Illegal immigration. Is it a crime or not?

posted at 8:31 am on February 16, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

The President has been back out on the road again, spinning heartwarming tales and pushing for his second term agenda, as you’d expect any recently reelected leader to do. I’ll confess that I had a hard time paying attention to a lot of it, what with asteroids crashing to Earth on poop filled cruise ships and all, but there was one theme which caught my attention. He’s going all in on the hot new fad of comprehensive immigration reform.

President Barack Obama told a group of Senate Democrats Wednesday that Congress must move forward with comprehensive immigration reform, or else he will propose his own legislation on the hot-button topic…

In a description of Wednesday’s meeting, the White House said Obama “reiterated the key principles he believes must be a part of any bipartisan, commonsense effort, including continuing to strengthen border security, creating an earned path to citizenship, holding employers accountable and streamlining legal immigration.”

Everyone seems to be talking about it these days, and not just Democrats. Republicans from Marco Rubio to John McCain have their own proposals, many of which involve some form of what the President is talking about. You can call it a “path to citizenship” or amnesty or Expedited Entry… whatever you like. But for some reason there are still quite a few of us who hear proposals such as these and get an uneasy feeling. For some of us, it may even be hard to quantify exactly what’s wrong. But if you harbor any such qualms, of course, you will be immediately labeled… say it with me…

A racist.

Whatever. But as I considered the question this week, I realized that there might be a better way to describe exactly why this sounds troubling. And to understand it, you really need to talk about the story of Ray Bowman and William Kirkpatrick. Those names might not be familiar unless you lived in the Pacific Northwest in the 90s, but they were something of a legend. In a career spanning more than 16 years they robbed 28 banks around the country for a total of more than $7 million. I’m not going all anti-hero worship on you here, but you’ve got to admit… in terms of raw focus and mission attention, these guys were good. They stole a LOT of money without getting caught.

But the law finally caught up with them, and in 1999 they went to trial and were sent to lengthy stretches in the Crowbar Motel. Now here’s the thing about their story… during the trial, not one person – not in the media, the public, the courts or the government – not one single person stood up to say anything remotely like the following:

You know, yeah… okay.. they stole the money. But they’ve had it for a really long time now. And their families are depending on it for retirement and the kids’ college. Some of it is invested in various places and we’d have to draw it out. Maybe, after all this time, we should just let them keep it.

Why did nobody say that? The answer is because they broke the law and they got caught. This applies for virtually any other law you could name… except for illegal immigration. As things stand now, crossing the border without the proper authorization and paperwork is a crime. Beyond that, continuing to stay here without said credentials is also a crime. If you do this, you are committing a crime each and every day that you are here. But for some reason, we seem to be reaching the point where we’re fine with treating this as more of a game of Red Rover Red Rover. Yes, it’s a crime to come over the border uninvited, but if you make it to home base, maybe we’ll just forget about it.

Now, before the inevitable, hollow argument comes flying back at me here, I’m not talking about anything resembling the statute of limitations. (Why we have a statute of limitations is a debate for another day.) Bowman and Kirkpatrick kept committing crimes all through their run. And people who are here illegally continue to break the law every single day by the simple fact of being in the country. If you want to have a discussion about a statute on illegal immigration where people can leave for seven years and have it dropped from their record… fine. We can have that debate. But it doesn’t apply to this situation.

Allow me to also answer the second, inevitable question which crops up every time we have this discussion. No, I have no idea what to do about the five million or twelve million or twenty million illegal immigrants currently breaking the law every single day in this country. I have not even the beginning of a hint as to what should be done about it. I also don’t know what to do about the 90% of robberies that go unsolved each year. But I’m pretty sure that the answer isn’t to decriminalize theft.

I’ve had some conflicting feelings about this immigration question myself, I confess. But America either is or it is not a nation of laws. If we are to change our system so that entering our nation without permission is no longer a crime – or at least not that serious of one – then lawmakers need to make that clear. But don’t tell us you’re doing it just because you can’t figure out how to stop people from breaking the law. And if keeping control of our borders and retaining management of who does or does not enter is still an important priority and a criminal matter, that should be made clear also. What we’re getting out of Washington now is static, clarifying nothing and selling a feel-good product which doesn’t seem to address any of these questions.

Discuss.


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That’s a good question. I never could figure out what they do at conservative blogs like this one, aside from pissing me off and being dumb.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 7:10 PM

They are attempting to put out a heart wrenching story that will sway all and sundry. It’s how they roll on the left and the idea that it doesn’t work with conservatives is hard for them to grasp. Emotionalism is what passes for thought on the left and it is rarely challenged. When it is they ramp up the emotions and expect all to give way before the renewed flood of tears. They then conclude that you must be a monster of some sort if you don’t buckle under.

They are like little children who never developed emotionally.

sharrukin on February 17, 2013 at 7:16 PM

They are attempting to put out a heart wrenching story that will sway all and sundry. It’s how they roll on the left and the idea that it doesn’t work with conservatives is hard for them to grasp. Emotionalism is what passes for thought on the left and it is rarely challenged. When it is they ramp up the emotions and expect all to give way before the renewed flood of tears. They then conclude that you must be a monster of some sort if you don’t buckle under.

They are like little children who never developed emotionally.

sharrukin on February 17, 2013 at 7:16 PM

What I find particularly galling is that it works on idjits like Karl Rove, John McCain, and Marco Rubio.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 7:17 PM

What I find particularly galling is that it works on idjits like Karl Rove, John McCain, and Marco Rubio.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 7:17 PM

They aren’t conservatives.

They are moderate liberals who believe in the precepts of liberalism which is why they constantly fold under when push comes to shove. They will fight tooth and nail against conservatives but not against their own fundamental beliefs.

sharrukin on February 17, 2013 at 7:21 PM

1) Hot Air needs a rating system here so that registered people like I can reward the better commenters here.

