Immigration Got My Head A-Spinnin’

Follow if you can. A Dallas conservative think-tank backs cutting sentences for illegal immigrants in jail for non-violent crimes as much as half. The idea is it saves money on incarceration and speeds deportation. Think hard on that one. Plenty of conservative factions aren’t nativist; they see the economic boon open immigration brings and they don’t see immigrants as a threat to American culture like the Pat Buchanans and Tom Tancredos on the right. Fine and good. That’s not what’s confusing.

The bottom line of the NCPA approach, as Scott Henson points out, is that illegal immigrants get more leniency than red-blooded American convicted criminals. Which hardly seems right. But then, the primary worry about early release of non-violent offenders (which include burglars and thieves) is they go back to their old ways in their communities as soon as they’re released. Even in Dallas, where it’s “safe.” But since any illegal immigrants who might get their sentences cut would be deported, it’s not like they’re going to be going back to their old ways here in los Estados Unidos de América. Because crossing the border without authorization is nigh impossible.

Meanwhile, the feds and Dallas authorities are spending time and money arresting 49 illegal immigrants working hard at jobs where they try to prevent crime on private property.


  • jamesn

    Two words: identity theft. A huge hidden cost of undocumented aliens obtaining jobs illegally is that in order to do so they have steal someone’s identity. There is always a victim when someone’s identity is stolen, no matter the reason.

    TFA, states that four weapons were confiscated (it’s illegal, for good reason, for an undocumented alien to possess a fire arm in the US), and 5 people were arrested for document tampering, apparently for the purposes of obtaining a license to be a security guard and to carry a firearm. That’s just on the initial raid (meaning, these were the documents they found when they detained these people); who knows what they’ll find once they really start talking to an investigating the individuals they’ve got.

    I’m the first to admit that our immigration laws are entirely and completely broken, but several wrongs don’t make a right. For the most part, the weapons charges are the most disturbing; there is no reason why we should accept that someone, who came into this country without documenting themselves, should be allowed to carry a firearm.

  • Amandax9362

    Tsk, what a shame they chose not to work hard to get a visa.

  • Most Americans seem to understand that free trade in goods helps the economy. We do not send ICE and DPD to roundup Chinese TV sets.

    However, free movement (trade) in labor is seen as a threat.

  • jamesn

    The entry of those Chinese TV sets into this country is regulated by an alphabet soup of federal agencies, ICE included, before those TV sets arrive on our shores. We know who made them, who is importing them, and how they’re going to sell them before they get here.

    The entry of those undocumented workers into the United States is entirely unregulated. We have no idea who is coming into this country, what they’ve done in the past and what they intend to do in the future. Further, the fact that this entry is unregulated means that it is far easier for a potential employer to exploit his new undocumented employees because there is no recourse for those individuals to complain to the government when they get hosed by the boss.

    I agree with that we need to move towards a fair trade system as it relates labor, but that means that other countries need to allow US citizens in their labor pool too (try getting work visa in India or Mexico) and we need to know who is coming into this country before we start issuing them hand guns.

  • I have nothing against letting such offenders out early, mind you. But if DOJ claims to have identified classes of offenders who may be released because they’re not threat to public safety, US citizens should get the benefit of that same determination.

    Personally I’m with Robert, I’m a free trader on goods and labor, at root. Jamesn thinks those Chinese TV sets are regulated, but we found out differently when a bunch of Christmas toys turned out to be painted with or made with lead.

    Globalization is here, and the longer we bury our heads in the sand in fear, the more we’ll be harmed from it instead of benefit from the resultant opportunities.

    The most important thing on immigration, to me, is not to let short-term populist anger become a justification for harming the overall economy or abridging civil liberties. There are quite a few Americans, to judge by the vocal minority’s rhetoric, who think it’s fine to do both as long as they get to “kick ’em out.”

  • Daniel

    You’re right, Grits. Pros ‘n’ cons time done passed. Time to fish or cut bait. Surf the crest or comb the beach with an outdated metal detector.

    Illegal immigrants: Love’em of Lump’em.

    But this policy of early release, while sensible from a strictly analytical cost-benefits standpoint, is tonedeaf to the point of shocking stupidity. Of COURSE it’s going to outrage the hell out of folks.

  • Daniel

    Actually, maybe that’s the conservtive think tank’s hidden goal: to generate even more widespread ill will toward illegals.

  • Trey Garrison

    As usual, the guns found is a sticking issue for me. Where in the Second Amendment does it say “except for those people who come here without jumping through stupid red tape?”

    The right to self-defense and the right to own whatever tools are necessary to secure that are not granted by the government, but inhere to the individual. (Talk amongst yourselves whether this is handed down by the Creator or it inheres by nature of man qua man.)

    The Second Amendment recognizes — it does not grant, it recognizes — that right for anyone in the United States and there’s no exception made for immigration status. If anything, people here in violation of some civil infraction need access to the means of self-defense more, since they so often deal in cash from the work they do and are more distrustful of the police.

    I don’t automatically presume ownership of a gun is evidence of malicious or criminal intent, any more than is ownership of a car, a hammer or a butcher knife.

  • or a nipple ring.

  • Trey Garrison

    Well played, ma’am.