Monday, May 13, 2013

Immigration, Crime & Ignorance

It seems a lot of sheriffs in North Carolina do not know the law and do not understand logic.

WASHINGTON More than a dozen North Carolina sheriffs have banded together with other sheriffs from Arizona to Pennsylvania in opposition to a bipartisan U.S. Senate proposal to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws.

Sheriffs Eddie Cathy of Union County, David Carpenter of Lincoln and Terry Johnson of Alamance, among others, criticize what they consider a lack of border security.

They say the proposal “tolerates both past and future criminal activities,” according to a letter sent Thursday to Sens. Richard Burr, a Winston-Salem Republican, and Kay Hagan, a Greensboro Democrat.

As everyone learns the first week of my immigration class, being in the United States illegally is not a "criminal activity." It is a civil offense. I don't know why we have to keep repeating that.

Since we also know that recent immigrants commit fewer crimes than almost anyone else, then logic would tell us that immigration reform would most certainly not involve tolerating future criminal activities. There is no empirical evidence of any kind, of any sort, of any type, that would support anything these sheriffs are claiming.

How come we can't have a debate based on facts rather than ignorance?


Anonymous,  10:54 PM


A criminal violation potentially results in imprisonment. The federal law governing legal entry into the United States is not a "civil" case as in the sense of a dispute between two parties. Although the penalty could be a civil penalty (or imprisonment). I think you have rhetorically overstated the legal dimension of federal law.

Anonymous,  11:08 PM  

This is a recent SCOTUS decision that affirms the boundary between criminal and civil law is not so clean. The deportation of non-residents for a range of crimes is considered to be a criminal punishment and people are entitled to legal representation.

Anonymous,  11:19 PM  

Another good read. This shows how while immigration law has roots in civil law, it is now so vastly intertwined with enforcement pillars and federal criminal statutes, it is in essence criminal law.

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