2) Hot Air needs to set up a reply system complete with e-mail notifications. That alone would make it SO MUCH EASIER to follow these discussions.

I invite everyone who agrees with this to do a copy and paste, and hope they will do so as often as democrats ILLEGALLY vote. I don’t need to get recognition for this effort though.

DannoJyd on February 17, 2013 at 7:30 PM

“Look, an illegal border crosser is by any stretch of the imagination engaging in harm against the state. That is the very definition of a crime, and that is why the stated penalty is administrative rather than monetary. The definition of ‘crime’ is not “something you go to jail for,’ Butch.”

No, gryphon202. Someone who enters the United States on a valid visa does not cross the border illegally. When the visa eventually expires the legal immigrant becomes an illegal immigrant if he remains in the country. Such a person has never crossed the border illegally and was never “an illegal border crosser” (in your words). You are utterly missing the point.

It is not a crime to remain in the US after one’s visa expires. Federal and private polling data indicate that 25 to 40 percent of those who legally enter the US with valid visas later become illegal immigrants by remaining after their visa expires. But they do not thereby become criminals. That is what Congress has enacted, and it is Congress that defines what is a federal crime in this country.

And, by the way, it is not a “tort” either. It’s a civil offense. A “tort” is a matter of private law. There are many federal civil offenses that are neither crimes nor torts. For example, the SEC routinely goes to court to impose civil penalties on violators of the securities laws. The SEC has no power to prosecute crimes and these civil penalties are not for redress of torts. it’s the Justice Department, not the SEC, that prosecutes crimes under the federal securities laws. There are literally thousands of other examples of federal civil offenses.

Returning to the immigration laws, the short answer to Jazz’s question is: No, there are many people living in the US who are illegal immigrants who have committed no crime under the immigration laws.

Why is this elementary legal fact so hard for some people to understand?

And, by the way, please lose the offensive posturing of calling me “butch.”

KenMcK on February 17, 2013 at 7:55 PM

Sorry I’m late to the game, I was @ work. Illegal=criminal.
That was easy.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 17, 2013 at 8:16 PM

KenMcK on February 17, 2013 at 7:55 PM

This is nothing but a load of semantic BS. The difference between a civil offense and a crime is a minor one.

If they have overstayed their visa, they are here illegally. They are violating the law whether you call it a “crime” or a “civil offense.” They are here no less “illegally” than those who cross the border without a visa. In both cases the OFFENDERS should be deported back to their country of origin.

JannyMae on February 17, 2013 at 8:29 PM

Returning to the immigration laws, the short answer to Jazz’s question is: No, there are many people living in the US who are illegal immigrants who have committed no crime under the immigration laws.

Why is this elementary legal fact so hard for some people to understand?

And, by the way, please lose the offensive posturing of calling me “butch.”

KenMcK on February 17, 2013 at 7:55 PM

Dude, really? Overstaying your visa isn’t a crime?!

/HeadExplodes

How about instead of “Butch,” I call you “Sally?” Perhaps “Butch” is a tad too masculine for you race baiting sob story yanking wankers.

Like I said, but its very definition, everything that is “illegal” is either a crime or a tort. If it’s a crime, the state has administrative remedies (such as deporation or prison time). If it’s a tort, the wronged/damaged individual has monetary recourse. There is no other class of offense in American law. Crime/Tort. Your semantic posturing is getting tiring…

Butch.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 8:43 PM

“Your honor. My client did NOT rob that bank. He merely made an undocumented withdrawal.”

See how THAT one flies before a judge.

Doug Piranha on February 17, 2013 at 8:44 PM

And just so you idjits out there are perfectly clear on this, there’s nothing necessarily private about a tort, by definition. A tort is simply damage rendered against one person by another for which there is monetary recourse. Nowhere in that definition is a distinction made between “private” or “public.” Torts require the wronged party to initiate a civil action and seek to recover and procure either defined damages or undefined damages, along with “puntitive” damages in some egregious cases.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 8:57 PM

“This is nothing but a load of semantic BS. The difference between a civil offense and a crime is a minor one.”

Well, first off, it’s Jazz who is assigning significance to the supposed criminality of illegal immigration. So what does Jazz say?

As for the civil/criminal difference being minor and just “semantic bullshit,” you may be right. Of course, if you are right then all of the legal thinkers who have assigned special rights to the criminally accused not enjoyed by those accused of civil offenses are wrong, including those semantic bullshitters who wrote the Bill of Rights. Silly me, I had thought that requiring that the state prove every element of a criminal charge beyond reasonable doubt, trial by jury, prohibitions of double jeopardy, protection against self incrimination, protection from bills of attainder and ex post facto laws, and the whole host of literally thousands of rights that apply only in criminal actions actually indicated that criminal and civil charges were very different indeed. Silly me. Silly James Madison. Silly Thomas Jefferson. Silly George Mason. Silly Blackstone. And more than 200 years of silly Supreme Court Justices. Silly, silly, silly.

I thank you for pointing out so eloquently that those people were just spouting semantic bullshit. Your thinking is so learned and clear! Now maybe we ca get I with clearing out all that semantic bullshit from our thinking about criminal law.

If the situation arises, are you, personally, ready to submit to conviction of capital murder under a “preponderance of the evidence” standard without a jury and in a trial governed by the civil discovery rules that provide no protection from self incrimination? I’m on the edge of my seat!

KenMcK on February 17, 2013 at 8:58 PM

If the situation arises, are you, personally, ready to submit to conviction of capital murder under a “preponderance of the evidence” standard without a jury and in a trial governed by the civil discovery rules that provide no protection from self incrimination? I’m on the edge of my seat!

