be authorized to enforce their departure. But, Mr. Daniel said, he would insist that some
rule should be established, instead of the bare suspicion, to decide who were, and who were not, dangerous aliens. He should require proof, that the Constitution authorized Congress to invest the President with such a power; this had not been shown, it could not be shown. He contended, therefore, that this power was lodged in the several states respectively, and wisely lodged. For, in case of emergency, each state had it in its power to act immediately, before the Presi. dent could be informed of the danger. The authority of each state was always at hand; could be immediately applied to, and would be readily inclined to take efficient measures for the safety of its citizens. The member from Prince George, he said, had observed, that such a provision as the one marked by the alien-act was necessary to guard against the French and their intrigues. If so, he said, the states were competent to make the provision. He believed they were as much disposed as any other body would be, to adopt all necessary and constitutional measures. He hoped, that Virginia had virtue and patriotism sufficient to view with indignation, and to suppress with vigour, any intrigues of a dangerous nature, whether meditated by France or any other nation. But, in adopting such a measure, he wished to observe the laws of nations. He could not consent, under the pretence of guarding against aliens, who were citizens of France, to violate the rights of other aliens among us, who might be citizens of any other nation. He contended, that the alien-act was general, and equally applied to all aliens, whether citizens of France, or subjects of another power. He stated a case from the law of nations, to prove that such a regulation, if made at all, should be particularly directed against the citizens or subjects of that nation from whom danger is apprehended. The member from Prince George, he said, had read a clause from the Virginia laws, which he assimilated to the alien-act passed by Congress, and from which he argued the right of Congress to pass the law in question. He requested that the law might again be read. (It was accordingly read by the clerk in the following words: “It shall and may be lawful for the Governor, with the advice of the Council of State, to apprehend and secure, or cause to be apprehended and secured, or compelled to depart this commonwealth, all suspicious persons, being the subjects of any foreign power or state, who shall have made a declaration of war against the said states, or from whom the President of the United States shall apprehend hostile designs against the said states, provided information thereof shall have been previously received by the executive from him.”) Mr. Daniel then said, that the law which had been read, pursued the law of nations; and clearly recognised the distinction which he had before laid down, that it did not authorize the Governor to apprehend and send away all aliens whom he might suspect; but such suspicious aliens only whose nation was at war with these states, or from whose nation, hostilities were apprehended. That this law was not general, but particularly directed against those aliens, whose nation was at war with this country, or from whose nation there were reasons to expect war. That this law, instead of furnishing an argument in favour of the right of Congress to pass the law in question, was a strong proof that the legislature of Virginia, at
the time of its passage, entertained the opinion, that the power to regulate this subject belonged to the state. He said, it was remarkable that the gentleman from Prince George, on this occasion, following the example of the present administration, had indulged himself in declamation against the intrigues of the French nation; had inveighed with the utmost bitterness, against their policy and injustice; had threatened us with the horrors of another St. Domingo; that our slaves would be let loose upon us; that our wives, our daughters, our sisters, would be forced into the rude embraces of the ruthless negro, who would butcher them before our eyes, immediately after having satisfied his lustful appetite. Mr. Daniel said, this language was addressed to the feelings and passions, and not to the understanding of the committee. For his part, he should consider the subject upon principle. To the intrigues of France he opposed the virtue and patriotism of our citizensin general; the vigilance and activity of our officers and magistrates; and the wisdom of the state legislature to observe all necessary measures, an evidence of which was seen in the law which had been read. That invectives against France could not prove the constitutionality of the law in question. That if they were intended to excite the indignation of the committee against that republic, the gentleman had spent his time in vain; for that the injustice and rapacity of that nation, without the aid of the gentleman's elocution, had already inflamed the mind of every member into bitterness and resentment. But, amid this universal glow of indignant feelings, he wished to see our glorious Constitutions saved inviolate. Secure me in this point, said Mr. Daniel, save the Constitutions of my country from innovation and violence, and I will join hands with the gentleman, and swear eternal enmity to France, and all other nations of the earth, who shall be hostile to the liberty and independence of the United States. But, said he, it would seem as if the injustice of France to other nations; her base attack upon our neutral rights, and undefended, unoffending commerce, had so affrighted gentlemen, that they were ready to abandon those principles which were once so dear to all America. Inglorious sons, however, were they, who for distant and feeble alarms would forsake those principles and those rights which our forefathers sought at every hazard, and maintained amidst the threatening ruin of war and bloodshed. In vain, said he, are we told that the French government is a military despotism, which proscribes the liberty of the press, and carries its measures by force of the bayonet! It cannot reconcile us to like measures in the United States. It cannot reconcile us to a sedition-law and to a standing army, which will probably produce the same miserable effects here, as they have done in France. It cannot prove to us the constitutionality of the acts in question. He said, before he took leave of this part of the subject, he would take notice of a charge which had been made by the gentleman from Frederic, against those who advocated the resolutions, that they addressed arguments to the humanity of the committee. He would reply, that the opposers of the resolutions addressed arguments to the fears of the committee; that admitting the charge to be true, (which was by no means the case,) it was much more honourable, both for those who make the ad