Friday, September 16, 2011

When Is A Crime Not A Crime?

When it's jaywalking illegal immigration. After all, jaywalking is an infraction. Sort of a crime, but not really. White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Cecilia Munoz recently compared the federal crime of illegal immigration to jaywalking. "If you were running the police department of any urban area in this country, you would spend more resources going after serious criminals than after jaywalkers."

I guess Munoz is telling us that illegal immigrants are unserious criminals. Until now, the usual simile was "it's like spitting on the sidewalk." But many people don't realize whey spitting on the sidewalk is a crime. It was the major cause of the spread of tuberculosis in the early twentieth century. Today, that curse is returning to our urban centers, largely from immigrants who have not been screened for communicable diseases (where's Ellis Island when we need it?).

There's also a sound reason for prosecuting jaywalking. It's dangerous. It gets pedestrians killed, often including children accompanying a jaywalking adult. It also has a tendency to cause traffic collisions as drivers are forced to make dangerous maneuvers to avoid hitting the jaywalkers. Every year, dozens of jaywalkers are killed and thousands injured. So maybe it's not such a small deal after all.

Apparently, Munoz has also never heard of James Q. Wilson's "broken windows syndrome." Mayor Rudy Giuliani did, and by prosecuting violators of the building and safety codes in New York City, he used the minor infraction of neighborhood nuisance to cut the rates of drug-dealing and gang murders dramatically. But comparing illegal immigration to jaywalking, spitting on the sidewalk, or even broken windows reduces a crime that has long term and vast effects on the essence of American citizenship and national security to a nullity. That's foolish and dangerous.

What is really odd about Munoz's speech is that she is not directly attacking the secure borders/deportation advocates. Her speech was actually in response to the latest amnesty initiative by her own boss. The Obama administration has already put a huge dent in the immigration and deportation process with its recently-instituted policy of suspending deportation proceedings for those not already convicted of serious crimes other than their initial illegal immigration. That action created an instant backlog of over 300,000 cases.

But Obama's action is clearly not enough to satisfy Munoz. She wants to make illegal immigration a slap-on-the wrist, go-and-sin-no-more infraction. Says Munoz: "We have 10 million, 11 million undocumented people in this country and it's abundantly clear to anybody who's paying attention that we're not going to deport that entire population." OK. So that means we should do nothing? The logistics of deporting that many people is indeed well-nigh impossible. But so what? Do we stop prosecuting crimes of all sorts simply because we can't prosecute them all? It's a fake argument.

Munoz will not be satisfied until illegal immigration is rendered legal by whatever means necessary. And she relies on the fact that our immigration laws are truly in need of reform. She just simply wants to eliminate all the enforcement provisions of current and future immigration law in order to establish a de facto open borders policy.

We'll never be able to deport all illegal immigrants. That's a reality. But we can sure deport a whole lot of them. And of course there should be exceptions. Off hand, I certainly support a fast track to citizenship for those illegals who arrived here illegally solely because their parents brought them with them, if they have served honorably in the American armed forces and have a clean criminal record after their arrival in the United States.

Munoz said: "But we also all understand that [the administration's executive action] doesn't solve our immigration problems. In order to do that, we need the Congress of the United States." Munoz is right about that--for all the wrong reasons.

26 comments:

Tehachapi Tom said...

Hawk
This administration is out of whack it is almost(is) illegal in it's own right. Maybe we should get all the illegals charged with spying, after all some places do that.
In my own way I have developed a response to immigrants who are not willing to assimilate. Hopefully they are illegal ones.
When any business puts some one up to deal with the public and their English is so bad that I have to strain to understand them I walk or drive away.
If every one refused to hire or do business with any company that employs people who cannot communicate we could correct a lot of this problem without law enforcement or changes.
Other words it is our own fault for electing these idiots and enduring the after effects.

T-Rav said...

So I guess all those South American gangs and drug cartels which are crossing the border are just the equivalent of jaywalkers. And so are the al-Qaeda militants sneaking across. You know, harmless stuff.

Honestly, I'm starting to burn out on this. All this crap emanating from the Obama administration just blurs together after a while, there's so much of it. Nov. 2012 can't get here soon enough.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tehachapi Tom: Border enforcement is a lot more than round 'em up and ship 'em out. As you've suggested, the employer problem is a major factor. Hiring illegals should be at least as much of a crime as being an illegal immigrant. There are multiple ways of stemming the tide, and employer sanctions are certainly high on the list. The tide has been stemmed somewhat because of our crummy economy, but when things improve, the lure of jobs will cause it to rise again unless we start making it unprofitable for employers to hire illegals, and enforce those laws.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: Thanks for giving me the other side of the coin from my response to Tehachapi Tom. Many of the illegals do come here for jobs their own country cannot provide because their government is even worse than Obama's. But the percentage of illegals who are arriving because of the highly-profitable drug trade and human trafficking is rising all the time. MS 13 is now more of a threat to domestic law and order than the Crips and the Bloods could ever dream of being.

And as you indicated, it isn't only drug cartels and kidnappers who are oozing through our porous borders and relying on our lax immigration enforcement. It's a terrorist's dream. After training in the unforgiving Afghan mountain terrain, the deserts of our Southwest border are a cakewalk.

BevfromNYC said...

LawHawk: When someone is here illegally, how does one "go forth and sin no more" without leaving? I know, I know...

I tend to agree with you when someone is brought here as a child they should be given a break only after military service.