KenMcK on February 17, 2013 at 8:58 PM

Laughable. Murder is a crime. Wrongful death is a tort. You can be tried for both in all 50 states without double jeopardy considerations. (cf. O.J. Simpson in re: Ronald Goldman & Nicole Brown-Simpson)

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 9:02 PM

They are like little children who never developed emotionally and mentally.

sharrukin on February 17, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Fixed it for greater clarity.

riddick on February 17, 2013 at 9:04 PM

Fixed it for greater clarity.

riddick on February 17, 2013 at 9:04 PM

True enough. They still believe in magical thinking.

sharrukin on February 17, 2013 at 9:07 PM

Repeat after me, children:

America has no obligation, legal, moral, or otherwise, to non-citizens.

Good job!

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 6:11 PM

good.at least we agree the drone strikes are no problem.

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:09 PM

You’re REALLY CLUELESS. Take it from a LEGAL immigrant, who came here only AFTER applying and receiving entry papers from USA government. And assimilating in the process. Not part of MI state islam ghettos, nor LA Mexican ones, where the rile of USA law stops and illegals feel like we owe it to them for whatever.

We have immigration laws on books, time we actually go by those laws and treat anyone who broke exactly as the law stipulates: CRIMINAL.

You want to have an argument, try it with LEGAL IMMIGRANTS.

riddick on February 17, 2013 at 5:05 PM

We are all(mostly actually) legal immigrants. I am trying to have conversationswith some. What will you do when they ban your 15 round sig magazine?

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:12 PM

good.at least we agree the drone strikes are no problem.

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:09 PM

Hold on there, Butch. I said to non-citizens. I don’t have any problem with drone strikes of non-American citizens. While I think Obama is quite unwise as a rule in his relatively indiscriminate use of drone strikes which have not prevented several attacks on our home soil, including Benghazi and the Fruit of Kaboom bomber, Et. al, the question at-hand is under what circumstances American citizens (e.g. Anwar Al-Awla’qi) may be targeted.

Try again.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 9:12 PM

most of the children are non- americans

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:15 PM

And don’t call me butch, shirley

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:17 PM

Hey, why did you ask me about Chinese men? What’s wrong with lower caste Indians and Muslims or Egyptians that you don’t want to defend them?

Dusty on February 16, 2013 at 8:39 PM

I defend their right too. And you?

unclesmrgol on February 17, 2013 at 9:17 PM

most of the children are non- americans

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:15 PM

Okay. And? Did you miss the part in your history class where saboteurs were summarily shot and we carpet-bombed the shit out of Berlin in WWII? Or did your libwit teachers tell you that the only “war atrocities” we committed in getting rid of Hitler and Tojo were the atomic bombs we droped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Sorry. I digress.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 9:17 PM

Sorry. I digress.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 9:17 PM

Actually, you’ve just become incoherent. You equate collateral damage in an undeclared war with civilian casualties in the closest thing the world has ever known to total war.

good one.

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:20 PM

sharrukin on February 16, 2013 at 8:04 PM

The Apache nation was broken by attempting to perform the impossible — evicting immigrants. If they’d embraced the immigrants, they might still have their land and each be wealthy.

Instead, the immigrants won and the natives are cooped up on reservations.

Which is what you guys are doing to yourselves — building little reservations where your thinking is prevalent, and paying little attention to the fact that the other guys are fated to win.

The only question is whether you will get your heads out of the sand in time to prevent the good ideas you hold from being buried in the dunes.

unclesmrgol on February 17, 2013 at 9:22 PM

You equate collateral damage in an undeclared war with civilian casualties in the closest thing the world has ever known to total war.

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:20 PM

War is war. The AUMF was passed by congress and involved the war in Afghanistan as well as the war against Al-Qaeda.

sharrukin on February 17, 2013 at 9:24 PM

Actually, you’ve just become incoherent. You equate collateral damage in an undeclared war with civilian casualties in the closest thing the world has ever known to total war.

good one.

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:20 PM

Civillian casualties are unavoidable when your enemy doesn’t follow the rules of war. The Geneva Conventions specifically make allowance for that fact. But I thought we were talking about shit that doesn’t matter on this thread anyway.

Back to the question at hand:

Deport as many of ‘em as you can as per the law the way it is written now. Then, when we have established the adequacy or inadequacy of the law in practice, come back to me and talk about whether you believe it needs to be changed. I am a principled conservative, ergo appeals to emotion about the po’ lil’ chilluns don’t work on me, Butch.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 9:25 PM

O, and chew on this: Keeping a public library book out beyond its return time is a civil offense. Perhaps the legal Solon pontificating about the insignificance of the civil/criminal distinction here can tell us why public libraries have “forgive-and-forget” periods where one can return an overdue library book and not pay the penalty?

I had thought that Congress (and any lawmaker) it criminalizes things it thinks are particularly egregious. I had also thought that Jazz’s analysis was based in that understanding, too. But now the Solons here have shown how silly and insignificant my thinking is with their limpid reasoning about “butch” and “semantic BS” and “idiots.” Yes, indeed. A lofty discussion.

O, and while they’re at it: Why do states have “no questions asked” periods where taxpayers can pay unpaid taxes without penalties, O Solons? Why do cities have periods during which illegal guns can be surrendered without penalty?

Please enlighten this shallow idiot.

KenMcK on February 17, 2013 at 9:26 PM

Since when is a crime in the eye of the beholder.

antipc on February 17, 2013 at 9:27 PM

War is war. The AUMF was passed by congress and involved the war in Afghanistan as well as the war against Al-Qaeda.

sharrukin on February 17, 2013 at 9:24 PM

You need to look at the map of drone strikes again.

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:28 PM

Deport as many of ‘em as you can as per the law the way it is written now. Then, when we have established the adequacy or inadequacy of the law in practice, come back to me and talk about whether you believe it needs to be changed. I am a principled conservative, ergo appeals to emotion about the po’ lil’ chilluns don’t work on me, Butch.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 9:25 PM

That’s good Shirley. You keep deporting and vaporizing as many as you can. We’ll see how that works out.

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:30 PM

You need to look at the map of drone strikes again.

