Simple constitutional question: What, if any, legal precedent is there saying that the Constitution does or doesn’t apply to non-citizens living in the US? Citations of specific cases are okay, but seeing how I don’t quite understand a lot of legalese, a basic summary would be appreciated too.
The Fourteenth Amendment says:
The Constitution defines itself as the supreme law of the land.
So we start wi th that general proposition that all persons are entitled to equal protection of the laws. There are specific laws that apply to citizens, such as serving on juries or voting, but in general, the law applies to citizens and non-citizens.
It ain’t called “the law of the land” for nothing.
Which is not to say that there are any Constutitional protections against passing more such laws that apply only to citizens, or against passing laws which make things tougher on non-citizens.
The Constitution is the organic law of the United States. All other laws derive from it. So different laws and rights for non-citizens are because that’s how the Congress has set things up.
One of our more learned lawyers or law students might speak to the ius soli as opposed to law which is applicable to specific people considered to be within its ambit. As I understand it, the ius soli is the body of law that relates to whatever happens within the bounds of the body of land which it is deemed to cover, regardless of who does what where within it. A city police force might have jurisdiction over an assault that happened on the municipal airport (extraterritorial part of the city, outside its normal boundaries) committed by an Afghan citizen on a North Dakotan, simply because the assault happened “on city land” even though outside the city limits and with two “foreign” persons (one from another state, one from another nation altogether) the parties involved.