But mostly an illegal must commit fraud and identity theft to obtain the proper papers to be employed, right? So how can an employer be held responsible? When it is clear cut and off the books, I can understand. But not when it's the Washington Post in the case of reporter Jose Antonio Vargas. Vargas knowing committed fraud and identity theft repeatedly - Pulitzer Prize or not.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: A clever identity-stealer may very well succeed, just like most other clever criminals. Some are going to get through no matter what we do. But we'll still nab a large percentage if we have good law enforcement and vigilant employers. I don't want to see employers who have done their due diligence prosecuted when one of the clever ones get through. But many of these employers give the illegals a wink and a nod and pretend they've actually vetted the prospective employee. Like almost any other employment criterion, vetting the employee's background is about 90% simple investigation and common sense.

E-Verify can go a long way toward stemming the tide (it won't hold it back entirely, as I've already mentioned). In fact, E-Verify is so efficient that Gov. Jerry Moonbeam Brown and his California Democrat legislature have introduced legislation to prevent California from using E-Verify.

LawHawkRFD said...

Here's what Barack Obama had to say in a speech on Wednesday to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus gathering last Wednesday:

“I’d like to work my way around Congress.”

“As I mentioned when I was at La Raza a few weeks back, I wish I had a magic wand and could make this all happen on my own. There are times where — until Nancy Pelosi is speaker again — I’d like to work my way around Congress.”

As Andrew said last Monday, our president is an idiot. A Constitution-shredding idiot. He's delusional as well, if he thinks Nancy Pelosi will ever be Speaker again.

rlaWTX said...

can you give a link for your Obama quotes?

< shudder >

Koshcat said...

Come one Hawk, Obama has done more to slow illegal immigration then the previous three presidents. Of course he had to do it by destroying the economy. It is a far more effective means than deporting.

You're right that the people already here is going to be tough to load into trucks and send back. But, there are a few things that would help.

1. Stop the anchor baby laws
2. English as the official language
3. E-verify
4. Only citizens can access and use our social safety net.
5. And states need to stop this in-state tuition for illegals crap.

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: It's from the Washington Examiner, cited in the Patriot Post. Here's the link: Obama Wants To Circumvent Congress. There's a link at the bottom of the page for the full Examiner article.

LawHawkRFD said...

Koshcat: Yep, his policies are like the old medical joke: "We had to kill the patient to save him."

Good list. It covers almost everything we need to do. By "we" I mean Congress, not Obama.

As for deporting all the illegals, let's face it, it is a practical impossibility. But when someone asks "how are you going to get rid of all those people?" a good reply is "just like you eat a whale--one bite at a time." That means there will be a lot of leftovers, but we'll have made a big hole in the main course.

AndrewPrice said...

Jaywalking illegals a big problem in DC, where they are constantly being hit by cars.

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: I'm sure you know that we don't make s--t up, but your friends may not know that. So it's always good to have a source. LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: And what makes me think there are plenty of lawyers to help them sue the drivers?

LawHawkRFD said...

I'm hitching the horses to the supply wagon and heading off to the general store. I'll see y'all in a couple of hours.

T-Rav said...

rla, Paul Ryan and Hillsdale College? Lucky you! A winning combination, if there ever was one. (sigh) Why is this guy not running for President again?

Ponderosa said...

It is a good thing the Soviets didn't figure that out in the 50's.

Would bringing a tank or fighter-plane be like say...littering?

rlaWTX said...

T-Rav, I just read the speech - not TOO lucky. It's over at NRO...
and he IS pretty dreamy...

LawHawkRFD said...

Ponderosa: Not if you remove all Russian symbols and replace them with Spanish.

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: I'll take a jog over to NRO in a little while. I assume you meant Ryan was dreamy, not Obama (who is a pipe dream).

LawHawkRFD said...

While California prepares to gut its E-Verify laws, which it never enforced anyway, the US House has begin "marking up" the national bill called the National Legal Workforce Act. I am proud to say that my old "boss," Congressman Elton Gallegly, is in charge of the subcommittee and is exerting every effort to make sure the "mark up" doesn't turn into a meaningless amnesty statute.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, There are always lawyers to help anyone sue anyone!

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: Ain't that the truth?

StanH said...

Some comedian made the quirk, “you wanna keep illegal’s out of the USA, turn the border into a crosswalk.”

We’ve lately been working on a TV show, and the subject matter on one of the episodes was the DEA, FBI, and the “War on Drugs.” Not going well folks, in one scene they were standing in a evidence room (warehouse) filled with drugs, literally stacked to the ceiling in a warehouse on pallets. Tons of Pot, Coke, Meth, Heroine, you name it, and this was one district, in one month, and they get 10%. Guess where most of it is coming from? …Mexico. One of the drug cartels, when they make a point with someone who crosses them, they don’t only execute them, but completely dismember the victim for the shock value.

Let us not forget cutting off the goodies, WIC, Sec. 8, SSD, you name it, or as it’s been said, roll up the welcome matt.

LawHawkRFD said...

Stan: The Mexican and Central American cartels and criminal gangs are as vicious as anything in history. Barbaric, and completely lacking in any concern for human life. Their tactic of burning, dismembering and otherwise desecrating victims is the very essence of terrorism. And they're moving across our border.

I'm familiar with Title 8 USC (the Alien and Nationality Sections). Is that the law you're referring to? California and the other states also have their own Welfare and Institutions Codes regarding treatment of aliens, and our Penal Code covers crimes, including fraudulent ID, committed by illegals. I can't speak for other states, but in California the provisions of the law as to detention and reporting to the federal authorities are routinely ignored.

Whatever the federal or state codes involved, you are 100% correct about rolling up the carpet and replacing it with every possible or

LawHawkRFD said...

Stan: And while we're on the subject, HUD is one of the first departments which should be eliminated when Republicans take back Congress and the White House (with the DOE as a close second).

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