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:28 PM

And what do you think I am going to find there?

sharrukin on February 17, 2013 at 9:31 PM

Since when is a crime in the eye of the beholder.

antipc on February 17, 2013 at 9:27 PM

Are you serious? Stop 5 feet in front of a white line.

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:31 PM

And what do you think I am going to find there?

sharrukin on February 17, 2013 at 9:31 PM

A much wider theatre than originally intended.

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:32 PM

O, and chew on this: Keeping a public library book out beyond its return time is a civil offense. Perhaps the legal Solon pontificating about the insignificance of the civil/criminal distinction here can tell us why public libraries have “forgive-and-forget” periods where one can return an overdue library book and not pay the penalty?

That’s library policy. Has nothing to do at all with law. Or have you missed the indignancy that people crowed when libraries go as far as charging folks with theft (a crimme)?

I had thought that Congress (and any lawmaker) it criminalizes things it thinks are particularly egregious. I had also thought that Jazz’s analysis was based in that understanding, too. But now the Solons here have shown how silly and insignificant my thinking is with their limpid reasoning about “butch” and “semantic BS” and “idiots.” Yes, indeed. A lofty discussion.

Not necessarily. The seriousness of a crime has more to do with whether it falls under malum prohibitum (the prohibited evil, e.g. traffic violations) or malum se (evil in-and-of-itself). Murder is a crime. It is a felony in all 50 states, and generally among the worst classes of felony given the circumstances around a particular incident. Speeding is also a crime, but it’s usually called something along the line of a “petty offense” by most municipal jurisdictions, unless it happens on county/US highways, in which case various jurisdictional issues can come into play.

O, and while they’re at it: Why do states have “no questions asked” periods where taxpayers can pay unpaid taxes without penalties, O Solons? Why do cities have periods during which illegal guns can be surrendered without penalty?

Please enlighten this shallow idiot.

KenMcK on February 17, 2013 at 9:26 PM

States would, as a rule, rather get something than nothing, particularly in shitholes like California where they bleed the common individual dry for every penny they can extract and still complain it’s not enough. But we’re digressing again. You can be the citizen/resident of a state and city at the same time you are an American citizen. You can also be an illegal immigrant in America at the same time a state or city recognizes your residency within its own borders. It’s called “concurrent jurisdiction;” not an either/or proposition. Enlightened yet?

Why am I even taking you libwits seriously?

/facepalm

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 9:32 PM

C’mon Riddick. you know the answer.

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:34 PM

A much wider theatre than originally intended.

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:32 PM

Since Al-Qaeda ISN’T a nation how is that possible? Bush made it very clear that the United States would target terrorists wherever they are found.

sharrukin on February 17, 2013 at 9:37 PM

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:31 PM

Funny, I never saw a white line anywhere near the boarder that illegals weren’t willing to cross.

antipc on February 17, 2013 at 9:38 PM

That’s good Shirley. You keep deporting and vaporizing as many as you can. We’ll see how that works out.

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:30 PM

We’re not doing it, Butch. We have the ability. We don’t have the will. And we don’t have the will because of appeals to emotion from the likes of LaRaza and other assorted non-citizen libwit groups.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Since Al-Qaeda ISN’T a nation how is that possible? Bush made it very clear that the United States would target terrorists wherever they are found.

sharrukin on February 17, 2013 at 9:37 PM

Excellent. So don’t complain when you see the predators overhead.

I’ve seen one.

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:39 PM

A much wider theatre than originally intended.

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:32 PM

Since Al-Qaeda ISN’T a nation how is that possible? Bush made it very clear that the United States would target terrorists wherever they are found.

sharrukin on February 17, 2013 at 9:37 PM

Ugh. What does it have to do with immigration policy, anyhow? Don’t let yourself be distracted, Sharr. They’ll pull you off-topic every damn time.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 9:39 PM

America has no obligation, legal, moral, or otherwise, to non-citizens.

Good job!

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Actually, it does. Constitutionally, in fact. All the rights specified in the Bill of Rights apply to non-citizens. With respect to Amendments passed after the Bill of Rights, only Amendments XV, XIX, XXIV, and XXVI enumerate rights held only by Citizens.

unclesmrgol on February 17, 2013 at 9:41 PM

We’re not doing it, Butch. We have the ability. We don’t have the will. And we don’t have the will because of appeals to emotion from the likes of LaRaza and other assorted non-citizen libwit groups.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 9:38 PM

We’ve deported a lot of people in the last few years.
Vaporized a lot too.

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:41 PM

Excellent. So don’t complain when you see the predators overhead.

I’ve seen one.

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:39 PM

So you’re not okay with predators targeting non-citizens? I thought the big hub-bub was over targeting citizens like Awlaki. But as I said wayyyyyy upthread, I’d love to redefine citizenship in such a manner as to get rid of the anchor baby bullshit to begin with. The less citizenship means, the less my citizenship and the legal citizenship of our forebears mean. I am most certainly NOT okay with that.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 9:41 PM

They’ll pull you off-topic every damn time.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 9:39 PM

They don’t have much to say on topic either.

sharrukin on February 17, 2013 at 9:41 PM

Actually, it does. Constitutionally, in fact. All the rights specified in the Bill of Rights apply to non-citizens. With respect to Amendments passed after the Bill of Rights, only Amendments XV, XIX, XXIV, and XXVI enumerate rights held only by Citizens.

unclesmrgol on February 17, 2013 at 9:41 PM

On what basis, libwit? If you can even make that argument, it certainly wasn’t what our founders intended. Sounds more like argument-by-assertion to me, but if “due process” means sending them up before an ICE judge before we deport them and their entire immediate families (including all so-called “anchor babies”), then maybe we can solve our little domestic employment problem by expanding the wing of the ICE that is responsible for deportations. Imagine all the jobs American citizens can do along those lines!

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 9:44 PM

We’ve deported a lot of people in the last few years.
Vaporized a lot too.

