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A Freudian slip?

Check out this exchange between DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and CNN's Larry King:

KING: A lot of Democrats in Congress want to you investigate [Joe Arpaio]. They think he is over the line. He says he is just enforcing the law and the problem is the federal government.

NAPOLITANO: Well, you know, Sheriff Joe, he is being very political in that statement, because he knows that there aren't enough law enforcement officers, courtrooms or jail cells in the world to do what he is saying.

What we have to do is target the real evil-doers in this business, the employers who consistently hire illegal labor, the human traffickers who are exploiting human misery.

And yes, when we find illegal workers, yes, appropriate action, some of which is criminal, most of that is civil, because crossing the border is not a crime per se. It is civil. But anyway, going after those as well. (emphasis added)

Now I'll agree that it is possible to have a very interesting discussion regarding the philosophical implications of clandestine border crossings in relation to our relative conception of good and evil; in other words I'll allow for the possibility of arguing that secretly crossing a nation's border is not an act of evil. But with respect to the United States, it is certainly against the law, and therefore a criminal offense:

ENTRY WITHOUT INSPECTION IS A CRIME: In fact, pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1325, crossing the border illegally is a crime-a misdemeanor for the first offense and a felony for the second and subsequent offenses.

When our law enforcement agencies decide to ignore certain sections of the law simply because they do not feel that the violation of those laws constitutes an act of evil, then we are in trouble. If we had been regularly enforcing immigration laws for the past thirty years, then the problem would have not grown to the size it is now, where there are (truthfully) not "enough law enforcement officers, courtrooms, or jail cells."

You see, when you don't enforce laws, people start breaking them. When a significant number of people break those laws on a regular basis, it becomes difficult or impossible to enforce them. Then "right-thinking" intellectuals propose the elimination those laws, because 1) so many people are breaking them that attempting to enforce them is futile, and 2) the laws themselves must be immoral because so many people are breaking them.

This is the same argument used by those who want to see marijuana decriminalized. It is shocking and sad to see government officials invoke the same shallow line of reasoning with respect to illegal immigration.

(h/t Michelle Malkin)


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Comments (12)

Wow.That is not a ... (Below threshold)


That is not a Freudian Slip.

Its a new overt declaration of policy. As opposed to the Bush approach...

"It's a crime to cross the ... (Below threshold)

"It's a crime to cross the border only if you do it illeagaly!" Weasel words are easy.

Hey why not seal the border... (Below threshold)

Hey why not seal the borders both ways. No way for MS-13 and other gangs to enter the US, No way to use illegal's as mules to smuggle drugs. This will help to cut the flow of cash and " Guns" to Mexico.
Then we send all the bangers who are here illegally. Next let's have a moratorium on all immigration until all the current backlog of legal paper work is cleared.
Employers who hire illegal pay stiff fines (fines so high that it will be economical to hire Americans to work) and the employees get deported.

Man this administration is ... (Below threshold)

Man this administration is just full of lawbreakers.

ML, I sympathize with your ... (Below threshold)

ML, I sympathize with your thesis. But a misdemeanor is an administrative matter. The English language is full of anomalous usages and terms, such as "criminal" does not always equate to crime per se, like "infants" are not people 0-18 years old, yet they are under law.

At least that's what I've read.

"But a misdemeanor is an ad... (Below threshold)

"But a misdemeanor is an administrative matter."

No, it's what we call a "crime." You can go to jail for up to a year for a misdemeanor, although most misdemeanors are just punished by fines or penalties (like losing a driver's license for a driving misdemeanor).

Try walking up to someone and punching them in the stomach, and when you're charged for misdemeanor assault, argue that it's just "administrative."

An "infraction" is an administrative matter.

Overall, though, since a high proportion of the people being caught crossing the border have done so repeatedly (and often compound the offense with other crimes, like drug smuggling), they're well into the "felony" department in many cases.

"You can go to jail for up ... (Below threshold)

"You can go to jail for up to a year for a misdemeanor"-cirby

Yeah, if you kick the judge in the balls, but then it would be a felony.

"Try walking up to someone and punching them in the stomach, and when you're charged for misdemeanor assault, argue that it's just "administrative."-cirby

I'd be gone after punching someone in the stomach and the cops would get a fresh cappuccino. Analogous to the border don't look/don't get mentality of the US government.

Like I said, I sympathize with ML's point, and agree in principle, but Jorge Booosh and his sock puppets have driven the point home that its catch-and-release and don't-interfere-with-business-you-rednecks.

I'm anti-illegal immigration and your comment is well taken, but the last administration has made the Mexico-USA human highway a common law issue, as in "wetbacks" are "home-safe" once they've crossed the invisible national boundary. 'tis pity but true.

To pin the burro tail on Obama & Co is a stretch. ML might as well pin a medal since that is how it would be accepted so why spit in the wind? The problem is in the other direction, with the pin-striped suits and red ties.

The extreme leftist trolls ... (Below threshold)

The extreme leftist trolls on this site are always touting other countries around the world not like enhanced interrogation. How about all the first world countries that have very tight border enforcement. Do you want to mimic them? Whew! Can't wait. ww

ehhh, you had me until you ... (Below threshold)

ehhh, you had me until you compared it to Marijuana.

"t is shocking and sad to s... (Below threshold)

"t is shocking and sad to see government officials invoke the same shallow line of reasoning with respect to illegal immigration."

Hardly surprising, however.

Ignored in all of their worthless rhetoric is the penalty paid by US citizens because of illegal immigration. My grandson is the only one in his kindergarten class who is not an English as a Second Language student. How do you get a job as a "community organizer" when you have no community to organize?

Janet NapoliReno is just ge... (Below threshold)

Janet NapoliReno is just getting started.

It's not a crime "per se", ... (Below threshold)

It's not a crime "per se", it only becomes a crime if they cross the border and then

# Oppose restrictions on firearms
# Oppose the policies of President Obama regarding immigration, citizenship, and the expansion of social programs
# Oppose continuation of free trade agreements
# Oppose same-sex marriage
# Have paranoia of foreign regimes
# Fear Communist regimes
# Oppose one world government
# Bemoan the decline of U.S. stature in the world.

Then they're a likely terrorist and are a concern to this fraud.






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