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« Minutemen in GSO redux | Main | Randall Kindley scholarship fund »

May 11, 2006

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Bubba

Illegal immigration is already a crime. This violation carries criminal penaties, not civil penalties.

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/ts_search.pl?title=8&sec=1325

By all information, these violations are considered misdemeanors, which are by definition a crime.

It's not about semantics, nuance, or legaleze.

Is there an attorney or judge out there who can speak more correctly to the point?

Bubba

Clarification:

Illegal ENTRY is a misdemeanor, while unlawful presence is a civil violation. Those who enter illegally have already criminalized themselves. You can't change a definition after the fact.

The whole debate on this particular point comes down to this: Do we make unlawful presence a crime, equivilent to illegal entry? Do we enforce the existing laws about illegal entry? How will we change other aspects of the law as it relates to unlawful presence?

Ed Cone

Here's Tom Tancredo, the leading Congressional proponent of harsher immigration laws, explaining 4437: "Right now, illegal presence in the USA is not a crime; it is a civil infraction."

Bubba

Tancredo is correct on illegal presence.

There is some debate about how the felony provision for illegal presence got into the bill. some claim it ewas placed in the bill by Democrats to make the whole thing less palatible.

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