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:41 PM

We’ve deported people and vaporized people both for show. It has done nothing to keep us safe on our own soil, as the Fruit of Kaboom bomber and Benghazi ought to amply demonstrate.

Prison time for the chief executives of “sanctuary cities.” Yeah. I said it. Send ‘em up. If they are open about not enforcing the law, UP. THE. RIVER.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 9:46 PM

We’ve deported a lot of people in the last few years.
Vaporized a lot too.

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:41 PM

Exactly how much in subsidies did they pay back to taxpayers on their way out?

antipc on February 17, 2013 at 9:46 PM

unclesmrgol on February 17, 2013 at 9:41 PM

does the Bill of Rights apply to illegals any more than than it does to resident criminals?

antipc on February 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM

So you’re not okay with predators targeting non-citizens? I thought the big hub-bub was over targeting citizens like Awlaki. But as I said wayyyyyy upthread, I’d love to redefine citizenship in such a manner as to get rid of the anchor baby bullshit to begin with. The less citizenship means, the less my citizenship and the legal citizenship of our forebears mean. I am most certainly NOT okay with that.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 9:41 PM

No problem with targeting enemy combatants. Neat trick doing that 1000 ft agl. The rest of the world LOVES the pictures of dead women and children that accompany them. Personally, I couldn’t give a cr@p about the citizenship status. But the collaterals do.

Back on topic. What ISN’T a crime these days.

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:50 PM

unclesmrgol on February 17, 2013 at 9:41 PM

does the Bill of Rights apply to illegals any more than than it does to resident criminals?

antipc on February 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM

That, my friend, is also a part of the definition of “crime.” An offense specficially against the state that entails loss of certain rights upon conviction. It is the loss of those rights (free association among the most notable) that necessitates “due process” in the first place.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM

Hey, this was fun. Much ado about nothing. (until 25 years from now)

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:52 PM

Back on topic. What ISN’T a crime these days.

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:50 PM

Illegal Undocumented immigration. But again, so what? I’m a conservative, not an anarchist. Enforcement of borders is a plenary duty of any government.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 9:53 PM

Back on topic. What ISN’T a crime these days.

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:50 PM

Any crime liberals and and the DOJ decides not to pusue.

antipc on February 17, 2013 at 9:53 PM

Exactly how much in subsidies did they pay back to taxpayers on their way out?

antipc on February 17, 2013 at 9:46 PM

Who hired (?exploited?) them while they were here?

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:54 PM

No problem with targeting enemy combatants. Neat trick doing that 1000 ft agl. The rest of the world LOVES the pictures of dead women and children that accompany them. Personally, I couldn’t give a cr@p about the citizenship status. But the collaterals do.

Back on topic. What ISN’T a crime these days.

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:50 PM

And by the by, it sounds like you agree with my assertion at least tangentially that we don’t owe non-citizens shit.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 9:55 PM

Who hired (?exploited?) them while they were here?

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:54 PM

When they came here begging for a job they got one.

Now answer the question.

antipc on February 17, 2013 at 9:57 PM

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 9:54 PM

Listen moron, I’ve sponsored illegals who’ve proved to be worthy of living the american dream. It’s the other 90% I have a huge problem with……you know the leaches and moochers.

antipc on February 17, 2013 at 10:03 PM

Say, gyyphon202, please don’t take this the wrong way, but I was just wondering: Are you real?

I mean, it’s OK with me whether or not you are real. It’s your choice, like, well, we all know. But I was just wondering if you might be, say, some character in a draft screenplay being written by some kid in the San Fernando Valley or the like. Sorry, it’s really been bugging me, and I just had to ask.

How about it? Can you share?

And I’m sorry this is off topic after everyone tried so hard to get back on topic. But I just had to.

KenMcK on February 17, 2013 at 10:03 PM

Say, gyyphon202, please don’t take this the wrong way, but I was just wondering: Are you real?

I mean, it’s OK with me whether or not you are real. It’s your choice, like, well, we all know. But I was just wondering if you might be, say, some character in a draft screenplay being written by some kid in the San Fernando Valley or the like. Sorry, it’s really been bugging me, and I just had to ask.

How about it? Can you share?

And I’m sorry this is off topic after everyone tried so hard to get back on topic. But I just had to.

KenMcK on February 17, 2013 at 10:03 PM

I think I’d rather not spoil the mystique, but I will say this: Click my name and the link will take you to my podcast. The voice you hear on that podcast is yours truly.

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 10:06 PM

If it’s not a crime…

Why do we have border guards?
Why do the border guards carry guns?
Why do they take people they catch crossing the border into custody?
Why are these people brought before a judge who rules on what to do with them?
Why are they put on buses and sent back across the border if they are not doing anything wrong and not breaking the law?

farsighted on February 17, 2013 at 10:15 PM

Hey, farsighted, you might find it profitable to focus on the difference between (1) legal border crossers who overstay their visas and thereby become illegal immigrants and (2) illegal border crossers.

Also, judges hear all kinds of matters, not just criminal cases. And a civil injunction can put anyone on a bus. Judges issue orders that people do specific things all the time in civil cases.

Focus.

Focus.

Just a thought.

KenMcK on February 17, 2013 at 10:26 PM

Hey, farsighted, you might find it profitable to focus on the difference between (1) legal border crossers who overstay their visas and thereby become illegal immigrants and (2) illegal border crossers.

KenMcK on February 17, 2013 at 10:26 PM

Why?

It amounts to the same thing.

sharrukin on February 17, 2013 at 10:30 PM

Listen moron, I’ve sponsored illegals who’ve proved to be worthy of living the american dream. It’s the other 90% I have a huge problem with……you know the leaches and moochers.

antipc on February 17, 2013 at 10:03 PM

Thanks to whoever taught me to spell expletive.

you lose.

WryTrvllr on February 17, 2013 at 10:38 PM

Hey, farsighted, you might find it profitable to focus on the difference between (1) legal border crossers who overstay their visas and thereby become illegal immigrants commit a federal crime and (2) illegal criminal border crossers.

