UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS ARE CRIMINALS. PERIOD.
I’ve heard the arguments: It’s just a civil violation; They’re coming to better themselves; They’re good people. Without them our crops wouldn’t get picked, our motel rooms cleaned, and even that our country would fail. Some of these assertions are wholly or partially true...
The act of crossing into the United States without the permission of the United States is often treated as a civil violation, true, but it is also a crime. 8 USC 1325 allows for the prosecution and incarceration of any alien who enters into the United States without admission or inspection for up to six months on the first violation. 8 USC 1325 allows for an alien to be prosecuted as a felon on subsequent surreptitious entries--even if that subject wasn’t formally deported the first time.
Most subjects apprehended at the border are treated under administrative regulations because of the vast numbers of apprehensions, but the option to prosecute is available. Certain Border Patrol Sectors, including the Del Rio Sector where I worked for more than a decade, have previously instituted zero-tolerance programs resulting in the criminal prosecution of almost every illegal entrant.
Those who have been arrested and formally deported, even if their only crime was the illegal entry, and reenter into the United States illegally, are subject to prosecution for 8 USC 1326, ReEntry After Deportation, a felony.
The Humanitarian Argument of ‘Most undocumented immigrants come to the United States to better their lives’ cannot be argued. Most flee lives of poverty that is almost unheard of within the United States. Some flee crime, others seek asylum from political oppression. Whatever their reason, they come by the tens of thousands to the United States for a better life. How can we turn these away? How can we, as a compassionate nation, turn our backs on those who are living nightmares in their home countries? How can we, with our abundancies, reject those who only want a taste of prosperity?
Equivalently, how can we prosecute those who shoplift from a large corporation to help their families? How can we send a poor person to prison for robbing a bank that is insured anyhow? The ‘how cans’ go on almost endlessly.
We have to have laws, rules and regulations relating to Immigration and, as cruel as it may seem, we have to enforce them. Our country cannot allow unrestricted immigration without tremendous consequence. Our country currently has a population of over 300 million of which more than 46 million receive food stamps and over 100 million are on some sort of government assistance. Mexico, our closest southern neighbor, has a population of over 100 million with a great majority of their people living in poverty. Countries around the world have millions if not billions that would love to come to the United States to pursue the American Dream. But if we look the other way and allow unfiltered ingress to the United States, this country’s economy would quickly collapse.
Welcome to my world...