Saturday, June 11, 2005

Illegal Means Illegal

You have to wonder what part of the word "illegal" the federal government doesn't understand. A number of newspapers such as The Washington Post, the New Hampshire Union Leader, and The Boston Globe have reported on efforts by police in New Hampshire towns to help out the feds.

Frustrated by federal refusal to take action when they apprehend illegal aliens, some town police departments have started arresting them for trespassing. The police consulted with the New Hampshire Attorney General who said that while it's a novel approach, there's nothing to preclude it.

Some, of course, have implied that the police are racist, and the ACLU, in sympathy with the Mexican government, referred to "vigilante police chiefs." Apparently the ACLU doesn't understand the word "vigilante" any better than Amnesty International understands the term "gulag."

Garrett Chamberlain, Chief of Police in New Ipswich, NH said, "If I find you are in my country illegally, I'm not going to worry about political correctness. I will detain you." Indeed.

It's also interesting that when a few local officials began officiating at same-sex marriages, in violation of the law, some liberals and their media friends hailed them as heroes. A few police chiefs in New Hampshire, however, are attempting to enforce federal and state laws, and they're doing it legally. According to many of these same liberals, they're vigilantes and racists. The word "hypocrisy" comes to mind.


Blogger Amal said...

Tom, I thought the U.S. had a policy that once you were there, you became legal?? Or is that only for the people who come from Cuba?

11:49 AM, June 11, 2005  
Blogger Esther said...

Until we get serious about our borders, any concept that we actually have "homeland security" is a joke. Great post, Tom.

12:46 PM, June 11, 2005  
Blogger Rachel Croucher said...

excellent post.

Whilst I empathise with the plight of illegal immigrants, I do wonder what part of the word "illegal" the ACLU and other liberals don't understand.

9:14 PM, June 11, 2005  
Blogger profmarcus said...

i would like to see precisely what would happen if every illegal immigrant in this country stopped working at exactly the same time... my prediction is that the country would virtually shut down...

the number of businesses, very large to very small, that use illegal immigrant, often less-than-minimum-wage labor is staggering - from tyson's chicken to mcdonalds to j.r. simplot to wal-mart to the entire meat-packing industry... bush has no intention of cracking down on this because it is those very businesses (in addition to big tobacco) that are among his biggest campaign donors... they put him in office to protect and increase their profitability, not to reduce it...

keep in mind also that, besides keeping the day-to-day business of the country going, illegal immigrants, through payroll deductions, have contributed over $70B to social security and most of them will never see a dime of it coming back...

9:39 PM, June 11, 2005  
Blogger MaxedOutMama said...

I agree with ProfMarcus that illegal immigrants are an inextricable part of our national economy. However, in order to eventually give them legal status we have to get control of new illegal immigration, and this is what the federal government (both parties, btw) is not willing to do. Bush has proposed a temporary worker program several times, but it is political death and keeps getting shot down in Congress. But deporting all the illegal immigrants is not possible either, so people have to start being realistic about the situation ASAP. I think we can safely bet that Congress will act only if forced to by popular pressure.

We are following a dangerous course which will have huge social and national security implications.
To construct a situation that leaves us unable to control immigration and leaves millions of people, who are a necessary part of our economy, disenfranchised and vulnerable to exploitation is a recipe for disaster.

The only way to handle this is to control our Mexican border as much as possible, impose severe penalties on employers for hiring new illegals, and enforce our immigration laws (by detaining and deporting new illegals). Once we cut down the influx we can debate what we are going to do about the people already here.

1:06 AM, June 12, 2005  
Anonymous howard said...

The first definition of "vigilante" at is "One who takes or advocates the taking of law enforcement into one's own hands."

Isn't that what law enforcement professionals are supposed to do? Perhaps they're not wrong to label these police forces as vigilante, but then, neither are the police wrong for attempting to uphold the law; it is their job, after all.

M.O.M.'s thoughts ring true for me -- problem isn't just with the advocacy groups like the ACLU; it's with the government too. I'll never understand the idea behind our own federal government so disrespecting the laws it's charged with enforcing. You either enforce your laws, or you get rid of them -- but the whole perpetually blind eye approach is quite unsettling.

5:11 AM, June 12, 2005  
Blogger Tom Carter said...

Thanks to all for your comments.

MOM, thanks for your insightful, well-written comment. I'd recommend that everyone visit MaxedOutMama for many more examples of the same high-quality work.

Amal, you don't become a legal immigrant in the U.S. just because you've managed to sneak across a border. Cuban and Haitian "boat people," for example, are generally rescued at sea and brought into the U.S. for humanitarian reasons. At that point, they have to take some action to obtain a legal status. Usually, it's an application for refugee status which isn't always approved. The central fact is that illegal entry into the U.S. is a crime, and the illegal alien remains a criminal until he/she is deported or obtains a regularized status.

Profmarcus, I actually agree with part of what you're saying. If all illegal aliens were to disappear from the U.S. today, it would cause economic disruption, at least in a short-term sense. But that's no justification for tolerating the presence of criminal illegal aliens in our country or, for certain, continuing to permit others to illegally violate out borders. That's like saying murders among drug dealers is a good thing because it reduces the number of drug dealers. The issue of economic contributions of illegal aliens is often vastly overstated and supported by selective use of data, as you've done regarding Social Security contributions. Go to The Cost of Illegal Immigration for a more detailed discussion.

7:58 AM, June 12, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no one is illegal. The war in iraq was. isreal's treatment of palestine is.

smash the borders

4:46 AM, June 13, 2005  

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