KenMcK on February 17, 2013 at 10:26 PM

Take back the language!

/IsThisGuyForReal?

gryphon202 on February 17, 2013 at 10:42 PM

Ah, gryphon202, your edits further evidence the fact that while human knowledge is finite, human ignorance has no bounds. In fact, your comments here are suffused with a willful ignorance so profound as to amount to a kind of strange beauty. I can think of no other reply. Peace.

KenMcK on February 17, 2013 at 11:15 PM

I have an idea about how to solve the problem of who knows how many millions of illegal’s already here.
1. Put a $1 million fine on any employer employing any illegal.
2. Put a $1 million fine on anyone renting or selling a residence to any
illegal.
3. Stop “all” public services to any illegal except emergency medical care.
4. Offer free travel to the country of origin.

If they cannot work, live, or go to school or anything then I think they will naturally want to leave so there would be no rounding up anyone or turning neighbors in to authorities. I think this would work but the fines need to be so high that no employer, renter or home seller would take a chance on violations.

jtpcamp on February 17, 2013 at 11:18 PM

Remarkable.

Bmore on February 17, 2013 at 11:20 PM

There are any number of ways Congress could have effectively addressed the illegal immigration problem long ago, and could do so now. That is, there are any number of ways Congress could have (and could) make illegal immigration rare and unprofitable for the illegal immigrant. It would not be necessary to arrest them. house to house searches and deportations are not required. It could be done, if not humanely at least without violent trappings. Congress has long known that.

But Congress didn’t do that. Ever.

In fact, Congress has been grossly complicitous in creating the whole problem. So has the rest of the federal immigration and law enforcement establishment. So have the states with significant illegal populations. So have the huge number of private employers who have hired and continue to hire illegals. So have the even bigger number of customers of the employers who hired and hire illegal immigrants.

And that’s a big problem with Jazz’s analogizing illegal immigrants to bank robbers, one that goes way beyond the fact that being an illegal immigrant is not itself a crime. While those robbers were on the loose the authorities weren’t sitting on a host of actions they could have taken to catch them or at least stop them from committing further robberies. Nor did the authorities and the robbed banks know generally where the robbers kept their stash of ill gotten gains, but not bother to find and retrieve it. One could go on.

Every level of government, a wide swath of the employers in this country and a huge number of consumers are all absolutely morally filthy when it comes to illegal immigration. It’s revolting for anyone to pretend otherwise.

That filth does not in itself mean illegal immigrants are entitled to anything, or by itself forbid a particular approach. But let’s keep in mind the reality. Comparing illegal immigrants to bank robbers is a red herring.

KenMcK on February 17, 2013 at 11:55 PM

DFCtomm A broad question that I couldn’t presume to answer.

oznerola on February 17, 2013 at 6:28 PM

I would have accepted almost anything. I was just trying to determine if you suffered from normalcy bias, and apparently you do.

DFCtomm on February 18, 2013 at 6:54 AM

KenMcK on February 17, 2013 at 10:26 PM

Having some trouble distinguishing the relevant from the irrelevant, connecting the dots, and coming to a conclusion, Sparky?

Focus.

farsighted on February 18, 2013 at 7:44 AM

“Guilt trip BS” “libwits” are reasoned additions to the discussion. The nub of the issue for the most vocal here is that you do not like immigrants and immigration. The writers here would stand astride 160 years of American history and say no more. Why?

You think it is too liberal to allow foreigners into the country. If so you don’t understand the politics of this at all. Keeping hard working newcomers out merely props up the dregs of our society. It is not kindness to strangers but thankless support for the laggards among us. You call yourselves conservatives but the policy you advocate is anything but. You would rather be warm and fuzzy with the our under underclass than do something for immigrants that you wrongly believe is liberal.

In my own experience immigrants succeed not because of government handouts but because they work 10 times harder at jobs no lazy Americans would do. Confronted with this industriousness and frugality the underclass of American society has always detested the immigrant. Restrictive immigration is thus a “libwit” bleeding heart progressive policy response to help our own. Like minimum wage laws and tariffs these progressive policies are doomed to failure.

Restrictive immigration policies and protective tariffs are two progressive ideas that are the original sins of the Republican party that need to be cleansed if the party is to succeed. Free markets for capital and labor are solid conservative values. A free market in labor, i.e. greatly expanded or eliminated immigration quotas is a conservative policy response to the black market in labor.
That is why I think the enforcement crowd are closet liberals

oznerola on February 18, 2013 at 10:44 AM

You know, yeah… okay.. they stole the money. But they’ve had it for a really long time now…

Of course. NOW breaking the law creates a grievance entitlement.

The wait for a green card can be 5, 10, 15 years.
Waiting that 15 years in Brooklyn rather than Ghana or The Philippines is not going to the end of the line.

Ventura Capitalist on February 18, 2013 at 11:36 AM

No, blink, not every breach of the federal securities laws is a crime. Mere violation of Rule 10-b-5, for example, is not a crime, but it is a civil offense for which SEC enforcement action is authorized and the courts have held this rule to create a private right of action. That a particular breach of Rule 10-b-5 may or may not involve breaches of other, criminal, laws is not to the contrary.

Breaches of most SEC rules are not crimes and do not necessarily trip any criminal law or give rise to any private right of action. (The same is true of immigration law.) Do you know what the Section 16(b) “short swing” regulations are, for example? Section 16 generally imposes strict liability on “insiders” who purchase and sell securities within a six-month period at prices that result in any “profit.” It is not necessary for a violator of Section 16(b) to even know what he’s doing is in any way wrong, or even be negligent. It is a civil offense and the SEC can demand disgorgement of any “profit.” No crime need be involved.

The SEC never prosecutes a crime and it is not authorized by Congress to do so. That’s the DoJ. That a particular situation may involve both civil and criminal federal securities law offenses (and both SEC and DoJ enforcement actions) does not mean the SEC prosecutes crimes.

