June 01, 2011

Morons On Parade

Admittedly the choices are both numerous and bipartisan, but for this week I nominate the new chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), who recently said:
" ... the Republican solution that I’ve seen in the last three years is that we should just pack them all up and ship them back to their own countries and that in fact it should be a crime and we should arrest them all.”

The comment has drawn attention among conservative commentators and bloggers. During the comments, the chairwoman referred to legislation in 2006 by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) that would increase border enforcement and make illegal immigration a criminal offense instead of a civil matter.

Joining her as co-nominee for that report is Christian Science Monitor reporter Fred Lucas, who seems as blithely unaware as Wasserman Schultz (and Janet Napolitano) that illegal immigration is indeed a criminal offense in the United States and not a civil offense, and has been for quite some time. Decades, even.


mxd said...

8 U.S.C. § 1325 : US Code - Section 1325: Improper entry by alien

[NOTE: This article of the US code of justice has two section; (a) deals with the criminal penalties for illegal entry into the US and (b) deals with civil penalties that may also be imposed.]

Section(a): Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection;
misrepresentation and concealment of facts

Any alien who (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States
at any time or place other than as designated by immigration
officers, or (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration
officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United
States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the
willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first
commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or
imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent
commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or
imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.

[NOTE: Title 18 mentioned above is the part of the US code that defines criminal penalties of various sorts.]
[NOTE: Section (b) of the Statute goes into the civil penalties for illegal border crossing. This is not germain to the current discussion and I won't bother to reproduce.]

[NOTE: Now given the above rather explicit statute, what in tar-nation do Napolitano and Wasserman-Shultz have in mind when they say that Illegal immigrants are not criminals? The only way I can make any sense of this view is if they are trying to say that although it is a crime to enter the US illegally, it is NOT a crime to BE in the US once one has entered illegally. If I am correct in this then it is almost Clintonian in its diabolical perfidious insanity! Talk about one hell of a slick Weasely bit of legal double talk! Its clear one of them attended Harvard (or at least Yale). I hope and prey that any good old fashioned american jury will have enough common sense in their right little pinky to reject this stupidity.]

Tully said...

They're trying to do two things, (IMHO). One is to conflate "misdemeanor" for a first offense with "civil offense." Sorry, but a misdemeanor is still a crime, and subsequent offenses are felonies.

They're also trying to distract attention from the (a) part of the statute by pointing at the (b) part for civil penalties, which is often used without the criminal part to avoid clogging the criminal justice system, because of the lower standards of proof and because defendants in the civil system are not automatically entitled to free legal counsel. Do notice this section of the (b) part of the statute:

Civil penalties under this subsection are in addition to, and not in lieu of, any criminal or other civil penalties that may be imposed.

Tully said...

And yes, it IS rather Clintonian. Other parts of the immigration code (§ 1321([b]) make it clear that being here without having gone through immigration is sufficient to establish illegality:

Proof that the alien failed to present himself at the time and place designated by the immigration officers shall be prima facie evidence that such alien has landed in the United States at a time or place other than as designated by the immigration officers.