It is no understatement to say that the de facto amnesty approach now taken among leading Democrats is a modern form of “nullification” theory — that states have the right to refuse or undermine federal laws they do not like — a theory that the South urged as a basis for pre-Civil War arguments in defense of slavery and in opposition to restrictive tariffs.

The order just signed by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg pertaining to aliens held at Rikers Island states that the city will not respect any ICE detainer requests unless the alien fits the priorities of the city — and by extension, Obama’s ICE says it will no longer deport anyone who isn’t within its own narrow band of priorities. The net effect is that Congress is no longer deciding who may come to the U.S. and who may not. A politicized federal executive and a rogue mayor have made that decision. Meantime, New York City citizens are left to fund the services and education for an illegal alien population that has become a huge burden to the community.

In response to the pressure FAIR has mounted at the state level, the Administration’s allies, including the ACLU, MALDEF and the SPLC, have sued to counter this populist movement by working in league with the Department of Justice and DHS. Given the social friction soon to be sustained by impending severe budget and service cuts, this is an explosive and risky path. Troublingly, the nation is destined for a sluggish mediocrity unless we eliminate the labor market effects of illegal immigration and low skill immigration. The skills composition of the immigrant stream must also be improved while the aggregate numbers should be capped at responsible levels. The political stability generated by a secure middle class can only be restored with dramatic increases in labor productivity and curtailing immigration would be one place to start. Reversing the disastrous dismantling of the nation’s immigration controls must be the first order of business.