And merely being a illegal immigrant does not violate any criminal law. The Pew organization has estimated that 3 to 4 million illegal immigrants in this country simply overstayed a visa valid at the time of entry, and that is not a crime. That fact hasn’t stopped the bizarre efforts of some here to conjure federal criminals out of people who have not broken any federal criminal statute.

As the saying goes, it’s a fact and you can look it up. Of course, far from looking it up, it seems that some people here won’t accept a fact even if you cram it down their throat.

KenMcK on February 18, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Oops, I should have written “It is a civil offense and the issuer can demand disgorgement of any ‘profit.’ No crime need be involved.” The SEC enforces other parts of Section 16. Sorry about that.

KenMcK on February 18, 2013 at 3:10 PM

“Illegal” is against the law. It means, for the dims among us, that the person did not follow the rules in doing whatever they did, be it rob a store, sell crack cocain to the dims among us, or enter the United States without permission and/or stay after your “permission” expires. We all know what the dims want — more dim voters when your message fails with the American public.

polarglen on February 18, 2013 at 3:12 PM

You may be right that the SEC has some authority to impose civil penalties for violation of § 16(b). Frankly, I don’t know, my knowledge is out of date, and Congress has been pretty active in this area in recent times. The SEC definitely has authority to assure compliance with section 16(a)’s reporting provisions.

But my comment concerned disgorgement of “short-swing profits.” The last time I looked, § 16(b), 15 U.S.C. § 78p(b) specifically stated, unlike other provisions authorizing private actions, that the SEC has no authority to obtain disgorgement of short-swing profits.

I also agree that since this provision pertains to “insiders,” who often are in control or representative positions with the issuer, issuers often don’t get very excited about seeking “disgorgement.” Traditionally the courts have allowed shareholders to mount so-called “shareholder derivative actions” in such cases. But that’s not the SEC.

KenMcK on February 18, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Restrictive immigration policies…

oznerola on February 18, 2013 at 10:44 AM

This county has never had restrictive immigration policies. Limiting immigration to that which may occur legally is not restrictive.

Try again.

blink on February 18, 2013 at 11:10 AM

+1000

This from a LEGAL immigrant who filed all the proper paperwork and received all proper LEGAL ENTRY paperwork before setting foot on USA soil.

I am really tired of hearing from every lobotomized moron out there claiming that illegals somehow do not have to comply with same rules and laws that I and millions of others LEGAL IMMIGRANTS did. Our Constitution DOES PROVIDE FOR LEGAL IMMIGRATION, time we abide by it.

riddick on February 18, 2013 at 9:25 PM

does the Bill of Rights apply to illegals any more than than it does to resident criminals?

antipc on February 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM

As much. Indeed, at least one Amendment (VI) specifically covers those accused as criminals, giving them all sorts of trial rights. Said Amendment is also applicable to illegal aliens — a term which does NOT appear in the Constitution.

See Yick Wo v. Hopkins 118 U.S. 356

Yick Wo v. Hopkins stated

an alien, who has entered the country, and has become subject in all respects to its jurisdiction, and a part of its population, although alleged to be illegally here

is entitled to Constitutional protections.

In Wong Wing v. US 163 U.S. 228 , we have that

it must be concluded that all persons within the territory of the United States are entitled to the protection guaranteed by those amendments, and that even aliens shall not be held to answer for a capital or other infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.

In Plyler v. DOE, 457 U.S. 202 we find that

This Court’s prior cases recognizing that illegal aliens are “persons” protected by the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, which Clauses do not include the phrase “within its jurisdiction,” cannot be distinguished on the asserted ground that persons who have entered the country illegally are not “within the jurisdiction” of a State even if they are present within its boundaries and subject to its laws. Nor do the logic and history of the Fourteenth Amendment support such a construction. Instead, use of the phrase “within its jurisdiction” confirms the understanding that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protection extends to anyone, citizen or stranger, who is subject to the laws of a State, and reaches into every corner of a State’s territory.

Just sayin’.

unclesmrgol on February 18, 2013 at 9:37 PM

There’s an interesting article in today’s Wall Street Journal that pertains to the question raised by Jazz:

“A long-standing problem in immigration enforcement—identifying foreigners who fail to go home when their visas expire—is emerging as a key question …. Talk of illegal immigration often conjures images of people sneaking across the U.S. border from Mexico, but an estimated 40% or more of those now illegally in the U.S. entered with a valid visa. …. Nobody is sure how many people are in the U.S. on expired visas. The most commonly cited figures equate to some four million to five million people. But that is based on a 2006 study by the Pew Hispanic Center, which relied on a formula that was created using 1990 data.”

[http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323764804578312330678211000.html?mod=WSJ_hps_LEFTTopStories]

O, and blink, since I never “questioned the legal authority that SEC has to seek penalties on short swing trades” it’s odd that you say I did just that and it’s “telling.” It’s not the only example of your doing that. The SEC does not have authority to seek Section 16(b) disgorgement, and your going off on that tangent is not germane and even odder. More generally, you are obviously dragging the entire SEC matter quite far from its basis, which is a large and well-known set of examples of federal civil offenses that are not crimes and need not involve any crimes. Its job is done. The answers to the rest of your questions can be deduced from that.

KenMcK on February 19, 2013 at 2:05 AM

Why do you think that this is such an important point? What difference does it make?

blink on February 19, 2013 at 9:30 AM

It doesn’t. Overstaying a visa is an offense against the state, and ergo by-definition a crime punishable by imprisonment and subsequent deportation. But remember, I’m the extremist who wants to restrict immigration because I want to enforce the law we already have in place.

gryphon202 on February 19, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Overstaying a visa is not a crime and deportation is not a punishment.

