Thursday, December 20, 2007

Not a Crime: Undocumented Immigration is a Civil Offense

Just a reminder, although this has been mentioned before. Coming to the U.S. without approved documents is a civil offense... not very different from running a red light. It is not a crime.

It becomes a crime when people are deported and then return again without documents. Unfortunately, for the 30,000 who are detained at the moment, most have not had hearings and remain in limbo for months or years behind bars - clearly actions against the U.S. Constitution.

For those that say "illegal is illegal" --- if you take a closer look at the study of the English language, the same word will have different meanings for different situations.

The illegality of robbing a bank is a thousand times worse than what many people say is illegal immigration.

With the current anti-immigration sentiment, a number of very vocal Americans are morphing the word illegal into something consistently horrible.

Think about the small illegalities we all commit--

how many times have you jaywalked?

how many times have you sent a personal email at work?

how many times have you received too much change for a transaction at a register and didn't say anything?

when you were a child, did you take a candy without paying for it at the store?

have you ever "fudged just a little" on your income tax - was that trip you took last summer really for your work?

have you ever run a yellow light that turned red?

have you ever not made a complete stop at a stop sign?

have you ever driven over the speed limit (even 1 mile over)?

have you ever driven your car with the inspection sticker or registration expired?

have you ever taken a pen or pencil home that belongs to your employer?

all of these behaviors are considered illegal If you can say yes to any of these questions, does that mean you are illegal?

1 comment:

Kai Orenic said...

Excellent post, thanks for the valuable illustrations of what is "criminal" and "illegal" and what is actually important about an individual's conduct in society!