Jazz’s other concern was that illegal border crossers commit a new crime every day just because they remain. That is not correct, either. Eventually the statute of limitations renders the original illegal border crossing crime non-prosecutable, although Jazz didn’t want to deal with that issue here. So eventually both illegal border crossers and those who overstay visas are in similar positions: Neither can be prosecuted for an immigration crime, but both can be deported as a matter of civil enforcement. The legal system has always recognized the huge and centrally important distinction between crimes and civil offenses.

Of course, flagrant continuous violation of a civil regulation matters, so some way other than mindlessly equating civil offenses and crimes must be found to take that into account.

KenMcK on February 19, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Of course, flagrant continuous violation of a civil regulation matters, so some way other than mindlessly equating civil offenses and crimes must be found to take that into account.

KenMcK on February 19, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Yeah. Like enforce the damn law!

If deportation isn’t a crime, why is it so awful that I advocate deporting illegal immigrants/visa overstayers and their entire immediate families? I don’t understand what’s so extreme about that! If you don’t want to break up families, don’t break up families. Just get rid of the anchor babies crap and do what the law says you ought to do — period. I’m open to the merest possibility of changing the law if/when we start enforcing the laws we have now. Unless and until that happens, I really don’t give a flying fark about whether we call it a crime or not. Or whether we call it a “punishment” or not. Enforce the law. If that makes me some kind of irrational extremist, I guess that says more about the sad state of society we live in than it says about me.

gryphon202 on February 19, 2013 at 1:12 PM

It would be interesting to hear from Jazz on her take regarding the discussion she requested … and got.

Jazz? You there?

KenMcK on February 19, 2013 at 3:43 PM

The U.S. is no longer a nation of law, and hasn’t been since the Chrysler fiasco, where established contract law was ignored so that favored parties could benefit.

That’s what I thought at the time, and that’s what I think now.

To be more accurate, though, I would say that there are laws, but they only apply to some. I know, for example, that all laws always apply to me in all cases, and that I will pay dearly if I break any of them.

But for others, not so much.

Ditto with the illegal alien situation. Laws do not apply to them because they are presumably the downtrodden and the oppressed, and are definitely the non-white.

If you are a law-abiding. tax-paying conservative, you are the enemy, and any infraction will be punished. You will also pay for those who break the law . . . and you will like it. This goes double if you are white, because if you are white, you are automatically doubly guilty.

I was SUCH a believer in law, too, all my life, up until a few years ago, when I noticed that it no longer applied to favored parties.

Now I have NO respect for the law. None, understand that – none. I still follow it to the nth degree, but I respect it not one bit, and I respect the country I love/loved not one bit, either.

If I didn’t realize this by the application of laws to some but not others, Obama made it clear by labeling people such as myself as “the enemy” on, I believe, more than one occasion. I am the enemy in my own country. Laws apply to me but not to others. What’s to respect?

You are a fool in this country if you obey the law. I am a fool, of course, but then, it’s too late for me to change. For others, all you do is pay for your own downfall.

Alana on February 19, 2013 at 4:33 PM

We the people go about dancing on the head of this “is it a crime or not to cross U.S. Borders without any permit at all” pin.

As the dance goes on the boder is wide open and they come every night and day.

The “coyotes” who run the U.S. / Mexico border now are just the tools/worker bees for the Mexican Drug Cartels. The enforcers aka the rule of law on the Mexican / U.S. Border are the Zeta “head chopping former Special Forces members of the Mexican Army.

There are “leaks” from our side to the Mexican Army on operations by the DEA, FBI, CIA, Border Patrol, which is relayed to the Mexican Drug Cartel bosses who hand that to their Zeta hired guns.

Understand the drug mules, one of which was a DEA paid informant who got in the gun fight (ambush) of Brian Terry,,, had information on where Brian Terry was to be that night.

We have more than crime to worry about , there is treason going on and no one in Washington D.C. does shit about it.

Ask yourselves why?

Will you stand and fight or hide in shame America?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 19, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Well, dismissing fundamental distinctions like the one between criminals and non-criminals as “pin dancing” or “semantics” is not exactly a good start to solving a very hard problem.

KenMcK on February 19, 2013 at 6:43 PM

Wow, almost 600 comments. Not bad, Shaw. Lol.

tommy71 on February 19, 2013 at 10:36 PM

KenMck, we’ve thoroughly explored your point. It was weak and meaningless.

Try harder.

blink on February 19, 2013 at 11:32 PM

In his case trying “harder” will most likely mean hurling more insults and personal attacks.

But then, what do you expect from someone who has trouble understanding what “civil” means in a legal context? No reason to think he knows what it means in another context.

farsighted on February 20, 2013 at 7:46 AM

Alana on February 19, 2013 at 4:33 PM

I am pretty close to adopting this same attitude.

there is no longer much respect for the law and whatever you can get away with is the rule. People are admired for what they can get away with.

The government not only permits some people get away with a lot, it insists on it. Dear Leader has decided he can selectively and unevenly enforce laws based on his whims.

While a completely balanced and fair legal system is an unachievable ideal, it is something for which we should strive. Government in the US doesn’t even try anymore, while politicians pay lip service to the ideal.

We are living in an Orwellian country where doublespeak, doublethink, and double talk permeates the highest levels. And where words are routinely redefined, for political expediency and gain, to mean something other than they have for centuries.

farsighted on February 20, 2013 at 9:35 AM

In addition to a blurring of whether or not “illegally” entering and/or residing in the US is a crime, we are in the process of an almost century long redefinition of and subversion of the concept of private property.

Private property is now what the government lets you keep. Your income is what the government decides is “fair” — it takes the rest. The underlying operative assumption is that private property and income is in reality collectively owned, meaning the collective is within its rights confiscating and redistributing whatever it wants however it wants in the name of “fairness” and “social justice”. The government no longer always protects private property rights. On one hand it does, sometimes. On the other hand it routinely subverts, ignores, or destroys them.

farsighted on February 20, 2013 at 9:48 AM

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